June 21, 2013

Sons of Adam - Saturday's Son (1966)

Originally known as The Fender IV (previously featured), this band first came together in Baltimore, Maryland in 1962. When the band relocated their surf sound to Southern California, they built up their audience with frequent performances on Los Angeles’ Sunset Strip. At this time, the group consisted of Randy Holden, Joe Kooken, Mike Port, and Michael Stuart. When Beatlemania and the British Invasion diminished the surf genre in late ’63 and early ’64, the band renamed themselves to that which is seen above and changed their style to R&B and rock. In 1965, the band released their first single, “Take My Hand” / “Tomorrow’s Gonna Be Another Day,” which led to them appearing in the movie The Slender Thread. In 1966, after the release of their second single, lead singer and guitarist Randy Holden left the band to join The Other Half (previously featured), while the band relocated to San Francisco and replaced Holden with Craig Tarwater. They released one more single, “Feathered Fish” / “Baby Show the World” before splitting up. Michael Stuart would go on to join Love from 1966 until 1968, playing drums on their highly acclaimed Forever Changes album. After The Other Half, Randy Holden would also join Blue Cheer, playing on their third album, New! Improved! Blue Cheer.

Written by Lou Josie, this song featured Holden on lead vocals/lead guitar and appeared as the B-Side on the band’s second single, featuring the A-Side “Mr. You’re a Better Man Than I”. It was produced by Gary Usher, the same guy who created Sagittarius, and released on July 15, 1966.

A Special Edition post with Randy Holden
of The Fender IV, Sons of Adam, The Other Half, and Blue Cheer!

I'm starting to lose count of how many exclusive stories we've received. We've been very lucky with the generosity of these artists. Today's story comes from Randy Holden, the guitarist and vocalist of bands such as The Fender IV, Sons of Adam, The Other Half, and Blue Cheer. Randy was kind enough to submit a very funny story, which you can read below. After the story, be sure to listen to the Sons of Adam's "Saturday's Son".
A Bit Like You And Me and readers,

The measures young guys have to effect to carve the path to their dreams are often the roads not trod upon, especially when money is not an inherited oil to smooth the ways, as was an occasion in 1963 when my dream of taking my band to California was an impossible dream for a poor kid. However, never let a small thing like money deter you, as a small thing, such as a bee, has powerful potential.

I finally had most of the pieces in place to make the move to the West Coast in pursuit of my dream to be in the biggest band in the world (it’s important to know that this was before The Beatles, as no one ever heard of the British Invasion at this time in history). The plan was: the bass player, Mike, had a 1953 Mercury and I had a 1957 Ford. We were going to trade both of these in for a 1959 VW Beetle bus. That bus would carry us and our gear anywhere we needed to go. My ‘57 Ford had a blown engine, but the dealer still wanted it. The very day the trade was to take place and provide our freedom-ticket to California the next day, a bee flew in the window of my ‘57 Ford, as the rhythm guitarist, Jo-Jac, was on his way to trade it in to the dealer.

Joe changed his name to Jac later, which took a while getting used to, so he became Jo-Jac during the transition. So we'll call him Jac for now.

Jac was a pretty decent sort. I liked him because he actually had the courage to drop everything the future held and go ripping off to California on what most conservative-minded folks in Baltimore deemed “a dizzy daydream.” None of the others I asked were willing to take on my flight of fantasy, but Joe- or, Jac and Mike.

Joe had really poor eyesight. He wore glasses that looked like they were a half inch thick and, even with them, he didn't see particularly well. Given such circumstances... Not only did the bee fly in the window of the car while Jac was behind the wheel, it flew underneath his eyeglasses and into his eye! How such things happen are impossible to know!

As fate would have it, with Jac flailing wildly, trying to knock his glasses off his face, the only thing clear was that Jac could see nothing as he careened my ‘57 Ford into a parked car, stripping the passenger side of its mirror and every strip of chrome down the side (along with the paint) and re-shaping the whole side of that old Ford!

