A holy alliance of the Association and the Left Banke

I’ve had an obscure psych 45 by Proof Of The Puddin’ for some time and it’s recently stirred up some interest when I compiled both sides on a couple of freebie comps. Keith Bickerton liked the 45 so much he did some research on the group and here are his findings.

The group came from Columbus, Indiana, but had moved to Boston when they signed with RCA Victor and they were still known as The Shakers then. They released their lone 45 in September 1967, and the A side “Flying High” was written by Harry Palmer who would later lead the group Ford Theatre (he wrote most of their material including their most well known song “Jefferson Airplane”).

“Color Wheel” was written by George Goehring who plays the harpsichord, the group did not play on this side, but just provided the vocals. The group did record other self written material, but the tapes have been lost.

Harry Palmer was not a member of the group, just a friend, and the line up was: 

Ross Hubler lead guitar
Dave Groves bass
Tirk Wilder guitar
Mike Moody drums
Ken Rider guitar

All members sang and it was Mike Moody on lead vocals on “Flying High”.

I do not think that anyone in the group made any more records, Ross Hubler passed away recently.

I recently received news that Ken Ridler died 22/09/15.

update from a reader on 18/07/12

The members of this band were high school classmates at Columbus High School in Columbus, Indiana. Tirk Wilder and Dave Groves graduated in 1962, Ross Hubler and Mike Moody in 1965.

In high school they played with a succession of other musicians as the Fabulous XLs. Ken Rider, who graduated from CHS in 1963, was not with the band in Boston, but he did play with the others in many different bands over the years. RCA offered them a contract in 1967, and like many young rockers in those days, they signed and ended up with little control over their careers.

They were housed in a luxury apartment in Boston, and the story is that they worked constantly but there never seemed to be any money. They often had little food in their luxury apartment and were reduced to eating day-old doughnuts thrown out by a nearby shop. The single recording session was unusual in that Flying High was recorded in one take.

The band did the vocal arrangements for Color Wheel themselves the night before the session. Eventually there was some sort of contract dispute, and RCA dropped them. They were so broke they barely made it home to Indiana. Afterward Ross and Mike relocated to San Francisco, where they played at various venues including Fillmore West.

All five continued to perform as professional musicians, although Dave became a surveyor and Ross a master carpenter. Tirk is best known as a songwriter, having written the theme for Walker, Texas Ranger. He currently lives in Nashville, TN. Ross passed away in 2005. Dave, Ken and Mike are living in Indiana, where they still play together from time to time.

originally posted on 04/08/11

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