Monday, October 3, 2011

Warlock

A group formed in Waco 1971-1972 with Buzz Gilleland from The Society and Gary Anderson from Kandy Kolored Konspiracy.




In the photo of Warlock left to right are: David Hall-Drums and vocals, Buzz Gilleland-Keyboards and vocals, Mike McKissack-Bass, Gary Anderson-Guitar and Lead Vocals. 

"This band covered The Beatles including the entire “B” side of Abbey Road, The Moody Blues, Buffalo Springfield, Neil Young, Badfinger, Santana, etc.  We disbursed in 1972."

Thanks again to Buzz for information on this band.

Huntington Complex

A band that Buzz Gilleland was in before joining The Society. Circa 1965-66.

Members: Dick Gimble - Lead Guitar & Lead vocals, Buzz Gilleland - Rhythm Guitar and Keyboard, Wally Proctor-Bass, Fred Knapp-Drums.

"Milestones: Placed second in city wide battle of the bands held at the Raleigh Hotel in downtown Waco.  Competed with The Knights Bridge Quintet, The One-Way Streets, and others."

"Covered bands like The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Paul Revere and the Raiders, The Monkeys, etc.  The band members wore white turtle neck shirts, white pants, blue blazers, and black Beatle boots.  We mimicked Paul Revere and the Raiders heavily with synchronized steps and kicks while performing."

Thanks to Buzz Gilleland for the details on this band. No known recordings.

The Edison Expansion

A psychedelic group that was formed in Waco 1969 in the wake of The Society and various other local groups disbanding. This group only lasted for about a year.




In the photo of Edison Expansion left to right are: Gloria Evans, Ron Evans-Bass, Roy Walker-Lead Vocals, Debbie Rogers, Jack Rogers-friends, Buzz Gilleland-Keyboards, Bill Gammage-Drums with girlfriend.


From Buzz Gilleland:

"This band played a lot of Rock and Soul music and covered The Doors, The Rolling Stones, Cream, Sam and Dave, Otis Redding, etc."

"The band was regularly accompanied by our existing light show produced by Gillian and now Erick Knapp. (Fred’s younger brother)  Psychedelic images were now projected on a 10 X20 foot screen behind the band."

Member lineup was:
Roy Walker – Lead Vocals, Buzz Gilleland – Keyboard, Alan Schornack – Lead Guitar, Ron Evans – Bass, Steve Stewart – Drums.  Later on Alan Schornack and Steve Stewart left the group and were replaced by David Blanton – Lead Guitar and Bill Gammage – Drums.

There are no known recordings of this band.

Friday, September 9, 2011

The Society

Formed at Richfield High School in 1965, The Society began as an R&B cover band called The Malibus.
Not long before changing their name, original drummer Mick Fick was replaced by Andy Lifland.
Contrary to a rumor printed in TX garage record reference guide Journey To Tyme, Hot Tuna drummer Sammy Piazza was never a member of the group. Sammy was from Waco originally, was a close friend of The Malibus, and would occasionally sit in with the group.

The band was managed by a young UT Austin college student named Hal Moore. Hal would often bring the latest records to the bands practice to draw up ideas for unique cover choices or original material.
Upon first watching the 13th Floor Elevators live at the New Orleans Club, Hal rushed a copy of the bands "You're Gonna Miss Me" 45 up to Waco to show the guys the NEW sound. It inspired the boys and they put together an original song called "High & Mighty." This song, with its bold changes, fuzz guitar, and psychedelic lyrics, was just barely written when they got in touch with local DJ Glenn Daniels in the summer of 1967.

Guitarist John Callon was moving out of state just before going in to record, and remembers having to borrow a guitar from a friend since his had already been packed away in the moving truck!

Paying Glenn up front for studio time and pressing of their soon to be 45, the band knocked out the new song in only a few takes. This wasn't without its hitches, all the while Glenn protested and repeatedly asked the band to turn down. Their amps were so loud that Daniels couldn't get an undistorted sound from the band!



As was typical with teen garage bands going into the studio, they hadn't prepared a song to put on the B-side of the record. Buzz Gilleland then stepped forward and showed the guys a sketch of an unusual but catchy instrumental song he had been crafting. Working out the arrangements on the spot, the talented group quickly knocked out the song in a few takes.

