BECOMING A TOWER OF POWER.
IT MIGHT HAVE BEEN... AS IT WAS
FOR CHICAGO... ONLY THE BEGINNING.
MIGHT HAVE BEEN THE TICKET...
THEIR VEHICLE TO THE BIG TIME.
THEY WERE THE GREAT...
Welcome to Part 9 of my exclusive interview with
The Soul Clinic of York, PA. For the past three weeks I've been playing This is Your Life with the members of the funky R&B ensemble. In parts 1 through 8, the guys entertained us with stories about the band's formation, the making of their record, the venues they played and big name acts with which they appeared. Today they're back to bring you the final chapter of their story including their break-up. Trust me. Before all is said and done there will also be some surprises!
S.D. KNIGHT: Guys, by this time I thought I heard it all: a female fan playing pitch and catch with Clark's shoe; another frisky feline trying to pull Little D's pants off; Rick Terlazzo falling off his seat and never missing a beat; Larry Smith getting roughed up by a pack of rowdy teens after a show; the Midwest tour that never happened; Tony Scott getting injected with a mystery substance hours before your most important New York gig. Turns out those weren't the band's only misadventures. Out of left field, in the top of the ninth, Steve "Crusty" Holder is stepping up to the plate ready to belt another one into the cheap seats. Crusty?
One ugly anecdote that
sticks with me to this
day was when we were
playing in West Virginia,
I think in the summer of
'69, and went to a fast
food place for lunch.
We had just gotten
back in the car and
I remember these rednecks coming up to the car with fists
flying thru the open windows. "Go! Go! Go!" everyone yelled
and off I went. (How come I was always the one driving)?
Was I the only one Kranich trusted with his car?
S.D. KNIGHT: Reminds me of that scene in Easy Rider, Crusty. I can picture The Soul Clinic gang riding up to that greasy spoon on Harley choppers!
RICK DILLMAN: You aren't
too far off, lol. Here's what
happened. We were playing
in Charleston, West Virginia,
a college town, at a popular
college club. After our show,
we stopped at some burger
joint. By now the white guys
in the band had gone all the
way over to "hippy" and were dressed appropriately for late
60's drug culture. I had on my Hendrix black hat and ruffled
pink shirt and miliary jacket from my dads old war wardrobe,
homemade bellbottoms with Dingo boots. We sat down to
eat and promptly wads of wet tissue came flying at us
along with epithets like "hey fags", etc. We decided to take
our food out and headed to the cars. Three or four huge
Marshall College football players came over to Clark's side
of the car where he had the window down. They said "hey
man.. we want to appologize" and one guy stuck his hand
inside the car like he wanted to shake Clark's hand. As soon
as his huge arm was in the window he started pounding
Clark in the face. That's when we yelled for Crusty to
"Drive Drive Drive." Funny thing is they were probably at
our show earlier and loved us. Clark's face was bloodied
and his ego hurt, no doubt, but we all made it out alive.
Those guys were huge testosterone fueled meat-heads
and it could have been worse. We went back to our hotel
to lick our wounds and get stoned..lol
S.D. KNIGHT: Gentlemen, we have traced the entire history of The Soul Clinic from its roots and feeder bands through its triumphs and disappointments. We've come to the end of our road. When, where and why did the band break up?
LARRY SMITH: I believe it was July or early August 1969.
That's right. The Cheetah
was in the Summer of '69
cause we went to Boston
after that ... well, Lynn,
Massachusetts ...and that
was the last gig(s) of the
group. We broke up. I say
that because I ended up
driving a Mr. Softee truck
for the rest of the Summer
and my girlfriend Sally had
started the Summer term (69) at Penn State.
Then I started Penn State/York campus in the Fall of '69
(draft deferment!) There no longer was any Soul Clinic
in the Fall of 1969.
RICK DILLMAN: I can't remember the date but it ended for
The Soul Clinic at the Aquarius Club. As Mike mentioned the
place was in Lynn, Mass. We think it was a mafia owned
club as we could smell hash smoke coming out of the base-
ment under our dressing room. The Aquarius was populated
by a lot of older ethnic men with very hot young ladies. All
of the men wore a pinky ring. We were under the stress of
having played for two weeks straight on the road. We had
just come from the Cheetah gig in New York and Lynn was
the complete opposite. I think I went through a cultural
crisis. We were doing LSD at night after playing till 2 am
6 nights in a row. Tony and I got into a fight on stage and
he demanded that I be removed from the group. I decided
that it was time to drop out, which I did. The band broke
up after that.
