Gentlemen Wild Photo SignedA

The Gentlemen Wild

Gentlemen Wild Photo SignedAThe Gentlemen Wild had a lively career based out of Portland, Oregon starting in 1965. The band went through several personnel changes, but early members include Craig Cathey vocals and keyboards, Jay Zilka lead guitar, Page McCallum keyboards, Bill Whitcomb bass, Tom Phelps guitar and David Vermilya on drums.

In 1966 Bob Hart joined from the Beaverton group, the Nightraiders, and his father Ross Hart took over management of the band. Both additions immediately improved their prospects, and they became a house band at a teen club in Portland, the Tork Club.

In May of 1967 they won the state Battle of the Bands, enabling them to travel to the Ridge Arena in Braintree, Massachusetts (just outside Boston) to compete nationally. Their version of “Nowhere Man” from that competition is on a rare two record album released at the time. The photo just below is taken from the program for the Battle of the Bands.

They appeared on local and national television shows, including the Paul Revere & Mark Lindsay hosted show, Happening ’68. In the episode I’ve seen, the Gentlemen Wild lip synch to their version of “Keep On Running”, easily beating out a California band, the Good Friends and Merry Fellows, who did “Heat Wave”. Judges for that show included Bobby Vee and Sal Mineo, who says “have beads will travel” during the introductions! All the photos below are from the Happening ’68 show.

They released just one 45, recorded at the local NWI (Northwestern Incorporated) Studios and pressed on its vanity label. This is a label I’d definitely like to know more about! “You Gotta Leave” became a big hit on the west coast, reaching #2 in Portland. It was written by the guitarist, Jay Zilka.

The flip side, “I Believe”, wasn’t written by any of the band members. It’s not garage, more like the last slow song at a dance, the kind to get you to leave! Other members of the Gentlemen Wild at one time or another included Dave Cookson drums, John Crowe drums, and Steve Joslin keyboards. The band broke up in 1969.

Thanks to Mike for the Gentlemen Wild appearance on Happening ’68, and to Paul for the scan of the Braintree Battle of the Bands program.

 

 

 

 

 

 


All the screen shots above from the Happening ’68 TV show

50 thoughts on “The Gentlemen Wild”

  1. The “B” side of You Gotta Leave single was selected by the group members to emphasize the musical versatility of The Gentlemen Wild. “I Believe” shows just how talented a singer Craig Cathey is and how rock guitarists such as Bill Whitcomb and Jay Zilka could also create an ambiance for a smooth, subtle sound. Bob Hart on percussion and Steve Joslin on the Hammond organ also contributed to the mood play. I Believe was performed by the band live many times with slow dancing couples finding the music conducive for romance.
    Jay Zilka – 2007

  2. I went to Grant and knew Page(who went to Jesuit)
    I wonder where he is now if anyone out
    there knows his family would love to know
    what became of him also THANKS PATTY

  3. Hi, Jay!

    Always wondered what happened to you! I went to school with Craig (I was always borrowing your PA) and was a close friend of your Uncle Dave in the 80’s & 90’s. Are you still playing at all and, if so, where? I think I recall Craig saying you moved out of state. Get in touch if you are so inclined.

    Cheers,
    Kurt

  4. Finding this website is like finding something of a time capsule of my teen years.I appreciate your efforts on this subject matter.Your are paying homage to an era, some great talents and would be great talent. I applaud your trivia and fact finding, but one thing remains unsaid.If anything about this band is worth remembering and should be noted, please put on for the record that this group had charisma like no other, they were THE show band of the Pacific Northwest.They covered many songs of the day with exceptional ability to make them equal to the original.
    In regard to the B side of the 45 they recorded- That was not an unheard of song entirely.It was a religious song often sung in churches.

  5. Hi, Jay! Do you still have the scrapbook I gave you? I hope you are well and happy. I saw on a similar web site that Bob Hart passed away. I was so sad to know this, but I am wondering how he died and when?
    Wishing you the best.
    Linda

  6. Hi, Patty, I’m not sure who you are , but, you knew Page, my brother. This is what I know of about whereabouts of Page: He moved to Belize South America in the mid 90’s and we never heard from him again after 1997. We, my family and myself, believe that Page probably passed away during that time, but, we wil most likely never know for sure. We have reasons that point that way, though. Did you know him very well? How did you know that nobody knows where he is, if you don’t mind me asking? Sincerely, Sue Mccallum Beach

  7. Hi Sue, I finally saw your e-mail concerning Page and thought I would make contact with you. Relative to Page, I haven’t seen him in over 20 years. What have you been doing and how is the rest of your family?

