Very few rock performers have remained as vital through the 1960's, 70's, 80's, and 90's as have Howard Kaylan and Mark Volman... and as The Turtles, featuring Flo & Eddie, they continue to maintain a vigorous tour schedule.
Two guys from Westchester. That's how Mark Volman and Howard Kaylan (AKA Flo and Eddie) refer to themselves. Two slightly bewildered kids thrust into the fast lane of rock 'n' roll stardom - hits, fame, national tours, hanging out with the Beatles, joining the Mothers of Invention,… Show more acting in the "200 Motels" movie, and on and on ... Two guys from Westchester.
Howard Kaylan (changed in 1965 from Kaplan, because that's how he always wrote his name) was born June 22, 1947 in the Bronx, and spent his first eight years in Manhattan before his father took a job with General Electric in Utica, New York. After the family moved there for a year or so, they moved to the Los Angeles area, settling in Westchester. Mark Volman was born April 19, 1947. After a brief period living in Redondo Beach, his family moved nearby to Westchester.
Little did they know it at the time, but both Mark's and Howard's musical direction was forged by a crusty, old Mr. Ferguson who gave clarinet lessons in a drafty cubicle above the Westchester Music Store. Mark went to Orville Wright Jr. High, while Howard went to Airport Jr. High They didn't know each other, but they both pursed their lips around clarinet reeds for Mr. Ferguson, who ran them through the gamut of "Deep Purple" and "Anapola, My Pretty Little Poppy".
The puckers soon gave way to wide grins when their friendship formed in the Westchester High A Cappella Choir, which was conducted by Robert Wood.
Mark was a first tenor, Howard a second tenor. (Wood was so influential that the duo later named a publishing company after him. "Mr. Woods Music.') It was quite a choir, and won all sorts of city competitions. Look at the accompanying photo and you'll see not only Mark and Howard, but Al Nichol and Chuck Portz, all standing right next to each other!
...In 1963, Al Nichol, Howard Kaylan, and Chuck Portz had just changed the name of their novice surf combo from the Nightriders to the Crossfires. Mark Volman knew them from the Westchester High A Cappella Choir and joined the group (initially as a roadie). Also in the band were Don Murray from Inglewood High and Dale Walton.
Dale was later replaced by Tom Stanton, who in turn, was later replaced by Jim Tucker. Ironically, their music was almost exclusively instrumental! Four guys from choir forming an instrumental band? Actually, it wasn't all that surprising. In 1962, the hardest dance music of the time evolved out of Dick Dale's concept of the Surfer Stomp, searing guitar solos over a pounding rhythm section. Nichol was one of the very best of the city's surf guitarists....
The effects of being in a band had their social consequences. Howard expresses it this way: "In B-10 I was socially less than a potato; in A-10 I was like Fabian to those kids." The pair, along with the rest of the band, were thrust into an Animal House-like existence. Here they were, mere lads of 15, their fingers ripping away at their saxes, playing at fraternity parties. The naive duo were exposed to wild bacchanals, strangely devastating drinks like "Red Death," and all manner of mayhem.
To rise to the occasion, and to keep the frat boys happy to insure the band of even more $200-a-night jobs (good money for 1962), the Crossfires adapted their own, original versions of standards like "Money" and "What'd I Say" that were laced with the well chosen obscenities that the UCLA party boys loved so much. An ill-timed rendition of those very same ditties at the Westchester Women's Club effectively banned the Crossfires from Westchester, for good.
They set their sights on the adjacent South Bay area (Redondo Beach, Manhattan Beach, Torrance) and quickly found themselves winners of several Battle of the Bands competitions that resulted in a residency at Reb Foster's (a local DJ) Revelaire Club. The group also had a fan club of sorts, "the Chunky Club," whose members made obscene genital gestures with the help of spoons during band appearances. (For more insight into this period, refer to the Crossfires album, Out of Control)
It was here that demands were made upon them to learn the various hit recordings of stars like the Coasters, Sonny and Cher, the Righteous Brothers and others for whom they would occasionally become the backup band.
In 1964, the Beatles and the whole English Invasion took effect. Mark and Howard put down their saxes, took up the vocals more ardently (Howard did most of the leads, Mark backups and tambourine) and the Crossfires dropped their entire repertoire of surf instrumentals and grew their hair long.
