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The Patron Saints' Before Bohob-Vol. 1 CD cover.













1965 Fender Jazzmaster


















1966 Fender Super Reverb





















Jeff Alfaro's Gretsch drums
















A Sony TC-255 reel-to-reel tape deck


the patron saints: before bohob-vol. 1
Birth Of A Basement Band

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The Patron Saints-Before Bohob, Vol. 1 Set/CD 1

1. You Really Got Me
(Davies; Kassner Music Co, Ltd., BMI; 2:22) (Bruce: lead vocal)
This version of The Kinks’ seminal song was one of the first recordings the Patron Saints ever made, in Jeff’s basement, probably around late September, 1966. We also performed Route 66 and Paint It, Black that day. What astonishes me is that less than two months prior to this session, Jeff had finally earned enough lawn-mowing money to purchase his first set of ‘pre-owned’ Gretsch drums (which he still has and uses to this day), I had just switched over to bass from guitar, and the five of us had probably been playing together for only about a month or so. Keep in mind that our ages at this time ranged from fourteen to sixteen. Nowadays, kids that age have a wide variety of ways to learn their instruments; through the Internet, DVDs, music TV channels, etc. Back in 1966? A turntable, a dedicated pair of ears and sheer tenacity was about it.

2. Little Red Rooster
(Dixon; Bug Music, BMI; 2:58) (Eric: lead vocal)
Our take on the Rolling Stones’ version of the Willie Dixon classic, recorded in Jon’s basement, most likely in November of 1966. This is the first existing recording where I actually sang lead (albeit pretty lamely), and attempted to play harmonica. Not long after, Bruce started playing the harp, and was head, hands and feet better than I was. I also marvel at Jon’s ability to emulate Brian Jones’ bottleneck guitar part…without a slide! At this point in time, I don’t think we even knew what a slide was. Listen carefully to hear Jon pointing out chord changes to the rest of us. Bruce was on bass for this one. The fade was actually done at the time to make it sound like a real record…

3. Day Tripper
(Lennon/McCartney; Northern Songs, Ltd.; 2:39) (Jon: lead vocal, Eric: harmony vocal)
Shades of things to come. This Beatle chestnut was one of the first examples of Jon and I attempting double-tracked recording, a technique we used a few years later on Fohhoh Bohob. Bruce was on a skiing trip with his family at the time, around Christmas, 1966, so it’s just the four of us, recording this time in Frank’s basement.

4. I’m A Believer
(Diamond; DiamondSongs, Inc.; 2:40) (Jon: lead vocal; Eric: harmony vocal)
Yep, even the Monkees made it into our repertoire…another shot at double-tracking in my parent’s basement in late December, 1966. A perfect example of us not being able to clearly hear lyrics from listening to records on low end record players, hence Jon singing ‘on my brain’ instead of “I got rain’. My three-note organ-playing debut…and finale; Bruce was still on vacation.

5. Route 66
(Troup; Hal Leonard Corporation, BMI; 2:32) (Bruce: lead vocal)
Tracks 5 through 15 were recorded on May 27, 1967 at a dance for the Civil Air Patrol (CAP) in a gym in Armonk, NY. The Stones’ version of Route 66 was, to the best of my recollection, the first song we ever learned as a fivesome, and so we had it down pretty well by now.

6. The Medley (The Last Time/Satisfaction/ Get Off My Cloud) (Jagger/Richard; Alfred Publishing Co., Inc.; BMI; 5:55) (Bruce: lead vocal)
I have a tape I made of the Stones’ versions of these three songs crudely edited at appropriate points to make a medley, something I had been thinking about for while back in early 1967. What I came up with was cleverly referred to as “The Medley”, and actually turned out to be a big crowd pleaser.

7. I’m Not Your Stepping Stone
(Boyce/Hart; Screen Gems-EMI Music Inc.; BMI; 2:40) (Bruce: lead vocal)
Although most people assume that we learned this Boyce/Hart staple from the Monkees, it was actually the Paul Revere and the Raiders version which we knew and copied. One of the first songs we ever learned as a band.

