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!