First let me discuss a couple red herrings.
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.
Michael Rummans of the Sloths wrote:
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.
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”).
Danny Belsky also seems to have left in 1967, being replaced by David Potter from the Bushmen and Euphoria.
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.
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.
In November 2015 I wrote an article about Euphoria detailing more of these connections.
Photos from Hollywood A Go Go, contributed by Danny Belsky.
Info on Bernie Schwartz from http://topshelfoldies.org/tide_edit_records.htm. Thank you to Peter Aaron for suggesting the Gladstone singles.