Category Archives: New Hampshire

Portsmouth, New Hampshire area bands 1966-68

Spectras opening for the Tidal Waves, Teddy & the Pandas, Gary Lewis & the Playboys, August 10, 1966
Spectras opening for the Tidal Waves, Teddy & the Pandas, Gary Lewis & the Playboys, August 10, 1966

While searching for articles on the Devil’s Own, I came across news clips about other bands from the Portsmouth, New Hampshire area in the mid-60s.

The Spectras seem to have been a successful band. Over two nights at the Hampton Beach Casino in August 1966 they opened for Gary Lewis & the Playboys, the Tidal Waves, Teddy and the Pandas. At other shows, the Spectras opened for the McCoys, Gary Pickett & the Union Gap, the Doors, Gene Pitney, the Easybeats, the Happenings, Buckinghams, Music Explosion and Fifth Estate. That’s an amazing list of ’60s bands!

The Orphan, Country Gentlemen, Shades of Difference, Portsmouth Battle of the Bands, November, 1966
The Orphan, Country Gentlemen, Shades of Difference, Portsmouth Battle of the Bands, November, 1966

A Portsmouth Battle of the Bands in November, 1966 featured three bands I don’t see mention of again, The Orphan, Country Gentlemen, and the Shades of Difference.

Unidentified group at the Portsmouth Battle of the Bands, December, 1967
Unidentified group at the Portsmouth Battle of the Bands, December, 1967
Battle of the Bands with the Collections, Assassins, Coachmen, Nameless, Elements of Sound, Roulettes, Wonders, Disinherited Sunns, Portsmouth Herald, December, 1967
Battle of the Bands with the Collections, Assassins, Coachmen, Nameless, Elements of Sound, Roulettes, Wonders, Disinherited Sunns, December, 1967

Also in December 1967 there was a Jaycees Battle of the Bands at Portsmouth High School featuring the Collections, the Assassins, the Coachmen, the Nameless, the Elements of Sound, the Roulettes, the Wonders and the Disinherited Sunns.

Pine Grove Pavilion shows with the Tierdrops, Four Musketeers, Warlocks, December, 1967
Pine Grove Pavilion shows with the Tierdrops, Four Musketeers, Warlocks, December, 1967

The Tierdrops shared their manager with the Devil’s Own, one gig notice from December 1967 shows them at the Pine Grove Pavilion.

Exeter Battle of Bands Wuz Five, Back Street Windows, Plate of Garbage, Lords of Mourning, Coachmen, Northern Lights, Wonders, March 1968
Exeter Battle of Bands featuring my favorite band name, The Plate of Garbage

An article from March 1968 discusses a battle of the bands at Exeter High School featuring a number of bands.

from Exeter: The Wuz Five, The Back Street Windows, and The Plate of Garbage !
from the Hamptons: The Lords of Mourning
from Portsmouth: The Coachmen, The Northern Lights
from New Castle: The Wonders

The winner went on to the state finals in Manchester NH in April.

Elements of Sound, June 19, 1968
Elements of Sound, June 19, 1968

That state contest seems to have been won by The Elements of Sound, the only band I can find photos of in the Herald. The Elements of Sound began in 1965 at Portsmouth High School, adding a brass section in the fall of 1967.

Members included John Keenan (guitar), Ken Scarponi (lead vocalist), Dale Dockham (drums), David Schiefer (bass); front row: Dan Meehan and William Carder (trumpets), Charles George (guitar) and James Watt (trombone).

The Elements of Sound played in a national Battle of the Bands in Atlantic City in June of 1968 where they just missed the top ten acts.

Elements of Sound, July 12, 1968
Elements of Sound, July 12, 1968

The Devil’s Own

The Devil's Own Exit 45 I Just Wanna Make LoveThe Devil’s Own came from Portsmouth, New Hampshire, or more precisely Greenland which lies just to the west. They cut a double-sided monster on Exit Records in late 1966, one side a version of “Hey Joe” with writing credit to Powers (Chester Powers, a pseudonym for Dino Valenti). The flip is an intense take on Willie Dixon’s “I Just Wanna Make Love”.