The band got approximately 500 copies of the "High & Mighty" single and sold most of the pressing through local record shops. Though the song was a strong one and could have elevated the bands status, they never played it live and it barely charted on local radio.
By this point, the lineup had changed drastically and the new single no longer represented who the group was.

"High & Mighty"



"Summer Sunset"


The band could often be seen playing live at the Red Carpet Inn on the Old Dallas Highway outside of town.
A local soul band would usually start out the night followed by The Society, who would typically play from midnight to as late as 4 AM.
Their live show included a psychedelic light show put on by their buddy Jimmy Lloyd, and home-made Super 8 videos of the band goofing around town projected on them while playing.
Austin, Dallas, Houston, and even Marlin were regular towns for the band to play in.
They went as far as playing live shows in Oklahoma and Louisiana.

Band Lineup during 45:
Andy King - bass
Andy Lifland - drums
Jerry P. Utley - vocals
John Callon - lead guitar
Lee Ellingson - guitar
Buzz Gilleland - organ

Other Members:
Mick Fick - 1st drummer
Skipper Olson - bass (after Andy left)
Kent Tillman - guitar (after Lee and John left)
Harold Hutchison - organ (after Buzz left)


Thanks to all the members of The Society and Hal Moore for taking their time to share memories of the group.

For details on earlier and later bands related to The Society, check my upcoming entries on The Shadows, Huntington Complex, Grass, Yer Own Back Yard, Edison Expansion, and The Warlocks.

 Post Script... Buzz Gilleland added this information about the band:

"After the release of the record, John Callon, Andy King, and Lee Ellingston left the band and were replaced by Tommy Christian – Lead Guitar, Chuck Stanley – Bass.  An interesting tidbit; Tommy Christian drove a 1955 or ’57 purple Pontiac hearse and wore a Catholic’s priest’s robe at our gigs.  On a couple of occasions Sammy Piazza filled in on drums for Andy Lifland."

"This band played a lot of The Doors, Jimi Hendrix, Iron Butterfly, Cream, etc. and was frequently accompanied by Fred Knapp showing 8mm color videos of the band during our performances.  This then developed into a cool light show produced by my wife to be, Gillian Barkworth and Fred Knapp.  Special effects were created by manipulating small glass slides filled with food coloring and glycerin in 2 Argus slide projectors, various artwork being projected, spinning color wheels, mirrored reflections, and a home made strobe light."

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Knights Bridge Quintet

The Waco teen music scene in the 60's was a vibrant one which had a surprisingly large number of bands for a town its size. It also featured three major recording studios (Mark VII, TRC, and Goodson Mckee Recording Service) which gave the bands plenty of options to record and release their wild ideas into the world.

Without a doubt, the two most popular groups during this time were The Knights Bridge Quintet and the The Morticians (formed just a year or so earlier than KBQ). Though the two bands had a friendly admiration, it goes without saying that they also were in steady competition to win the attention of the towns youth.

From L-R: Back row is James Smith, Jerry Echols, Harold Hutchison. Front row is Mickey Williams then Jimmy Jones

Band Member Lineup:

Jerry Echols - drums
Mickey Williams - lead guitar
Butch Sherman - rhythm guitar (1st)
Jimmy Jones - rhythm guitar (after Butch)
Dick Gimble - bass (briefly before James)
James Smith - bass and vocals
Harold Hutchison - organ and lead vocals


The Knights Bridge Quintet was formed in 1965 by Midway High School Sophomores. Midway High at the time was an affluent school on the South West side of Waco, a prime locale for an upstart of teenage garage band hopefuls.
The group originally formed under the name The Bishops with bass player Dick Gimble (son of legendary fiddle player Johnny Gimble). Improvising for the cause, Dick played his bass lines on a normal 6 string electric guitar since he didn't yet own a real bass.
Soon after, James Smith won the favor of the band and replaced Dick due to his ownership of a real Hofner viola "Beatle" bass!



