Tuesday, October 7, 2014

We Continue To Remember Paul Revere

He touched so many of our lives ...   

So it's really no surprise that the testimonials continue to pour in ...   

Here are just a few more that we received since Sunday ...

So sad to hear that Paul Revere has died ... glad we saw him when we did. 

FH Reader Jack Levin sent in this vintage WCFL Survey where Paul was interviewed about a series of upcoming shows here in Chicago ...

FH Reader Frank B also sent us this early history of Paul Revere and the Raiders courtesy of Gardena Records, where they cut their first sides back in 1961.  
Click here: Gardena Records launches Paul Revere and the Raiders | South Bay History     

When Paul Revere and the Raiders first started to make a name for themselves, it was as an instrumental band.  This one ("Like Long Hair", #38 in 1961 ... but #4 here in Chicago) really showed off Paul's talents at the keyboards.  (Check out Burton Cummings' comment below ... ANOTHER keyboard great who was truly inspired by Paul's early offering.) Fittingly, I heard all kinds of Paul Revere and the Raiders music on the radio on Monday ... but isn't it a shame that an artist has to check out these days just to get the airplay they deserve???  (kk)

My fave Raiders song is "Let Me" ... not one of their bigger hits.  Found the long version on YouTube.  Heart goes out to his family and friends.  Later. 
Ed Pond  
"Let Me" was a pretty decent-sized hit ... nationally it went to #14 ... and here it Chicago, it climbed all the way to #4.  A GREAT Mark Lindsay screamer ... especially there at the end!  (kk) 

Paul Revere was born here in Nebraska, but lived here only a short time as a child.  His music has ALWAYS been a big part of my life since 1965.  I have seldom been happier about my name appearing in a CD booklet than the ones with the Raiders.  Hit energy on par with the DC5, but with the USA angle this time!  Just as Paul yelled out "The British are coming!" he came along to save American rock 'n roll!  Paul, I know you will not rest in peace because there's just so too much rock 'n roll in you, so just rock in eternity!
Wouldn't it be nice if Mark Lindsay came back to front Paul Revere's Raiders?  What a great way to continue to band and preserve the legacy.
A nice gesture and quite fitting in the spirit in which it was intended ... but probably not real likely at this point.  Mark's doing just fine on his own right now ... and returns to the Happy Together line-up again in 2015.  (kk)

I was deeply saddened to hear the news about the passing of my old, and dear friend, Paul Revere, although we knew he had an uphill battle. He was not 'just another good one,' he was truly a 'great one.' An innovator, a showman, an entrepreneur, and certainly one more than deserving of being inducted into the Rock & Roll HOF. I have so  many great memories of our many shows and visits together. I'm still stunned by the news.
Fred Vail / Treasure Isle Recorders
Nashville / Music City, USA   

Rather than "Indian Reservation" -- a record Paul Revere was NOT on as it was actually cut with studio musicians as a Mark Lindsay solo single -- I think the best tribute track to the leader of the Raiders would be "The Legend of Paul Revere," which was originally issued in 1967 as the B side of "Him or Me."  BTW, if the closing notes of "Indian Reservation" sound like the tail end of Janis Ian's "Society's Child," it's because the same studio player Janis featured repeated those same notes to close out Mark Lindsay's record. 
Anyway, after Paul heard Mark's recording of "Indian Reservation," he begged Mark to let the single be credited to The Raiders instead -- as Paul's group had not had a major hit for a while.  Once Mark agreed, Paul got on his motorcycle and criss-crossed the country, stopping at every radio station he came across in sort of a one-man promotional campaign to turn "Indian Reservation" into a million-seller.  Obviously it worked -- the single did go gold and reached #1.
Paul Revere & the Raiders were inducted into the Hit Parade Hall of Fame in 2010.   Should they also be inducted into the Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Fame?   Without question.  Will they be?  Well, like a lot of other acts the R&RHOF has shoved aside over the years in favor of some truly dubious choices, only time will tell.  
Gary Theroux

