Monday, December 28, 2015

The Aggressors/The Band Ayd

The Aggressors were a teen band from the south side of San Antonio. The band featured two brothers, Steve and John Caroll. Their father, John Caroll Sr, ran one of the prominent 1960's teen clubs in town: Teen Town.
Essentially the south side's equivalent to the ever popular Teen Canteen ran by Sam Kinsey.
I conducted an email interview with Steve this year, and here are the results, complete with scans and audio clips from Steve's archives:

The Aggressors circa 1966 at Teen Town

The band members were (in order from L to R according to photo above):
Tommy Biggers - Guitar
John Caroll - Bass
Bunky Yates - Drums
Bobby Laxson - Guitar/Vocals
Steve Caroll - Guitar

Q: What got you interested in playing music and when did you first begin to play?

A: When I first heard The Beatles on the radio.

Q: Did you play in any bands before the Aggressors?

A: Yes, Two other close friends whom were class mates in the 7th grade wanted to start a band. David Hall played rhythm, Mike Lozano played the drums and I played lead guitar. We played some school functions and a couple of talent shows. We did not have a name and it was short lived but a great experience. 

The second no name band was Bunky Yates on drums, David Hall on Rhythm Guitar, John Caroll on bass, and Steve Caroll on lead guitar.

Q: How did the Aggressors come together as a band?

The 2nd band was a group my brother was playing with that was just jamming trying get some songs together. They all went to Highlands High School (11th grade) and I was at Hot Wells Jr. High ( 8th grade).  They really did not have a lead guitar player so the rhythm guitar player was doing his best. So my brother asked me to try out for their group and I got the spot. That was when the Aggressors came to be. It consisted of John Caroll (Bass), Tommy Biggers (rhythm), Bobby Laxson( Rhythm guitar and lead singer), Lewis Yates (Drummer), and me on Lead guitar. Lewis was in the same grade as I but he went to a Catholic school. We best friends. A year later Tommy dropped out. and we picked up Ricky Jones on Keyboard. Ricky was in Jr High then I believe at Rogers Jr High.

Q: What was your fathers role in helping the band? How did he come to start operating Teen Town?

A: My father (John G Caroll) was Detective on the San Antonio Police Department. He always supported John and I with our music. He managed our band. We lived on the South side of San Antonio. Teen Canteen was on the North side and my Dad wanted the kids on the South side have a place to go to. We played all over the place including Teen Canteen. My Mother had her first case of cancer at that same time and the doctor told my Dad that if she could make through the next five years she most likely would survive which did not happen much back in that time. So my Father and my Mother (Bonnie J Caroll ) John G Caroll  were there every Friday and Saturday night for over four years. All the kids respected and loved my parents for all they did. They made sure it was a safe and clean environment for everyone. My Mother passed away 2014 after 45 years of cancer having  3 major cancers. She was my heart beat. I miss her so much.

Front entrance of Teen Town

Q: How often did your band play at Teen Town? Any notable experiences about playing there?

A: We played at Teen Town once a month, every now and then twice.  We played out a lot. There was a lot of good plans out  at that time and he had no problem getting a lot of good bands to play. We made a lot of new friends, played for a lot of people we knew in all the surroung schools and got to meet some really cool bands.

The Aggressors from crowd perspective at Teen Town 1966
Another crowd shot at Teen Town

Q: What were some of your favorite bands you saw perform at Teen Town?

A: I had a lot of favorite bands. The Chains, The Outcasts, The Cave Dwellers, The Spydels, Bubble Puppy, Texas Tornadoes, Zakary Thaks...

Q: What were some other venues or towns you guys would perform at?

A: The Cave in San Marcos, Holiday Inn at Lake McQueeney Tx, Randolph Air Force Base, College Fraternities in Austin, Devine, Carrizo Spring Texas Dance Hall...

The Aggressors at Lake McQueeny with DJ Ricci Ware on stage

Q: How and when did the band decide to make the 45 record? Any memorable experiences about recording it?

A: It was a lot of fun going to record at the studio. Swing Time was a TV dance show here in San Antonio was like a Texas American Band Stand. Not quite as popular. Mel Adcock wanted us have a record out since we were one of her featured bands.

Q: Do you recall how many copies were pressed and how you distributed it?

A: I guess around 250 copies (pressed) and recorded at Alamo Audio studio.

"Something Else"

"Just A Little"

Q: Did the record get any local radio airplay?

A: KTSA played our record.

Q: When did the band decide to change its name to The Band Ayd and why?

