Friday, May 2, 2008

Introducing Garry Berman

With GARRY's kind permission, we put together this fun little GARRY BERMAN Tribute ... for all you die-hard BEATLES Fans out there!!! Check It Out!!!

(The GARRY BERMAN Edition)


Garry Berman is a lifelong Beatles fan.
He has been a regular contributor to Beatlefan magazine and is the author of
Best of the Britcoms: From Fawlty Towers to Absolutely Fabulous.
He currently lives in Westampton, New Jersey.
"I was born in New Jersey and I make no apologies for it."
He says that he has always been a writer of one sort or another.
"Although I've been fortunate enough to have had two books published,
much of my humorous fiction has, until now, only been seen by the good folks at Kinko's."
He has written four comedy screenplays,
all of which have found a permanent home in his desk drawer
(the last being Roland's Gang,
which won an Honorable Mention in the Writer's Digest Annual Writing Competition).
Comedy has always been one of his passions.
Music has always been an important part of Garry's life
(and the Beatles in particular have always meant the most to him.)
He's a bit of a world traveler.
Travel destinations have included, first and foremost, Great Britain.
He has been to England and / or Scotland a total of seven times
(and even dipped into Wales on one trip.)
Other visits include:
The Netherlands (twice), Switzerland, Italy, Israel, and Puerto Rico (thrice).
Memorable U.S. trips include the states of California, Arizona, and Florida.

Date Of Birth: 4/19/61
Place Of Birth: Paterson, New Jersey
Hair: salt & pepper (better than none at all)
Eyes: two
Height: 5'10" (since 1979)
Weight: a bit more than necessary
Favorite Beatle: can't say!
Favorite Beatle Song: "Strawberry Fields Forever"
Favorite Beatle Album: "Abbey Road"
Favorite Beatles Memory: too many!
Most Treasured Beatles Possession: scrapbook mentioned in my book's intro.
Favorite Food: edible
Favorite Actor: Humphrey Bogart
Favorite Actress: Meryl Streep
Favorite Movie: Local Hero
Favorite Singer: Basia
Favorite Television Series (Current): U.S.: "Desperate Housewives," "ER";
UK: "EastEnders" "Dr. Who"
Favorite Television Series (All-Time): Comedy: " 'Allo, 'Allo!", "Monty Python's Flying Circus" (plus too many Honorable Mentions to honorably mention);
Drama: "The Twilight Zone", "Columbo"
If I Couldn't Be An Author, Then I'd Like To Be: a comedy writer
You Might Be Surprised To Find Out That I: have friends

Kent ~ I had to laugh when I first saw how you (creatively) raided my web site. I think you're one of the few people on Earth who has actually visited it! I'm flattered that you've taken the time and effort to go this extra mile -- well, an extra few hundred yards, anyway. Thanks again! -- Garry Berman

No problem, GARRY ... I really enjoyed the book ... and know that OTHERS will, too ... so I'm happy to do it. And who knows, maybe they'll find your information on MY website since they seem to be ignoring yours!!! (lol)

Thursday, May 1, 2008

We're Going To See The Beatles!

The Forgotten Hits Interview with Garry Berman
(regarding his new book "We're Going To See The Beatles!")

A few weeks ago we mentioned a brand new BEATLES book that's out on the market called WE'RE GOING TO SEE THE BEATLES! It's described as "An Oral History Of Beatlemania As Told By The Fans Who Were There" ... and it makes for a VERY interesting, first-hand account by 40-plus "First Generation" BEATLES fans who were THERE back in late 1963 / early 1964 (and beyond) when BEATLEMANIA took America by storm. Author GARRY BERMAN has collected all of these first-hand memories and remembrances and put them all together in his new book. For the most part, he keeps his own memories and opinions to himself, preferring instead to let the fans who were THERE at the time, caught up in the moment and experiencing the "MANIA" first hand, tell the story. (BERMAN moves things along by taking on almost a "narrator's" role, introducing each phase of THE BEATLES' well-documented career, with more of a "Tour Guide" approach. He ties each chapter around comments from the fans who were truly living in the moment of BEATLEMANIA.) It's a FASCINATING look into what life was like back then, discovering the phenomena that NOBODY could have EVER foreseen would last (and continue to flourish) for SO many generations to come.

Today he joins us here in FORGOTTEN HITS to share some of his OWN experiences ... not only with what it was like putting together this "must have" book and hearing all of these fascinating recollections but also reflecting back on what THE BEATLES have meant to each and every one of us. (As is SO often my way, in addition to conducting the interview, I'll be sharing some of MY BEATLES Memories along the way, too!!!) We hope you enjoy our FORGOTTEN HITS / GARRY BERMAN Interview.
FORGOTTEN HITS: Hi Garry!!! First off, I want to say that I REALLY enjoyed your book. It was interesting to hear some of these "First Hand" accounts of what it was like to experience the earliest days of BEATLEMANIA as it first hit our shores in early 1964.

KENT KOTAL: Although I was only ten years old at the time, I remember VIVIDLY seeing THE BEATLES perform on THE ED SULLIVAN SHOW that fateful night back in February of '64 and seeing the impact it had on the girls in my third grade class the very next day!!! In fact, back then ... when barber shops were still open on Mondays ... my Dad took us three boys for haircuts the following day and the joking banter that afternoon was all about whether or not to give us kids "BEATLE Haircuts" or not!!! So obviously, their appearance had an IMMEDIATE effect on people of ALL ages. Youngsters on the list need to keep in mind that back in February of 1964, we only had THREE television channels ... and back then the ENTIRE family watched programs like THE ED SULLIVAN SHOW together on a Sunday Night because that's just what we did!!!

FH: Early on you acknowledge the fact that you were not an IMMEDIATE "First Generation" BEATLES fan when America first became aware of THE FAB FOUR in early 1964. (Having been born in 1961, that's COMPLETELY understandable ... and even the most RAMPANT BEATLE Fans on our list will forgive you coming around to appreciate The Music of THE BEATLES a little later in life!!! lol) What are some of your earliest recollections of THE BEATLES? Did you have older brothers or sisters who were playing this music around the house or did you pretty much come to discover it on your own?
GARRY BERMAN: My earliest recollections of the Beatles, as I mentioned in my introduction to the book, is dancing as a toddler to their songs playing on a portable record player in my family's basement. I have older brothers who got caught up, to varying degrees, in Beatlemania, so Beatles music was in my life from my earliest memory. A few years later, I remember listening to 8-track tapes of "Magical Mystery Tour" and "Let It Be" in my father's car (that was back when 8-tracks were considered a remarkable innovation!). So, my love of the Beatles has been constant and growing from my childhood onward.

FH: You mention in the book a particular turning point in your life that piqued your interest in reading and hearing more about what it was like to experience early BEATLEMANIA. Can you cover that again for some of our readers who may not have seen your book yet?
GB: Back in the late '80s or early 90s, my parents returned from an antique-hunting trip in New York State with a gift or two for me. One was a scrapbook which was lovingly assembled by a teenage girl in Massachusetts during the height of the Beatlemania years. She didn't miss much -- she carefully glued every newspaper and magazine article and photo of the Beatles she could find onto the black construction paper pages. I could tell how the Beatles had totally taken over her life! I'm very happy to have that scrapbook now. It's a tangible, personal example of how the Beatles affected teenagers during that time.

FH: Is this a book that's been in the works for quite some time ... and by "in the works", I mean even in the back of your mind? Obviously, this must have taken a fair amount of time to collect all of these first-hand memories!
GB: I had the idea to do this book several years ago, but my agent at the time wasn't terribly interested. So, without his support, I had to pretty much put it on the back burner. We eventually parted company. When I later decided to contribute an article to "Beatlefan" magazine commemorating the 40th anniversary of the first Shea Stadium concert, I printed up a flier and distributed it at the Beatlefest that year, hoping to find anyone who had attended the concert. A friend of JoAnne McCormack's saw it and told her about it (JoAnne lives in Florida), and JoAnne sent me an e-mail enthusiastically offering her recollections. I then found Debbie Levitt, who was also at the concert, and who, during our conversation, triggered my dormant idea of expanding the article into a real book.

FH: When all was said and done, you were able to round up an INCREDIBLE list of contributors for this tome. In all, 40-some first generation fans came on board to share their memories of the mania. How did you first go about rounding up this group of first-handers?
GB: I found the contributors to the book using a variety of means. I began on the Internet (of course), finding message boards and web sites dedicated to the Beatles on which people offered their own memories. I still had to track down each person who interested me, so I could talk to them directly. It took a bit of detective work, and I ran into a few dead-ends along the way. And, dealing with so many female names, I knew that in most cases they would be using their married names now. I also went to libraries to look through microfilm from '64-'66 of newspapers in cities that had hosted Beatles concerts. To my amazement, I discovered that it was commonplace at that time for newspapers to actually print the full names and street addresses (or at least hometowns) of the fans interviewed for the articles! So it was back to the on-line White Pages to see if anyone with the same family name was still living at the address given in the articles over 40 years ago. In many instances, they were! I would then send a letter, and perhaps a copy of the original article, asking if the family member in question could contact me for a phone interview. The scrapbook I mentioned came in handy that way, too. I found some of the contributors, such as Janet Lessard and Kathy Albinder, via articles pasted onto those pages. I'll never forget the amazing feeling of sitting at my computer, looking down at the yellowing articles in the scrapbook on my lap, and then looking up at White Pages site on the computer screen to see the same family name listed at the same address. It was like experiencing two time dimensions sharing the same cosmic space at the same time!

