Saturday, February 09, 2019

The Echoes Of Carnaby Street

Little has been written through the years about the Echoes Of Carnaby Street, and most of what has been written has been… well… false.    Most ’60s garage band fans first heard the band’s name — and record — through a Louisiana garage band compilation, which is strange, considering the group came from Miami Beach!   You might have also read that the Echoes of Carnaby Street was a recording alias for the well-regarded Miami band the Echoes (aka Echo).   Also false!   With three of the band’s members going on to get some notoriety in the music world, it’s more than time to set the (pardon the pun) record straight.
The Echoes of Carnaby Street began as the Tidal Waves, a group that had no trouble getting bookings.   Guitarist Mark Resnick’s father happened to be the executive director of the Monte Carlo and Shelborne hotels, so there would always be a place to play.  But this was not a case of some no talent hacks being given an undeserved break — the boys were actually pretty good, and made their way from the Surfside Community Center and one night stands at the 163rd Street Mall, to the Dinner Key Auditorium and all around the Florida Bandstand circuit.  Steve Palmer of the Florida Bandstand was impressed enough to take the boys into Criteria Studios to record two songs for his Thames label… under the coaching and guidance of former Canadian Legends drummer, and super-producer Jim Sessody.
 Palmer (and Thames Records) had a lot of success in 1966 with “Stop! Get A Ticket” by the Clefs of Lavender Hill, which was picked up by Columbia’s Date Records subsidiary.    Palmer believed in the Clefs, especially their frontman/chief songwriter Travis Fairchild.   For a year or so, Palmer had been passing around a tape of some of Travis’ compositions, offering them to the bands he recorded.   (Examples included “Bucket Of Tears” by the Squires V, and “For A Long Time” by the Tropics.)   The Echoes Of Carnaby Street didn’t just choose one Travis Fairchild song to record — they chose two — although one of them, “No Place Or Time”, didn’t have any lyrics yet.   No sweat for Mark Resnick, who scribbled out a set of words to go with Travis’ music, and voila, an instant collaboration!   “No Place Or Time” was immediately picked up by WFUN Radio, though it only managed to make its way to #52 on the Boss 79 survey back in September 1966.    Still, a pretty good showing for a group of Nautilus Junior High students, none of whom were over fourteen years old!

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