Despite this response, and their following at the Revelaire, frustration set in. The members weren't in high school anymore, two were married, and the band wasn't earning enough money. On the night they were submitting their resignation from the Revelaire and about to break up, they were approached by Ted Feigin and Lee Lasseff who signed them to a brand new, nameless record label, later to be called White Whale.
It was time for a name change as well. The group liked "The Half Dozen," or "Six Pack," but opted for Reb Foster's suggestion, The Turtles (like The Byrds, right?).
It was exactly the same band and the same songs - one week at the Revelaire they were the Crossfires, the next week they were the Turtles. It wasn't long before the release of the Turtles first single, their arrangement of a Bob Dylan song, "It Ain't Me Babe." It was an immediate hit - climbing into the Top Five nationally - quickly establishing the Turtles as a force of their own. Their first concert appearance was before 50,000 kids at the Rose Bowl, opening for Herman's Hermits.
The next step was "the road", and it was like living the life of the Beatles in A Hard Days Night. Landing in Chicago, they were immediately the subject of much scrutiny by the members of the American Legion who were convening at the same hotel at which the long-haired Turtles also stayed. The group joined the Dick Clark Caravan of the Stars, and it was immediate stardom and lots of screaming girls. Instead of the band forging their own path by playing a series of clubs to whoever had heard of their one hit, they took the stage to full, enthusiastic houses, supporting much more popular stars.
These road tours, which packed seven or eight gigs sometimes into the space of six days, were the primary manner in which rock 'n' roll toured in those days. It was only later that tours by individual bands became economically feasible.
When the Turtles played at the Phone Booth in New York, they were pleased to see Bob Dylan sitting a mere eight feet away. He had his shades on and was slumped over. Afterwards the boys eagerly introduced themselves. Dylan responded, deadpan, to the Turtles live performance of their hit, Dylan's very own "It Ain't Me Babe,": "That's a great last song, it should be a record."
...The Turtles rebellious energy was initially channeled into the whole folk rock, protest period, and while they hit it big with "It Ain't Me Babe" and Sloan's "Let Me Be," they did initially turn down his "Eve of Destruction," which became a Number One for Barry McGuire. Not ones to make the same mistake twice, the Turtles chose "I Get Out Of Breath" as their next single. It could have been a hit, but it was left in an uncompleted state after "You Baby" (another Sloan-Barri song) became a hit and dictated a candy-coated, poppy direction.
Then and there the Turtles eschewed the grubby, mud-on-the-boots folk rock of their first album cover, and donned the J.C. Penneys clean-cut image of the second. The White Whale honchos, with visions of increasing their bank accounts even more. wanted the group to record one of their own songs, so they could reap the extra income from the publishing. It would take more than a Philip Marlowe to discover why as unlikely a song as "Grim Reaper of Love" was selected to follow the poppy "You Baby."
The song was a very strange distillation of Indian and marijuana influences and odd time signatures, with an uncharacteristic Kaylan vocal, all bathed in a dreary atmosphere. It's a very interesting record, and was selected probably because it was the band's best composition at the time.
In any event, if the Beatles - who were continuously leading the way - could smoke marijuana and play Indian influenced music, so could the Turtles. This. "if the Beatles could do it, so could we." philosophy would come to mold much of the Turtles' direction. The Beatles were the prime heroes of the day. The Turtles became their "disciples."
The music was all new, there were no precedents. and the Turtles seemed at times like a funny mirror image of the Beatles. Despite the fact that the song didn't fare too well, it may have been the first American acid-rock single, pre-dating the Byrds "Eight Miles High" by many months. When the Turtles played New York, they introduced "acid rock" to many for the very first time, including a version of "Tobacco Road," loaded with feedback, that the Blues Magoos later recorded.
With its unimpressive showing, it was time to return to the safer, good-time strains of "Can I Get to Know You Better." Strangely, that didn't fare any better. The band scraped together a Warren Zevon song (who was also signed to White Whale), "Outside Chance." It was an excellent record in every way; hard and poppy, like the Beatles "Day Tripper. It wasn't the naive joviality people expected of the band, and it too flopped.
Panic set in. Don Murray - the Beatle-ish heart-throb of the band - succumbed to personal pressures and walked out before the recording of "Outside Chance." (Johnny Barbata replaced him.)
Portz, the only other Turtle member with genuine teen appeal, threw in the towel shortly thereafter, and returned to school.
