The Rain Kings, December 1966
Gretta Spoone Band, 1968 lineup
|If you go to see live music often, from time to time you will come across a kind of act that knows they’re bad, that emphasizes their deficiencies and makes their ineptness the center of the show. The Rain Kings from Dallas were such a band. Luckily for us they lived in a time when rock music was by its very nature amateur and obnoxious. Despite their best efforts to muck it up, they still managed to create listenable music, at least, listenable to my ears.
Rain Kings member Richard Parker gives all the details you could wish for, and more:
Richard Parker: Rebels Without Applause – The Rain Kings Story
The Rain Kings – a name that will live in anonymity. In 1964 our Dallas band began as The Imposters, a name that truly fit us, for our musical abilities were – at best – crude. We didn’t actually perform in person until 1965, after the name change to The Rain Kings, a name taken from a Saul Bellow novel – Henderson The Rain King.
We attended the same high school – Bryan Adams High – as Kenny and The Kasuals, Jimmy C and the Chelsea Five, members of The Chaparrals, Five of a Kind and many other pretty good bands that never recorded.
We simply weren’t as good as these bands so we made up for it by being stupid. Our stage acts were notoriously stupid, our original songs were downright dumb and yet our ability to draw a crowd was very good. We played at the standard affairs – high school dances, local teen clubs, private parties and so on. We actually hold the all-time attendance record at the famous Studio Club in Dallas outdrawing such bands as Kenny and the Kasuals, The Briks, The Chessmen and even The Yardbirds! (It’s true although I can offer no logical explanation.)
In 1965 after recording some truly dreadful demos in my living room, we headed for the well-known Sellers Studio downtown where everyone from Gene Vincent to Kenny and the Kasuals had recorded. We booked one hour, recorded four songs and ultimately released them on an extended-play 45. The results were pretty bad, but since our reputation was one of stupidity-with-a-beat, it didn’t matter. 100 copies were pressed and we sold them all.
In 1968 after another name change (to The Gretta Spoone Band) we released another 45 this time on the Pompeii label (internationally on the London label.) The record went nowhere fast and our band days ended. The record shows up regularly on Ebay, although it seems no one wants to buy it. I can’t blame them – I’ve heard it.
Steve Howard, Richard Parker and Steve Lowry
Richard Parker and Steve Lowry
Steve Howard – lead vocals, rhythm guitar
Drummers included: Mike McIver, Johnny Smith, David Anderson and Barry Whistler.
Other members heard on these recordings are Bobby Bassett (vocal: “I’m A Little Fat Boy”), Connie Collins (organ: “Blind Man”), Dennis Keys (guitar: “I Do Believe You’re Dreaming”, “Close Your Eyes”), Danny Porter (pedal steel guitar on “If You Really Want Me To” and “In My Life”).
Sometimes the number in the group would be four or five and other times it would swell to ten or twelve. We never knew how many of the group would show up, or which ones of us would be among the present. If we were playing at a birthday party or gas station grand opening or some other gala event, and four guys showed up, it would sometimes be just the bass player, the harmonica blower, the tambourine rattler and the guy who carried the amplifiers. We’d play anyway, and no one in the audience seemed to notice the eerie silence where the guitar breaks should have been or where the drum solo was supposed to go.
Nevertheless, we were among the musical elite in the area, being hailed as the “best band north of Garland Road and west of Peavy Road yet southeast of Rustic Circle, bounded by Sylvania Drive to the east and Timmy’s house on the southwest.” Quite an honor.
Recording – Simply Uncalled For
Knowing in our hearts that we were about to make musical history, we wanted to make sure that this legacy would live throughout the ages. The only way to do this of course was to make a record. So in 1965 we booked one solid hour in an upstairs, downtown recording studio, which was famous for recording on two tracks! This was the big time.
