AND A BREAK OR TWO ALONG THE WAY
THEY COULD HAVE BEEN
THE NEXT CHICAGO.
THEY WERE THE GREAT...
Hello and welcome! It's time to check back in and check out The Soul Clinic, the funky R&B band from York, Pennsylvania. It's week three and Part 7 of my exclusive 9-part interview, the first granted by members of The Clinic in more than 40 years and the only in depth account of the band's history from start to finish. On Friday the guys told us the highlight of their career was opening for Wilson Pickett at a show in Harrisburg that also featured the Magnificent Men. As The Soul Clinic was about to learn, highs are often followed by lows.
Joe Niagara shouting the slogan:
"Life is a lark.....
at Willow Grove Park."
In the summer of 1968 The Clinic appeared at that popular family destination north of Philadelphia.
Headlining the program was the blue-eyed soul band The Rascals.
Medley "I've Been Lonely Too Long"/"Come On Up" - Rascals
("Lonely Too Long": March 1967, highest chart position #16
"Come On Up": October 1966, highest chart position #43)
S.D. KNIGHT: Good day to you, gentlemen! I'd like to begin this portion of our interview by asking what you remember about that Summersound show at Willow Grove which was ghost hosted by John "The Cool Ghoul" Zacherley. Larry?
LARRY SMITH: Summersound was a taped TV program
consisting of performances by The Rascals, The Soul Clinic
and other bands. Our segment was taped at Willow Grove
Park around 2pm on Friday July 26, 1968.
RICK TERLAZZO: I remember that we played in the heat of
the day. Very hot!
RICK DILLMAN: The Rascals were not actually present at
the park. Their segment was recorded in a studio. We didn't
actually play. We didn't even take amps into the park or
plug in. All we did was lip sync for the cameras to one
tune, "So Sharp." We were superimposed on top of the
roller coaster. When we finished we drove to Lancaster
and set up for a gig that night at a club called Hullabaloo.
LARRY SMITH: The Willow Grove program was broadcast
the next day, Saturday July 27th at 5pm, on Channel 10
WCAU-TV, the CBS affiliate in Philadelphia.
RICK DILLMAN: When the show aired we couldn't get it
clearly on our TV in York. It was static and kept fading out.
If only those old programs were archived somewhere. sigh,.
S.D. KNIGHT: On Saturday the 27th, the same day that show was broadcast on C-A-U, The Soul Clinic was back home in York for a performance and autograph signing at Mailman's in the Queensgate Shopping Center.
S.D. KNIGHT: Queensgate was a stone's throw from my house. I used to hang out at the Race O Rama Hobby Shop and watch slot cars speed around the huge, steeply banked track. I bought most of my records at Mailman's because record department manager Drinda Warner knew the score and made sure the cool records were in stock, including
"So Sharp" by The Soul Clinic and this great Otis Redding song, released posthumously on an Atco single in 1969.
"I Can't Turn You Loose" - Otis Redding (live performance
on Cleveland music showcase Upbeat/released in May 1969
as the B side of "Love Man")
S.D. KNIGHT: Let's back up to the day before that Mailman's appearance because the show at Willow Grove is linked to a highly disappointing episode in Soul Clinic history. Presiding over the music fest along with Philly's phamous horror host, Zacherley, was Gene Kaye, a well known Allentown DJ and music manager. Larry, I know that the mere mention of one of those names sends shivers down your spine and I don't mean Count Zach. How did The Soul Clinic get involved with Mr. Kaye and how did he become a central figure in one of the band's misadventures?
LARRY SMITH: We had an opportunity to do a Midwest
tour with Jay and the Techniques, the Allentown band led
by Jay Proctor.
S.D. KNIGHT: Let me interrupt you, Larry, and play a video that will give us a look at Midwest teenagers dancing to a Jay & the Techniques record. It's an episode of Teen Time,
a music program hosted by Del Curtis that aired on WSTV-TV in Steubenville, Ohio.
"Keep the Ball Rollin'" - Jay and the Techniques
(December 1967, highest chart position #14)
S.D. KNIGHT: Okay, Larry, please spell it out for us. Explain how there's a Jay and a Kaye in boondoggle.
