ECHO OF LIVERPOOL
Spawned on the University of Rhode Island campus in early ‘65, The Others recorded their classic punker “Can’t Stand This Love, Goodbye” for RCA in June of the same year. The song was released that fall and The Others soon became one of RI’s most popular bands. The band released three singles between ’65 and ’67. Two issued on RCA and one on Jubilee. Their sound was a combination of punk, pop, and folk. Their sound ranged from sigh-cry-and-die moaners, epitomized in their single “Until I Heard It From You”, to drug-referenced-bubblegum-psych, with the aptly titled “My Friend the Wizard”. These efforts are worthy of high acknowledgment. The members: Jim Destout, Mike Brand, Pete Shepley, John Costa, and Mike Patalano were all URI students, except Costa who attended Brown, would end their assocation by the fall of ‘65. Costa left to concentrate on his studies and was replace by another Brown student, Bob Johnson, until their end in 1968. The songwriters in the band Mike Brand and Pete Shepley would go on to form the band Chelsea in NYC around ‘69. Some cat in this group would later resurface in band called KISS. “Can’t Stand This Love, Goodbye” can be found on Pebbles Vol. 5. Other The Others’ tunes are complied on mindbenders V.9 & 12.
Always fans of the Pebbles series here at Fancy, one of our favorite cuts is the above-mentioned raver. One day it came to our attention that someone on staff is related to a band member. Mike Patalano the drummer of the outfit gave us the lowdown, and connected us with their fan club president Mrs. Linda Hill. Lucky for us she is still their biggest fan.
How did you hook up with The Others?
A guy I played with in High School, Jim DeStout, also went to URI. Jim was on the same dorm floor as Mike Brand and Pete Shepley. The three of them got together and played around with some music. When they got the urge to put a group together to jam, Jim got a hold of me to play drums, and Pete got his friend from Brown, John Costa,to come down to play bass. We jammed one Sunday afternoon and were surprised how good we sounded—all Beatles and Stones—we all loved that music and knew our individual parts perfectly. We melded immediately. We decided to enter a, how about this, talent show, at URI. Some football players who had an accapella group won, but we brought the house down with When I Get Home and Slowdown. From there we immediately got a few gigs on campus.
How did you get into the RCA studios?
Mike Brand, thru his dad, a NYC attorney, during spring break got us an audition with Bob Marshall who managed Myron Cohen. He was looking for an act that wrote original material. The guy liked us immediately and invited us back when school got out in June to record some demos. We went back to NYC in June 65, and cut the demos in the RCA studios. While there, the RCA execs came to hear us and signed us on the spot. “Can’t Stand This Love, Goodbye” was recorded then and released on RCA in Sept ’65.
The Others returned to NYC that summer?
Bob Marshall became our manger. He got us a gig at the Rolling Stone Discotheque in NYC at the corner of 48th and 2nd ave. that summer of 65. We were the house band and played six nights a week half hour on, half hour off, 9 pm to 3am. We all got paid a couple hundred dollars a week. We had lines of people around the block for hours waiting to get in. It was owned by Scott Muni. He would stop in and introduce us to the crowd every once in a while. We had a blast—Met David Wynter—the dancer from West Side Story and Gene Pitney there. There were go-go girls, and a swing. Afterwards we would be invited to parties all over the city. It was wild. Towards the end of the summer we stopped in to the almost empty Night Owl Cafe in the village and was entertained by John Sebastian and the Lovin’ Spoonful—it was about two weeks before “Do You Believe in Magic” was released. They played it for us and we chatted with them for a while. The next summer we went back to NYC and played at a couple of places, but our music (the British invasion stuff) was fading. We didn’t have as good a time as the previous year.
Could you tell me more about that, your return the summer of ’66?
We first played this club on 59th st, but soon lost the job because we did not have much of a crowd. We scored another gig in the Bronx at The End, but that place was a real dump.
What was recorded, and when? Who wrote what?