I went with the live "Indian Reservation" track (it was sent in by FH Reader Frank B, a regular contributor) because of the lead in to the song ... it shows just how sharp Paul Revere was, live on stage, a short two years ago.  He was amazing to talk to ... and on stage orchestrated one of the tightest, face-paced shows I've ever seen ... rock and roll or otherwise.  He truly loved doing what he did ... and bringing joy to the fans ... their love kept him going until he simply couldn't go on anymore.  I looked forward to seeing The Raiders every time they hit town.  We'll miss him. 
"The Legend Of Paul Revere" earned quite a few votes in our Favorite, Forgotten B-Sides Poll a few years ago.  When it was included on their first Greatest Hits album, it became one of MY favorites, too ... a great trip down memory lane. 
Revere was already a successful businessman before he pursued his rock and roll dreams.  He owned a couple of restaurants and really did meet Mark Lindsay this way ... Lindsay worked for the bakery that delivered the buns to one of Paul's hamburger joints!  (Thus "the bun boy" in song.)
Their earliest singles were instrumentals!  Lindsay was the band's sax player in the earlier years.  Who knew he would later step out front and offer the world one of the most distinctive voices in rock and roll?!?!
After Revere got drafted it looked like it spelled the end of the band ... but instead, once he got back home he recruited all new players, put Lindsay out front on lead vocals and the hits just kept on coming.  His partnership with Dick Clark spawned a lifetime friendship.  Revere never stopped performing, no matter how big (or how small) the venue.  They took up residency in Branson, Missouri, for years, performing at Clark's American Bandstand Theater ... and only recently starting touring again.  (For ages, if you wanted to see Paul Revere and the Raiders, you had to go to THEM ... limited life on the road and their annual cruise ship performances was a Godsend to fans who otherwise may have never had the chance to experience their magic live on stage.)  We will truly miss him.  (kk) 

The Paul Revere and the Raiders Facebook Page had a ton of celebrity posting after word of his passing got out ... here are just a few ...   

He was my hero, and he showed me something as I watched him as a kid ... that a piano player could have a band! Paul went out the way we all should, gigging 'till the very end."
-- Paul Shaffer | Late Show with David Letterman  

Rest in eternal peace, dear friend.  Thank you for your good work for our veterans.
-- Nancy Sinatra 

Just found out music legend Paul Revere of Paul Revere and the Raiders died.  He was a big inspiration and I'm glad I got to tell him.
-- Dee Snider  

Paul Revere ... Rest in peace ... he was 76.
I first heard Paul Revere and the Raiders on Winnipeg radio in 1960 ... it was a rockin' piano instrumental called "Like Long Hair" ... it began with Rachmaninoff's famous intro and then took off ... I never forgot it. I was eleven, and that instrumental single REALLY made me want to cut records. Through the years, I've worked several times on the same shows as the Raiders ... they were the biggest group in the U.S. for a period of time in the Sixties. Songs like "Just Like Me", "Kicks", "Hungry" "Him Or Me, What's it Gonna Be", "Good Thing", and at least a dozen others are permanently etched in millions of memory banks.
Rest in peace, Paul ... you really left your mark. 
Burton Cummings   

We lost Paul Revere -- musician, clown, businessman, star and inspiration today.  He was Uncle Paul, Captain of the Ship.  Millions mourn today. 
-- Howard Kaylan 

RIP, Paul Revere - with the Raiders, a slew of classic hits and great showmen.  A lovely guy who rocked to the end.  Play on. 
-- Paul Stanley  

Our hearts are broken - ...
Paul Revere was a great man and an incredibly gifted performer! He was my "on stage" soul mate. I'm so glad I went through my musical life with Paul.
I could say a million things. Most importantly, are the incredible times Paula and I spent with Paul and Sydney.
Our thoughts and prayers go out to the family.
Rest in peace Paul... You are going to need it when you meet up with my brother and partner Bobby.

-- Bill Medley
(EDITOR'S NOTE:  Bill's son Darrin was the lead vocalist for Paul Revere and the Raiders for a short while in the early 2000's ... in fact, that was him singing "Indian Reservation" in the clip we ran the other day- kk) 

As I am sure you all know by now, my dear friend Paul Revere passed away on Saturday. Josette and I send our condolences, along with our thoughts and prayers to Sydney and all the family. Paul was a good friend, great guy, and a fabulous entertainer. The happiness, love, and joy he brought to all the fans of The Raiders will always be remembered. His friendship from the beginning when we first met on Dick Clarks "Where The Action Is," never waned through all these years. Paul, you are a class act and I am proud to call you my friend. I know you are rock'n with all the greats in heaven now ... so rock on my friend, We love you.
God bless you.
Your bud,
Tommy Roe  

I got a “Did you hear?” text from one of my co-workers this morning, Kent -- and it really hit me how quickly the Raiders / Colony half century of close-up and long distance connections flew by and now officially have come to an end.  It’s almost incomprehensible that less than six months ago ... April 13th ... Paul and I were chatting about the times the two bands (I’d have said our two bands, but I’m clearly not a New Colony Six cornerstone …) shared living quarters in L.A., which he remembered.  While one could tell then that his body was sending unspoken signals … “Fragile – handle with care!”, his mind remained sharp as a tack, recalling the two-flat hotel space Paul Revere and the Raiders and the New Colony Six occupied 50 years ago.  We shared laughter, a handshake and a hug – so glad I got the chance to wish him well and take a common stage again.  I’ll avoid mundane meanderings about life and death, kk; Paul was too exceptional.  It was an honor to have known the man and a blessing to have worked with the showman.  
Ray Graffia, Jr.

