Wednesday, December 30, 2015

News On Jake Berger And January 23rd Show

Hello everyone-

As you may know, my friend and book co-author Jake Berger has hurt pretty bad in an accident two weeks ago. Jake and the Mannish Boys had a show planned at The Double Door Inn on January 23rd with Crisis. Randy Franklin has generously decided to make this a benefit show for Jake, featuring many of the folks that Jake has played with over his 50 year career. Spread the word, this one's gonna Rock. Get well soon, Jake, and see you all in 2016.
-Daniel 
December 30, 2015

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Happy Holidays

Hello All-

Happy holidays. Our book is available, as always, from Amazon.com-

http://www.amazon.com/There-Was-Time-Charlotte-Carolina/dp/0615809405 

If you would like an autographed copy of the book, email us, or post us a comment, and we'll get it to you. Best wishes,
-Daniel
November 25, 2015

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

New Interview With Jim Bowen Of The Bondsmen

Daniel Coston: How did you meet the other members of the Bondsmen?

Jim Bowen: The fall of 1966 in Durham, NC I transferred from Durham High School to Northern High School  my junior year. In study hall I met a sophomore Phillip Pearson. We talked about what we did, liked, hobbies, etc. What else do you do in Study Hall besides study? Phil mentioned he played in the school band, played the Euphonium. I said I had played the clarinet previously at D.H.S. Then he said he also played drums in combos. I told him I played electric guitar in combos also. He told me about two friends at the junior high school that played guitars and one of them had a great singing voice. Phillip invited me over to his house for a jam session. I met Ken Haywood playing bass and Archie Thomas playing electric guitar and Phillip was right, Archie is a great singer.

Coston: How did the band form?

Bowen: After playing together Ken and I swapped base and guitar and I started playing the bass and Ken played Lead Guitar. Archie sang lead vocals and guitar. Phillip was an out of sight drummer. We all sang back-up vocals. After a couple more sessions everything was clicking, we enjoyed playing and started to learn more songs. The Bondsmen was formed. The four of us played a few gigs, youth centers, club houses, sock hops, the discotech clubs.

We wanted and needed more variety – a keyboard player. Gene Gallegan was a junior at NHS he had transferred from PA., he played organ and electric piano. He was a great addition to the Bondsmen. Our song variety increased. We wanted more- horns- we auditioned several horn, sax and trumpet players. The just did fit. So far the 5 Bondsmen were learning more and more songs and we all like what we were doing and got along great so the horn player we were looking for had to fit right in.
I call a trumpet player I had player with in the DHS band, Tim Hutchinson. He played 1st chair and what a sound he could deliver. I think we really wanted a Sax player for some of the music we did, but when we heard Tim that all changed. Another great addition to the Bondsmen. So the original line up:

Archie Thomas – lead Vocals
Ken Haywood – Lead guitar – Backup Vocals
Jim Bowen – Bass guitar – Backup Vocals
Phillip Phillips – Drummer
Gene Gallegan – Organ & Electric piano
Tim Hutchinson – Trumpet

Coston: Did you have an idea of what you thought the band should sound like?

Bowen: Our ages ranged from 14 – 17 years old. Some were limited to where we could play- no night clubs because we were under age. We learned a variety of music to please everyone. Some old standards and a lot of top 40 hits. Remember top 40 hits in the  60’s included, Temptations, Tams, 4 Tops, Showman, Beatles, Dave Clark Five, Kinks, Monkeys, Herb Albert, and Jimi Hendrix just to name a few.

Coston: Where were some of your early gigs?

Bowen: Early gigs included; Youth Centers, Sock hops, High school proms, YMCA Dances, Country Clubs, Moose Lodge, Shrine Club, Duke, Carolina and State Frat Parties, Christmas Parties for businesses – WTVD, Trucking Co., Jaycees, etc.

Coston: How did the single with Justice Records come about?

Bowen: Battle of the Bands were a popular event and we liked playing in them for exposure and to win prizes. We won several Battles, The Jazz In, Pearson Music Battle, Raleigh Battle, etc. The prize of  The Durham Battle of the Bands was a recording session and 1000 records at Justice Records in Winston Salem.

Coston: How often did the Bondsmen play during their time together? How many times a week, month, for example.

Bowen: The Bondsmen would get together after school and practice 3 to 5 times a week and if we didn’t have a gig we would do our show on the weekend. When we stated playing gig’s it was every weekend Friday and Saturday. During Christmas Season we played out 3 to 4 times a week. We were not able to practice as much but we would go to gigs and learn songs before the gig started.

Coston: The Bondsmen set list by 1968 was pretty diverse. How did you come to choose songs for the shows?

Bowen: We played for all age groups. The older age group we choose songs like Blue Moon, Love is Blue, etc. My father recommended some songs for their age group and they worked. One night at practice my father gave us sheet music of “Sweetheart of Sigma Chi” to play for the Sigma Chi Fraternity. He said the Frat House would like it and sing along with us. We thought ok well see how it goes, we were skeptical. The night of the gig we played the song and WOW, they went crazy, they were pleased and needless to say they helped spread the word to other Frat Houses and we got more and more jobs. As for the younger age group the top 40’s of the day was great and appealed to the teenager on up.