The hour that we booked included the time it took us to unpack the cars, load our equipment up the stairs, set up and tune up (man, I wish we had recorded that tune-up, as it was one of our very best.) In the same hour we also had to tear down the equipment and get it the heck out of the studio to make way for whoever had booked the following fifteen minutes of studio time.
That left us with about seventeen minutes of actual recording time for our four songs. This turned out to be more than enough and we spent the last five minutes smoking cigarettes and planning our Grammy acceptance speeches. In the session, four lasting musical memories were perpetrated: Lydia, Everybody Out of the Pool, Lewis Lewis and the tune which would inevitably become our signature song, I Know What You’re Trying To Do But You Can’t Get Away With It.
Lydia had lyrics that were so bad that even The Rain Kings were embarrassed by them (including the immortal line “If you should leave, my name is Steve.”)
We decided to go for broke and pressed one hundred copies of our record, and in six short months we had sold almost one-third of them for a clear profit of sixteen cents.
The Rain Kings may have been the first “anti-band”. We set out to be weird and succeeded beyond our wildest expectations. Often our audiences didn’t have a clue as to what we were doing. Often we didn’t either. This sometimes ended up antagonizing rather than entertaining the audience. In The Rain Kings’ performances, we not only began to enjoy this audience confusion and sometimes anger, we courted it. After all, the only reputation we had was one of weirdness interrupted by occasional music, so we decided to maximize our public image and go for it all. We set our goal on “Stupid”. Our reasoning was that merely being bad was not enough to bring in the patrons, and being bad and weird was somehow even worse. But being “stupid”…now that had possibilities.
There’s logic in there somewhere. People will gather to watch the clean-up of a car wreck. They will stop at an empty field and say “Look, here’s where old Henderson’s barn used to be.” They will watch mimes perform. Therefore, if it is presented right, people will watch anything.
Crowds of curious and disappointed fans flocked in the high single digits to our Stupid Show. We played one song while laying on our backs. We sang a rock version of a radio commercial for pies. We sang a hillbilly ballad from the 1930s accompanied only by the sound of tire tools pounding on wooden objects. We sang our “hit” records, of course, since they were incredibly stupid even before we planned to be that way.
One touch that seemed to affect every song performed was “the standard Rain King ending”, which usually meant that the song went on way too long or crashed to a finale in a musical wreck of non-stop non-stopping.
The band often played songs with their backs to the audience or while laying down on the stage.
At one time the band included a performer whose entire function was to shake a pair of small deer antlers, which made no sound at all. We often – intentionally – sang in a key different from the musical instruments. We referred to this as “singing in the key of ‘R’”.
We planned to be stupid, even billing ourselves as the world’s worst band. And the people accepted us as just that. Success at last.
Richard Parker and Steve Howard
Steve Howard and Richard Parker
The Gretta Spoone Band – first lineup, 1967
|A Cabbage By Any Other Name
By our second year of playing I Know What You’re Trying To Do But You Can’t Get Away With It at various parties, fried chicken restaurants and parking lots, our reputation was solid and widespread. Therefore we could not get a job playing anywhere, not even if we paid them.
We solved this problem by changing the name of our band after each performance. Sometimes we would even change our name during a performance. Once we performed in an out-of-town high school gym as “Solid Jackson and the Catfish”. And by the time the word spread that you should never hire “Solid Jackson and the Catfish” for any reason, it was too late. We had already changed our band name and were stinking up the joint somewhere else as “Gretchen and The Japanese Luggage”, “Andy Bednigo and The Dippy-Dippy Strolls” or “Little Patty Ann Montgomery and Her Fat Friends”.
Eventually, while going over our list of potential band names for the week, we decided to make a demo recording at the same small walk-up recording studio downtown, where we had earlier inflicted four songs upon tape. This time we had several new songs, each worse than the others in its own special way. One song we recorded at the time was about a blind man who received a magic pie from an angelic vision that promised to restore his sight. However, all the eating of the pie did was to make him deaf too. It had a snappy beat and a cavernous organ lead that sounded like funeral music played at the wrong speed. It was a dandy song.
