#944: 1966, Paul Revere and The Raiders, Kicks

by George_East on October 17, 2014

As befitting the name, they wore silly American Revolution era costumes.   As this clip shows they did really silly dances.   They were, then, a bit of a novelty band with a pretty crap gimmick, but hey this was the 1960s and this kind of stuff didn’t seem quite as naff then – look at any of those reruns of pop music shows from back in the day and there will be plenty like them.

But to dismiss Paul Revere and The Raiders for these things would be to miss the fact that they were in fact a great garage rock band.  Indeed that greatest of all garage rock songs, Louie Louie (that famously West coast hardcore band Black Flag once played a whole concert of nothing but back in the punk era) may well have been recorded by The Raiders before the more famous Kingsmen version was recorded.  Who was first is lost in rock n roll history.

Kicks was probably the Raiders’ biggest hit, a song supposedly about the drug habit of tin pan alley songwriter  Gerry Goffin (of Goffin and King fame).  With organist Paul Revere (and yes it was his name) dying a week or so back, it was about time that Idaho’s finest (admittedly a small list) appeared on Songs To Learn and Sing.

If you are skeptical about a band who looked this absurd, then check out the album from which Kicks comes, Midnight Ride, which was my way into them.   Its superb stuff and if it is kind of understandable that they don’t make them like this any more, it is equally still a little sad that that is the case.

Paul Revere RIP

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Ray_North October 18, 2014 at 5:18 pm

i love this kind of stuff – the band sound like rock and roll frontiersmen – it’s mad but great.

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