I Can’t Stand This Love, Goodbye, Until I heard it from you, I Remember the First Time I Saw You, and I Got a Feeling. Were recorded in June 65 at RCA, NYC. Lonely Street was recorded in November 65, at RCA, NYC. “Morning” and “Wizard” were recorded in November 66 for Jubilee in NYC. Goodbye, Lonely Street, and My Friend the Wizard were written by Brand and Sheply; Morning, and The First Time I Saw You are John Costa compositions. Myself, and John wrote the unreleased track I Got a Feeling. Our producer Clyde Otis wrote Until I Heard it From You.
Do you have a recording of I Got a Feeling?
Unfortunately, I do not. It was more Stones. I did not like the song. I remember it was lousy.
What was released?
I Can’t Stand This Love, Goodbye b/w Until I Heard it From You, was released in Sept 65. It did OK here in RI. Lonely Street b/w I Remember the first time I saw you and released in March 66. It did very well here in RI, getting up to #8 on the local charts. My friend the wizard b/w Morning and released shortly thereafter.
The Others sound seem to change from single to single. What was going on with you guys?
We were really into the Beatles, and then the hippie thing hit. We thought of ourselves as counterculture, we grew our hair longer, smoke pot, and wore boots. We were a pop band and we wanted to stay current.
Why did John Costa leave the group?
John Costa was a student at Brown when we formed up—After the first Recording session and the summer in NYC (at The Rolling Stone) he got most of it out of his system. All of our grades suffered during our second semester of our first year, as we were SO pumped up about the band and possibly leaving school to go on tour. When that didn’t happen, we realized that we had to buckle down and stay in school otherwise we would have been drafted if we dropped out. Being at Brown, John had a little more to lose than we did at URI if we flunked out…he decided his schooling was more important, and that he couldn’t do the band and school. I saw him in 1977…. he, Jim DeStout and I got together and jammed…he is an attorney.
What happened, why did the band break up?
The 60’s were wild times—Viet Nam loomed over all of us kids in college—every guy who was not eligible for a medical deferment had to make plans as to how he was going to deal with the military after graduation—grad school was a good option. I joined the 2-year ROTC program during my final 2 years at URI (I was a 5 year student) and served 2 years in the Army after graduation, including a tour in VN. The band was still together for the first of my ROTC years—I just appeared with a different look than the other guys—I still dressed funky, but had shorter hair. Another guy in the band went to Air Force ROTS after graduation—he served in the USAF on active duty for 30 years as a fighter pilot. Two guys, Brand and Shepley the core of the group, went on to form a group in New York called Chelsea. I don’t know how they dealt with the military. Anyway, their drummer was none other that Peter Chriss, who became the drummer for KISS.I don’t know what happened to the bass player in The Others—he went to Brown and was sinking into drugs towards the end of our association.
Some local bands you played with regularly?
We had big heads, so we did not pal around much, but there was this band the Ascots. They were our Stones. We were clean cut like the Beatles. We loved them, and the Ascots were more edgy, more like the Stones. We had a rivalry going with them, no malice, just fun.
You guys opened for some big acts? What was that like?
Yes, we opened for the Spoonful twice, the Animals and the Byrds when they came to Providence during 66-67. We did not really hang out with them. But I do recall at the time I thought it was odd that the Animals played out of our set up. I mean this huge auditorium, and this little amp. It looked silly. We also appeared on the local dance show, but it was a canned, not very memorable. By that time we had a local fan club headed by a nice girl from Lincoln, RI, Linda Walker. She brought all her friends to our shows, had us sign autographs and make some personal appearances.
A fan club? How did that make you feel??
It was odd, but they were kids. I mean we had groupies. We could have taken advantage. Besides we all had girl friends, and we’re in college.
Mike miraculously remembered Ms. Walker’s married name, Hill. We tracked her down at her RI home and she gladly shared her snapshots and memorabilia with us. Linda, a writer, had recently recorded her teenage diary entries as short stories and supplied the following passages to FANCY. Uncanny!