A: When Terrell O'Neil became our lead singer andwe opened for the Eric Burden & The Animals show. The guys in the band wanted a new name. For what reason I didn't have a clue.

Cool double exposure photo of The Band Ayd circa 1967

Q: What were some notable shows you guys played?

A: Two shows. Eric Burden And The Animals, The Playboys of Edinburg.

Original ticket for the Animals concert. With The Band Ayd, The Kaleidoscope, Neal Ford & The Fanatics, and The Moving Sidewalks! What a line up! October 11, 1967 at Municipal Auditorium.

Q: When and why did Teen Town close?

A: Western Music was becoming the big thing and people were going to the western dances out (in the country outside San Antonio) at St Hedwig, TX.

Q: When did The Band Ayd call it quits?

A: End of 1969, we went off to college.

Q: What were some of the musical projects you pursued after these bands?

A: Played in The Wheat Straw Band, Ricky Jones (keyboard), Bobby Laxson (guitar), Lewis "Bunky" Yates (drums), David Martin (vocals), and Steve Caroll (lead guitar). It lasted one year.

Started up the Old Aggressors again around 1980 (as an oldies cover band).

Started The Road Closed Band in 1985, which lasted for 5 years. We opened for Brooks & Dunn at the Western Gala, performed several times at the Budweiser tent at the San Antonio rodeo. Played weddings, dances, and corporate events.

Cool Band Ayds photo that the boys named their later band after...
Many thanks to Steve Caroll for all his help and sharing his memories and wonderful memorabilia!

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Larry Wilson & The Continentals

I was recently very excited to discover that there was a rock n roll group who recorded a record in the 60's from La Grange, TX. I spent a lot of time in La Grange throughout my life as I was raised in Smithville, the neighboring small town just to the West on Highway 71.

I was able to locate singer and band leader Larry Wilson and he sent me a brief bio on the band via email.

This is Larry Wilson singer for the Continentals from their origination in early 1961 until December 31, 1969, at midnight. I was the leader of the band. 
We formed in 1961 with Jack Dyer (Guitar), Don Mayer (sax), Butch Schults (drums), Billy Von Rosenbery (guitar) and Jerry Jacobs (bass).   Our first paying job was the National Guard Armory in Brenham and we all wanted to quit school and play because we had never made that much money in 4 hours.  
We played at the KTSA Bunny Hop in San Antonio which was a 3 day non stop event. We eventually grew through the years to where we had 10 players in all with a 4 horn section and did a lot of soul music. We kicked off for Roy Orbinson at Simonton, Texas, about 1964, and kicked off for Percy Sledge in 1967 at Sam Houston State.   

We recorded 3 records for Huey P. Meaux with little success.  Our third record was Pick Hit of The Week on the big triangle (Beaumont, Orange and Port Arthur). I did a promo announcing that Paul Revere and the Raiders were coming to town. The DJs called wanting more promo records. Our record producers had an argument and split up and I could not get the promo records to distribute. 

I also remember with my second record producer driving from radio station to radio station around southeast Texas. We would introduce me and give the DJ a record with a $20.00 bill it.  By the time we got to the car our record was playing. Could have been the last time it played there but it got play.  
Our last record was #10 in north central Texas.

"All Of Your Love"
"Ive Got It"

We had several battle dances with Roy Head and the Traits and B.J. Thomas and the Triumphs through the years.  Each year we played a battle dance with a group called the Rockets (a western group) at the Salt Grass Ride Kick Off in Brenham to about 3500 people. 

We eventually got so good that there was no place for us to go but on tour and that was not possible since several of us were married and I was expecting my first child.  
We played all the country halls in those days that would pack in the kids.  We played Artesian Park, Nelsonville, Bleiberville, Coushatti (Bellville),  KC Hall in Sealy, Hempstead Fair Grounds, LaGrange Fair grounds, Dimebox, Hillje,  Taiton, Gay Hill, Prairie Hill, and numerous other halls. We mostly played in areas that had a general store and a dance hall. We would generally draw 350-500 people. We also played numerous private parties and proms.   
With time the music business business became more and more work.  We decided in late 1969 that December 31, 1969, would be our last dance which was at Hillje Hall outside El Campo.  We had a great final payday and called it quits. 

