Photo from February 1966, on the roof of the TB building in Hollywood.

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!

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.

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!

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.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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My Friend, Dick Dodd

by Ann Moses on December 1, 2013

Dick Dodd, dead at the age of 68 on November 29, 2013. I felt it was coming, but still it hit me like a hammer. Had so much time really passed?

The early years

The early years

I first saw Dick back in 1963 and 1964 when he played with the group Eddie and the Showmen and then with the Standells, along with groups like the Beach Boys, at the Retail Clerks Union Hall in Buena Park, California, across the street from Knott’s Berry Farm. The Standells were a super popular “garage band” at the time and had not yet recorded their biggest hit “Dirty Water.” That song was recorded in 1965 and topped the charts at #11 in June of 1966. The song was revived in the early 1990s by the Boston Bruins hockey team and the Boston Red Sox – both teams play the song at their games. “Dirty Water” is listed in the The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame’s “500 Songs that Shaped Rock and Roll.”DStandellsalbum

“Retail Clerks” as we called the hall was a huge venue and on Saturday nights, kids from all over Southern California went there to listen to the bands and dance all night on a fabulous wooden dance floor. Honestly, I never paid much attention to the bands, and my girlfriends and I kept our eyes out for our friends from high school and danced the night away. We were never part of the row of young people that hung out at the foot of the stage to watch the bands. We just wanted to dance.

One of my photos of the Standells while I toured with them in 1966.

One of my photos of the Standells while I toured with them in 1966.

I never met Dick or the other Standells until November of 1966. Previously, I had been on tour with Paul Revere and the Raiders and Dino, Desi and Billy in August as they traveled through Florida. My bosses at Tiger Beat were so thrilled with the story of being on tour with these popular groups and all the behind-the-scenes photos I shot, that their “Christmas present” to me was to go on another week’s tour with Paul Revere and the Raiders through the Southern states. This time the Standells were on the tour as well.

When I landed in Georgia, I was introduced to Dick Dodd, Tony Valentino, Larry Tamblyn and John Fleck. I was immediately drawn to Dick Dodd, the lead singer and drummer for the band. He was so “un-Hollywood” as I described him in my first article on the group for Tiger Beat. Down to earth, he liked spending time with his friends and family at their home in Redondo Beach back in California. And he was so cute. He was tall, slender, had warm brown eyes, and irresistible dimples when he smiled. I didn’t realize that he had such beautiful brown skin because his mother was of Mexican descent.

For several days, I would climb on the on the tour bus each morning and Dick came to sit beside me in the double seats as we traveled to the next concert in the next city. In a letter to my parents on Montgomery, Alabama, Holiday Inn stationery I wrote, “How the hell are you? Just teasing, Dick said to say that. Dick is the drummer and lead singer in The Standells, who are outasight as the teenies say. So do I for that matter.

“We’re here in Montgomery, it’s 1:45 in the afternoon and we’re watching the Notre Dame versus Michigan game on TV. In a little bit I’m interviewing Paul Revere, then I’m taking color shots of Phil Volk, then. . .The Standells have asked me to take color shots of them that they might want to buy for an album cover!

“Everything has gone really smoothly, the shows have been fabulous! And the bus rides are soooooo beautiful. Last tour I was so busy interviewing the Raiders or sleeping as we drove to the next show, that I didn’t see any of the countryside. But this time I ride with all the other groups in one bus. The Raiders have their own bus with eight beds, stereo, TV, etc. They sleep on all the drives. As a result, I’ve seen so much of the South!

“I’ve always heard about ‘fall,’ but actually we never see it in California. Here all the trees are yellow, brown, green and red. It’s fantastic! Also, the weather is unbelievable for November, about 70 degrees every day.

“I stayed up all night in Augusta yesterday. After the show we all went to a great club where they had an old piano and tiffany lamps, then we went to another club and two of the Standells, two Raiders, and Dee Robb jammed (played together on a song) and it was too much. Then we came back to the hotel and Dick and Smitty played songs until 4 this morning. Next Dick and I went out to the children’s playground at the hotel and swung on the swings and talked until about 6 a.m. Then Dick took me to breakfast, after that I slept for three hours and we left for Montgomery.”

