MICKEY AND THE MOTIONS (Southbridge, MA)

The Motions, ready to move. From left: Norm Lamoureux (lead guitar), Dave Chamberlain (bass), Roland "Mickey" McDonald (lead vocals), Kenny LaRochelle (rhythm guitar), Mike Gendreau (drums).

What Hills Sound Service in Worcester lacked in audio fidelity, it sure made up for in capturing some (unintentionally) crude teenage rock and roll sounds. "I Do" by Mickey And The Motions is one such 45 — the tune's been a moody local fave since its opening guitar notes were resurrected on Aram Heller's "Relative Distance" compilation LP on Stanton Park Records back in 1994. Lead guitarist "Storm'n" Norman Lamoureux gives us the backstory on his way cool high school combo:

Dave Chamberlain, the bass player, and I have always been friends and started playin' music together ever since the eighth grade. By the time we got to high school, and I don't remember how, we put a Beatles band together and that'd be around 1964. All we would do is play Beatles songs and Beatles-influenced songs by groups like Gerry & The Pacemakers, Wayne Fontana & The Mindbenders, and the like. Some people would ask us why all we did were Beatles songs and my response was always, "Who else is there?"… We were Beatles fanatics.

So we had Kenny LaRochelle on rhythm guitar, Michael Gendreau on drums, Dave Chamberlain on Hofner Bass and Roland "Mickey" McDonald as the lead vocalist. My job was to immediately purchase any new Beatles album, learn every part of every song and teach it to the band although I believe that Kenny LaRochelle was damned good at picking stuff up on his own as well as also being a good lead player.

Like all bands at that time we played restaurants, weddings, high school proms or basically anywhere we could play.


We eventually started playing at a club on Misquamicut Beach in Rhode Island and the owner wanted to back us up but we were all still in high school and our parents kind of put a halt to that.

We once auditioned for "Community Auditions" which used to be a live TV show in this area but we decided to do an original song which sad to say disqualified us because according to the show, that made us "professionals" (?!?!).

Also played a lot of "Battle Of The Bands" and we were actually approached by a local record company called Polaris, who gave us a contract. But when our parents had it analyzed they also put a stop to that because their lawyers said that we'd have to be fools to sign it … and looking back they were probably right. Tough business!

Eventually we had a manager who got us a gig with Gary Lewis & the Playboys in Fall River, Mass., at some auditorium and a few other well known bands of the day.

Hanging out with Gary Lewis and his microphone cord in Fall River, Mass., 1965. Autographed to Mike Gendreau decades later when he caught him on tour! From left: Mike Gendreau, Dave Chamberlain, Gary Lewis, Kenny LaRochelle, Mickey McDonald and Norm Lamoureux.

We decided to record one of our originals called "I Do," which was done in someone's parlor [Hill's Sound Service in Worcester]. We put a cover song on the flip side called "Long Tall Texan."

As time went on along came the Vietnam War and our bass player, Dave Chamberlain, decided to enlist into the Army and off he went to Vietnam. While Dave was overseas I was lucky enough to go to Berklee College of Music in Boston and I'd send him Beatles albums and kept telling him that when he got out that he's definitely got to go to Berklee, which he did, and wound up graduating from that prestigious music school.

Back in the late 1990s we got back together but called ourselves Revolver and the line-up was David Pondbriand on polyphonic keyboards, Michael Gendreau on drums, Dave Chamberlain on bass, a guy I knew named Rod who played rhythm, myself and Mickey McDonald. We basically went around and played benefits to raise money for one charity or another.

The last time we played together was for a benefit for Southbridge High School at the Knights of Columbus hall in Southbridge, Mass., our hometown, and we played just about every Beatles song from A to Z ending with "In The End." It was a tremendous success and we had a great time reliving the "old days" once again.

We had a lot of benefits lined up when I received a call that Mickey had passed away (2003), which also ended the group … a sad day!

—"Storm'n'" Norman Lamoureux, April 2014



MICKEY AND THE MOTIONS
I Do / Long Tall Texan
Gemini
 (15225/26) August 1965


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