FH: Virtually ALL of these people were fortunate enough to see THE BEATLES perform at any number of the stops on their U.S. tours ... you were even able to find JO ANN McCORMACK, whose face was prominently displayed as one of the screaming fans at their first SHEA STADIUM Concert. (Preserved for ALL posterity in the posters and concert film!!!) SHAUN WEISS started out as a BEATLES fan and then got to meet and work with THE FAB FOUR for APPLE RECORDS ... as you point out, he may be the ONLY living person who attended not only their first live appearance on THE ED SULLIVAN SHOW but also their infamous, impromptu rooftop concert filmed for the movie LET IT BE. LINDA BINNS LILES who is seen on the DVD of THE BEATLES FIRST VISIT TO AMERICA sitting with and talking to RINGO STARR on the train. How on earth did you track down all these people?
GB: Well, as I mentioned, I found a good number of these through Beatles Message Boards and old newspaper articles. After that it became Beatles Networking ... once I met a few of these people, some of them were able to put me in contact with other fans they had met over the years who had also shared in the first-hand experience of Beatlemania. It's probably a tad more accurate to say that only about a half-dozen or so of the 40+ contributors already knew each other before speaking with me; some of their friendships go back to childhood, others became friends later in their lives. By the way, it was only a happy coincidence that JoAnne mentioned her appearance in the official Shea concert film. It was a real hoot seeing her screaming like crazy in several shots throughout the film.

FH: I was surprised to hear that a couple of people on The FORGOTTEN HITS List were interviewed for your book. (The list has grown to the point now where I honestly don't know who is and isn't on it anymore!!! lol) Over what period of time did you collect these reminisces ... was most of this done via email or phone conversations or live, in-person interviews? You clearly rekindled some of the HAPPIEST days of these people's lives by giving them the chance to tell the story of seeing THE BEATLES one more time!
GB: Out of the 42 contributors to the book, 2 sent me their contributions via e-mail, but I interviewed all of the others by phone and transcribed our conversations word-for-word, then carefully arranged all of their comments and stories chronologically, so they are basically telling the history of Beatlemania straight through. I'm pleased that many pages flow as if they were all in the same room at the same time, taking turns to speak about the subject at hand. But I only interviewed one at a time -- although some of the contributors do know each other. Barbara Allen was the first contributor whom I met in person, since we live within driving distance of each other. But for this most recent Beatlefest in New Jersey, Fest producer Mark Lapidos, my agent, and I arranged to invite several of the book contributors to take part in panel discussions throughout the weekend, so fans could hear them relate their stories in person (JoAnne McCormack, Shaun Weiss, and Linda Binns Liles were among those who took part). They all got along great, posed for pictures together, exchanged numbers & addresses, etc. I'm probably most proud of having found Linda Binns Liles, the "girl on the train" as I sometimes refer to her. The Maysles Brothers documentary of the Beatles' first visit to the U.S. has often been shown at Beatlefest (I have to call it Beatlefest, out of habit, and also because it's so much easier to type than "The Fest For Beatles Fans").

FH: WE still call if BEATLEFEST, too ... that's what it was known as for SO many years when we faithfully attended every Chicagoland appearance. Honestly, I don't know WHY he changed it!!!
GB: Many times I'd hear people in the audience watching the footage of Linda meeting and talking with each Beatle on the train from New York to D.C., and saying, "that girl was so lucky! I wonder whatever happened to her!" I often wondered that myself. Well, out of another combination of luck and detective work, I was delighted to finally find Linda. To my surprise, she said she hasn't been asked about her experience as much as I would have guessed, so she was happy to give me such a detailed account. I found Shaun Weiss on an on-line message board, and knew that I HAD to talk with him, considering his history. His father, Nat Weiss, was Brian Epstein's business associate and attorney for the Beatles' American interests.

FH: Thanks to your book, we hear from girls who stampeded the airport, snuck into the hotels where THE BEATLES were staying, sat through repeated viewings of A HARD DAY'S NIGHT, watched (or were present) at their appearances on THE ED SULLIVAN SHOW and then, later, in concert. What were some of YOUR favorite stories told by these first-hand fans?

GB: I have so many favorite stories told by the contributors, it's difficult to pick out just a few ... JoAnne's "Pope Story" stands out: She was on her way to her Catholic school in New York with her friends on the bus when the subject turned to the school's plans for a field trip to see the Pope during his visit. JoAnne declared, "I'd rather see the Beatles than see the Pope!" A woman overheard her and reported her to the school principal, who was not amused by the blasphemy. Joanne stood by her comment, despite the danger of being reprimanded, and having her parents called in! Other stories involve creative attempts by fans to get as close to the Beatles as possible in hotels, press conferences, etc. But I don't want to give too much away!

FH: No, we certainly don't want to do that ... we want people to go out and BUY a copy of this book so that they can experience the joy of reliving some of these memories themselves!!! And we've ALL got some!!!

KK: Reading JOANNE's "Pope Story" I couldn't help but wonder if perhaps SHE was the inspiration for JOHN LENNON's infamous "THE BEATLES ARE MORE POPULAR THAN JESUS CHRIST" comment years later!!! (lol) The plain and simple truth is, they WERE!!! The kids of 1964-1966 were turning to THE BEATLES, Pop Music and Pop Culture more than they were to the church ... and MOST would have blown off the opportunity to see THE POPE or attend a church service in favor of a live BEATLES concert ... (or even a BEATLES party!!!)
Early on it wasn't "cool" for the boys to like THE BEATLES ... but I clearly remember buying both I WANT TO HOLD YOUR HAND and SHE LOVES YOU on the same day and literally wearing out both sides of these records because I couldn't decide which song was my favorite. (By the way, we recently did an online poll asking music lovers to name their ALL-TIME FAVORITE, FORGOTTEN B-SIDE. In order to qualify, it had to be a record that DIDN'T chart in The National Top 40 on its own. When all was said and done, over 63,000 votes were cast ... and the hands-down winner was I'LL GET YOU, flipside of SHE LOVES YOU!!! You can find the complete list of THE TOP 200 FAVORITE, FORGOTTEN B-SIDES on The FORGOTTEN HITS Web Page at Shortly thereafter, I picked up their first U.S. L.P., MEET THE BEATLES, and played it till the wax came out of the grooves and stuck to my needle!!! I clearly remember walking home from school with a group of four girls (who were absolutely MAD for THE BEATLES) and calling out my requests along the way: "OK, now sing ALL I'VE GOTTA DO" and, as soon as that was done, "OK, how about ALL MY LOVIN'" to which the girls sang track for track EVERY song off the new LP, already knowing all the words by heart.

FH: You were able to line up a couple of VERY impressive guests to write the forward to your book ... SID BERNSTEIN, the U.S. Concert Promoter who booked THE BEATLES for their first U.S. concert appearances, including the then unimaginable performances at CARNEGIE HALL and, later, the legendary SHEA STADIUM Concert ... and MARK LAPIDOS, FOUNDER of BEATLEFEST (now known as THE FEST FOR BEATLE FANS) ... these are a couple of very high-profile, BEATLE-connected acquaintances and fans!!! How were you able to get copies of your book to these guys ... and did you have the opportunity to talk with them one-on-one?
GB: I attended my first Beatlefest in New York in 1978, at the old Statler Hilton. I was only a junior in high school, so I pleaded with my parents to drive me into the city so I could spend a few hours at the event (we lived in New Jersey, only 10 miles from NYC). I was overwhelmed. I told my Beatle friends all about it, and the following year, with the Fest being held at the Americana, we chipped in for a room so we wouldn't miss a minute of it. This past Fest marked my 30th consecutive year attending, so Fest producer Mark Lapidos and I had gotten to know each other a bit through the years. He was happy to work on his preface with me, and then recommended that I talk with his friend (and music business legend) Sid Bernstein, whom I spoke with, and then shaped our talk into his own piece to lead off the book.

FH: SID BERNSTEIN reveals (in his segment) the truth behind an often-repeated story, presented as evidence that BEATLEMANIA was waning by the time THE BEATLES returned to SHEA STADIUM in 1966, amidst public record-burnings due to JOHN LENNON's comment about THE BEATLES being more popular than JESUS CHRIST. Much has been made about the fact that THE BEATLES did not sell out SHEA STADIUM that night ... and that as many as 11,000 seats may have been empty. Would you like to relate the truth behind THAT story for our readers?
GB: Sid told me how he made a deal with a Singer sewing machine store in Rockefeller Center to sell tickets there for the Beatles' Shea concert in 1966. Sid and his babysitters counted off thousands of tickets into shoe boxes to bring to the store. Sometime after the concert took place he discovered several undelivered boxes of tickets in his apartment -- which explains why some sections of Shea stadium had empty seats for the concert!

FH: Did you KNOW this prior to your conversation with SID BERNSTEIN? That's a pretty amazing and revealing fact to come out all these years later ... and I, for one, had never heard that story before!!!
GB: As for Sid Bernstein's story about the "missing" tickets, after he related it to me, he added that he doesn't think he had ever told anyone about that before. I don't have the book that he wrote a few years back, so I can't say if he included the story there, but it's obviously not a well-known anecdote.

FH: And, obviously, one more fascinating and revealing anecdote you'll find in GARRY's new book, WE'RE GOING TO SEE THE BEATLES!