Even though the band was called the Turtles, they were, in spirit, still the Crossfires from Westchester High. Portz and Murray, both band members since 1962, both part of the family, had departed. With three flops in a row, the forever soaring plane finally touched down.
The group's only saving grace was the commanding live show. From having cut their teeth on frat parties at an early age, they knew exactly what the college audience wanted, and were always successful on the circuit.
As much as college type gigs were a staple, they were not without their unprofessional aspects. For an afternoon show at a field house, 20 cafeteria tables were braced together to form the stage.
The Turtles were these happy, funny, jump up and down, heavy guys. The band started the first song to 3,500 cheering kids. Volman went into an initial Townshed-meets- Fantasia leap. Instead of his normal, graceful pirouette, the impact of his landing caused the "stage" to collapse, with the band sucked into the center. The chaos gave way to laughter.
It was like a bad Shelly Winters movie. After the stage was braced together again, the Turtles played their set. John Barbata proved to be one of rock's very best drummers. Jim Pons left the Leaves (whose only hit was "Hey Joe") to replace Portz on bass. With new band members and a revitalized direction, the era of "the Turtles" was among us.
The group pulled out a gem of a song they were holding until this exact do-or-die moment. "Happy Together" was written by two members of a New York band called the Magicians.
Gary Bonner and Alan Gordon proved themselves to be superb songwriters who were to compose many of the Turtles better records. White Whale elected to replace Bones Howe, and Joe Wissert was selected to be the band's second producer. It took off immediately, became a Number One record, and rejuvenated the group's career.(It should be noted that Chip Douglas, who replaced Portz briefly before Pons joined, piayed the bass on the hit version of the song, and arranged the horns.) More hits came, and the group's place in the History of Rock was insured.
To understand the Turtles, is to realize that they were for most of their career, a tight knit bunch - they really were those "happy together guys." There was very much a feeling of brotherhood. It was common for the band members to congregate in the middle of their tour bus and, after having smoked some grass, to collectively chant.
Now, this was not merely a ten minute exercise, but one that often went on for hours. as the bus traveled say, from Tennessee to Illinois. The various members would settle into their own notes, and droning harmonies would elevate the experience to an even higher piane. Jim Pons brought a more consciously spiritual direction to the band. He turned them on to "The Impersonal Life," and led discussions on the philosophy expressed in the book. The group totally believed in "the power of God." This "oneness' helped them to face the occasional near misses with death: like the time two huge, semi-trucks barreled down on their car from a two-lane highway, only to skirt upon the side embankments to allow their car to barely scrape through; or the time the Turtles private plane crash landed in a field in Altoona, Pennsylvania.
The solidified lineup at this point was a great live band as well. Three songs were cut live for the English BBC's "Saturday Club," and a casual listen reveals those performances to be nearly indistinguishable from the hit versions. Jim Tucker left the group at the end of the tour. A rhythm guitarist, he was not replaced. The Turtles were now five.
When the strain of endless touring and hassles became too much. and the boys needed to let off steam and relax, rather than heave TV sets out of windows - which was the fashionable thing to do - they would return to the hotel, ingest various mind-altering substances into their systems, and get "out of it,' totally. They then proceeded to rotate whatever instruments were handy, and "butcher" pop classics of the day. Typical was their medley of "Johnny B. Goode" and "Exodus." It was an interesting face. The underside of rock 'n' roll coming out; the Mr. Hyde to the Dr. Jekyll.
On record the Turtles were pristine, polished and accomplished. Back in their hotel rooms, with their hair down even farther, they were loose, consummately sloppy and incoherent. Perversely enough, Kaylan and Volman recorded all of those interludes (which slowly eked out in limited editions as "The Rhythm Butchers") on a normal, cruddy cassette machine.
Occasionally songs were even written in this fashion, like "Can't You Hear the Cows," which was the "B" side of "The Story of Rock 'n' Roll." This ritual carried over into the Mothers, and on subsequent Flo and Eddie tours.
The roll peaked with two Top Five hits, "Elenore" and "You Showed Me," in 1969. On the accompanying album, Battle of the Bands, (produced by Chip Douglas), the satirical concept that was inspired by the Crossfires experiences of those rituals, was very different trom the two-included pop hits. The group had started to assert more of its collective musical identity.
