The Ravens Comments Page
Since launching The Ravens web site in late 2008 a number of people who remember The Ravens from the 1960's have offered their recollections of those times and places. We appreciate all of these and with the writers' permission have included their comments here.
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I don't know exactly what made me google the ravens but i did and lo and behold there you were. I spent my summers at candlewood and heard you guys in new fairfield many times during the 65-69 summers.
You were great. absolutely terrific. Nobody else in the entire world at that time had the talent or the guts to cover eight miles high or paper back writer.
thanks for the great times.
New Fairfield, Ct (now in living in Texas).
I just finished looking over your web page. I listened to a lot of the old songs you and the other band members wrote. Seems like only yesterday on Candlewood Isle and the Knolls for the dances listening to the Ravens. Some how through all the years of moving around Air Force in early 1968-72 then married 3 kids divorced married again in 1986 step children divorced -n 1999 married and am not getting out of this one no matter what.We have 7 children between us 13 grand kids and one great grand.
Bert's sister sent me the web site to look at. I have lived in Texas for 32 years now. I have communicated with Bert can't spell his new name unless it is in front of me.He remains quite a character after all these years. I heard about Jeff`s sudden death a number of years ago not sure when. So do you have two boys is that what I read? Are they both into music also? Did you marry someone from the area there? I have been gone so long can't remember if I knew or not? And how about brother Micheal what is he doing with himself these days. Well better close and get my old butt to bed.
P.S. After all the traveling I have done I have managed to keep my original copy of Sleepless Nights it`s a wonder. If you get a chance write back if not it was nice to see the web page and all the old music and paper ads.
New Milford, Ct
I am writing because I was speaking with Barry Roma today at the New Milford Music Center and conversation turned toward local bands from the 60's. I had known that Barry had been in a later incarnation of the Ravens from a previous conversation but today he showed me your website which I found very interesting and informative.
See, I am a record collector from New Milford and while my main focus is on early punk rock bands from Connecticut I also have a love for the 60's garage sound as well. I have 45's by The Shags, Blue Beats, Bram Rigg Set and others from CT but I have not been able to locate a Ravens 45.
Is there any chance you have an original copy that I could buy from you? I'm hoping that maybe you have a box of them and you'd be willing to part with one so that I can add it to my collection. Looking forward to hearing from you!
My name is Teresa Izzo and a friend just emailed your site for The Ravens to me...what a great site! Below is a blog that houses my story of those times called "If They Only Knew"
I went to high school in Bethel, CT with Peter Bennett, Sal Salgado and Mark Payuk of The Boss Blues....one of the most popular bands of the day. I think you will get a real kick out of my story which is totally true and takes place in 1966. Originally, my story was published on a site called womenwrite.net, however, the editor just pulled down the site, but while it was up I received numerous emails from people who remembered those times or were looking for The Boss Blues or The Ravens...so it was very gratifying. That is why I started the blog....to keep the story out there in case others wanted to connect. Check it out and let me know what you think.
By the way John...can you please tell me a bit about yourself and your connection to The Ravens???? Good luck with your site and I will put your link on my blog.
Danbury, Ct (now living down south)
Great Website! Brings back old memories! You may not remember me, but I played bass with you at a thrown-together gig at (I think) the Dugout (?) on South St. in Danbury, Connecticut sometime around the mid 80’s. I vaguely remember us playing “Doctor My Eyes” by Jackson Browne and I think Taxman by the Beatles. You were playing guitar and your son Jason was playing drums.
Was up in Connecticut last Christmas and stopped in to see Russ Mumma and the Music Guild. Like stepping back in time.
Great to see you’re still doing something in music.
(bassplayer with White Picket Fence and Hot Ice- the band of the notorious Ed Roman!)
My name is Mike Markesich, I live in Branford, CT and have been collecting and researching 60s rock & roll groups (the garage type!) for almost 30 years now (I'm 46). I've just learned about the Ravens website via my friends, including Mike from Illinois who plans to interview you for his well-known website. I would have had a website featuring scores of groups and people I have interviewed since the mid 1980s long ago, but I have instead focused diligently on authoring and compiling info for on a book about this era, titled "TeenBeat Mayhem", which I will self publish this summer (after nearly 20 years of work!)
