The Grim Reepers cut the excellent single “Two Souls”, but are still something of a mystery group. I haven’t been able to find any photos or gig listings for the Grim Reapers or Reepers, however they intended to spell the band name.
Two likely members are Greg Magie and Mark Paterson. Greg Magie’s name is in the song writing credits of the album “Stuntrock” by the late ’70s Los Angeles group Sorcery, (sound track to the movie Stunt Rock), and he is also, I believe, the vocalist in Sorcery as Greg McGee.
J. Sturgis is another name on the song writing credits, but in the BMI database, “Two Souls” shows only Mark Patterson, Richard Serrana and Joanne Funk.
“Two Souls” / “Joanne” was released on Chalon 1003 in January of 1967. Besides a few country singles by Roy Stevens, the Grim Reepers is the only other release on Chalon Records that I know of. Produced by Walker – J-P Productions (including B. Walker?).
Chalon Records shared an address of 5539 Sunset Boulevard with Impression Records. Ramhorn Pub. Co. published “Two Souls” and also published many of the songs released on the Impression label. J-P Productions shows up on the Dirty Shames’ Impression single. A. Jones who is credited with arranging the Grim Reepers single is almost certainly Al Jones. Al Jones and Joe Osborn’s names show up on many Impression singles, and on the writing credits to Roy Stevens “Over Again” on Chalon 001.
Greg Magie’s “Joanne” is published through Reklaw Music Co.
Herman’s Hermits “Mrs. Brown, You’ve Got a Lovely Daughter” topped the Billboard Hot 100 in May of 1965, so a Hollywood studio owner rushed out a parody, “Mrs. Schwartz You’ve Got An Ugly Daughter” with the artist listed as Marty & the Monks. This version is on youtube if you want to subject yourself to it, but the real gold is the instrumental on flip, cut by a group that seems to have been totally unrelated to the musicians on the A-side.
“Mexican Party” is a rocking take-off on “Money” that sounds like it was actually recorded live in the studio. There are whoops, shouts, lots of string bending, a ridiculous horn blast. It has a lot in common with the Pacific Northwest sound like the Moguls “Avalanche”, the Jesters’ “Alki Point” or even Don & the Goodtimes version of “Money”.
Released on Associated Artists AA-3066, the song was retitled “Psychedelic City” when it came out as the flip to “Mrs. Schwartz” on Era Records 5037.
Jesse Hodges is credited as producer. Hodges owned Hollywood Sound Recorders and I believe he owned the Associated Artists label, which released about twenty 45s, including a couple of Hodges’ own singles. K. Young, G. Connor, and T. Reed have writer credits on “Mexican Party”, but none of their names appear on other Associated Artists releases as far as I can tell.
Both the Associated Artists 45 and the Era release have ∆-57190 in the deadwax, which dates the stampers for both 45s to June of 1965. I assume the Associated Artists was the original release. I have no idea when this “Golden Era Series” came out but 1967 wouldn’t be a bad guess, given the new, topical title.
My fellow WGXC deejay Jillian found a possible source for the band name in the obscure Marty the Monk cartoons of the 1930s.
A single on Philips as the Eastside Kids likely had no connection to the East Side Kids I will be discussing in this article. Philips 40295 from June of 1965 has a great bluesy instrumental “Sunday Stranger” written by Billy Strange and almost certainly he’s playing the lead guitar too.
The other side was also an instrumental, “Subway Train” written by Billy Carl, Ron Gentile, and Richard Moehrle. Hear both at Left and to the Back blog, from which I took the label scan seen here.
Billy Carl (aka Billy Carlucci) co-wrote “(We’ll Meet in the) Yellow Forest” for Jay and the Americans, “Goody Goody Gumdrops” for the 1910 Fruitgum Company, and many other songs.
Ron Gentile and Richard Moehrle (aka Rick Morley) were in the Secrets. They wrote a classic instrumental called “Twin Exhaust”, released on Swan in 1962. As Crystal Mansion they had a 1968 single and LP on Capitol.
In May of 1966 there’s a single by the East Side Kids “Chocolate Matzos”/”Night Mist Blue” on Warner Bros. 5821. Like the Philips single, this sounds like a studio production, but is more exotica than rock ‘n roll, and I doubt the East Side Kids I’ll be discussing below were a part of this. Both sides written by C.B. Jerry for Phenomenal Music BMI, and produced by Dick Glasser.