I sold all of my equipment so I would not have the urge to get back in the business.  Several of my final members have went on to play in other bands since we disbanded but none had the success of the Continentals. My wall on my law office is filled with Continental pictures and posters.   
I still sing rock and roll at several oprys. I used to sing regularly at Liberty Opry but have not performed there for about 3 years now. I perform at Hometown Opry twice a year in Pasadena at their Oldies Shows. I do 60s and 70s songs.  
I was personally on a Huey P. Meaux  3 town tour in 1965 with Bobby Blue Bland, Ray Stevens, Vicki Vaughn, Sonny and the Sunliners, T.K. Hulin and the Jokers (from Palacios) as the house band.  This is probably my most memorable event. 

Thanks to Larry Wilson and to D. Saunders for the Continentals poster.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

The Avengers

Line Up:
Jim Wilson - Lead Guitar
Charlie Henley - Drums
Alan Avery - Bass
Brent Guardhouse - Keys (not on the bands record)
Scott Morris - Rhythm Guitar       replaced by:
Ronnie Blank - Rhythm Guitar (on the bands record)    later replaced by:
Mark Waldrop - Rhythm Guitar

The Avengers goofing around in Jim Wilsons new car...

The Avengers were formed in early 1965 by a group of MacArthur High School freshmen in San Antonio, TX.
Band member Alan Avery had been inspired to learn to play guitar after going to see The Beatles movie "A Hard Day's Night." He was stunned by the fact that he couldn't hear the movie over the sound of girls screaming during the films screening! After placing a request with his father for a guitar, he received an Airline electric guitar the following Christmas.

The band came together quite organically, as the members had all known each other since Jr High.
They played their first show together for a crowd of 1000 people at an early location for the famous teen club, the Teen Canteen, at the time simply located inside the Wonderland shopping mall.
Subsequent gigs included stops at Lackland and Brooks Air Force Base in San Antonio, Ft Sam Teen Club, the Purple Onion A-Go-Go in Kenedy, TX, Holiday Inn at Lake McQueeny, Teen clubs in Seguin, New Braunfels, and Columbus, and even a girls graduation party on a ranch in Crystal City, TX.

The Avengers 1st show at an early Teen Canteen incarnation...

The Avengers also got to perform live on popular local TV show Swing Time, which was produced and directed by Mel Adcock and hosted by popular KTSA disc jockey Bruce Hathaway. Alan was working at the set of the show during that period working security at the front door. He had also played Santa for a taping of the annual Christmas show for the Mission Road Children Home.

The Avengers performing a KTSA radio event

In early 1966, Alan borrowed $135 from his grandmother to pay for studio time to record their lone 45 single. The dead wax at the end of the grooves on the record has a Texas Sound Studios code which indicates that the record was pressed on January 14th, 1966.
He recalls that they pressed up around 100 or 200 copies of the record.

One side is an edgy (and largely unknown) driving garage punker with unison vocals, and the flip a mid tempo ballad based around a reverb-y jangle pop guitar riff.

"Some Day"

"Our Love Was Real"

By mid 66, the group underwent line up changes and decided to change their name to The Other 1/2.

The Other 1/2 posing in Alan's parents pool

Their line up consisted of:

Scott Morris - Lead Guitar
Alan Avery - Bass
Mark Waldrop - Rhythm Guitar
Mike Button - Lead Singer
Jerry Pollock - Drums

The Other 1/2 at a teen club in New Braunfels (possibly The Freak Out)

The Other 1/2 in psychedelic outfits at south side SA club Teen Town

This group parted ways sometime in 1967 and Alan continued to play in bands such as The Brass Rail and Milkwood.

Formed around 1970, the line up of Milkwood was:

Bob Rountree - Lead Guitar
Charlie Henley - Drums
Alan Avery - Bass
Mark Waldrop - Rhythm Guitar/Lead Vocals
Go-Go Gomez - Organ

Milkwood opening for Wink Kelso at the Pusi-Kat (a groovy place for groovy people) in San Antonio

Many thanks to Alan Avery for all his help!

Friday, March 13, 2015

The Islanders

The Islanders were a band from San Benito, TX who made one fantastic dreamy surf flavored garage 45 back in the mid 60's.
I was recently able to do a short Q & A style interview with original band member Jack Morgan, and here are the results:

The band members were:

Creep Gosser - Singer/Rhythm Guitar
Jack Morgan - Lead Guitar
Kenneth Greer - Drums
Ray Lynch - Bass
Terry Kaufmann - Percussion

Q: How and when did The Islanders come together as a band? 

