Tuesday, October 23, 2018

The Enfields - The Friends Of The Family (1966-1968)

The history of "The Enfields" begins in 1964 in Wilmington, Delaware, when Ted Munda, Gordon Berl and a kid named Rick had a group "The Playboys".
At the same time and acted in the same area another group, "the Touchstones", playing key surf with members John Bernard, Bill Galery, Robin Eaton and Charles Jenner.
In a way these two bands joined with Ted Munda and John Bernard guitars, Bill Gallery bass, Gordon Bell on drums and vocals Marc Morgan.

All that remained was to choose the name; because it was influenced by "British Invasion" "The Enfields" choose the name from the famous British rifle in the city Enfield.

"The Enfields" released one of the best Garage Rock singles, "She Already Has Somebody", a moody, melodic original on par with the best efforts by "the Zombies".

It may seem like a slim legacy, but "The Enfields"' output stands considerably above the norm of the hundreds of other comparable American regional Garage Bands of the time, due primarily to Ted Munda's fine melodic songwriting, heavily influenced " not only by "the Zombies" but by "the Beatles" and "Beau Brummels".

The history of "The Enfields" finish somewhere at the end of winter in 1967 after a failed single discontinued when the agreement with their producer Vince Rago.

In May of 1967 Ted Munda created "The Friends of the Family" and even recorded some demos that no company showed to interest.

"Friends of the Family" explored jazzier and more progressive directions with good results.

The album Distortion (DB 1003) emerged in 1991 but then came a reissue to 1993 containing 5 extra tracks of Friends of the Family.

Wayne Watson (Guitar), Frank Virtue (Producer), Jimmy Crawford (Drums), Lindsay Lee (Organ/Vocals), Joe Renzetti (Producer), "The Enfields" (Main Performer), Bill Gallery (Bass), Tony Pace (Producer), Greg Matecko (Art Direction), John Rhodes (Bass), John Bernard (Guitar), Ted Munda (Guitar/Vocals), Charlie Berl (Tambourine/Vocals), Gordon Berl (Drums)

All seven songs from the Enfields' four extremely rare singles, as well as eleven demos recorded by Friends of the Family in 1967 and 1968. A well-above-average '60s obscurity.
This outfit formed in Wilmington, Delaware around 1964. Ted Munda and Gordon Berl had earlier played in an outfit called The Playboys with a third guy called Rick. Bernard Gallery and Eaton had previously played in a quartet named The Touchstones with a fourth guy called Charles Jenner, which played mostly surf music. With the British invasion so strong at the time they opted for a British name to reflect the sound they were striving for. There was after all a town in England called Enfield, the Royal Enfield motorcycle and a British rifle named the Enfield. They got their first break in late 1965 when they were taken under the wings of Vince Rago, who managed several local Delaware bands in the fifties and sixties. The group agreed to make a record and at Vince Rago's suggestion the same song was put on both sides so that dee-jays would know which side to play. Eyes Of The World created quite a lot of interest locally with its Beatle-like harmonies and some nice minor chord guitar work. The follow- up, She Already Has Somebody, was more polished, a minor-key folk rocker with some fine guitar work from John Bernard, and already The Enfields had become Wilmington's top band. You Don't Have Very Far was a quieter, reflective ballad but the flip, Face To Face was one of their finest moments with a compelling "Taxman" riff. 

Bill Gallery left the band shortly after the third single. He was replaced by John Rhoads from The Wrecking Crew - another local band that included Jeff Daking, who later joined The Blues Magoos. In early 1967 they travelled to the Virtue Recording Studios in Philadelphia to record cuts for a possible album. Twelve Months Coming, Time Card and four other songs were recorded for the album. The tape ended up costing quite a bit of money and Vince Rago decided not to buy it. The studio's owner overdubbed it with a different vocalist and sold it to Capitol records, where it remains today. Rago, meanwhile, took the band to an inferior studio in New Jersey, where less good versions of Twelve Months Coming and Time Card were recorded and released on a 45 by Rago without the band's consent. The Enfields decided to call it a day in disgust and the record flopped. Ted Munda, who had written all the band's songs, formed a new outfit The Friends Of The Family with John Rhoads and two members of another local band, The Tuds. 

The Distortions retrospective album collects all The Enfields and most of The Friends Of The Family tracks together and provides an excellent insight into this obscure ouffit who produced some magical moments that deserve wider recognition. Get Hip have also released a simliar CD retrospective, which also includes previously unreleased material. 

Compilation appearances have included: She Already Has Somebody and I'm For Things You Do on A Journey To Tyme, Vol. 1 (LP); and She Already Has Somebody on What A Way To Die (LP). 

Upon the demise of The Enfields (a Wilmington, Delaware outfit), Ted Munda quickly formed another band with John Rhoades and two former members of another local band The Turfs, Wayne Watson and Jimmy Crawford. In May 1967 they entered the Virtue Recording Studios in Philadelphia to record a six song demo, which several labels (including Kama Sutra) expressed an interest in but none would actually release. The tracks - Time Music, Wallace, He Plays With Frogs, Funny Flowers, Blue Boat Makes Me Sad, Jello Lights and Bambi's March - can now all be heard on the Distortions/Get Hip retrospectives. They perfectly showcase Munda's fine songwriting and breathtaking Zombies-style vocals. 

John Rhoades left the band in the late Summer of '67, being replaced by Linzee Lee and Ray Andrews, and a further five original songs (You See I've Got This Cold, Last Beach Crusade, Hot Apple Betty, Together and Sing A Song) were recorded in July '68. These tunes were arguably Munda's finest work, with a Beatles/Left Banke feel, and can be found on the Get Hip CD retrospective. They were all passed over at the time, however, in favour of the two tracks Can't Go Home and How You Gonna Keep Your Little Girl Home, which were penned by Cameo Parkway staff writer Neil Brian. In fact, the band were only allowed to sing on these two cuts, with hired session musicians playing all the instruments. Subsequently, the band fell out with label owner/producer Joe Renzetti, and went their own way... they didn't record again, but did get to open for The Who and Pink Floyd at the Philadelphia Music Festival in late '68, shortly before they split. 

Ted Munda went on to play with Hotspur, who released an album on Columbia in 1974, and later in the '80s, an outfit called State Of Heart. He has also written some children's books. 


THE SONGS OF TED MUNDA (Distortions DB 1003) 1991 
The Eyes Of The World/The Eyes Of The World (Richie RI-669) 1965/6 
She Already Has Somebody/I'm For Things You Do (Richie RI-670) 1966 
You Don't Have Very Far/Face To Face (Richie RI-671) 1966 
Twelve Months Coming/Time Card (Richie RI-675) 1967

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