The Myddle Class


(from left) Danny Mansolino, Dave Palmer, Rick Philp, Charlie Larkey, Myke Rosa
Rewritten July, 2011

Dave Palmer (vocals)
Rick Philp (guitar)
Danny Mansolino (organ)
Charles Larkey (bass)
Michael “Myke” Rosa (drums)

The Myddle Class had three poorly-distributed 45s and little chart action, but there’s a lot more to their story than the releases suggest. Below is a short overview of their career.

They started as the King Bees in suburban New Jersey, in the Passaic Valley towns that border I-78 southwest of Summit. Dave Palmer and Rick Philp came from Warren Township, Myke Rosa from Berkeley Heights, Charles Larkey from Mountainside and Danny Mansolino from North Plainfield.

One account I’ve read says some of the group first got together as the Four Classics, with Danny Mansolino on vocals, Rick Philp on guitar, Myke Rosa on drums and Kurt Gabrook on bass. The band had one job at Hobby Hall, a formal dance school in Summit, where they played for classes until being fired for playing too many Rolling Stones songs. Danny Mansolino started out playing accordion and joined the group specifically because Rick wanted someone to play organ; Al Aronowitz wrote that Danny learned how to sing later but Danny says that’s not correct.

In any case, the King Bees had started by 1964: Dave Palmer was a student at Watchung Hills Regional High School along with Rick Philp, and he became their singer. Danny Mansolino attended North Plainfield High School but had joined the group on organ. At first Chris Irby played bass, but when he decided to quit, drummer Myke Rosa brought in Charles Larkey, a friend of his from Governor Livingston Regional High School. Charles was only just learning the bass when he joined, but he had good stage presence and sharp clothes from his father’s store Larkey’s in Newark, which kept up on London fashions.

The King Bees live shows became legendary – one concert at Governor Livingston High in Berkeley Heights included versions of “Shout”, “She’s Not There” and an original, “It’s the Season”.


An early photo of the band, taken in Carole & Gerry’s backyard, photographer unknown
Front to back: Myke Rosa, Rick Philp, Danny Mansolino, Dave Palmer and Charles Larkey
After a concert at the Berkeley Heights CYO in December of 1964 the band met New York Post columnist Al Aronowitz, who had heard about the band through his babysitter. Al became their manager, even though he hadn’t done any artist management work before. His home in Berkeley Heights became the group’s base. Aronowitz introduced them to Carole King and Gerry Goffin, the husband-and-wife song writing team who were then living in West Orange, New Jersey. Goffin and King agreed to write songs and produce the group.

There’s a rumor of the King Bees recording an album Soul in White Suburbia, which seems unlikely, but Al Aronowitz wrote about shooting a short film featuring the band, though it may not have been completed. Supposedly the director was avant-garde artist Barbara Rubin (a friend of Andy Warhol, Bob Dylan, Allen Ginsburg and Jonas Mekas) and had the title The Suburbs of Heaven. However, I can’t find any confirmation of this in accounts of Rubin’s career, though many of her works haven’t been cataloged or made public yet.

In the fall of ’65 the King Bees changed their name to the Myddle Class to distinguish themselves from Danny Kortchmar’s King Bees who just had a release on RCA Victor. In October, Goffin and King signed a production deal for their new label, Tomorrow, with Atlantic-Atco, expressly to release their first single with the Myddle Class.

Billboard reviewed “Free as the Wind” in December 1965: “New label, new group and new Goffin-King material has smash hit possibilities. Folk rocker is a powerhouse!” Rick Philp and Dave Palmer share writing credit with Goffin and King. Despite the promising review, I can only find evidence of the single hitting the radio charts in Albany, New York in early ’66.

The flip is a moody garage version of Dylan’s “Gates of Eden” that I think is among the best covers of Dylan ever done.



Flyer for the Summit High show, with pitchfork photo by John Lynch
from left: Dave Palmer, Charles Larkey, Myke Rosa, Danny Mansolino and Rick Philp
On December 11, 1965, the Myddle Class headlined a legendary concert at the Summit High School Auditorium with opening acts the Forty Fingersand the Velvet Underground. Al Aronowitz produced the show and booked the Velvets. In fact, it was the first time Lou Reed, John Cale and Sterling Morrison billed themselves as the Velvet Underground and was also their first live show with Maureen Tucker on drums! I’ve seen it written that Aronowitz was helping the Velvets out after they had been fired from the Cafe Wha?, but they had played at that venue much earlier in ’65. Just after this concert, Aronowitz did acquire a residency for them at Cafe Bizarre. He would get the Myddle Class into both clubs in 1966, along with the Night Owl Cafe and the Cafe Au Go Go. Aronowitz claimed he was taping the Summit show, but someone from the Velvet Underground stole his new Wollensack tape recorder. The live tape has never surfaced, which is a shame, though all accounts say the Velvets received a very mixed reaction from the audience.

click for larger image

Review of the Summit High concert by Rob Norris
Excerpt from “I Was a Velvetten”, reproduced from Kicks #1 with permission

The Myddle Class’s second single, “Don’t Let Me Sleep Too Long” was a #2 hit on WPTR in Albany during the summer of ’66. The ballad flip is a driving slice of cool teenage angst, “I Happen to Love You”, and, in my opinion, their best recording. It may have been one of the songs Goffin and King intended for the Monkees, but they never recorded it. Their loss, but a revamped version of Them without Van Morrison did an effective cover of it.

Despite the band receiving song writing credit on the label, “Don’t Let Me Sleep Too Long” was likely taken from the Blues Project’s “Wake Me, Shake Me”, a staple of that group’s live sets throughout 1966. The Blues Project had adapted the song from traditional spirituals going back to the early 20th Century or earlier. The Blues Project recorded a demo in January ’66 and then a finished version in August that was used for their album Projections, released in November 1966. The Myddle Class beat them to first release by rushing their 45 out in June, ’66!

