Fifty years ago today, the Beau Brummels played at Staples.
They were not the biggest rock band in the world — though they’d had big hits with “Laugh Laugh” and the follow-up “Just a Little” — but their appearance in the high school auditorium jump-started a concert series that included the Doors, Yardbirds, Cream, Animals, Rascals, Byrds, Peter Frampton and many, many more.
I was at that concert — though I was just a Long Lots Junior High student — and I remember it mainly because it was so cool seeing a group that had appeared on Hullabaloo and Shindig.
What I do not remember — if I ever knew it — is that the New York Times covered the concert. But they did not talk about the set list.
On December 18, 1965 — according to info unearthed by alert “06880” reader and amateur historian Fred Cantor — the Times reported:
A Congregational minister termed “highly inappropriate and in poor taste” the scheduling of a high school rock ‘n’ roll show Sunday night that forced him to cancel a Christmas meeting of a youth group.
Rev. Edmund R. Strait of Greens Farms Church had to scrub the weekly Pilgrim Fellowship event, when 30 Staples students said they were going to the concert instead of his group. All 1,500 seats in the auditorium, the Times said, were sold out.
Rev. Strait said he “had nothing against rock ‘n’ roll.” However, he called it “poor judgment on the part of the school” to schedule the Beau Brummels for Sunday night. He added that it was particularly inappropriate because Staples had held its annual Candlelight Concert on Friday and Saturday, and “churches in town have special Christmas programs” on Sunday.
If you know the name Rev. Strait, it’s because he also served as chairman of the Recreation Commission. The marina at Longshore is named for him.
And if you recall the Beau Brummels: big props.