So now let’s get on with the actual Sunset Strip group the East Side Kids and their initial incarnation as the Sound of the Seventh Son.
In September of 1965, the Sound of the Seventh Son released their single on Tower 169. “I Told a Lie” is a good, crude garage rock. It was written by James Greenspoone (aka Jimmy Greenspoon) and Ed Fontaine. On the flip was the Byrds-like “I’ll Be On My Way”, written by Dollarhide, Greenspoone, Fontaine. Both songs published by Chemistry Music BMI, produced by Al Hazan for S.O.S. Productions.
The Sound of the Seventh Son also recorded a one-sided demo “She Lost Me” which I haven’t heard – anyone have a copy of that?
One of the first venues we performed at was called Stratford on Sunset. The owner was Jerry Lambert and his nephew’s group, The East Side Kids, was the house band. At that time, they had another name, something like The Sound of the Seventh Son, I think. They were older, very professional and served as mentors to us … Stratford was great while it lasted … and it was Jerry Lambert again who got me the audition for The Yellow Payges a year later.
Members of the Sound of the Seventh Son were:
Joe Madrid – vocals David Doud – lead guitar Michael Doud – bass guitar Jimmy Greenspoon – piano Danny Belsky – drums
Greenspoon and Danny Belsky had been playing together since the very early ’60s with the New Dimensions with Michael Lloyd, Craig Nuttycombe and Art Guy. David Doud had joined when the band became the Alley Kats.
The band received press when they went to court on September 2, 1965 to get their contracts with Tower Records and SOS Productions approved and Judge A.A. Scott exclaimed “They look like freaks! … I don’t know whether they are girls or boys … God help them if they get to some real men”. The band were all between the ages of 18 and 21. Coverage was so thorough, and photographs so timely, that I have to wonder if this was a publicity stunt to coincide with their Tower single release.
The band also appears in the background of a fashion photo shoot for the LA Times magazine taken at the Crescendo Club, though only Madrid, Belsky and Greenspoon are visible in the photos.
Around the time Stratford on Sunset closed in December 1965, the Sound of the Seventh Son became the East Side Kids. Although the Warner Bros. single came in May of 1966, there may be no connection between that production and this group. Dominic Priore, in Riot on the Sunset Strip says that the East Side Kids “took up a residency at a club called Wild Thing near Hollywood and Vine before moving on to the Hullabaloo, leaving their original house band spot to the West Coast Pop Art Experimental Band.”
There’s a great photo (at top of page) of the band at the Sea Witch on Sunset Blvd with guitarist Denis Lambert, who would sit in with the group and later form Lambert and Nuttycombe with Craig Nuttycombe of the New Dimensions.
In January of 1967 the East Side Kids release their single “Take A Look In The Mirror” /”Close Your Mind” on Orange Empire Records OE-500. “Take A Look In The Mirror” has a good guitar break while “Close Your Mind” has more drama in the performance. Someone, probably Danny Belsky, is playing the flute on both sides.
The songs were written by Bernie Schwartz and M. Cavett, but the A-side was published by World Showplace Music, Inc, BMI while the flip by Egap BMI.
Bernie Schwartz has an interesting history, releasing two 45s on the Tide label as Don Atello, including “Questions I Can’t Answer” which you may remember from Boulders vol. 7. He then released “Her Name Is Melody” / “I Go to Sleep” as Adrian Pride on Warner Bros 5867. After writing for the East Side Kids, the Yellow Payges and Power, he formed the Comfortable Chair who had the excellent single “Be Me” plus and LP on Ode, and his own LP The Wheel on CoBurt.
Jimmy Greenspoon seems to have left the group at some point in 1967. In June, he released a 45 as Boystown “Hello Mr. Sun” / “End of the Line” with Michael Lloyd who had just left the West Coast Pop Art Experimental Band. Around this time he moved to Denver for close to a year before returning and forming Three Dog Night.
I’m not sure if Jimmy Greenspoon was still with the group in October, 1967 when they put out their next single on Valhalla 672, which features Jimmy’s original “Listen to the Wise Man” plus a song by Doud and Madrid “Little Bird”. Both sides feature strings and pop production by Larry Tamblyn of the Standells. Publishing by Kim Fowley Music and Padua Music, BMI.
