Repairs’ Reprieve

Generations of Westporters know Jim Honeycutt as a teacher — 1st of social studies, then computer education, now running Staples’ Media Lab audio and TV production classes.

Occasionally he alludes to his old rock ‘n’ roll days.  Now — in cyberspace, which he and his students are so wired into — there’s proof.

Honeycutt has created a podcast about Repairs, his folk/rock/country band of the late 1960’s and early ’70s.  He did it to demo an assignment he gave his Audio Production class:  Make a podcast about your favorite album.

Honeycutt’s podcast (click here to listen) offers a fascinating insight into the music industry, back in the day.  Repairs formed at Fairfield University, where Honeycutt and Peter McCann met through a freshman week orientation talent show.  Gradually, other talented musicians — including Honeycutt’s soon-to-be 1st wife, a Manhattanville College student — joined the group.

Their mostly original music featured tight harmonies.  It was wide-ranging, eclectic, sometimes even psychedelic.  Think a combination of Buffalo Springfield, Loggins and Messina, the Pozo Seco Singers, Jefferson Airplane and the Association (if you can).

Repairs was “discovered” in 1971, on Westport’s Jesup Green.  They were playing there — the podcast does not explain why — and in the audience was Andrew Loog Oldham.  The podcast doesn’t say why the producer of the Rolling Stones was at Jesup Green either, but he liked what he heard.  He signed Repairs to a contract with Rare Earth Records — a subsidiary of Motown — and in 1971 the label released the group’s 1st album, “Already a Household Word.”

The cover of Repairs' 1st album. Jim Honeycutt is at far left, wearing sandals.

It was not a huge commercial success, Honeycutt says in the podcast.  It did well in Westport, however — for a few weeks outselling the Beatles at Klein’s Department Store — and in parts of  Europe too.

Two more Repairs albums followed.  Neither achieved much acclaim, and eventually the band broke up.

Nearly 4 decades later, Repairs has found new life — in Staples’ Media Lab, on iTunes and throughout cyberspace.

They may yet become “a household word.”

8 responses to “Repairs’ Reprieve

  1. Repairs was a great, very vital, show band at Mark’s Place (where Acqua now resides). Various Westport schools’ faculty moonlighted at this hip night club of the 1970’s. (Unless my memory is completely askew)

  2. Brice Buchanan

    I grew up in Weston, and I loved Repairs. I still have their first two albums on vinyl, and bought an *unopened* copy of “Already A Household Word” from a guy on the web about a year and a half ago.

    By the way, the album cover pictured is NOT the cover of their debut, “Already A Household Word” – it’s the cover of their second album, “Repairs”. The cover for AAHW is a sort of needlepoint-motif thing. Photo here:

    • Brice,
      I went to the Motown Museum here in Detroit just last week . As you wait for the tour to begin,you line up in a long hallway that features framed mock-ups of various record covers, (as well as original watercolors for Stevie Wonder’s Songs in the Key of Life). I noticed the needlepoint Repairs cover framed on the wall. There were two of them -one was the original needlepoint!

  3. i posted a the preacher man on youtube!!

  4. i posted a the preacher man on youtube!!

  5. Brice Buchanan

    Cool, Properbo! You found this site! Rawk. 🙂

  6. As the older brother of the Repairs’ lead guitarist, Larry Treadwell, I can attest to the fact that not only were the band and my bro’ uniquely creative, but they managed to make my very traditional parents two of their biggest fans!
    Now, for today’s big prize, guess what was Larry’s first guitar?
    Give up? A 1957 Kay acoustic with nylon strings that I left behind from my classical music lesson days. Within a few months , he was playing it better than I ever could. That guitar later kicked around for years in my attics and basements, until my son and I re-presented to Larry on his 50th birthday party bash in Los Angeles.

  7. John Clarendon

    Going through old records, I found my Repairs album. I think I first heard them play at the Little Tavern by the Westport Playhouse around 1970.
    As the youth program director for the town of Westport at that time, I organized the outdoor concerts on Jessup Green. I didn’t remember that Andrew Oldham heard them there, and I never kept in touch with them. Great to listen to the podcast from Jim Honeycutt and love to “connect the dots” from the past. Best wishes! and Thanks!