Photo from February 1966, on the roof of the Tiger Beat building in Hollywood.
I woke this morning to the sad news that Paul Revere has been welcomed into “Rock and Roll Heaven.” The song was the first thing I thought of when I heard Paul left us. Written by Alan O’Day and Johnny Stevenson:
“If you believe in forever
Then life is just a one-night stand
If there’s a rock and roll heaven
Well you know they’ve got a hell of a band”
My favorite version is from the legendary Righteous Brothers and highlights some of the greats that have already joined the band:
* “Jimi gave us rainbows” refers to “Rainbow Bridge” by Jimi Hendrix
* “Janis took a piece of our hearts” refers to the recording of “Piece of My Heart” by Big Brother and the Holding Company featuring Janis Joplin
* “Otis brought us all to a dock of a bay” refers to “(Sittin’ On) The Dock of the Bay” by Otis Redding
* “Sing a song to light my fire, remember Jim that way” refers to “Light My Fire” by The Doors which featured Jim Morrison
* “Remember bad, bad Leroy Brown, Hey Jimmy touched us with that song” refers to “Bad, Bad Leroy Brown” by Jim Croce
* “Bobby gave us Mack the Knife” refers to Bobby Darin’s recording of “Mack the Knife”
I was lucky to have met Jimi, Janis, Jim, and to have seen Otis and Bobby perform, and to enjoy all of Jim Croce’s music. Now Paul is getting his “Kicks” with his new band, with Drake, Smitty, Dick Dodd, Davy Jones and all of the great talents mentioned in the original song.
My introduction to the crazy Paul Revere and the Raiders. That’s Laudy Powell at her desk at TB and Fang with his arms around me!
I first met Uncle Paul a month after I started working at Tiger Beat. In February 1966, Paul and the Raiders (then Mark Lindsay, Mike “Smitty” Smith, Phil “Fang” Volk and Jim “Harpo” Valley) stormed into the Tiger Beat offices with a giant stuffed tiger to “celebrate” the one-year anniversary of the magazine. There had only been seven issues published at that time, but with their crazy tour schedule, we planned this visit and photo shoot early so it could appear in the September 1966 issue, the official one year anniversary issue.
I had interviewed quite a few groups and solo performers in the year prior, but no one was remotely like Paul and the Raiders. They were slapstick comedians, great musicians, and high intensity energy radiated from all five. When I met them I immediately felt their warmth and love, which they seemed unable to contain.
Over the next months, I was honored—and had great fun!–getting to know them as I made regular visits to the Where The Action Is sets. I also had the pleasure of going on tour with them, first in August of 1966, then again in November 1966. During the first trip, as we travelled together in a bus from city to city, Paul recounted the “The Whole History of the Raiders.” Not only did he tell me the detailed story, but, as we recorded the interview, everyone on the bus drew near to hear the story: the other Raiders, Tommy Roe, Dino, Desi and Billy.
In addition to his turning PR&R into the biggest and best show band in the US, Paul
Smitty’s thought bubble says it all.
was a shrewd behind-the-scenes businessman. He was the CEO and ran his company with a tight fist. Underneath it all was the heart of a performer and he and the Raiders gave their all in every show they did. And it was never the same twice! Every fan got an original show just for them. I couldn’t help but laugh when during one of my tours with the group I asked them each to draw a picture of one of their band mates. Smitty’s depiction of Paul was spot-on.
I saw another side of Paul when I was asked by Dick Clark to appear on What’s Happening ’69. I was asked to star in a segment called “What’s Happening in Hollywood” for episode 17 which aired on March 29, 1969. I gave a report on the latest Hollywood news. I worked and worked practicing reading from my note cards (no help from teleprompters in those days), but when the day finally came to tape, I was sick to my stomach, I felt dizzy, and I couldn’t stop my voice from trembling.I was scared to death I would make a mistake, make a fool of myself, or make Dick Clark regret he had ever asked me to be on the show.
I never could have made it through this TV appearance without Paul’s help!
Once behind my “news desk,” Mark and Paul, who I had now known for four years, did their best to joke with me, get me to calm down, take my mind off the job ahead, and somehow put me at ease. But I never was and never will be comfortable on that side of the camera! When my cue finally came, I looked into the camera, looked down at my note cards, and began to read the news I had rehearsed. To my own ears it sounded horrible, and I could feel the fear as I spoke my lines. Afterward, to my great relief, Dick Clark came up and told me what a great job I had done. My co-workers at Tiger Beat said the same thing on Monday morning. But I was never convinced because I just felt totally out of my comfort zone.
This wonderful tribute on the Raiders Facebook page, sums things up better than I ever could: https://www.facebook.com/paulrevereraiders?fref=nf
Thanks, Paul, for all the great memories and all the life lessons you shared with us.I have no doubt that you will be the leader of the band in Rock and Roll Heaven!I’ll miss you, Paul. But you’ll always be in my memories and my heart.
Good times and sad. . .Ann Moses reporting about “back in the day.”