Category Archives: New Jersey

The Sey Heys

The Sey-Heys, l-r: Bob Baranowski, Steve Di Giovoni, Eddie Ferrick, Al Kuraz behind Eddie, and Lenny Hope on drums.

Here’s a song you might be able to relate to, going on down to hang out around the convenience store. Certainly did enough of that when I was a young teen. The audio quality on this acetate is rough but the performance is good, with both guitar and piano solos on The Corner Store.

Rhythm guitarist Bob Baranowski wrote a terse summary of the band’s history:

Group organized in 1965-1967. Manager Mike Petro from Harrison, NJ.

Bob Baranowski – rhythm guitar (Harrison, NJ)
Steve Di Giovoni – lead guitar (Clifton, NJ)
Ed Ferrick – bass guitar, lead vocals (Harrison, NJ)
Alan Kuraz – organ (Harrison, NJ)
Lenny Hope – drummer (Clifton, NJ)

Group played locally and at most colleges. Also played for Bank of Toyko at Waldorf in NY. Won competion on Zacherley TV show [Zacherley’s Disco Teen on Channel 47 WNJU-TV] in Newark NJ. Backed up the Duprees at the Cornet in Irvington NJ, 1966. Won several battle of the bands in NJ. Recorded first record Rose Marie in 1966. and flip side The Corner Store. The group broke up in 1967.

Ed Ferrick was lead singer and composer of “Rosemarie”. He and Bob Baranowski wrote “The Corner Store” in fifteen minutes to fill the session. They cut the two tracks in two hours at the Hertz Recording Studio on Halsey Street in Newark, for a total of $90: $30 per hour for the time and $30 for demos for the band. Bob’s uncle was going to push the demo to RCA, where he worked as a patent attorney for RCA, but he died before he could make anything happen.

Their primary competition was The Caretakers from Harrsion, whose members included Artie Cuff on sax and Ritchie Ferollia on lead guitar. The Caretakers were mainly a cover band who had the distinction of touring Vietnam with Bob Hope.

Steve Di Giovanni went on to join the Clifton band the Brats. Bob Baranowski joined the Sidesteps, based in Newark.

Special thanks to Arnold Max for submitting the Sey Hey’s acetate, photo and story.

The Hertz Studio had some of the crudest acetates I’ve heard. Here’s a partial list – any additions would be welcome.

Johnny Kriss & the Mark IV – “Rockin’ Baby” / “Please Baby Please”

Viscaines – “Wind Storm” (garage with harmony background vocals)

Creations – “The Outcast” / “I Don’t Care”
Creations – “Bricks and Stones” / “Set Me Free”
Creations – “Far Away / “Captain Dirtbomb”

Sey Hey’s – “Rosemarie / “Corner Store” (April 1966)

Karriem Productions – “Heartbreaker” / “Strangers In Love” (soul or funk)

The Saucer Men

I didn’t know where the Saucer Men were from until one of the comments below gave Paterson, New Jersey. The ZTSP prefix on the label indicates this was a Columbia Records custom pressing, most likely out of New York. This band has nothing to do with the Saucermen of Dickie Goodman and Bill Buchanan fame.

“Another Chance” is a maudlin tune, good if you like the downbeat, weepy garage numbers. The flip, “Don’t Do It” is a poppier, somewhat awkward song.

Both songs were written by Tom and Nick Bonagura and released on their own Bonna label.

Thanks to Ra for sending in these clips and the label photo.

The 40 Fingers

The 40 Fingers began playing in the middle sixties in Springfield, New Jersey. The original group consisted of Teddy O’Connell, lead vocals and keyboard, Bruce Colandrea, lead and background vocals, lead and rhythm guitar, Bruce Gerstein (officially called the Slug), bass guitar, and background vocals, and Wayne Massiello, drums and background vocals.

The 40 Fingers appeared on such TV shows such as Clay Cole, and Zacherley, along with appearing [billed as the Forty Fingers] at Summit High School with Lou Reed’s Velvet Underground and the Myddle Class.

On or around 1968, the group decided to add high school friend Al Fridkis on B3 Hammond organ, and have Ted O’Connell on stand up vocals. Al does not appear on this 45 for the Venture label. The single has the 40 Fingers version of the Myddle Class and Blues Project’s “Don’t Let Me Sleep Too Long”. The flip “Low Sunday” has a “Stormy Monday” kind of thing Bruce put lyrics to.

Thanks to Arnold for sending in the sound clips, scans and history of the band, co-written with Lenny.

The Young Monkeymen

The Young Monkeymen were Trenton, New Jersey’s top band in the mid-60’s. Members were Al Dyott, James Markley, Eugene Patricella on lead guitar and Dean Wilcox.

Fans remember them playing in a cage at the Satellite, getting in fights with soldiers over their long hair, and riding motorcycles on stage!