The band soon donned a full set of Vox amplifiers (again like The Beatles) and a Vox combo organ.
Practicing in the living room at drummer Jerry Echol's mothers house in the Woodway neighborhood of Waco, the band became a live force to be reckoned with.
Like most garage bands of the time, the live show consisted of a repertoire of all the top rock hits of the time. Songs by The Rolling Stones, Yardbirds, Kinks, Animals, Troggs, Zombies, Doors, etc were typical in the bands set.
They would play regularly at all the live venues around town including The Westview Skating Rink, Act V Club, Velvet Park, and so on.
Things heated up when the guys were given the opportunity to open for Gary Lewis & The Playboys at one of the cities biggest venues: The Heart Of Texas Coliseum. Some involved even recall Lewis and gang were booed off stage in favor of the Knights Bridge to return to the stage.
The touring radius for the band grew to include San Antonio, Austin, McGregor, Valley Mills, Marlin, Groesbeck, Tyler, Dallas, Houston, etc.

KBQ live at Westview Mall Sept. 1966


On a particularly ill fated jaunt down to Austin, the band decided to wear a set of wigs borrowed from Jerry's dad's hair salon. The tough crowd instantly began to heckle the group and made fun of their outfits. A stunt pulled by Harold where he hid behind one of the bands amplifiers and simulated the Recorder flute solo on The Troggs "Wild Thing" with his voice further agitated the ridicule. To make matters even worse, before heading home defeated, the band left their payout money for the gig on top of the cars front dashboard. When they started driving back to Waco with their windows open, all their earnings flew out the window! They quickly pulled over, scrambled out of the car, and tried to recover what money they could alongside the road.

1st pressing of "Sorrow In C Major"



A first place award at a battle of the bands event at the Westview Skating Rink in 1967 hosted by Chuck Harding (Of TRC recording studio and label) won the band its first official recording session. Soon after, the band were on its way to Tyler, Texas to record with the great Robin Hood Brian at his Robin Hood Studios.

The band tackled the one original song they had at the time, a moody mid tempo psychedelic gem called "Sorrow In C Major." After completing it, the band realized they needed another song for the B-Side. They improvised an upbeat instrumental track based on a 12-bar progression complete with party sounds from all the members hollering and whistling along. They humorously decided to name it "Hits Don't Come Easily," after a sign that was placed above the control booth in the studio.

The 45, originally released as a no-label independent release (with Chuck Harding's publishing co. printed on the label) quickly became a regional hit and won the band even more local fame. Other area bands such as The Zeljians (another Mark VII recording group who I will detail soon) and McGregor's own Bad Seeds began to cover the song live.

A 2nd pressing on Chuck Harding's TRC label also exists, though details on this release are just about unknown.

Ultra-rare TRC pressing of the single


This caught the attention of local KBGO DJ Glenn Daniels, who had the band come in to his Mark VII garage home studio for another session to produce an alternate B-Side.
Though the band members memory of this recording is hazy, it indeed produced the excellent dreamy "Love Of A Different Flavor." This song gave bassist James an opportunity to utilize the trumpet playing skills he had learned in the high school band.
By this point, original guitarist Butch Sherman had left the band to join the Marines and Jimmy Jones was brought in to play guitar rhythm guitar.
Daniels reissued the bands single, this time on his own Mark VII label, cutting the original B-Side and adding the new recording made at his home studio.
The single sold well in McLennan County and continued to bolster the bands reputation.



"Sorrow In C Major"


"Love Of A Different Flavor"


"Hits Don't Come Easily"



Only a few shorts months later however, the band would come to an end as its members graduated from high school and moved away or pursued college. By the summer of 1968, the band was no more.

Jerry joined and continued to play off and on over the years with the Quintet's rivals, The Morticians. He still plays with the group to this day.

Harold Hutchison joined a later incarnation of local psych band The Society before moving to Houston and joining Southwest Freeway. After that, he moved to NYC and joined a band called Topaz who released an LP. He also ended up in the cast for the original version of the wildly popular play "Hair!"

Jimmy also continued playing in bands, playing with Roky Erickson and the Resurrectionists in the early 80's followed by Waco soul legend Sherman Evans. He currently plays music in several groups, including one which features his wife on vocals and daughter on keys.

Mickey married his high school sweetheart just after graduation (they're still happily together!) and moved around Texas before finally settling back in the Waco area.

