“A Wristwatch Band”

BILL WENDRY & the BOSS TWEEDS – ’Fire’ / ’A Wristwatch Band’ (Columbia 4-44605) July 1968

This band came from Springfield, Massachusetts and these Boss Tweeds were not the same as the Boss Tweads who released a 45 on Studio City.

The promo copy of this record had ’Fire’ as the ’suggested side’ although for my money the flip is far better. ’Fire’ is the Jimi Hendrix song and this version is not without merit but how can the original be bettered or even equalled for that matter? Well, the answer is it can’t of course, but maybe Columbia thought this side would be a hit for them.

’A Wristwatch Band’ is a Bill Wendry original and it’s a shame this wasn’t the side to be played by radio stations. First off it’s a strange title for a song don’t you think? and the music is classy and twisted psychedelia. Just how I like it!

’I’m going out of my head
A man is dead
Beneath the floor
Old heaven’s door
A wristwatch band.’

Bill Wendry

Both sides were produced by Jimmy ’Wiz’ Wisner who worked with other Columbia artists including The Buckinghams and Jacobs Creek.

This song has been compiled before on Incredible Sound Show Stories Volume 6 and Psychedelic Unknowns Volume 7. For some reason Bill Wendry & the Boss Tweeds were not included in the 60s garage and psych book ”Teenbeat Mayhem” and have never surfaced in any fanzines.


”Fire” / ”A Wristwatch Band” (Columbia 4-44605) July 1968
”Tryin’ To Get To You” / ”When He’s Home” (Columbia 4-44825) April 1969
”Love Is A Happening” / ”Heartache Line” (Columbia 4-44961) August 1969

(All three singles charted on WHYN Radio 560, Springfield, MASS. ”Fire” was the most successful reaching the Top 10 )

I have made contact with the Boss Tweeds drummer Dan Leone who sent me a copy of the 1968 Columbia publicity photograph sent to radio stations and magazines etc. Dan is pictured top row centre, aged 16.

Dan: Please keep in mind that there was another band called the Boss Tweads from UMass during this time but we were the Boss Tweeds from Shrewsbury, Mass (Worcester) and the band that recorded on Columbia records in 1968 and 1969 under the management of Ken Capurso Productions who also managed Danny Bonnaducci of the Partridge Family during that time.

In the photo: Top left to right: Curt Chase, rhythm guitar; Dan Leone, drums and backup vocals; Steve Charamella, lead guitar;

Bottom left to right: Tony Rucho, Bass Guitar and main vocals; Bill Wendry, Lead singer; Joe Zecco, rhythm guitar.

Some major gigs: Opening band for Gary Puckett and the Union Gap at the Hartford Bushnell Auditorium (1969); Opening band for Mitch Ryder and the Detroit Wheels at the Mountain Park in Springfield, Mass (1969)

Opened for The Fireballs and Beacon Street Union

All band members grew up together and went to high school together.


  1. Boss Tweeds were started at UMass in 1965 and were the top Band in that area through 1968. Did a great reunion performance in 1993 at the 25th Reunion of the Class of 1968. Drummer was David Tompkins. -Ed Vigneau

  2. That comment dated 5 May 2009 by anonymous is not accurate. I know because I am an original member of the Boss Tweeds from Worcester, MA. The band hooked up with Bill Wendry through his manager, Ken Capurso Productions. We traveled to Columbia Record Studios in NYC on several occasions to record these singles. After 1970, the band disbanded as we all headed off to college and lost touch with Bill Wendry shortly thereafter. The rest of the band members still live in the Worcester area except for me in Central Connecticut. You can visit me at Still playing.Dan Leone

  3. Boss Tweeds were started at UMass in 1965 and David Tomkins was the drummer. I dated him at the time.Mary in Marlborough

  4. Sorry Mary in Marlborough, your UMass Boss Tweads was a different band. We were the Boss Tweeds. I will scan and post a picture of the band members including myself from our Columbia records Promo dated 1969. I was the drummer until the band broke up in 1970. Bill Wendry still lives in the Springfield, Mass area today.

  5. I'd love to see a picture Dan.You can send it to me via email:colinlsd1967@msn.comI'll update the entry accordingly.

  6. Hi Dan, on the internet I found concert of Boss Tweeds in 1968 and you play Hey Joe (1968-xx-xx Newport, Rhode Island Lucifer's)I am French and I am collector of Hey Joe. I am creating a website about this song (not online yet). I have got more 2000 versions.A lot of Hendrix's covers but also more 220 \”Leaves's covers\”. I create one page for each performer and I add picture when I have got it. Can you send me the picture of the band? I'll send you pict of the page of your band by email and the url adress when my website will be online. I thank you very much in advance; Best regards;

  7. Sorry Dan, but you are wrong. Ask any of the 4,000 members of the '68 UMASS class. i was a freshman friend of Dave Tomkins in 1964-65 when the UMASS Boss Tweeds started. – Ed Vigneau

  8. I pay a visit daily a few sites and information sites to read posts, except this webpage offers quality based content.

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