    Briefly, I moved to California as soon as I graduated from Washington State Univ. and it has been a great move for me. I love the weather and the positive attitude of the area. We got married in 1975, have 3 grown children and live on a small horse ranch about 8 miles from the beach. My wife is an equestrienne and I work for a number of banks as a State Certified Appraiser. Hobbies are soccer (mens team every Sunday), tennis, swimming and music. How about you? Jay Zilka

  8. Hi Kurt, see the above comments to Sue as to what I have been doing. How did you get to know my Uncle Dave? I am trying to remember you so give me some hints. All the best, Jay

    1. Jay, I went to Riverdale and think I was in the same class as your brother, Tommy. Saw you guys a bunch. My older brother, Frank, was in a band called Us Kids. GW was the gold standard!

  9. That Cuban guy, Honore (AKA Henry) was talking about you when we were swimming at some Columbia River beach yesterday. “Sue McCallum? That name sounds familiar!”, I says to myself. Gee, only been ’bout 36 years ago! What’s happening?
    After John Birch died I quit the scene and moved to Canada for a while. Just left it all in disgust, ya know….
    Jim

  10. Hot diggity! So groovy to see and hear. I spent thanksgiving with dad a few days ago and he mentioned that there is a YouTube video out there of the Gentlemen Wild. I pulled it up on my handy iPhone and we smiled as we watched together. For those who havent seen it, check it out here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tkRQSvPBcGo

    Great site! I am listenting to You Gotta Leave right now. Thanks!

  11. Sue I saw your name on the article on the Gentelmen Wild and just thought I’d say hi. If your ever in Olympia give me a call.
    Sten

  12. I was the manager of the club where The Gentlemen Wild originated. I taught science at Highland Park Middle School at the time. The Torq club was owned by Ross Hart and his son Bobby and the band played backup to some of the best bands in the Northwest at the time. The club was open Friday and Saturday nights…it was housed in an abandoned Safeway store.

  13. When I moved to Beaverton in 1966 there was a Safeway in Beaverton on Canyon Road, but it was still open. Where exactly was the Torq club? I thought it was down by Beaverton High School. By the way, I was in a band (The Royalties) at Cedar Park Middle School in the mid-late ’60s. We thought that The Gentlemen Wild were the top band around.

  14. I was So young ,about 10 when you began with Page playing in our basement, who we believe has crossed over with Jeanne and Bob. We all have many chilren and Grand children (all the twins ) Would love to see all of you and Craig, Dianes number is 1-971-506-3387. She lives in Richland Wahington with Doug and Grant and Sue is in Northern Washington and I am the Only McCallum left in Portland area. My cell number is 503-810-4212. Would love to talk to any of you. Spying on you in the basement was one of the highlights of our childhood!!!! 🙂
    Jane McCallum

  15. Hi Sten, good to hear you are doing well.Sue married Steve Beach and I am happily married and certainly settled down at 54.
    Jane McCallum

  16. Hey Sue.
    I have been trying to get ahold of your Sister,Diane and/or any one of you kids for 9 months now.
    My wife died last March.2009. I want to let her know I would love to see her.
    Phone # 503-842-0979. Cell 425-503-0270
    Thanks, Craig…

  17. Bobby died of lung cancer 5 years 2004.
    Survived by his son Matt who is a very talented hip hop writer/singer.
    Bobby’s Mom just died on Thanks giving morning this year 2009. Bill Whitcomb played for the wake, I played for the service.
    Who are you Linda. Face book me.
    Best wishes, Craig Cathey…

  18. Hi, Jay –

    WOW! I never thought I’d actually hear from you, it’s been so long. It sounds like you’ve managed a great life, though I never thought a move to California would precipitate such – too many people for me, though Portland’s getting to be the same.

    I got to know your Uncle Dave when he (and Belle) became fans of my swing group, Boulevard. I don’t believe they ever missed a weekend, and we were together for eight years. I have some photos somewhere I can scan and fire off to you if I can get an e-mail address. We became very close friends and would spend a lot of time together, either going to dinner, having brunch at either of his places (before he sold the lodge), going shooting. He was the sharpest punster I ever met, the only person who could ever out-pun me – and he did it with his usual style. I loved the man and don’t recall why we lost touch – I think he became kind of reclusive when Belle passed away. Could those kids dance!