S.D. KNIGHT: As is the case with many bands, one of the issues that led to the break-up of The Soul Clinic was the debate over its future direction. Was it driven more by the generation gap that existed within the band or were you divided along the lines of race?
LARRY SMITH: It was 40-ish (Tony) vs everyone else!
I think Ted & Bruce could have been persuaded to stay.
RICK DILLMAN: Toward the end our differences in musical
taste became apparent. I think it was mostly the white
guys wanting to go more rock and fusion and the black
guys wanting to stay in R&B. Some of the white guys
got into light drug use and gravitated towards acid rock,
Hendix, Led Zeppelin, Blue Cheer, etc. We wanted to
move the band more toward where Chicago Transit
Authority and Blood Sweat & Tears were heading. I also
wanted us to write more of our own stuff while others
just wanted to stay a cover band. The pressures of
travel, musical differences and eight strong person-
alities finally took their toll. We had played with some
of the greats, rubbed elbows with some of the best
musicians in the world and got close to our dream.
These were days that none of us will ever forget.
S.D. KNIGHT: Rick, you said you got close to your dream. Larry was also quoted in an old news article as saying that the Soul Clinic had a dream. What was your dream?
RICK DILLMAN: I think my dream was to be a player in
the music business. To make records and to be recognized
as a band. I felt like we got so close to getting signed and
making records on a big label that I thought my future was
in performing. As we began to have more and more
demands on our time and started playing clubs 6 nights a
week, the dream kind of faded for me. But for one summer
we felt like we were on our way to stardom.
A few weeks after we broke up,
Clark and I were hanging out at
his place. The phone rang and it
was our Manager/Agent from NYC,
Ron Gitman. He said, "You gotta
get the guys together to do one
last gig!" "What?" It was at
Madison Square Garden with an
All-Star line-up. The only one
I can remember was Donovan.
(We'd make an odd combination!)
I talked all the guys into it... except... TONY ABSOLUTELY
REFUSED REPEATEDLY. Hell, it would have been the biggest
venue we'd ever played!! I wanted to do it just to say we
S.D. KNIGHT: After the break up of The Soul Clinic did any
of the guys wind up in other bands?
RICK DILLMAN: Yeah, in 1969 Mike Eads, Larry Smith and I
joined Eric Qutierez and his brother Alan from the Loose Enz
to form my last professional band Trained Labor. The Loose
Enz were a psychedelic pop band from York that The Soul
Clinic met in battle of the bands several times.
RICK DILLMAN: In the newspaper clipping above the guys
from the Loose Enz were identified as Eric Chester and
Alan Jackson because the two were half brothers. They
took Gutierez as their name when their mother remarried.
The new group, Trained Labor, was a five piece rock band,
two guitars, bass, drums, and I switched to electric flute
and we did covers of Jethro Tull, Hendrix and Traffic.
Unfortunately, Trained Labor broke up after six months.
Two weeks later Dave Bupp called us to try to sign us
with Oceanic Productions. He and Ron Gitman thought
we had a chance at national attention.
In May of 1971 Larry Smith and Mike Eads moved to Boston and attended the prestigious Berklee College of Music. The following year they moved to an apartment in Cambridge which they soon shared with Ted Saxon who took weekly private lessons at Berklee on upright bass. After Ted moved out, another fugitive from The Clinic moved in: Rick Terlazzo. Rick had been accepted at Berklee but ended up not enrolling because he joined a Boston band called New England Smoke which included Larry, Mike and other Berklee musicians.
-------------------- Mike Eads
Mike Eads stayed at Berklee two or three years then left for a touring gig with The Platters, later becoming the group's guitarist and music director. Today Mike is still playing guitar and working as a Musical Director in Seattle. Mike's credits include backing actress/singer Connie Stevens in her guest appearances on The Tonight Show.
-------------------- Larry Smith
Larry Smith graduated from the Berklee College of Music,
Cum Laude, in May 1975, with a Professional Diploma in Instrumental Performance. Today Larry continues to demonstrate his proficiency on drums, playing occasionally with several bands in and around New Hope, Pennsylvania. Larry has jammed with the keyboard player for Blood Sweat
& Tears, the guitar player for Ween, and George Laks, Lenny Kravitz's keyboardist of eighteen years.