Coston: How much did the venue (dances, private groups, etc.) affect the Bondsmen’s set list?

Bowen: After months of practice we had learned over 200 songs. We would compile a list for each gig and then take request. When we played one of our regular gigs and had a request we didn’t know we would learn it for the next time.

Coston: My impression is that the Bondsmen were very popular in the Triangle area, and elsewhere. Talk about that.

Bowen: The Bondsmen had a great following. The YMCA dances got larger. The local radio station WSSB would come out and announce us at the show. The Frat parties spread from Duke to UNC to State. Mostly word of mouth from Frat Brothers. When our 1st record was released we sent a copy to the local radio stations and put some copies in the local Record Bar. One night we got a call from WSSB and invited us to the station for an on air  interview. You can only imagine how high school kids felt (on cloud nine). We were welcome anytime to go to the station and they played our records all the time.

Coston: What do you remember about winning the Battle of the Bands in 1968?

Bowen: January 27, 1968 we were 2nd place in the Raleigh Battle of the Bands. This was held at the Dorton Arena. Playing on the large stage where I had seen groups like Led Zeppelin, Jimi Hendrix, Moody Blues and more.What an experience for high school students! March 2,1968 we won First place in the Pro Combo Contest. This was a battle held by Pearson Music Store in Durham with 15 bands competing. April 1968 we won First place in the South Granville Battle of the Bands. Winning this Battle qualified us to go to the State Battle of the Bands. June 1968 we were 3rd place in th NC State Battle of the Bands. So many great groups from all over the state. It was great to be a part of this Battle. 

Coston: Talk about “Our Time To Try”, and picking “I See The Light” to record.

Bowen: One of the Battles we won was The Jazz In August 6, 1967, one of the prizes was a 3 hour demo recording at AMH Studio in Chapel Hill. When we went to the studio we recorded 8 songs. The studio engineer said he liked our sound and asked did we have any originals. We told him we were working on one. He made us an offer to come back to record it. We went back to Durham and started to put together “Our Time to Try.” John Santa also went to NHS and would come to shows and practices he had written lyrics to a song. Archie and John worked on the lyrics, and the rest of the group worked on their parts of the music. When we returned to the studio to record “Our Time to Try” the studio engineer also liked “I see the Light” from the demo session and it became the other side of “Our Time to Try".

Coston: Favorite Bondsmen gigs. Talk about them.

Bowen: It’s hard to pick a favorite gig. The Frat Parties were like “Animal House” and they really got into our music. The youth centers & YMCA Dance crowd got larger each time. I enjoyed playing for the large crowds and of course all the girls-yes, we had groupies!

Coston: The band had lineup changes in 1968. Everyone talked about that time, regardless of whether you joined, or left the band?

Bowen: The summer of 1968 Gene, Tim, and I graduated from High School. After the summer we enrolled in different colleges in different areas.

Coston: What did you do after the Bondsmen?

Bowen: After the Bondsmen in 1968 I would jam with different groups. Four musicians from different groups and myself formed a group “The Sour Honey.” We did similar music and played some of the same places. In 1970 I played bass with an all-black group, I think the name was “The Soul Sensations.” We were all over 18 years old and we played night clubs in Raleigh, Apex, and Durham area. The fall of 1970 I moved to Charlotte to attend UNCC. I didn’t play for a couple of years. Then I picked the bass up and have been playing ever since. I have played in several bands and have recorded another 45 with a group “The Eyes”. And don’t forget the album “Tobacco a go-go” with the second Bondsmen record with both tracks on the album. Someone from Duke called my father, who had managed The Bondsmen, in need of a music group to do a “Rock mass” for a Sunday night service at Duke Chapel. “The Crystal Ship” was formed. Hubert Deans, keyboard and lead vocals, Johnny Thompson, drums, Ken Haywood, lead guitar and backup vocals and me on bass and backup vocals. We were the first band to do a rock mass at Duke Chapel in March 1970.

Coston: The recent reunion show. Talk about that. Thoughts, favorite moments, etc.

Bowen: Getting ready for the recent reunion show was a trip. Seeing The Bondsmen back together after 46 years was something I had only dreamed about. I talked to Daniel Coston and Jake Berger at the History Museum in Charlotte at a book release, " There Was A Time", and he asked me if I would be interested in a Bondsmen Reunion. I said that would be awesome but the group is spread out all over the country. Daniel said I will make it happen. That was June 2014. I went to Durham a few times for rehearsals at Hubert Deans Studio. The first time I went it was like being in a time machine. I hadn’t seen Archie, Tim, Hubert, Jim Ward, and Gene in 46 years. I had seen Phillip in LA. In the 70’s and again in 2014 in Charlotte. I had stayed in touch with Ken through the years. When we got on stage for the sound check all the rehearsals, and thoughts and dreams from the past 46 years came together. We were good, we were always good I mean after all these years we all still had it! We were great! 