Al Kooper stated to Lyn Nuttal, “The Blues Project let The Myddle Class open for them as a favor and in return, they stole their closing song! Nobody really even heard The Myddle Class theft in the US outside of New York City. The Blues Project’s version of “Wake Me, Shake Me” was the big version in the US and influenced a lot of young bands.” True, but for many teenagers who heard the record that summer, the Myddle Class recording will always remain THE version of the song. When this Myddle Class 45 was reissued on the Buddah label, “Al Kooper and the Blues Project” were credited for the arrangement.




West coast pressing of their second 45, probably rush pressed when the song hit on KFXM in San Bernadino in October ’66
The deal Goffin and King had struck with Atco to distribute Tomorrow fell apart after only three releases (two by the Myddle Class and one by Carole King, “A Road to Nowhere” / “Some of Your Lovin’”). Goffin and King moved their distribution deal for Tomorrow to Cameo-Parkway, and their first release on a redesigned Tomorrow label was by the Bach’s Lunch, a girl group (with singer Darlene McCrea of the Cookies and the Raelettes – I don’t know the other members) they produced, with the Myddle Class providing the instrumental backing. The A-side was a remake of Goffin and King’s “Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow”, but the real gem is an excellent Rick Philp and Dave Palmer song “You Go On”. Scott at Crud Crud wrote up a fine appreciation of the Bach’s Lunch record which I recommend reading.

The band had some regional successes, including good receptions in Montreal and Boston, a short residency at Ungano’s on the upper West Side of Manhattan, and a show in Smithtown, Long Island promoted by DJ Scott Ross that attracted over 3,000 people. However, a number of discouraging developments hurt the band around this time. They had a good audition with Tom Wilson for MGM Records, but supposedly Al Aronowitz didn’t allow the deal to go through. In February of ’67 they opened a show for the Animals, but their set was interrupted by problems with the microphones, and it seems the band worried this performance hurt their reputation with the press.

In April of 1967 the Myddle Class signed to Cameo-Parkway and released one last 45. The A-side “Don’t Look Back” was a cover of Temptations and, uniquely, produced solely by the group themselves. On the flip was the superb “Wind Chime Laughter”, with song writing listed by P. Palmer (actually Philp and Palmer) for Merlin Music, BMI, and production credited jointly to the Myddle Class and Goffin. Unfortunately Allan Klein took over Cameo-Parkway in August and ousted the band’s reps at the label, including Neil Bogart, leaving their new single without any promotion.

Some of the Myddle Class appeared anonymously as models in ads photographed by Richard Avedon. One of Avedon’s photos of Charles Larkey was used for the cover of Esquire in September ’67. Larkey joined the Fugs in late ’67 with rival King Bee Dan “Kootch” Kortchmar for a series of shows at the Players Theater.

With some members away at college and pursuing other musical opportunities, the band was rarely performing live by this time. Their main activity came from recording demos for Goffin and King songs which would be placed with other artists. Supposedly they helped recorded and helped arrange demos of “Pleasant Valley Sunday” and “Porpoise Song” for the Monkees, but I have never heard their versions of these, nor versions of “Snow Queen”, and “Fun and Games” they may have cut. Myddle Class demos of Goffin-King songs that do exist include “Goin’ Back” (a single for the Byrds in October ’67), “I Can’t Make It Alone” (which would turn up on Dusty in Memphis) and a couple I’m not sure were used by other artists: “An Angel Walks Beside Me” and “Who Does He Love”.

Dave Palmer and Rick Philp signed a publishing with Screen Gems-Columbia, the same publishers representing Goffin and King songs from this period. They received some income from this deal, but a promise from Don Kirshner to sign the group to Colgems never materialized, nor did he place any of their songs with artists. The band recorded demos of some of these Palmer & Philp songs, like “Man on the Bridge”. Another composition, “I’ve Come Too Far” was published but may not have been recorded. I’ve seen two other titles but I don’t have confirmation that either was recorded or published: “There’s No Easy Way Down” and “Paper Walls of Innocence”.




The Myddle Class circa late 1967: front and center is Dave Palmer
behind him, from left to right: Myke Rosa, Rick Philp (wearing hat), Charles Larkey and Danny Mansolino
In the background on the left side: Bruce DeForeest and his girlfriend Ronnie
Photographer unknown (possibly John or Thom Lynch)
Goffin and King divorced and relocated (separately) to California in early 1968, by which time the Myddle Class were effectively on hiatus. Rick Philp and Charles Larkey spent the summer of ’68 in Los Angeles working up arrangements with Carole King for songs that would appear on Now That Everything’s Been Said, the album by King’s group the City. Danny Kortchmar replicated Rick’s guitar parts for the final album, released in 1969. Charles Larkey and Carole had been seeing each other since before she left the east coast, and they eventually married in September 1970.

In the fall of ’68 Danny Mansolino, Dave Palmer and Rick Philp were living in Boston, collaborating on songs with pianist Lloyd Baskin. In March of 1969 they recorded a number of songs in the studio, including a new Goffin and King composition “Mr. Charlie”, and a couple by Palmer and Philp: “Redbeard” (their nickname for Al Aronowitz) and “Keys to the Kingdom”. I haven’t heard any of these yet. Rick, Dave and Danny planned to have Myke Rosa and Charles Larkey planned to join them and Lloyd for an album in the summer of 1969. Tragically, any future chances were dashed when guitarist Rick Philp was murdered by his former roommate in Boston in May of ’69.

All the remaining members of the Myddle Class have had some involvement with music since. Danny Mansolino and Myke Rosa joined Jake and the Family Jewels for two albums on Polydor in 1969 and ’70. They added Dave Palmer as vocalist for a 1971 album on Elektra as the Quinames Band, including Ken Pine (who had played with Charlie Larkey in the Fugs) and Jerry Burnham. Dave Palmer may have had the biggest success as an early vocalist with Steely Dan.

