Monday, September 28, 2009

Steppin' Out

OK, I was late in discovering this news, but I am truly sorry to hear about the passing of Drake Levin. As lead guitarist for Paul Revere & the Raiders, he put his stamp on some of my favorite records that weren't by the Beatles when I was 9 or 10.

Vivid memory coming back: One night sometime in the late 80s or early 90s (I'd better start writing this stuff down now before my memory goes completely...Jeezus!) X-tal had just finished a set at the I-Beam on Haight St. As we were loading out I noticed the marquee across the street: Drake Levin was playing the Full Moon Saloon. Wow, I thought, it has to be the same guy. Should I go? Nah.

I've regretted not crossing the street that night for a long time.

Synchronized dance steps and Vox Teardrop guitars...those were different times. When my childhood friend and fellow Paul Revere & The Raiders fan George Galvas guested on the Content Providers' "How I Spent The Dark Ages", he brought along a Vox Teardrop bass AND 12-string guitar. (We refrained from breaking out the dance steps, however.) The lovely wall of sound on that track is the result.

UPDATE PT. XXX: OK, so in the sober light of day, I see that Mr. Levin is actually playing some sort of lovely double-neck job. It was bassist Phil "Fang" Volk who rocked the Teardrop. Still, Fang's Teardrop bass (which he would periodically flip around to show his nickname painted on the back---this was a band who loved their shtick) has forever been imprinted on my mind as the definitive "Raiders guitar". What's odd is that a group who were on TV so much have so little footage available on YouTube. Come on, Dick Clark, cough it up.


Substance McGravitas said...

Jeez, that's a pretty dirty video. Dunno much about Paul Revere etc. so thanks.

J Neo Marvin said...

Dirty in the "grainy and dodgy editing" sense or the "hot sexy go-go girls" sense?

To "get" PR&theR's, think "gritty Northwest garage band goes Hollywood and cuts a pile of brilliant singles with Terry Melcher that sound like early Rolling Stones if they had been produced by Brian Wilson". Inconsistent, and their later stuff is pretty kitsch, but they sure did hit some peaks in their prime.

Substance McGravitas said...

The hot sexy go-go girls sense. Positively lascivious. And the song was pretty good and kinda wild.

IanSchultz said...

I think Mitzi actually saw Paul Revere & the Raiders in like 72 at some county fair in Kentucky but you would have to ask for to confirm that.

J Neo Marvin said...

At that point, they were almost a different band, and their big hit was that melodramatic "Cherokee People" song. But I bet it was a fun gig, especially for Kentucky in 1972.

Davis Jones said...

Wow! Memories. Those go-go girls really can move! Great dancers.

What a fun experience,to have danced for bands in the background, and you are so hot, they can't keep their eyes off of you!

Who are these women? Where are they now? I would love to interview them and see how they are doing with all the transitions that have taken place since then. Would be great to hear their point of view.

Now people who were erotic and on the edge then have been ruined, or threatened into mouse behavior for greed and money. Almost everyone belongs to a church, not because they believe in it, but for herd behavior. Power exists in herds. Got something in common with your fellow people? Create a herd and make something happen, but make it good for the public interest for a change.

Like this film does! It lightens us up and inspires us! Thanks for sharing it, Neo.
In my not so humble opinion.

J Neo Marvin said...

That's all true for sure. But also there's another factor, which is that girls in the 60s were definitely not encouraged to pick up electric guitars and start up their own bands, so doing all those cool dances was pretty much the only available way to participate in the rock & roll zeitgeist, with rare exceptions.

Davis Jones said...

You know, I never thought of that, but that is so true. Another thing to thank the punk movement for, huh?

We are going to see the Raincoats soon! I can't wait.