8. Somebody Help Me
(Edwards; Essex Music, Inc., BMI; 1:43) (Bruce: lead vocal)
The Spencer Davis group was another one of our favorites at the time. We loved the fact that Stevie Winwood wasn’t much older than us…

9. The Spider And The Fly
(Jagger/Richard; Alfred Publishing Co., Inc.; BMI; 3:38) (Bruce: lead vocal)
I may be wrong, but I don’t think the Stones themselves ever performed this great nugget lifted from the Stones’ Out Of Our Heads LP. At the time, I remember finding the line “She was common, flirty, she looked about thirty” so amusing…as with most teenagers, thirty was literally considered on the leading edge of old age. I believe our perspectives have changed slightly since then…

10. Around And Around
(Berry; Hal Leonard Corporation; BMI; 3:05) (Bruce: lead vocal)
Yet another Stones cover we co-opted from the 12 x 5 album.

11. Gloria
(Morrison; Hal Leonard Corporation; BMI; 2:20) (Eric: lead vocal)
Probably the first song Frank, Jeff and I ever learned before Jon and Bruce joined the mix. Of course, it was Them’s version we learned it from, not the anemic Shadows of Knight offering that everybody seems to credit with its fame. Our performance here was a complete one-off…we had never played it together as a full group, but someone requested it, so we gave it a shot. I think I sang it because no one else knew the lyrics.

12. Goin’ Home
(Jagger/Richard; Alfred Publishing Co., Inc.; BMI; 10:10) (Bruce, Jon: lead vocal)
In the four decades since we recorded this, I have yet to hear of any group (including the Stones themselves) attempting to tackle this musical marathon from their Aftermath album. A strong example of us dipping deep into our ‘Stones Clones’ musical franchise…

13. Moon Dawg
(Weaver; Beechwood Music Corp., BMI; 2:11) (Instrumental)
Us as a surf band. Although a number of groups recorded this classic, it was the 1962 Beach Boys version we copied. I absolutely love Jon’s guitar tone on this gem…

14. Let’s Spend The Night Together
(Jagger/Richard; Gideon Music Corp., BMI; 3:02) (Eric: lead vocal)
Not surprisingly, another Stones cover. No cheesy ‘Ed Sullivan Show’ lyric substitutions, either...

15. He’s Always There
(Dreja/McCarty/Beck/Relf/Samwell-Smith; 2:25) (Eric: lead vocal)
A rather obscure Yardbirds song from side two of the Roger The Engineer album. I usually ended up singing the Keith Relf vocals.

16. Everybody Needs Somebody To Love
(Russell/Burke/Wexler; Hal Leonard Corporation; BMI; 3:55) (Jon: lead vocal; Eric: harmony vocal)
One of my favorite Patron Saint recordings ever, live at a dance, probably from July/August, 1967. Most American record buyers were familiar with the version of this song released on the U.S. The Rolling Stones, Now! LP, but we used the version from the English LP release, which is quite different. Our first live stereo recording, it allowed me to experiment with microphone placement for the first time. Unfortunately, the drum mike was mismatched (I’m lucky we had an extra mike at all!), and is slightly distorted, but it still sounds great to me…

17. Paint It, Black
(Jagger/Richard; Alfred Publishing Co., Inc.; BMI; 2:57) (Bruce: lead vocal; Eric: harmony vocal)
Another stereo recording from the same gig as tracks 16 and 18...a Stones hit we learned early on.

18. (I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction (blues version)
(Jagger/Richard; BMI; 4:37) (Bruce: lead vocal; Jon: harmony vocal)
We spread our wings with this one. One day, we were fooling around during a practice and came up with this slower, ‘bluesier’ version of the Stones’ 1965 hit. I believe it was one of the first times we broke away from the ‘let’s copy every note exactly’ formula, and thought for ourselves creatively.

19. Little By Little
(Phelge/Spector; Hal Leonard Corporation; ASCAP; 2:41) (Bruce: lead vocal)
One culled from the first Stones album, recorded live at a dance in August, 1967, as were tracks 20 through 22. This was the first time I had used my brand new Haynes Bass King amp, which was mostly solid state (a fairly new guitar amp innovation), as I recall. At the very end of the song (at around 2:26), the amp blew an internal fuse…you can hear it cut out. Since this was the first song of the evening, I completely freaked until I realized that there was a reset button on the back of the amp…

20. Get Out My Life, Woman
(Toussaint; Marsaint Music, BMI; 2:41) (Bruce: lead vocal; Eric: harmony vocal)
Broadening our horizons, we started learning songs from a variety of new sources…in this case, The Paul Butterfield Blues Band. At the beginning of the song, you can hear Jon instructing Frank as to the actual key that the song was in (‘It’s G, boy’). It was rare when Jon made such a flagrant musical mistake, but in this case he did…the key was, indeed, A.

