Friday, September 26, 2014

Paul Revere & The Raiders

This was one of Dad's favorite bands, while in his teens, not unlike the Rascals. I often wondered what it must have been like to have grown up with all of these great bands out there. It must have been hard to choose what the hell to go out and buy, what with so many picks out there!

He played this one for me, and I found that there were some great garage-rock cuts on it. Kind of a shame you don't hear them much anymore, not even on the "oldies" stations, apart from "Kicks", the only song they seem to be remembered for these days. They rocked a little harder than they got credit for, but always got stuck in the "teen band" penalty-box.

Another album he had was called Something Happening, which had almost a completely different band lineup, but a few very strong cuts on it, kicking off with "Too Much Talk", with gnarly fuzz guitar and some very cool basslines. "Don't Take It So Hard" was also another favorite of mine from it. I remember seeing this one back at the Blue House, where I'd heard it for the first time. Angie's school friends were there when Dad played it, and I was more impressed with it than they were.
A few years onward, in the second grade, we were visited in our class during the course of a week by a guy named Jim Valley, who sang, played the acoustic guitar, and wrote songs like "Rainbow Planet" and "The Computer Song", also singing songs for us like Bobby Darin's "Splish Splash". What I didn't know right away was that he had once been the lead guitarist for the Raiders for a few albums, and he was one of the guys on the cover, wearing the red slip-on shoes. Wow, how cool was that? Stupidly, I never brought it in to have him sign it!

EDIT I was shocked to hear of Paul Revere's passing not long after I originally posted this. There were loads of tributes to him by many musicians and friends of his on Facebook, which was touching. I had to go and score vinyl copies of the two original Greatest Hits collections. Geoffrey absolutely loves "Don't Take It So Hard"; I'll hear him singing it around the house, sometimes even just the middle section of it, word for word.

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