Valhalla also released 45s by the Sunday Funnies (“A Pindaric Ode” / “Whatcha Gonna Do”) and the Vikings (“Boo-Hoo-Hoo” / “Lonely Prisoner”).
By January, 1968, according to one article I found, the members were:
Joe Madrid – lead vocals David Doud – guitar Mike Doud – bass David Potter – drums
This group recorded their LP The Tiger And The Lamb on Uni 73032 in 1968. Buzz Clifford and Dan Moore, both formerly of Hamilton Streetcar, produced the album. Clifford and Moore also contributed songs, along with John Fleck of the Standells and Wesley Watt of Euphoria. Dave Potter and David Doud each contributed one original composition. One single was taken from the album, David Doud’s “Taking The Time” backed with Fleck’s “Is My Love Strong” for UNI 55105 in early 1969.
Around October of 1968 a 45 turns up under the name Gladstone, “Pitter Patter” / “Gone By Day” on Kirk Record Co KR-5002. Under the artist name is “Tracks by EAST SIDE KIDS” and D.F. Potter (David Potter) is one of the producers along with Gregory and Gladstone. Both sides were written by Gladstone but published by different companies, Song & Dance Music BMI and Rockliffe Music BMI.
I cannot determine if Gladstone was a particular person or only an alias for the East Side Kids, but “Gone By Day” ranks among the best performances the East Side Kids were ever involved in.
In May of 1969 a Gladstone single appears on A&M Records 1061, the beautiful “What a Day” backed with the hard-rockin’ “Upsome”, both originals by Al Graham.
Alex Palao wrote to me: “The Gladstone on Kirk was an LA-based singer named Gary Gladstone, [who] cut an earlier(?), way better version of Gone By Day at Original Sound, along with other stuff. Not the same as the A&M / San Jose group of Otherside/Bogus Thunder lineage.”
I wouldn’t necessarily link this single to the East Side Kids except for the producer, Lee Michaels, whose album Carnival of Life included Wesley Watt and David Potter. However, one source lists this Gladstone band as from San Jose, CA, with members Alan Graham (vocals, bass), Ned Torney (guitar, keyboards, vocals), Ken Matthew (drums, vocals) and Jim Sawyers (guitar). Torney, Matthew and Sawyers had been in the Other Side, who had one fine single on Brent in Nov. 1965, “Streetcar” / “Walking Down the Road”. By 1969 they had been playing with Al Graham as Bogus Thunder (possibly with Wayne Paulsen on guitar instead of Jim Sawyers – sources differ).
No connection to the early ’70s band called Gladstone from Tyler, Texas that recorded on ABC and Probe.
I don’t know how the band ended, or what most of the group did afterwards. David Potter joined Endle St. Cloud, with whom he formed Potter St. Cloud. He was also a session drummer. He passed away in 2011. I believe the Doud brothers are both gone too.
Here’s a real oddity, two anonymous and unrelated cuts packaged on one 45. For Miramar label completionists only!
The A-side has the Miramar Soul Band doing a bossa-nova. sax-led instrumental version of “Mr. Tambourine Man”. Somehow I couldn’t get a very good transfer out of this side, but it could be ’cause the cartridge I use for transferring needs to be balanced, and my old Thorens is picking up all kinds of hum in my new house.
I did better on the flip, “Party a Go Go”, labeled as by Friends of the Miramar Soul Band. It’s not bad listening, a fair instrumental along the lines of “Off the Hook” overdubbed with fake party goers cackling and pretending to be hip. Publishing on this one is by Carjone, BMI, which appears on other Miramar releases produced by Tony Cary (real name Tony Luton).
Though given a release number of Miramar 127, “Party a Go Go” has master number 111-B, suggesting it was mastered much earlier, likely meant for release just prior to Tony Cary’s one-sided 45 of “She Belongs to Me”.
It turns out “Party a Go Go” also appears on Miramar 110 by Glenn & the Good Guys, with master number 111. Perhaps it’s not the same take, as I haven’t heard it yet. The writing credit on that label reads Burton, Jones, Osborn, so it’s likely James Burton was playing on this 45.
“Party a Go Go” also appears on Nick Hoffman’s 45 for Roman Records, this time titled “Christmas Party”, backing “Santa Claus Is Back in Town”.
