Teddy & The Pandas: Basic Magnetism (Usa Garage, Compilation)


Speaking with my friend Maxi, he dropped the idea of posting the latest stuff that i ve bought recently (good one ah?! ja). Here is one of them, a great band from Boston, pay attention to this one.

Boston garage combo Teddy and the Pandas formed in early 1964, originally comprising guitarist Teddy Dewart (the group's nominal leader), singer Al Lawrence, rhythm guitarist Joe Daley, bassist Billy "Sonny" Corelle, keyboardist Dickie Guerrette, and drummer Jerry LaBrecque. Daley left the lineup soon after its inception, but the remaining members were far more serious about the endeavor -- steady gigging in North Shore communities like Danvers, Gloucester, and Manchester quickly established Teddy and the Pandas as a teen favorite, and in fact they grew so popular that they even formed their own corporation and hired legal representation, accountants, and a PR consultant. They also traveled with a four-man road crew. In late 1965, the band entered Ace Recording Studios to cut their debut single, the Dewart-penned "Once Upon a Time" -- issued on the local Coristine label. In the spring of 1966 the single reached the Top Ten on Boston radio stations WMEX and WBZ, its unique sound due largely to Guerrette's snap decision to abandon his keyboard in favor of a harpsichord left in the studio by members of the Boston Symphony Orchestra. "Once Upon a Time" was such a hit throughout the northeast that the Musicor label signed to re-release the single nationally, although it stalled at number 134 on the Billboard charts. Session vocalist Toni Wine and guitar ace Hugh McCracken lent their skills to Teddy and the Pandas' second Musicor effort, "We Can't Go on This Way" -- another local smash, it fell just shy of the national Hot 100. The band spent the fall of 1966 on a six-week tour in support of Musicor superstar Gene Pitney, also appearing on the Dick Clark television series Where the Action Is. Teddy and the Pandas' third Musicor single "Searchin' for the Good Times" was also their last -- its label-mandated psychedelic trappings were a poor fit with the band's raw, energetic sound, and the record went nowhere. The group then landed at Capitol's Tower affiliate, but their lone full-length, 1967's Basic Magnetism, likewise suffered from a forced psychedelic sound. By the time the album was released, Dewart had left the band to attend college, and Paul Rivers was tapped to assume lead guitar duties before Teddy and the Pandas called it quits a few months later. The classic five-member lineup reunited for the first time on October 7, 1983 in Danvers, Massachusetts, and 15 years later they began work on their first new recordings in over three decades -- 2002 also saw the release of Rarities and Forgotten Gems, a collection of previously unreleased demos and alternate versions from Teddy and the Pandas' heyday.

From their inception, Teddy and the Pandas had formulated a plan that would allow them the opportunity while performing live to test their original songs on wildly enthusiastic crowds in and around the Massachusetts North Shore. Their plan succeeded for the most part, but The Pandas later found their musical prowess compromised by a production team keen to latch onto the latest misguided musical trend, resulting in the band's eventual dissolving. Yet, despite this and other questionable management decisions, the Pandas succeeded in recording several songs that certainly position the band as one of the very best the '60s Boston rock'n'roll scene had to offer.


Pablo "Pochola" Cazorla said...


henry said...

for a moment i thought this was Teddy & His Patches - a SF acid-rock group (i had their 45 "Suzy Creamcheese" once ... i don't think they ever did an album) but hey, if Tower Records released it, it has to be pretty good, as they were almost equal to Autumn records in featuring solid more local bands in their roster. Looking forward to hearing this one. Thanks Pablo.

Maximiliano said...

Uff estuve un tiempo a full y sin tiempo para nada, pero a este no me lo querìa perder, me encanto.
Una verdadera rareza.

Mateus Paul said...

Só a capa já me chamou muita atenção. Achei ótima, daquelas capas que deve ser linda de se ter na coleção de LPs.
Quanto ao album: incrível! Temas bem trabalhados e, o mais divertido, é que o lado A é mais psicodélico e orquestrado, enquanto o B é mais garageiro!
Não conhecia e agora não paro de ouvir!
Obrigado por me fazerem conhecer mais uma ótima banda dos 60s!

aldo said...

Not a masterpiece of course but the record has its moments: the titletrack, "Running from love" and my personal fave "Raspberry salesman" a wonderful piece of Psychedelic Pop...perhaps the record would have benefited by a better sequencing...
also I remember some great sides from their early singles.
maybe next time, eh?
thank you
yeah, cool sleeve, I dig it!

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

Thx Boss :)

Anonymous said...

we can't go on this way was a hit here in northeastern p.a. but by the unchanged mynds! whoever they were,they were not from our local scene. lee