A: We came together as mutual friends and a common interest. To make music! I think we got together in 1964. '64 to '65 were the "formative" learning years, I guess, practicing almost daily after school. My mom used to teach kindergarten and had a small frame building built in our back yard as a classroom. She had gone back to regular teaching at this time and we took over what we used to call "the garden" as our practice hall. We started out our first gigs solely instrumental playing surf music and Ventures type stuff. We played some high school banquets for for starters and a sock hop or 2, as they were still called. I guess we came to realize our rhythm player could sing and we started covering Beatles, Kinks, Stones and the like. We didn't have time to develop much original music as we ended sometime in 67 due to the Vietnam war and the draft as two of the guys had to go in the service.

Q: What were some local venues the band would frequently perform at?

A: High school sock hops, Saturday night dance at the skating rink in San Benito. We used to have impromptu dances at South Padre where we would just set up and play at what was the public picnic area at the time. I kinda think we were among the first, if not the first to do such a thing down there. My folks had a permanent trailer down there at "The Point" and we spent a lot of time there. Hence the name of the band I suppose. Shortly after that the county built an event center that was called the Pavilion which is still in use I think. We would then rent that place out about once a month an have dances. We would do trade out with radio station KRIO in which we would play a gig for them occasionally for which they would promote our gigs on the radio.

Q: Did you guys travel much outside of the Valley for shows?

A: Rarely. We played a Catholic school in Corpus Christi once I think... My later bands did some college stuff...

Q: Did the band have a manager? 

A: I guess my parents kinda acted as manager when we started having those dances at the (Padre) Island... They would would look after the door and concession for those. We (kids) got whatever was left after expenses.

Q: How did you guys get hooked up with recording at Phil York's studio in Dallas? What do you remember about the session? 

A: I had a cousin who was friends with Phil York so he hooked us up. It was an exciting experience; a very nice studio. We were self promoting so we just registered a record label and paid for the studio time and a pressing of 500 records.

Q: How many copies did you guys press of the record? Did it get any airplay or local attention?

A: 500 copies... We did get airplay on the only English rock station that was on at the time. I guess this was 1964 or '65. KRIO were the call letters. They would do cross promotions with the local bands, promoting our gigs and/or record. In exchange the radio station would have dances and we would play for them every now and then for free. It was really a win/win for all involved because we would get added exposure from this and we would sometimes open for road bands like Jay & The Americans and The Music Machine. KRIO would have a phone-in "battle of the bands" over the radio and people would phone in and vote on our records. They pitted us against The Playboys of Edinburg one weekend and I guess a bunch of our friends were listening as we did pretty well. The Playboys were very good, very tight and we really admired them but I guess we had kind of a raw appeal. I later became friends with most of them.

"King Of The Surf"

"When I'm With You"

Q: Who were some of the other local bands you remember from San Benito or neighboring towns?

A: The other bands from San Benito that came along shortly after us would be The V.I.P.'s and The Intriguers. One of our contemporaries from Harlingen were the Malabus of which their drummer and I are very good friends to this day.

Q: When and why did the band break up? 

A: I believe we broke up in late 1967 when our singer and drummer got drafted. Viet Nam was getting hot and heavy and was sucking a lot of guys up.

Q: Any other interesting or funny stories to tell about your time in that band?

A: My family lived right across from the San Benito High school football field. We had a small building in the back yard that my mom had built from which she had used to teach kindergarten. She no longer taught any more so we commandeered it as a practice hall. We would usually practice most weeknights and people would park in front of our house both to watch football practice and to listen to us play...

Q: Lastly, did you play with any other bands after The Islanders during the 60's or early 70's?

A: After the guys went into the service I moved to McAllen and was going to college at Pan American. During this time I played with a McAllen group called The Foamy Brine for maybe a couple years. When my guys got out of the service we made an attempt to reform but but I had a night job at the local TV station which I didn't want to quit so that was pretty much the end of that. Kenny, the drummer went on the "Holiday Inn circuit" for several years and Creep, the singer bounced around in various duos and such.

Thanks a ton to Jack Morgan and Terry Kaufmann. Keep a look-out for an upcoming article on Foamy Brine!

Monday, February 23, 2015

Stereo Shoestring

Being that my blog is named after the A side masterpiece of the lone psych-punk 45 by Corpus Christi's Stereo Shoestring, I couldn't possibly betray my obligation to research them and write an in depth piece on the band itself! 
I had the pleasure several years ago of meeting and befriending lead guitarist Jim Howard. 
By a strange twist of fate, I was referred to Jim while interviewing the drummer for a band called St. John's Wood who recorded for the Mark VII label. While on the phone, the ex drummer for this Waco band told me his wife was related to a guy who had also recorded a record down in Corpus which featured a cover of The Zombies "Tell Her No" on one side... NO WAY!
Later on, I also located and spoke with the Shoestrings ex vocalist, John Coco. His memory was foggier so only a few bits from that conversation will be featured here. 