Neil Bogart , after leaving Cameo-Parkway and joining Buddah Records, reissued “Don’t Let Me Sleep Too Long” / “I Happen to Love You” on 45 in mid-1969, with little impact. “Lovin’ Season”, an unreleased song originally titled “It’s the Season” and dating back to 1965, showed up on a sampler LP “Rock And Roll With Buddah” given away only at the N.E.C. (National Entertainment Conference) in Memphis in February, 1970. These releases were possibly a tribute to Rick Philp. “Lovin’ Season” is a great rocker with a repetitive organ riff and harmonica solo, and definitely sounds like it was cut at the beginning of the Myddle Class’s career.

Before Al Aronowitz passed away on August 1, 2005, he was offering a cassette copy of a collection or recordings by the Myddle Class called One Time Only through his website. The track list is below in the comments. It was not an unreleased ‘album’ as it includes recordings spanning their entire career, including their singles, the Bach’s Lunch songs and some of the demos mentioned here. The version of “I Can’t Make It Alone” is excellent but marred by a glitch in the tape. The only other recordings on it that I haven’t mentioned so far are a gentle version of “I Shall Be Released” and one titled “Unknown Instrumental” that is really a home recording of a minute of Rick playing guitar in a jazz style.

Supposedly a legitimate release of their material is languishing because of legal troubles. It’s a shame, as I can’t think of another band that deserves a retrospective more than these guys.

Update: I hear that Michael Rosa passed away on January 13, 2012.

Update, 2013: Be sure to check out the scans I’ve added to this site of business cards, two fan newsletters and other ephemera sent to me by Dan Mansolino .

Sources:

Kathy West’s A Song For You is a an excellent source of first hand information on the band and Kathy’s relationship with Rick Philp. See my review for more information.

Al Aronowitz wrote an extremely funny and interesting account of trying to break the band into the charts. I recommend it highly, but currently only an excerpt is available online.

Lyn Nuttal provides an exhaustive history of “Don’t Let Me Sleep Too Long” / “Wake Me Shake Me” on his fascinating Pop Archives site.

“I Was a Velveteen” by Rob Norris in Kicks #1 (1979)

“Tales of the Myddle Class” by Todd Abramson in Breakthrough #1 (1984) was one of the first appreciations of the Myddle Class and remains a good, if not always reliable, source of information.

Info on the Velvet Underground’s early gigs here. A review of the concert used to be online but has since vanished.

Thank you to Susan Palmer De Leon, who sent in two photos of the Myddle Class that I had never seen before. Thanks also to Brian Kirschenbaum and Jeff Lemlich for excellent 45s scans.




Rare sampler LP with “Lovin’ Season”

Bach’s Lunch – white label DJ copy

Bach’s Lunch – blue label promotional copy

92 thoughts on “The Myddle Class”

  1. Does anybody know who wrote the tracks “Man On A/The Bridge” and “Lovin’ Season”. This information has been impossible to find.

  2. Chas – I have these Myddle Class songs, some obtained from Al before he passed away. Let me know which ones you want and I’ll try to send you the files or a CDR:

    1. Lovin’ Season
    2. I Happen To Love You
    3. Don’t Let Me Sleep Too Long
    4. Free as the Wind
    5. Gates of Eden
    6. Don’t Look Back
    7. Wind Chime Laughter
    8. Will You Love Me Tomorrow (Bach’s Lunch)
    9. You Go On (Bach’s Lunch)
    10. Goin’ Back
    11. I Shall Be Released
    12. Don’t Look Back
    13. I Can’t Make It Alone
    14. Lovin’ Season
    15. Man on the Bridge
    16. Free As the Wind
    17. Unknown Instrumental

    1. Hello. I have two songs by the Myddle Class that I don’t see on your list, “You Go On” and “Why Does He Love”. I have no idea where I got them, but I have the mp3′s. Would you be will to trade some mp3′s because you some some songs that i don’t have, too.

      Rock on,
      Dave

  3. i have a copy of the cassette tape. its nothing to write home about. one side i think was mono & the other stereo & it was the same material on both sides.

  4. Myddle Class ‘I Happen To Love You’

    I fell deeply in love with this song the first time I EVER heard it,and nothings changed(lol)
    Seriously,this is a KILLER vocal and the production of this track IMO is light years ahead of it’s contemporaries.
    Anyone agree?
    Jonno

  5. The bass player married Carole King
    Their singer later joined STEELY DAN
    The BLUES PROJECT ripped-off their song DON’T LET ME SLEEP TOO LONG
    Bruce Springsteen’s early group STEEL MILL sounded like them.
    They were fired from the Café WHA
    To be hired at the Café BIZZARE
    They played at my HIGH SCHOOL Dance.
    They are/were better live than their recordings.

  6. On a whim I entered “myddle class” in a Yahoo search and up popped this incredible website. About 3 chords into Don’t Let Me Sleep Too Long I found myself back in the basement of my Chatham, NJ home in the early morning hours of January 1, 1967, and this 45 was blaring from the speakers for probably the 30th time as 75 or so of my closest high school friends and complete strangers welcomed in the new year while completely wrecking my parent’s house (my mother still hasn’t forgiven me). For a change of pace we put on Free As The Wind a few dozen times. I still have those two 45s, though they became unplayable years ago, and I still find myself singing (well, I call it singing) those songs fairly often.

    This old man thanks you from the bottom of his pickled liver for all the hard work you’ve done and for posting these songs – now my kids, who have suffered through my versions all these years, can hear how they’re supposed to sound!

  7. Paul. I was there,too.Now in Mexico.Those were some of the best years. So much new music, and this band was our best!!! Charlie was flying upside down in a Pitts, last I saw him.

