by Art Chantry:
this guy here (in the foreground) is a real honest-to-gawd rocknroll hero. you likely have never heard of the guy. his name is Don Gallucci. i found this autographed publicity photo (taken by the legendary jini dellaccio) in a thrift store for a couple of bucks yesterday.
don gallucci had this really popular rock/pop band in the pacific northwest in the mid 60′s called “Don & The Goodtimes.” he had regional hits like “i could be so good to you” and “little sally tease” (jim valley in the band actually wrote that song) and covers of stones tunes like “blue turns to grey” and the sonics’ “you got your head on backwards, baby”. don & the goodtimes was the headline draw everywhere they played back then. they also opened up for every touring band that played throught he area: the stones, the beach boys, the yardbirds, the who. the whole lot of them. these guys were stars.
but don gallucci was a star even before. you see, he used to be in a portland band called “the Kingsmen”, whose cover version of the northwest teen dance circuit super hit “louie, louie” (originally introduced by Rockin’ Robin Roberts and his band, the Wailers) became the number one song in the country, actually knocking the Beatles off the top slot back when they had that amazing run holding all five top hits on the charts (a feat never before accomplished – or since.) don gallucci was the keyboard guy playing on that hit version. he played on LOUIE LOUIE!! then i guess the band kicked him out because he was so cute or something.
Don & the Goodtimes toured a lot with local legends Paul Revere & the Raiders (originally from boise, idaho, then based in portland oregon). when paul revere & the raiders went to los angeles and hooked up with terry melcher and became pop hit superstars in the mid 60′s, don & the goodtimes went right along with them. PR&R even had their own television show for a few years called “where the action is!”. it was one of those teen “fun in the sun’ type shows that was a sort of mix of ‘american bandstand’ and ‘the monkees’. they even had their own george barris-designed Krazy Kustom Kar called “the raider’s coach.”
when PR&R decided to leave the show and move on into more serious music (!), their buddies, Don & the Goodtimes, actually took over hosting duties on “where the action is!” and became teen pop celebrities for a season or two. when the show got cancelled, so did the band. eveybody moved on to other strange psych bands (like Touch) and sensitive singer/songwrier solo careers (jim valley). gallucci stuck around LA and became a record producer. he worked on a lot of famous records.
now, here’s the really interesting part: even though he did allright as a producer, there’s one massively influential kozmik masterpiece that don gullucci produced that forever cements him in modern music history. it was an album by that monstrous detroit band THE STOOGES, called “FUN HOUSE”. yeah, the guy who played keyboards on louie, louie produced the seminal punk LP, fun house! considering the impact that ‘louie, louie’ has had on the career of iggy pop’s life, it’s a sort of synchronicity that should not be ignored.
i have this rhino records boxed edition of the complete ‘fun house’ recording sessions, complete with studio chatter and mulitple, vastly different takes of every song recorded. all through the sessions, you can hear the suggestions and involvement of don gallucci in the background. he literally acted as a band mamber in the creative collaboration – “the five stooges”. don gallucci’s influence on the history of punk rock is primal, indeed!
after he left the music business, i read somewhere that gallucci went on to become involved in caifornia real estate and became quite successful. he’s a quiet retired businessman, now, his rocknroll history nearly forgotten. recently, he actually showed up at a “fun house” reunion along with iggy and the surviving stooges. his appearance was the hit of the show – nobody had seen much of him in years. he’s still cool and he’s a little mortified and even proud of his accomplishments. to add further synchronicity his nephew even played in the northwest rock/grunge band, “the murder city devils”. so, the traditions still live on.
don gallucci was one of the primal heroes of punk rock!
AC:i guess rockin’ robin originally sang with little bill & the blue notes off an on before he joined up with the wailers for a spell. back then, singers drifted around in different bands, often perorming in several bands simultaneously. sometimes bands (like the Wailers) would host as many as a half dozen different singers during a single show. back in that era, bands were largely instrumental in n
e, and thus the groups were named after the leader (who was often the keyboardist.) that’s why it’s called “paul revere & the raiders and ‘manfred mann’, ‘the spencer davis group’, etc. even though the singers were more famous that the rest of the band (mark lindsay, christopher jones, stevie winwood, etc.)…
…robin roberts was a geeky little dorky kid who fancied himself a rocknroller/singer. he was familiar with richard barry’s song from listening to the juke boxes in the black clubs in tacoma. he began to sing his weird little version of it (missing that famous note and making it a rock song instead of calypso tune). the legend goes that the Wailers were playing at the puyallup fair and were killing time before the gig walking around the fairway (the sideshows and rides) when they ran into a crowd gathered around some geeky skinny 4-eyed kid singing some silly song on a park bench next to the tilt-a-whirl. they liked what they heard (thought it was funny) and asked him to do a song with them when they played. and that song robin was singing was his broken little version of barry’s “louie, louie.” it immediately became a dance crowd favorite. great story., eh?…