The Turtles were such a together bunch, when did it all turn sour; why did the group eventually break up? It might be attributed to Dave Krambeck. Back in 1967, the band were still going their merry way when Krambeck, their first road manager, suggested very strongly that The Turtles' manager, Bill Utley (who later went on to manage Three Dog Night and Steppenwolf) was "Screwing them over." In turn, Krambeck with much presumption, told Utley that the group didn't like him and didn't want him to be their manager. At the same time, Krambeck colluded with White Whale, who were more than willing to help get rid of the shrewd Utley in favor of someone (Krambeck) they could manipulate. Krambeck worked an agreement out with Utley, borrowed 550,000 of the Turtles' money from White Whale (unbeknownst to the band members themselves) and made the first installment payment to Bill.
What happens next is too involved and a bit too much of a downer to go into here. Briefly, Krambeck was in way over his head. He sold half his share to a New York management firm (again, unbeknownst to the band) and then disappeared to Mexico with the profit from the Turtles' current tour, and with Jim Pons' wife. Suffice to say, more managers followed, none effective. Utley sued the group for three and a half million dollars for breach of contract. (As he was never fully paid off, according to his contract, the Turtles management reverted back to him.) The New York firm launched another suit.
Here were these guys, barely out of their teens, these smart young men, launched into these troubled times. They wanted to express themselves, to acknowledge and deal with all that they were absorbing, but all White Whale wanted was another "Happy Together." This manifested itself initially when Howard, in a fit of disgust, wrote the mocking "Elenore," that became a huge hit because record buyers responded to the sincerity of his voice rather than really reading into the tongue-in-cheek lyrics. So, the Turtles gave White Whale two of their biggest hits (also "You Showed Me"), but they preferred to express themselves on the rest of the tracks of the Battle of the Bands album (which would have sold a lot better had the Turtles' dress- impersonations of the various groups - i.e. the psychedelically attired "Atomic Enchilada" - been on the outside of the cover instead of the picture of the group in tuxedos.)
Still the Turtles carried on, with millions of dollars in law suits hanging over their heads, and a despicable record company attempting to control their lives. The members had White Whale audited during a six-month period when the Turtles were selling lots of records. White Whale had accounted for $160,000 less than they should have. This complicated matters further. When the group was resting from touring or recording in Los Angeles, it was not uncommon for the members to be giving depositions in lawyers offices a few days a week. Toward the end. White Whale couldn't afford to pay the group the monies it owed them, and the whole weiqht became impossible for these kids from Westchester High to shoulder. Around this time John Barbata left to join fhe newly-formed Crosby, Stills and Nash.
John Seiter, who the Turtles used to hang out with on their frequent stays in Chicago, left Spanky and Our Gang to replace him. While the band gained an extra vocalist in Seiter, his laidback drumming dictated a looser style for the band (as a listen to their live medley of Turtles' hits from the "Miss Teen U.S.A." TV show will attest). The Beatles formed Apple, so the Turtles created "Blimp," a production company that signed Judy Sill and Pons old mates, the Leaves.
A bizarre benefit of the Turtles pop success was their brief embracement by the debutant crowd, the sons and daughters of the Fortune 500, and the accompanying scene. It all started with Tricia Nixon. She invited the Turtles - her favorite band - to perform at a White House party. The boys arrived, and quickly got their metronome stomped on by an overly zealous secret service man who let his frustrations out after discovering that there wasn't a ticking bomb mixed in with the drummer's equipment. It was a weird party. Kids with obvious SDS connections were passing out literature, while Tricia was dashing around with all the genuine charm of a Cinderella. Despite the fact that the tipsy Volman kept falling off the stage and was challenged by Pat Nugent because Mark was trying to pick-up on Lucy Baines Johnson, the Turtles were enough of a hit to be asked to play for the daughter of the president of U.S. Steel, at a coming out party in Burlingame, California. It was there that Howard went momentarily crackers. The Turtles ran through five of the group's biggest hits to almost no response; the socialites prefering to catch up on the latest gossip.
"Is this what I've worked all mv life to have hits and a career for, to knock myself out over this, so these little twerps can carry on about who's going out with who and where'd she get that cute little dress ...." All of the disillusionment, all of the problems with White Whale, the million dollar law suits hanging over their heads wherever they went, whatever they did .... It was festering for a long time, for everybody. Boom! Howard broke loose and started heaving all manner of lounge equipment and umbrellas into the pool. The group tried to cover tor him (could this be part of the "act?"), but it was obvious that Howard's actions had spoken for the whole band. In the traumatic meetings that followed, a more democratic - almost socialistic - period prevailed. The lead vocals and songwriting chores were shared among the members, to the detriment of their next album. The Kinks' Ray Davies was selected by the band to produce Turtle Soup.