The fights and bikes must have been a few years after the photo above, and Eugene was only a young teenager when he played the solos on “I Believed You” and “Bald Headed Woman”. These two songs were their first 45, recorded at Frankford-Wayne Recording Labs in Philadelphia.

Their second record, “I’m Waitin’ For the Letter” was written by Phil and Mary Ann Lombardo and released on their P & M label. The flip is a good original credited to the group, “I Love You”, with a catchy guitar riff and nice bass playing.

Joe Patricella is listed as their manager on the promotional material. As they grew older they dropped “Young” from their band name and became more psychedelic, until the band broke up from the draft. They have a later 45 on the P & M label I haven’t heard yet, “They’re Not Forgetting You” b/w an instrumental version of the same song.

Photos from the great “Attack of the Jersey Teens” compilation.

The Friedles

The Friedles in 1968
The Friedles were the four Fried brothers from Penns Grove in southwestern New Jersey: Mike and Herman Fried on guitars, Simon Fried on bass and Milton Fried (just 14 years old at the time of their first record!) on drums.They went across the river to Ken-Del Studio in Wilmington, Delaware to make their first record “I Lost Her” / “I’m So Glad” with Milt singing lead vocals. Released as the Fried Brothers on Scope, it was mastered louder and issued again on the Hanna label. The sound may come off as somewhat crude, but there’s no denying the energy and spirit in the brothers’ delivery. “I Lost Her” was written by Mike and Milt, “I’m So Glad” by Herm and Milt.

“I Lost Her” entered Wilmington, DE station WAMS Top 30 survey the week of September 11, 1965 at #30. In the following weeks it rose to #24, #17, #13 (this time listed with it’s flip side, “I’m So Glad”), #11 and finally reached #10, its highest point, on October 23.

Two other songs from their early sessions at Ken Del went unissued, “I Do Love Her”, with lead vocals by Si Fried, and “The Joke’s on You”, which I haven’t heard. Both of these were written by the Fried brothers, as were the two songs on their next record.

The Friedles – I Do Love Her

Issued in a cool bat-themed sleeve for some reason, “She Can Go” is kind of a cross between the Searchers’ “Needles and Pins” and the Zombies’ “Tell Her No”. “Don’t Tell Me What to Do” on the flip sounds more natural, with fine punk attitude and great harmonies. The song opens with a great bass line, and Mike and Herm Fried’s guitar playing is excellent throughout. This record credits Norris Austin on organ, and the drumming by Milt is excellent.

By 1968 their sound had become psychedelic, even as their image stayed fairly conservative. The band went to Jim Hanna’s South Jersey Recording Service in Woodstown, NJ to cut a couple songs that weren’t issued at the time. Bassist Si Fried sings “When Love”. One of the great unissued songs of the ’60s, it didn’t see the light of day until 1984, when it was released on the classic and long out-of-print Attack of the Jersey Teens compilation, which I also have to thank for the photo of the band. The other song from this session is also excellent, “Love the Way You Love Me”, sung by Milt.

The Friedles – When Love
The Friedles – Love the Way You Love Me

The band seems to have dissolved soon after. Milton Fried started referring to himself as Charlie, or Charlie Bumm. He and Mike Fried went back to South Jersey in 1971 to cut Mike’s song “Early in the Morning”. With the band credited as ‘Charlie Bum’, Mike plays guitar and takes the first lead vocal, Charlie played drums and sings the second lead (with the high-pitched wails), and Tom Fanty played bass. Two other songs recorded at South Jersey in ’71 feature Charlie playing all instruments and vocals: a slower version of their ’65 song “I Do Love Her” and a cover of the Marmalade’s “Reflections of My Life”. For some reason, these songs are in mono on the acetates.

Charlie Bum – Early in the Morning
Charlie Bum – I Do Love Her

Simon Fried passed away in 1999. Thank you to Charlie Fried for sending me additional songs, information about the sessions and photocopies of the acetate label scans.

Thanks also to Joe Mullin for the scan of his Scope 45.

The Abstrack Sound / Abstract Sound

Something of a mystery, my understanding is that although their second 45 has a Brooklyn, NY address on the label, the band was actually from Springfield, NJ.

The misspelled “Your Gona Break My Heart” has some cool slide effects on the intro, a fine guitar break and lots of echo. It was released with the band listed as the Abstrack Sound, on the CBM label in 1966, with a moody “Judge Him If You Can” on the flip.

On their second record, the stomping “I’m Trying” backed with the wild “Blacked Out Mind”, they’re called the Abstract Sound. This one was released twice in 1967, on the Gray Sounds and Sound of Soul labels, and was produced by E. M. Gray.

