Saturday, February 18, 2017

Paul Revere and the Raiders – "Ups and Downs" (1967)

Things was looking golden, baby
Everything was fine
You never made no sign
That you had changed your mind

I heard Paul Revere and the Raiders perform at Memorial Hall in Joplin, Missouri in the summer of 1966.

Memorial Hall in the 1960s
I was 14 years old, and heading into the 9th-grade when Paul Revere, Mark Lindsay, et al. came to Joplin.  (Why a band as popular as the Raiders came to little ol’ Joplin remains a mystery.)  I can honestly say I’ve never been more excited at a concert than I was that night.  (Sorry, Rolling Stones . . . and Kinks . . . and David Bowie . . . and all the rest.)

Paul Revere’s real name was Paul Revere – sort of.  (Actually, his real name was Paul Revere Dick.)  He continued to tour until shortly before his death in 2014.  

The photograph for this 1967 album cover
 was taken on the porch of a house in Joplin
If you never saw him perform live, here’s an excerpt from a fan letter to Paul that explains what all the fuss was about:

Like most people, my initial introduction to you was on television, radio and records, but none of those mediums gave me a real clue to the one-of-a-kind life force that was Paul Revere.  Sitting in an audience at my first Paul Revere and The Raiders concert introduced me to a larger-than-life dynamo of high-energy slapstick, outrageous and spontaneous humor and a genuine child-like joy. 

Paul Revere (circa 2010)
Paul Revere and the Raiders put out some great records.  Like the Monkees, they were always underrated – perhaps because they, too, were network-TV stars who always seemed to be having way too much fun.

“Ups and Downs” made its first appearance on the Billboard “Hot 100” fifty years ago this week, just as “Good Thing” was about to fall off that chart.

Here’s “Ups and Downs,” which sounds a lot like a Rolling Stones song:

And here’s the band doing “Ups and Downs” live on the old Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour.  The Smothers Brothers didn’t allow their musical guests to lip synch, but maybe they should have made an exception for Mark Lindsay, who absolutely butchered the lyrics:

Click below to order the song from Amazon:

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