Literary Up: Raiders Revered

It’s Mark Lindsay season! The latest issue of ‘60s garage fanzine Ugly Things has a lengthy interview with the old vocalist for Paul Revere and the Raiders. (For those who don’t know, Paul Revere was the real name of the band’s entrepreneurial founder and drummer.) Now the generally less nostalgic rock mag The Big Takeover runs a separate chat with Lindsay in its 69th issue, one which also touts interviews with members of Iggy Pop’s Stooges and the recently reunited 60s baroque pop pioneers The Left Banke.
There’s some overlap but no overkill. It’s hard to tire of Mark Lindsay’s exploits, and I wish he’d write a book already. He was an attractive front man, but no mindless pop star, helping guide the group from the lucrative realm of sleazy frat parties to a losing duel with The Kingsmen over who’d turn “Louie Louie” into a hit (ditto Monkees and “Stepping Stone”), from dressing up in Revolutionary War costumes for a daily teen-dance show to a string of major hit records, from disguising the band as “Pink Puzz” to sucker radio programmers when the Raiders were considered unhip to surving time spent in the house of co-producer Terry Melcher, site of Manson family murders. Lindsay made the most of Paul Revere’s ride, becoming a skilled songwriter and producer and fashioning a solo career that helped him when the band’s fortunes waned. He’s been the member most keen to revisit the grottiest chapters of the Raiders’ storied past, doing a Cavestomp set in the ‘90s backed by Chesterfield Kings and reuniting in ’97 with key Raiders Drake, Smitty and Fang even when Paul Revere didn’t want to join in. The impetus for the interviews is a new Raiders greatest-hits collection, but Lindsay’s more vital than that. He’s still raiding and stepping and hungering and kicking.