    As for me, I got to know The Wild as a result of becoming friends with Craig who was two years ahead of me at Milwaukie High. I was in a band, he was in a band – and so it went. You and I only met twice, I think – once when you played a dance at Milwaukie High and once when my band did an opening spot for The Wild at The Tork. I was a guitarist/turned bassist in ’66 (and am just taking it up again after playing bass for 45 years!) and was severely influenced by the artistry you and Bill Whitcomb never failed to display. I talked with Craig on Christmas Eve (surprised him) and he seems well. He moved to Tillamook awhile ago and I’ve only seen him once, since then – he and his wife came to a band picnic a couple of summers ago.

    It’s great to hear from you – I hope you’ll give me a yell sometime at capt.12string@comcast.net.

    Cheers,
    Kurt

  19. I just wanted to say thanks, to all of you.

    I remember how wonderful it felt to have that majical feedback with the people out in front of us, and with the band members.
    “We were stallions”. (as Bill put to me, one day).

    At times I felt like I could fly around the room. So filled with energy.

    We all have our special talents. Each, and everyone of us.
    .

    Thanks again, Craig Cathey…

  20. Hi Craig. I was a “kid” fan (class of ’72) of the “Wild” (as we called the band). Inspired by YOU and others, I went on to play clubs (numerous outdoor gigs as well, with Sand, Sojac, etc) with some mutual friends and neighbors (J Conway and a few others) for years to come. I was also a big “River” audience member. I was 2 years behind Totts at Milwaukie (say HI for me, OK?), and officially met you a few years back at a gathering. This site, along with – pnwbands.com – is incredibly fun! Hope to see you at the Jamorama reunion this year. – Keepin’ it simple, Bob Stall

  21. Having had my brother a “missing person” for 20 year I have looked all I can for anything on him. He was the keyboard and singer at the Battle of the Bands in Portland that launched the Band to Seattle of which he was not “invited”. Bob Harts Dad/manager broke my brothers Spirit! I know business is business which is why I still think you are a snake, Mr. Hart. His tongue wasn’t the only McCallum tongue that some “squares” thought needed reigning in and this world needed Page’s persona. We lived in a great family of 6 kids and Page had some very admirable traits that were overlooked, I know business is business and…………….oops I forgot, he had feeling too. He went on a spiral downward after that. Being disposable when he was quite able never made sense to me. Sorry for sounding caustic but Page was an integral part of our family and when one hurts, the others hurt. What one decision on Bob Harts Dads part by cutting Page from the Band had far reaching consequences you will never know…….But business is business……….I know………………..

    Jane McCallum Buck

    PS) He was on THE 45 that was cut by the Gentleman Wild. His contribution to any of their further success needs to be noted.
    PSS) Bob Hart and no doubt his Father have both passed on, but I still want to say how Page and family were effected. It’s our family’s personal tragedy that has affected all of us deeply.
    Jay , Thank you for the personal Memorial. It was a loose end and you were fantastic in fulfilling it.Especially when we didn’t even know it was needed. No evidence of his being gone or not but I think he’s with his Parents in Heaven and I can’t wait to see the perfect Page. Gotta admit,he broke the mold.

    1. I know you are still grieving about your brother, but to call my father and brother “snakes” , to make your missing brother sound as if it was my families fault is not true. But maybe it makes you feel better about your brother disappearing from your family. I hope your post about my family made you feel better, it’s the least we can do for you, blame someone else.

    2. Wow, I don’t remember there being a manager at the Tork Club (not Torq) and it wasn’t at an abandoned Safeway store but a furniture store on Broadway in Beaverton. I worked there the entire time the club was open, but you are right about some of the best bands in the Northwest playing there. I could be mistaken and it has been a few years ago, but I am Ross Hart’s daughter and Bob’s sister, and I will tell you Bob did not own any part of it.IfYour brother was the keyboard player and singer

  22. I am obviously Page’s youngest sister and I totally remember John. My Cousin and I had a “crush” on all of them when Page was a band member and John was in the rotation of giggly 10 year old girls spying on all of you through the heat vent acting “as if” any one of you were “slow” enough to take us seriously. You know the annoying little sister issue!! LOL
    Jane McCallum Buck

