The Invisible Man's Band were:
Clarence Newton Burke Jnr. b. 25th May 1949, Chicago, Illinois, U.S.A., d. 26th May 2013, Marietta, Georgia, U.S.A. (lead and acoustic guitar)
Alex Masucci (b. Alexander Masucci, 11th November 1949, Brooklyn, New York, U.S.A.)
Peter Jackson (from the group Touch Of Class, drums, piano, percussion)
James Burke b. 19th September 1950, Chicago, Illinois, U.S.A. (vibes), d. 19th February 2021, Chicago, Illinois, U.S.A.
Kenneth (Keni) Burke b. 28th September 1953, Chicago, Illinois, U.S.A. (bass guitar)
Dennis Burke b. 1953, Chicago, Illinois, U.S.A. (rhythm guitar)
Dean Gant (all synths and keyboards)
Together with Alex Masucci, Clarence took the group to Island Records in the late 70's and enjoyed success on the U K soul scene with 'All Night Thing' in 1979.
The album 'Invisible Man's Band' followed the next year along with a follow-up single 'Love Can't Come / Love Has Come'.
The track was released by Island in 1980, but in 1981 they switched to the Boardwalk Entertainment label.
The label was owned by Neil Bogart (with whom the group had worked with during their Five Stairsteps days).
Here the group released 'Really Wanna See You', again co-produced with Alex Masucci, containing the popular title track and the much sought after 'Along The Way'.
Both of these album releases were conspicuous by the omission of an image of the group, strangely a condition written into the contracts of each set.
A further change came with a move to the Move N Groove label for the 'Sunday Afternoon' (1983) 12" single.
In the early nineties there were rumours regarding Clarence joining the Stairsteps for a reunion, although, to this day, these rumours have not yet reached fruition.
Clarence Burke sadly passed away in 2013.
...more on the invisible mans band:
The Invisible Man’s Band was Clarence Burke, who consented to act as a “mere vessel to speak for the Invisible Man".
Clarence was a native of Chicago's south side.
He worked on various musical projects with the likes of Stevie Wonder, Quincy Jones and Billy Preston and the result was an album, “Second Resurrection” on George’s Dark Horse Records with his brothers.
That album, Clarence stated “was a message album and people were getting sick of message albums at the time!”
Subsequently, Clarence decided to shy away from any further recording projects until the Invisible Man appeared in a dream and literally told Mr. Burke what he needed to do!
He said, “After seventeen years of being in the business, I knew I had to come out of it all with something. And what the Invisible Man asked me was are you going to give up your heart — music — for money?’. So I sat down and listened and saw what I needed to do’.
Regarding the Stairsteps, Clarence reflected that being a Stairstep “was different. We were children and our father handled everything for us. Those days, black artists didn’t go pop and it was a different scene, a different ballgame. Now it’s tougher because I got to handle it for myself. I guess I got paranoid about the business once I started to get back into it because it’s not the way it was.”
As ‘The Invisible Man’, he expressed himself through music.
With the aid of producer Alex Masucci and friend Pete Jackson (from the group Touch of Class), Clarence decided to be the medium for ‘The Invisible Man’.
“Truly, the best things in life are felt and not seen - it’s all about vibrations. And that’s the message I have from The Invisible Man. In the dream I had where he spoke to me, he asked me what I felt the true meaning of life was. I wanted to know who he was and I couldn’t get past his declaration that he was The Invisible Man. And he’s the force behind the album ... no doubt about it!"
Clarence went on to say:
“I have to find an antidote to make The Invisible Man visible! I’m putting it out there that I need to see this man because I need him to turn green on the scene because the night riders are approaching!”...“The Invisible Man told me that he’s going to reveal what his plans are on the second album. There may be people who checked out the first one and were confused and he’s assured me that the second one (‘Really Wanna See You’) will be our salvation and will clear up any confusion we have about his intentions."
Clarence contended that the first, self titled, album:
“was mistaken for what it was not. People have been funking up about it.” Although Clarence feels that The Invisible Man is not ready to reveal himself, he says he badly needs to see him because “invisible cheques don t work!”.
The group released ‘The Invisible Mans Band’ in 1980, and ‘Really Wanna See You’ a couple of years later.
Clarence Burke died in 2013.
Segments taken from Blues and Soul magazine No: 311 August-September 1980
Invisible Man's Band (Island Records 1980)
Really Wanna See You (Boardwalk Records 1981)
Sunday Afternoon (Boardwalk Records 12" 1983)