Category: Band

ME, MY THEREMIN, and THE BEACH BOYS

1966, Nov.18, 1 a.m.: I am in my bed, at the Hyatt West Hotel on Sunset Strip with distressing insomnia. I am desperate for sleep. My band, THE GIDDY STATUES, and me are on tour of the USA with The JIMI HENDRIX EXPERIENCE. We have one more gig in California: The Winterland Ballroom, then we will frantically continue the last leg of this US tour, finishing in New York City’s FILLMORE EAST.

British Invasion Music Map

Of all the movements that have shaken the world of rock & roll, the BRITISH INVASION ranks among the most exciting and important. Check out this ROCK & ROLL “FAMILY TREE” and see how the Pop BRITISH INVASION of 1964 fired the first pop-shot heard around the world. PS: take a look at the influence that GIRL GROUPS had on The Beatles. Who knew!

Whatever Became of the Countless British Rock Groups that sprang up in the mid-Sixties!

We all know what happened to The Beatles and The Rolling Stones…but what about The Rockin’ Berries, Brian Poole & The Tremeloes, The Pretty Things and The Giddy Statues? In between the peppy early Sixties pop of CLIFF RICHARD and the late Sixties explosion of progressive rock, there were hundreds of beat-groups from all over Britain looking for two-minute hits and slightly longer careers. In this blog, I now celebrate the small names and the no-hopers who were genuine superstars in the U.K. but could never break into the American music market during the pop British Invasion of the 60s.

Memory Rewind: A Closet Full Of Mad Baboons

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April,1978: Reggie begins recording with famous record producer, PHIL SPECTOR. The sessions are extremely intense and exhausting. When Phil Spector comments, “Who made this tea? It’s cold.” Spector is thrown through the large glass window of engineer’s booth. The gun totting record producer, Phil Spector, runs out of the sessions whimpering and terrified of Reggie Bender. Bender is now heavily sedated and kept on medication. Reggie’s psychiatrist is summoned to finish producing the recordings. The album is finally completed with the title, “A CLOSET FULL OF MAD BABOONS”. The record label rejects the album and it remains unreleased. The record label President resigned rather than listen to side 2.

Memory Rewind: Club UFO (1967)

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Oct. 7th, 1967: At Club UFO: DONAVAN (who’s hits include, “Mellow Yellow” and “Sunshine Superman.”) invites Reggie to perform onstage. Bender appears in red Cleopatra makeup, creating songs on the spot to backing from six sitars and a conga drum. Bender, having ingested various psychedelic drugs, has no recollection of this night or how he woke up naked atop the prehistoric monument, Stonehenge.

The Giddy Statues 1965 U.S. Tour with The Who

June, 1965 -The Giddy Statues first American tour: The Giddy Statues tour the USA with THE WHO. During a performance by The Who, Reggie accidentally gets hit over the head by PETE TOWNSHEND’S guitar. The Giddy Statues continue the US tour even though Reggie can only say the word, “Mayonnaise” for the next three weeks.

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Fattest Bluesman?

Discover what happened in 1964 when Reggie Bender and Keith Richards couldn't agree on who the fattest bluesman was.

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Cheers to “HONEY” LANTREE of THE HONEYCOMBS: The First Female Rock Drummer

In the 50s and 60s being male or female governed which musical options individuals had. That is, if you were a male, you could do almost anything musical: guitarist or drummer, bandleader or producer. If you were female, you could be a singer, but even then the contexts had limits. Very few women in this milieu achieved success as drummers, keyboard players or bass players. But one individual female comes to mind. And, of all instruments, she played drums! I can only imagine the passion for pop/rock this woman had. A passion so true, gender didn’t matter; she ventured into a music world where men ruled that industry.