I continued to rave about Dick in my letters to my parents: “Dick was in the Mouseketeers when he was nine, ten and eleven years old, so I’ve been bugging him constantly asking him questions about those days. Poor baby. Also, he used to play in the band Eddie and the Showmen who played at Retail Clerks Union Hall in Buena Park every week. Remember, I went all through my junior year dancing there every Saturday night.

Dickie in his Mousketeer days. I watched the Mouseketeer faithfully growing up.

Dickie in his Mousketeer days. I watched the Mouseketeers faithfully growing up.

“Last night backstage I taught him ‘Meet Me in St. Louis.’ (This was a tap dance routine to the song ‘Meet Me in St. Louis’ that I had learned and performed when I took dance lessons as a child. Of course, as a Mouseketeer Dick knew how to tap dance.) We tap danced for everyone for about an hour. By the time he had to go on stage, he was really worn out. It was really fun, though.”

I’ll never forget some of the magic moments from that tour, and I’m so sad that we did not keep in touch over the years. And many more generations of fans came to love him as Dick was a wonderful man, had a warm heart, and loved his music and performing. He brought much joy to his fans throughout his life. A life that, sadly, was way too short.

Dick in June of this year with Frankie Avalon at the Disney re-dedication of the Annette Funicello Stage at Disney Studios. Annette passed away in April of this year.

Dick in June of this year with Frankie Avalon at the Disney re-dedication of the Annette Funicello Stage at Disney Studios. Annette passed away in April of this year.

I’ll miss you, Dickie. But you’ll always be in my memories and my heart.

Good times. . .Ann Moses reporting about “back in the day.”

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Boys and Their Toys

October 23, 2013

One of my favorite keepsake photos from “back in the day” is of me with the Monkeemobile. Their official car was created by Dean Jeffries for the TV show. It was a customized Pontiac GTO. The Monkeemobile would often be parked near the set, whenever it was a part of the script for the boys […]

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A Season for Reunions

October 12, 2013

In my blog post “My Trip to the Rainbow Planet,” I told you about reuniting with Jim “Harpo” Valley of Paul Revere and the Raiders. Once connected via Facebook, we madly emailed back and forth. Later, we even Skyped once, and I met his lady love, Wendy, and got a tour of his home and […]

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The Monkees – Back to the Future

August 11, 2013

It didn’t take a DeLorean time machine to take me right back to 1967 last Friday night. Seeing the Monkees – Mike, Peter and Micky – live at the Mesa Arts Center in Mesa, Arizona took my heart and mind back to the first Monkees performance I ever attended at the Cow Palace in San […]

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The Who – Pushing Me Higher and Higher!

June 8, 2013

The Who, Roger Daltry, Pete Townsend, John Entwistle and Keith Moon, who started out as The Detours in 1964, became one of the most influential rocks groups of the 60’s and 70’s, receiving a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award and have been inducted into The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. They were first introduced to […]

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My Favorite Side of the Camera

April 27, 2013

From the very beginning of my writing career, I had no doubts about my ability to be a journalist. My first paid writing job was as a reporter for my hometown newspaper the Anaheim Bulletin, which ran a weekly page of reports from all the local Junior and Senior High Schools, with each reporter telling […]

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My Trip to the Rainbow Planet

February 24, 2013

I am often asked by readers of my blog, “Have you kept in touch with any of the faves you wrote about back in the 60’s and 70’s?” Until recently my answer would have been “no.” Once I left Hollywood in 1972, I never returned and led what I can only describe as a “normal” […]

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Dining with the Stars

January 1, 2013

When I moved to Hollywood in 1966 I knew how to cook 3 things: pancakes, brownies and French toast. Moving from my parents’ home in Anaheim, I moved into a 1 bedroom furnished apartment in West Hollywood. My across the street neighbor was Davy Jones. Though I know now that TV dinners were in the […]

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Yes, I was in an Elvis Movie!

November 23, 2012

The first question whenever I tell someone I was in an Elvis movie is “which one?” And my answer is usually “Not one of his ‘corny’ movies like ‘Girls, Girls, Girls’ or ‘Speedway.’” I was never a bikini-clad teenager dancing the Watusi to a lame Elvis musical number. I was not an extra in the […]

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