Coston: To end this interview, finish this sentence. The Bondsmen were and are…

Bowen: The Bondsmen were a group of musicians in High School that formed a group whose motto on our business card was “Modern Music at its Best”. This has carried through the years and we are still preforming the music at the reunion 45 years later At It's Best.

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

The Bondsmen Are Back!

Come to Durham, NC and see this show on December 27th, the first "local" show for this band in 45 years.

We're also apparently music geeks, too. But a professional one, mind you!
-Daniel

http://motorcomusic.com/event/marianne-taylor-music-presents-the-bondsmen-40th-reunion-of-one-of-the-triangles-favorite-party-bands/

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Meanwhile, The Mannish Boys Will Rock Out At Festival In The Park

Come see book co-author Jake Berger and the Mannish Boys storm the main stage at Festival In The Park on Saturday, September 26th at 6:30pm. This should be fun! See you there!
-Daniel
September 14, 2015

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Recently Revised Version Of My NC 1960s Rock & Roll Article

Catch A Ride: The Rock & Roll scene in Charlotte during the 1960s
by Daniel Coston
co-author of There Was A Time: Rock & Roll In The 1960s In Charlotte, And North Carolina, by Fort Canoga Press.


“Was there a Rock & Roll scene in Charlotte during that time?’ The question was often asked while I worked on a book on that subject, and to honest, I might’ve once asked that same question, myself. To my delight, I discovered that there was a popular scene in Charlotte during those days, and the fruits of their labors are only recently begun to be appreciated.

Like many other scenes during that time, many of the Rock & Roll bands in Charlotte during the 1960s were still in High School, or even Junior High School. College age was considered “old” by some. Many youngsters heard the records coming out of England, or in the growing Rock scene in America, and quickly acted on this new obsession. They learned how to play their instruments, joined a band (or did both in the reverse order), and found a quick audience in their own classmates at school dances, and Battle Of The Bands competitions. A number of the local High Schools, including South Meck High, claimed more than one Rock & Roll band among their fellow clasmates. It wasn’t until the 1970s that being in a Rock band became a more adult pursuit, be it part-time or full-time. 

Due to the age of many of the group’s fans, many of the Rock & Roll venues in Charlotte were teen clubs. Often, they were in the basement of recreation halls, or churches. The Crested T., The Tin Can, and the Spyder Web were among the most popular teen clubs in town. The Spyder Web was located in the basement of the YMCA on Morehead Street, and did not allow anyone in older than 19 years of age. As many as 500 kids would pack the room on a Saturday night to hear local bands play. The Crested T. and the Tin Can were among a handful of teen cluns that popped up in Church rec halls. Other venues, such as the North 29 Bowling Lanes, also hosted Rock & Roll shows. 

There were some other clubs that catered to an older (i.e. alcohol drinking) crowd. The Purple Penguin, which was located on the corner of Central and Pecan (where CVS is now). Another popular venue was the Box, on South Boulevard. The Cellar (now the Tavern), which still sits on Morehead Street, turned from featuring R&B and beach bands to catering the new Rock sounds by the end of the 1960s. Phantasmagorica, which was on the outskirts of Charlotte, opened near Matthews in 1968. Many of the bands in town still played these venues, despite not being old enough to drink, or legally step foot in the venue. Many venues told the musicians, “Don’t tell anyone your real age,” so they didn’t. 

Not a lot of bands got the chance to record during that time. Recording was expensive, and the parents of many of these groups didn’t think that people would someday be collecting these records for amazing sums of money. In all, eight groups in Charlotte recorded during that decade. The New Mix (which featured future Spongetones drummer Rob Thorne) was the only Charlotte band to record for a major label, releasing their sole album on United Artists Records in 1968. They also recorded a couple of singles under their previous name, the 18th Edition. The Stowaways recorded an album in 1967 for the Winston-Salem based label, Justice Records. That album now goes for $400 to $600 in collector circles. When bands in Charlotte did record, they usually went to Arthur Smith Studios, named for its popular owner. Arthur Smith Studios was among the first large recording studios in the Southeast US to operate outside of Nashville, TN, and attracted everyone from local bands, to James Brown and the Famous Flames.

Perhaps the best-known single to come from Charlotte was “Abba”, which was released by the Paragons in 1966. “Abba” is now revered as a Garage Rock classic, and has been embraced by a new generation of collectors and fans. That single, which the band sold in the halls of their high school, has brought more than $1,800 on Ebay. The Grifs, who were all of 19 when they recorded “Catch A Ride” in 1965, got more attention from the Midwest when their single got airplay in that part of the country. “Catch A Ride”, with its nasty Fuzztone sound, and follow-up single “Keep Dreaming”, are two of the best singles that ever came out of a Charlotte band, period, and listening to these singles on Youtube is highly recommended. Among the other local bands that recorded during the 1960s were the Damascans, and the Good Bad & The Ugly (featuring former Paragons member, and future Spongetone Pat Walters). The Young Ages, who were based out of North Meck High, recorded a two-song demo for Decca Records in 1968, which can now be heard on their website.