I wonder if the version of Mr. Tambourine Man here is the same as the flip to Sonny Firmature’s single “Love Lost” (Miramar 128)?
If anyone has good transfers of some of the early Miramar releases by Jimmy Burton, the Memphis Men and Tony Cary, please contact me. Also please take a look at the list of Miramar releases I’ve posted and see if there are any gaps to be filled.
Miramar Records of Hollywood, famous for its releases by the Road Runners and the Dovers.
Tony Cary produced all the Dovers 45s as well as the Road Runners, Jimmy Burton, Nick Hoffman and Fellowship records. He went on to produce the Alexander’s Timeless Bloozband LP on UNI, released 1968 and Charles Lamont’s solo LP from 1969, A Legend In His Own Time. Mike Markesich tells me Tony’s real name was Tony Luton, whose family was involved in radio or TV in Santa Barbara.
Tony Cary had two singles on Miramar. The first, “Dream World” / “One of These Days” was from August, 1965 (Monarch delta # 55804). Both songs are by Jones-Osborn and published by Alborn Music. The label reads “Produced by Miramar Prod.”
As far as Tony’s vocal talents go, I think he eventually took his own song’s advice to “stop living in a dream world”! Still, one can’t help but admire the impressive series of singles he produced on this label. His second is a countrified version of “She Belongs to Me” that was only released as a one-sided white label promo.
Alborn is the other producer name on many of these 45s. Alborn seems to be a mix of Alton Leo Jones (Al Jones) and Joe Osborn. They wrote a number of songs together, the most notable of which may be “Johnny Come Lately” for Billie Jean Horton. Joe Osborn also wrote with Dorsey Burnette and Dale Hawkins.
Other Miramar records have “a C/A production” on the label. The publishing info is usually on of these three: Alborn Music BMI, Carjone Music BMI, Fabyan Music ASCAP. Labels read “Miramar Records of Hollywood” up through the Dovers’ “The Third Eye”.
Jimmy Burton is of course James Burton, and Jimmy’s Blues” is an excellent piece of fuzzy riffing. It’s possible that’s him playing the lead guitar on Tony Cary’s “One of These Days”.
The Spellbinders version of “Casting My Spell” features a rough lead vocal with clipped lead guitar lines. I haven’t heard “To Take a Heart” yet. That 45 was produced by Joe Osborn, and this is not the same Spellbinders who recorded for Columbia (“Chain Reaction”).
Incomplete discography (any help would be appreciated!)
Note that releases 101 and 103 come from the end of Miramar’s run, in 1967 or later.
Miramar 107 – Tony Cary – “Dream World” / “One of These Days” (August 1965) Miramar 108 – Jimmy Burton – “Jimmy’s Blues” (J. Burton, M. Jones, J. Osborn) / “Love Lost” (James Burton) (a Cary-Alborn Production) Miramar 109 – Memphis Men – “Act Naturally” / “Oh What A Night” (Jones-Osborn) (Produced by AFC Enterprises Inc.) Miramar 110 – Glenn and the Good Guys – “Party a Go Go” (Burton, Jones, Osborn) / “Only In My Heart” (J. Seals, G. Adams)
Miramar 112 – Tony Cary – “She Belongs To Me” (one-sided promo)
Miramar 115 – The Spellbinders – “Casting My Spell” / “To Take a Heart” (produced by Joe Osborn)
The following have the guitar label design:
Miramar 116 – Road Runners – “I’ll Make It Up To You” / “Take Me” (released in Aug. ’65, also released on Reprise 0418, Sept. ’65) Miramar 117 – ? Miramar 118 – Dovers – “She’s Gone” / “What Am I Going To Do?” (Sept. 1965) Miramar 119 – Nick Hoffman – “King of The Moon” / “Blind and Leaving Blues” (Nov. 1965) Miramar 120 – ? Miramar 121 – Dovers – “I Could Be Happy” / “People Ask Me Why” (Nov, 1965, also released on Reprise 0439) Miramar 122 – ? Miramar 123 – Dovers – “The Third Eye” / “Your Love” (April 1966)
Miramar 124 – Dovers – “She’s Not Just Anybody” / “About Me” (May 1966) (plain label without guitar logo) I’ve seen an acetate demo of this 45 from Western Recorders, 6000 Sunset Boulevard, Hollywood 28
The following have the winged angel type logo:
Miramar 125 – Fellowship – “Just Like A Woman” / “Palace of the King” (Sept. 1966), also released in stock copy with older guitar logo Miramar 126 – ? Miramar 127 – Miramar Soul Band – “Mr. Tambourine Man” / Friends of the Miramar Soul Band – “Party a Go Go” (this side has master #111-B) Miramar 128 – Sonny Firmature – “Love Lost” / “Mr. Tambourine Man” (could this be the same version of Mr. Tambourine Man as above by the Miramar Soul Band?) Miramar 129 – ? Miramar 130 – Zebra – “Helter-Skelter” / “Wasted” (produced by Fabyan Enterprises, 1969 or later)
Miramar 101 – Alexander’s Timeless Bloozband – “Horn Song” / “Love So Strong (Guitar Song)” (Charles Lamont, A&R by Tony Cary & Fritz Ashauer) 1967 Max Waller writes, “This is the same pairing that would appear on their 1st 45 for UNI (in December 1967) so, despite the number, came after the other Miramar 45s.”