S.D. KNIGHT: Mike Leash, the other day you explained that you missed the glory days of the Soul Clinic while you were away from York stationed with the U.S.A.F. Did you get back into bands following your military service?
Yes. After the Air Force I went
on the road with a band out of
Texas. Through of series of un-
expected, yet well-connected
events I ended up back in York
in the mid-70s as a DJ at Q106
(105.7FM) and ended up spen-
ding 10 years in radio, moving
into sales and station manage-
ment. In 1986 I opened my
lifelong dream of a multi-track
recording studio, primarily pro-
ducing jingles and ad campaigns
for various local and regional
clients. In 1995 I took a break
from commercial production and began what I thought
would be a one-and-done studio project called the Class
of '60 Somethin'. The goal was to record some classic 60's
R&B with some of the area's best talent. After rounding up
various members of the Mag Men, Del-Chords, Custer's
Last Band and Class Act featuring Rita, we logged in over
100 hours of studio time and released Volume 1.
Now, 17 years later, this one-and-done studio project has
blossomed into Volumes 2, 3 & 4 and features live dance
parties every year. While a few of the original members of
the Class of '60 Somethin' have retired or moved on, the
great memories of White Oaks, Shady Dell and the Raven
still come alive twice a year at the York Expo Center.
Thank you, Soul Clinic, for a soul injection that has lasted
S.D. KNIGHT: Thank you for being here, Mike! Meanwhile, Concords founder and original Clinician Rick Terlazzo is still actively involved in music and performing in a popular band.
As noted earlier Rick (above) is currently playing keyboards for The Sting-Rays, a fine group of veteran musicians and vocalists that performs classic doo-wop/soul at venues in York and York County.
------------------ Rick Terlazzo
RICK TERLAZZO: One of the greatest benefits of playing
music with others, be it rehearsal or a gig, was that it
melted away all my problems. I missed that when I went
to the other side of the desk and started booking groups
from Maine to Key West and then for 12 years in Las
Vegas. Now after booking groups for 36 years I started
playing again, back in York, with "The Sting-Rays".
What's next ?
The picture above shows Rick T in the back row, gray jacket, posing with the Sting-Rays. In front of Rick is The Professor, Dave Bupp, lead singer of the Magnificent Men, who made a guest appearance with the band at one of their gigs.
DAVE DUPP: I really liked the guys
in the SOUL CLINIC. They were a
bunch of great guys with talent to
match. After the Del-Chords split
up and Buddy and I hit the road
with THE MEN, the SOUL CLINIC
took it from there. They became
the local stars. I think they should
have recorded more songs. But
SO SHARP is a classic!!!
Somewhere between me and Buddy
leaving town, the guys in the CLINIC
became hippies LOL!!! It was actually Larry Smith who
turned me on to CTA (Chicago), Blood, Sweat & Tears,
Hendrix, etc. They, like all of us, thought we had to
change with the times. Looking back now, I realize that
both the MEN and the CLINIC should have continued doing
R & B. No telling what the two groups could have
accomplished during the 70's.
How 'bout a nice round
of applause for Dave?
S.D. KNIGHT: Crusty, I noticed you grinning like a Cheshire cat as Dave spoke. Do you know something we don't know?
STEVE "CRUSTY" HOLDER: I thought I had thrown out
all of my old Soul Clinic memorabilia but, as I mentioned
Wednesday, Patty had saved some in a scrapbook that
I located just this week in our storage unit here in good old
York, Pa. The greatest find of all is a set of pictures taken
at York College when the Soul Clinic played there along
with the Magnificent Men. The crowd shot above shows
Dave Bupp on stage during the Mag Men part of the show.
All these years I remembered playing in a show that also
featured the Magnificent Men and now I finally have the
picture to prove it. This means the York College event
that brought together the Mag Men and the Soul Clinic
probably took place in the fall of '68 instead of the spring.
S.D. KNIGHT: Amazing, Crusty! Thanks for the updated info and for digging up those long lost, super rare pics just in time for today's finale! As you look at those pictures, Steve, and reflect on your year long stint with the band, what is your interpretation of the Soul Clinic experience?