James served in the Navy (during Vietnam) after the band folded. Upon his discharge, he stayed in San Diego, California and became a member of a 70's rock band called Tillman Thomas.

Special thanks to Butch, Jerry, Mickey, and Jimmy from the original band. Also thanks to Linda Havis Smith for her help, and everyone else who was willing to share memories or info on the group.

Stay tuned for (the first time ever!) the full Mark VII and Waco garage band story. Ill be posting details as I get time to write it out and put it all together!

Friday, May 27, 2011

The Five Jades

A little known band I was unable to locate for any further details. It appears that they recorded at Gene Huckleberry's Barre recording studio. Song titles on their (only?) 45 are "How Can I Try" and "You're Gonna Love Me Too."
Sounds like a group who straddled the line between lounge and light garage rock. These guys were also probably a little older than the average teen-aged rock band.

4-09-12 UPDATE:

"The original group from L-R: Billy Moeller, Mike Mueller, Ronnie Williams, Gary Shepherd, and Steve Brandt. All were on the record except Nicky Arriaga played drums instead of Billy Moeller."


Original band member Mike Mueller emailed me recently and provided news clippings, pictures, and details on the bands history.

The band formed circa 1967 while drummer Nicky Arriaga was still in 8th grade and the rest of the band was just starting high school.
They got their start backing up a night club vocalist named Grady Wilson several times a week at the local Holiday Inn circuit.


Eventually the band split off on their own and in the summer of 1968 they went in to Gene Huckleberry's home recording studio to record one of their original songs.
As the classic story goes, the band had not prepared a song for the B-side. They came up with "You're Gonna Love Me Too" on the spot.
The band had 300 copies pressed up on Gene's Barre label imprint and sold most copies at shows and local record stores. The single got a fair amount of radio airplay on Victoria stations KVIC and KNAL.


At one point, Texas heroes The Clique invited the Five Jades to do a session at the International Artists labels recording studio. The band were turned away though due to their lack of enough original material.
As the band progressed into the 1970's, they became one of the most popular groups in the area and began playing six nights a week on a regular basis!

"The final group. Mike Mueller, bass – Gary Shepherd, trumpet and vocals – Russell Hosey, lead vocals – Candido Alonzo, lead guitar and vocals – Mike Rippamonti, guitar and vocals – Ricky Williams, drums."

The original band lineup was:

Billy Moeller - drums (but Nicky Arriaga played on the 45)
Ronnie Williams - guitar
Michael Mueller - bass
Steve Brandt - vocals
Gary Shepherd - trumpet

Interestingly enough, Ricky Collins (see the entry for "Clancy") and Marvin Baker of The Zebras were both early drummers for The Five Jades.
Mike Mueller's earlier band circa 67 was called Love Street and featured both Ricky Collins and his older brother Keith Collins.

Note the intriguing band lineup: Winds Of Change, Under 21, Glass Stairway, Love Street.







"You're Gonna Love Me Too"


"How Can I Try"

Friday, May 13, 2011

Clancy

A mystery 45 from Victoria I found one day when I bought some old jukebox distributor stock there last year.
I was instantly captivated by the records off-kilter "lost" sound and cryptic lyrics.





I tried in vain to find the "Ricky Collins" credited as the songwriter on the record. After speaking with members of local band The Zebras, I did get this helpful info from Robert Wuest. Robert played with a drummer in a later band whom was most likely the same musician behind this very 45.

"That must have been Ric and I suspect it would have been a project where he played all the instruments. He was plenty capable of doing that. Ric married Jan Schuneman (I think) when they were both very young... like 16 or seventeen.

I never heard about those recordings but it has to have been the same Ric Collins... Not only is "Jan" a big hint, but so is "Clancy".

"Nowadays Clancy Can't Sing" was (if I recall correctly) a Buffalo Springfield cut... probably sung by Stephen Stills. Fever Tree (the band we opened up for) did a great version of that song on their first album and Ric loved their version. In fact, Ric's voice was VERY similar to the lead singer's for Fever Tree, Dennis Keller.

This is past the Victoria scene, but in the early 80's while James was playing with the Gathwright Brothers in Austin Ric and I and Charlie Shroyer had a little band and we practiced at my house on Shepherd Lane in Austin. That band never got out of the living room, though, and at some point Ric got frustrated and disappeared and shortly thereafter Charlie was involved in a serious automobile accident that left him unable to sing. In fact, he could barely talk. He was an amazing talent and also a product of Victoria."

