Night Music: Paul Revere and the Raiders, “Like, Long Hair”

I’m down in Williamsburg Virginia, and, well, Mark Lindsey and his band dressed up in those period costumes, just like everyone in the historic park here.

I wanted to find a song less obvious than Kicks, but while I like listening to their other pop songs (the songs are good, the guitars and harmonies strong), and I own the vinyl of their greatest hits album, Kicks is the song of theirs that really stands out. Written by Barry Mann and Cynthia Weill for the Animals, but when Eric Burdon didn’t want to sing it they passed it on to the Raiders.

The thing I learned about Paul Revere and the Raiders today is that they were actually started by a guy named Paul Revere, an organist, who played in a few different bands with Mark Lindsey before they named themselves Paul Revere and the Raiders in 1960. They released their first hit, “Like, Long Hair” in 1961, the title refers to the Rachmaninoff riff it starts with (this was back when classical music was referred to as long-hair music), but Revere was doing community service in a hospital at the time to work off his Conscientious Objector status, so he was replaced on the band’s first national tour by Leon Russell.

Their next hit single was a version of Louie Louie that may have predated the Kingsman’s hit version, recorded in the same studio.

The group didn’t start wearing the costumes until after the start of the British Invasion, which played directly into the band’s name and their musical style, which they reshaped in the wake of the sounds of the Beatles and Yardbirds and others.

4 thoughts on “Night Music: Paul Revere and the Raiders, “Like, Long Hair”

  1. I don’t especially associate them with “Kicks,” more like the summer I went to boy scout camp. I used to cut my merit badge classes and listen to their album that the camp officers had but of course peons like 11 year-old me couldn’t hang so I listened from my tent. PR&R had many hits and always sounded great on the radio. I’m inclined to doubt that they played on their records, the songs have “Wrecking Crew” written all over them, the rhythm section is especially excellent. This is my fave although not their biggest hit:

    The Monkees meet the Stones.

    • This was the clip I was going to post first, then moved to Kicks (which is more distinctive) and ended up on the novelty of Like Long Hair. Agree that they always sounded great on the radio, even Indian Reservation, and I know that the band was unhappy about not playing on the records (and also moving rather decisively toward hit making), leading to various personnel changes.

      What I didn’t know is that Him or Me is an original, written by Mark Lindsey and Terry Melcher (their producer).

  2. Boy, they totally ripped off Upper Crust’s look. And why does the keyboardist have a cowboy hat and a sheepskin on his organ? (Hmm, sounds more interesting than it is.)

  3. Pingback: Obit: Paul Revere (1938-2014) | Rock 'n' Roll Remnants

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