STEVE "CRUSTY" HOLDER: It was a great time overall
and a wonderful, unique experience that I feel privileged
to have had. The only regret I have is how suddenly it
ended. In some respects I feel like we blew a great
opportunity but then other times I think we were just a
victim of the changing music scene at the time.
--------------- Steve "Crusty" Holder
I've got amazing memories of playing with the Soul Clinic.
I mean, the list of groups we got to open for and some-
times backup was incredible. Who would have thought
that Patty LaBelle would go on to be a superstar and one
of her backup singers, Cindy Birdsong, would move on to
And the places we got to play! Just Google The Village Gate
in Greenwich Village and look at the list of performers that
played there. As Little D explained, we were there to be
heard by talent scouts from record studios. My memory of
the Village Gate show includes Tony running behind the
stage and barfing in the middle of a set because he shot up
something that day. I'll repeat what Rick said. Tony was
not a druggy. He just hooked up with someone in New York
who pushed him into it. That was the same weekend my
car ended up impounded at a pier because I left it in a
no parking zone.
I recently read an article in a history magazine on the
disco era and found that the Cheetah Club in NYC was
considered the granddaddy of the big discos (ie. Studio 54,
etc.) so we got to play at two of the most iconic venues
of that era.
S.D. KNIGHT: Bruce Delauder, we haven't heard from you in
a while. What do you remember most about The Soul Clinic?
------------------ Bruce Delauder
BRUCE DELAUDER: There are many memorable occasions
with the group. As Crusty mentioned one of them was
playing with Patti LaBelle and later seeing Cindy Birdsong,
one of her Blue Belles, become a member of the Supremes.
Other top memories include seeing the O’Jays, Manhattans,
Intruders, David Ruffin and the Parliaments on national TV
after having backed them up on stage. One of my most
memorable moments was playing at that Village Gate show
in New York City while Nina Simone was the main attraction
in the upstairs lounge.
Perhaps the most rewarding and heartfelt experience
playing in the Soul Clinic and all the groups has been
the camaraderie we had and how it exists to this very
day even though we don’t see or speak to one another
on a regular basis. And moreover how our love for music
hasn’t diminished at all over these years.
S.D. KNIGHT: What's up with you these days, Bruce?
BRUCE DELAUDER: I’m still a music enthusiast, regularly
attending concerts in the metropolitan Washington DC
area. I have a family member who is currently in the music
business playing at the international level. My cousin,
Scott Ambush, is bass player for the jazz fusion band
Spyro Gyra. When Scott’s in the area I can't wait to
get my family tickets for the show.
S.D. KNIGHT: Ted Saxon, as far as you're concerned what
was the best part about being a member of The Soul Clinic?
-------------------- Ted Saxon
TED SAXON: For me the best thing about being in
The Soul Clinic is the lifelong friendships that I made.
These are the best friends of my life. Traveling with the
guys was a brotherhood that has lasted through all
these years. When we talk or get together, it seems
time has stood still. The only thing I regret is that we
didn't get pictures with all the wonderful musicians
we played with. No one carried cameras back then.
We lived in the moment.
RICK DILLMAN: I'd like to add something about Bruce
and Ted. They are both humble gentlemen and reluctant
to blow their own horns if you will, but I can sum up their
relationship with The Soul Clinic by telling you that they
both loved this band and we all feel like brothers to this
day. I love these guys and have shared something that a
lot of people never get to share with anyone let alone 7
S.D. KNIGHT: Daddy C... any final thoughts to share about The Soul Clinic?
THOM "DADDY C" COLSON:
I LOVED THE SOUL CLINIC!
I don't think there was ever
a better band to come out
of York, PA. I say that
because Dave Bupp and
Buddy King were the only
members of The Mag Men
to come from York. Don't
get me wrong...I loved
The Magnificent Men, but
The Soul Clinic was com-
pletely different from them
in that their sound was
grittier and somewhat funkier. It's amazing how all these
years later, I can still see and hear The Soul Clinic in my
head. Hard to believe they never got further than the local
"teen scene" because they certainly deserved to. Their
recording of Dyke & The Blazers' "So Sharp", backed with
"No One Loves Me Anymore" on Bay Sound records, is a
fine example of how talented these gentlemen were. But,
the record doesn't compare to the impact of their dynamic,
live performance. I feel so fortunate to have seen this
wonderful band as many times as I have. I'm 60 years
old now, and many memories of that era are beginning
to fade. My memories of The Soul Clinic have not.