KK: I remember wanting to see A HARD DAY'S NIGHT when it first came out in theaters ... and my parents refusing to take me because they had read about the sheer pandemonium that was going on inside the movie theaters. As such, I had to see it for the very first time at the DRIVE-IN!!!!! I'll never forget the experience of listening to all this great, new BEATLES music through this tiny, tinny little speaker propped up in my Dad's window!!! NOT the proper way to view and appreciate this film!!!
One more quick personal story and observation ... I have to admit that BEATLEMANIA quickly bit The KOTAL Boys, too ... all three of us ended up picking up musical instruments ... guitars, bass, piano, drums ... and playing in various bands over the years. Early on, we'd mime to the records strumming imaginary guitars and shaking our heads so vigorously that we'd have to lie down with headaches afterwards!!! ... eventually graduating to strumming rakes and shovels, then cheapie plastic or inflatable guitars, followed by almost as cheap SEARS and Japanese models, before finally graduating to the real thing. Early on, we thought GEORGE HARRISON looked JUST like BUD BEHER, one of my Dad's coworkers (which will mean absolutely NOTHING to anyone other than my brothers who may be reading this!!! lol), with longer hair, and, in 1965, in one of the most TRAUMATIC days of my youth, I was actually invited to see THE BEATLES perform LIVE at COMISKEY PARK!!! We were visiting my cousins in Deerfield, Illinois, some 35 miles from where we lived at the time, and they announced that they had ONE extra tickets to see THE BEATLES perform the next day. They invited me to stay over night at their house and then take me to the concert ... all my Dad had to do was drive back and pick me up the following day. I remember smiling from ear to ear and literally jumping up and down at the prospect of seeing THE BEATLES perform live ... but my Dad put the kabosh on that, saying that it was just too far to drive back round-trip the next day. As far as I know, the extra ticket was never even used!!! (Talk about emotional scars ... that day ranks right up there with the time he burned my comic book collection!!!)

FH: I'm sure that you heard LOTS of stories like mine during the course of putting together your book ... how did you react to some of these ... were you at all surprised by the PASSION that still exists in some of these fans as they recounted these early days? Certainly the chance to speak with you and tell these stories again ... knowing that fellow BEATLES Fans all over the world would soon be reading them ... must have sparked and ignited this passion all over again with many of your interviewees ... EVERYBODY likes to "go back" to a happier, more innocent (and less responsible) time!!!
GB: I was somewhat surprised, but pleasantly so, by the strong passion that most of the book contributors still feel when recounting their years as teenage Beatles fans. As I've said, with some of them the Beatles have been a constant presence and source of great happiness in their lives ever since the initial "invasion." Others may have "outgrown" their Beatles fanaticism in the intervening years, but their memories are still vivid, and I could definitely hear that original excitement in their voices as they told me what it was like to experience Beatlemania firsthand. As for those contributors who were forbidden to attend a Beatles concert or film event for whatever reasons (frightened or disapproving parents, in most cases), I'd venture to say there is a bit of residual resentment, but as those contributors say, there was really no way to know at that time, what the special significance of seeing the Beatles in concert would become. I hope they've since come to terms with it!

KK: I think my own feelings may have actually been somewhat amplified over the years of realizing what a truly important event I missed that weekend. Nothing we can do about it, of course ... but, in my case anyway, it truly WAS a "Once In A Lifetime" opportunity. Over the years, I was fortunate enough to see PAUL, GEORGE and RINGO perform live in concert ... JOHN simply never came out this way (and didn't do many live shows.) But it's not quite the same of seeing all four BEATLES at the absolute HEIGHT of BEATLEMANIA.

FH: In my earlier assessment of your book, I called it "the perfect companion piece to BRUCE SPIZER's THE BEATLES ARE COMING!" Any thoughts on this? BRUCE has become recognized as one of the elite, most complete historians when it comes to THE BEATLES and their record releases ... did you have the chance to talk with him when you were working on your book? Was his book a valuable point of reference for you, regarding documenting dates and appearances ... and some of the memorabilia that went along with these early tours? (BRUCE has been a member of The FORGOTTEN HITS List for quite some time now and, in fact, he paid thanks to us in his book, THE BEATLES ARE COMING!, for our series spotlighting WHO PLAYED THE FIRST BEATLES RECORD IN AMERICA, which is ALSO available on The FORGOTTEN HITS Website:
GB: Bruce Spizer's "The Beatles Are Coming!" is on my Beatles bookshelf, and it did prove extremely valuable while I was preparing my book (as I noted in the bibliography). I spoke with him and exchanged e-mails on occasion, when I needed a fine historical point either confirmed or elaborated upon. And, of course, we're both regulars at Beatlefest.

KK: The reason I consider these two books to be perfect companion pieces is this ... BRUCE SPIZER's book documents the entire first visit of THE BEATLES to America ... but more from a strictly HISTORICAL point of view. There are all kinds of facts and figures down to some of the most minute details. Quite honestly, it's my FAVORITE of his in a long series of BEATLES reference manuals because it DOES take more of a "You Are There" approach to things. GARRY BERMAN's book, on the other hand, features the first-hand accounts of some of the kids who actually WERE there ... and BERMAN does an EXCELLENT job of getting these people to relive their experiences ... one cannot help but feel all of the excitement and emotion that was tied to this VERY important and significant part of their lives.

FH: As a latter-day fan, have you accumulated a pretty substantial BEATLES memorabilia collection of your own? Do you go to the BEATLEFESTS and Collectors' Record Shows? Is there some particular piece that YOU'VE been looking for that you haven't yet been able to get your hands on?
GB: As a Beatles memorabilia collector, I must say that I'm a sort of middle-of-the-road. I've never had the budget to go for the more highly valued items, but I do have a trunk full of magazines, picture sleeve 45s, books, buttons, photos, posters, etc., and perhaps a few hard-to-find items as well.

FH: Have you heard anything about this recently discovered pristine box of BEATLES Butcher Cover albums ... I want to say it was a complete box of 25 or 50 LPs that was set aside by the LIVINGSTON family back in 1966 ... suddenly there are absolutely MINT, sealed copies of this rare album available on the auction block!!!
GB: I've heard many stories about sealed, original first-pressing Butcher covers that, when sold, would have easily put the seller's children through college with change to spare. In 1990, I produced and hosted a half-hour show about Beatlefest for local cable TV, and I interviewed a vender from L.A. who specialized in Butcher covers, and who had a lot of stories about boxes of them that had been put away at the time and of their astronomical value now!

FH: Will you be appearing at any of THE FESTS FOR BEATLE FANS this year in an effort to promote your book? This will be a GREAT opportunity to mingle with some of the elite / elite who've been covering THE FAB FOUR now four years ... and a chance to meet even MORE fans who may have first hand accounts of having seen THE BEATLES during that first go-round ... which, I guess, leads to the next obvious question: any plans for a sequel? (Certainly once word gets out about what you've already done, I can see a number of fans wanting to contact you to tell their stories ... how might some of these first-handers get in touch with you? And is there a website of choice that you've set up to order copies of the book? Are you, by chance, offering autographed copies?
GB: As I mentioned, I attended the New York area Fest in late March, and had the chance to meet many of my book's contributors, as well as other authors. I've been asked to consider attending the Chicago Fest this summer, but whether or not I will be able remains to be seen. Martin Lewis, who moderated an authors' discussion at the March Fest, suggested to me that I consider assembling a similar book of memories, but gathering stories from Beatles fans who were behind the Iron Curtain during the '60s. On stage, he jokingly commissioned me to do it. I've been pondering the idea, but we'll see. As for how one might go about picking up a copy of my book, I have a "We're Going See The Beatles" page on my website, with a link to for ordering the book, but at the moment, my site is not quite as up-to-date as I'd like it to be. Readers who are interested in ordering the book can do so just as easily by going to,, or

FH: Well, if you DO end up coming to the Chicagoland BEATLEFEST this year, be sure to let us know so that we can stop by and say hello!
Finally, there is one other point that I would like to address before we say goodbye. Much has been made over the years about how BADLY America NEEDED something like THE BEATLES to come along at the time that they did. We had just suffered through the KENNEDY assassination ... music was starting to get stale again (recent #1 Records included THERE! I'VE SAID IT AGAIN by BOBBY VINTON and, incredibly, DOMINIQUE by THE SINGING NUN!!!) ... the argument has been made that this (coupled with CAPITOL RECORDS' million dollar advertising campaign) made for the PERFECT opportunity for THE BEATLES to take off and have the impact that they did. While all of these circumstances may, in fact, be true, this theory GREATLY diminishes and discounts the TREMENDOUS impact that THE BEATLES CONTINUED to have ... and the fact that their music has stood the test of time ... and will continue to be a VITAL part of our culture long after all of us are gone. Keep in mind, they were already playing to screaming, sell-out crowds all over Europe before they ever came to America ... and even some of the girls interviewed in your book best described their screaming as almost a chain reaction, "out of body" experience ... they literally could not stop themselves. Now that you've had a chance to hear so many of these "first hand" stories about how THE BEATLES affected their lives ... and, with the benefit of 40+ years of hindsight ... why do YOU think THE BEATLES made the initial impact that they did?

GB: Your question about why I think the Beatles made the impact they did at that specific point in time is a good one! First of all, it is not a unanimous opinion that the Kennedy assassination had a direct correlation to the outburst of Beatlemania in early '64. I think that line of thinking has become a tired cliche through the years. It's true that the Beatles were already enormously popular in Britain and Europe. So, I think the events as they happened would have happened even if Kennedy had not been assassinated. There is no real reason to assume otherwise. American music was in a bit of a creative rut, teenagers were hoping to hear something new and exciting -- and even those not actively searching were positively jolted by hearing the first few Beatles singles -- and the sheer talent and charisma of the Beatles themselves made their success pretty much inevitable (easy to say with hindsight, I realize). The ironic thing to me is that the frenzy of Beatlemania took place BEFORE the Beatles created their best music! But as book contributor Debbie Levitt pointed out, they needed to do "She Loves You" and "I Want To Hold Your Hand" before they could do their later, more sophisticated songs. It was a stunning progression over a relatively short period of time.

