I was at the physiatrist’s office today (they treat chronic back pain and other ailments), and I took my New York Times to read while waiting for various phases of the visit.
The doctor ordered an MRI (don’t worry, probably just a pinched nerve) and his assistant took me to the office of a young woman named Brittany to get the test scheduled.
While Brittany was on the phone setting it up, I turned to the obits page and saw that Rock and Roll legend Paul Revere had died. He was 76, and the cause was cancer. He died on Saturday at his home in Garden Valley, Idaho.
After Brittany hung up, I said, “Have you ever heard of Paul Revere & the Raiders?”
“No,” she said, giving me a pleasant smile.
“You haven’t heard of Paul Revere & the Raiders?” I asked again, just to make sure.
“No,” she said. Then, she looked down at the paper and said, “Is there good news about them?”
“No,” I said. “He died.”
“Oh,” she said.
Before leaving, I said, “Are you in your 20s?”
“Yes,” she replied, giving me the answer I was already pretty sure of.
Not that even being in her 30s would have made any difference, but her age helped me understand why she might not have heard of that famous 1960s group.
Paul — born Paul Revere Dick in Harvard, Nebraska — was the group’s founder and played keyboard. He was still touring with a band, which included none of the original members, until July.
The group’s songs included”Hungry” (’66), “Good Thing” (’67), “Indian Reservation” (’71) and my favorite, “Kicks” (’66), which Rolling Stone magazine rated No. 400 in The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.
One reason this baby boomer is here is to keep you apprised of the passing of some of the most accomplished artists from the 60s — the greatest decade for pop music, hands down — when I was in high school and college.
Paul Revere and his raiders sure did offer me some solace (along with many other memorable artists) during my often-pained and lonely years at a Catholic, all-boys high school.
Thank you, Paul, I wish Brittany had become familiar with your music. Maybe she still will…
And now, for your Monday evening listening pleasure, click here for “Kicks.”
(One YouTube commenter said this video was from the TV show Hullabaloo, which aired in 1965 and 1966…Paul is off to the side, on the keyboard…Note those groovy dancers with the fringed dresses.)
If you will note the comments below, you will see that our most prolific commenter, John Altevogt, is a bass player and played with bands that took the stage before some headline groups.
Here’s a photo that John sent me of himself, in 1964, I believe, in a restaurant outside Detroit.
John says this is a photo of Mick Jagger from a 1964 rolling Stones concert…