Anyway, I wanted to say thanks for putting up the cool Ravens website and the pictures. I contacted Bruce Boege in early 2008 when the Sundazed project came out. I usually help Sundazed out with info / contacts / other stuff, but I wasn't contacted until the project went into production stage. When I received my promo copy I noticed several songs were incorrectly attributed to the Bram Rigg Set, including "Sleepless Nights". I have spoken with a few members in the past, and when asked by myself, and Jeff, the guy who wrote the liner notes, both Bram Rigg Set guys said "Sleepless nights" was definitely not them. When I listened to it, I realized it was the Ravens re-recording their song! This makes sense since you also recorded "My Man" and "What You Want" around the same time. An acetate of "My Man" / "What You Want" has been found, it is on a Bell Sound Studios labeled metal acetate stamp dated June, 1967. I did locate both songs in the copyright archives at the Library Of Congress, where I do most of my research. I sent Bruce Boege a copy of the songs on a CD a while back when I first spoke with him.
I have copies of newsprint articles that I got from a collector guy out west in Oregon. Bert Clark sent a package to a big promoter out there in 1967, hyping you guys for a proposed tour in that area, but nothing ever happened, I have the original letter, and articles Bert sent along. The articles are all the same ones you have on he website, but I can make a scan of the letter if you wish. What ever happened to Bert? I tried to fin him a few years ago, but no luck, just like trying to find the rest of the Ravens!
One other question - do you recall a western Connecticut based group called the Hustlers? I THINK they were from the Danbury area , maybe southwestern CT. I can throw a few names out if that might jog your memory.
I wish I could have been old enough in the '60s to have witnessed all of the cool local groups playing everywhere. But, being a toddler in those days, I can only do the next best thing - collect all those 45s, play them loud (my Ravens 45 gets regular spins here!) and put the feeling and fun down on paper in the form of a book!
Hope to hear from you soon!
aka on the web and everywhere else as MopTopMike
More GREAT info, John, and I've updated the Ravens page accordingly. THANK YOU.
The pleasure has been all mine, and I'm honored to have you and The Ravens represented on www.60sgaragebands.com.
Thank you again for all your time.
In the 2008 CD compilation "Don't Press Your Luck! The In Sound Of 60's Connecticut," the eighth song is listed "Sleepless Nights," by "Bram Rigg Set." But in the web site "http://www.ugly-things.com/," a correction was made stating that it was actually a second recording done by "the Ravens," in 1966. Is that correct?
Yes Tony, we believe this is true. None of us recall making a second recording of Sleepless Nights. When Mike Dugo from 60sgaragebands brought this song/artist discrepancy to our attention we listened carefully to this recording a number of times. We eventually concluded that this was The Ravens and that we recorded it at Synchron studios in Wallingford Ct while recording some new songs there in 1967.
Christopher G. Burt
East Hampton, Ct
Hey Mr. Anthony -
I was part of the punk crew from new haven in 70's & 80's & basically a (production assistant) "hang-er-oner" however I've continued to work with a wide range of characters from billy joel to jim belushi
- Really Dug the Doors gig (anybody shoot a camera off?) Article from 67
- tkz, burtie
Tom and Linda (Kunic) Fowler
Danbury, Ct area
Oh my GOD! This is great. A real blast from the past.
The Brewster Lanes! Geez.
So many folks I wish I could see again.
I am still in touch with many.
Anne and Beverly Rogers
My husband, who was not my husband then, had many good times dancing to your music.
We have been married since October, 1968. Have two sons, one is 40, with his son, who is 7. Our youngest son is 38. He also has a son. We are very lucky folks.
Loved the web site. Thanks.
Tom and Linda (Kunic) Fowler
On a sleepless night in October 2010, I happened to find your website John. I'm John Goncalves, who had a fleeting and very small contribution to the Danbury garage band scene in 1965 when I put together "The Rogues" whose members included Bob Gimigliano, Kal Reistetter, Chet Osiecki - class of 1965 and Frank Felicissimo and me - class of 1966. I was the drummer and on a few occasions, when Jeff wanted to take a break, he would call me over to fill in for him on a slow song. You guys introduced us one night at the Elks. Great job on the website and thanks for the memories. God bless.