Despite some worthwhile songs, the album suffered from the band's newly diffused personality, and yielded no real big hits. White Whale, which survived solely on Turtles hit singles, became even more distraught and demanding. The company wanted to fly Howard and Mark to Memphis to work with producer Chips Moman - who was hot with a string of hits by the Box Tops - to record over pre-recorded backing tracks. They found the idea repulsive, but not quite as revolting as having to record a salacious little ditty called "Who Would Ever Think That I Would Marry Margaret."
Everyone in the band hated this consummately saccharine, pointless, contemptible pop song. They agreed to record the song solely to avoid an even more deteriorating political situation. The group's hand was forced. The record was released as a single and failed to make the charts. The Turtles were so disgusted over the whole affair, that they refused to finish the LP that they had been recording, Shell Shock, produced by Jerry Yester.
The completed album would probably have been among the Turtles very best. Kaylan and Volman fused to dominate the direction and songwriting, and Yester was an excellent producer. But what became quite clear was that no matter how good an album the Turtles could muster, no matter how innovative, how meaningful, White Whale just didn't care. If they wanted them to record contemptible fare like "Who Would Ever Think That I Would Marry Margaret," why bother? The group gave up and the album was never completed. Some tracks were finished, however.
"We Ain't Gonna Party No More" was the group going full circle, back to the protest songs of their first album. Essentially an autobiographical anti-war song, it's determined, angry stance is juxtaposed with ironic, happy voices. The song was also a metaphor for the band's relationship with White Whale, which was a war of another sort: "We aren't gonna take it no more," the war in Vietnam, the war against White Whale.
"Goodbye Surprise," a Bonner-Gordon song, was recorded to be released as a single. AI Nichol's uncharacteristic, very loud guitar was progressive by Turtles standards, and marked a leaning toward a harder Turtles sound that was never fully realized. "There You Sit Lonely," was the first composition Volman ever wrote on the piano. Ill winds were still blowing when the diplomatic middle man, Jim Pons, persuaded Kaylan and Volman to record one last Turtles single, "Lady O." written by Judee Sill. Pons, John Beck (of the Leaves) and Bob Harris (Judee's husband, who was later brought into the Mothers by Howard and Mark) produced the record along with Henry Lewy. Howard sang lead, Mark the backups. Judee played the acoustic guitar, and a string quartet provided the backing. It was a gorgeous record. but White Whale was falling apart and it failed to generate much interest.
Although it was officially the Turtles last single release, White Whale continued to issue records without the group's consent. (The Turtles' version of "Eve of Destruction," culled from their very first album, even charted at 100 for a week in June 1970.) In addition to their problems with White Whale, the Turtles were faced with continuous law suits. image-conscious managers, and astronomical legal bills that drained most of the monies the Turtles ever made. There was oniy one alternative, break up the group. It was the only way to get out from under the whole mess, and appropriate a cleansing.
It was the toughest period Kaylan and Volman ever went through. Mark describes it as having a root canal that lasted five years. Here was this group that they'd lived with and grown up in for nearly ten years - the whole happy Turtles family - totally disintegrating. From having gone to high school with these guys, sleeping over each others houses as kids, drinking beer at 4 A.M. on Chalon Road by UCLA, all of this love, plunging into a morass of distrust, hate, and law suits (with ex-Turtles coming out of the woodwork). Mark and Howard, who'd built up this identity through all these years as the main voices of the Turtles, were enjoined from using their real names on records. The duo were depressed.
Prospects were bleak...
After a string of hits and international success, The Turtles folded in 1970. Mark, Howard and Jim Pons joined Frank Zappa's Mothers of Invention, for one of the most entertaining incarnations of that ensemble.
Due to contractual restrictions made early in their career, Mark and Howard were prevented from using the name "The Turtles", as well as their own names, in a musical context. In order to circumvent this, they became "The Phlorescent Leech and Eddie" (later shortened to "Flo and Eddie").
While with The Mothers, they appeared on
•Live At The Fillmore
•Just Another Band From L.A. ...as well as appearing in the film '200 Motels'.
Interesting to note... early in the Mothers' career, Reb Foster, an L.A. disk jockey (and Turtles' manager) had told Zappa, "I'd like to clean you guys up a bit and mold you. I believe I could make you as big as The Turtles."