It has been a pleasure and a joy to put together this book on the Charlotte scene, as well as the rest of North Carolina. All of these years later, the music that came from North Carolina can be heard on Youtube, in compilations like the Tobacco A Go Go series, or in reissued CD form (such as the Stowaways CD). Go out, and discover this music. It’s new, it’s hip, and it’s cool, just like it was when it was first recorded.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Big WAYS Radio, Charlotte, NC

In 1965, Big WAYS radio (610 AM) arrived in Charlotte, and shook up the airwaves. Big WAYS was known to play more Rock & Roll in amongst their Top 40 playlist, and their promotions got the station a lot of attention. Revisit those heady days here via a Facebook page about Big WAYS radio here-

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Big-WAYS-Radio-610/264095710444

And read about Big WAYS in a recent Charlotte Observer article here-

http://www.charlotteobserver.com/entertainment/tv/media-scene-blog/article23575246.html

Enjoy,
-Daniel
August 12, 2015

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Podcast Of My Recent Appearance On WNCW, And Playing Records From NC During The 1960s

Enjoy,
-Daniel
August 4, 2015

http://wncw.org/post/discover-1960s-carolina-garage-bands-author-and-photographer-daniel-coston

A Piece From Archie Thomas About The History Of The Bondsmen

Ken Haywood and I had formed the band in 7th grade. I believe that would have been in 1965. In 1967 Ken came by my house one day and asked if I would be interested in joining another band which became The Bondsmen. I’m thinking this is when I officially met Jim Bowen who became our bass player and Phillip Pearson (Phil Lee) who became our drummer. We were all in school together but different grades so didn’t really know them. 

At some point in time I stopped playing guitar and became the lead vocalist. Most of the gigs we played were teen clubs and occasionally at Willohaven Country Club parties. A lot of people wanted to dance so our sets consisted mostly of top 40 dance tunes and some rock and roll hits. We played basically what we thought people wanted to hear. One memory for me early on was playing on the radio at a weekly Saturday event put on by Belk's department store. 

I really don’t remember how we heard about Justice Records. I believe the cost was 300 dollars for a recording session.Two horn players from an older band called the Checkmates sat in on the recording of "Out Of Sight" and "I Love You Yes I Do", two James Brown hits. I believe we had 300 copies pressed and we all hawked them at Northern High School. I think this was the time when I really got the bug for performing. I would guess we played at least once a month and probably practiced once a week at Jim Bowen’s parents home.We played enough to have spending money but maybe not a lot. 

Phil’s Grandmother had some houses at Carolina Beach. She would take us down and put us up for free. At that time we played a few times at a club there.Maybe the other guys remember when Gene Galligan, keyboard player and Tim Hutchinson, trumpet player joined the band. It seems like they were always there to me. I think we were more popular than I realized in those days now that I look back.There were several other local bands around The Dukes Of Durham, The Generations, and we all got along pretty well. By 1968, I think that we had lost Gene and Jim Bowen to graduation. Jim Ward came on as bass player and Hubert Deans replaced Gene on keyboards.

Winning the 1968 Raleigh Battle Of The Bands was truly a great experience. At the end of the battle I remember girls coming up from the audience on stage. I felt like a rock star. I think we won a Peavey p.a. system, the use of a new van for a year and a recording contract with AMH records in Chapel Hill, N.C.. We wanted to do something original and of course this was a time when the Vietnam War was wearing thin. There were many protest songs on the air waves at that time so we wrote "Our Time To Try". The band members at this time were Ken Haywood, Jim Bowen, Phil Lee, Tim Hutchinson, Gene Galligan and myself. How we settled on I" See The Light" escapes me but it seems it turned out to be the most popular song. 

The end of The Bondsmen came when the last of us graduated High School or at least that was it for me.I went on to college for a short time and then married and had three children Julie, Adam,and Brent.In 1974 Ken Haywood recruited me again to sing with his band The Castaways Ltd. I think I was in for less than a year. After that the only time I ever sang was at karaoke parties.

Since the Bondsmen 45 years went by and I pretty much lost touch with all of the band members. When I received the message from Daniel about a Bondsmen reunion in Charlotte, I was delighted and a bit apprehensive at the same time. Daniel said he would make it happen, and he sure came through on his promise. None of us would have believed it ever possible. To be reunited with all of the band members words can’t express. To have my wife Kaye, my children and younger brother and sister whom had only heard stories about my band days be able to actually hear us was something I could have only dreamed. Not meaning to brag, but I feel we were even better this time. Ken said we actually played the correct chords this time. Getting on that stage again was truly something I will never forget. The Bondsmen were a pretty decent garage band in the Sixties, now that I look back. I must say that today the guys from the Bondsmen are truly professional musicians who stayed with music their entire lives and it truly was an honer to be a part of this.      

Archie Thomas
July, 2015   

Friday, July 3, 2015

Thanks

Hi Everyone-

My thanks to everyone that came out for last week's show. It was an amazing night of music.

If you're in Winston-Salem, NC tomorrow, come by the Mast General Store, come by and say hello. I'll be selling copies of our book, as well as some of my other books. I'll be at the store from 11am to 4pm.