FH: GARRY, thanks so much for joining us here today ... I really appreciate it and I have to tell you one last time that I really enjoyed the book. I believe that anybody who was there at the time will find it fascinating reading ... and anyone else who was maybe too young ... or not even born at the time ... who finds it hard to believe that BEATLEMANIA was as crazy as it's been made out to be ... would do well to pick up a copy of WE'RE GOING TO SEE THE BEATLES! ... and watch some of this old video that we've talked about to see JUST how crazy things really were.
GB: Kent ... Thanks for a great set of questions and for giving me a chance to talk with your Forgotten Hits Readers about my new book.

Wanna have GARRY BERMAN on YOUR program to talk about his new book,
WE'RE GOING TO SEE THE BEATLES! ??? Drop us a line and we'll be glad to help you set something up. Be sure to check back to The FORGOTTEN HITS Blog Page tomorrow for MORE on GARRY BERMAN!!!

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

The New Colony Six Reunion ... And WE Were There!!!

When we first found out that we weren't going to be able to fly down to Nashville for this year's Film Festival ... and see the brand new WRECKING CREW Documentary ... naturally we were VERY disappointed.

But talk about landing on your feet!!!

The VERY next day I received an email from RAY GRAFFIA, JR. ... founding member of Chicago's own NEW COLONY SIX ... inviting FRANNIE and I to come over to his house on Thursday, the 24th ... and see the ORIGINAL members of the band reunite for a pizza party (and jam session) the night before they were all due to be inducted into The Saint Patrick's High School Shamrock Hall Of Fame!!!
Talk about what TRULY was a "Once In A Lifetime" experience ... these guys had not all been in the same room together for over FORTY YEARS!!! (Let's just say that we were EASILY able to take our frowns and turn 'em upside down!!! OK, OK ... enough of the silly cliches ... but man, we were TRULY excited ... and humbly honored to be asked to attend such a special ... and deeply personal ... event.)

Truth be told, we wouldn't have missed it for the world!!!

Five of the original founding members of THE NEW COLONY SIX were in attendance that evening: Vocalist RAY GRAFFIA, JR., Guitarist GERRY VAN KOLLENBURG, Drummer CHIC JAMES, Bass Player WALLY KEMP (who also excelled on guitar that evening) and original keyboard player CRAIG KEMP were all on hand ... and all primed and pumped to play. (MOST of these guys haven't touched a musical instrument in DECADES ... but you sure wouldn't have known it sitting there on the sofa that evening ... they sounded FANTASTIC ... and never looked happier!!! They truly were back in the moment ... and back in their element ... and all the years in between quickly melted away as they ran through their vintage repertoire.) The only no-show that evening was original NEW COLONY SIX co-founder PATRICK McBRIDE. (Despite organizing a nationwide FORGOTTEN HITS Search Party, we never did find him ... rumors put him out of the country, touring as part of a STRAWBERRY SHORTCAKE Kiddie Revue or hiding out as part of The Witness Protection Program ... but honestly, his vocal spots were more than ably filled by none other than RONNIE RICE, who joined the band in 1967 and went on to write and sing their two biggest national hits. Who knows ... maybe after this page hits the worldwide web, he'll find us ... and share a few memories with our readers!!!)

What a night!!! Who would have EVER thought that all of these guys would get back together again ... even for just one night ... and return to the basement one more time?!?!? They ran through many of their best known hits (as well as some of the garage band album tunes that first launched the band ... and most recently propelled them to a starring gig this past November at CAVE STOMP in New York, an annual concert event that features some of the biggest Garage Bands of all-time!!!)

Yes, THE NEW COLONY SIX are hot again ... they've already got several shows lined up for this summer's concert season ... have a brand new "Rarities" CD out on the market (SIDES) and have been featured as FORGOTTEN HITS Favorites for YEARS now. (We did a month-long profile of the band a few years back!) In fact, we probably received more mail about their long-unreleased track MUDDY FEET ON THE MISSISSIPPI (which we featured a few months back) than we have on ANY other track we've sent along in the past several years!

RAY GRAFFIA, JR. (who still performs with a CURRENT version of the band ... he's the only original member ... but the OTHER guys have now been together longer than ANY other incarnation of the band) was in fine voice ... and, with a little bit of prodding from their thoroughly captivated audience, even RONNIE RICE rose to the occasion, singing a few of the hits (and harmonizing on quite a few others ... while lying comfortably on the sofa!!! lol)

These were a couple of MY favorites that the guys performed that evening:

I'M JUST WAITING, ANTICIPATING (FOR HER TO SHOW UP), a #14 Local Hit back in 1967 ... (This is the one that TONY ORLANDO wrote ... in fact, Photographer MIKE BUSH circulated a copy of the original single earlier that evening and EVERY member of the band in attendance that night signed the record label ... MIKE will now be bringing the autographed to TONY for his own personal collection!)

RAP-A-TAP (a GRAFFIA / RICE composition and duet that appears in an alternate form on the new SIDES CD)

and (after a WHOLE lot of begging from the crowd) WARM BABY, the JOHN SEBASTIAN-penned tune that we featured during our NEW COLONY SIX Series .. in fact, we featured MULTIPLE versions of THIS one ... RONNIE RICE also cut it as a solo record, THE NEW COLONY SIX covered it on their COLONIZATION album, naturally THE LOVIN' SPOONFUL did it first ... and then JOHN SEBASTIAN recorded it AGAIN as the B-SIDE to his #1 Single, WELCOME BACK, The Theme Song for the Hit Television Series WELCOME BACK KOTTER!!!)

We've even pulled a couple of comments out of the archives from two Chicagoland Movers and Shakers who've rubbed shoulders with THE NEW COLONY SIX over the years:
No other Top 40 Chicago band charted more songs in town than The New Colony Six. A total of 16 Colony classics pumped through the airwaves here between 1965 and 1972 and the song that began this incredible run was "I Confess." To say this recording is unique is an understatement. Loaded with bizarre for the day musical elements, the song seemingly has no verse and the chorus only appears at the beginning and the end. But back in December of '65, we weren't dissecting as much as we were buying, and we bought enough copies to send it all the way to No. 2 on the WLS charts. These hometown heroes came equipped with an arsenal of talented singers, songwriters, musicians and ultimately hit records. Their second Top 10 entry in town was a mouth-watering hybrid of Beatles / Byrds, jangle-pop that lit up our transistor radios every time it aired. "Love You So Much", written by Ray Graffia for his wife Bonnie, fell one notch short of the top spot by peaking at No. 2 on WLS in January of 1967. For three years between 1967 and 1970, The New Colony Six were the reigning local ballad champs. Nobody wrote 'em better, nobody performed 'em better.
-- Bob Stroud / The Drive / Rock And Roll Roots

This year marks the 40th anniversary of my one year run as a road manager with the old new colony six .... ray, pat mac, the late les stewart, chic james, gerry and, of course, ronnie rice .... and there is only one ronnie rice. let me tell ya for an 18 year old kid it was larger than life .... the band was hot ... the guys were tremendous. lets face it you haven't lived until you've played ottuma, iowa on a Friday followed by rockford on a Saturday. but, to get serious, we also worked don webster's teen beat, the mike douglas show and jerry 'geater with the heater' blavat's tv gig in philly. the band was remarkably efficient in the studio. as i recall, 'i will always think about you' was recorded in under 90 minutes. it was early 1968 and a young chet coppock was sitting in the famed chess recording studios watching the new colony six shuck, jive and from time to time tune a guitar. there was an aura of magic, a sense of anticipation that something big, something that would knock down airplay coast to coast was about to transpire. ronnie rice carried the lead on 'i will always think about you' with ray graffia providing the background vocal that made the song so mellow and such an instant back seat-24 carat gold smash. but that's only half the hook. we had to clear the studio late in the afternoon for curtis mayfield and the impressions. chess - 2120 s. michigan ... to a corpulent kid who would eventually carve a niche as a national radio sports talk show host and do commercial work with walter payton and michael jordan, it was a musical yankee stadium. i had a hell of a lot more fun with the colony than i ever had doing the roller derby or ring announcing for the world wrestling federation. the feeling of energy, loading the van to work the next stop on the road. i spent about a year and change with the colony. the cabbage wasn't enough to cover a double burger at mac's but the laughs, the anticipation, the late night trips boosted by 'greenies' were a fantasyland for your's truly. recently, i've emceed oldies shows with the contours, gene chandler, "?", lou christie, sonny geraci and mark lindsay from 'paul revere' ... its a kick but nothing will ever compare with my magical mystery tour with the the new colony six. the buckinghans? the shames? they were just backup third basemen. the colony was truly the windy city charmer.
the best,
chet coppock / espn radio 1000

And now ... a few comments from some of the OTHER folks who were there at the party that night ... but first I want to extend one more quick round of thanks to RAY GRAFFIA, JR., for even THINKING about inviting us to such a memorable event ... we TRULY do appreciate it ... and it meant a lot to both of us. Looking forward to seeing some of this summer's shows!
Kent Kotal