Another song we unleashed that day was either called Bird Droppings or Mother Cabbage Makes Good, we could never decide on the final title. We also recorded other songs that day such as I’m A Little Fat Boy and I Do Believe You’re Dreaming, the latter a story of a man who talks to birds.
In spite of the fact that the songs were dreadful, poorly conceived and badly executed, a local record company was delirious enough to think that something (God knows what) in the songs might accidentally catch on with some small portion of the great unwashed public. They were wrong.
We signed a recording contract, re-recorded the worst two of the songs to the dismay of a bored recording engineer at IRI Studios in Dallas in late ’67 or early ’68, and were soon holding in our sweaty hands some freshly pressed 45 rpm records of our crimes.
The record steadfastly avoided sales anywhere in the world. The songs would have been poorly received in a school for the deaf. We still hold the recording industry’s all-time record for the “Single Recording Most Quickly Pulled From Release and Forgotten”.
Luckily this horrible musical event did nothing more to besmirch the already lousy reputation of The Rain Kings. You see, we had recorded under the name of “The Gretta Spoone Band.” A name which will live in infamy.It would be great to say that the band was the vanguard of a new musical direction that grabbed the sensibilities of the world. But to say that would be an outright lie. The Rain Kings were a musical aberration, a misprinted footnote in the history of music. So be it.
The Rain Kings were never heard from again, and thank God for that!
Our main lead singer – Steve Howard – continued in music and as John Steven Howard released a CD last year. He lives in Red River New Mexico and for a while in the 70s – 80s took Ray Wylie Hubbard’s place in a folk group called Three Faces West. They recorded an album in the late 70s.
David Anderson – one of our drummers though not heard on the recordings – owns Zoo Music Stores in Texas selling instruments (mostly guitars). Paul Roach our occasional organist still performs with his “real band” Kenny and the Kasuals. Paul was also “Gator Shades” of The Gator Shades Blues Band (Train Kept a Rollin’). Another of our drummers, Barry Whistler, owns a respected art gallery in Dallas. The rest of us were hounded out of the business by music lovers.
The 1992 reunion featured the original five Rain Kings. The reunion was recorded and contains some really crappy wonderful moments including the only time we recorded “Gorilla”. We also re-recorded the original Imposters Living Room Tapes and after 27 years we still sounded like a train wreck.
Thank you to Richard Parker for sharing his recordings, photos and history of the band.
Gretta Spoone Band, early 1968
Two good instrumentals, recorded in Tyler, Texas, and produced by Eula Anton.
“Hang It Up” is an upbeat rocker while “Down on My Knees” is a very good blues, with churchy organ playing. Both songs by Robert Leslie Allen.
As you can tell from listening, my copy is beat.
These One Eyed Jacks are not connected to the Illinois group of the same name who had a 45 ‘Die Today’ on Lakeside, or another group with ‘Love’ on White Cliffs.
|The Apolloes cut an interesting variety of work, from the off-the-cuff and updated renditions of 50′s standards like “Slow Down” and “Summertime Blues” to the intricately produced psychedelia of “Chained and Bound”.
Wayne White, leader of an Atlanta group the Famen happened to be in the studio when the Apolloes came in to play on a session for the Younger Brothers. Wayne taught “Laugh in My Face” to the band and may have played organ on it as well. The flip, “Hey”, was written by Jim Youmans, who produced this single as well as the later “Chained and Bound”.
They released “Summertime Blues” on three different labels, though the first version on Soupa is not as wild as the one that would come out as the Swingin’ Apolloes. “Gone” the A-side to the first release of “Summertime Blues” was also written by James Youmans, and produced by Pat Hughs.
The band had a penchant for backwards guitar, as it’s all over their great version of Larry Williams’ “Slow Down”, and shows up again on “Chained and Bound”, written by Chester, Lane and Freeman. Later 45s were released as the Swingin’ Apolloes. Also I don’t know what the b-side of “Chained and Bound” is, if anyone knows please chime in.
