A Bit Like You And Me Radio

November 14, 2013

The Other Side - Walking Down the Road (1966)

This band was originally a surf outfit calling themselves The Topsiders, formed at Washington High School in Fremont, California circa 1964. The members of The Topsiders were Jim Sawyers, Ken “Toad” Matthew, Tom Antone, and David Tolby (born David Phelps). In early 1965, Skip Spence briefly joined the band, before being convinced by Martin Balin to join Balin’s band as their drummer. When Balin’s band rejected the band name proposed by Spence, favoring instead to call themselves Jefferson Airplane, Spence suggested that The Topsiders should use it. They did, and from then on, The Topsiders were known as The Other Side.

For the duration of the band, personnel changes were very common. The band often stole and swapped members with another local act, The Chocolate Watchband. When Jim Sawyers left the group to join The Vejtables (citing that he didn’t get along with Sawyers), the band replaced him with Ed “Ned” Torney III, the lead guitarist of The Chocolate Watchband. In turn, David Tolby left The Other Side to join The Chocolate Watchband. Born David Phelps and using the stage name David Tolby, he again switched his name (this time to Sean Tolby) when he joined The Chocolate Watchband.

At this point, The Other Side was made up of Ken “Toad” Matthew, Tom Antone, and ex-Chocolate Watchband guitarist Ed “Ned” Torney. Torney’s departure from The Chocolate Watchband had an effect on his ex-bandmates Jo Kemling and Danny Phay, who soon followed Torney’s lead by leaving the Watchband and joining The Other Side. This was the lineup of the band which reached the most acclaim, but it didn’t last long. In January 1966, Torney was drafted into the Army and was only able to practice and play with the band on the weekends. To help fill his void, the group brought in Martin Van Slyke Battey. But by May 1966, Torney re-joined the band full time, thus making the group a little too large. Rather than ejecting the newest member, Battery, the group decided to part ways with Jo Kemling, who was soon followed by a departing Danny Phay. The last personnel change of the band came when they recruited Alan Graham, a guitarist from the Lord Jim Quintet that was brought in to assist on vocals. It was this final lineup of the band which recorded The Other Side’s only single, heard below.

The demise of the band began shortly after Tom Antone received his draft notice. With Antone being plucked from the group, Battey soon quit the band. To replace the two, the remaining members recruited Wayne Paulsen and renamed themselves Bogus Thunder. The Other Side was no more.

To reiterate, at the time of the recording heard below, the group consisted of original band members Ken “Toad” Matthew and Tom Antone; Ed “Ned” Torney, previously of The Chocolate Watchband; Martin Van Slyke Battey; and Alan Graham, previosuly of The Lord Jim Quintet. The song heard below was written by R. Kleinsinger and J. Darion, featured as the A-Side to their sole single, and released in December 1966. It was backed with the B-Side “Streetcar,” which was written by Battey and Graham of the band.

album art

The Other Side - Walking Down the Road (1966)

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Lyrics:

Walking down this road to my town
Walking down this road to home
Traveling through these hills and valleys
Traveling and I'm all alone

Gonna see my woman
I'm gonna see my pa
I’ve been a long time movin’
It gets ya wonderin’ how they are

Walking down this road to my town
Walking down this road to home
Traveling through these hills and valleys
Traveling and I'm all alone

Walking down this road to my town
Walking down this road to home
Traveling through these hills and valleys
Traveling and I'm all alone

Gonna see the parson
If I can catch him in
I bet he’s down there fishin’
Fishin’ with my brother Jim

And if I ever get there
I’ll tell ya what I'm gonna do, yeah
I'm gonna write ‘em all a letter
And tell them “I’ll be seein’ you”

Walking down this road to my town
Walking down this road to home
Traveling through these hills and valleys
Traveling and I'm all alone

Walking down this road to my town
Walking down this road to home
Traveling through these hills and valleys
Traveling and I'm all alone

1 comment:

  1. Such cool lyrics. Some of the best music came from the 1960s. They just don't make songs like that anymore!! Cool name too! Topsiders! :D Thanks for sharing.

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