Thanks for the thank you, my friend. I honestly could not fathom you and Frannie not being included and was so happy you could attend. Here's a Quick Play - by - Play on the Shamrock Hall Of Fame Ceremony:
Last Night (a tune I thought we did rather well on Thursday) included more good stories, pics, cheer and excellent food, plus, duh, the induction. I will eventually scan the introductory speech which was offered by the Christian Brother who was then Choral and Dance Band Director (and the one who OK'd our knock-off of the Beatles which led to the band's beginnings) and is now President of the School, and put it up on MySpace, but --- about a minute before he began, Chic came over from the other table and let me know that the guys had elected me to say a few words for the group. Since I had previously specifically asked if we were to speak and was told "no" - I went totally off the top of my head and acquitted myself on the Colony's behalf without being booed or committing blasphemy. I came up with thanks to Ringmaster Ned (Bozo Circus) for his jacket - which will make sense when you see what I wore, (or did I show you that on Thursday evening?) to the other inductees for bringing their grandparents who were age appropriate to remember the band and to the Lord who blessed me with hair atop my head long enough in life to wear it as I still can. I congratulated all the others who were honored – 100% athletes and coaches by the way - including a pair of current NFL players, and then thanked them for not beating me up because of the long hair and, naturally, our families – ending by borrowing from Dire Straits, thanking my "Brothers In Arms" – the bandmates with whom I've played over the 44 years of the group's existence. While the boys and I went to the other end of a basketball court sized banquet hall (probably 350 folks attended), to prep for our mini set, someone led the school’s fight song and then we played “I Confess”, “Things I’d Like To Say”, “Love You So Much”, and “I Will Always Think About You” – with Mark Eskin (whom we snuck into the event) on guitar, Chic on bongos, Craig, Walt and Gerry on handclaps, crowd encouraging, and backing vocals sans microsphones, plus Ronnie singing "I Will Always Think About You" & "Things I'd Like To Say" and me doing "I Confess" & "Love You So Much". We actually signed several autographs including one for another of the other inductees who had all four albums, stuck around a while for photos and more stories and hugs / handshakes and I got back home about 1:30 AM this morning. A highlight weekend for myself and, I think, all of us who were honored and everybody else who came to the shindig at my place. I had a ball (Gee, can you tell?) and like I said earlier, having you and Frannie, Mike Bush and Bev, and Jerry Schollenberger and Charmaine among those present really made it all the more special. Peace, bro! Ray
Ray Graffia, Jr.

Hey Kent!

It was an absolute pleasure to finally have the chance to meet you and Frannie this past Thursday night. Of course, I'm sure that you can imagine what an absolute thrill it was for me to see 5 of the 6 original NC6 members back together in the same room for the first time in over 40 years. Here are a few paragraphs that convey my thoughts & feelings about last Thursday night at Ray's house:
On Thursday night April 24, 2008, my life-long dream of seeing a reunion of the original members of The New Colony Six finally became a reality ... For the first time in over 40 years, original NC6 founding members Ray Graffia, Gerry VanKollenburg, Chic James, Wally Kemp & Craig Kemp and Ronnie Rice (original NC6 member Pat McBride was out of the country and could not attend) gathered at Ray Graffia's stunning new house for a fun-filled night of renewing old friendships, telling tales, and even a vast selection of impromptu performances of classic New Colony tunes that Ray, Gerry, Wally, Chic, Craig & Ronnie breezed through with absolutely no prior rehearsal. With Ray Graffia and Ronnie Rice on vocals, Chic James on drums, Gerry VanKollenburg & Walt Kemp handling the guitar efforts, and Craig Kemp playing the keyboards, the Six blasted through a large assortment of New Colony songs from their extensive recorded catalog. All of the well-loved NC6 garage classics such as, "I Confess", "I Lie Awake", "Last Nite", "The Time Of Year Is Sunset", "At The River's Edge", "Love You So Much", "Let Me Love You", "Woman", "You're Gonna Be Mine" and "Rap-A-Tap" were executed with seemingly little effort. Granted, there were numerous mistakes that occurred in many of the songs (which was expected after 40 years), but those small errors of forgotten lyrics, guitar chords & keyboard notes only added to the fun and laughter! Current New Colony Six members Rick Barr, Mark Eskin & Gary Greenman were also on hand, and lent their musical expertise on several of the numbers. With Ronnie Rice in attendance, the New Colony continued on with their impromptu set, rolling thru such memorable NC6 ballads like "I Will Always Think About You", "Things I'd Like To Say", "I Could Never Lie To You" & "I Want You To Know". There was no mistake that after 40 years, the New Colony magic was still there. I'm not certain if this FANTASTIC night of "Re-Colonization" was more of an "all-time high" for myself, or the members of the New Colony Six themselves! Ray Graffia was grinning from ear to ear (amidst his laughing & singing) the entire night, and the rest of the NC6 gang were equally excited as well. As a matter of fact, Wally Kemp's wife Beverly commented to my girlfriend Char that , "She hadn't seen Wally this happy in a long, long time". Chic James was laughing and telling great stories about the old days, and Gerry VanKolleburg spent a lot of time away from his guitar, in favor of snapping countless photos of his New Colony band buddies. When Gerry was asked by my girlfriend if he was getting any "good" shots of his New Colony mates, he replied, "No ... I'm getting "fun" shots!" The fun-filled night ended about midnight, and it was time for everyone to leave. After all, tomorrow (Friday April 25th), was the BIG evening for the original New Colony members, as they were to be honored by being inducted into the Shamrock "Hall of Fame" at St. Patrick's High School (their old school). I was unable to attend the ceremonies, but from an e-mail that Ray Graffia sent me last night, he stated that the event was indeed a very gratifying and fun-filled evening. Let's hope that it won't be another 40 years to wait for a reunion of the original members of the New Colony Six!

Jerry Schollenberger
New Colony Six Historian

It seems that as we all get into our seasoned years, thoughts of old days, old friends and past experiences seems to have more sense of value. For myself, there where no more rewarding times than those spent as a member of the New Colony Six. As time goes on I, as so many, sometimes long to want, and wish, to see and get together with those friends of the past and reminisce about the old times, To see how they are doing and what has been going on with them after so many years. As time went on I thought that getting together with the members of a former band I was with, The New Colony Six, would never come to be. Then, a few weeks ago, I received information that we, The New Colony Six, were going to be inducted to the St. Patrick's High School Hall of Fame. Until then I was not aware that high schools had halls of fame. Then it dawned on me, that if there was one thing that would bring us all back together, this would be it. Suddenly the emails started to flow. there was discussion of getting together, bringing musical equipment and having a reunion. Maybe, see if we could jam some old songs. What I thought would never come to be, seemed to be a few days away and for the first time in a long time I was very excited about the possibilities. We all met at Ray's house. I finally saw Chick and Gerry for the first time in 40+ years. Meeting Jerry Schollengerger, the New Colony Six Historian, was also a great moment. There were also lots of friends that arrived for the event. Walt being family, I would see from time to time. I would see Ray at least once a year whenever the the current band is performing. We had some great conversations, great food, and then the next thing I knew we were back down in the rec room, garage jamming our,,,,,,,, well, having a great musical time. That was a night I will never forget. The following evening we all arrived to be inducted into the Hall of Fame. Now I was not alumni of St. Patrick's High School, but my cousin Walt is. (Walt Kemp - Bass Player) He was my introduction back in 1965 to this band and I will always be grateful that he suggested to the members to talk to me and listen to me play at that time. Induction Night was very humbling for me as I never thought that the Band, The Name, New Colony Six, would have that much of an influence in the community and St. Patrick's High School. I became aware, that night, of what a huge influence the band had on the community and St. Patrick's High School and also have an historical event all at the same time. This was the one thing that was going to make my wish come true. If anything would put most of the original members back in one place, it would be this. Funny how some wishes come to be. The only missing piece was Pat McBride, but he was not available for this event. That would have made it more than perfect, but we all understood. This was as perfect as a 40+ year reunion can get. Being inducted to the St. Patrick's Hall of Fame was a great honor and an experience I will always remember. I met a lot of wonderful people and had a great time., but most of all we, the band that never seems to end, as Chick once said, was together again, even if for a short time. As we all say, Do Be Colony;
Craig Kemp-NC6(Greg Kempinksi)