From Left to Right: John Coco, James Noe, Richard Lalor, Steve Schultz, Jim Howard

The band members were:
John Coco - Vocals
Richard Lalor - Guitar
Jim Howard - Guitar
Steve Schultz - Drums
James Noe - Bass

Jim was about 15 or 16 years old when he had been taking lessons from a well known local guitar teacher named Chester Rupe. The teacher eventually caught wind that a new band was seeking a lead guitarist, and suggested that Jim go try out with them. He heeded the advice, and went and met with the band at bass player James Noe's parents garage. Jim was intimidated by the fact that all the other members were about 3 years older than him, out of high school already. Along with his already nimble guitar abilities, Jim was aided by a nifty state-of-the-art fuzz box built for him by a man named Smitty who worked at the Horn Shop music store. It was a similar pedal that Smitty had also famously custom built for local scene kings The Zakary Thaks after they performed with The Yardbirds.

Although he never got a direct confirmation that he made the grade, the band must've been impressed, as they continued to invite him over for the next 3 weeks leading up to their first live engagement.

Shortly before Jim's entrance, singer John Coco had been brought into the fold. John was born in Hawaii and subsequently lived all the US due to his father being in the Navy. Just prior to moving down to Texas, John had been attending college in Wisconsin and spent his spare time singing with various cover bands. He recalls one day in 1966 riding in the car with friends when he heard a song on the radio which completely shook him out of his seat. He waited intently for the DJ to announce who this radical new group was... It turned out to be a little ole group called The 13th Floor Elevators! He knew at this point that he needed to end up in Texas, and that he did just a few months later when his family was relocated to Corpus Christi, TX.

By early 1967 John was enrolled at Del Mar University in the city by the sea. He very quickly found himself a spot during the daily lunch hour sitting at a table with the misfit kids. Several months later, one of those kids asked him if he sang and if he would come and try out to replace their current vocalist.

Within just a few short weeks of settling the line up, the group was to participate in a big battle of the bands event at Memorial Coliseum. The band had only prepared 7 songs by this point and played before a huge audience. To their surprise, they won first place and had to perform another set of songs for an encore... They had no other material worked up, so they just played the exact same 7 songs again!

On the subject of how the band came up with its wild psychedelic name, it came about one day when the guys got together to hash out the tedious task of naming their new project. Jim was staring down at his two shoes and slowly uttered "Stereo.... Shoestring!" The "Stereo" part was dropped after about a year of playing, as they considered this addition to be too lame.

Coco's girlfriend at the time was a young Del Mar student named Vicki Jones, who took on the duty of managing the band and helping them book shows. She was instrumental in landing the group a lot of their live performances and even took on tasks like designing their business card (which featured a neat Warhol-esque logo with a banana). She also was the one to reach out to KEYS radio DJ Gilbert Garcia and request that the band use his English Records label to release "On The Road South."

The band began playing gigs all over town at places such as The Carousel Club, Beach Club, Stardust Rollercade, Our Lady Of Perpetual Help, The Dunes, etc. At one particular performance in Robstown at Motts Steakhouse, the proprietor came up to the band at an intermission and irritatedly pointed at Jim's newfangled effects box and said, "You guys can keep playing, but please don't use that thing anymore!"
On another occasion the band found themselves playing a Methodist church youth dance. The folks in charge kept asking the band to turn down to the point where the guys decided to pull a sarcastic prank on the directors. They unplugged their electric guitars and proceeded to start "House Of The Rising Sun". All you could hear was the planking of the un-amplified strings and the softly tapped drum set. While still playing the song, the guitarists began a march towards the exit as Steve grabbed his high hat stand. They walked out the front door and didn't come back to finish their set!

Indeed the band must have been quite loud, as their bassist and musical genius of the group James Noe was constantly blowing his amps out. Steve was described as one of the best and hardest hitting drummers in town and was also regularly replacing broken drum heads.

The band had an 'equipment manager' and personal mentor by the name of Ashley Johnson.
Ashley's record collecting habit was what indirectly lead the Shoestring to use a riff from an obscure Pretty Things import recording called "Defecting Gray."
That manic fuzz riff lead to the creation of the Shoestring's classic song...

