2-Twist and Shout
6-House Of THe Rising Sun
7-Gimme Some Lovin’
9-You Really Got Me
SC- Out of these 10 songs which ones were your favorites to play? Where there any you hated?
GS- I liked to play most of them. I have a special memory for You Really Got Me by the Kinks because it was the song we played to win the battle of the bands in Kansas, lol. Twist and shout was also very special because it was the first song I ever learned, and I got to sing it. Gimme Some Lovin’ always brought the people to the dance floor so was very fun. Another one the crowd loved because of the lyrics and the oh my god dirty words was Louie, Louie…..boy have we come a long way since then. I can’t leave out Satisfaction because the guitar line with distortion at amps on 11 was awesome. One song I finally hated to play was Proud Mary, not because it was a bad song to play, but because the crowd would ask us to play it 3 or 4 times a night. We got so tired of playing it we would finally answer the crowd by saying “we don’t play Proud Mary by the bad attitude band”, but we would end up playing it any way but only once a night.
SC-When playing the Louie Louie guitar solo…were most bands faithful to the solo on the single or would they do their own unique solos?
GS- I can only speak for myself because I didn’t get to see many bands unless we played with them. I used the solo to play something new every night and depending on the crowd would some nights make in last 2 or 3 minutes.
SC- For House of the Rising Sun, most would know this song for the organ/keyboard part-what did bands with no keyboardist do to get a fuller sound?
GS- Good question. We always had a keyboard as part of the group. In the beginning it was a Vox, so we could make it kinda sound like a organ. This was the beginning of syns sounds. later we added a B3 organ for real Organ sound. Gimme Some Lovin’ was a great B3 song to play. One last point ironically is that one of the least known of all Rock and Roll Legends may be the fact the casual rock fan probably has no idea that House Of The Rising Sun was written and first performed by Bob Dylan. When we did his version we did not use any keyboards just guitars. BTW when we did his version I got to sing it.
SC- You mentioned Mony Mony, and while most people under 50 probably recognize the Billy Idol cover version, many fail to remember just how big Tommy James and the Shondells were back in the day. Were you a fan and just how big were they?
GS- Yes I was a fan and at the time they were a big hit. The problem was Mony Mony was the only really big hit but every band played it .
SC- Really? Not being alive at the time I always assumed Hanky Panky,Crimson and Clover, and I Think We’re Alone Now were huge hits…at least judging by what gets played on the radio.
GS- You are right, I forgot about those. The only other Tommy James song we played live was Hanky Panky.
SC- Any other 60s covers you guys would play….any semi obscure songs as well?
GS- Too many to list, I would say if made the top 10 we would generally try to make some effort to learn it. At times we felt like a juke box but that is what brought in crowds, and that’s what made us lots of money so you went out there and did the job. Most of the time once the song lost popularity we stopped playing it. We were a English sounding band so played a lot of Beatles, Rolling Stones etc and other British Invasion era hits. Looking back the fact we were English sounding probably made us stand out compared to the other touring bands of the time.
SC- Of the songs you mentioned….were there songs that got a better reaction from females than males and vice versa?
GS- I never looked at it that way or thought about it much as the only reaction I cared about was the reaction we got from the girls lol. I will admit I had a lot of one night stands….once again being a musician in a band has some benefits.