  8. dave did sing on the first steely dan album dirty work and a couple others–any chance of getting a copy af that myddle class tape? sounds great-i knew these guys a little in the 60′s -my band opened for them once and saw them around–

  9. I WENT TO THE SAME HIGH SCHOOL THAT CHARLIE LARKEY AND MIKE ROSA WENT, GLRHS. I CAN REMEMBER THEM PLAYING AND THEY USED TO NAIL MIKE ROSA’S DRUMS TO THE STAGE!!! I THOUGHT THAT WAS NEAT. HE BEAT THE DEVIL OUT OF HIS DRUMS. AT THE SAME TIME PERIOD WE FORMED A BAND AND PLAYED “DON’T LET ME SLEEP TO LONG” MORE THAN A THOUSAND TIMES, A GREAT SONG, WE ALSO PLAYED “FREE AS THE WIND” AN EQUAL AMOUNT OF TIMES. WITH THE TRASH THAT COMES OUT OF THE MUSIC INDUSTRY NOW I WOULD LOVE TO COME BACK OUT AND KICK SOME ASS WITH THE SONGS THAT MOVED BACK IN THE DAY. AS WE KNOW EVERYTHING GETS RECYCLED !!! THANKS TO YOUR WEB SIGHT I GET TO PLAY ALONG WITH THESE GREAT SONGS SO ANYONE WHO STILL HAS SOME EQUIPMENT ( I STILL HAVE MY STUFF) GIVE ME A CALL OR SHOULD I SAY AN E-MAIL. PB

  10. In a twist of fate, Charlie Larkey, of the Myddle Class that was once known as The KingBees, ended up playing in bands with Danny Kortchmar, who had been in the KingBees on RCA that would lead to the changing of Larkey’s band’s name to the Myddle Class. Phew!

    They were in The City, with Carol King, and in Jo Mama, Kortchmar’s band after the Flying Machine landed in pieces on the ground…

  11. Paul I was there too! Our classmate was Robert Larkey, Charlie’s younger (by 2 yrs?) brother. What a riot finding your post on this website. I can’t remember why I was searching on Charlie Larkey (I think I was on YouTube and decided to do a little research) and came across this place, finding your post. I sent the link to Tim White (someone you must remember) for his enjoyment. Good to see you are still kicking whatever. Funny how we have to go back to get some good tunes. Grace and peace! David Yamarick

  12. Paul,

    How are you? You won’t believe how I found this web page and your post. It was from Dave Yamerick in PA and he said you hd a post. Also, out of the clear blue, Jimmy Dales called me up this past spring and we chatted for quite a while. I still play my aucustic (?) Yamaha FG-180 and now have a Giso Les Paul knock off with humbucker pick-ups and a Fender Pro reverb. Saw John Fogerty here in NH last summer and Joe Walsh several times. Please write back when you can. I, too, have many fond memories of our R&R days. My ears will never be the same, but it’s still in my blood.

    Your friend,
    Tim White

  13. TIM WHITE…………I CAN’T BELIEVE IT WOW I THINK WITH ALL THE OLD GROUPS COMING BACK WE ARE DO !!!!!! YOU WERE VERY GOOD I HAVE A LOT OF STUFF TOO. INCLUDING A SUNN CONCERT LEAD AMP WITH 4 TWELVES AND 400 WHATS…..YOU KNOW MY SAYING ” THE LOUDER THE BETTER ” IT IS GOOD TO HEAR FROM YOU. HOPE ALL IS WELL AND E-MAIL ME AT BODS123@AOL. IF YOU TALK TO JIMMY GIVE MY REGARDS. I HEARD FROM BRUCE IN LETTERS AROUND CHRISTMAS BUT NOT LATELY, AND NOTHING FROM BOBBY. I AM SORT OF RETIRED AND READY TO GO !!!!!

  14. Say, Jay, The Myddle Class played at my high school Junior Prom on May 16, 1967.
    In fact, I booked them for the gig
    Your last name doesn’t start with a “W” does it?

  15. Does anyone know what happened to the movie taken at the concert at Mt Carmel Field in Berkeley Hgts., NJ? I think it was during the summer of 1965. They were still know as the “Kingbees” at that time.

  16. Yes Dave Palmer sang with Steely Dan and several other NYC bands.

    Charles Larkey also married Carol King, I believe.

  17. I started reminiscing to some friends down here in Tennessee about the concert the Myddle Class did at Watchung Hills Regional HS in about 1965. The opening act was this screechy, weirdly dressed, group that the audience boo’d off the stage. Turned out they were The Velvet Underground. We didn’t want to hear them, we wanted the Myddle Class! I’m so sorry I didn’t take pictures at the concert and have a more open mind at the time.

    Rick Philp was a student at WHRHS, a couple of years ahead of me, and we were all shocked and saddened when we learned he had been killed. What would/could have been?

    Thanks so much for this Web site!

  18. Charlie’s brother, Bob, is a CPA here in Miami. Charlie is still playing music, in Austin TX I believe. I know Bob–he’s my accountant!

  19. This isn’t Mick Tuttle by any chance is it? Because the Myddle Class played the Madison High Junior Prom in 1967…..great show!

    Cheers, Bob Cuozzi

  20. Hi Robert. My name is Brian Toscano.

    In your message, you mention that you and drummer Mike Rosa remain good friends to this day.

    Would it be possible to speak to Mike? Is there any way you can put me in contact with him? Does he have an e-mail address?

    Lately, I have been researching the late bassist Doug Rauch (best known for playing in Santana during 1972/1973)

    Doug and Mike played together on a 1969 album by a duo named Bunky And Jake called “L.A.M.F.” I was wondering what kind of memories Mike had of Doug.

    I am not writing an article about Doug. I just became interested in researching him a while back.

    If it would be possible to speak to Mike Rosa, please let me know. My e-mail address is btoscano85@hotmail.com

    I hope to hear from you. Take care Robert.

