I’m still mucking about with this Louisiana rock music project. There’s a garage rock comp, Sixties Archives Vol. 3: Louisiana Punk. Turn Me on, Dead Man rates it 6 of 10, but in the giddy mood i’m in this morning, i’d give it 8 of 10. The high quality of the sound recordings has surprised me.

So far i’ve found pages on Souls of the Slain, Dr. Specs Optical Illusion, The Bad Roads, Surrealistic Pillar, The Persian Market, and Zoofs. There’s a zine out Houston called Brown Paper Sack for $6, P.O. Box 1622, Houston, TX. 77251-1622 that’s supposed to have interviews with The Roamin’ Togas (Lafayette, LA) and The Bad Roads (Lake Charles, LA.)

Dr. Spec’s Optical Illusion “Tryin’ to Mess My Mind”

Dr. Spec’s Optical Illusion “She’s the One”

The Little Bits “Girl Give Me Love” I don’t know who these guys are, or if they are really from Louisiana (as i’ve found one band on this comp called Echoes of Carnaby Street seems to be from Miami) but i found a post on the Bomp listserv archives that points out that they might not even be using a guitar. They just howl over the pounding rhythm section with an organ.

There is another lengthy piece on the Bad Roads of Lake Charles on Offbeat. I’ve seen no other mention of this Greek Fountains band until this article. It’s obviously fratrock, and it’s from Lake Charles, but i’ll keep an eye out.

65 thoughts on “Louisiana garage

  1. From the Smiley Ander’s column in the Baton Rouge Advocate of September 8, 2010:

    If you were into music in Baton Rouge in the ’60s and ’70s, chances are you boogied to The War Babies.

    The band has a Live After Five performance Friday, says former drummer (and former Baton Rouge TV weatherperson) Terry Burhans, who’s coming in from California for the gig.
    Terry and Ed Lakin put together a history of the band:

    Courtney Westbrook, Randy LeRay, Leonard Wyatt and Russ Thibodeaux, of Baton Rouge High, were joined in 1966 by Skippy Varnado and Tim Rockett, of Woodlawn High, to form the original War Babies.

    When Russ and Leonard left the band, Terry, a Broadmoor student, joined.

    Danny Kertacy got the band gigs at The Speakeasy “and almost every house on Fraternity Row.”

    The band bought a 1948 38-seat bus and toured Mississippi, Alabama, Florida, Arkansas and Texas.

    At the White House Inn they opened for The Lovin’ Spoonful, The Cyrkle, Paul Revere and the Raiders, Eric Burdon and The Animals, and other groups.

    Terry says, “Road managers Hunter Barrilleaux and Doug Payne helped to make The War Babies a sought-after act from Bogalusa to Boutte, from Dry Prong to Ville Platte.”

    In the late ’60s, Terry was drafted into the Army and replaced by Billy Shumski. Later Henry LoVoy and Terry Blackwell played drums.

    In the early ’70s, Randy LeRay retired and was replaced by Jeff Pollard, later lead singer for Louisiana’s LeRoux.

    After a national album release tour with Casey Kelly, who left the Greek Fountain to try a solo career, the band split up. But many of its members still make music.

    Recently Courtney and Skippy joined Kicks members Bob and Clay Coleman and drummer Keith Simoneaux to form a new version of The War Babies. And on Friday, Terry joins them.

    As we said in the ’60s, be there or be square. …

  2. Hey Gang:
    I just happened on this site and have been reading your posts and questions. I am not a muscian as I can’t play anything but the radio, but I am a fan of many of the bands mentioned here. I noticed several inquiries about Hall Ellis of the Baton Rouge Ye Olde Inn Crowd band. Hal died several years ago. Additionally, Ned Theall long time band leader and trumpet player with the Boogie Kings died January 10, 2010. Ned was still leading and playing with a much younger Boogie King Band when he died. His Last gig was on New Years Eve 2009. Dwayne Yates, lead vocalist with the Boogie Kings for years died May 23, 2009. The last I heard of Bill Wray was about 7-8 years ago, I was told he was in California arranging music scores for the movie industry. Best Wishes to all of you.
    Frank Parker

  3. Man,I hate to hear that about Hal.The Inn Crowd gave me many good memories,as did John Fred,Boogie Kings and so many other local bands.God speed !

  4. Billy Johnson is alive and well! The Inn Crowd is playing together again with some new members and some old members!

  5. Anyone remember Sid Holiday? Not sure about the spelling of the last name, could have been Haliday. He played B3 and a number of other instruments. Very talented musician. Saw Different Parts and Dr Lauderman’s Lighthouse in Lafayette around 1967. Basement Wall and John Fred used to play our CYO dances in Morgan City. Ive Peebles played the Hullabaloo Club about 3 block from my house. Ah, good memories.

  6. my favorite times were at the speak easy on stanford seeing the war babies and pot liquor in late 60’s and early 70’s being under age at the time ,had to sneak in before I D ‘s were checked at 8:00pm,also sundays the ampitheater at L S U .under age but, I knew cool & talent when I saw it.GOD BLESS ALL OF THE GUYS. Thanks for the good times. Many of my dates said it was the most fun ever on a date. Others didn’t say it ,but I knew.When I became of age it had already closed dammit, I loved that place and those bands. Skippy V. was playing with Lil Hub & the Wheels at the Cadillac Cafe .Hi to Jan Jan &Anthony Courtney W. would on occation get up there with them and do a few songs,& really brought back memories of those great times.I moved to FL. and haven’t been there in a few years.I miss IT. Skippy and the guys would play one of my favorite Allman Bro. songs “One Way Out” ,when my wife and I would show up.

  7. 1966 I was a freshman at USL (now Univ. La. Lafayette) & my roomie was Ronnie, the bass player with the Roamin’ Togas, a bar-cover band that played in local barrooms, union halls, armories and such. They did all the pop tunes, Stones, Beatles, Animals, Zombies, etc etc. Great fun, and very likely the best part of my college ed-U-K-shun. The Togas went through some personnel changes, added another guitarist, stepped up from the Farfisa organ to a Hammond with two Leslies, then it all hit the skids. Their trailer full of gear was wiped out in a traffic collision, the frontman vocalist got a football scholarship, the lead guitarist got his draft notice and hit the road, and life went on. My guess would be that Darryl the Drummer stayed with the music biz the longest. God speed, and THNX for the memories.

  8. Hmm it ѕeems lіκe yοur site ate mу fiгst comment (it
    wаs supеr long) so І guess I’ll just sum it up what I had written and say, I’m thoroughly еnjoying уоur blοg.
    I as well am an аsρirіng blοg blοggeг but I’m still new to the whole thing. Do you have any suggestions for newbie blog writers? I’ԁ defіnitely aрρreciatе it.

  9. Back in the 60’s my brother was a keyboard player for the Roamin Togas and came out with the band to Bakersfield, CA and recorded a demo in the Buck Owens studio.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.