For six decades all he did was make people smile. So long, Paul ... I'm blessed that this past summer I met with you, Kent, and our mutual buddy, Ray Graffia at Ronnie Onesti's Arcada at a show the Raiders headlined. The chance to meet Paul Revere fulfilled a long time ambition.  He was a remarkably special man who dared to make people smile. The road was his office.
No, he was not John and Paul or Mick and Keith. He was simply a man who knew what Joe Fan wanted. We don't hear the Raiders often enough on classic radio. In the 60's, they were America's answer to the Beatles.
Chet Coppock 

Arcada Photographer Luciano Bilotti sent me some photos from Paul's show last April at The Arcada Theatre ... to the best of my knowledge, these have never been published before ... so it is a thrill and an honor to be able to share them with you today.

Our buddy Tommy Scheckel, drummer for Paul Revere and the Raiders, posted this heart-felt message on Sunday:  

Over the years Paul and I have written many eulogies and dedications together. Paul would call me up and say, "I've heard some bad news and we need to write something special for my good friend _____. Can you help me dot some i's and cross some t's?" Paul would tell me all about his relationship with the person, his feelings about him and share some personal stories. I'd help him fashion his statement and release it to the world. I got to know a lot about Paul and his feelings about others this way. His kindness, insight and generosity towards people was a life lesson. 
Writing this is one of the hardest things I've ever had to do in my life, and I keep asking Paul for help. I hope he's helping, I would never want to disappoint him. I need to talk to him right now. I could call Paul up any time of the day and have a great conversation about anything and everything. He was so great to just sit around and talk to. Some of my best memories are sitting in rocking chairs in Branson, the Bahamas and on a boat going down the Ohio river. Just talking for hours. 
Paul Revere was not only my boss, he was a wonderful, very dear friend, and one of the most unique, fun and special people I've ever known. I've never met anyone who loved life like Paul did, and I've never met anyone who lived for performing like Paul did. 
When the doctors told him he was sick he said, "I can't be, I'm booked!!" He continued to perform, despite all sorts of challenges and discomfort. He never, ever complained and spent vast amounts of money just to be able to make each show. 
Paul often said he was going to live forever, and perform until he was 100, and I believed him. Anyone who knew Paul wouldn't have any doubts. Even though Paul has almost 20 years on me, I always thought he'd outlive me by a long shot. And I'm serious. 
Every moment on stage with Paul was unique, full of energy and fun. And I mean every single performance, bar none. Paul liked things loose and free form, yet there was a formality to each show because we had paying customers who deserved the very best we could deliver. We walked a broad line between chaos and slick professionalism, with the final goal being a top notch show of the highest caliber. Every show was an event to be taken seriously, but with a "throw all caution to the wind and lets see where it takes us" attitude that made it a bit of a high wire act. 
Backstage was a special experience too. He always made us feel talented and special, as if he were the one lucky to be performing with us. He always used his pet names for us while we got ready, which made us feel all the more close to him. While he was always very relaxed and fun, Paul had a nervous energy as well that showed how much he cared. Always the first to arrive for a show, he prepared everything, from his personal set list to his uniform, with fastidious care. 
His personal set list would include all of the songs along with his own hieroglyphics containing notes about comedy bits he wanted to do. Once, when I was looking for something in his garage, I kept coming across old set lists. I told him about it. "Paul, you've got 50 set lists out there and they're all exactly the same!" He said, "Seemingly, to the untrained eye. There are subtle differences in each and every one, depending on my mood." To be honest, I really think they were each identical. But that didn't mean any two shows were alike. Never. Each show was unique and special. 
In the wings in the minutes before we'd hit the stage Paul always made us feel like every show was the biggest performance of our careers. And we always knew we were going to have a blast, and kill the crowd. We knew that Paul was going to surprise us, and surprise himself. I was always so proud to share the stage with the amazing Paul Revere. 
We have to put Paul to rest, and it's one of the hardest things we'll ever have to do. All of this, it doesn't seem real, it can't be. But it is. 
There may be a better example of an outstanding human living on this planet today, but I've never met him or her. He's the best there is. I love him so much and miss him so terribly already. 
I'll see you soon Paul. Thank you for everything, you've enriched my life beyond words.  
Tom Tom  

Tommy also sent some photos from his personal collection ...

And here's a great shot of Tommy and Paul!

Thanks, Tommy ... We miss ya, Paul!

For the past year one of my ringtones has been the opening notes of "Good Thing", their Top Five smash from early 1967 ... or, as Paul described it, "the five greatest notes in rock and roll."  Always loved this song ... but it was a little bit sad this weekend every time the phone rang.

Another Forgotten Hits Favorite (also from 1967 ... of course ... my favorite year in music EVER!) would be this one.  "I Had A Dream" climbed as high as #13 ... but you NEVER hear this one on the radio.  This ... and its B-Side "Upon Your Leaving" is probably one of my favorite 45's of all time.

Another obscure ... but legitimate ... hit would have to be "The Great Airplane Strike", #19 in 1966.  When's the last time you heard THIS one!!!