Hungry for Kicks: Singles & Choice Cuts 1965-69
Paul Revere & the Raiders
Let us not talk falsely now, as the Joker said to the Thief, so here’s a granular bit of truth from the 1960s that you might not get from the Revised Standard Rolling Stone Hall of Fame Canonical History of Rock & Roll. The distinctions that are made, in retrospect, between serious and lightweight music from that era, between high pop and low pop, between history-making art and disposable kitsch, were not nearly so obvious at the time as they seem now. The icons of the era, the Beatles, Stones, Dylan, etc., did not occupy the heights alone. In the interstices between their slots on the charts, lots of other music thrived. And—here’s the important fact—that other music was listened to, and dug, and taken “seriously” by the same people, the same kids, who put the Beatles/Stones/Dylan, etc. on the charts. Which brings us to Paul Revere and the Raiders.
The fact is that there were millions of real rockers who logged just as much time listening to Paul Revere and the Raiders between 1965 and 1967 as they did the Rolling Stones. That the kids who made “Like a Rolling Stone” a hit did the same with “Kicks” and “Good Thing.” That there was one point at which serious young men who might one day be rock critics could want to be both John Lennon and Mark Lindsay, the Raiders’ front man, at one and the same time.
Talking about the Raiders raises the larger topic of garage rock. Which runs the risk of turning the conversation serious, and if there’s one thing you shouldn’t be when talking about the Raiders, it’s serious...
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