Many thanks, and see you on the road,
-Daniel
July 3, 2015

Bondsmen and Mod VI Photos From The Show

Bondsmen
Mod VI
CLT 60s Rock & Roll Reunion
Neighborhood Theatre
Charlotte, NC
June 27, 2015
All photos copyright 2015 Daniel Coston

                                                                         Mod VI







Bondsmen





Wednesday, June 24, 2015

The Mod VI On WBTV Bounce Last Week, Talking About This Saturday's Show

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TWJCZqMbNV4

Enjoy,
-Daniel
June 25, 2015

My Playlist On WNCW This Afternoon

Bondsmen - I See The Light
Paragons - Abba
Sounds Unlimited - Cool One
Mod VI - Long Tall Sally
Saytrs - Ticky Tacky
Stowaways - It Won’t Be Wrong
Mannish Boys - Hey Rosalyn 
Grifs - Catch A Ride
Corsayors - Hominy Grits
Cykle - If You Can
Teenbeats - I Should Wait
Huckleberry Mudflap - Eyes Of Blue
Londons - Old Man (A Thing Of Age)
Shirley Hughey - Pink And Green

Hope to see you all this Saturday,
-Daniel

Monday, June 22, 2015

Monday, June 15, 2015

Book Talk/Other Upcoming Promo For Our June 27th Show

Hello All-

My first book talk of the summer will be this Wednesday, June 17th, at the North County Library in Huntersville. I will be talking about There Was A Time, as well as my North Carolina Musicians book. All of my books will be available at the talk.

I'll also be on WNCW next Wednesday, June 24th, at noon. I'll be spinning records with Joe Kendrick, and talking about North (and South) Carolina Garage Rock. Tune in!

Look for further press about the show, and look for the Mod VI this Friday night at 8:45pm, as they'll appear on WBTV's news show on their Bounce channel, talking about our June 27th show.

See you soon,
-Daniel
June 16, 2015

Monday, June 1, 2015

Big WAYS Battle Of The Bands News Coverage, 1966

Hello All-

In doing research for There Was A Time, my book on the Rock & Roll scene in North Carolina during the 1960s, there was one event that may well have been the greatest day for Garage Rock in Charlotte's history. In 1966, 27 bands took part in the Big WAYS radio station's Battle Of The Bands competition, an all-day event featuring the best and brightest of the region's Rock bands. Attendees could remember who else was there, what they wore, and the songs they played. There were only two things that escaped everyone's memory- who won, and what day the competition was.

In talking to the Young Ages last year, we figured out that it was the Young Ones, from Lumberton that won the competition. With that info in hand, I asked Maria David of the Charlotte Observer's Retro CLT section to see what she could find. What she found is linked below.

David not only found the date of the event (Saturday, November 19, 1966), she found the Observer's coverage, and how the Lumberton paper, The Robesonian, covered the event and their hometown heroes. The two articles also provides a fascinating contrast to how media at the time viewed the growing youth culture. The Robesonian covers the Young Ones like they are conquering youngsters, with a cool photo to boot, and even lists the bands's song selections at the competition. The Observer article? Well, you're going to want to smack the writer around more than just his head and shoulders. You're been warned.

You can find further descriptions, and photos from the Big WAYS Battle Of The Bands in our book. Check out the book, and the music at our show at Neighborhood Theatre on June 27th. See you there, and Rock on,
-Daniel
June 1, 2015



Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Updated Book Talk And Signing Schedule

As I gear up for the Charlotte 60s Rock & Roll Reunion show at Neighborhood Theatre​ on June 27th, I've got a number of talks on my books coming up, as well as book signings for my NC Musicians book at a number of Mast General Stores. All of these events, apart from The Wrecking Crew​ documentary, are free. Spread the work, and see you on the road. Columnated ruins domino....

NC Musicians and NC 1960s Rock & Roll book talks-
June 17th, North County Regional Library, Huntersville, 6pm 
June 30th, South County Region Library, 6pm 
July 13th, Plaza Midwood Library 6pm 

Book signings for NC Musicians book-
June 13th, Hendersonville, 11am-3pm
June 19th, Boone, noon-4pm
July 10th, Boone, 1 to 5pm 
July 11th, Valle Crusis, 11am to 3pm

I’ll also be speaking after the Charlotte screening of The Wrecking Crew documentary, at Theatre Charlotte on June 6th. 
-Daniel
May 19, 2015

Monday, May 11, 2015

One Other Event In June That Will Feature The Book's Co-Author

Hello All-

I've been asked to speak after a showing of The Wrecking Crew documentary in Charlotte on June 6th, at Theatre Charlotte. Enjoy this fantastic documentary, and then watch me try to describe that experience in 20 minutes or less. I may have a few stories and surprises, as well. Tickets are available now through the Theatre Charlotte box office. Hope to see you there,
-Daniel
May 11, 2015

Monday, May 4, 2015

Bill Chapman Of The Mod VI interview

The Mod VI: There And Back Again
Interview and introduction by Daniel Coston

In 1968, if you were in the South Carolina area, the Mod VI were the band that you wanted to see on a Saturday night. With two regionally charting singles under their belt, this six-piece band from Aiken were opening up for the top bands that were passing through the Palmetto State, and looking towards larger stardom. However, like so many bands during that time, the draft derailed those plans, and the Mod VI were no more by the end of the 1960s.