We had rehearsed for two weeks
in August. The concept was: we
open the show, they do their thing,
then we combine both bands for a
big closing review and rave up.
Unfortunately none of that ever
happened because the tour was
aborted at the last minute.
RICK DILLMAN: The story begins with a guy I introduced in
Part 1 named Jack Truett (jacksontruett.com) pictured in
the center of the Concords above. When Rick Terlazzo left
The Concords to join The Soul Clinic, Jack replaced Rick as
organ player. When I left The Concords to join The Clinic,
Jack went to play for Jay & the Techiques.
"Strawberry Shortcake" - Jay and the Techniques
(February 1968, highest chart position #39)
RICK DILLMAN: In late July 1968, Jack got us an audition
to join their 15 city tour with their management team of
Gene Kaye and his father. Gene wanted us to join the
tour and offered us a contract which we sent back to
York with our personal/road manager, Steve Kranich.
Steve took the contract to his dad's lawyer and a few
of the parents to review. They all advised us not to sign
it as it would have locked us up for years to come in
what they described as "servitude". We decided to play
the tour without a contract signed and work it out later.
We were all staying at the hotel where Gene had his
office and hanging out with Jay and Jack in their rooms.
Jack warned me that the tour was in jeopardy because
Jay and their band were planning on confronting Gene
the night of our departure to try to rewrite their contracts
with him. They felt Gene would probably not cooperate
and that we shouldn't get our hopes up too high. Jack
swore me to secrecy.
The night of our departure for the first leg of the tour we
were sitting in the tour wagons with instruments in u-hauls
ready to leave for the first city when Jay and the band
confronted Gene to try to rewrite their contracts. It
seemed that Gene owned everything Jay had including
his house, cars, etc. After watching them shout at each
other through the banquet room doors, Gene and his
father ran out and jumped in the wagons with the equip-
ment u-hauls attached and drove off into the night....
end of tour..
S.D. KNIGHT: What a fiasco! It must have been demoralizing for The Soul Clinic to lose the chance to expand their reach on a 15 city tour of the Midwest with a name recording act. How did the band cope with the disappointment?
Wasn't easy. We limped back
to York feeling very deflated,
but a little wiser as to the
workings of the music business.
It wasn't all good will and fun.
This was becoming a business.
We got a gig at the 615 Club
in York which was a week long
gig. Something we hadn't done
before. It was a grueling
schedule with 45 minute sets
starting at 9 PM and going into the night sometimes till 2
AM. We learned quickly how to stretch tunes and even
replayed some tunes in different sets. We also had to do
a Saturday matinee in which we came up with a little piece
that had Tony down on the dance floor by himself miming
the story of a smooth operator picking up his girlfriend for
a date. He used two chairs as car seats. The band supplied
music and sound effects to Tony's acting. He picked her
up, opened the door for her, got behind the wheel and
drove her to some back road to make out. She refused,
slapping him, and he promptly and quite literally kicked
his imaginary girlfriend out of the car, all with traveling
music and sound effects.
S.D. KNIGHT: Whoa, daddy! That kind of skit wouldn't go over very well with most of today's audiences. In all fairness, I suppose we need to remember that the year was 1968 and the 615 Musical Lounge wasn't exactly a convent.
RICK DILLMAN: You're right, it sounds a little harsh and
of course politically incorrect, but the 615 crowd loved it
and realized it was meant to be funny. Tony vamped it up
to make himself look like a cad and it took up most of the
set which gave us a rest. By the way, my mother gave me
a story to include here. She said when The Clinic played
at the 615 Lounge she and my dad came to a show. The
next night he wouldn't come because he was upset at me
playing in a club with booze etc. so my mom took a taxi
to come by herself. She didn't drink and certainly didn't
do clubs but she wanted to see her boy play and that
was that. Haha.
S.D. KNIGHT: I played at the Dell nightly. I'm glad my mom never showed up to see my act, know what I mean, Vern?
Alright, Little D. It was around the time of the 615 booking that The Clinic underwent another key personnel change. Who left the band and who joined?