21. Keep On Running
(Edwards; Essex Music, Inc., BMI; 2:43) (Bruce: lead vocal)
Another great Spencer Davis group song. I used to love to play this because it had some short bass solos in it.

22. It’s All Over Now
(B. & S. Womack; Alfred Publishing Co., Inc.; BMI; 3:17) (Bruce: lead vocal)
Another Stones cover. Our song endings were always our weakest area back then, so I came up with the fairly tight ending used here. It was a lesson I’ve carried with me since then…in all my subsequent musical endeavors, I have always tried to make sure that songs end powerfully.


The Patron Saints-Before Bohob, Vol. 1 Set/CD 2

1. I’ll Feel A Whole Lot Better
(Clark; Tickson Music Co., BMI; 2:19) (Bruce: lead vocal; Eric, Jon: harmony vocals)
I’ve always been a huge Byrds freak, and I believe I tried to get us to learn something by them for the group. We had an audition for an important gig one afternoon, so we learned this right before the representative showed up to hear us. We played her the version included here, in Bruce’s playroom, and when we finished playing, she said ‘OK, you’ve got the job.’ And that job was…

2. Born In Chicago
(Gravenites; Nina Music, BMI; 2:44) (Bruce: lead vocal)
…The Horace Greeley High School Block Party, on September 5, 1967 in Chappaqua, NY. Tracks 2 through 7 were recorded live that night. This track was another from The Paul Butterfield Blues Band, and a great opener.

3. I’m Alright
(Nanker/Phelge; Westminster Music; ; BMI; 3:02) (Jon: lead vocal; Eric, Bruce-harmony vocals)
Us live imitating the Stones live. Amazing energy.

4. I’m A Man
(McDaniel; Frankie Avalon Music, Inc./Hill & Range Songs, Inc., BMI; 2:34) (Eric: lead vocal)
A killer version of the Yardbirds track, if I do say so myself. Another example of not being able to understand lyrics from LPs…the line is “Make love to you, baby, in an hour’s time’ but all I could hear was “Make love to you baby, in and out of time”. Close enough, I guess…

5. Grown Up Wrong
(Jagger/Richard; BMI; 1:54) (Bruce: lead vocal; Jon-harmony vocals)
Another fairly obscure Stones song from their 12 x 5 album.

6. Flight 505
(Jagger/Richard; Alfred Publishing Co., Inc.; BMI; 3:18) (Bruce: lead vocal; Jon-harmony vocal)
Yep, yet another fairly obscure, but terrific Stones song from their 1966 Aftermath LP.

7. Shake Your Money-Maker
(adpt. Butterfield; Nina Music, BMI; 2:24) (Bruce: lead vocal)
A great Paul Butterfield Blues band number, with Jon once more successfully emulating a slide guitar.

8. I Can’t Keep From Crying
(Arr. Kooper; Sealark Enterprises; 5:39) (Bruce: lead vocal; Eric: harmony vocal)
Tracks 8 through 13 were recorded live at dance at New Canaan High School, New Canaan, CT, in late 1967, probably around Homecoming; all are in stereo except track 10, which is mono (faulty left mike connection). This was our version of the Blues Project’s lead off song on their Projections LP. I was actually able to play this version for Blues Project group member Steve Katz back in the mid-‘70s. Pretty cool.

9. Manic Depression
(Hendrix; Experience Hendrix, LLC, ASCAP; 2:58) (Bruce: lead vocal)
I believe it’s fair to say that we introduced Jimi Hendrix to New Canaan…no one there had even a remote clue as to who he was. We were the first band I ever heard who covered Hendrix. At the time, I was fooling around with a device that allowed you to swap channels, much to my current dismay. I fixed most of them, but some were really hard to repair.