Thankfully, the story of the Mod VI did not end there. The band is reuniting for the Charlotte 60s Rock & Roll Reunion in Charlotte, NC. The show, the band’s first in Charlotte in 47 years, will feature the Mod VI alongside the Mannish Boys, the Kinksmen, and the Bondsmen, who themselves will be reuniting for the first time in 45 years. The Mod VI are also looking at releasing their original two singles, which have since become collectors items, and a CD of new material.

Guitarist Bill Chapman talks about the history of the Mod VI, and the history to come.


Daniel Coston: How did you get interested in music?
 
Bill Chapman: Dennis (lead singer) and Johnny Gardner (drummer) had already formed a band in Jr High School called The Surfers.  I joined the band and received thumbs up after auditioning playing the song "What I Say", by Ray Charles. We played a lot of west coast stuff back then; such as "Wipe Out", "Walk Don't Run", "Little Deuce Coupe", and “Sleepwalk". This was in 1964.  This group developed our chops for later Rock & Roll. Dennis and I heard the Beatles on the Ed Sullivan show; that really got us started to play Rock & Roll.
 
My Daddy started me playing the guitar when I was twelve. My Daddy and Grandaddy played guitar; my Grandmother played the panio, and my great Grandmother played the spoons (just like Granny Clampett from the Beverly Hillbillies!). As a family we played church hyms and country tunes. 
 
Coston: How did the Mod VI come together?
 
Chapman: Started out in 1965 at Aiken High school. We met Ted Dubose (original bass player) in school. He and his family moved to
South Carolina from Florida. Ted knew Ricky Peterson (original drummer). They joined Dennis and I. I knew Buddy Parker (original keyboard player) from jamming with him in another band. I ask Buddy if he would come on board with us and he agreeded. Buddy knew of  a Sax player (Steve Bellamy).  Steve joined, and we 0ffically became the MOD VI. Steve dropped out of the band after playing with us a couple of months; but we kept the MOD VI name.  

Coston: What were the early influences of the band?
 
Chapman: Beatles, Rolling Stones, Kinks, Cream, Jimi Hexdrix, Paul Revere & The Raiders, & Chuck Berry.

Coston: What was the music scene in Aiken like during that time?
 
We were the Original Garage Rock Band in the Aiken area. We were the first to start playing hard rock. There were a couple of other bands around, but they played beach music. The MOD VI were different in that we put on a show to include over head projectors (psychadellic water colors); also used a variety of lights, including strobes. We played one song after the other (no breaks in between). Had a great repore with the audience. Seeing the Woggles recently remind me a lot of the early days of the Mod VI.

Coston: How did your first single come together? What inspired the songs?
 
Chapman: Our band wanted to write a song; so at practice one day; Dennis and I started discussing lyrics. Dennis came up with 'Baby It's Not The Same' in the writing of the song. This became our turn around lyrics for the song. As Dennis wrote other verses; it seemed to all fit together. We named the song 'It's Not The Same'; the keyboard player and I wrote the music. I would say we wrote the whole song including music in about thirty minutes. My guitar lead was influenced by Chuck Berry. Our primary influence for this song was the Beatles after listening to Sgt Pepper’s.
 
Coston: The Mod VI toured a lot of places. How far was your touring range?
 
Chapman: South Carolina, North Carolina, Florida, Texas were the main places.

Coston: You’re told me that you managed and booked yourselves. Talk about that.
 
Chapman: We had a original manager (Joe Poe) that financed our first record (It's not the same). Joe provided a venue for us to play at in South Carolina.  Joe owned a large BBQ resturarant and had a large area in the back of the place where people could dance to a juke box. We started playing there and packing the place every time we played (about once a week).  Eventually, Joe built a huge club that included a small bar beside his orignal resturant. The name of his place was 'The Rhythm House'.  The MOD VI opened the new place, and once again packed the house. This was the only gig Joe got us.   We would usually ride around when we didn't have a secure gig and go to clubs that had no bands for the evening and ask, "Can we play here tonight?"  And usually they would say, "YES; 'come on in boys!” Most of the time we would be invited back for another gig.


Also would carry copies of our record ("It's Not The Same”) with us, this helped in getting future gigs. We were primarily our own managers.   We did use promoters from time to time; such as playing with Aurthor Conley, and Tommy James & The Shoundells.   We had a local record store in Aiken at the time. The record store took a large amount of records from us and sold them and helped us promote the record thru several other avenues.  We sold over 10,000 records. I guess back then that wasn't too bad for a local group. One final note, we bought all of our original band equipment ourselves. This included Guitars, Amps, Drums, PA Equipment and Bus.   

Coston: Tell me some road stories. 