  23. I was able to see the Gentlemen Wild play @ the Pypo Club in Seaside Ore. Would not remember me but I was introduced to Craig through a friend in Seaside Gary Hansen. I always remembered this band in particular because they looked and sounded a lot like Paul Revere and Raiders. I always remembered the name Craig Cathey and was just posting on facebook to my friends in regards to the Pypo Club and Craig Cathey, Did not dream that I could google them because it was so long ago. Great catching up with this band. Tim Ray

  24. It will be good to know what ever happened to ‘our’ Paige McCallum.

    The Pypo club was my favorite club. I always loved coming to the beach (that’s why I live there now).
    A close second was the “Headless Horseman”, and, can’t forget the Tork club.
    At the pypo, in Seaside, a band that killed’ was “Teddy and the Rough riders”. Also Jack Ely and the Horsemen.
    Craiger…

  25. This Paige lady must be on methadone. If I had a penny for every musician that went through a downward spiral in that era I would be a billionaire. Oh boo hoo for your retard brother and his weak spirit. If he was really such a good musician he would have done something with his talent instead of go pout in some foreign country and commit suicide or whatever. I don’t see anywhere on this website where it says “blame everyone else for your brothers bullshit life and misfortunes here, Paige McCallum”. Get the hell out of here with that bullshit. Business is business huh? More like, that’s life! If you can’t take the heat, get out the kitchen pussies! #NICE GUYS FINISH LAST

    1. Wow, That was harsh!! Never a drug addict I’m afraid. Page was best friends with the Band members and an original member. The Harts scooped the Gentleman Wild on the contingency to lose Page. Page was controversial . Page is one of the oldest in our family. We miss him that’s for sure. You are right in perceiving the hurt he felt at being expendable. Craig, Jay, Bill and John , thank you for giving Page a great memory.

      1. Matthew
        It just occurred to me that you are Bobs son. A rebuff would have done really well. I’m sure you were proud of your Dad and Grandfather. That’s how we are with family. I wrote that in a bitter frame of mind but it’s not my proudest post. Page was not long term musician material. Just a cool teenager. I may have been more hurt than Page. His life was effectively over and was profoundly handicapped for life by age 26. I can’t say he was a pussy. He worked through life the best he could. I inadvertently expressed my anger and hurt Bob Harts son, again not my finest moment. I’m just going to say “My Bad” and own it. Your family has every right to be proud of the season with The Gentleman Wild. We enjoyed our Pages season with them too.
        Sincerely,
        Jane McCallum Buck

        1. Jane, You have shown more class than this Matthew Hart will ever know in your response to his slime ball defamation remarks about you, and your brother Page. And for that, I will apologize on his behalf, since he doesn’t have the decency, class, nor empathy that you have shown here. Low lifes, such as he, don’t deserve the gracious responses as the one you extended to him, and yet, you had it in your heart to do so. This world should have more people like you, and then maybe it would not have to tolerate those with the insensitivity shown by this piece of _ _ _ _ ! KUDOS TO YOU!!!!

        2. Jane- Did you live in a big house north of Fremont?….by Alameda school….& before that by Sabin school? If so I knew your brother Page very very well. I lived on 22nd. Let me know if so!
          Lynda

        3. Jane, I haven’t heard from you in ages. Didn’t know about this thread until a friend from Grant recently got back in contact with me.
          Though I don’t believe in the word ‘closure’ I think working through these losses we’ve had in our families have brought me a peace I didn’t have before meeting you. I never had anyone to talk to about losing my own brother Bobby, and then Page getting hurt.
          By the time I met you 2008 or 2009? It had been years since my own brother died, yet I got real comfort sharing our similar losses and feelings
          I must admit to snooping at your FB page a few years back. Your family is beautiful and you look great. We’re still here, and still working at keeping it together and dignified

        4. Wasn’t your brother in a terrible car accident that led to some of the things that happened to him after that? Just thought that is what happened, more than his severe depression from leaving the Gentlemen Wild.

          And I don’t remember him being on the one 45 that the Gentlemen Wild made.

