2 thoughts on “Tommy James and the Shondells, Draggin’ the Line

  1. In 1976, I saw a show in SF where Tommy James opened for (Peter Bardens’) Camel at the Boarding House. It was 90 degrees in SF that night, and obviously the crowd was there to see Camel (as was I). James came out in a sport coat with no shirt, and was clearly displeased with the crowd’s lack of reaction to “Crimson and Clover.” I learned he didn’t even show for the second planned show. I liked Crimson and Clover when I was 15, but a little less when I was 21. (Camel put on a great show, BTW.)

  2. I saw them at MSG with the 4 Tops, the 4 Seasons and Jay & the Americans, in about 1973. They were the best of the bunch, nosing out the 4 Tops. As Peter says, they went through a few changes in musical style, from the garage “Hanky Panky” to the pure pop of “I Think We’re Alone Now” to the Rascals-like “Crimson and Clover” to the above. I always thought that their best songs, while hits, were not as massive as some others. For example, I like “Sweet Cherry Wine” in their “Crimson & Clover” mode, and this one in their “I Think We’re Alone Now” phase. I think I’ve posted this before, because it’s a great tune just begging to be punked up.

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