Chapman:We played a week at the Old Dutchman club in Panama City, Florida. All of us were so excited about playing there and couldn't wait for opening night. When we first arrived, we threw our gear and clothes into our rooms and headed for the beach. We felt like the Beatles at that point (LOL); running on the beach heading for the surf. All of us jumped in the water exept for Dennis. I looked back and saw Dennis lying in the sand behind us. I went back to see what was wrong. He had stubbed his big toe on a small stake in the ground and while running to the beach (bummer!!). Dennis was in great pain, but soon shook it off an came in swiming. We rocked the club later that evening.
 
We played a week at the Myrtle Beach Pavalion at Myrtle Beach, SC. During that week after playing each night, we had to drive back to Aiken, SC due to a summer school session that we had to attend. The summer school session was held from morning to afternoon and we played late at the pavilion. This was not a good combo for driving all those miles in one day. After playing late in the evening, we were tired and worn out, we headed back to Aiken. Back then there were no train track signals at the crossings before the train came thru. We crossed train tracks around 1:00 AM in a small town called Blackville. About 30 seconds after crossing the tracks a freight train heavily loaded with many cars rushed down the tracks behind us. Dennis was in the back seat of the bus sleeping while I was driving.  I pulled over to the side of the road after crossing the tracks. Dennis woke up. We were both white as a sheet and thanked the Lord for keeping us safe.
 
Dennis, Buddy and I were driving back from a gig in Folly Beach, SC around 1:00 AM. Our bus broke down as we drove thru a long swamp area. The only house around us was a little small shack about half a mile behind us. Dennis and I left the bus to walk back to the shack to see if they had a phone we could use. Buddy stayed in the bus. When we arrived close to the front yard of the place; two huge dogs came out of the shadows growling with red eyes shinning (just like in a horror movie). We ran hard back to the bus, with the dogs close at our heels. When we arrived back at the bus; we yelled 'Buddy, Open The Door' dogs are after us! Buddy yells back, "WHO IS IT???"   LOL. Dennis and I had to climb on top of the bus untill the dogs left us.  
 
Coston: How did your second single come together?
 
After releasing our first record, "It's Not The Same" we were invited to record in the Emrald Records studio in Greenwood, SC. We were playing a lot of Jimi Hendrix and Cream at that time. Those bands had a lot of influence on us as to heavy sounds (such as using the Fuzz pedal on the guitar solos). The two songs "What Can I Do" and "Show Me How" were both written within a hour. Dennis and I wrote the lyrics and music for those two songs together. Each member Ted Dubose (Bass),  Buddy Parker (Keyboards), and Ricky Peterson (Drummer) had a lot of input as to arragements to include starting the songsand melody background.
 
Coston: The Mod VI was poised for bigger things, and then what happened? And how did that lead into your next band?
 
Chapman: Record discussions with Capitol Records was coming into play in 1969. We knew we needed a group manager to handle the technical details signning with a major label. We had contacted one of the better managers/booking agents in the Augusta, Georgia area.  This major discussion/signing did not ever take place due to the ugly hands of Uncle Sam. Dennis received his draft notice and was inducted into the Army. I too received my draft notice a couple of months after Dennis. I joined the Air Force. Prior to me being inducted the Mod VI disbanded.  A new group was formed  with a new lead singer (The Acme Reposessing Company). We basically played all hard rock at that time. I played with the new group for about 4 months before leaving for service.   

Coston: Tell me about some of the bands that you shared a stage with, with both bands.

Chapman:
                                                                               Location(s)
Arthur Conley                                    (Backed him up at the National Guard Armory - Augusta, Ga)
BJ Thomas                                          (Backed him up at the National Guard Armory - Augusta, Ga, and
                                                               National Guard Armory - Washington, Ga)
Tommy James & The Shondells      (Performed with them at National Guard Armory - Augusta, Ga)
Question Mark & The Mysterians  (Performed with them at the National Guard Armory - Augusta, Ga)
The Hombrees                               (Performed with them at the National Guard Armory, Augusta, Ga)
James Gang                                        (Performed with them at the Bell Auditorium   - Augusta, Ga)
Steppen Wolf                                       (Performed with them at the Bell Auditoirum   - Augusta, Ga)
Dennis Yost & The Classic IV           (Performed with them at the Whiskey A Go Go - Augusta, Ga)
Swinging Medallions                        (Performed with them at the Whiskey A Go Go - Augusta, Ga)  
 

Coston: Tell me about the Arthur Conley show, and how you just missed backing up Otis Redding?
 
Chapman: Arthur Conley was a great showman and was a great guy to hang out with. He performed a lot of sweet soul music, and also a couple of 'Otis Redding' songs. My favorite Otis Redding song is 'Sitting On The Dock Of Bay’. Otis died the week before the Arthur Conley show.   

Coston: Tell me about opening for Tommy James & The Shondells.
 
Chapman: We (The MOD VI) didn't really have a chance to talk with Tommy James & his band before the show. They stayed to themselves in a seperate dressing room behind stage. We opened up our show with our original lineup of songs, but we also added a Tommy James song into our act ("Mony Mony").  When we played this song, the crowd went wild due to being a big chart topper. After we completed the show many, many young ladies mobed the stage, tugging at our clothes. This was an awesome surprise to us since we were not the head liners.
 