I hope they never do!
S.D. KNIGHT: Larry, If you'll excuse the pun, this has been an interview of Epic proportions. What's the one thing that you want people to remember about the Soul Clinic?
We were always excited to
get out and play. It was very
important for us to move an
audience and always "bear
down" and go beyond what
you thought you were capable
of. Consistency was very
important. We wanted to be
the best we could be and
hopefully, one day make a
comfortable living doing
what we loved.
RICK DILLMAN: We were linked by music, laughter and
love for each other and will never forget the time we
shared trying make great music.
------------------ Rick Dillman
I would like people especially in York to know that we were
one of them, that we played for them and appreciated all
their support. That we played as hard as we could to make
the fans have a good time every time we played.
LARRY SMITH: I am so grateful for the opportunities I've
had and the life long bond & shared experiences with my
comrades. I certainly never got "rich" playing music, but
music made me RICH in other ways. Even though I don't
play as much as I'd like to, I still play. I was fortunate to
have studied with, played with, or met some of the biggest
stars in the r n' b and jazz worlds. I love playing any style
and making it "groove". Especially rewarding is improvisation
between players. When it happens just right, it can be
remarkably spiritual and satisfying! And...thanks to all of
you out there who enjoyed our performances and gave us
your energy!! God bless!
S.D. KNIGHT: On that note I will say thank you very much Larry Smith, Rick Terlazzo, Rick "Little D" Dillman, Mike Eads, Ted Saxon, Bruce Delauder, Clark Miller, Mike Leash, Barry Shultz, Steve "Crusty" Holder, Ed Furst, Steve Kranich, Thom "Daddy C" Colson and Dave Bupp for sharing your memories of The Soul Clinic!
RICK DILLMAN: I want to tell you that we love your blog
and are honored to be mentioned on it. It's a wonderful trip
back to some of our fondest memories.
S.D. KNIGHT: Thank you very much, Rick. I assure you that the honor is all mine!
44 years ago, The Soul Clinic recorded and released their rendition of "So Sharp." When the record hit the street, it ramped up the excitement for eight guys who were already enjoying the heady perquisites of an up-and-coming band. During its lifespan The Clinic played at venues large and small, performing with some of the greatest names in Soul, R&B and Rock. In doing so, these eight got the chance to live a fantasy shared by many young men... to join a band, make a record, play on stage in front of an audience and experience the cheers and applause of appreciative fans.
A proud product of Soul Mecca York, The Soul Clinic emerged from the same primordial soup that wrought The Del-Chords and The Magnificent Men. There must have been something in the water supply back then. So many young people in Central Pennsylvania were drawn to soul music and R&B. Some, like the guys that I have introduced to you over the last three weeks, were compelled to join bands and make their own sweet music. Soul is a feeling. There's no way to teach it... no way to preach it. It's inside you. It was inside many of us back in old York. It was inside the Magnificent Men and The Soul Clinic. Soul flourished on the bandstand
at White Oaks and dominated the jukebox at the Shady Dell. I wouldn't trade that feeling for the world. None of us would.
The Soul Clinic had the right stuff to attain national stardom but the big break never materialized and they fell short of their dream. They might not have made it all the way to the top but they left an indelible impression on the minds, hearts and souls of their many fans including me and the rest of the Shady Dell's Rodentia Intelligentsia.
Clinically proven to provide fast, effective relief for anyone mired in the muck of musical mediocrity, The Soul Clinic was the real deal, a local dream team of musicians, singers and songwriters with a love of the music and a determination to make their mark by producing their own authentic brand. The Soul Clinic heeded the call, took up their instruments, hit the road and turned the function out.
The Soul Clinic meant something to me in my youth. I saw them perform. I bought their record and I still own it. The Soul Clinic means even more to me now. I idolize each and every one of these guys. It was a distinct pleasure getting to know them over the past year and working with them to produce this unprecedented 9-volume blog series. It wasn't easy...(more like a difficult birth, right guys?)...but nothing worth doing ever is. Now at long last their story has been told and everyone involved has a deep sense of satisfaction.