The Shy Guys

Not the Shy Guys from Florida responsible for the incredible psych 45 “Black Lightning Light”.

The ones I’m featuring today were from Oak Park, Michigan and their closest brush with fame was opening for a tour of the Dave Clark Five. I found mention of a Buffalo, NY dj Scotty Walker adapting “We Gotta Go” into the “Hamburger Joint Song”, but I have no idea what this is about. Anyone?

The Shy Guys consisted of Ron Nelson (previously known as Ron Lefko) – lead guitar and vocals, Stu “Hirshfield” Howard – rhythm guitar and vocals, Marty Lewis – bass and Mark Finn – drums. Both sides of this 45 are great garage pop with good harmonies. “We Gotta Go” certainly had the potential to break into the charts, but only had local success.

The Panik label was started as JR by Joe Revaz out of Detroit, originally for soul artists. A couple other garage and pop bands like the Rainy Days and the Human Beings also have 45s on Panik.

These two tracks were also released on the local Palmer label, along with a second 45, “A Love So True”/”Where You Belong”. Their last release was a fine Ron Nelson original “Without You” on the Canusa label, with a cover of the Byrd’s “I’ll Feel a Whole Lot Better” on the flip.

24 thoughts on “The Shy Guys”

  1. This was a day in a life. On my purple Sting Ray going to listen to Marty lewis play. And all of the others, Just brought back the memories of the MUMMP.

  2. OMG the Mump!!! I really think that’s where it all started! I have some amazing memories of that place and of course outside of the building. (bad kids that we were) Just think what our kids would have done with a place like that.
    I don’t remember when it closed or the circumstance why it did.
    So are you Neil Wiener’s brother? If you are, tell him that I have always considered him my first boyfriend!

  3. The Shy Guys went to my high school — Oak Park High School. The were in the Class of ’67, one year after me. When WE GOTTA GO came out, in the spring of ’66, all hell broke loose at school. One of our local radio stations, WKNR, was so deluged by requests for the song, that it cracked the “Keener 13” in no time. It got a ton of airplay on WKNR, but I’m not so sure the other Detroit rock stations (CKLW and WXYZ) picked up on it. Scott Regan, a “Keener” DJ was all over the record, and was probably most responsible for its local success. He even had the Shy Guys cut a promotional song for him to the tune of We Gotta Go. I remember not liking the song that much when it was first out, but am now a big fan of it. Even have it on my iPod.

  4. yes i am married to mark finn of the shy guys and i can send a picture.. also ron lefco was a record producer for don fogelberg.. check out his older albums of the 70s.

  5. Correction: Marty Lewis, not Ron Lefko, was
    the producer of all Dan Fogelberg’s hits.
    In addition, he produced/engineered major
    hits by Jimmy Buffett i.e. Margaritaville,
    Cheeseburger in Paradise, and other artists
    including Rita Coolidge, Kris Kristofferson,
    Asleep at the Wheel, Charlie Daniel’s Band,
    Donovan, Ozark Mountain Daredeviles among
    others. For a more complete list of Marty Lewis’
    credits, search Marty Lewis producer/engineer/
    artist @ http://www.allmusic.com

  6. I remember well, 1966, when I was president of the Shy Guys Fan Club in Northville, Michigan. My friends and I were sort of their “groupies” of those days. We met them when they were performing at the Cavern in Northville. We had autograph signings for the guys and attended everytime they played at the Cavern. Those were such happy times and I remember that your Mark was a great guy! Would love for you to tell the guys “hi” for me, and I would like to know how they are and what their life has been like.
    Also would love to see pictures of Mark and his family, and the other guys. Please contact my e-mail! Thanks! Debbie

  7. Can somebody please help me with the lyrics, I must be deaf. What are the words to the line that starts:

    Those ??? ??? don’t have no fun
    No matter what they do
    They keep on tryin’ to change it all
    You’ll hear them say to you

    We gotta go, etc.

    A great song, I have it on my iPod too.

  8. Sounds like you know Marty. Worked with him in the 70`s on a few things. Love to get in touch if you know his email.

  9. They’re in the process of rebuilding the site, but http://www.detroitradioflashbacks.com has (or will have soon) the Scott Regan version of “We Gotta Go”. Click on “Radio Stations” then 1310. It’s rarer than Edwin Starr’s “Scott On Swingers”. Great song, ranking with Tim Tam and the Turn Ons “Wait A Minute” as one of Detroit’s best garage classics…..

  10. Their lives are dull, don’t have no fun
    No matter what they do…..

    Now, where did I put that Unrelated Segments 45…….

  11. There is a picture on Marty Lewis Facebook page. Marty was recently killed in Cabo San Lucas, We miss you Marty.

  12. The Mump use to be the old Northland Playhouse on Northland Shopping Center Drive, there was also the Serendipity and other clubs around for dancing in the 60’s.

  13. I remember the Shy Guys playing at Edsel Ford, (Dearborn, MI) in ’68 or ’69. Dang, maybe it was earlier, which means I was in junior high at Edison Jr High. Anyway, I thought they were great and it inspired me to become a musician. Thanks for posting the MP3s.

  14. The Shy Guys played at my high school, Shrine in Royal Oak MI. I can still hear them harmonizing the refrain of Hawaii (the Beach Boys song) in my mind. I remember Mark from elementary school. He was always very musical.

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