Until Pat Ray commented, below, nothing was known about the group other than that they recorded and played live in Atlanta, Georgia from about ’65 to ’67. I’ll repeat his comment here:
The Apolloes – Hey / Laugh In My Face (Apolloe 5813/4, November 1965)
Thank you to Mike Markesich for info and Pat W. for the photo.
|String & the Beans have this one fine record from 1966. The reverb-laden ballad “Come Back To Me” reaches its peak with the guitar solo that takes the song out. On the flip is the upbeat “When I Get That Feeling”.
Both songs were written by Craig Fulford and Robert Robinson (a mistake – it should have been Robert Robertson) according to the label credits.
For some time there was confusion as to whether the band was from Alabama, or Georgia (the base for Lyresong publishing) or even Minnesota, as this 45 was pressed at Minneapolis’ Kaybank studios (indicated by the number 6-6130, a type of indexing which was used on other 45s recorded there, notably records released on Kaybank’s Studio City label).
Since writing this post, I heard from the band’s drummer, Louis Gigis. Louis wrote this history of the group:
Robbie Robertson added:
I was co author of “Come Back to Me” with Craig Fulford. The misspelled record label was not redone and corrected because typically teenage thinking was to hurry up and get this out! The label name of Fat City was chosen because we were booking through Ted Hall at Hit Attractions out of Charlotte, NC. Charlotte was called the Fat City at the time.
|Updated August 7, 2008
The Banshees were students at Mills High School in Millbrae, just south of San Francisco. They had started in 1962 as an instrumental group the Black Knights, changing their name to the Banshees when they added a vocalist in ’64. Members were Jack Walters, Chris Guiver and Paul and Dennis Studebaker, and for a short time Bob Morelli.
They released two records on the Solo label including the crude and energetic “They Prefer Blondes” / “Take a Ride with Me”. “They Prefer Blondes” was written by Jack Walters, while “Take a Ride with Me” was by Paul Studebaker, and both songs were arranged by Paul Studebaker. Lou Dorren, a high-school friend of the band produced both of their Solo 45s, and also recorded them in a later incarnation as the Kensington Forest.
With the help of his brother, George Guiver, I’ve heard from founding member of the band Chris Guiver, who kindly gave a detailed history of the band. Jason Sweitzer spoke to the Banshees’ friend and producer Lou Dorren about his early years as a sound engineer. Fascinating in itself, Lou’s story sheds light on the Banshees progression from garage act to professional musicians.
|Jason Sweitzer notes Lou’s perspective on the first Banshees record:
The SOLO imprint was Lou’s conception. He was 15 when he recorded and produced “They Prefer Blondes” in the Millbrae Presbyterian Church recreation room, with full permission of the priest! Prior to this he hadn’t made any garage recordings of them.
Originally, the song was going to be titled “Gentlemen Prefer Blondes” but Marilyn Monroe had recorded a song with that title for a movie of the same name.
Using a Roberts Crossfield 770 reel-to-reel recorder and two cardioid dynamic microphones, which Lou and his friend Don purchased for the occasion from Lafayette Electronics in San Francisco, they recorded five or six takes each of “They Prefer Blondes” and “Take a Ride with Me” until the band got the one they liked.
Lou had the tracks mastered and sent to Monarch Record Mfg Co., Los Angeles. Two thousand copies were pressed circa July 1965 and the majority of them were sold for 99¢ at LeCor Camera & Hi-Fi in Millbrae, where Lou worked a part time after-school job, and at White Front Department Store in Sunnyvale, where Lou’s uncle was manager.
Despite being a local success, Lou was unhappy with the sound of SOLO 1 and decided to book time at Coast Recorders at 960 Bush St. in San Francisco to record a follow-up.