    Brian

  21. I PRODUCED A RECORD OF MIKE DAVE AND DANNY FOR ELEKTRA RECORDS IN THE 1970′S AT ELECTRIC LADYLAND ON ST. MARK’S PLACE IN GREENWICH VILLAGE. MIKE AND I REMAIN GOOD FRIENDS TO THIS DAY–WE WERE THE THE FIRST STAGE CREW AT THE BOTTOM LINE.

    Robert W. Zachary, Jr.

  22. WOW! I can’t believe I stumbled on this site! I loved the Myddle Class! They were a large part of my teen years here on Long Island. I was an avid listener of the Scott Ross Show and he was a friend of theirs. He played their songs on his radio show and always promoted their concerts which I went to faithfully. I even invited them to my Sweet 16 party (they couldn’t come, but their road manager, Bruce DeForest called me and we talked forever- what a thrill!).

  23. Saw your comment on the Myddle Class and that you are in Tennessee. I graduated WHRHS in 1967 and now live outside of Nashville. Ironically, I spoke with Dave Palmer just the other day.

  24. I was at that show and still have the ticket stub, also have a copy of the poster from that show. I grew up in the area saw them a couple of times, also I use to buy my clothes at charlie’s father store in watchung,nj. It’s to bad there music has not been release on cd.

  25. I was wondering if i could get a copy of that tape, Lone time fan of Myddle Class. saw them at summit high, still have the ticket stub. grew up in the westfield, nj. can’t beleive no retrospective, still have to play the old 45′s! hope you can help?

  26. I remember hearing their songs up here in Albany,NY. They stuck in my head for years. Finally, picked up their two records at a collector’s show, in the late 1980′s. They are in very good condition. Also, they played in the Lake George area, if my memory is correct. Glad I came across this site.

  27. I WAS ON NAPTER TODAY TRYING TO THINK OF THAT SONG I USE TO HEAR ON WTRY TROY NY DRIVING UP AND DOWN ROUTE 5 [ALBANY SCHENECTADY ROAD] LATE AT NIGHT IN MY 64 FULIE CORVETTE I COULDN’T EVEN THINK OF THE BANDS NAME UNTIL I HIT YOUR WEB SITE. YES THEY DID PLAY IN LAKE GEORGE THAT SUMMER I WAS IN TICONDEROGA NY AND FOUND OUT TO LATE THEY WAS AT THE “LAKE”. KEEP UP THE GREAT WORK!!!! I PLAYED IN A GROUP JUST US FIVE AROUND THE TICONDEROGA NY AREA.

  28. Bruce DeForest ?? Wow there’s a name I aint heard in ages. I met him once. He came to my house to pick me up for a gig or something. When I warned him of the busy traffic at the end of my driveway he just pulled out into traffic without looking and said, “Don’t worry, nobody wants an accident, they’ll stop”.

  29. 11/26/2008 It’s been a year since I have visted this page. It is great to see so many’comments’ on this GREAT 60′s N.J. band. I see the guitarist’s brother wrote in and some one who produced the Quinn Aimes record. I am in Florida and I think Danny’s mother is down here and maybe his younger brother. I am in contact with the DOUGHBOYS another great mid 60′s N.J. Band that re-formed in 2003 and are playing regularly in the N.Y. and N.Y. area. I have written to them about the MYDDLE CLASS but all they have are memories.
    NOTE: The link is here so next chance you get please listen to the vocal and music crescendo at the end of DON’T LET ME SLEEP TOO LONG and GATES OF EDEN. The energy and emotion captured on the vinyl is why I think this band is one of the greats.

  30. Robert:
    I came across this blog site qutie by accident but it is very interesting.
    My name is Steve Philp and my older brother was Rick Philp (lead guitarist of the Myddle Class)

    I actually have the vinyl of Quinaimes Band.

    I’ve contacted the other guys in the band becasue I wanted to see about getting the Myddle Class discography re-released on Sundazed Rcords (specializing in 60′ bands and vinyl. )

    I’ve most recently got in touch with Mike Rosa and we had some great correspondence (and even a recent picture.)

    I can also get you in touch with David Palmer (as he and I have been keeping in touch.)

    Take care and feel free to contact me.

    Steve

    1. HEY STEVE LAST TIME I SAW YOU WAS AT AUNTIE MAMES WITH CATHY AND BOYFRIEND BAND NAME FORGOTEN GLENN MARKEL TOO WOW 1ST TIME I SMOKED POT WAS AT LARRY ESOLDI S HOUSE WITH CAROLE LINDA ESOLDI CHARLIE N OTHERS SUMMER DAY CAROLE ON PIANO LIFE WAS GROOVY DAVE PALMER SANG AT BLINKER INN WITH JOHNNY CIANNIELLO S BAND PHILL KITTRELL N ROBERT BOYD ON GUITAR DREAMS BY ALLMAN BROS COVER WAS UNREAL MISS THOSE DAYS PEACE

  31. googled my way to this site as I always loved listening to the Myddle Class songs here in upstate NY near Albany on WPTR…remembered the lyrics to “Free as The Wind” and “Don’t Let Me Sleep too Long” as they received pretty frequent play back when I was a kid…I’m 56 now and glad I found this site & these mp3′s…thanks alot!!

  32. i worked at the Night Owl Cafe in the mid 60′s. it was one of the most wonderful time of my life. hearing all those bands and all that music. i have some dodgy tapes of the myddle class and have searched to see if anything was ever put on cd, but no luck.
    the last time i saw charlie larkey was in hollywood, early 1970′s. he either had just gotten married to carol king or was about to.
    i went out with myke rosa for for a bit. but he had a girlfriend, marianne in n.j. spent many times up in Lake George where they often played.
    anyone have a contact for myke?

