Paris Aiken with the Mustangs

The Mustangs

The Byrds and the Mustangs backstage
The Mustangs backstage with the Byrds
from left: Mike Clark, Larry Hutcherson (partially hidden), Mike Johnstone, Jim McGuinn, Paris Aiken (with glasses), Norm Lawrence, Brad Tinglehoff, Rick Farrar, and Chris Hillman (with back to camera). Photo credited to Bob Scott.
Mustangs business card and caption to the Byrds and the Mustangs backstage photo
Mustangs business card and caption to the Byrds and the Mustangs backstage photo

The Mustangs in the photo above consist of:

Larry Hutcherson – vocals
Mike Johnstone – lead guitar
Paris Aiken – drums
Norm Lawrence – bass guitar
Rick Farrar – rhythm guitar

Brad Tinglehoff was the roadie for the group.

According to the Tidewater Virginia Hippies site, other members of the Mustangs included Steve Swenson and Ronnie Hall. I don’t believe this group released any records, and if there were any unreleased recordings, I haven’t heard them.

Mike Johnstone went on to play with Headstone Circus, whose recordings circa 1968 were eventually released by Shadoks. Paris Aiken joined Dennis & the Times, and later played drums with Billy Joe Royal on his recording of “Down in the Boondocks”.

James Mrdutt sent in the photos seen here and reported that Paris passed away on December 24, 2009.

Thank you to Mike Johnstone for correcting the mistakes I made in transcribing the IDs for the photo.

Paris Aiken with the Mustangs
Paris Aiken with the Mustangs

7 thoughts on “The Mustangs”

  1. It’s Larry Hutcherson not Gary Hutcherson and Rick Farrar not Rich Farrar. That was shot at the Va Beach Dome in 1965. The Mustangs opened for the Byrds. The Byrds big hits at the time were “Mr Tamborine Man” and “Turn,Turn,Turn”. I have several other photos taken by the same guy both backstage and onstage at this gig including a great close up of McGuinn tuning up with Paris looking on. A year or so later the another different band I was in called The Wild Kingdom opened for the Byrds once again at the Dome. This time the Byrds latest hit was “8 Miles High” and the Byrds were touring as a quartet as lead singer Gene Clark had left the group by then. Photos of that gig also exist. The Wild Kingdom also went on to relocate to New York in late 1966 and team up with “Keith” who had several top 10 hits notably “98.6” on Mercury records. The Mustangs’ bass player Norm Lawrence also passed away in 1993 in Northern California. BTW Brad Tinglehoff was the Mustangs roadie and driver in the mid 60s.

  2. Ronnie Hall was the original lead guitar player and Steve Swenson was the original drummer. Everyone in the original band except Larry Hutcherson were military dependents and therefore when their fathers were routinely transferred every 2-3 years it would disrupt the band. First to go was Ronnie Hall, a fine guitarist whose father was in the Air Force at Langley Air Force Base. When he left the band I took over lead guitar and we found Rick Farrar who was a couple years older than us and he was actually in the Army himself and stationed at Ft. Eustis. He took over rhythm guitar. Then Steve Swenson’s father was an Army pilot at Ft Monroe was transferred to Georgia and that’s when Paris Aiken joined the Mustangs on Drums. The band continued like this for about 8 months until Norm Lawrence was drafted. I attempted to find another bass player but the band was so far away from the original sound and direction that I decided to start a new band (Wild Kingdom) and that finally put an end to the Mustangs. I found that picture of Paris and Jim McGuinn and have several more Mustang pix but can’t figure out how to upload them to this site. Any ideas? Mike Johnstone

  3. I posted these pictures on my Yahoo web group back in 2006. Mr. Aiken had mailed me a CD with these and many more photos on it – including the picture with he and Jim McGuinn. I spoke at length with him on the phone about the bands. I regret that I did not take notes during the conversation.

    1. Mr. JH
      I am the son in law to the late Paris Aiken and would like to surprise my wife with any of the pictures you may have that we do not. If you can help please let me know. I would pay for all postage and processing fees. She misses her father dearly and these pictures always bring a smile to her face.

      If you can help please email me.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.