Elements of Sound, July 12, 1968

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

One thought on “Portsmouth, New Hampshire area bands 1966-68”

  1. This just reminded me , about 25 years ago this older , delusional fellow told me he was in a Garage band called “The Scum of The Earth” with Augie Meyers (YES , PRE – SDQ !) ….The idea of anyone using a name like that ca. 1963- 64 already put my bullshit meter in the red , but , THIS GUY ALSO TOLD ME , WHEN WE MET , THAT HE DROPPED ACID WITH THE ELEVATORS. He was’nt even aware that I liked The Elevators. But , I had to ask Augie about it , despite the fact that I knew what his answer would be. Naturally , he’d never heard of such a band. I don’t think any of those self – deprecating band names turned up until maybe very late ’65 at the earliest. I think , as with 70’s Punk , a lot of those things were influenced by the Punk Biblle , Mad Magazine. Great essay.

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