The single actually made the local radio charts. The ARSA site has a survey of WBBX 1380 AM from November 28, 1966 showing the Devil’s Own version of “Hey Joe” at number 16. The release number CO 1907 probably refers to Cook Laboratories, the eccentric studio run by Emory Cook in Stamford, CT.

The Devil's Own Exit 45 Hey JoeI can’t tell you very much about the band. I haven’t learned their names yet, but I’ve found notices of their live shows starting in January 1966 and continuing through February 1968.

One news clip from the Herald shows the band’s manager, George A. Browning, taking ownership of a Shelby GT-500 and a Shelby Cobra. Browning was in his mid-twenties at the time and also managed the Tierdrops (who included Paul Murphy).

Browning’s name appears extensively in the Herald for speeding and drunk driving citations until about 1973. I wonder if the bands ever got to drive those Shelbys.

Battle of the Bands with the Devil's Own, the Mongols, the Ushers, the Agents, Portsmouth Herald, Tues. Jan. 18, 1966
Eliot, New Hampshire Battle of the Bands with the Devil’s Own, the Mongols, the Ushers, the Agents, January 22, 1966
The Devil's Own with Little John and the Sherwoods, March 4, 1966
The Devil’s Own with Little John and the Sherwoods at the Skyline in Newington, March 4, 1966

Advertisements show the Devil’s Own playing many school dances and a military teen center, and entering a battle of the bands with the Scorpions and Mongols from Kittery, the Ushers from York, the Agents from Eliot.

At the Skyline in Newington, NH, the Devil’s Own supported Little John & the Sherwoods (the Lowell, MA group who had the cool “Long Hair” / “Rag Baby” on the Fleetwood label) and co-headlined with the Spectras. They shared the stage with the Spectras again at the Pine Grove Pavilion in Portsmouth.

Anyone have a photo of the Devil’s Own?

The Devil's Own with the Spectras, March 25, 1966
The Devil’s Own with the Spectras at the Skyline in Newington, March 25, 1966
The Devil's Own with the Spectras, November 11, 1966
The Warlocks followed by the Devil’s Own with the Spectras at the Pine Grove Pavilion, November 10-11, 1966
Devil's Own Hey Joe at 16 on WBBX, 1966-11-28
The Devil’s Own version of Hey Joe at number 16 on WBBX, November 28, 1966. Courtesy of ARSA
George A. Browning manager of the Devil's Own, Portsmouth Herald, Tue. Feb 21, 1967
George A. Browning, manager of the Devil’s Own and the Tierdrops buying two sportscars from Patterson Ford Sales, February, 1967

Annie and the Orphans

Annie and the Orphans were a part of the New Hampshire band scene in the 60’s. The group was from Meredith, a small town on the banks of Lake Winnipesaukee. Although they didn’t release any records at the time, they won a battle of the bands in Franklin, NH.

Original members included Bob McNab on bass, Anatole Paquette (“Annie”) on vocals, Tom Paquette, Jay Ley and Jim Corriveau. More recent members include Peter Previte on keyboards, Roy D’Innocenzo on guitar and Barry Nelson on drums.

Bob McNab sent in these great photos to share, including photos of earlier bands of Peter and Barry, and wrote to me about the group:

Two of us (front man Anatole “Annie” Paquette, and I) have been together since 1964, but we’ve had many other musicians with us over the years, who are with other bands now, but they occasionally sit in from time to time for the fun of it.

We have never made a studio recording as a band, but some of us have done work on recordings with friends bands, especially our drummer, Barry Nelson, he has done studio work on many projects.

We still play venues in, and around NH, ME, VT, and MA.

Check out their website AnnieandtheOrphans.com.


Annie and the Orphans in 1968

Barry Nelson, our drummer, and his old band, The Ampegs c1962


Peter Previte, our keyboard player, and his band, the Wolves circa 1966

The Renegades

The Renegades I’m writing about today were from Manchester, New Hampshire, about fifty miles NW of Boston. They have no connection to Richie’s Renegades who also released a record on Polaris.

Both ‘Waiting For You’ and ‘Tell Me What To Say’ were written by Lorin Ruggiero.

It was produced by Joe Melino and arranged by Harry Palmer. Polaris was a Boston-based label, Ray Fournier engineered many other sessions for the label.