I knew none of this while I sat [at Jac's] waiting for Jac to come back from a visit to his doctor to get some Asthma medication for his trip to California, borrowing my car to do it. Next thing I know is Jac walking through the door saying, “I have some bad news…”

“A bee flew in the window, into my eye as I was driving, and stung me.” “Well, gee, that's bad luck,” I offered, asking if he was okay. Jac said, “Yeah, I’m okay, but that's not the bad news! The bad news is I wrecked your car!”

WTF ... “Are you crazy, out of your mind, or what!?” I screamed.

I ran out to see the damage, and sure ‘nuff, the whole side was stripped down to metal. I saw my one and only chance of getting out of Baltimore going up in a billowing, hopeless smoke.

I blew my top and took off madder than a hive full of hornets. If I stayed, God knows what I might have done to Jac. I slammed his front door so hard, the panes of glass shattered and I heard his mom say, “He's crazy! I don't want you going to California with him!” I remember thinking, “What 'California'? We're not going anywhere now.” But Jac came running out, yelling, “It’s okay, man, it’s okay. I'll still trade it in for the bus.”

About that time, Mike came walking up and asked, “What happened to Randy's car?” Jac tried to explain. Jac told Mike the story and how he and Mike were still going to pull off the trade deal! Jac said, “It’s simple! There’s a hill above the car dealer. All we do is start the cars rolling from the top of the hill, drift them into the dealership, and hide the damaged side of the Ford by stopping it beside one of the cars in the lot, close enough so no one can get between them.”

As I listened intently and with some amazement, Jac told me, “Don't worry! We're going to California!”

Next morning, the cars were pushed in train-like fashion by me in Jac’s mom’s car, Jac in my car, and Mike in the front with his car. Once I pushed them over the top, I was to wait there until they came back.

Twenty minutes later, Jac comes pulling up beside me in the red VW van, saying, “Let’s go to California!”

They said it went off without a hitch. They drifted the cars in, one following the other, and parked so the damaged side wasn't visible. And the dealer came out holding the keys to the VW van, handed them to Jac, and he and Mike got out of there and never looked back! I was in disbelief they actually pulled it off.

Next morning we were on the road to California! We made it all the way to Tennessee before pulling over for the night. Then, the next morning, we drove all day into Georgia. We were looking for a place to pull off the road to sleep as Jac was driving. I was sitting shotgun, while Mike sat on one of the amps. Jac saw a break on the roadside that looked good to pull off. I saw a sign and- ever the one to never miss a good opportunity for some fun, I said “What's that sign say?,” knowing it was a bit distant to make out. Just as Jac pulled off onto some soft grass that took a steep bumpy drop, I said, “Oh my God! It says, ‘Danger, Quicksand’!”

I sold it hook, line, and sinker.

You never saw bodies grow wings so fast in your life, while I chuckled my tail off! Hahaha! I've never forgotten what an expression of sheer panic looks like since. It was a small payback. :-)

That was the beginning of a few years of insanity with my band The Fender IV becoming Sons of Adam.

Best to you all,

Randy Holden

That was great! It's a shame there was no way to follow-up with the guy who purchased the scratched vehicle. I'd have really enjoyed to see his face when he realized what happened! A huge thank you goes to Randy for taking the time to share this hilarious story with us. I think it's definitely one of the funniest we've received!

To visit Randy's personal website, click here.
If you'd like to purchase any of Randy's work, please visit here.
To see the other posts on A Bit Like You And Me that have featured Randy's playing, click here.

And now that you've enjoyed this exclusive story, why not check out what other exclusive stories we've received?

album art

Sons of Adam - Saturday's Son (1966)

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Thirteenth child of a thirteenth child
Born in the back streets and growing up wild
Thirteenth son of a thirteenth son
What was my sin or what have I done?

Why am I cursed to walk alone?
Where is the love that I’ve never known?
No hand is open, there is no one
For the thirteenth child, Saturday’s son

Thirteen letters spell my name
Born with a shriek and a scream of pain
Thirteenth hour of the thirteenth day
Left with a mark that will stay and stay

Why am I cursed to walk this land?
Searching for one friendly hand
There’s no pleasure, not one bit of fun
For the thirteenth child, Saturday’s son

Somebody, somewhere, help me please
And say just one kind word for me
And let the spell become undone
For the thirteenth child, Saturday’s son

Woah, Saturday’s son
Yeah, Saturday’s son

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