Miramar 103 – Charles Lamont – “Poems of Carole Ann” / “Maybe Baby” (soul, also a later release)
Miramar 1002 – Sonny Firmature – Love Lost (blue winged logo)
Sonny Firmature was a tenor saxophonist from Omaha, NE, who played with Harry James.
Nick Hoffman had another 45 produced by Tony Cary, “Santa Claus Is Back in Town” / “Christmas Party” on Roman Records 101, issued on half-green half-red vinyl. There also seems to be a connection to a 45 on Shindigogo Records 777 by Ron Roman and the Livin’ End with a song written by Steve Hoffman (any relation to Nick Hoffman?) “Won’t Have a Merry Little Xmas” b/w “A Hard Rain’s Gonna Fall”. The address on this one is 6201 Santa Monica Blvd., Hollywood. I don’t know of any other releases on Shindigogo. I’d like to know more about Ron Roman, he had a 1963 release on Daani “Tell Me” (Kenny Williams) / “Love of My Life” (Dave Aerni and Frank Zappa).
“Party a Go Go” by Glenn & the Good Guys shows up again (or a part B, I’m not sure yet) on the Friends of the Miramar Soul Band on Miramar 127. More on that release including sound clips can be found on this page of my site.
I still need good scans and transfers of the 45s by the Memphis Men, Tony Cary’s “She Belongs to Me”, Nick Hoffman’s “Blind and Leaving Blues” and Glenn & the Good Guys “Only In My Heart”. I also need scans of the Sonny Firmature and Alexander’s Timeless Bloozband 45s. If you can help with any of these, please contact me.
I notice as of September 2012 the Spellbinders has been bootlegged in a nearly identical reproduction.
Thank you to Jason Sweitzer for help with the discography and Tony Cary info. Thanks to Todd, Dudley, Mike Markesich and Max Waller for additions to the discography. Thanks to John Hagelston and Mikael for transfers of the Tony Cary and Jimmy Burton 45s, respectively.
Dan Nielsén, who had conducted the interview with John Ford of the Index published here back in February, asked me to dig into the story of the Scorpio Tube, the group behind the incredible B-side “Yellow Listen”.
The lead guitar track dominates the sound with a piercing distortion and echo that breaks up with stroboscopic effect. You can hardly hear the piano in the background, though it provides much of the droning sound at the intro and becomes apparent towards the end as the lead guitar is mixed down.
I just recently heard the A-side, “White Birches” and it’s more polished than “Yellow Listen”, with a progressive sound that would have done fine on radio at the time. The instrumental break is excellent too.
As far as info goes, I know what the label tells me, that both songs were written by Conn. MacDonald.
H. Eugene MacDonald produced the record for Vita Records from Hollywood, CA, which is probably not the same Vita owned by Laurence Mead that released a good number of records in the 1950’s with a Pasadena address.
As for dating this, it may have been recorded as late as 1970.
Transfer of “Yellow Listen” taken from the expanded CDR version of Psychedelic Disaster Whirl. Thanks also to bosshoss for the scan of “White Birches”. Transfer of “White Birches” sent to me by Max Waller.
The Regents were house band at Jack Martin’s A.M-P.M. on La Cienega Blvd., one of the many discos that opened up to compete with the Whisky a Go Go.