Here are some thoughts about the past week Hall of Fame award: Too often our lives take a course on its own seemingly without being directed by us. We keep on saying things to ourselves like “I must look that friend up” or “I wonder how he is doing.” Distance and time aren’t an excuse with today’s technology. If all we got out of the award was to bring us together as friends again it was enough for me. The fact that people reminded us that the innocent love songs and topical tunes that we wrote and performed touched someone’s life in a good way was a special bonus. They helped us relive our youth when they told us of theirs. We toasted the night before to the “group that never ends” not just for the members to be honored the following night but for the other past and present members that keep the New Colony Six music and name alive. All we wanted to do as a band was play our original music and hope that enough people liked it so they would pay to hear some more. It is tremendously satisfying that our old fans still listen and there is a new group of “20 something’s” that like to listen to our innocent love songs.
Best regards,
James Chitkowski
(Chic James)
How cool is this?! I've been playing lead guitar & keyboards for the Colony for almost 12 years & I finally get to meet & jam with most of the other original members! It was absolutely wonderful (especially since I first heard the New Colony Six on WCFL in December, 1966 when I was 8 years old)! I was especially honored when Ronnie Rice asked me if I would actually play at the induction ceremony. What a fabulous time! I'll treasure these memories for the rest of my days!
Mark Eskin
Hey Kent,
I had a great time! I'm glad you were there .. it was good to see you out there, by the way. I had a great time Friday, I had a great time Thursday ... Thursday of course at Ray's house ... it was very, very nice ... it was good memories ... it was fun for everybody. There was no animosity. Actually, it was terrific! It was great to see Chic again ... he looked fantastic ... the guy looks like a superstar, doesn't he? And once I warmed up into it, I thought it was even MORE fun. So it was a lot of good times. It was a great time ... good to see everybody ... and I enjoyed it ... and it nice to see you guys there.
-- Ronnie Rice
I can't believe how much fun this evening was! I'd met my counterpart, Jim (Chick James) years ago at a Colony show, but it was great getting him set up on a kit and watching him play with the rest of the guys. Remember, I haven't heard these songs played or sung by anyone but the current band since about 1969. Jim's a great guy and a fine gentleman, and his playing, as you saw, Kent, was right there, after 30 yeas away from the kit. It was a real pleasure to meet him again. All the guys, and all their wives and significant others are delightful people. Wally clearly has been playing all along -- as a bass player, he sure knew the guitar parts for every song. Craig was right there, too -- it's been great to see him and his wife at shows the last few years. And seeing Gerry VanKollenburg again was really nice. I roomed with Jerry regularly the last year I was with the band in 1973-1974, and haven't really seen him since then. It was fun to catch up, and it was really good to see him playing guitar again after a long hiatus. World-class photographer Mike Bush once again reminded me of the sensitivity, timing and professionalism that's earned him intimate access to the top acts in the industry for over 30 years. If you want to see how it's done, watch Mike. His portfolio is unbelievable -- he says he wants to publish books of his work, and I told him I'd pre-order anytime. Can't wait to see what he caught. And, of course, I've known Ronnie for over 30 years, too. In fact, he was in a band with me after the New Colony Six stopped playing the first time in 1974. I'm on record demo's he did, and I even backed him up cabaret-style as he honed his solo act 'way back in the Lawrence of Oregano days. His harmonizing with Ray Graffia and Mark Eskine was great to hear. I sat next to you and Frannie a large portion of the evening -- I'm sure you noticed that I never stopped smiling the entire time. I'm so glad you two were there to participate in the event. I knew you wouldn't want to miss it. The only regret was that Bruce Mattey was unable to join us due to some family obligations. He would have loved it. All-in-all, one of the most fun evenings in a long time, and a fitting prelude to the boys' induction as members of the St. Pat's High School Hall of Fame the next day. Thanks, Ray and Bonnie, for the fine hospitality and abuse of your home ... and thanks for being there, Kent and Frannie.
Rick Barr

Frannie did a bit more "mingling" than I did that night ... part of the "Honorary Wives Club" I guess ... (I think I was probably more into the whole listening experience!!!) but there is NO question about how PROUD all of the friends and family were, being able to witness this special reunion ... enjoying the experience second ONLY to the musicians themselves. (I never saw WALLY without a smile all night ... it was downright infectious!!! ... he was truly in the moment ... and right back in his element ... and it was NO secret how much this whole opportunity meant to each and every one of them!)
Kent Kotal
For me personally, the Friday night induction was amazingly surprising (considering all the things we did while we were at St Pats) and amazingly humbling (how cool to be in the same HOF as Ray Meyer, Max Kurland, and any number of other professional athletes) and amazingly gratifying (we actually accomplished what every other kid with a guitar, accordion(LOL), long hair and a voice wanted to do). Sitting with the rest of the Six and each recalling different incidents similarly (and similar incidents differently) only confirmed the strong bond and amazing relationships we had in those early days. But the Thursday night jam session at Ray's home beat everything. For the first time in nearly 40 years, playing all the original material we developed for the first two albums only proved one thing - Dang! We were good! Although not as commercially successful as our later material, the chord structures, individual contributions to each song, and our overall ability to capture so much of the feelings of those times was truly amazing (IMHO). At least in my memory, I could recall the excitement, creativity, personal involvement, technology, instrumentation, and, yes, "show-off-iness" associated with each of the songs. We were committed to our craft, and truly melded Six into One. And maybe we didn't always translate what we heard in our heads onto the vinyl, we definitely translated what we felt into our performances on stage. I don't believe that any group has a better relationship with it's audience than we did. We were there to have fun. They were there to have fun. And boy, did we have fun! The music, the "skits", the "signature numbers" (Mister, You're a Better Man than I and House of the Rising Sun) - anything to entertain and make us one with the crowd. I know that belonging to the Six had a great influence on my life then, and has played a major role in shaping my life ever since. And for that, I'll always be proud and thankful. Thanks, guys, and "Do Be Colony!" Wally
Walter T. Kemp
Here are my thoughts on the NC6 reunion. I hadn't been in contact with most of the NC6 original members for a long time. Recently, Ray and I had reconnected. We had had dinner several times and talked about past times. Ray and I had written many of the early NC6 songs together and were great friends. Getting back together with him was a great thing for me. The Hall of Fame induction, however, acted as a catalyst to reuniting of ALL of the original members of NC6. It started a flurry of emails that culminated in a party at Ray's house with all of the original members attending except Pat McBride, who was out of the country at the time. The party turned out to be incredible. We ate pizza and goodies and got to know each other again. We all had stories to tell. Everyone had unique memories, funny moments, and nostalgic things to share. And then we jammed. We all had forgotten some of the chords and lyrics to the songs, but they came back quickly. There were several extraordinary moments for me when I could really remember and feel what it was like to perform with these guys in the old days-the first chords and opening line of "I Confess," Ray singing "I Love You So Much" with a huge smile on his face, Chick looking really cool playing the drums, Craig bent over his keyboard playing seriously, Ronnie sounding exactly like the record singing "I Will Always Think About You." These were moments that I will always remember. And I really enjoyed seeing the girls again. Bonnie (Ray's wife), Marlene (Chick's wife), and Bev (Walt's wife) all were dating the guys in the early days of the band and have now been married to them for more that 40 years. They are different, yet very much the same - all very special women. We had other friends there, too - Kent Kotal (a rock-n-roll writer and friend of the band's), Mike Bush (a great rock photographer who had his portfolio there with shots of every rock performer imaginable), Jerry Schollenberger (our friend and NC6 historian), and several members of the current NC6 band. I especially liked getting to know Mark Eskin (one of the guitarists in the current NC6 band) - a great player and a good person.We all had the sense that this was really big for us. We didn't want it to end.The Hall of Fame Induction ceremony (the next night) was very moving. Ray, Chick, Walt, and I were inducted as former students of St. Patrick High School; Ronnie and Greg were inducted as important contributors to the group, although not students of the school. Brother Konrad Diebold, now president of St. Pat's, gave a speech honoring our contribution the the Chicago and National music scene. Brother Konrad had a special interest in us. I won't get into the story at this time, but he was directly responsible for NC6 getting together and we owe him a great deal. We each received a spectacular polished glass award with the St. Pat's logo, Hall of Fame 2008, New Colony Six, and our name laser engraved onto it. It was truly a night to remember.My hope is that we use this opportunity to stay in touch with each other, to continue to get together from time to time, and to build new relationships upon old ones.
Gerry Van Kollenburg
During the time of THE NEW COLONY SIX's greatest impact here in Chicago (1966 - 1972), I was first a kid of twelve, then a fan (who bought nearly ALL of their singles, which were CONSTANTLY on the radio here in Chicago), and, finally an 18 year old aspiring musician, dreaming the dream that THESE guys were living. If somebody would have told me back then ... that some 40 years later I'd be invited to a party to see and hear ALL of the original members get back together again one more time ... and how MAGICAL it all would seem, I NEVER would have believed them. All I can tell you is that, sitting in RAY's basement the other night and witnessing this INCREDIBLE reunion, I became ALL THREE of my earlier personas all over again. For years and years now, we've been telling you about the POWER of music ... well, we witnessed it FIRST HAND the other night ... and there is NOTHING more powerful ... and nothing more magical. Thanks, Guys, for letting us all relive the dream one more time ... and for letting me tag along for the ride!!!
Kent Kotal

A Vintage 1966 Shot of the Band
(courtesy of Jerry Schollenberger's Archives)
Top row (L to R): Craig Kemp, Gerry VanKollenburg, Wally Kemp, Ray Graffia
Bottom Row (left to right): Chic James, Pat McBride.

The Reunited New Colony Six, April 24, 2008
(photo by Kent Kotal)
BACK ROW (L-R): Ronnie Rice, Gerry VanKollenburg and Craig Kemp
FRONT ROW (L-R): Chic James, Ray Graffia, Jr. and Wally Kemp

There was a look of pure joy on the faces of these one-time high school kids who got together on a lark to perform a Beatles knock-off for their classmates way back in 1964 ... and reunited again ... for the first time in over 40 years ... a few nights ago at the home of Ray Graffia, Jr. Frannie and I could not get over their infectious, frozen smiles ... I can't even begin to put into words the deep feeling these guys shared that night when they proved beyond a shadow of a doubt that sometimes you really CAN go back home again. Far too often we've seen the bitter memories outlive the innocent exuberance that first drew so many of these musicians together in the first place. Happily, this was NOT the case the other night. THE NEW COLONY SIX provided Chicagoland Music Fans with MANY years of musical enjoyment ... placing an incredible 17 songs on our local charts ... more than ANY other of the local rock bands who were burning up the charts back in the '60's. It truly was an honor to witness this reunion. Thanks again for providing some of the music that brought smiles of appreciation to MY face all those years ago. Thanks to everybody for sharing their memories with us ... and, if any of you out there get a chance to check out THE NEW COLONY SIX this summer, please do ... in fact, we'll probably see you there!!!
Kent Kotal

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

The Wrecking Crew - Part 2

I have ALWAYS stood in admiration of the TREMENDOUS amount of talent that went into the recording of some of the most popular music made during what WE call The FORGOTTEN HITS Era. That INCREDBILE, "behind the scenes" band of studio musicians are FINALLY getting their due, thanks to a brand new film documentary called THE WRECKING CREW.