RICK DILLMAN: During that week long show at the 615
it was decided that our organ player Rick Terlazzo was
to be replaced.
RICK TERLAZZO: I remember blowing the show bit that
Tony was doing at the 615. I got distracted by a customer
who was talking to me from the floor at the end of the
stage. Everyone was really pissed off at me and that was
the straw that broke the camel's back.
RICK DILLMAN: The week after the 615 show, Rick came
into a rehearsal session at Clark's house to pick something
up. We were working with his replacement Steve Holder
to bring him up to speed on our tunes and it was very
awkward for all of us. Rick was much loved in the band
and it was a contentious move to replace him. As I said,
this was becoming a business instead of just a fun band
of friends. Rick's last gig was at the end of August at a
place near Harrisburg called the MEL-LA-BA-LOO.
LARRY SMITH: We played at the MEL-LA-BA-LOO on
Saturday August 31, 1968. I don't remember much about
that place except that they HAD NO A/C!! I went through
S.D. KNIGHT: Any requests for "Feelin' Hot Hot Hot" ?
TED SAXON: I remember
when The Soul Clinic opened
for the Manhattans at the
Mel-la-ba-loo. They only
needed a bass player to fill
out their band so I played
with them. When they intro-
duced themselves they made
a special introduction for me
and I got a rousing ovation
which made me feel
"Manhattan Stomp" - The Manhattans (January 1968,
uncharted B side of "I Call It Love")
RICK DILLMAN: We were all backstage while Ted played
with the Manhattans and very proud of him. Ted Saxon
was one of the best musicians on any instrument I've
ever played with.
S.D. KNIGHT: And so at the end of August 1968 Soul Clinic organ player Rick Terlazzo left the band and was replaced by Steve "Crusty" Holder. At this time I am pleased to welcome Steve to the interview. Crusty, I understand you also have something to share about Ted Saxon.
STEVE "CRUSTY" HOLDER:
I just wanted to say that I
sometimes felt bad for Ted
when the rhythm section
would start a rehearsal
with whoever we were
backing up that night and
they would throw sheet
music in front of Ted. I don't think at that time Ted could
read music and we would have to call out "Cat" or "Dog"
for the key signature, denoting the key of "C" or "D", but
in no time at all he would feel it and we were good to go.
S.D. KNIGHT: Tell us about your background, Crusty. How did you get your start playing keyboards?
STEVE "CRUSTY" HOLDER: My Dad got me interested in
being a musician. I grew up with a Hammond B3 in the living
room and Dad had a great collection of records by organists
like Lenny Dee and Earl Grant. He signed me up early for
organ lessons and after a while I would start listening to a
classic recording like "Ebb Tide" by Earl Grant over and over
and then learning it by ear. But it was my brother Terry
(who was playing bass for the Mono-Rays with Buddy King)
who got me interested in soul music. Terry spent every
cent he earned on LP records and when he got James
Brown's Live At The Appolo Theatre it was all over for me.
Man, I never heard anything so funky. Ever since that day
I longed to be in a band with a horn section. When Steve
Kranich asked if I'd be interested in joining The Soul Clinic
I probably felt like a minor league baseball player feels when
he gets called up to the majors. Hey, put me in coach!
S.D. KNIGHT: Once again it's show and tell time because the guys brought along another batch of rare pics including then and now images of Steve "Crusty" Holder. Start the slide show for us, Crusty!
Tom Sholtz (drums) "Crusty" Holder (organ)
STEVE "CRUSTY HOLDER: The above pic was taken in
2000 at the Annual Musician's Reunion. Over a ten year
period Dick "Butch" Gayman held an annual jam session
in his garage and would invite whoever he could get to
------------------ Tony Scott
STEVE "CRUSTY" HOLDER: Tony Scott attended several
of the reunions and the last time I saw him was at one of
of them. Dick had finally reached him and he came and
sang. It wasn't too much later that we learned that Tony
had died. Ted and I were at the funeral and I remember
he was buried with military honors. Who knew? His ex
girlfriend and mother of his kids said he claimed he had
Agent Orange poisoning.