In 1964 Capitol recorded the band at the club for an LP of standard songs of the day. I really dig their cover of James Booker’s instrumental, “Gonzo”, written by D. Malone.
Despite having a gatefold cover to fill with photos and notes, Live at the A.M./P.M. Discotheque doesn’t bother to list a single member of the band. I didn’t know who was in the group until recently, when I found out the band consisted of John Harris (bass), Mike McDonald, Jerry Rosa, Craig Boyd (drums) and Tom Baker. I’ve read they were originally from Bakersfield.
David Axelrod produced the album. Domenic Priore’s book Riot on the Sunset Strip quotes Axelrod saying “Jack Martin’s AM-PM was the kind of place where you could order steak sandwiches, and a fistfight would break out every ten minutes. A lot of tough guys went there, so it didn’t last long.” Two songs from the album, “Sugaree” / “Mojo Workout” were released in Germany.
After the A.M./P.M. club closed, the band became the house band at It’s Boss. Following the LP they cut four singles for four different labels. First up was “She’s Got Her Own Way of Lovin'”, a good original by Mike McDonald backed with a song I haven’t heard yet, “When I Die, Don’t You Cry”, released on Reprise 0430 in November, 1965 and produced by Jack Nitzsche.
I haven’t heard their next, “Summer Time Blues” / “You Don’t Love Me”, released on Peoria 008 in March of 1966 and produced by John Harris.
Their third single has the original version of the very catchy Boyce/Hart song “Words”, later done by the Leaves, the Boston Tea Party and the Monkees, usually with a slower opening tempo than the Regents arrangement. I have a promotional copy that has “Words” on both sides of the record, but stock copies have the excellent b-side, “Worryin’ Kind” another fine original by McDonald.
This disk was produced by Norm Ratner and engineered by John Haeny and released in July 1966 on Penthouse 502, distributed by Mira. It was also released in the UK on CBS.
Their last 45 was “Russian Spy and I” written by Jackie Javellin (aka Casper Koelman) and originally done by the Dutch group the Hunters. The Regents version is probably the most well-known, at least here in the U.S. Though the Regents lift the opening riff directly from Hunters guitarist Jan Akkerman, the solo is much more intense, the tempo of the song quicker and the harmonies much more effective than the Hunters version. I bet they could have done a killer version of this live. Produced by Norm Ratner for Dot 16970 in November, 1966, the flip was a cover of “Bald Headed Woman”.
I’ve also read that they were the band for The Dating Game in the early seasons of that show. Tom Baker wrote to me last summer, but I haven’t had a response to the last two emails I sent. A friend of the band confirmed that thwy were on The Dating Game, and added that they were UCLA students who played often at Chuck Druet’s club Barnacle Bills on E. Huntington in Duarte.
There seems to be some confusion as to whether or not these are the same Regents who recorded the original version of “Barbara Ann”, but that was an entirely different band, whose members were Sal Cuomo, Chuck Fassert, Tony Gravagna, Don Jacobucci, and Guy Villari.
Nor is the Michael McDonald of this Regents the same guy who was in the Doobie Brothers (but see the Implicits entry on this site for Tom Johnston’s early band).
There are other records by groups called Regents that aren’t related to this group, including: “Cape Fear” (T. Foley) / “Summertime” (produced by J. Choate for the Ohio label Prix); and “No Hard Feelilngs” / “That’s What I Call a Good Time” on the Kayo label. The Regents with “Me and You” / “Playmates” on Blue Cat was a Canadian group who also recorded the LP Going Places with the Regents on Quality.
When Texan rock legend Bobby Fuller was found dead in his car on 18 July 1966 in suspicious circumstances, those nearest and dearest were devastated, not least his younger brother Randy, who had also been bass player in the aptly named, Bobby Fuller Four. From the early 1960s up until his brother’s untimely, and yet to be solved, death, Randy Fuller was Bobby’s closest collaborator and during those frenetic years of recording and touring witness to his brother’s extensive talents as a singer/songwriter, guitarist and skilled engineer and producer.
In the first few months following his brother’s death, Randy Fuller came close to jacking in the music career he had so cherished when Bobby was alive. “I came home to El Paso with no idea what I was going to do with my life,” says Fuller. “I felt like I was going to go insane because my mother was having such a hard time over Bobby.”