Listen to both sides of the record:



"She Is"



"Touch Of Jan"

Ric, if you are out there reading this, drop me a line! Id love to hear the full story behind this thing...

Monday, April 25, 2011

The Zebras

Victoria, Texas is a regional hub in South Texas. During the 60's it attracted a lot of bands from neighboring towns due to its mid point between Houston, Austin, San Antonio, and Corpus Christi.
My initial inquiries into the town's musical history began with a search for information on a mysterious local studio and record label called Barre. Upon fielding for details on this obscure operation, I heard from James Mikulenka, who recorded there with his teen band The Zebras. 
Below is a short interview with James about the history of his "proto-twee" jangle garage band. 


A vintage super 8 music video for one of the songs off the bands sole 45. This video features the band playing live at one of their regular haunts, the Tico Tico bar. Amazing!

The Zebras were:

Garland Baker - guitar and vocals
Marvin Baker - drums
Doyle Baker - guitar
James Mikulenka - bass
Robert Wuest - lead guitar (replaced Robert Hasdorf)



Q.When and how did The Zebras form originally?
 There were three brothers who had a little combo and played out a bit in Victoria. There was an entertainment event during the summer on the DeLeon Plaza (town square) in downtown Victoria on each Friday night  in August. They played the first one and asked me to join and play bass. I recall the first song I learned with them was the theme from Batman which was a popular TV show and then we moved on to the real stuff like Wild Thing by the Troggs. I believe it was 1966.

Q.What are some Towns and Venues of the bands regular gig route? What is the furthest out venue or event the band played?
We played the local "sock hops" at a JAYCEE hall, Tico Tico a beach bar, and small town youth centers, and some high school events. Wanted to play more but country music was king down there, so we also went  under another name The Texas Mavericks and played a lot of standard country and western songs at all the local honky tonks and bars in Victoria, Port Lavaca, and along the mid coast between Corpus Christi and Victoria. Same personnel only different music.




"What Was Being Done"

"The Moon's Going Down"

Q.What do you remember about recording the bands 45? Did it sell well locally or get any distribution? Any airplay?


We had a local DJ KVIC radio in Victoria who liked us and hooked us up with a local recording studio (Barre) owned by Gene Huckleberry. We were offered a chance to record a record so of course we did. Very quickly arranged and only overdubbed some extra guitar. No strobe tuners and it showed!! We pressed about 300 and of course it was the pick hit of the week by the local station and as far as I know was only played on that one station. It only sold in record shops in the area and needless to say we did not need to go back to press more. Boy do I wish I had a copy now though!

Q.Did the band make any TV appearances? 
We appeared on Teen Time a local TV show on Saturday mornings in Corpus Christi. We showed up and they asked us to lip sync but we had no record with us so we performed live.

Q.Was there any local competition for the group? Other notable local bands?
Biggest name competition were the Jademen and The Other Side from Victoria. some of the players from the Teen Time era gained notoriety as the Zackary Thaks, Liberty Bell, and Bubble Puppy.




Q.When and how did the band eventually break up? 
As the three brothers and myself  matured musically we added an additional guitar player, typical friction over competency and direction led to a split with me and the non brother guitar player leaving and forming another band, we ended up playing together for probably 10 years longer.

Q. Any interesting or funny stories on the group? 
Not funny, but getting the opportunity to play with the Zebras totally changed the direction of my life. It was the most important influence on me that I can remember. Led to me getting a totally new set of friends, going to college, leaving Victoria, and still playing today some 45 years later. Pretty significant in my eyes!

Thanks to James Mikulenka and Robert Wuest for their help! Wow, and as of May 2017, thanks to Scott Baker for the fantastic band photo and show poster!