10. Taxman
(Harrison; Northern Songs Ltd.; 2:53) (Bruce: lead vocal; Eric, Jon: harmony vocals)
Since we were much more of a ‘Stones’ band than a ‘Beatles’ band, it was rare for us to cover one of their tunes. Nevertheless, we took a credible shot at the opening track off 1966’s Revolver.

11. Light My Fire
(Morrison/Manzarek/Krieger/Densmore; Nipper Music, ASCAP; 5:26) (Bruce: lead vocal)
Another staple in our set was the ubiquitous Doors classic…the extended version, of course.

12. Play With Fire
(Jagger/Richard; Alfred Publishing Co., Inc.; BMI; 2:33) (Bruce: lead vocal)
Another Stones song which we attempted to make our own by arranging it ourselves.

13. Omaha
(Spence; Alexander Lee Spence Music; 2:57) (Bruce: lead vocal; Eric, Jon: harmony vocals)
A cover of what is arguably one of the best songs by one of the best groups ever to strap on guitars, Moby Grape. New Canaan didn’t know what hit them…we had to play it for them three times, hence Bruce’s comment “…and never again will we ever play that song!”. I came up with an ending which borrows bass riffs from another great Grape song, Changes. Omaha is still one of my favorite songs from that era.

14. Superbird
(McDonald; Tradition Music, BMI; 4:21) (Bruce: lead vocal; Eric: harmony vocal)
Tracks 14 through 23 were recorded in Bruce’s playroom sometime in the late spring/early summer of 1968. I came up with a plan to do a ‘studio’ recording to  ‘capture’ the group, which was really only us being recorded in stereo instead of mono, but it was the first session where I purposely tried to set the band up in a way that would be conducive to sound and separation, a production forerunner of our Fohhoh Bohob sessions the following year. Superbird was a wonderful Country Joe and the Fish song, as politically relevant today is it was back then.

15. Purple Haze
(Hendrix; Experience Hendrix, LLC, ASCAP; 2:51) (Bruce: lead vocal)
The first Hendrix song we ever learned. You can really hear Jon’s guitar playing bridging the gap from Keith Richards to his new guitar hero, Jimi, here.

16. Lost Woman
(Dreja/McCarty/Beck/Relf/Samwell-Smith; 4:22) (Bruce: lead vocal)
Another energetic Yardbirds cover, which leads off the
Roger The Engineer LP. Well, I guess this track is a little psychedelic...

17. Sunshine Of Your Love
(Bruce/Brown/Clapton; Nemperor, BMI; 4:04) (Bruce: lead vocal; Eric: harmony vocal)
A song we never actually performed in public with the original five. I think we learned it (and tracks 19, 20 and 22) just for this recording.

18. Foxey Lady
(Hendrix; Experience Hendrix, LLC, ASCAP; 2:24) (Bruce: lead vocal)
Well, we just had to record a version of Foxey…pretty good, despite Jon’s guitar tuning problems towards the end of it.

19. Outside Woman Blues
(Reynolds/Egg; BMI; 2:26) (Bruce: lead vocal)
I have no recollection of us learning this Cream cut from Disraeli Gears, but obviously we did! We had moved on from the Stones at this point.

20. You Got Me Floatin’
(Hendrix; Experience Hendrix, LLC, ASCAP; 2:47) (Bruce: lead vocal; Eric: harmony vocal)
We also tried a few songs from Jimi’s second release,
Axis: Bold As Love. I don’t believe we had ever played it as a group before this take.

21. Good Time Music
(Sebastian; Faithful Virtue, BMI; 4:02) (Bruce: lead vocal; Eric: harmony vocal)
A terrific Lovin’ Spoonful song which we lifted from Elektra Records’
What’s Shakin’ LP. In typical lyric-mangling style, Bruce and I heard “sections of slide trombones” as “sexy slide trombones”…hmmm, maybe that sounds better, come to think of it.

22. Up From The Skies
(Hendrix; Experience Hendrix, LLC, ASCAP; 3:29) (Bruce: lead vocal)
Another Jimi song we had never played before, but got through pretty darn well, considering.

23. I Got My Mojo Working
(Morganfield; Arc Music, BMI; 3:14) (Bruce: lead vocal)
A Paul Butterfield Blues Band cut, and a perfect example of us at our high-energy best to finish off the set. Great guitar/harp interplay between Jon and Bruce.


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