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HOME / SLIPPY TOWN TIMES
SLIPPYTOWN@EARTHLINK.NET
Except where noted, all original text & art ©2009 Eddie Flowers
PAUL REVERE & THE RAIDERS
PART 1


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 teen-variety show.

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!
--Eddie Flowers



RAIDERS PART 2 IN SLIPPY TOWN TIMES #4
!!!

* * *

SLIPPY TOWN TIMES #3
IN THIS ISSUE:
Intro
This Week in Slippy Town
Meercaz Q&A
Paul Revere & the Raiders
Watchin' Videos
Spinnin' Some Vinyl

Comix???
Shout Bamalama!
Outro (R.I.P.)

Extra! Extra!
TRASH #6
Remnants, 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!!!