Tommy James and his crew/band was trying to get thru the crowd for their act but the girls/crowd would not leave the side of the stage that gave them access.  Therefor, I'll have to say that Tommy James was really pissed off at us.  They would not talk to us at all after the show!  We all laughed for days after that event. 
 
Coston: What brought about the end of this second band?
 
Chapman: The second band Acme Repossesing Company was formed after Dennis was drafted into the Army. At this point; a new singer joined the band. I played with them for several months before I was inducted into the Air Force. After I left Acme, a new guitar player came into the group.  This group broke up due to the leader singer leaving the group at a later time. 
 
Coston: How did the Mod VI get back together?
 
As it's been quoted by the Eagles, we never broke up, we just took a long vacation. All of us have been in touch with each other over the years. In 1985; we had a MOD VI reunion show in Aiken, SC. The show was a big success; we had several bands playing with us on the show (Aiken's mini Woodstock!). From that time forward we have played together and remained great friends. We've been practiceing a good bit over the past few months. 

Coston: What are the current and future plans for the Mod VI?
 
Chapman: Rock the June 27th show in Charlotte, NC. We have been attending quite a few band shows in the recent months, and sitting in with the bands. Looking forward to playing on future shows and recording new material. We would really enjoying performing future events with The Mannish Boys,  and other groups from the North Carolina area.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Update On Our CLT 60s Rock & Roll Reunion Show on June 27th

We’re bringing back the 3rd Annual Charlotte 60s Rock & Roll Reunion at the Neighborhood Theatre on June 27th. Here’s some info on the bands you’ll see.

We’re opening the show with the Mannish Boys, led by Charlotte music veteran (and NC 60s Rock & Roll book co-author) Jake Berger. Joining the Mannish Boys for their set will be Jim Charles, the man responsible for the garage rock classic “Abba”. Jim was the star of our first Rock & Roll Reunion, and we’re bringing him back.

Next will be the Mod VI, garage rock legends from Aiken, SC. The Mod VI released two singles in 1968, both of which became regional hits, and have been compiled on many garage rock collections. This will the Mod VI’s first show in Charlotte in 47 years, and promises to be a killer. 

What do you do to follow up the Mod VI? You reunite one of the Triangle’s most popular Rock bands for the first time in 45 years. The Bondsmen originated from Durham, and quickly became a regional powerhouse. Their cover of the Five Americans’ “I See The Light” would later become the opening track on the now legendary Tobacco A Go Go collection on NC 1960s Rock & Roll bands. Both the Bondsmen’s complete original lineup, and their 1969-1970 lineup will be reuniting for their first show anywhere since those heavy days. 

Finishing out the night will be the Kinksmen. Put together by some of the Durham’s best-known musicians, the Kinksmen bring the sound of the Kinks together onstage for a fun show, and a perfect way to round out the night. Daniel Coston will also MC the show, and perform with the Mannish Boys. 

Tickets are $15, and now available at www.neighborhoodtheatre.com, or at the Theatre’s box office. You can also get updates at-

therewasatimebook.blogspot.com

Spread the word, and let’s Rock.
-Daniel
April 23, 2015

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Tonight! Woggles! Mannish Boys! Books on sale!

THE TIME FOR ALL CAPS TYPING HAS ARRIVED! Tonight! The WogglesMannish BoysSnug Harbor! 9pm start! Me running around with a tambourine in my hand! You're read the press, now it's time to witness and believe! SEE YOU THERE!!!
-Daniel 
April 21, 2015 

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Here's The News And Event Page For Our CLT 60s Rock & Roll Reunion!

Hello All. Here's the venue page for our annual Charlotte 60s Rock & Roll Reunion, happening this year at the Neighborhood Theatre on June 27th. We've got the Bondsmen, featuring Phil Lee, reuniting for the first time since 1970, and the Mod VI, playing their first Charlotte show since 1969. We've also got the fabulous Mannish Boys, and one more killer band that we hope to announce shortly. Spread the word.

http://www.neighborhoodtheatre.com/event/796599-charlotte-1960s-rock-roll-charlotte/

-Daniel
February 25, 2015

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Save The Date For The Next Charlotte 60s Reunion Show!

June 27th
Neighborhood Theatre
Charlotte, NC

More news about bands soon. This one is going to be special!
-Daniel

Friday, January 9, 2015

A Quick Note From The Publisher About Another New FCP Book

Hello All-

A Story Tourist In Britain is the newest book from FCP! Ohio-based author Janet Crane Barley offers her stories about traveling England and Scotland, seeing the places that inspired some of the greatest works in literary history, and meeting some of the best writers and authors that these countries have to offer. This is Ms Barley's second book, and we're proud to have her be part of the FCP family. You can purchase her book here-


http://www.amazon.com/StoryTourist-Britain-glimpses-Potter-Austen/dp/1500717614/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1420831175&sr=1-1&keywords=janet+crane+barley

My sincere thanks to Sandra Barley for her help in putting this book together. Spread the word, and I'll post info soon about this book, as well as other FCP projects, as well as other info about There Was A Time. Best wishes,
-Daniel
January 9, 2014