My Trip to the Rainbow Planet

by Ann Moses on February 24, 2013

The first time I ever met Paul Revere and The Raiders as they surprised us at Tiger Beat offices February 1966. I’m getting a Fang hug on the left.

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” life. Marriage, family, work, but not in journalism. Why I left Tiger Beat and Hollywood we’ll save for another time.

I didn’t really use my writing skills other than to write the dreaded-by-some, loved-by-some family Christmas newsletter. When my sons were in high school I turned the school’s 1-page monthly newsletter from the Parents’ Association into a 16-page monthly “magazine” with about 50 photos in each issue along with articles about all the activities in the classes in the school which was Pre-K through 12.

In doing so I totally embraced the first computers that came out. I would not embrace the internet while it was still dial-up. The wait was unbearable. The minute we had high-speed internet via cable I was an instant fan. It took me until a couple of years ago to get into Facebook. I had no idea where that would lead until I began getting in touch with long time friends from high school days, long time friends from Tiger Beat days, and then some of my fave friends, like Jim “Harpo” Valley and Phil “Fang” Volk from Paul Revere and The Raiders.

Doing an interview with Harpo on the set of “Where The Action Is.”

Jim was only a Raider for a about a year, but we became good friends during that time. We first met in February when the Raiders made a surprise visit to Tiger Beat to celebrate the magazine’s one year anniversary. I had only been working there for one month. The first issue was actually published in September 1965, but the editors wanted this piece “in the can” and ready to publish for the September 1966 anniversary edition.

The Raiders were hugely popular in Tiger Beat and from the moment we met, I began making regular trips to the TV

Harpo and me on the set of “Where The Action Is,” summer of 1966. After this photo was taken we were off for a great ride!

show “Where The Action Is.” “Where The Action Is” debuted in June 1965, but I never saw the shows back then because I was either in my college classes or working at Disneyland during the summer. It ran five days a week on ABC-TV and the Raiders along with the “Action Kids” were an afternoon must-see for teens and pre-teens across the country. Once I met the Raiders I made regular visits to the Action sets, which were filmed in locations from Malibu beach to the Los Angeles Zoo. I would always have my tape recorder and camera with me and in their down time I did many interviews which became stories in TB, but it also allowed me to really become friends. I was closest to Jim (who had the most loving heart and soul) and Phil “Fang” Volk. Mark, Smitty and Paul were available if I requested an interview. Jim and Phil were about my age and we just hit it off as friends whenever there was down time.

I got to know them even better when I arranged to do an exclusive for Tiger Beat “On Tour with Paul Revere and The Raiders and Dino, Desi and Billy.” I flew in to Baltimore and then traveled by bus with the groups to performances in Jacksonville, Orlando, Tampa, and Miami. I had only been working for Tiger Beat for 8 months and I was on tour with the hottest groups of the day. I didn’t get much sleep that week because after each show we would find a local club and all the guys would “jam” with the local musicians until late in the morning, then we’d get a couple hours sleep and get up and climb on the bus for the next stop on the tour. The bus is where we got most of our shut eye.

In November I was fortunate to tour with them again for five days through the Southern states and their opening act was The Standells. It was on this trip I recorded hours and hours with Paul telling me the “Whole True Story of Paul Revere and The Raiders.” It was quite a story and ran as a 3-part series in TB.

So it’s 2012 and I’ve gotten the “hang” of Facebook. As Facebook works, a friend of mine (from the 60’s in Hollywood) was friends with Jim on Facebook and Jim sent me friend request. I couldn’t believe it! We started emailing like crazy and I got to hear all about his life after the Raiders. When my friend Teri came to visit me recently so we could catch up on the last (I’m not telling how many!) years, we video Skyped Jim and he played his piano and sang us a handful of songs we’d never heard before and then we got a tour of his house which holds many of his treasures from his travels around the world. Isn’t technology awesome? It felt like no time had passed at all.

Here’s Jimmy performing before an enthusiastic class at an International School in Ulm, Germany a few weeks ago!

The most fascinating part to me about Jimmy’s post-Raider career was when he turned to a new passion called Rainbow Planet. For the past thirty years, Jim has devoted himself to creative writing, songwriting, imagination, building self-esteem, appreciating diversity, anti-bullying via original CDs, a DVD and appearances at schools around the world spreading his message of love and peace and caring for our environment.

You can see his incredible magic world at his website www.rainbowplanet.com and hear the whole story of how it came to life, click on Jim-Bio-The Story of Rainbow Planet. Jim has written original songs for the children he was performing for, and on some songs the children wrote the lyrics and when I first listened to the songs I was just amazed at the works of art Jimmy turned them into, setting the kids lyrics to music. He brings all the energy of a Raider performance to his shows for the kids and gets all the kids and the teachers involved in every song! When I watched his DVD, I wanted to get up and move, which is what he intended to happen!

I am so proud of my rockstar friend, Jimmy, and so very happy to be reunited with the wonderful person I met so many years ago.

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

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