The More-Tishans

The More-Tishans, from left: Chris Nelson, Roy ‘Pinky’ Herschleb, Dick Schreier and Hugh Kraemer

The More-Tishans were a major live act in eastern Minnesota. Today they’re known mainly for the only song they ever released, “Nowhere to Run” – the other side is the instrumental backing track. What a tune, though, penned by a friend of the band, Mark LeBoutillier.

The band recorded “Nowhere to Run” at Dove Studios in the Bloomington section of Minneapolis. It was produced by Timothy D. Kehr and released on Peak, a subsidiary of Minneapolis’ Metrobeat label.

This is very accomplished garage with fine harmonies. Scott Schell explained to me that after two early lead singers, Steve Peulen and Jim Bancroft left the group, the group needed to rely on their harmony singing to carry the songs. It’s hard to believe they would never cut another record. I find the instrumental worth a listen as well.

Scott Schell has been researching bands from Stillwater, Minnesota and will publish a history of these groups next year. I’ll turn the rest of this article over to him. Scott also sent in the great photos, articles and promotional materials.

The More-Tishans – a history by Scott Schell

From the beginning the More-Tishans were a unique group with almost flawless harmonies, wit, and the ability to work up a crowd. This foursome were all somewhat shy, but on stage a transformation would take place and they would become the impeccable More-Tishans.

In 1963 when the idea of starting a group came about the only one with any musical background was Roy (Pinky) Herschleb. Pinky had been playing drums in the school band for some time, but as for the other three, Hugh Kraemer, Tom Cafferty and Chris Nelson, it would be bloodied fingers, hours of practice and determination.

With the help of their parents the More-Tishans set up a four-way partnership that would include being responsible for bank transactions, deciding on payment, and of course IRS tax and writing off equipment as needed; not bad for high school kids not yet old enough to drive!

The very first job that they would play would be a turkey trot at a local church, at this point they only knew about six songs, but would indeed entertain the crowd for several hours nonetheless. One member of the group went the whole night with his amp on standby, because he wasn’t quite there yet on guitar. As time went on and after hours of grueling practice after practice things began to take shape.

As the musicianship grew so did the image as well. The More-Tishans would not only work their songs to perfection, but also the way they looked: wearing matching suits of which I think there was four or five different ones, and the posters, the pictures, the top of line equipment and last but not lest the hearses; of which over time there would be three.

Time would prove that the hearses wouldn’t be all that practical. The weight of the equipment added to the weight of the hearse itself was very hard on tires and universal joints; as a result the group would have to carry along with them a number of spare parts and two jacks. The two jacks was the only way the hearse could be lifted with all that extra weight.

The next vehicle the group would own was a brand new Ford wagon the boys would lay down cold hard cash for. In the begining these guys weren’t old enough to drive, their first manager Doc Lee would bring the group to gigs in his station wagon touting trailer behind.

Management? Back in the early sixties the venue for live music was big business with over more than likely three hundred clubs, school dances, ballrooms etc. The competition was intense and Doc Lee would prove to be a fierce competitor in the field of entertainment. The More-Tishans would soon find themselves traveling the entire state of Minnesota and all surrounding states, logging thousands of miles a year.

In the spring of 1965 the group was graduating high school. My first job was stocking shelves in a corner store and here these guys are traveling all over the place playing music and learning life lessons from the road, doing what most of the rest of the world could only dream of. Well, so the summer of 65 is upon the More-Tishans and there’s plenty of work to go around before college starts and it’s time to buckle down. As the summer comes to a close and the new school year is upon us, all four of the group have enrolled in college but the More-Tishans are now playing the college circuit. And by now their skills as musicians are honed to a tee. Over the next year it would be school work during the week and rock & roll on the weekends. A tough schedule for most, yes, but this bunch is driven, not just by rock & roll but by life and all it has to offer.

1966 would prove to be a major break through with the writing of, by high school class mate Marc LeBoutillier and recording of (I’ve got) Nowhere To Run on a local record label.

The first blow the More-Tishans would take came in 1967 when Tommy, lead guitar and vocalist, would be drafted into the military; [yet] this was nothing more than a minor setback. A group out of Marshall, Minnesota had a more than qualified lead guitarist / vocalist who would be ready to fill the shoes of Tommy. Dick Schreier came on board and the group continued playing the Midwest, and the college circuit with Dick at the helm.

In late 67 the More-Tishans would suffer yet another blow when drummer Pinky Herschleb would be stricken with a condition that would cause him so much pain in his arms he could no longer play drums for an extended period of time. Once again it seemed as though this might be the end for the More-Tishans, but a young and eager Dan Monson was ready for the chance.