Those of you who followed our recent PHIL SPECTOR Series already know that we've given this team of cracker-jack studio musicians a fair amount of attention recently ... we've ALSO spotlighted their efforts in earlier articles surrounding the music of THE BEACH BOYS, THE MONKEES, THE MAMAS AND THE PAPAS, GLEN CAMPBELL and many others. PHIL SPECTOR seems to be the guy who's been given the MOST credit over the years for originally assembling this team of musicians as THESE are the artists that he used during his infamous Wall Of Sound Recording Sessions of the early '60's. And, quite honestly, based on all that I've ever read about these guys ... from PHIL SPECTOR to THE BEACH BOYS ... to THE MONKEES ... to THE MAMAS AND THE PAPAS ... to GLEN CAMPBELL ... and to dozens of OTHER artists who had hit after hit after hit back in the '60's, to the best of MY knowledge they were ALWAYS known as THE WRECKING CREW ... this seemed to be the way that EVERYBODY referred to them ... and, quite honestly, EVERYBODY who was ANYBODY back in the '60's wanted to work with these guys!!!

However, several months ago I received an email from PRESTON RITTER, the original drummer for THE ELECTRIC PRUNES, that made me begin to wonder about the origin of this legendary team of musicians ... and, in particular, their "WRECKING CREW" name:

Hi Kent,
In the last few comments pages, I've seen reference made to the West Coast studio musicians, known as "The Wrecking Crew." I spent some time with Carol Kaye, the #1 recorded bassist (she's a guitarist, as well) last month. We were talking about the "old days" and she mentioned that drummer, Hal Blaine was mad at her. I asked "Why?" She said that the name, "The Wrecking Crew" was something Hal Blaine made up in the 80s. He was upset that she "let the truth out, regarding that nickname." She said, back when they were all making all the hit records, they were never known by that name. She said there were about 400 musicians, all working in various combinations in the studios back then. Hal invented the name "Wrecking Crew" many years later and wrote a book by that title (which I have).
Carol is a fascinating lady to talk to, since she was the #1 bassist in L.A. in the late 50s through the early 70s. She has a great sense of humor as well. She lives about 15 minutes away from my home and makes a living teaching bass and guitar. Her favorite drummer, from those days in the studio, was Earl Palmer, with whom she remains in touch. She was on approximately 10,000 recordings! Her bio with many of the hit records and TV shows she played on is on her web site:

I know this info isn't particularly important, but since accuracy is important for history, I thought this should be mentioned, as it comes straight from the "horses mouth," as they say. I worked with Carol back in the mid-sixties on some sessions myself. It was great to see her again after so many years. My friend, Sandy Nelson also worked with her, since she played Fender bass on some of his recordings.

Well, PRESTON, as you know, FORGOTTEN HITS is ALL about presenting THE MOST ACCURATE TRUTH we can, based on the information and recollections made available to us ... so your email got me to thinking ...

I was familiar with HAL BLAINE's book (and most of the legendary musicians who helped to make up the so-called WRECKING CREW) ... but I seem to remember them ALWAYS having been referred to that way … for as long as the “average music fans” knew about them anyway, regarding who it was behind the scenes creating all those great sounds! (Certainly it's been well-documented that BRIAN WILSON wanted to work with THE WRECKING CREW because THOSE were the guys who made PHIL SPECTOR's records sound so cool!!!) But, based on CAROL KAYE's assessment (as related in PRESTON RITTER's email), perhaps this is not really the case. Perhaps there was a little bit MORE to the story.

The PLUS was, we now have many of the musicians who were recording during this era on our FORGOTTEN HITS Mailing List ... which meant that I could ASK them!!! I also made it a point to re-read HAL BLAINE's book, just to be sure that I hadn't missed or forgotten anything over the years.

In his book, HAL BLAINE AND THE WRECKING CREW: THE STORY OF THE WORLD’S MOST RECORDED MUSICIAN, HAL refers to this team of musicians this way:

“As for our nickname, The Wrecking Crew, it came about because that was the impression we gave the older musicians. The established studio musicians always wore their blue blazers and neckties and always cleaned their ashtrays after a date. We were the new guys, and we dressed as we lived – in Levi’s and T-Shirts. We were informal and spontaneous, and a lot of the old hands thought we were wrecking the music industry.”

BLAINE goes on to name some of the “key” players who made up THE WRECKING CREW:

“Carol Kaye and Ray Pohlman on Fender basses; Lyle Ritz and Jimmy Bond on upright basses; Tommy Tedesco, Barney Kessel, Howard Roberts, Glen Campbell and Bill Pitman on guitars; Don Randi, Leon Russell, Larry Knechtel, Michael Melvoin and Al DeLory on pianos; Earl Palmer (along with BLAINE) on drums; Steve Douglas and Nino Tempo on sax; Jay Migliori and Roy Caton on trumpet along with other horn men like Ollie Mitchell, Tony Terran, Virgil Evans, Lou Blackburn.” (EDITOR’s NOTE: Another name that comes up all the time is BILLY STRANGE.)

PRESTON mentioned above that CAROL KAYE appeared on over 10,000 records … BLAINE’s book claims he’s done THREE TIMES that many recordings!!! (And, while CAROL says that HER favorite drummer was EARL PALMER, HAL BLAINE stated … about CAROL KAYE … that she was “a killer bass player who never let you down … we made such solid music together … I often thought that this was the woman I should have married.”)

Based on this revelation, I decided to contact a few of the artists who were there at the time to hear first hand what THEIR recollections were ... and I would LOVE to hear from a few more of you out there should this topic strike anybody's fancy.

As PRESTON said, let's get it as "Historically Accurate" as we possibly can. Meanwhile, you can still order a copy of BLAINE's book, THE WRECKING CREW, through AMAZON.COM:

Click here: Hal Blaine and the Wrecking Crew: The Story of the World's Most Recorded Musician: Books: Hal Blaine,M


We are VERY fortunate to have on our list of FORGOTTEN HITS Readers some of the artists who worked first-hand with THE WRECKING CREW back at a time when their music literally SATURATED the radio airwaves. Here are just some of those memories that we're now able to share:

As far as I recall, they were just INDIVIDUALLY known. Sonny Bono, Hal Blaine, Tommy Tedesco, Bill Pitman, Carol Kaye, Steve Douglas, Leon Russell, etc. There was also an east coast band that recorded at Mirasound in NYC engineered by Bill Macmeekan(sp?)

-- Al Kooper


No, they were not known as the Wrecking Crew at the time Dino, Desi & Billy first met and worked with them. But they were known as being the top session musicians in town; and I don't know exactly where or how they got their name, sorry.We always thought we would be recording our own songs on our own instruments since we really could play. It came as a total shock and surprise when we were told that studio musicians would be hired to do the recording, though we were invited to attend the sessions! Dino, Desi & Billy's very first session was produced by Jimmy Bowen and it included Jerry Cole on guitar, but I don't recall who was on drums or bass. The songs were "Since You Broke My Heart" and "We Know." Though we appeared on the Hollywood Palace TV show in 1964 to promote it, the song was not a hit. It wasn't until Jimmy Bowen turned the Producer duties over to Lee Hazlewood (though Jimmy was Executive Producer) that we had our first bona-fide hit with "I'm a Fool" / "So Many Ways" in 1965. Earl Palmer was definitely on drums, James Burton was on electric 12-string guitar for sure, but I don't recall if it was Ray Pohlman or Carol Kaye on bass. There was a percussionist on jawbone who might have been Jack Nietsche (sp ?). Don't forget, since we were only a 3-piece band, there weren't that many musicians on the date so as to SOUND like it was only a trio. When "I'm a Fool" became a smash hit for us, we went back into the studio to make our first album. It was at that time that I met more of the studio musicians who later became known as The Wrecking Crew: Hal Blaine, Don Randi, Barnie Kessel, Billy Strange, Al Casey, Tommy TeDesco, Mike Rubini, etc. This is all to the best of my recollection. Of all the players, I still see James Burton, Hal Blaine, Carol Kaye and Don Randi on occasion.
Hope this helps,
Billy Hinsche
(Dino, Desi and Billy)


I listened to these various Phil Spector cuts. Brian Wilson ADORED Phil Spector, even before he, BW, got up and running in the music biz. NOW I KNOW why Brian Wilson's Wrecking Crew sounds somewhat similar to the Wall of Sound approach. Brian emulated (and of course made his own unique style) the Phil Spector approach, some of his arrangement tricks, the echo-ey ambience, etc. Brian Wilson had his own unique evolutions, twists, plus his MELODIES and HARMONIES and vocal-instrumental arrangements are pop-rock classics. I guess the Wrecking Crew was mostly a West Coast or LA outfit, and I guess either the CREW would travel to the East Coast, or Phil Spector would travel to the West Coast. That was the probable explanation of how they worked together, logistically and spatially and geographically. Great stuff for folks who are into music writing, arranging, etc. I LEARN something new everyday from you and your newsletters.

