You’ve heard all the rumors about why Fang, Smitty and Harpo left—You’ve also heard that the Beatles and the Monkees might break-up. Now, for the first time, here’s The Truth About GROUP SPLITS
It’s always sad when one of our faves leaves a popular group or, at least, it seems sad to all of us at the time. But what is the truth about these splits, are they sad or happy events? Why did the fave leave the group in the first place, and what happens to him and to the group he leaves? Let’s take a look at a few people who have left or thought of leaving groups and see what has happened to them and to their groups and then you can all judge for yourselves.
There are so many different reasons why people leave groups that it would take a whole magazine to print them. The major ones are lack of leadership, jealousy or discontent in the group, the draft, personality conflict in a group, and the guy who leaves because he feels that he can go no farther musically with his group or partner.
Take the case of Jim Valley, ex-Raider and his two buddies Smitty and Phil “Fang” Volk. Jim felt that he had to express himself musically and that the Raiders as a group were not sounding the way Jim felt he had to sound. Jim has an idea about Love and Beauty and he feels that his idea of universal Love should be expressed. The Raiders weren’t doing this in their music and Jim left because he had to spread his feeling about this great and beautiful belief.
Smitty and Fang left because they felt that they could do better on their own. They loved working with the Raiders, but neither one was getting the recognition from other professionals in the business that he deserved. The songs both wanted to write weren’t the kind of songs that the Raiders are known for. The songs weren’t in the Raider bag and Smitty and Fang couldn’t hold these fabulous songs inside themselves anymore. They had to write what they felt deep inside. They had to share their feelings with their fans just as Jim Valley had to share his.
Since these three wonderful guys have left the Raiders, Paul has found some groovy replacements and the Raiders are carrying on as Paul Revere and the Raiders starring Mark Lindsay. The change in the personnel setup of the group has made Mark an even bigger star than before. The change hasn’t hurt Jim, Smitty or Fang either, because they are now able to freely express their true and honest feelings in a groovy way to an outasite public, who loves them all deeply.
Illness is another huge reason why people leave a group and Jeff Beck is a good example of this reason. Jeff always had bad tonsils and with all the hard travel and the tight schedules, his bad tonsils started to cause him a good deal of trouble. He got sick on a couple of American tours and couldn’t play. This created a problem for the Yardbirds and after a couple of months everyone concerned felt it would be better if Jeff left the group.
Since Jeff has left the group, the Yardbirds have had four hit records in this country so they aren’t doing badly at all. Jeff is also doing rather well for himself. He has a new group and they sound fabulous together. He had a fair success in HI HO SILVER LINING and his next record should be outasite. He is able to take things a little easier which is better for his health and the reason you haven’t had a flood of Jeff Beck on the radio is as Jeff explains it.
“I’m being more choosy about how I play. I won’t just play anything now because you’re doing more harm than good by just throwing things together any old way. I think there should be more thought and care as to what is put onto a record. I want to make both sides of any record I do as perfect as possible. After all, music is basically what I’m supposed to be doing.”
Gene Clark is another artist who feels as Jeff does. Gene wants absolute perfection in every performance he gives. He feels that he owes it to his fans to give the best performance he can and when the Byrds started to flutter their wings instead of flying straight with a performance, Gene decided to go it on his own and has become a very successful song writer and musician. The Byrds of course have had a couple of hit records since Gene left and everything is great for both parties.
Movies beckon to some musicians like Zally of the Spoonful. He recently signed to do a couple of movies and some solo recording. Recently we caught a performance by the Spoonful minus Zally and they still sound like the same great guys. It will take some time to tell how Zally will do on his own, but with his talent and personality we know he’ll do some really outasite things.
John Lennon was rumored to be leaving the Beatles when he decided to make a movie. This, of course, was totally untrue. The whole deal was that each Beatle wanted to try something different, because they felt that by trying something new they would be able to add new thoughts and new experiences to their music. They felt that they could advance their group music by working on different things and then combining what they had learned. As we have seen from their last two albums, the experience was great and we got some outasite music from four totally groovy minds.
Rumors also hit the Monkee Camp and the truth of the matter is that the only trouble facing the Monkees is selection of material. Each Monkee feels that he should give his fans the very best he can and with that in mind, they asked if they could help choose material for their third album. The bosses at Screen Gems agreed because they knew how the Monkees felt about giving their very best for their fans and the Monkees chose the material, much of which was written by them, and made a fantastic album that they and their fans can be truly proud.
It was an honest album, an album full of hard work and beautiful music and in telling what went into that album we have the ingredients for the success of each of the people mentioned in this article. They each want to give their best in the most honest way they can and that is why we love them whether they leave a group or not, because they all think enough of us to do the most outasite thing possible and that is to be themselves and to give of themselves to us regardless of the cost.