Pre Stereo Shoestring band Clockwork Orange, featuring a young Ashley Johnson on bass, Richard Lalor on guitar, and David Odem (of the family who founded the small town of Odem) on vocals...
Details of the groups first recording session are a bit fuzzy. They remember traveling out to ACA Recording Studio in Houston to record. Jim recalls there being mattresses on each wall to provide sound insulation. He thinks there were only about 3 microphones used to track the whole band live. Once the engineer got the sound dialed in, they nailed their two songs in the first couple takes.

While recording "On The Road South", Jim would keep his volume knob on his guitar down in between each lead guitar line he would play. At one point towards the end, you can hear him accidentally turn up the knob too soon and his amp emits a loud screeching feedback noise which is on the final take. He was terribly embarrassed of the mishap, but the wild noise arguably only added to the frantic beauty of the recording!

That same night, the guys happened to stay at the same hotel that Paul Revere & The Raiders were staying at after their big concert that night. To the Shoestring boys astonishment, they watched as a long line of beautiful women waited in line to be let into the Raiders hotel room...

The band pressed up between 100 to 500 copies of the single. Not surprisingly, folks were not ready for the insane attack of "On The Road South", and the record got little airplay aside from legendary KEYS DJ Charlie Brite playing it a couple times. One interesting note is that, unlike most garage bands who would never perform their originals songs off their records, the Shoestring would usually open their second set with "On The Road South".

"On The Road South"

"Tell Her No"

Not everyone in Corpus was appreciate of the "long hairs" and their rock music during that time...
One night while playing the Stardust Rollercade for a particularly defensive audience, the Shoestring took a break after their first set. Jim went to the use the bathroom and while at one of the stalls, felt a guy tap him on the shoulder. Jim turns his head to face the stranger, and this young cowboy says "I don't like the way you play guitar!" and punches him out cold! His bandmates find him laying on the ground and somehow Jim is able to come to his senses and play rest of their set.

Floyd's Restaurant was a 24 hour establishment which was THE after hours place to eat. All the local rock bands would go there after gigs, including the Thaks, Bad Seeds, Smokestack Production, etc. Leaving the restaurant was often a scary process though, as any late night dinner there was usually accompanied by heckling and threats from the tough cowboy crowd that would usually fill the majority of the establishment.

In mid 1968 the band opened for Austin's Baby Cakes at the Dunes club in Port Aransas. They were completely blown away by this out of town band who had never made a proper recording. That same night, they were introduced to the music of another local band that they would cross paths with, The Children.

Some time later, Jim recalls going to see The Children perform at a private party with his band mates. This was a very exciting night, as the Shoestring boys were all big fans of the band and knew all their songs by heart. The next thing he knew, his band mates were bringing in their gear and he was being informed they were about to play a few songs during the Childrens intermission. They proceeded to blast through their own versions of the 4 songs they knew of the headliners "Rebirth" album, and the Children members all went up the front of the stage and enthusiastically cheered them on!

The Stereo Shoestring also got to perform on Corpus Christi's response to American Bandstand, a TV show called Teen Time. Outraged to hear that they couldn't actually play their song live, they decide to make a mockery of the whole thing and went around the corner to the Horn Shop to borrow a couple cheap guitars with no strings on them. With the price tags hanging off their unstrung instruments, and Steve exaggeratedly swinging his arms out of beat behind his drum set with the song, they taped their performance of "On The Road South"! Boy, don't we all wish this footage was still out there to be seen!

In their later stages, the band moved their rehearsals over to a huge empty cathedral which was offered up by a charitable Episcopal priest named Jim Kilpatrick. The building had been essentially abandoned and Kilpatrick saw its use as a way to reach out the youth. This spot came to be known as The Crossing, and it became a hip hang out spot were several other rock bands would rehearse.
The Shoestring would frequently play for free at dances held there as thanks for use of the building. They would set up in the choir loft and put on a psychedelic light show as the audience would watch from below while they sat on floor, since all the pews had been torn out. The city wasn't happy about this arrangement, and they eventually got the building torn down.

Around this time Jim quit the band, Steve enlisted in the air force, and the band would reform later on as The Red House... Read more on that at the great Garage Hangover website.

Many Thanks to everyone who made this piece possible: Jim Howard, John Coco, Vicki Jones Jackson, Peter Buesnel (for use of the Shoestring band photo and show flier), Erik Carter (for use of record label side B scan), and Garage Hangover (for use of record label side A scan and business card scan). Sound clips coming soon!