The Remains were on the bill of The Beatles? final U.S. tour in the summer of ?66, playing their own set as well as backing The Ronettes and Bobby Hebb ? meaning that each show they played longer than The Beatles did.
?I don?t know why I didn?t get paid more than them,? jokes Barry Tashian of the Remains, whose 1966 album was just reissued by Epic/Legacy.
Barry grew up playing guitar and formed his first band in junior high. By ninth grade, he?d appeared on American Bandstand with The Ramblers (?I got a nice picture of myself with Dick Clark?).
While in England in ?64, he soaked up the music of British Invasion, though ironically not yet The Beatles.
?Their music didn?t really sink with me until I saw them,? he says. ?They didn?t impress me as much as The Rolling Stones.?
In 1966, The Remains were based in New York City when they got the offer to join The Beatles tour. Though The Remains had been on TV, they?d never faced stadium-sized crowds before.
?That first show was so frightening I can?t even really place myself on the stage in my memory,? Barry recalls. ?But I know that the reaction was okay; nobody booed, nobody threw tomatoes, nobody said ?Where?s The Beatles???
He adds the group liked indoor concerts over playing ballparks ?because it was more intimate. We could at least see, and we felt people could see us, and we could communicate a little more with them.?
The group ended up hanging out with The Beatles on the plane or back at the hotel.
It was surprisingly casual, considering today?s cordoning off of the stars, says Barry.
?No way [we] would have traveled on the same little plane with the Beatles today! George was the spiritual one. He was the nicest guy; he was very kind. He was warm, and he didn?t have to be. John was OK ? I think he was scared because of the Jesus thing, and so he was a little more reserved. Ringo was a regular Joe kind of guy. And Paul was very stand-offish; that was my experience of him.?
Nor did Barry get any sense the group was about to stop touring.
?I didn?t think it was their last tour, but I do know that they did want to go home!? he says.
Despite their success on tour, The Remains decided to split after the ?66 tour. They later reformed and released the album Movin? On in 2003. A documentary on the group is due this year.
For more info or to order Barry?s book about the Beatles tour, visit www.theremains.com.
The Beatles books fill two bookcases ? and that?s still just a fraction of what?s out there. I?ve now had to clear space for a few more; Bruce Spizer?s ?The Beatles Swan Song? and Brian Kehew and Kevin Ryan?s ?Recording The Beatles.?
Bruce?s books are always very heavy (in both senses of the word), but he?s been outdone by ?Recording The Beatles,? which weighs a hefty 11 pounds. When I can?t make it to the gym, I stack the books together and use them for weight training. Think I?m kidding?
Bruce?s book recently was covered in Goldmine, so there?s not much to add, except that his are among the few Beatles books that are essential to have. This book is as gorgeous as his others, with the expected loving attention to detail.
The next book from the publishers, 498 Productions, will be the sixth edition of "Price Guide for The Beatles American Records? in July. For info: www.beatle.net.
?Recording The Beatles? is an in-depth ? 500-some pages worth ? look at the studio equipment the group used to make its records, an absolutely fascinating look at exactly how the band?s sounds were created.
Both Brian and Kevin work in the music business as writers, producers and engineers ? Brian