Sunday, October 8, 2017

The Little Bits

This post is the first of hopefully many posts on bands from Louisiana. Got a few great entries on the way, so keep checking! 
The Little Bits released one of my favorite pre-teenaged proto punk records from the 1960's on their own Tiger Eye records label. Featuring two brothers and being from the tiny town of Jennings gives them even more cool points!
I was recently in touch with original band member Kim Roy.
Below is an interview we conducted over email regarding those early days in his first band.

The band members were:

Marty Bonin - Keyboards, Vocals
Keith Roy - Drums, Vocals
Kim Roy - Guitar
Tommy Biessenberger - Keyboards

How did you get started playing music?

My father, J. D. Roy was an aspiring recording artist who encouraged my brother and I to play music. 

How and when did The Little Bits come together as a band?

In 1967.  My dad gathered me, my brother Keith and Marty Bonin, the younger brother of an older local band member called Luv Creek, and had a few local musicians teach us songs to play. 

Who were the members and what instruments did they handle? What ages were you at the time?

Kim Roy (9) - guitar 
Keith Roy (12) - vocals & drums 
Marty Bonin (10) - vocals & keys 
Tommy Biessenberger (12) - keys joined approx late 1968

All members from Jennings? What was it like being in a rock band in such a tiny town at that time?
Yes all from Jennings
It was cool to have an income at that age. We drew a lot of attention because we were 4 boys with long blonde hair.  We gigged most weekends at community center dances, festivals, etc. Once at a fraternity party. 

What was your father's role in the band and did he have his own musical history?

He was the band manager/driver/producer/songwriter/booking agent. 
He recorded a few records at Muscle Shoals studio. 

What were some of the bands regular venues to perform at?

The Shadowbox  and The 4th of July Festival - Lake Arthur, LA
Oakdale Drive Inn Theater - Oakdale, LA
Others I only remember the towns, not venues. Elton, Lake Charles, Lacassine, Lafayette

How did the "Girl Give Me Love" 45 come about and what do you recall about recording it?

We recorded it in our home studio, Velvet Ear Productions, which was also used by other recording artists from various towns.  I have little memory of recording it, at 9 years old i would have preferred being outside playing with my friends. Donald Hanks of Luv Creek played lead guitar on Side B, Spoofin 

Who wrote the songs on the record?

J.D. Roy
JD Roy, the brothers' dad strumming his guitar

How was the record received locally? Did it get any airplay or sell well?

I don't remember but we did have a local radio station KJEF that probably played it.

           When and why did the group split up?
We grew up and changed the name to Featherstone and stayed together for a couple of years with that name and fast forward to the 70s my brother and I formed a band called Kingdom. We moved to Houston in 1975 and played locally and toured around the United States for 10 years. I left the band to form a Christian rock band called Wisdom who scored a record deal in California and also toured around the United States for about 5 years. After realizing we could not make a real living playing music we went our separate ways, got real jobs and started families. Kingdom reunited a few years ago with 2 original members and recorded a cd and a video. The video can be seen on youtube. Kingdom Silent Witness.

Many thanks to Kim & Erin Roy for taking the time to answer my questions and sending over some of the photographs I have included....