Disaster struck twice. First, the incident at Montreux, Switzerland, chronicled in Deep Purple's song "Smoke On The Water", where the concert hall in which The Mothers were performing burned down. Then Frank Zappa was attacked by the irate boyfriend of a fan during a concert appearance in England. After Zappa's injury in London, Mark and Howard continued touring, as Flo & Eddie, initially with the musicians from the Mothers' lineup, including Jim Pons, Aynsley Dunbar and Don Preston, with Gary Rowles added on guitar.
Flo & Eddie recorded several excellent albums:
• The Phlorescent Leech & Eddie (1972)
• Flo & Eddie (1973)
• Illegal, Immoral and Fattening (1975)
• Moving Targets (1976)
• Rock Steady With Flo & Eddie (1981)
• The Best of Flo & Eddie (1987)
• The Turtles featuring Flo&Eddie - Captured Live!(1992)
With the dissolution of the first Flo & Eddie Band, Mark and Howard turned their sites to broadcasting. Howard Kaylan explains:
"I began broadcasting in the Summer of '65 at UCLA before the Turtles' career ever took off.
"Later, in the early eighties, Mark and I did a guest shot on KROQ in L.A. and they liked it so much they gave us our own Sunday Night show which was produced by, then program director, Shadoe Stevens. When Shadoe left for a loftier position on KMET, the big alternative station at the time, we went with him.
"After getting about 30 shows in the can, we formed our own syndication company and edited the shows for distribution all over the U.S. We had about 50 stations going there for awhile, and everybody wanted to do our show...we had Ringo, Keith Moon, Belushi, Nilsson, The Move (re-united by surprise on the air), Kiss, Queen, ad infinitum....Our thing, musically, was to play no more than 20 seconds or so of any given song.
We'd create these montages of sound lasting about 5 or ten minutes each figuring that once the listener had heard the opening bars of a song, like..." Hey, hey, Paula...."..that was all they needed to hear to conjure up those sense memories or whatever. We'd have that going on the left speaker and play air-raid instructions, or Italian Cooking lessons or Stan Freberg on the right channel and by the time the listener was fed up, we'd move on to something completely different. This lasted about 3 years.
"Later in the 80's, we brought the same wacky show to WLIR in New York on a Sunday Night basis...sometimes we were actually there, but most times we recorded the shows in Los Angeles and sent them the tapes."
Having established a relationship with Murakami Wolf Productions while appearing in Frank Zappa's film "200 Motels", they created the voices and music for the animated feature "Dirty Duck". This led to work on music for the animated series "Strawberry Shortcake" and "The Care Bears".
Around the same time, the group evolved "The Two-and-a-Half-Man Show", featuring Mark, Howard and Andy Cahan in a "History of..." presentation, highlighted by their low-budget version of Pink Floyd's 'The Wall' called 'Flo & Eddie's The Fence'.
Howard continues Flo & Eddie's further radio adventures:
"In 1989, we were offered a REAL job...and went for it.
"We were on the air every day between 2pm and 6pm on 92.3 K-ROCK (WXRK) in New York City...the same station that STILL hosts the Howard Stern show. We did almost 2 years on the radio in Manhattan.
So, we go to Cincinnatti or Louisville or Atlanta for a week at a time to promote a show or just for the fun of it... just to keep our hands in the radio biz...I still like it...."
Mark and Howard continued recording and doing session work, lending their trademark harmonies to T-Rex, John Lennon, Roger McGuinn, Hoyt Axton, Ray Manzarek, Stephen Stills, Keith Moon, David Cassidy, Alice Cooper, Tonio K., Blondie, Bruce Springsteen, The Knack, Psychedelic Furs, Sammy Hagar, Livingston Taylor, Burton Cummings, Paul Kantner, Duran Duran, The Ramones and others.
In 1984, as "The Turtles ...featuring Flo & Eddie",
(together with three other groups from the 60's; Gary Puckett, Spanky & Our Gang, and The Association), they travelled across the US and Canada as "The Happy Together Tour". The tour was very successful and was the standard bearer for a resurgence in the interest of 60's music.
The following year they got together with The Buckinghams, Gary Lewis, and The Grass Roots, for a 1985 version.
For the eight months the tour was on the road it was consistently one of the top 10 grossing tours in the country.
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