  33. I heard it the other way around…the myddle class were opening for the Blues Project and expropriated Wake Me Shake me before the Blues Project could record it…

  34. Hi !! Any Chnace you wanna sell that Velvet Underground Poster and the stubs?? Or anyone else for that matter??? or would you be so kind as to make scans of this for me?? I am a nut for these guys..TN?? Bolivar, TN is second home to me!!
    cheers
    martin

  35. Ken,

    I think that gig was at Summit Junior High in 1966, because my recollection is that is was the same night as a concert at Summit High which my band at the time, The Gremlins, played with The Roadrunners and The Sorts, in the show headlined by The Critters. Some 14 years later members of The Gremlins, The Roadrunners and The Sorts were in a band called Juice that was the house band at a place called The Horn of Plenty in East Hanover for about 6 months.

  36. Okay now, Paul- where the heck are you- it is not 2009, but Bruce and I just exchanged emails and I spoke to tim- LET”S get the Caretakers BACK for a party!!!! Hi Tim, and All Caretaker Groupies (??) Jimmy Dales (Jim Dehls)

  37. This brings back memories of Lake George NY in the summer of 1965 (or ’66) when the Myddle Class performed at a huge beer garden called The Towers located right in the center of the village on the grounds of the Ft William Henry Hotel Resort. The building is still there but it never rocked like it did that summer when “Don’t Let Me Sleep Too Long” was on the top of the local charts and the band packed them in for every performance. The summer of our lives……thanks for preserving their work.

  38. One of the early comments on this page has him at mikelsrosa@yahoo.com

    I befriended Al Aronawitz during the last year of his life. I still remember when he called at work to say he had been diagnosed with cancer. He had sent me a copy of the tape. I tried to clean it up with some restoration software and it may have helped a bit. I sent him a CD copy and he was over-whelmed with gratitude. He asked for another copy to send Mr. Goffin in CA. I did. He then called to ask for another copy for Mr. Goffin. Mr Goffin had lost the first one. “Too much L*D in the 60′s” reported Al.

  39. I can’t believe this site! OK 40 years ago my parents forced me to get e haircut. sitting in the crestview barber shop in berkeley heights. In walk Mike Rosa & Charlie Larkey. I would’nt get another haircut for 20 years.They were 5 years ahead of me in school and graduated with my brother.These guys were great should have been rich and famous , but left great songs anyway.I still hum Free as the wind.

  40. In June of 1966 The Myddle Class closed a WTRY radio sponsored School Spirit Contest concert at McCloskey high school in Albany, NY. They had a hit already(Free as the Wind) also on the entertainment roster were the Lovin Spoonful and several other area artists.

  41. I remember The Myddle Class.
    They also played at my junior High In Chatham ,N.J.
    That must have been in the summer of 66 or 67.
    I alway’s Thought those Guy’s were from Millburn.N.J.
    If i had a nickel for everytime i played Free As The Wind In Junior High I’d be rich. They were really good & i’m surprised they never took off.I still Have a couple 45′s.
    Also remember The Critter’s & The Cyrcle Playing At Chatham Junior High.. The Critter’s Would come in a Old White Ambulance With their name Handpainted on the sides.Great Band And Great Memories

  42. Steve,

    I stumbled across this page and saw your post from over a year ago. I met your brother Rick back in the early 60′s when the band performed at a club in Asbury Park. Think Rick was 21 at the time and I was a teenager with a mad crush. We wrote to each other several times that summer, and over 40 years later I still have those letters along with the program from his memorial service. It was such a tragedy. Just wanted you to know he made an impact on people…he was special…and my memories of him are as vivid now as they were then. I may not have known him for more than a few months but there has always been a piece of my heart reserved just for him.

    Debbie

  43. FREE AS THE WIND and DON’T LET ME SLEEP TOO LONG, plus GATES OF EDEN are fantastic 60′s garage bend representations. The Myddle Class deserve more gredit than this page. If you are on this page than you deserve equal credit. I knew Danny’s brother Dennis. I hope they are doing well and “LONG LIVE THIS PAGE!” Myddle Class forever … Jay 04/05/2010

  44. I met Danny at his mother’s home introduced by a cousin of mine in northern NJ much later than the photo in the post above. Dylan had Blonde on Blonde in the record stores, and I discussed some of the music on it with Danny. My cousin Carol took me to see a coffeehouse gig of Danny’s in Grenwich Village, a sit-down affair with no dancing allowed, but the music was superb. Years later I played in a west coast band, and sometimes met a few of the famous musicians Danny had played with in those early years. Occasionally I wondered what his career was like, if it was in music or the professions. I really only spoke to him a few minutes in my entire life; but, the music that was growing then was interesting to both of us. Music still is interesting.

  45. Mike,
    I just found this site today – used to play some of the Myddle Class in my band – thought they were vastly under-rated !
    Could I ask you to share your collection of their songs?
    If that’s possible – MP3 form would be great.
    Thanks,
    Fred

  46. I talk to Michael (he pefers to be called Michael) Rosa frequently, Doug Rauch played in Santana with Coke Escovido, Michael Schrieve, Carlos Santana–Doug also played with Mike Rosa with Bunky & Jake, Michael Rosa started out with The Myddle Class, a group from New Jersey featuring, among others, David Palmer (the first lead singer for Fagan & Becker (Steely Dan)–David went on to write the lyrics for Carole King’s “Jazzman” LP–The Myddle Class was produced by Carole’s husband Gerry Goffin, and co-songwriter in the Brill Building days in NYC–we all spent a lot of time in NYC’s Greenwich Village. I speak with Michael Rosa requently on the telephone–he’s doing fine. David Palmer is now working as a photographer–his photo’s are stunning! Rick (the lead guitar player in The Myddle Class was murdered at Emerson College in Boston, sometime in the early to mid 60′s–he had a fabulous reputation.

    Michael Rosa is keeping a rather low profile right now–if you have questions, I can forward them to him and give you his responce. Please feel free to contant me at rzac@msn.com.

