Monday, October 06, 2014

Paul Revere 1938 -- 2014

You can read long-time manager (occasional co-songwriter) Roger Hart's tribute to Paul over HERE.

At their peak, Paul Revere and the Raiders were as good as it gets. Between 1965 and 1968 they made a string of some of the toughest hard-rock records of their or any other day (the one below immediately comes to mind)... well as a couple of genuinely classic albums.

And they actually played all their own instruments, unlike a lot people I could mention.

Said it before and I'll say it again -- this death shit is really beginning to piss me off. In any case, it's official; The world is now a far more boring place than it was just a week ago.

UPDATE: I'd forgotten about this album until yesterday...

...but if you want to hear what a lethal live band the Raiders were, get thee over to Amazon immediately and order a copy. Two CDs of absolutely primo Northwest rock and r&b, recorded in the studio in front of a crowd of fans who really enter into the spirit of things, and rendered in amazingly high quality stereo. And this was some months BEFORE they began the string of hits that made them into a national sensation, BTW.


edward said...

I have to admit in my early days of rocknroll I dismissed Paul Revere and the Raiders as pretty boy teen idols. I mostly remembered watching them on Where The Action is when I was in third grade, so that by the time I was in HS I discarded them like other childish things (while somehow maintaing a thing for The Monkees).
Then came punk and I started to rediscover the old garage sounds. I became an advocate for the Raiders among my friends who had also discarded them as embarrassments from their youth.
So here's to Paul Revere and the Raiders. Let's hope those Kicks are no longer hard to find.

Shriner said...

There are very few better songs than "Him or Me - What's It Gonna Be?"

If this was the only song the Raiders charted with -- that would have been enough...

Brooklyn Girl said...

It's hard to know whether the Raiders were helped or hurt by their costumes … at first, I lumped them in with other gimmicky bands because of that, but then the music itself made i clear they were something else.

They Young Rascals' early costumes were the same way, if not worse. But that's another band that kicks serious ass.

It's funny how something can color your perception about a band --- I couldn't imagine taking a band called The Raspberries seriously. What were they thinking?

steve simels said...

Shriner -- true dat.

Jeff in Denton TX said...

A great and underrated band. They were dismissed by some misguided critics for their "we're just entertainers" attitude and showmanship , but the fact remains that they made some terrific rock & roll.

GLLinMO said...

Damn. Tuned in here for some light entertainment and now this. which notes that it hasn't made a blip in any other form of media.

I suppose the commercial success via Dick Clark was the artistic black eye for any recognition. But how wrong. for the years listed, they crafted rock songs as well as anyone (me thinks more power pop that hard rock, but that's semantics.) Should have been in a early class in the R&RHOFm if that really means anything.

The fact that Paul had been playing in Branson MO for the last several years (Great shows I can add) will also be help against him. What's wrong with loving what you do and continuing to do so.

RIP Paul.

Anonymous said...

Steppin' Out was blasting from my 16 year-old cousin's Corvette when he came to Disneyland to pick his sister and me up. We did a punky, sexy, vamp dance and belted out the lyrics to it before he admonished us and told us to get in the car. He had a bottle of Coors beer between his legs and offered us each one as we got on board.

The cousins came down south from Modesto to visit before summer vacation was over. Disneyland was obligatory. Excitement was in the air. The Beatles were in town and the three of us saw the Byrds a couple of nights before. And Dylan was on the way!

While we were at Disneyland, we walked across the street to Melodyland and bought tickets to the upcoming Animals show. My aunt laid a hundred bucks on us, which was a hell of a lot of money then. Even at Disneyland, you couldn't spend all that money. Not in 1965, anyway.

That moment is crystal clear because it felt like the goddamned Holy Spirit was going through us when we heard that edifying Raiders tune. Still sounds great today. And that beer tasted mighty fine to us precocious 10-and-a-half year olds (oh for the days when I wanted to add the halves to my age).

About the costumes. How could they wear those tights and not even show a trace of their packages? Not very impressive. I have to assume they inhibited their crotches in some way. Only saw them in concert once during the heyday and nothing stood out in the bulge department. It was as if they had nothing at all. Musta been going for the Ken doll look. Anyway, it wasn't as exciting as going to the ballet, that's for sure.

But the guys rocked. They played with balls even if you couldn't see them. And I bet Mark Lindsay could tell some pretty interesting stories about how he used them to full capacity.

Vickie Rock - Let Me

Been doing the Zonk and getting gonked all day. One swollen dream after another. Mmmmm.

buzzbabyjesus said...

I watched "Where The Action Is" whenever possible and thought the Raiders were the Bomb. I was also into "Daniel Boone". Not much of a stretch, really.11425

Anonymous said...

I recall calling the AM station religiously to vote for "Walk Away Renee" over "Hungry." Not that I didn't like "Hungry," but it always seemed to win the Top 5 at 5s.

Anonymous said...


You're wrong:

Most of the Raider's publicity photos have either hands or fabric strategically placed in front of their crotches, for obvious reasons.

Anonymous said...

Sacre bleu! In this case, I'm happy to be wrong, even if the package looks a little suspicious.

Burt Ward has said that the arbiters of taste did what it took to conceal his endowments for the Batman show. The Raiders were also TV friendly, so maybe that explains the lack of moose knuckles. There's lots of footage of these guys, and, in the majority of it, nothing shows.

I didn't see anything like this at the Valley Music Theater where they performed live, either. Believe me, I would have remembered.

The show was called "Where the Action Is," and I'm sure Mark Lindsay must have seen plenty. But I've yet to hear of anyone topping Chuck Negron in his heyday.

Vickie Rock - In bananamour

salhepatica said...

Hate to nitpick, but the Raiders toured so much in their heyday that they did use studio musicians on their records. That doesn't take away from their legacy as a great live band, but it does give a little more emphasis to Terry Melcher as the Sixth Raider for creating the records we love.

Anonymous said...

I support what salhepatica says about studio musicians on the Raiders recordings ... BUT, only after a certain point in their career arc, when the band's touring-and-tv schedule made it more convenient for the record company to drag just bleary-eyed, totally exhausted Mark Lindsay in to record the vocals over backing instrumentals they had sitting under those infrared lights to keep them warm (or something like that).

I read somewhere that, ironically, one of those "studio musicians", sometimes, was actually the incomparable Drake Levin, while he was IN the National Guard and OUT of the Raiders.

HOWEVER, here is a very important point: The recordings on "MOJO WORKOUT" pre-date all that status quo studio musician contamination. "MOJO WORKOUT" is, with the exception of precious few songs, Paul Revere & The Raiders themselves alone and no others, in their full party band glory.

Things had been hush-hush from the Raiders inner circle about Paul Revere's true health situation for over a year, since he'd first started missing shows, but when the announcement came out that he could not do this summer's short tour, it was confirmation that he was much sicker than anybody would let on. I listened to "MOJO WORKOUT" on my office boombox at work the next day, right before the silly machine melted down and ate a cassette tape - and there it still sits, three months later, with its cassette jaw agape, cassette sticking out on an angle, and strands and loops of ruined tape hanging all over the place like a dental floss nightmare. As usual, I ended up with "Oo Poo Pah Doo" stuck in my head until I could sleep it off that night.