Wednesday, August 31, 2016

The Trochais

line up:

Tommy Akeroyd - Rhythm Guitar
Dan Akeroyd - Bass Guitar
Francis Akeroyd - Lead Guitar/Vocals
Ronnie McAneer - Drums

The Trochais at a HS talent show, joined by occasional percussionist Greg Chesser.

The Trochais were a family band started circa 1965 at McCollum High School in the south side of San Antonio, TX.

Oldest brother Francis Akeroyd was a self-educated guitarist who taught his brother Tommy to play rhythm guitar, and his brother Dan to play bass guitar.
The trio were originally joined by drummer Bobby Cole, whose stint with the band was cut short when he sadly died at a very young age in a motorcycle accident.
One day at the Akeroyd boys aunts house, she mentioned to them that one of her friends had a son named Ronnie who could play drums.
Ronnie McAneer was first chair drummer in his school band at Lee High School, and made an excellent addition to the group.
The name of the band was derived from a meter in poetic verse that Francis was studying at the time in high school.

Starting off with performing at the typical high school dances, The Trochais quickly graduated up to playing at ever popular local teen club the Teen Canteen, and the south side's own version: Teen Town.

One day Francis got a call from a man named EJ Henke who asked if the band would perform for a few hours out front of his record shop on Military Drive in exchange for the chance to record at Jeff Smith's Texas Sound Studio.
At one point, EJ ran outside while the band was playing and asked what song they were playing. Henke insisted they record the song, and original written by Francis called "Give Me An Answer".
In addition to the latter song, EJ suggested they record an instrumental song and call it The Phantom in order to beat the production of a Hollywood movie of the same name that was to be released soon.
The idea was that the movie production would somehow be forced to license the recording for use in the movie since it already used the movies name.
Francis quickly came up with a song to fit the bill, a nice moody surf rock guitar instrumental.
The movie was never to see release, but the recording of the The Trochais first and only 45 proceeded. On January 12, 1966, Satin Records 004 was mastered for release.

"Give Me An Answer"


The boys once got a gig playing a "Band Bust" sponsored by local music store Caldwell Music where the music shop provided the bands with all the gear on loan to perform with. Celebrated KONO radio DJ Don Couser was the guest announcer and host of the event. Francis was already well acquainted with Don from his time as a regular guest dancer on popular teen TV dance show Swingtime. During the Trochais set, Dan pulled a stunt where he swung the bass back and forth between his right and left hand while playing, and this apparently drove the crowd into a frenzy!

By late summer of 1967, Ronnie went off to college and brothers Dan and Francis enrolled into the Navy. Like many teen groups during the period, the end of high school marked the end for the band.

Thanks to Francis and Tom Akeroyd for sharing their memories, and for use of the band photos!