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!