Wow. Talk about 'timing.' Just got this a few moments ago in the mail. Back at you regarding when the 'name' came about.
Fred Vail

The Eagerly Anticipated Film Has Been Selected For Screening At The Upcoming South By Southwest (SXSW), Buffalo And Nashville Film Festivals
Howard Roberts and Tommy Tedesco, world-renowned guitarists who contributed to the founding of Hollywood’s Musicians Institute, are among the many L.A.-based session musicians profiled in The Wrecking Crew, a documentary film currently under development by producer (and Tommy’s son) Denny Tedesco. In recalling the golden years of the L.A. recording studio scene, Denny Tedesco tells the story of the A-listers who performed on thousands of records, film and television soundtracks that comprised a virtual soundtrack of ‘60s popular culture. Tommy Tedesco (who died in 1997) and Roberts (who died in 1992) were among the legendary players in the Crew who supplied the music for the Beach Boys, Phil Spector, the Monkees, Sonny & Cher, the Mamas and the Papas, Frank and Nancy Sinatra, and dozens of other pop icons. In the era before home studios and sampling, the booming recording industry demanded musicians who could read and play any style of music on cue, and the Wrecking Crew filled the bill. Racing across LA from one studio to the next, the Crew could shift gears in a single day from rock albums to orchestral film scores to jazz arrangements to cartoon soundtracks, routinely turning out multiple finished tracks in a single three-hour session.“The story of the Wrecking Crew is a picture of a unique moment in American musical history,” says Tedesco. “Like the musicians of Motown, Memphis and Nashville, these were the unsung heroes of popular music. They were as integral to the success of those records as the singers – most people never knew their names, but they knew their music note-for-note.”The singers agree; Nancy Sinatra states, “I think they were the best musicians in the country, then and now. Brilliant technique, execution and feel…and they could READ!” In later years, Roberts turned his vast musical experience and educational philosophy into the foundation for MI’s world-renowned professional music curriculum, while Tedesco and other members of the Crew appeared regularly to share their unique career perspectives in seminars and classes.The Wrecking Crew has been selected for screenings at the upcoming South By Southwest (SXSW) (March 7-15), Buffalo (March 24-29) and Nashville (April 17-24) film festivals. The documentary has received rave reviews at previous festival screenings, but wider distribution hinges on finalizing clearances for the dozens of hit songs included in the film. “We’re in the final process of nailing down funds, “said Tedesco. “If there are investors, we’re still taking calls.” To learn more about The Wrecking Crew, visit .
Yes, this is the film that we talked about yesterday ... I had hoped to make The Nashville Film Festival showing but, as I mentioned earlier, was unable to attend. We're still trying to gather more information as to when and where this film may be available for mass viewing and, as soon as we know something for sure, we'll be happy to let the rest of the list know as well!!!
It appears that it will 'debut' in three cities at three different festivals. A lot of these films don't make it to general distribution but are shown at colleges, universities, and trade events. I remember that the film about Tom Dowd was shown at Vanderbilt University here, if I recall.
Thanks to HENRY GROSS (who just happened to be one of the judges at this year's Nashville Film Festival ... and then performed at the Super Star "After Party" ... and who then filed a review of the film and party event EXCLUSIVELY for FORGOTTEN HITS yesterday), I had the pleasure of speaking with DENNY TEDESCO last night ... keep checking back with these FORGOTTEN HITS Pages as I'm looking forward to receiving more film updates from DENNY himself in the days to come! Our readers will be amongst the first to know when, where and how they can see this high profile film.

When contacting some of the artists on the list, I put together a series of questions in an effort to "ease" the narrowing down process:

KENT KOTAL: Were these musicians known as The Wrecking Crew in the industry at the time?
RICHIE ROTKIN of THE RIP CHORDS: Hi Kent! No,they were not. They were A-list Musicians,who were known during that era for playing on just about everybody’s records. Hal Blaine was the contractor as well as the Drummer for the majority of the sessions.

KK: Any idea WHERE the name came from?
RR: You'll have to read Hal Blaine's book, where he explains that. I think it had something to do with "wrecking" a band, because they got to play on the records instead of most of the actual band members back then.

KK: I think about that GREAT MOTOWN piece (STANDING IN THE SHADOWS OF MOTOWN) that came out a few years ago spotlighting THE FUNK BROTHERS ... some of the TOP musicians of their day ... who got virtually NO recognition at the time for the sound they created to MAKE those records the mammoth hits that they became. Yet (on a similar note) did ANYBODY refer to them as THE FUNK BROTHERS at the time??? Just curious as to your thoughts on this. Do you have any recollections you can share???
RR: I think that name was given to them later on. They were on tour recently with guest vocalists and they still had that magic!

KK: Thanks!!!
RR: My pleasure Kent. I love the newsletter!

Former RIP CHORDS Musical Director BOB RUSH told me that he would try to get answers to my questions from AL JARDINE, a member of THE BEACH BOYS at the time of all of these great recordings. Unfortunately, AL was away on vacation when BOB tried to contact him .. and we never did hear anything back. Perhaps now that we've got this up on The Blog, some of the OTHER artists who were recording at this time will contact us ... if and when they do, you can be sure that we will update this piece. Meanwhile, here's what I sent to BOB ...

KENT KOTAL: Although we have ALWAYS known them as such, I recently read an article that states that back AT THE TIME, SPECTOR's stable of studio musicians was NOT called THE WRECKING CREW ... that label didn't, in fact, come until the '80's when Drummer HAL BLAINE named them that!!! To the best of my recollection, EVERYBODY referred to them that way throughout musical history ... it was important, for example, for BRIAN WILSON to recruit THE WRECKING CREW for many of THE BEACH BOYS' recording sessions ... and even HE referred to them that way ... yet this NEW revelation causes me to wonder ...
First of all, were they known that way in the industry at the time???
BOB RUSH: Interesting question! Al is away on vacation but when we talk I will ask him if he knows.

KK: Secondly, any idea WHERE the name came from?
BR: I think that's in Hal's book, but I forget and hope to find out (maybe from Carol?) Another great question!

KK: I think about that GREAT MOTOWN piece that came out a few years ago spotlighting THE FUNK BROTHERS ... some of the TOP musicians of their day ... who got virtually NO recognition at the time for the sound they created to MAKE those records the mammoth hits that they became. Yet (on a similar note) did ANYBODY refer to them as THE FUNK BROTHERS at the time???
BR: Yes! They referred to themselves as The Funk Brothers. They were, like most studio cats, not discussed. There was also a female b/u group (ever notice how the Four Tops sound a lot like women on some songs??!), The Andantes (I believe that's Spanish for "secret")! c/o I did an interview with bassist Bob Babbitt - helluva good guy!
KK: Ironically, I just read a little bit about THE ANDANTES in the new FLORENCE BALLARD book ... not much info to go on, but an interesting tie-in. And, DENNY TEDESCO told me yesterday that BOB BABBITT was also in attendance for The Nashville Film Screening ... and just look at how successful that STANDING IN THE SHADOWS OF MOTOWN Film was!!! No question that there is DEFINITELY a market out there for a film like this WRECKING CREW project ... and a VERY excited audience is waiting for THEIR chance to see it, too. Thanks, Bob!

And then THIS just in from the legendary guitarist DAVIE ALLAN, MR. FUZZ Himself!!!

Regarding "The Wrecking Crew", I realize this is smal potatoes compared to all the hits they were on but I did many sessions with them including a few of the soundtracks (while my drummer engineered) including "Devil's Angels", "Thunder Alley", "The Glory Stompers" and "Wild In The Streets".
Davie Allan

Thanks, DAVIE ... my hope is that OTHER musicians who attended some of these sessions will ALSO share those memories with our FORGOTTEN HITS Readers. Just simply email me at either OR ... and we'll post YOUR memories on our brand new FORGOTTEN HITS Blog Page. (And DENNY ... if ANY of the guys who attended the film screening would like to share a memory or two, PLEASE have them contact me!!!)



GLEN CAMPBELL tells the story (in his autobiography RHINESTONE COWBOY) about the time he was asked to play guitar on FRANK SINATRA's legendary recording session for his #1 Comeback Hit, STRANGERS IN THE NIGHT. (We've related this story once or twice before ... but it's SUCH a goodie ... and ties in so well with our WRECKING CREW Series today ... that I couldn't resist telling it one more time!) CAMPBELL remembers the excitement he felt when Producer Extraordinaire JIMMY BOWEN asked him to play on the session:

"One of my earliest thrills came when Bowen called for me to play rhythm guitar in a Frank Sinatra session. I had been in Hollywood about three years, but there was still more Arkansas than California in me. I was one of four guitarists and the only one to play in E-Flat with a capo. 'Strangers In The Night" was to become a classic. We rehearsed the song fifteen times before Sinatra arrived. We recorded only three versions or 'takes' when Bowen stopped the session and selected the first rendition. The multi-million-copy version of that song was recorded on the first take!

"There were perhaps thirty musicians in the studio that day, including a string section, so who should wind up standing right next to Sinatra's singing booth? Me!

"I couldn't take my eyes off him. I couldn't believe that I was in the same room, much less that I was playing for him. Each time I looked at him, he was looking at me. I thought that he was impressed with my playing and that he was taking note that I was the only guitarist using a capo. I was positive I had impressed him, particularly after I saw him talking to Bowen and looking in my direction after the session.

"'Bowen,' I asked, 'was Frank talking about me?'"

"'Yes,' Bowen replied."

"'What did he say?' I asked anxiously."

"'He wanted to know who the fag guitar player was. Frank said you never stopped looking at him and he thought you were lusting.'"

Lol ... GREAT stuff!!!