  26. I knew Bob since Fir Grove Grade School in Beaverton. We played ball together and he was the worst basketball ball player..(all legs).Bob would always have the biggest smile and pearly teeth. We hang out at his house on Hart Road and his mom would feed us cookies and strawberry soda. Mrs Hart was so cool to us, Ken Bolin, Guy Kitchin, Chris Mcdonnell, Jay Polium.We all got really tight at Highland Park Jr. (in Wilson Park Beaverton). We played a lot of music and listen to Bob play the drums b4 he joined GW,(God he was loud)watching his “Beattle” hair cut flying around, we knew he was a rock star. When he joined GW, none of us missed a performance at the TORK (located on Broadway in Beaverton not Portland). It was a cool teen hang out and for $2.00 we were in the groove from 8-11pm. I still miss him, we all do. LOve you man………………

  27. Hello Gentlemen Wild !

    I was in a band called the Gas Company from Roseburg, Oregon that placed second or third at the Oregon state battle of the bands the year that you won it. We were disappointed that we didn’t win, but you guys were fantastic and deserved to win. To make up for it, we set up at a roadside rest area on Interstate 5 on the way back home and started playing. Another band heard us, turned around and came back and we had another battle of the bands. Eventually we changed the name of our band from the Gas Company to Hercules and the Chicken Fat People, and then Ouroboros. For several years, we were a warm-up band for some of the main attractions at the time. Of all things, we have now reunited after more than 40 years and play several gigs together each year and have an annual reunion at our beach house on the Oregon coast near Bandon. All of us left music as a career, however and got legitimate day jobs. Of all things, I am now a Professor in the Ophthalmology Department at the University of Iowa (but I still like getting back to Oregon).

    Regards,

    Chris Johnson

    1. Chris: I grew up in Medford. Saw you guys play many times. You guys played “Omaha” by Moby Grape. You had a keyboard player that I thought was going to fall off his bench every song. You guys rocked!

      1. thanks for the nice comments Doug. I was the keyboard player – we have now reunited and play several gigs together every year, and I still act ;ike a wild man behind the keyboards (portable Hammond B3 and a synthesizer). Chris Johnson

  28. I’m from Seattle and was driving through Oregon on my way to see Deep Purple playing at the Fillmore West, when I heard on the radio that Hercules and the Chicken Fat People were playing somewhere that weekend. That would have been November 29 1968.

    I have spent years trying to find out what happened to that band!

  29. The Gentlemen Wild wil perform July,27,2013atOaks Park in Portland,Oregon for the first time in 45 years. All original players( except drums)

  30. wow. ran onto this site by accident. this stuff really takes me back. i lived just down the road from Bobby Hart. we had a band called the “Better Things” Heiti Kubbo guitar, Allen Dennison (Dino), drums, Dave Stauf keyboard, Terry Davis bass George Sanders, Vocals and Greg Skei vocals. and me on guitar. we were all Beaverton high boys ranged from the class of 67′ to 69′ When we 1st formed the band Dino didn’t have any drums so Bob Hart let us practice at his place. This was back when Bobby was still in the Nightraiders. We were hoping that Ross would pick us up and manage us but we already had a drummer and Ross was looking out for Bobby. They hooked up with Gentlemen Wild.
    I knew that Bobby had passed away but didn’t know when. our lead guitar and one of my best friends, Heiti Kubbo passed away in 2001 from cancer. he’s the one that got me back into music after 25 years. Man there were some great times. I started playing again about 12 years ago and have a makeshift band. Ironically the bass player and drummer are both from Beaverton.

  31. Bob Hart was my Uncle – and this weekend I came home with a treasure my Mom, his sister, gave me. A shadow box with his pictures, his drum sticks and yes the records “You gotta leave” and “I believe”. Uncle Bob will always hold a very special place in our hearts as he really was a great guy. He spent hours one day taking his nieces around trying to find all day suckers!!! We never did find them – but we enjoyed the journey.

  32. I’m sitting in Italy talking to my wife and my early years at around 10 Yeats old. I lived on 21st and Knott st. I was really into music. I remember somehow seeing these guys practise and I never forgot them. I went to Madeline catholic grade school. I remember so much. Paul Revere Association the non such Quartet. wow what a great find’

  33. Hi Jay,

    I stumbled on this site recently. I always wondered what happened to you after The Gentlemen Wild folded. I remember well the guitar lessons you gave me up in your room. Do you still have that beautiful cherry Gibson ES-355 you used with the GW? Just to let you know, I stuck with my guitar playing. I played with the band Rock Residue for 31 years. Although we stopped in 2013, we’re having a 35th reunion August 12. Glad to know you are healthy and thriving. Best of everything to you.

    Brian Trainer

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