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HOME / SLIPPY
Except where noted, all
original text & art ©2009 Eddie Flowers
REVERE & THE RAIDERS
As a kid in the late 1960s, my favorite bands were
the Beatles and the Monkees. Somehow, the Mothers of Invention
showed up in the same period. Around '70-'72, I was obsessed with the
Rolling Stones. Unfortunately, I was a little late for that
party, but my attentions then switched to the MC5, the Stooges,
and the Velvet Underground. By the time punk-rock itself rolled
around, it was hard to choose, but in '75-'77 it was definitely
the Dictators, and then the Ramones, and
the Sex Pistols for a moment. After moving to L.A. in 1979, by favorite
bands were the Angry Samoans, Fear, and Black Flag (pre-Rollins).
I thought the 80s were mostly pretty crap, but the Minutemen were
about as good as it got in my world. Maybe the Scientists for a second.
Around 1989, I "discovered" the band that I still think rooools (even
if they sadly no longer exist): Sun City Girls. And that's about it,
huh? Not quite. Before Sun City Girls or the MC5 or the Stones or the
Monkees, my first ever favorite band was Paul Revere & the Raiders.
From 1965 to 1967, I thought they were as good as rock'n'roll could
get. Every day after elementary school, I watched reruns of the 1950s
Superman TV series, preceded by Where the Action Is,
which featured the Raiders as house band and hosts of the Dick Clark-produced
In 1958, singer/sax player Mark Lindsay joined the Downbeats,
a band out of Boise, Idaho, led by a keyboard player called Paul
Revere (born Paul Revere Dick!). Shortly before the release of their
first single in 1960, the band changed their name to Paul Revere &
the Raiders. The Raiders' third single, "Like, Long Hair," became an
unlikely hit, breaking into the national top 40 in 1961. The early singles
are mostly instrumentals, in the Northwest tradition, but there's no fire
anywhere. At that point, Revere and Lindsay were forgettable musicians, backed
by a band that was worthy of those talents. For the most part, it was pretty
dull stuff. They even managed to release an LP, Like, Long Hair, in
'61. This band eventually dissolved.
Paul Revere & the Raiders [Sande
Records LP, 1963] / In the Beginning [Jerden Records LP,
1965 reissue] Originally released on manager Roger Hart's Sande label,
this was the beginning of the "classic" line-up, with Drake Levin (guitar),
Mike "Smitty" Smith (drums), and Mike "Doc" Holliday (bass--later replaced
by Phil "Fang" Volk). It's good greasy R&B, not that different from
the earlier Raiders stuff except that it actually rocks! The new
Raiders sound loose and funky, with the feel of a good stripper band. Revere
and Lindsay have each progressed moderately on their instruments--enough
to sound good with their new backing. And Lindsay has finally developed
the snarl that I personally think outdid Jagger in its proximity to something
like actual black singing, but with little of Mick's middle-class nastiness.
Lindsay's NOT a punk--he's a white soul singer. No amazing material here,
but they sure stomp and shout better than almost all of their Northwest
brethren (at the Sonics' peak, they blew away EVERYBODY, including the Raiders,
but that peak was less than two years). They do credible versions of "Hey
Baby," "Linda Lu," and similar stuff from the pre-Beatles period. "Mojo Workout"
is a stand-out. And for smut, dig their take on "Work With Me Annie" and
their so-called original, "Crisco." It's a rip of "Hully Gully" with a lurid
group chant that replaces "Hully hully gully" with "Criso Criso party"! Let's
get some more from the keg and see if any chicks will dance with us. You
know, that kinda sound!
Here They Come! [Columbia Records LP, 1964]
Side one's THE BOMB, dad! From a live performance in an L.A. studio, beefed
up with overdubbed Beatles-like hysteria, this was rightly compared by many
to the MC5's Kick Out the Jams back in the 70s fanzine days. Even
though part of the chaos is faked (the hysterical crowd sounds), it sounds
just great. And the performance is NOT faked. It's filled with high energy
rock, messy group vocals not unlike the MC5, a sense of impending chaos (whether
it's a riot or a party is kinda up to the times!). Their version of "Louie
Louie" just rips most others to shreds, including the classic Kingsmen hit.
Lindsay and Levin are both on fire throughout. Drake Levin's guitar is already
developing an edge that may owe something to the Kinks and the Stones, but
his playing is closer to the source (blues), and he brings in surprisingly
early Middle-Eastern touches (dig the solo on their frantic version of "Do
You Love Me").
Just Like Us! [Columbia Records
LP, 1965] THE pinnacle of the Raiders' hard-R&B/garage thang, and the
first album with Phil "Fang" Volk replacing Mike Holliday on bass. There
are the two stompin' hits: Mark Lindsay's incredible "Steppin' Out" and the
band's total kill version of "Just Like Me" (original was an obscure Northwest
single by somebody & the somethin'r'others, but not nearly as good as
the Raiders' cover). For the rest of the album, they do versions of current
English Invasion and R&B hits, but these guys WORK IT--this is not standard
sub-par bar-band crap, and I prefer some of this stuff to the originals.
They even manage a tight, totally credible version of James Brown's "Out
of Sight," with guitarist Drake Levin doing the vocal. Fang takes lead vocals
on the Animals' "I'm Cryin'" and Them's version of "Baby Please Don't Go"--both
are superb. He then joins Lindsay for a version of the Stones' "Satisfaction"
that's maybe better than the original! Even drummer Smitty does lead vocals
on a chaotic version of Barbara George's "I Know." And big boss Revere himself
does a rare vocal on "New Orleans" (who did that one? I forget right now).
Lindsay blows sax on a sexy bump'n'grind version of "Night Train." And the
whole group sings the theme song from Where the Action Is. Great,
great LP! Find it in MONO!
RAIDERS PART 2 IN SLIPPY TOWN TIMES #4!!!
* * *
TOWN TIMES #3
IN THIS ISSUE:
This Week in Slippy Town
Paul Revere & the Raiders
Spinnin' Some Vinyl
leftovers, and "related" items from the never-published last issue of
this zine from Krazee Ken and Ready Eddie. With Lester Bangs, Richard
Meltzer, Metal Mike Saunders, Patti Smith, Mitch Kapor, and more!!!