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Now considered one of the top ten of Twin Cities bands, the More-Tishans seem to be unstoppable, yet on Aug. 23, 1968 it would end. In front of a hometown crowd at the National Guard Armory in Stillwater, Minnesota with all six present and past members of the More-Tishans in attendence the band would give their final performance.

I am sorry to say with deep regret that four of the six More-Tishans are no longer with us. Dick was first to leave us in the 90’s followed by Dan, then Tom in 2003 and then in 2004 Pinky would join them. Only two are alive: Chris Nelson and Hugh Kraemer.

As a footnote I would like to add that the success these six individuals showed in the business of a rock & roll would also come shining through in their personal lives, all achieving and excelling in the business community.

The persona of the More-Tishans paid for their college educations and paved the way for what it takes to be successful, so; what many see as youthful fling with sex, drugs, and rock & roll is on the contrary; a lesson in business savvy, learning to be responsible, making the right choices etc.

Talk to any musician in the Valley and they will agree the More-Tishans set the bar for everyone to follow. The More-Tishans gave us much more than their own unique talent and showmanship, they also forced the rest of us to go that extra mile.

Peppermint Club promo from 1964

Sonny Flaharty and the Mark V

Dayton, Ohio’s Sonny Flaharty had been recording since the late 50s. In 1965 he helped a local band called the Rich Kids produce a demo. He ran into them again calling themselves the Mark V “direct from Toronto, Canada”! They asked Sonny to join the band but according to Sonny, “the only problem we had was with my past. I was very well known in Dayton. The band didn’t want to be associated with ‘Old Time Rock and Roll'”!

They changed their names and tried to pass themselves off as English or at least Canadian. They didn’t fool anyone for long, but there was nothing ‘old time’ about their music. Shad O’Shea of Cincinnati’s Counterpart Records asked them to record Sonny’s original, “Hey Conductor”.

There was a nine-month delay between the recording and the release of “Hey Conductor”. In the meantime Mike Losecamp (aka Haywood Lovelace), who played the distinctive organ on the record left to join the Cyrkle.

Once released Hey Conductor was a sizeable hit, selling in the thousands and immediately picked up by Phillips for national distribution. The good times didn’t last long, as its lyrics hinting at drug experiences got it banned on radio before it could break nationally. The song’s frantic pace, strange fuzz guitar and syncopated organ make it an often-heard record at dj nights even today.

Sources include: a detailed interview with the Mark V’s drummer Doug Porter here, and the liner notes to Sonny’s retrospective LP on Dionysius.

The Mustard Men

Really don’t know anything about the Mustard Men other than that they were from Wisconsin.

Wish I owned this business card myself, but I saved $50 by just buying the 45.

The band recorded at Dave Kennedy Recording Studios in Milwaukee and released this on the Raynard label, the same label that featured the Bryds great “Your Lies” among others.

“I Lost My Baby” opens with a perfect guitar and organ intro, settles into a nice groove with good vocals that occasionally get excited, and features a fine bluesy guitar solo which kind of falls apart towards the end as some of the notes miss the intended pitch. Still, an A+ in my book for the overall sound they achieve.

The flip is “Another Day”, credited to Donne & the Mustard Men.

Thanks to Gary Myers for the photo.

Robin and the Three Hoods

Robin and the Three Hoods released this spirited and crude cover of the Strangeloves’ Bobby Comstock’s “I Wanna Do It” four separate times. The first was on the yellow Fan Jr. label out of Madison, Wisconsin, backed with a fine surf instrumental with a good drum break, “The Marauder”. Then again on Fan Jr., with the same label number, FJ-1003, but this time the band is listed as Marrell’s Marauders.

Next on the green Fan Jr. label with the b-side changed to “That’s Tuff”, a neat tune by one Mr. Bernhagen. Finally this was picked up for national release by Hollywood Records, with “That’s Tuff” again as the b-side.

Skip Nelson is credited with production on each release. The Hollywood pressing is of relatively poor quality. They have another 45 on the green Fan Jr. label that I haven’t heard yet, “A Day You’ll Never Forget” (an original by Bernhagen and Jim Schwartz) b/w “We The Living”.

Rob Bernhagen played bass, keyboards and sang lead vocals as ‘Robin’. He wrote to me about the band:

The Marauders, with Mike Warner on drums, all graduated from Madison East High in 1963. We had joined the Musicians Union that April and had played school gigs and a few actual paying gigs around Madison.

