RYL with Paul Cannon of
WKNR, who hosted the ALSAC show in Cobo Hall, early Oct '66.
(clockwise from back-left:
RYL with female friends - 1966
(Back row left - right:
Twig, Fred, Richard Bob, Lou)
DEC 1966 - Marquee -
Crows Nest, Detroit Michigan
RYL with female friends - 1966
(clockwise from back-left:
Lou, Twig, Richard, Bob, Fred)
DEC 1966 RYL-ers Bob & Lou on-stage with the Yardbirds at
the 5th Dimension, Ann Arbor, Michigan
DEC 1966 - Bob, Lou, and Fred playing at the Crows Nest, Detroit
DEC 1966 RYL-ers Richard & Lou on-stage with the Yardbirds
at the 5th Dimension, Ann Arbor, Michigan
Twigs at his famous
New Years Eve '69 Acid Party.
Swinging Time TV Show - Windsor Ontario - Nov 1966 - Picture
of Richard taken from TV Screen in Motel
every market in which "Open Up Your Door" was released,
it went to the Top 5 on the charts. The band appeared on a number
of national and local television shows like Upbeat (two appearances),
Clay Cole, and Robin Seymour and did many radio programs.
Thanks to Bob Freedman's research abilities, we now have surveys showing Open your Door went to the #1 spot in Salt Lake City, UT and in Elyria, OH.
Detroit, the song hit the Number One spot blowing out Motown's staples
such as the Temptations, the Supremes, and the Four Tops. Due to
this amazing feat, it is said that Motown approached Richard and
the Young Lions about becoming the first white group on the label.
Due to contractual obligations with their label, Philips, they couldn't
do it, and a group called Rare Earth was eventually chosen. It turned
out lucky that they didn't do it because the first appearance of
Rare Earth was a disaster for the band. The Motown audience wasn't
ready for a white group, and they booed Rare Earth off the stage.
Could Motown Records have expected this and wanted to take Richard
and the Young Lions down a peg? Possibly, but we'll probably never
of Detroit, absolutely the "coolest" experience the band
ever had was in The Motor City. There was an ALSAC benefit show
at Cobo Hall (as it was then called) with 19 other top artists,
and 18,000 screaming fans, who loved Richard and the Young Lions'
music and treated them as if they were the Beatles. Pulled hair
and ripped clothing aside, performing in front of such a receptive
audience was an experience the band will surely never forget.
Strangely enough, even with the success of "Open Up Your Door",
and the fact that all of Richard and the Young Lions came from within
"a 10 mile radius of Newark", their music was rarely heard
in the NY/NJ area. A notable exception to this was Mike & Lou's
on the boardwalk in Bradley Beach, NJ where, for days at a time,
"Open Up Your Door" was played on the jukebox, morning,
noon and night.
did their music not reach The Big Apple? Could it have been that
the lyrics were too risqué for the less open-minded East?
More likely it seems, the band's management (SCC Productions) had
their hands full with acts like Mitch Ryder and the Detroit Wheels
and The Four Seasons, who were more "pop"-ish. They didn't
pay as much attention as they should have to the raw sounds of Richard
and the Young Lions, and as a consequence, the full potential of
"Open Up Your Door", and of the band, went unrealized.
Fred went off to college, and the band brought in old Mark IV/Orphans
bassist Lawrence Smith to substitute for him when he couldn't make
"Open Up Your Door" started falling off the charts, it
was time for the boys to release their second song.
Both "Nasty" and "You Can Make It" were in the
can and ready to be released. Richard and the band wanted to go
with "You Can Make It", but Bob Crewe said it sounded
too much like "Open Up Your Door". The band thought that
was what a good follow-up hit should sound like, but "the man
with the money" won, and "Nasty" was released with
"Lost and Found" as its B-Side in Jan/Feb 1967.
did OK, but nowhere near the sales of "Open Up Your Door"
and it fell off the charts quickly. It hung around the #40-50 position
on some charts and then disappeared.
Can Make It" with its B-side "To Have and To Hold"
was then released. It became a "Pick of the Week" at 40
radio stations the first week it came out and the band thought it
was going to be another runaway hit. But the record company, in
a not-so-smart move, never put the records on the shelves and the
fans were unable to buy them. And since the fans couldn't buy them,
and MP3's weren't available back then, the song never gained the
popularity that it could have and it slowly faded away.
these three records, the once bright candle of possibilities was
slowly flickering out. SCC Productions would not support the band
at all anymore, even when compared to the miniscule effort it used
to make. And, when the band talked of writing its own songs, they
were promptly told, "No" - the record label would make
more money using Ray Bloodworth and Larry Brown to write songs.
these factors eventually became too much and the band dissolved...
and the Young Lions' discography:
"Open Up Your Door" / B "Once Upon
.Philips 40381 (picture
A "Nasty" / B "Lost And Found"
A "You Can Make It" / B "To Have And
are Richards words on what happened after:
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