In 1966, when I was 14, my friends and I started following a local Rhode Island band called The Others (Mike Patalano, Pete Shepley, Jim DeStout, Mike Brand and Bob Johnson). I had discovered the group first when I went to a Lovin’ Spoonful-Animals concert where The Others were the opening act. During the show, I went to the ladies room and discovered a picture of them stuck on the toilet paper holder. It was a promo picture that had been autographed by each member of the band. I was thrilled because not only did I have a picture of them now, I also knew all of their names. After the show Mike Patalano (the drummer) and Pete Shepley (the lead singer) were signing autographs leaning against a chain link fence. Taking a cue from stories we had read about excited fans, my friend Joanne and I went around the other side of the fence and snipped off a piece of Pete’s hair. At that time we both thought he was the cutest. He was really annoyed at us for doing that, too. The next day I decided to call people with the last names of the musicians in an attempt to locate them. All calls to the Shepleys and DeStouts were futile, and I didn’t even try the numerous Brands and Johnsons. After about 10 calls to Patalanos, I hit pay dirt, with Mike’s aunt, who told me his father’s name and where the family lived. Eventually I screwed up enough courage to call him, but hung up as soon as he answered. I was embarrassed at what I had done, but still wrote him a letter, even admitting to the phone call, and asking if he wanted to correspond with me. Sure enough, I got a letter from him, written at URI, where four of the guys were students. Mike and I wrote back and forth for a year or so. I’m sure I wrote much, much more than he did, but he still kept writing and would let me know when and where shows were going to be held.
At that first concert, Mike had brought a water pistol with him and when the band played Lonely Street in which he only played the tambourine, he proceeded to squirt the other band members and then a security guard. Later on he told me the guard had gotten so mad he took the pistol away from Mike and broke it.
I can’t remember all of the subsequent shows I went to that The Others played at, but several do stick in my memory.
The next concert was at Veterans Memorial Auditorium in Providence with The Others opening for The Byrds, and my friend Linda and I had front row seats. I had brought a water pistol with me to replace the one Mike had been messing around with. During their first song, after Mike waved a drumstick at me, I held up the pistol with a questioning look and he nodded. Racing down to the ladies room, I hurriedly filled it up, ran back upstairs and threw it to Mike. He proceeded to squirt it at the rest of the band and they looked pretty shocked that he was at it again. Before the show we had been chatting with two girls sitting next to us and we told them I knew the drummer of The Others. They seemed curious, but real skeptical, until Mike came out after they played, crouched down in front of me to talk and even touched my face. I was in heaven and the two girls were in shock.
A dance at the Attleboro Armory was fun. Two other bands played as well as The Others. One of the bands was The Ascots, another band that we semi-followed, but weren’t super loyal to since they and The Others were rivals. During that show while The Others played, my friends and I stood with our elbows on the stage and my ears rang for a week afterwards. Several years later, my husband and I discovered that he had been at that same dance. He and a bunch of his bikers buddies had tried to get in, but were refused, so they shinnied up a drainpipe and snuck in the men’s room window.
Mike only sent me 6 letters and then stopped writing in 1967. I was very disappointed, but by then I had a boyfriend and wasn’t as hurt as I would have been if Jon wasn’t in the picture. In 1969 I wrote to Mike just before he graduated from URI asking him how he was and why he had stopped writing. He wrote back and said he had always felt like a dirty old man since he was 5 years older than me. At that point, he was going into the Army. I’m sure I wrote back, but I didn’t get a response, so in 1970, I wrote again and got his last letter, written at Fort Hood in Texas. Then we lost touch.
Thanks to: Melissa Kinski, Hiedi Patalano, Mike Patalano, and Mrs. Linda Hill.
Band photo taken at Vox store, NYC 1965.
The Others at RCA recording studio 1965.
The Others opening for the
Byrds, Veterans Auditorium,
July 14, 1967
Courtesy of Linda Hill
Jim DeStout & Bob Johnson