At Coast they recorded “Never Said I Loved You” and “So Hard to Bear” on a ½” 3-track vacuum tube recorder. This was Lou’s first shot at mixing, and SOLO 2 was pressed mid-September 1965.
These songs show the band developing their melodic side which they would improve upon in their next incarnation. Both songs were written by Jack Walters and arranged by Paul Studebaker.
With this brief stint at Coast under his belt, Lou begged manager Mel Tanner for a job and began helping out in the studio under the supervision of chief engineer Don Geis. It wasn’t long before Lou made his first master cut of the Beau Brummels “Don’t Talk to Strangers.”
Meanwhile the Banshees continued performing, soon landing their first recording contract.
The Banshees playing in front of the Hyatt Theater, before a Chad & Jeremy and Sonny & Cher concert.
from the 1966 San Francisco yellow pages
In the fall of 1966 the Banshees received a deal with Bob Shad’s Mainstream label, and traveled down to L.A. to record one single, the very beautiful “It Feels Like I’m Crying” b/w “I Love You.”
This 45 was released as “The Ariel” on the Brent label (another company owned by Shad). In sound these songs are a world away from They Prefer Blondes, with excellent harmonies, introspective lyrics and a delicate melodic sense.
The words of “It Feels Like I’m Crying” are agonizing:
Many times I feel like screaming,
In early 1967 Jack Walters brought Lou a demo of his new song “Bells.” Lou suggested Jack assemble a band and invited them over to Coast Recorders to record it. The newly named Kensington Forest included Jack Walters, Chris Guiver, Dennis Studebaker and Jack’s sister. As the flip to “Bells,” they recorded another Jack Walters original, “Movin’ On.”
While “Movin’ On” was mixed to mono only, Lou made both stereo and mono mixes of “Bells,” and cut separate master plates for each version himself. One thousand copies were pressed with both sides in mono and another thousand made with the stereo version of “Bells” and the mono version of “Movin’ On.” According to Lou, “Bells” was the first stereo 45 engineered to be fully compatible with a mono cartridge.
Pressed at Monarch in mid-to-late May, 1967, and distributed by Melody Sales of San Francisco, “Bells” was a popular regional hit during the summer.
Lou recalls he was driving down El Camino Real listening to “The Emperor” Gene Nelson on KYA when suddenly “Bells” was introduced. It was the first time he heard the 45 played over the radio and he describes it as a peak experience, having stopped his car mid-road to jump up and down ecstatic. Not far away the rest of the band, driving around together in Jack’s car, were doing the same on California Drive!
“Bells” has a rougher sound than the polish of the Ariel 45, but the harmonies and melodic talent are still there, along with some fine guitar work. “Movin’ On” shows the influence of the early San Francisco ballroom groups like the Charlatans and the Dead. If anyone has a better quality transfer of Bells in stereo, please get in touch.
Paul Rose of Fantasy Records took an interest in “Bells” and introduced Lou to Max Weiss and Saul Zaentz. After hearing “Bells”, Max offered to distribute Lou’s fledgling Bay Sound Productions and gave Lou a job as sound engineer with Fantasy.
In late 1967 Lou placed audition ads in the San Francisco Chronicle and Examiner looking for new bands to record for Bay Sound Productions. By the end of the year he began releasing records on his new Onyx label, one 45 each by the Styx (Onyx 2200); the Tears (Onyx 2201); Weird Herald (Onyx 2202); and Gypsum Heaps (Onyx 2203); with Mark Darnell an unconfirmed 5th artist.
Thank you to Dan for the clips of “Never Said I Loved You” and “So Hard to Bear”. Special thanks to George Guiver for the photo of the band playing outside the Hyatt Theater, and for putting us in contact with his brother Chris.
This article written by Chris Bishop and Jason Sweitzer.
The Light Brigade were the three Cole brothers and their friends from Little Rock, Arkansas. They released their first 45 on the My label in 1967, which included James Williams on lead guitar.
