The Galaxies IV formed at Catholic school in Trenton in 1962. Members were T.J. Tindall on guitar, Chris Holmes on guitar and vocals, Charles Brodowicz keyboards, Len Demski bass, and Alan Fowler on drums. T.J. Tindall left the band early on when his family moved to Pennington; he eventually joined the Edison Electric Band.
The first Galaxies IV 45 was “Let Me Hear You Say Yeah” / “Till Then You’ll Cry” recorded at Regent Sound studios in New York City and released on the Veep label in June of 1965.
That summer of 1965 the Galaxies IV played forty shows during at the second session of the World’s Fair in Flushing Meadows, including eight shows at the New Jersey Pavilion.
The band received a notice in Billboard for winning the First Annual Rock ‘n Roll Olympics on Labor Day 1965 at St. John Terrell’s Music Circus in Lambertville, NJ. It was a huge battle-of-the-bands, judged by Phil Spector and Cousin Brucie Morrow. The notice lists Charles Brody instead of Brodowicz, and says Billboard had mistakenly reported the Rubytones were the winners in a previous issue.
The Galaxies IV at the 1965 Rock ‘n Roll Olympics
l to r: Chris Holmes, Alan Fowler, Charles Brodowicz and Len Demski
The Billboard notice also mentions a 45 already released on the Mohawk label, “Don’t Let Love Look Back” but I haven’t been able to confirm this exists.
The win led to features in the NY Times and Reader’s Digest (anyone have scans of those notices?).
In August of ’66 they did release a 45 on the Mohawk label, “Piccadilly Circus” / “I’m Goin’ For Myself” in August of 1966.
“Piccadilly Circus” is a version of the Rolling Stones’ “2120 South Michigan Blvd”, often covered by 60’s bands and usually retitled (other versions include Sly Stone’s “Buttermilk” and Thee Midniters “Whittier Blvd”).
“Piccadilly Circus” was picked up by RCA for national release with the Chris Holmes’ wild original “Don’t Lose Your Mind” on the flip in June of 1967.
Adding a lead vocalist, Steve Shier they changed their name to Galaxie V and then Alexander Rabbit, releasing an lp on Mercury. Afterwards, Chris Holmes took the stage name Duke Williams and led his own band throughout the ’70s.
Photo from the Cathedral High School 1969 YearbookInformation and photo sources included Trenton Makes Music (site now defunct) and Randy Now’s Sept. 5, 2007 show which features Duke Williams and T.J. Tindall. Thank you to Alan Fowler and Esther for additional photos for this article.
The Galaxies IV in 1969, from left: Charlie Brodowicz, Steve Shier, Alan Fowler and Chris Holmes (Len Demski out of frame)