Wednesday, November 24, 2010

The Boys - You Make Me Shake

A. You Make Me Shake

B. We're Too Young

THE BOYS (Lincoln, NE)
You Make Me Shake b/w We're Too Young
Outrage (112), 1977

The Boys formed from the ashes of a long time active bar band called Grundy Gilpin that existed from 1968-1972 and played a spectrum of covers ranging from 50s rockers like Chuck Berry and Little Richard to more prog and psych oriented bands like Traffic and Cream. The band broke up when Danny Shonerd, Allen Havlicek, and Steve Koontz decided to take their music in a more pop direction. They set out to do all original material and with Grundy Gilpin's roadie Terry Piper in tow, the Boys were born.

They had a vision of changing the world through music, assuming if it could be done in England and across Europe, why not in Nebraska? Drawing inspiration from the British Invasion, they attempted to put their own twist on old arrangements, and through sheer ineptness managed to develop their own sound. At the time, very few bands were playing original material in Lincoln and most of the bars only catered to cover bands.

An English professor named David Hibbler saw the band's potential and took on the role of manager. He released the band's debut single, "She's All Mine" b/w "I'm Not Satisfied" on his Outrage label in 1975. The artwork for the record was done by Don Vogel, who also spearheaded a campaign to promote a show for the band by distributing pamphlets displaying Nazi-esque imagery. The fiasco made headline news and certainly drew people to their performance but some didn't view it as art, frightened that an actual invasion was taking place.

The record sold very well. In fact, it is believed that upwards of two or 3,000 copies circulated. Steve left the band after its release, however, and was replaced by Phil Shoemaker, a drummer for a band called The Tories that shared a practice space with The Boys. Unhappy with that band, he ended up spending the next five years playing alongside Danny (lead), Allen (rhythm), Terry (bass), and Phil (drums) in The Boys. They signed a management deal with Shone Productions out of Minneapolis, MN and were able to secure slots opening for bands like ZZ Top, Blue Oyster Cult, The Police, Joan Jett, and many others.

The band eventually left Shone Pro and moved back to Lincoln where they recorded and released their second single, "You Make Me Shake" b/w "We're Too Young" in 1977. By this time the band had taken over the operation of Outrage and tried to promote the record themselves. It is unknown how many copies were pressed but their friend Dave Boye helped by taking orders and mailing records all across America.

After playing Worlds Of Fun in Kansas, the Boys were approached by Titan Records and a single soon followed, which featured the songs "Baby It's You" and "Bad Little Girl." A live four song EP was planned but never released due to financial trouble with the label. However, a few more songs did surface on the highly revered Titan compilation, Just Another Pop Album, which was released in 1980.

The band broke up that year and some of the members continued working in other projects. The Boys have had songs comped on the Teen Line series and most recently on Numero's 2CD retrospective of the Titan label, which features a previously unreleased Boys track called "Please Change Your Mind." It's a solid song with strong harmonies and catchy choruses that easily could have made for a successful single. It's just one of over a hundred songs the band recorded in various forms, be it demos, live, rehearsals, etc, that unfortunately never surfaced before the band called it quits.

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