    Robert W. Zachary, Jr.
    Fmr. Senior Staff Producer/Engineer at Elektra Records–I produced the Quinaimes Band (Palmer, Mansolino & Michael Rosa at Electric Ladyland with Edie Kramer as Engineer.

    rzac@msn.com
    http://www.robertzachary.com

  47. Rick $ I both went to Emerson–I think a year aoart. I think you know the details. I’d be more than happy to facilitate a discography or a new rekease of the Myddle Class and the permutations of the members, as I know them well and stay in touch with David and Michael. Just email me at razc @ msn.com

    Regards,

    Robert Zachary
    fmr Senior Staff Producer/Engineer Elektra Records
    rzac@msn.com

  48. The Myddle Class performed at my high school back when they were the King Bees. I believe they played “Don’t Let Me Sleep Too Long” then. In my humble opinion, *anything* Al Kooper says needs to be taken with a grain. Reference the many stories he’s (and others have) related over the years regarding how he became the organist on Dylan’s “Like a Rolling Stone” session.

  49. Hi Charley I remember the Nutcracker flying stab model you flew of Kirkland design,I might have been flying a Super Cuda from BBA. I returned to flying Pattern about seven years ago using electric power. I choose to fly a Gator RC version Gilles 202 of Ron Chidgey design after watching Don Wietz at Whittier Narrows.Still living in San Diego. Have been a sheet metal worker for 34 years now.My father and I still get out every saturday and fly.2011 season started for Pattern in our district in Pheonix,next is Yuma,then Riverside,Hemet,Lancaster and Bakersfield.Hope you still have the chance to get out and enjoy flying.

  50. hi steve,
    my dad- john (skip) walker grew up with your parents (rich and peg) in millburn. i think we visited your house when i was a little kid when you lived in gillette. i was fascinated that your big brother had built an electric guitar down in the basement. later i saw that concert in summit with the velvets…a seminal experience.
    your brother was on his way to being a distinctive, own sound guitarist…that ethereal, lofting quality.
    i think i went to your sister’s wedding party with my first wife and got amost too drunk to drive home- we lived in millburn at the time.
    i have been in germany for the last twenty years…just looked up myddle class and found your name.
    hope all is well…
    mike

    i’m on facebook now

  51. Carole’s first husband & writing partner Gerry Goffin married Dave Palmer’s first wife Susan. Since Carole and Gerry weren’t on the best of terms after this, Dave wrote the lyrics to Carole’s Wrap Around Joy album. We were all pretty confused and confusing.

  52. I WENT TO HIGH SCHOOL WITH RICK PHILP AND DAVE PALMER. WHEN WE WERE SENIORS (1965) RICK AND I SAT AT THE SAME TABLE IN THE FINE ARTS ROOM ALL YEAR. WE USUALLY TALKED MUSIC AS I WAS A DRUMMER. IT IS INTERESTING TO NOTE THAT RICK’S FAVORITE GUITARIST WAS LONNIE MACK. ANOTHER TREMENDOUS TALENT THAT WENT UNDERRATED. A BIT OF TRIVIA…LONNIE MACK PLAYED BASS ON ” ROADHOUSE BLUES” BY THE DOORS.

  53. Charles Larkey played bass on all of Carole King’s ’70s albums. He was the ONLY bass player on these. This included the entire Tapestry album. You could call it nepotism but it wouldn’t be fair — he seems to have taken some genius pills before every session. The bass on Carole’s stuff is no small part of the whole. It’s always creative, innovative, unexpected, melodic and stylish, and of course very well-played. I think the great song “Sweet Seasons” owes more to the sheer genius of Larkey’s bass line than it does to the melody. Listen to that song and hear the bass do things you never thought it could do.

  54. Myddle Class played at my junior prom in 1967. This was at the Pingry School when it was still on North Ave. in Hillside. I thought they were great. I do remember them playing both Free As The Wind and Don’t Let Me Sleep to Long. And yes, The Blues Project did rip that song off and called it Wake Me Shake Me

  55. Sad news. Yesterday January 13,2012,Michael Rosa,drummer for The Myddle Class,QuinAmes Band,Bunky & Jake and Jake & The Family Jewels passed away after a long illness.
    Michael went out with great dignity. We will greatly miss him.

  56. Sad news
    Yesterday,January 13,2012,Michael Rosa passed away.
    Good friend and drummer for The Myddle Class,QuinAmes Band,Bunky & Jake,and Jake & The Family Jewels.
    Michael passed,with great dignity, after a long illness.
    Our heartfelt condolences to his wife,Laura and son Steven.

  57. Steve, Rick was simply the best guitarist I’ve ever seen or worked with. More than that, he was the nicest guy. I met him when the Myddle Class played at The Station in Lake George, NY, in the mid 60s, can’t remember the exact year. They were the house band there for at least part of the summer, as I recall, and Rick, Dave, Charlie and I became friends. I was in the house band at The Airport Inn down the road for 4 summers, a group called Otis Smith and The All Night Workers, with the above mentioned Lloyd Baskin on keyboards as a featured singer. Lloyd and I grew up in NJ and I lived and worked as a Product Designer near the Myddle Class’s old stomping grounds there after our band broke up in early ’68. We kept in touch for quite a while after, until Rick’s tragic, untimely death.

    Thanksgiving weekend of either ’68 or ’69 (can’t remember which), I played bass on a session with Lloyd, Dave, and Rick in (or near) NYC. We did “Mr. Charlie”, written by Lloyd, and the complete version of Carole King’s “Can’t Make It Alone”. (Dusty Springfield did an abbreviated version on her “Memphis” LP). Dave’s version is far superior, IMO, with Rick’s guitar licks helping to make it far more soulful and compelling. I still have a really rough tape of the session before the final mix, and it’s one of my all-time favorites.

    Anyway, I’ve been wondering for the past few years what became of Dave (I see above that he’s become a great photographer) and how and where I might contact him. His vocal chops deserved far more recognition and use than he received. I’d appreciate any help you could give me, as those days represent a special nostalgia to me for the great music of that era that has all but disappeared and needs to be kept alive. You can contact me via my Facebook page.