I recently came across your web site for 'The Ravens', and was very pleased to read about your Jim Morrison / The Doors story. I am a Doors researcher and fan, and I was hoping to ask you some questions about the show.
The performance in Fairfield at Roger Ludlowe High is entirely unheard of, and I've been trying to place an exact date of when this show might have occurred. Would you happen to have any posters, handbills or anything from this show that might give a date? With the known Doors touring schedule, there appears to be 3 different possibilities of when it may have happened, but they are only short timespans that lie near the end of September, October and November 67. With what I read in your story, I just don't have enough clues to confirm a date.
Also, would you happen to remember any of the songs that The Doors played that night?
Thanks, and I'll be looking forward to hearing more from you. Logan J.
I am glad Logan Janzen raised this question because the answer cleared up a lapse in our collective memory as none of us could remember the exact date or the place where we played this concert with The Doors. We knew it was sometime in late 1967 at a high school somewhere along the Connecticut coast and that was it!
Through a lot of back and forth with Logan and his detailed records of Doors concerts he identified only three Door's concerts matching this general timeframe and location. We narrowed it down to one held at Staples H.S. in Westport, Ct. on September 21, 1967, but Logan could find no record of The Ravens appearing in this concert? Logan sent us a press release he had about the Staples concert. After reading it, we knew it was the right concert and realized why The Ravens name wasn't listed!
In the summer of 1967 we began working with a record producer from RCA named Eddie Dean. He wanted us to use the name 'The Coming Storm' on some demo recordings we were doing for RCA Records. We were completely unaware that this other moniker was being used in a wider context than we knew, because in the press release we were identified as The Coming Storm instead of The Ravens!
The article for this concert is in the Press section of our website.
I remember you from the Blue Beats and then later the Ravens. You guys were great. At that time I played in a group in the Wilton/Norwalk area called the Intruders. Later the Critters and the Sticky Wickets. After that I left for college... We shared billings a couple times, once at a battle of the bands and later at Norwalk High School. I play guitar, still do, and I also took up tenor sax when I was in my late 20's. I'm now 62, I believe you're a couple years older... I was just cleaning out my file cabinet and ran across your name on a playbill, so I googled it and found you. It sounds like you're still playing too. I'm going to have fun checking out what you've been up to... Me, I've got a lot of live performance videos on YouTube. My most recent videos are Work & Play; and The Dotted Line... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6hMTcxw7MS4
Hey, I also remember Lance Drake...
You can find my new cd at CdBaby.com http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/jonmanners3 Sample the tracks...
You may not remember me but I was that young kid who used to try and hang out with you guys when you were living in Thomaston, Ct. I am going from memory but I'm thinking sometime around 1967 - 1968? You lived on Pine Hill Rd and I lived in the housing complex across the street and in back. For some reason I stopped by your place and I thought was cool to be hanging out with a live band.
I don't remember anyone else in the band maybe cause you were the only one who paid attention to me. I remember hearing you guys practicing and talking about playing at Gugies in Waterbury, I think it was located on West Main St. My other memory is you buying a motorcycle from Smalley's in Thomaston. I remember getting a couple of rides on the back of that BSA orTriumph as well. One day I think I walked to visit and you guys were gone. I did wonder what ever happened to you guys but back then it was tough to find people which has certainly changed these days.
I was surfing the web and came across your web site and could not believe it. Anyway I had to say hello and just see if you remember those days or was I imagining all this. Hope your well and you guys are all still connected. If you have a moment send me a note, thanks!
Its been over 40 years ,can't believe it
Frankie 'Moustache' Lombardi
After looking for some info on Extra Girl (BluBeats) I was pleasantly surprised to find your site. It was great to see all those photos. '66 to '68 for about 1 1/2 years, along with a couple of friends from the Ansonia- Derby area almost every weekend was spent at the (Carrolls) Barn.
You guys captured that lightning in a bottle for a while. When I hear the judges on shows like " Idol" say make that song yours I know exactly what they mean because of the Ravens. So many of the covers you performed became yours. When I would hear'em on the radio or records by the original artist I was often disappointed.
It's nice to hear you're doing well. Sorry to hear about Jeff.
Thanks for the memories!