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The Rockin' Ramrods

Posted by Jim Botticelli  August 23, 2013 11:47 AM

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1965Rockin'Ramrods.jpg
The Rockin' Ramrods in a publicity still

     Talk about Boston rock 'n' roll history and ignore the Rockin' Ramrods at your own peril. Along with The Remains and The Lost (fronted by Willie Alexander), they were arguably the ruling class of the city's early Rockistocracy. Mining the success fields of the British Invasion, a whole slew of locals picked up electric guitars, drum kits, Farfisa organs, mics, and invaded garages and basements all over the Boston area to first mimic their influences and ultimately make a sound they could call their own. The Rockin' Ramrods fell into the latter category.
     They were fortunate because their records got played on Top-40 radio locally and they were booked frequently, most notably as reliable room-fillers at the Surf Nantasket in Hull, and the Surf Salisbury. Their records, still hunted by garage record collectors, were strong: Bright Lit Blue Skies, Flowers In My Mind, Don't Fool With Fu Man Chu and She Lied were among their biggest. Find any of them at a flea market or yard sale in decent condition and you've got a good find.
     The Rockin' Ramrods most glorious moment came in 1965 when they were invited to join the Rolling Stones on tour. Like Barry & The Remains' invitation to open for the Beatles, this was a moment of glory for a bunch of guys from the home town. This was as big as it got and although they did very well for a couple of more years, pop music began changing while the Ramrods, as they became known, began splintering. All things must pass, unfortunately, but for a minute, DOB held its own in the world of rock 'n' roll in the 1960's.

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Jim Botticelli, a 1976 Northeastern University graduate, is a retired Boston Public Schools teacher. In college, he drove a cab and learned the city's cow paths. An avid collector of More »

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