I’m down in Williamsburg Virginia, and, well, Mark Lindsey and his band dressed up in those period costumes, just like everyone in the historic park here.
I wanted to find a song less obvious than Kicks, but while I like listening to their other pop songs (the songs are good, the guitars and harmonies strong), and I own the vinyl of their greatest hits album, Kicks is the song of theirs that really stands out. Written by Barry Mann and Cynthia Weill for the Animals, but when Eric Burdon didn’t want to sing it they passed it on to the Raiders.
The thing I learned about Paul Revere and the Raiders today is that they were actually started by a guy named Paul Revere, an organist, who played in a few different bands with Mark Lindsey before they named themselves Paul Revere and the Raiders in 1960. They released their first hit, “Like, Long Hair” in 1961, the title refers to the Rachmaninoff riff it starts with (this was back when classical music was referred to as long-hair music), but Revere was doing community service in a hospital at the time to work off his Conscientious Objector status, so he was replaced on the band’s first national tour by Leon Russell.
Their next hit single was a version of Louie Louie that may have predated the Kingsman’s hit version, recorded in the same studio.
The group didn’t start wearing the costumes until after the start of the British Invasion, which played directly into the band’s name and their musical style, which they reshaped in the wake of the sounds of the Beatles and Yardbirds and others.