“Baby You Don’t Care” rides a great fuzz tone while “Won’t You Tell Me” is much gentler. Both these songs were written by Dean Cole and bassist Lonnie Cole. Ray Cole was the other brother in the group.
“Lonnie’s Song” is from 1969, released on the E&M label. The band stopped playing around 1971.
Thank you to Angela for correcting the name of her father – James Williams, not Williamson as I had read from a comment.
I’m very sad to report that Cecil Cotten passed away on Friday, April 4, in Winnsboro, TX, at the age of 62.
Cecil was lead singer of the Briks, one of the great bands to come out of Dallas in the 1960s. He composed the lyrics for many of their songs, including “Foolish Baby”, “It’s Your Choice”, and “Can You See Me”. His singing on “It’s Your Choice” shows a maturity that no other vocal from the era matches, and he was only about 20 years old at the time.
When the Briks broke up, Cecil played for a short time in Texas with three members of the Chessmen: Jimmie Vaughan, Tommy Carter and Billy Etheridge, plus Sammy Piazza on drums. They were managed by Jimmy Rabbit and recorded some songs at Robin Hood Brians studio in Tyler which have never been released.
In 1969 he moved to San Francisco and started Benny, Cecil & the Snakes with Benny Roe, Keith Ferguson, Steve Karnavas and Steve Davis. The Snakes played house parties for the publishers of Zap Comix, the Rip Off Press.
In recent years Cecil and former Briks bandmate Mike Neal recorded a CD of blues-inspired songs as The Pickin’ Cotten Band.
It’s one of my great regrets that I never met Cecil, and his music will always mean a great deal to me.
The Brākmen came from the town of Freemont, Nebraska a short drive northwest of Omaha. Lowell Reithmuller (keyboards), Bob Kellogg (guitar), and Gordon Kruse (guitar) formed the Brakemen while in high school in 1963. Other early members include Ken McMahon on guitar and Kent Armstrong on drums. In 1964 they found first Gene Starmer then Dave Nelson to play bass, and Jerry Ladd from another local group the Fugitives, on drums. With the addition of Jerry’s older brother Jim Ladd, they became the Six Wild Brākmen.
They gave their first live show in April, 1965 at the DeMolay building in Freemont, but a Battle of the Bands at the Armory was their first big performance; a home-made light show helped them win. They became known for their wild stage antics and shouted vocals. They started playing at a teen club in Omaha called Sandy’s Escape, and soon became house band at the Brāk-Up Club in Fremont and toured into Colorado and Iowa.
After many personnel changes, the lineup at the time of recording was Jim Ladd on vocals, his younger brother Jerry on drums, and Gordon Kruse and Bob Kellogg on guitars, Landy Landholm on keyboards and Eric Stark on bass.
In 1967 they traveled to A1 Studio in Council Bluffs, Iowa to record a 45 financed by Jim and Jerry’s father, Jack Ladd. ‘Minutes & Minutes’ really cooks, propelled by a fat, fuzzed-out guitar line, organ and good use of horns, with some great shouting. It was written by Stark and Kruse.
‘Movin’, written by Jim Ladd and Bob Kellogg is more controlled but equally intense. Jerry keeps up a constant beat on the toms, while Eric makes some Entwistle-like runs on the bass and the horns repeat a line in the background. I’m not sure how they decided to add horns to these tracks, or who plays them.
The label name, LSK was taken from the initials of the members’ last names. The record sold well locally, and a second 45 on LSK Nitey Nite is rumored to exist, but may have never been released.
Soon after the record’s release, the band almost signed with Kasenetz and Katz, but Jim Ladd was drafted and other members wanted to stay in college to keep their student deferments. The band continued until 1969, when Jerry Ladd was drafted. In 2001 the Brākmen were inducted into the Nebraska Music Hall of Fame.