Thursday, March 3, 2011

The Wullabies

I recently spoke with Bill Hegefeld who played in this little known 60's garage band from Marlin, Texas. Although they never released a record, they were a popular local live act in the area. 
Here is the information he shared on the bands history:

"The band was originally a group of guys from Marlin High school. The group members were, Bill Hegefeld (rhythm guitar), Ronnie Radle (lead guitar), Phillip Musia( bass guitar), Shelton Grote (singer) and Bryan Boyd(drums).  Danny Edmunds was added before we left high school as a singer. The band started in late 1965 and would stay around until November 1970, the last dance at a Marlin homecoming. The band was named by a foreign exchange student at Marlin High school, Rob Dowling of Australia. (Rob graduated with  the class of 1967). 




List of all band members:

Bill Hegefeld (1965 – November 1970) Marlin- played rhythm guitar from 65 to 67, then played bass guitar 67- 70.
Ronnie Radle (1965  – November 1970) Marlin -played lead guitar
Shelton Grote (1965 – November 1970) Marlin -played rhythm guitar and was lead singer
Bryan Boyd (1965 – 1968) Marlin -first drummer (after high school, Bryan joined the Navy)
Phillip Muse (1965-1966) Marlin-bass player
John Steinke (1966 -1966) Mart - played keyboard / singer
Danny Edmunds (1967- November 1970)   Marlin - singer
Bobby Collier (early part of 1968)-Marlin - played drums after Bryan left for Navy
Stewart Hegefeld (1967 - November 1970) Marlin -rhythm guitar
Joe Wayne Reynolds (1968-November 1970) Mart - keyboard player/ sax player / back-up singer
Ricky Enlow (1968) Lacy Lakeview (Connally) -third drummer (his family was Air Force and moved to another area)
Gary Burkett (1968-November 1970)( Lacy Lakeview (Connally)- last drummer
Rex Bell (1968) Thornton- rhythm guitar and singer

Our first dance was at the American Legion Hall in Mart in late 1966. The band played there on four or five occasions. 
The band played at three different Battle of the Bands in Waco, the first at the Waco Raleigh hotel (Sponsored by Chuck Harding). The others, at the Heart of Texas Exhibit Hall in 1967 and 1968.  I believe that one time it was even broadcast on KBGO radio.



The band played at high school dances in Mart, Marlin, Riesel, China Spring, Groesbeck and Connally. We also played at a Baylor fraternity party out at Lake Waco. On  New Year’s Eve 1969  we played at the “Spot”. We played at the grand opening of Shakey’s Pizza Parlor on Valley Mills Drive. We also played private parties all over central Texas. Twice the band appeared on KCEN-Channel 6 on a show called "Tuff Enough". The band was hired to open a new club called Buddie's Teen Club on the New Dallas Highway, we played Friday, Saturday and Sunday for the opening.

One of the most memorable nights was at the Dr. Pepper stage at the Heart of Texas Fair Grounds, 1969. We were asked to play a one hour set.  When we started playing the crowd was light but grew to hundreds with people dancing on the concrete floor. The police tried to stop the dancing but gave up and left.  The band booked three dances that night, one for MCC and two for TSTI. It was a night when everything came together, the band had a perfect night...




The band last played in Marlin for a homecoming dance in November 1970.  The reason for the break-up was the draft and Vietnam war.  Ronnie's draft number was like number 8 so he joined the Texas National Guard and graduated from A & M.  Danny joined the Army, went to Nam and was a gunner on a helicopter. Joe Wayne joined the Army and went overseas to Germany. Gary joined the Air Force and was a member of the Air Force band. The rest of us finished college, married and got jobs.

The band gave us all some wonderful memories. When at class reunions, we talk about all the good times we experienced as a band. The Wullabies never recorded a record, which we regret but at the time, we were just having fun. The only recording we have is from a reel to reel recorder of a practice session in the living room of Ronnie’s home (Just one song).  The quality is poor and there was no PA so the singer had to just scream to be heard over the loud music.   As for pictures of the band, there are a few. They were taken by Jo Lynn Cooper of Marlin, who was one of our school  photographers for the class annual.  Pictures were taken at the American Legion Hall in Mart and at the Waco Exhibit Hall (Battle of the Bands in the spring of 1967).    



    

Bill, Ronnie, Shelton and Stewart would get together for another band in 1985 and played till 1993 as a country/ rock band named Reunion."

This just in! An open room reel to reel recording from 1969 of the Wullabies rehearsing a version of "In A Gadda Da Vida."

Listen to it!