LARRY SMITH: I'm glad I picked that 2000 reunion to
attend. Crusty came up from Florida and I hadn't played
with him in decades! The pic above was also taken at the
2000 get-together. Ted Saxon is on the left. I'm next to
Ted, then comes Butch Gayman our host, and the guy on
the far right is Tom Fisher, a bass player who was with
the original Epics from 1962 to 1965. As we noted earlier,
when Tom left The Epics he joined the Emperors, the
Harrisburg group that made the hit record "Karate."
Jeff Hildebrand at 2000 Musician's Reunion
LARRY SMITH: Butch, by the way, lives in his mom's old
place in North York about five miles from The Oaks.
The Epics used to rehearse in her living room!
RICK DILLMAN: Here below is a recent picture of Steve
Crusty Holder and his wife Patty.
I remember Crusty's first date with Patty was at the Sunny
Club. We played a show and I was in the car with them
leaving and he backed straight into a light pole. Ruined his
Camaro's rear end and, he thought, his first date. They've
been together all these years. Patty's a very sweet girl.
S.D. KNIGHT: Little D, as we look at a pic of Crusty from back in the day, please give us your impression of him as
a musician and band member.
--------------- Steve "Crusty" Holder
RICK DILLMAN: Crusty was an amazing keyboard player,
one of the best in the area and one of the most talented
musicians in the band. When Crusty played it was always
with passion and great musicality. We felt that he would
add a stronger base to The Soul Clinic sound. Rick Terlazzo
was Larry's longtime friend but he was in agreement with us
that it was a good move musically to bring Crusty into the
band to replace him. Even so, the decision was wrenching
to everyone because Rick had been instrumental in forming
the band, and of course we all loved Rick like a brother
and still do. It's important for people to remember that
Rick Terlazzo played on the recording "So Sharp" before
we made the change.
------------------ Rick Terlazzo
RICK DILLMAN: Its funny because when I think of
The Soul Clinic personnel, I think of Rick. Crusty was
great musically, amazing even, but very shy and soft
spoken. Rick was more charismatic on stage, always
smiling and dancing with the horn section. I think this
decision changed our perception of the band from a
band of brothers into a business. We were now thinking
more about making it, rather than just having fun.
S.D. KNIGHT: In mid September 1968 the York Interstate Fair was in full swing and I was watching the James Brown show on the grandstand around the time that The Clinic appeared at another famous York landmark. Ricko?
RICK DILLMAN: On Friday, September 13th, The Clinic
did a show at Playland Skating Rink ("Teen Club") in
East York. It was Steve "Crusty" Holder's FIRST gig
with the band.
S.D. KNIGHT: For the benefit of our readers coast to coast and around the world, Playland was a popular recreational complex on East Market Street in York. It was in operation 44 years, nearly as long as the Dell, and featured a deluxe roller rink, above ground swimming pool, miniature golf course and live entertainment which included The Soul Clinic for that Friday the 13th show!
LARRY SMITH: It's funny, what I remember most about
Playland is not our gig. About 5 or 6 years earlier, I saw
the entire MOTORTOWN REVIEW there!! Incredible,
With the 12 YR OLD GENIUS...LITTLE STEVIE WONDER!
'Fingertips Part 1 & 2' was all over the radio at the time.
Anybody out there see that show??
S.D. KNIGHT: I got it covered, Larry. Take a look at this beautiful poster of the 1963 Motor Town Revue at Playland!
This awesome collectible was given to me by my cousin Bill Lewis and by my old friend Tom Landis who worked with me at Weis Market in the mid 60s and often accompanied me to the Dell. Bill and Tom are currently members of the York band The Sting-Rays which also includes former Soul Clinic organ player Rick Terlazzo.
In the Sting-Rays group shot above Rick T is in the center of the back row. To the left of Rick is my cousin Bill who plays bass guitar. Front row left is vocalist Tom Landis. Thank you very much Bill and Tom for surprising me with that terrific vintage poster of the Motor Town Revue at Playland!
Who was there?
Were the Mag Men involved?
in The City So Nice,
They Named it Twice?
did the guys meet in
The City That Never Sleeps?