Later that autumn, however, Randy received a phone call from Bobby Fuller Four member DeWayne Bryant (aka Quirico) and Bob Keane, who ran Del-Fi studios, to return to Hollywood and form a new group with some musicians that Quirico had been playing gigs with in the intervening months. “Keane said that if I came back he could get us back in PJ’s nightclub,” remembers Fuller.
To stimulate some local interest in the new group, prior to it playing live, Keane financed some studio time to record a handful of tracks in late 1966. For these recordings, the studio band consisted of Randy Fuller on bass, rhythm guitar and lead vocals; DeWayne Quirico on drums; Howard Steele on bass; and Mike Ciccarelli on lead guitar and vocals.
“The musicians on all the songs were from El Paso, Texas but [they] never stayed together long enough to promote them [the singles],” explains Fuller, who points out the recordings were all laid down in the final days of the studio’s existence.
The first single to be released (under Randy’s name only on the obscure Mustang label) was the catchy “It’s Love, Come What May”. “[That] is the original track from Bobby Fuller Four recorded at Del-Fi,” says Fuller. “Bob Keane and I recorded my voice on a separate track and remixed it a little louder than Bobby’s in the final mix.”
An infectious folk-rocker, “It’s Love, Come What May” should have been a smash hit but mysteriously did not attract many sales. Unperturbed, Keane prepared a second single coupling Randy Fuller and Johnny Daniel’s “The Things You Do” with another collaboration “Now She’s Gone” but it appears the Mustang release never hit the shops.
Interestingly, Randy Fuller reveals that two of soul music’s heavy weights had a hand in the creative process. “[On] ‘The Things You Do’, Barry White and Dionne Warwick threw in a line or two.”
Events meanwhile were about to take a dark turn. When Del-Fi was forced to close in early 1967, Keane, unbeknown to Fuller, began to issue the recordings through the Show Town and President labels. “Del-Fi went under and Bob kept the masters in a vault,” explains Fuller. “I [later] found out he had been selling these [singles] over in the UK for years!”
Perhaps the most fascinating of these releases are the trippy, Buffalo Springfield-influenced, “1,000 Miles Into Space”, which features some tasty lead guitar work and superb lead vocal by Randy, and “Revelation”.
While Keane was busy releasing the tracks on the sly, Fuller and Quirico began working back at PJ’s joined by guitarists Jim Fonseca and Jimmy Smith. The line up played at the club for nearly two years and according to Fuller, “We probably would have had a hit or two, but as usual ego destroyed the band.”
Left without a band, Randy hooked up with Dewey Martin’s New Buffalo Springfield in February 1969 and toured with this group for the best part of the year, before it morphed into Blue Mountain Eagle. Fuller’s new band recorded an excellent album for Atco Records in 1970 with the bass player’s “Sweet Mama” providing one of the highlights.
Unlike Blue Mountain Eagle’s album, which has been released on CD, very few of The Randy Fuller Four recordings have reached a wider audience via compilation CDs. Perhaps now is the time to rediscover the magic of this material, especially “It’s Love, Come What May” and “1,000 Miles In Space”.
Randy Fuller with New Buffalo Springfield, Spring 1969. Clockwise from top: Dewey Martin, Bob Jones, David Price and Randy Fuller
Blue Mountain Eagle, December 1969, Randy Fuller second from left.
It’s Love, Come What May (actually Bobby Fuller Four with Randy’s overdubbed vocals) c/w Wolfman (Mustang 3020) 1966 US (credited to Randy Fuller) The Things You Do c/w Now She’s Gone (Mustang 3023) 1966 US (credited to Randy Fuller Four but not released) It’s Love, Come What May c/w Revelation (Show Town 466) 1967 US (credited to Randy Fuller) It’s Love, Come What May c/w The Things You Do (President PT 111) 1967 UK (credited to Randy Fuller) 1,000 Miles In Space c/w 1,000 Miles In Space (Show Town 482) 1967 US (credited to Randy Fuller)
Many thanks to Randy Fuller for his invaluable input into this story.
Transfer and scan of “1,000 Miles in Space” courtesy of Colin (Expo67), transfer of “Revelation” courtesy of Bård H., scan courtesy of Freddy Fortune. “Wolfman” scan and transfer courtesy of JP Coumans.