Tuesday, March 23, 2010

The Flock (Part 1)

A couple of weeks ago we received an inquiry from one of our readers ... a transplanted Chicagoan ... asking about The Flock, one of the local bands to make it pretty hot and heavy on the scene here in The Windy City in the mid-to-late '60's.

After putting out a few feelers of our own, we heard back from Fred Glickstein, one of the founding members of The Flock and, after a series of email exchanges, figured we had enough material to put together a little mini-interview ... and a brief history of the band.

I then heard from Guy Arnston, original publisher of The Illinois Entertainer, who ran that incredible Jeff Lind Series back in the '80's profiling The History Of Chicago Rock.

And, for good measure, I got an email from Drummer Rick Barr of The New Colony Six, too, professing HIS admiration of this highly under-rated band.

Wow!!! Before I knew it, this was turning into something even bigger and better than I had first imagined!!!

Let's not hold it back any longer ... here is our Forgotten Hits Tribute to The Flock!!!


>>>I used to hit the clubs in suburban Chicago in the 60's, listening to the Flock, the Mauds and Saturday's Children. Any idea whatever happened to some of those guys, especially Fred Glickstein and Ron Karpman with the Flock? Thanks!
(Craig Sanford / Tulsa, OK)
>>>"Take Me Back" by The Flock is one of my ABSOLUTE favorites!!! We were at Bob Stroud's Rock And Roll Roots CD Release Party a few years ago when this track FINALLY made it on to one of the CDs ... actually, The New Colony Six performed a pretty credible version of it that day. There's a track by The Flock on THIS year's "Rock And Roll Roots" CD, too ... "Can't You See (That I Really Love Her)". A limited number of CDs are still available at Chicagoland Borders Book Stores (for all our our transplanted Chicagoans out there who remember this great music from the late '60's!) ... and we just realized that you can order copies of these CDs through The Drive's website, too! (kk)

>>>Here's a link to the new Flock Web Page. Give it a chance to load. Each time you click on a pic just scroll down to see the enlarged pic. Read the comments below the pics. Make a comment or two yourself! Enjoy! (Fred Glickstein)http://web.me.com/tomrabbit/Site/The_Flock.html
The following CDs are also available:

For the record, The Flock charted here in Chicago with THREE of their early Destination singles ... "Can't You See (That I Really Love Her)" reached #22 on the WLS Chart in early 1967, "Are You The Kind" went to #23 on WLS a couple of months later and "Take Me Back" soared all the way to #12 that summer ... and then they were gone. (None of these records made the national charts so, unlike many of the other Chicagoland bands that developed an audience outside The Windy City, The Flock were probably BEST known within our city limits ... making it all the more amazing a couple of years later when the band changed musical directions and, in the process, became one of the very first progressive "art rock" bands, developing a HUGE following overseas in Europe!)

We'll trace some of their history below ... and throughout the rest of this series ... but first this email from Rick Barr, drummer for The New Colony Six:

Hi, Kent.
In your excellent reply to Craig Sandford, MD, about members of the Flock, you mentioned that the Colony played the Flock's "Take Me Back" at the CD release party for the disc Bob Stroud included it on. Craig would probably be interested in knowing that T.S Henry Webb represented the Flock in that performance, taking the tenor sax parts. It was great to see Webb. Also, I ran into Fred Glickstein at Dean Milano's book signing at the Abbey Pub recently -- he was funny as ever, and graciously signed my copy of Dean's book. Jeff Boyan of Saturday's Children was there as well, allowing me to fulfill a lifetime goal of mine, to let him know how much Saturday's Children influenced my career in show biz. Jeff signed a copy of an HP Lovecraft record he appears on for me. That was a really nice event -- I got to meet a number of people I've held in high esteem for many years.

Rick Barr
New Colony Six
Man, you guys were ROCKIN' that day ... I told both Ray and Bruce that you should keep the number in the act, even if you simply added it to the "Chicago Gold" medley that you do, honoring some of the other "Local Heroes" who helped to put Chicago on the musical map.
I remember T.S. Henry Webb being there ... and it seems to me that Jerry Smith has attended a few of these "Rock And Roll Roots" gigs over the years, too. (My understanding is that he hasn't been in very good health these past couple of years ... so it's a REAL treat when he makes it out to these things.)
Fortunately after these comments first ran we heard back from both Fred Glickstein of The Flock and Jeff Boyan of Saturday's Children ... perhaps you are the one to thank for this!
I just love it when we find out that some of our favorite musicians are also fans of many of these great artists, just as much as WE are ... this certainly was an exciting time musically here in our fair city. (kk)

Here's an interesting Flock / New Colony Six tie-in you might enjoy ... not sure if you've heard this story before or not, but in an interview that Fred Glickstein did with our buddy Mike Dugo of 60sgaragebands.com, he told THIS story about how The Flock first came up with their name:
Before we were the Flock, we were the Exclusives, but we didn't really like that name and were looking for a new one. One evening there was a "Battle of the Bands" at the Aragon Ballroom in Chicago. The two bands that were "battling" that night were Chicago's own New Colony Six and a group from England called the Robin Hoods. After the Robin Hoods finished their set, I walked up to one of the members and told him that I really enjoyed his group. Then I asked him where they got the name Robin Hoods. He said that they had chosen between two names, the Robin Hoods or the Flock. I then asked if there was another group using the name Flock and he said, "Not that I know of." So the name had to be imported from England and the Flock was born in Chicago, U.S.A.! That's how we got the name Flock.
-- Fred Glickstein

More on The Flock tomorrow in Forgotten Hits ... but for right now, please enjoy MY all-time favorite Flock track, "Take Me Back"!!! (kk)