Musician Paul Revere Passes At 76
Keyboardist and lutist Paul Revere passed in his sleep last night at his home in Caldwell, Idaho. Revere was 76.
Born Paul Revere Dick in Harvard, NE, Revere was a restaurant owner in Caldwell when, as the story goes, he met Mark Lindsay while picking up an order of hamburger buns from the bakery where Lindsay worked. Lindsay would join Dick's band, The Downbeats soon after. The circumstance of their meeting would be the basis of the tongue-in-cheek song "The Legend of Paul Revere."
The band would change its name to Paul Revere and The Raiders on the eve of their first album release for Gardena Records, which had enough national appeal that the instrument "Like, Long Hair" would climb to #38 on the national charts. Revere was drafted for military service, he became a conscientious objector and worked as a cook at a mental institution for a year and a half of deferred service, while Lindsay worked pumping gas. Lindsay, on the strength of their Top 40 single, toured the U.S. in summer 1961 with a band that featured Leon Russell filling in for Revere on piano.
In 1965, The Raiders began recording a string of garage rock classics. Under the guidance of producer Terry Melcher, the group relocated to Los Angeles and increasingly emulated the sounds of British Invasion bands such as The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, The Dave Clark Five, and The Animals, albeit with an American, R&B feel. Their first major national hit, "Just Like Me" was one of the first rock records to feature a distinctive, double-tracked guitar solo, by guitarist Drake Levin.
In November 1966, the band appeared as themselves performing one song on the popular Batman television series on an episode entitled "Hizzonner the Penguin." At the height of the band's popularity, four founding members, Drake Levin, Jim Valley, Phil Volk and Mike Smith left, disenchanted that the group was prevented from evolving into a more egalitarian creative team, miffed at being replaced by studio musicians on recordings, and unhappy with a continued teen-oriented direction while a more serious rock 'n' roll style was emerging.
Changing tastes in the late 1960s rendered the group unfashionable, but they still continued to have modest hits through the rest of the decade. In an effort to change the bands' sound and image, the name was officially shortened to The Raiders, while the 1970 album Collage was an attempt to move in another musical direction. It drew a glowing review from Rolling Stone magazine, but Collage proved to be a commercial failure. At this point Mark Lindsay, who had taken the majority of the contol of the band, began to turn toward solo projects. Joe Correro, who had replace Mike Smith on drums, departed after their spring tour ended, to be replaced by his predecessor Smith.
Lineup changes continued throughout the 70's, the biggest in early 1975, when Mark Lindsay departed the band after a gig at Knott's Berry Farm. Lindsay continued his solo career, having previously landed a hit single in late 1969.
The punk rock and new wave eras would see a wave of interest in the Raiders' music; "I'm Not Your Stepping Stone" was covered by The Sex Pistols, Minor Threat, and Liverpool band The Farm (although The Monkees' cover version was better known than the Raiders' original.) Revere continued with a relatively stable lineup through the 80's and 90's, featuring longtime members Omar Martinez, Doug Heath, Ron Foos and lead vocalist Carlo "Carl" Driggs. Occasional new record releases included the self-produced Special Edition, with Michael Bradley on vocals, and Paul Revere Rides Again, released through Radio Shack stores. Their influence would also be felt in country music, as Tim McGraw sampled their hit "Indian Reservation" on his hit "Indian Outlaw."
On September 19, 1997, the group's classic 1966 Midnight Ride lineup (singer Mark Lindsay, guitarist Drake Levin, bassist Phil Volk and drummer Mike Smith) reunited in full costume (though without Revere himself) for a 30th anniversary performance in Portland.
In 2000 Sundazed Records released a two-CD package entitled Mojo Workout that focused on the R&B and soul sounds from early in the Raiders' Columbia career. On October 13, 2007 Paul Revere & the Raiders were officially inducted, along with their Manager Roger Hart, into the Oregon Music Hall of Fame. In attendance were Mark Lindsay, Phil "Fang" Volk, and Roger Hart to accept their awards.
Revere announced his retirement from the band in August 2014. According to the groups website, he passed away peacefully in his sleep at his home in Idaho.