Monday, October 6, 2014

Kicks Just Keep Gettin' Harder to Find

I can't say I was a big fan of Paul Revere and the Raiders' music. I was, however, a big fan of Paul Revere and the Raiders.


Well, as a twelve-to-thirteen-year-old, pictures torn from the pages of Tiger Beat Magazine and other pre-teen rags graced my bedroom wall. Mark Lindsay, especially, was cute! (the very best adjective a 1960's adolescent could ascribe to a boy - although I guess Mark wasn't exactly a boy at the time).  Other guys in the band were cute, too; although, shamefully, I don't remember their names.

I really only purchased one Raiders 45, and it wasn't Kicks, which is by far the band's best known hit.

With teenage wonder, I watched the guys perform on various TV variety shows, like Where The Action Is and Happening, my undeveloped mind unable to resolve out the disparity between their goofy costumes and the mainstream rock and roll they played.

My semi-developed mind now asks, wow, how much did those outfits cost? And what happened when one guy quit the band and the new guy didn't fit into the costume? More outlay of colonial-bucks, I guess.

Paul Revere died Saturday at the age of 76. He was born Paul Revere Dick...and the possible band names are not something I care to ponder. LUCKILY, he reverted to just plain Paul Revere and thus was born the Raiders.

He was a showman. I imagine he pretty much controlled everything to do with band - the aforementioned costumes, the "moves", the tri-corner hats. It seems, however, that he didn't play a hand in writing the band's songs. No matter. He was the person who found the gimmick, the man who got the band noticed. He, along with Mark Lindsay, also had the good taste to pick out some good songs from some good songwriters (such as Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil). Paul also played a mean keyboard.

Throughout the band's heyday, personnel shuffled in and out (mostly out), but that's really no different from other '60's bands. Guys left to form their own bands, generally never to be heard from again. But they had dreams....

One brief member of the band was Freddy Weller, who sort of transitioned into country music, recording Joe South's Games People Play, which was nominated for CMA single of the year in 1969. One, even a giggly teenager, could sense that Freddy's heart really wasn't in wearing waistcoats and skintight white pants.

FUN FACT: It is unknown whether the Kingsmen or Paul Revere and the Raiders recorded Louie Louie first. Both bands recorded the song in the same studio in 1963. Obviously, the Kingsmen version is the famous one, primarily because one can make up their own lyrics as they sing along with the record.

I had to look at the band's discography to remember which of their many hits I actually purchased, and it was this one, which has no live video, most likely because it really wasn't a very good song, in hindsight:

The next song was better. And it was apparently serious! because the guys changed into twentieth century garb for Indian Reservation:

I remember this one! Here they are lip-syncing on Shindig:

Out of curiosity, I had to find this:

But enough with all that. I know what you and I have been waiting for. Here it is:

You can't say Paul Revere and the Raiders wasn't a fun band. They absolutely did have their day.

Rest in peace, Paul Revere. Thanks for the good times.

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