The Weads

The Weads Duane 45 Don't Call My NameThe Weads were the very first rock band to release a record on the Duane label in Bermuda. I wondered, how did a band from Stony Brook, New York end up on a label from Bermuda? That question was answered when I spoke to Rodger Jackson, bass player for the Weads, who generously provided a lot of information about this great band.

Rodger Jackson started a band called the Statics with Allan Varela at their high school in Garden City, Long Island, Rodger playing bass and Allan lead guitar. Allan was 14 at the time and Rodger a little older. The next year, Allan moved to Stony Brook, where he attended the Stony Brook Boys School, though he continued playing music with Rodger. They recruited Dick Turano from Northport to play drums and Myron McCloud to play rhythm guitar. Myron was from Texas but was attending the Stony Brook Boys School at the time.

The Weads distinguished themselves from other groups by playing only original songs, most of them written by Allan Varela (listed as Varella II on 45 label). They outfitted themselves in suits, and played through Vox Super Beatle amps. Allan Varela played a Stratocaster, Rodger a Precision bass, and Myron a Vox Teardrop guitar.

Also at the school was a student from Bermuda, Alan Dowdy, who took a demo tape of the Weads back home with him and played it for Eddy DeMello, owner of the The Music Box in Hamilton. DeMello liked what he heard, and in short order he contacted the Weads and signed them to 3 year, 10 song contract. The Weads recorded at least four songs at National Recording in Long Island. DeMello then took the masters back to Bermuda and pressed records there.

DeMello stocked them in his record shop and DJ Bryan Lodge got them played on the local radio station ZBM, sending “Today” to #2 in Bermuda. Allan Doughty from Bermuda became their manager. All the college students there for vacation knew the songs from the local radio play, so when the Weads arrived for College Week, they already had a good audience. Like the Savages, they played for college audiences around the island and at the Princess Hotel. It’s likely that the success of their 45, “Toda”y / “Don’t Call My Name”, led to the recording and release of records by the Savages and the Gents.

Back in the states, the flip side Don’t Call My Name went top 10 on Long Island. The Weads did an hour-long radio interview that may still exist on tape somewhere. They played shows at local Hullabaloo clubs and in Pt. Jefferson. They also started recording commercial jingles and may have recorded new material at Ultrasonic in Hempsted.

About a year after signing with DeMello the Weads decided they wanted to get out of contract in order to concentrate on breaking into the national scene. DeMello fought this and made it difficult for them to find another label. Columbia passed on them in late ’66/early ’67 and with members going to college, the Weads called it quits.

During college, Rodger joined a club band, playing the Hamptons and Lake George. He fondly remembers late night jam sessions with members of other Long Island bands at the Afterhours.

Master tapes of the Weads sessions should still be in existence. One of the unreleased songs has a title like “Her Name Was Lynn”. Until those tapes surface, we’ll have to wonder what else this talented group was capable of. Given the quality of their original material on the Duane 45, they could have done well if they had the backing of a major label.

Anyone have a photo of the group?

8 thoughts on “The Weads”

  1. I love Allan Varela’s album “A New Plateau”, but finding this music was an awesome treat!!! It ROCKS!!!

  2. Broadway Blotto of ‘Blotto’ fame sent me this link.

    The Weads played at one of our high school assemblies. Our school had 1 rock band assembly every year using local talent. I remember the Weads assembly and thinking ‘Wow, those are the same amps (Super Beatle Vox) the Betales use.’

    I went to high school in Port Jefferson, which I understand is to be the new home of the Long Island Music Hall of Fame.

  3. Dont call my Name-i got this 45 last year after a long search. has to be one of the best garage ballads ever! has it all in those lyrics.great site chas-really helped in tracking down 45’s.happy new year to all readers here

  4. Hi there,

    Where did you find the record?Yes its got to be one of the best garage tracks of all tyme.
    Its up there with The Shaynes-From my window…

  5. wow…my memory bank is still in tact,,,allan was sort of related to my aunt who married his uncle,,,i remember going to his house in stony brook and meeting nyron mccloud as well as alan dowdy ,,thinking these adorable guys are amazingly talented and not too hard on the eyes,,,i WAS a couple of years younger///i paid several visits to the stony brook house and they just kept on getting better,,,,i remember allan driving me into the city when he had a recording exec to meet up with,,,i still have an albumn which is amazing,,,i dont remember the female’s name,,maybe kate rotollo but she was awesome and allan ,,,well he is in a class by himself

  6. I played for a number of years with Allan and did some recording with him after the Weads broke up. I first met Allan in High School when he played for an assembly with his band. I also played there on 4 occasions. After I played with Allan i went on to play all over LI with various bands until I moved away to Upstate NY.

  7. After Myron (and Rodger) left the group, Allan asked me and Jim Stanko to join and so as a member of The Weads we did a 15-day tour of Bermuda in second half August 1966. I remember as I picked up my HS diploma on night of 6/24/66, people whispering “Weads….!” we worked hard for 15 days on that tour. Allan was a real talent and leader of the group. I was happy to be along for the ride. I remember when the original group played Port Jeff HS assembly. I was knocked out,and to later be a part of that… oh my. a life memory. still have the guitar. Probably time to change the strings!

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