Bill Monetti and C. Catena wrote their songs, along with Denis Dreher on the second 45. However, the Gray Sounds release lists Dreher as co-writing “I’m Trying” while the Sound of Soul release gives him co-credit on “Blacked Out Mind”. BMI lists him on both songs along with Monetti, and drops Catena altogether! Obviously someone screwed up the credits somewhere along the way. To make things still more confusing, the labels are reversed on my copy!

Anyone have a photo of the group or scans of the CBM or Sound of Soul labels?

The Statesiders

There’s an interesting story behind this record by the Statesiders. The band, better known as first the Redcoats and then the Sidekicks, almost hit the big time until managerial difficulties crashed their plans.

John Sprit was the creative force behind the group. He had been in the Randells, charting with “The Martian Hop” in 1963, a record produced by John’s cousin Steven Rappaport. John Sprit decided to form a band in imitation of the Beatles, based around his songwriting. With Steven as manager and producer, John on drums and his friend Mike Burke on lead guitar, they spotted Zach and Randy Bocelle of Absecon, NJ at an audition, and brought them in to fill the ‘roles’ of John Lennon and Paul McCartney, respectively, on rhythm guitar, bass and lead vocals.

After intensive rehearsals in John Sprit’s family home in Wildwood, NJ, the Redcoats signed with Laurie for a 45 in the style of Herman’s Hermits, “The Dum Dum Song” / “Love Unreturned”, which did fairly well on a local level. It was released in October, 1965.

Prior to “The Dum Dum Song”, the Laurie subsidiary, Providence released a single by the Statesiders “She Belonged to Another” / “Patterned the Same” in the first half of 1965. The Statesiders name is an oblique reference to their being the US counterpart of the Beatles / Redcoats. The single was produced by Steve Rappaport and both songs were written by Carnaby & Shakespeare: pseudonyms for John Spirt and Michael Burke according to the BMI database. The songs have enough originality to overcome the Beatles influence, and are more than competently performed by the group.

Zach Bocelle doesn’t mention the Statesiders or either song title in his long history of the group. It’s possible the songs were recorded prior to Zach and Randy joining the band. The songs are also not included on the collection of the Redcoats’ recordings for Laurie Meet The Redcoats…Finally released by Dionysus in 2001. But I think it likely that most of the band played on this record, making it a forgotten part of pre-Redcoats history.

Things were looking up for the band when Steve Rappaport left for Europe during the summer of ’66. Looking to record more original songs on their own terms, they found a manager and investor in a wealthy woman from Philadelphia who financed their next demos.

An original of John’s, “Suspicions” caught the ear of RCA, who renamed the band the Sidekicks and re-recorded the song with a full orchestra. Released in the spring of 1966, “Suspicions” was a fair-sized national hit, and the band soon followed up with an LP of mostly very pop-oriented material.

Within a year, though, their new manager’s shameless exploitation alienated both the group and RCA, and the bitterness of the experience led John Sprit to quit the business altogether.

Thanks to Euphonic for his comment below with the approximate release date and Laurie ownership of Providence – I’ve revised this post to reflect that new info. Thanks also to Mike Markesich for the release date of the Laurie 45.

The Werps

The Werps recorded one 45 for the WGW label of Somerville, New Jersey in 1967. People who think horns have no place in garage songs dislike “Love’s a Fire”, but I think the horns help the sense of mayhem, and I dig the soloing over the drum rolls. There’s really no other record from any era quite like this one.

Tim Warren made a huge effort to get a version without the horns for Back from the Grave vol. 6, but wound up with a slower take without the shouting and intensity of the 45 that dissatisfied most everyone.

“Shades of Blue” burns at a slow pace compared to the urgency of “Love’s a Fire”, but it’s excellent too. Both songs were written by James Serenko and John Matzko, and the record was produced by Geno Viscione.

I don’t know the full names of all the members or what instruments they played. According to comments below, there was a guitarist named Clark (surname?)  and a drummer Paul (surname?).

Tage Weie sent me the scans and transfers of an acetate from Studio 76. The version of “Love’s a Fire” on this acetate is the same as the one on Back from the Grave, except it’s about 20 seconds shorter, with a fade out instead of coming to a stop. The flip of the acetate is another cool original, “Voodoo Doll”, subdued but also intense, and possibly inspired by Arthur Lee’s “Signed, D.C.”

Studio 76 was located at 1650 Broadway, around the block from the Brill Building. The studio was owned by Ed Chalpin, who is best known for having Jimi Hendrix under contract “for $1 and 1% royalty” before Jimi met Chas Chandler – a contract that has since earned Chalpin millions through lawsuits, as well as U.S. rights to the “Band of Gypsys” LP. I highly recommend Mike Rashkow’s article about working at Studio 76 with Chalpin and his father Sam.

Anyone have a photo of the group?

Thanks to Tage Weie for sharing his one-of-a-kind acetate with us.