    Thanks, Bill Elmiger

  58. My band at the time, called The Nightwalkers, opened for the Myddle Class along with a Morristown band known as The Lords. What memories. Iwould love to hear Free as the Wind and Shake Me Wake Me again.

  59. I went to high school with Mike and I had no idea he was so famous… I am sad to hear of his death… he was a wonderful person..
    Marleen Kaechele Crockett

  60. This post is about Rick who I met so briefly while at school, in Boston, Emerson College. Rick visited me one day in an apartment I shared with a friend. I’m not sure if he brought his guitar. That day remains hidden in my memory except for remembering him coming over. He was very shy and sweet. He did not stay long and other company arrived and he left. It was 1969. I heard what happened to him, but not many details, frankly, I could not believe it that someone I knew and the only person I ever knew was murdered. But the little I found out from the Coffee interview online, gave me some facts.

    For whatever reason, this is the first time, during the anniversary of Woodstock that I was determined to find out more.

    Rick was very special, I could see that but I never got the chance to spend time with him again. I’m so glad I found this site, and have found his recordings on youtube. What a wonderful band, I am so happy to have discovered it and had a chance to mourn Rick.

  61. I’m sorry to learn of Danny’s passing. When i saw Michael in January,just before he passed away he told me that Danny had visited some years earlier. i don’t think he knew thar your cousin had died.

  62. I met Danny through my husband who is Bruce Goodspeed. It was around 1969. We moved into Danny’s house and we lived upstairs. It was a really crazy time and every thing around me was moving too fast and I was in the middle. I was a quiet girl from Somerville. I always was a little afraid of Danny because he had a very bad temper. I always thought that he was angry because of his scar left on his face from a car accident. He was somewhat disfigured because of that. He drank a lot and everything he did was extreme. It doesn’t take away from his talent though. He used to sit every once in a while at the organ in the living room and I was marveled by his playing. I once talked to him on the phone. He had a piano and organ store in New York City. I wish that I had gotten to know him better because I sensed his deep sensitivity. I was trying my best to be a wife to the man I married. I know he did not like my husband because he witnessed the way he treated me.Danny asked me to leave him and I was not prepared to do that. I’m sorry to hear that he has passed away. We also knew Dave Palmer. We lived above the draft board in Plainfield. David lived with us for a month or two before he went to California. I remember he used to save his money and sleep in our place but actually I didn’t know what his plans were. The day that he left Bruce and I waved goodbye to David from our window. He chugged away in his old car. He had all of his belongings with him and was on his way to California. It seems to me that it was only about a year later that he did the album with”Steely Dan.” I still listen to “Dirty work.” He really has a angel voice. I recently talked to him on the phone and I’m not surprised that he is in a creative field.

  63. Danny M. was my cousin

    Danny will always be remembered by me as a nice, gentle fellow that loved music. He could play anything
    with keys. I attended a wedding, many years ago when his Mother married a man in NYC at a famous hotel
    overlooking Central Park. One of the attendees was the Supreme Court Justice of NY. The man she married was a millionaire realtor in New york. His name was William Adam Schulz.
    My cousin played the piano and I never heard such a beautiful piano rendition as I did that night.
    Poor Danny, died of a heart attack in his 50′s.

    1. That’s not the Danny who was in the Myddle Class – Dan Mansolino is very much alive and well – I just had a note from him today with the new CD “A Lick & a Promise” by Jake and the Rest of the Family Jewels.

  64. So right before xmas 2012, an old friend sends me a link to Wake Me Shake Me by the Blues Project. I replied that it wasn’t the version I remembered growing up as teens together in Albany NY but I had no idea who actually played the one I was familiar with. My buddy then took it upon himself to search and find Don’t Let Me Sleep Too Long by the Myddle Class. Eureka! Great tune. It’s been periodically playing in the back of my mind for the last 45 years or so. Next step–I found the mp3 on Amazon and bought it straight away. Then I found Kathy West’s recently published book about the Myddle Class and bought that too! Just finished reading it. It’s a rather sad tale about the events leading to Rick’s untimely death, and seemingly Kathy’s inability to find another love as true as Rick’s was. It didn’t take too much googling to piece together some info from a retired Emerson College professor, a November 1992 Dateline NBC program, and the International Aphasia Movement to find a ten minute youtube video of the evil scumbag who killed Rick. Of all the horrible irony–talking about the power of music and how it relates to his aphasia. I can’t believe the jerk still walks free. There is no justice.

  65. I was at the Myddle Class/Velvet Underground show at Summit High School. Most of the people there came to see the Myddle Class. They freaked out and were yelling when the Velvets were playing. They didn’t understand the music and frankly it sucked. I was on a date with my girlfriend. I thought she was going to dump me after she heard the Velvet Underground.

  66. i was a good friend of dannys. i was 15 years old when i first met him. he was renting a room from a close friend of the familys and she was bragging how shes renting a room to someone in the king bees. i already knew of the band from the radio. we became good friends and i would go with him to carole kings house in west orange and sit in the dinning room while watching the band practice in the living room. my high school, oratory prep, was just down the street from summit high. my brother and i liked the velvet underground although 90% of the audiance cleared out. it only started off wierd. then the 40 fingers came on. whom i was also good friends with. billy devore was my room mate at admiral farragut in toms river for 1 year till he got thrown out for stealing the mayors beetle one night. i was there to but i didnt get caught.
    danny gave me a stack of the myddle class summit show flyers and i hung one up on the school billboard. i got into an actual phisical attack from a young new priest on loan from seton hall. he grabed me by the collar and pushed me up against the wall. yelling at me to never hang this flyer up anywhere that these guys look like woman and they are the devil because they even show the pitchfork. lots of other great times with danny. sorry to just read he passed away. im 65 now and i would love to have any of there recordings. if anyone can steer me. gates of eden was genius.

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