Sources: The Nebraska Music Hall of Fame and the 7 Legends site (http://www.geocities.com/the7legends/thebrakmen.html – now defunct) site both have lots of information, photos and recollections of the Brākmen.
Hubert Deans was organ player for the Durham, North Carolina band the Si-Dells in 1968, when they recorded his song “Watch Out Mother” for the East Coast Sound label, produced by Don Scoggins.
Hubert gives the history of the band in his own words:
The Si-Dells was the first “real” band I was in. In those days bands would typically reorganize in the summer, due to people going off to college.
The Si-Dells were started by:
Keith Thompson on guitar
John Thomson on drums
Lee James on guitar
They advertised in the Durham Herald-Sun for an organ player. That’s where I came in and brought a bass player named Joe Kirschner.
Charlie Clark joined last to play sax. However, Charlie played piano on both sides of the the record – no sax.
Side A was a sappy love song called “She’s The Only Girl For Me”, nothing like “Watch Out Mother”.
The record was recorded “live” in a studio that was built and run by a HVAC contractor. It was a converted corner of his warehouse. It was located at the intersection of 751 and HWY 70 across the street from Jacobs glass.
The record was actually the second recording of the song. The first (and probably better) version was lost by the pressing plant. We were called at around 3pm one Saturday and told to come back in and re-record it. We did and still managed to make our gig later that night.
I left the Si-Dells to join the Bondsmen. I replaced Gene Galligan in the Bondsmen when he went off to college. We (Bondsmen) recorded several tapes but never released anything else.
Q. Listening to the lyrics closely, is Watch Out Mother about a nuclear winter?
No, it’s just about the “natural” end of the world. It was the result of a homework assignment in the tenth grade. The teacher told us to choose a poem by Robert Frost and write one of our own, similar to the one we picked. It was easier for me to write a song and then use the lyrics as a poem. The big news story at the time was a cold spell all across the country, sub zero in the midwest and even in single digits here in NC. It sort of inspired me to go in that direction.
Plus, there was a TV commercial at the time about margarine featuring Mother Nature. The narrator tries to fool mother nature into thinking it’s butter. She ends up causing thunder and lightning and saying “it’s not nice to fool mother nature”. I guess the song was just a product of what was going on in my life at the time. Or maybe a premonition about the greenhouse effect we are seeing now.
After the Bondsmen, I joined a group called “Daze End” which later changed names to Still Creek Band and in 1974 released “Can I Move You”, an international release on MCA. We were pick hit of the week in the UK and Japan, but never sold enough records to amount to anything – no chart action. It’s so bizarre to me that the first thing I ever did seems to be stirring up the most notoriety.
Keith Thompson went on to play with Staircase Band and is still in Durham. His brother John is still around too, I believe, though I haven’t seen him in a while.
Lee James worked for IBM and I haven’t seen him since the 80s. If he’s still around it would probably be in Raleigh. Charlie worked for IBM also. Don’t know what ever happened to him. Joe Kirschner left the state with his family before we graduated from high school (’69). Haven’t heard from him since.
Thanks to Hubert for sharing the history of the band, and for the scan of the 45. Hubert runs the Snow Hill Music recording studio in Hillsborough.
|Me and the Guys were a band from Wooster, Ohio, southwest of Akron.
“I Can’t Take It” / “Why Can’t You Be True” is a double-sided winner from 1966, both sides written by Culp and Taylor.
My copy is autographed with the following names: Joel Culp, Tommy Taylor, Bill Ross and Steve Young.
Since posting this, I see Buckeye Beat has the full story on the group, including a couple additional photos from George’s collection.
The only other garage band I know of on the Ohio label Pla Me are the Oceans. This label doesn’t seem to be connected with the Pla-Me label located in Muskogee, Oklahoma, that released the Standels’ (not the Standells) ‘Let’s Go’ 45 as well as rockabilly 45s by Curtis Long, Walter Perkins, Jimmie Belden, and Gene Mooney & Joanie Hardesty.