We borrowed “I Wanna Do It” from Bobby Comstock and recorded it in Dec. of 1963. Our manager, Frederick Arthur Nelson, aka Skip, did own a music store and produce all our records. We started playing around Wisconsin and Northern Illinois and found many “Marauder” bands so we changed our name and the label on the records …. same recording. I found a paperback book about Merrill’s Marauders from WWII and plagiarized the name….and changed the spelling. As the leader of the band, I became “Bobby Marrell”.

I played bass and keyboards and was the lead vocalist. Dave Reed played lead guitar and Jim Schwartz played rhythm guitar. Bruce Benson was our drummer, he lives in Northern California. The only personnel change from the Marauders was at drums, Mike Warner was our first drummer and he played on the first version with “The Marauder” on the flip side.

We were all in college and playing part time within a couple of hundred miles of Madison. Mike Warner decided to drop out of college and try music full time so Bruce Benson joined us and we borrowed the costume idea from Paul Revere and the Raiders and came up with “The Hoods”. Once again, as leader and vocalist, I became Robin Hood. We all wore Robin Hood outfits….and tights…

We played the entire state of Wisconsin, Northern Illinois, and border towns in Northern Michigan, Iowa and Minnesota. Went as far south as Springfield, Il. We broke-up the band 1/31/69 when Jim and I graduated from college.

We got limited airplay because of the suggestive title which is why everyone loved the song to begin with. We got a “pick to click” from Billboard and a review in Cashbox which is why Starday got involved. They were to handle national distribution… which never happened. We stayed on Wisconsin statewide charts for over a year.

Funny story behind “The Marauder”… we went in the studio to record “I Wanna Do It” and when that was finished, we started to pack up. The engineer asked about the flip side to our 45 RPM and we were dumbfounded. In our youthful ignorance, we hadn’t even considered a flip side. Faced with the problem we jammed “The Marauder” from an instrumental “break song” that we were using during shows. One take and it was done. We never played the entire song on any gig … just enough of it to announce a break.

I’m the only member who continued to play professionally….I’m in an oldies band today, the Tom Tayback Band. Jim quit altogether, Bruce plays a little on the side, and Dave is deceased. I’m not in contact with Mike so I’m not sure about him.

We did produce a couple of other records but had nothing to do with the “green bean” thing.

Thanks to Kim D. for sending in the photo card with signatures above. Kim wrote to me “I saved this card for years which Robin and the Three Hoods signed and gave to me in the 60’s at a place they performed at called “The Illusions” in Neenah, Wisconsin. We had alot of bands frequent that place. You had to be 16 years old to enter, but I always looked older, so they let me in. Good times!”

Also thanks to Eric Randle for the scan of “A Day You’ll Never Forget.”

Terry Knight and the Pack

There was a lot more to Terry Knight’s life than one 45, but for garage punks “How Much More (Have I Got to Give)” is the one that counts.

Born on April 9, 1943, Knight became a popular dj on CKLW, beaming British Invasion records into Detroit and other northern cities from Windsor, Ontario, Canada during 1964. He supposedly became good friends with the Rolling Stones, acquiring a ‘Sixth Stone’ moniker as he hung out with them over the next year.

In fact, most of this association seems to be largely mythical. After either being fired from CKLW for ‘controversial views’ (or more likely just quitting) Knight hid out in Buffalo as a second rate folk singer. Returning to his hometown of Flint, Michigan, he assembled a backing band, releasing numerous 45s and two lps as Terry Knight and the Pack with occasional chart success.

His real fame came as the primary force behind Grand Funk Railroad, a band comprised of members of the Pack. Knight hyped the band into a major label contract and prime festival concert appearances that soon put them atop the hard rock heap of the early 70’s. After financial disputes led to a break as manager of Grand Funk, Terry descended into cocaine addiction. Weird stories would crop up from time to time, like his having entered the federal witness protection program. Lawsuits and legal troubles dogged his later years. He was stabbed to death by his daughter’s boyfriend on Nov. 1, 2004 while interceding in a fight between the couple.

Lucky 11 was started in Flint, Michigan in 1959 to release country records, and was not Knight’s own label, as has been written.

“How Much More (Have I Got to Give)” / “I’ve Been Told” is Terry Knight and the Pack’s second 45 (the first was as the Pack: “The Color of Our Love” / “The Tears Come Rollin'” on Wingate 007).

To my ears this single has his best garage song backed by his best ballad, though other people have their own favorites. There’s a complete discussion of Knight’s early years here.

Knight also did production work for the Rites of Spring who I discuss in depth this site.

Anyone have a photo of Terry Knight with the Pack, or by himself from this time period?

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