Hailing from New Hampshire's capital city, J. Goon & The Belvederes cut a rockin' 'n twangin' ode to a chick who only spells trouble: "She was born on the night of the full moon / Everyone said beware!" The band was unique in that not only was lead singer J. Goon also the drummer, but the outfit included no less than two sets of brothers.
The Belvederes played hit rock and roll songs of the day like "Satisfaction," "You Really Got Me" and "Twist And Shout." According to Jim "J. Goon" Audet, "Beware" was the only original tune the band performed, and WFEA-AM financed the recording session and vinyl pressing. They didn't have a song ready for the flipside, so they chose "Linda Lou" from their setlist (a Ray Sharpe tune from 1959).
Jim said the band played lots of frats, community centers, private parties and the Blue Room at the New Hampshire Highway Hotel in Concord. And, as evidenced by the photos below, he said they changed uniforms between every set.
While in the band, Jim was stationed at Pease Air Force Base in Portsmouth until he finally got his orders to depart overseas to the Philippines. He actually got shipped out before the records were pressed up, so his mom mailed him a copy of the 45, which he dropped off at the local radio station. Apparently it received quite a bit of airplay on the station's "Cebu A Go Go" radio show — since he was a "big American rock star"!
After Jim's departure, The Belvederes regrouped. Mike Foley moved over to drums, and light man Robert Lafond was added on electric organ. But during wartime this too proved short-lived, as Wayne was soon off for duty in the Marines.
The Basement Walls is proud to present the history of J. Goon & The Belvederes nearly 50 years later. Wayne Brockney gives us the complete lowdown:
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Bucky was the only one who owned a house so we practiced in his basement.
We got a job playing twice a week at a place just off route 3A in Hooksett, N.H., called The Cricket Club. We would play other places … any place where we could get job. Some of the places we played included fraternity houses at Dartmouth and UNH. I can remember traveling all the way to Lyndonville, Vermont to play at Lyndon State College. On a couple of occasions we traveled to Gary and my home town of Colebrook, N.H., to play at the town hall.
One time we traveled to Poland Springs, Maine to play on WMTW’s “Red Rose Tetley Tea Hour.” We played the song “Get Off My Cloud” by the Rolling Stones.
|Front page of the Concord Monitor — click to see full-size view! Courtesy of Courtney Audet.|
Another time we played on the back of a flatbed trailer in a mall parking lot on Elm Street in Manchester, N.H. This was for a fund raising effort for the Marine Corp “Toys for Tots” program.
Somehow we met Charlie Shoe, who was a disc jockey for WFEA radio station in Manchester. He arranged for us to go to Fleetwood Record Company in Revere, Mass. We had written a song called “Beware” and we recorded it at Fleetwood studios. We did a cover of “Linda Lou” on the flipside. Charlie Shoe would play our songs on WFEA radio station many times a day. He had a call-in segment whereby he would put the popular songs of the day against our song. Callers would phone in and vote for the song they liked best. Because we were well known locally, we would win most of the call-in votes.
Charlie Shoe brought a big rock and roll show [Caravan of Bands] to Manchester in the mid 1960s. This show included The Kingsmen, Dion & The Belmonts, Barbara Mason, Eddie Hodges, and others that I cannot remember. We got to open the show and played “Eve of Destruction” by Barry McGuire. Everything went right for us that night, we got a big applause and Jimmy recalls that it was the first time that anyone had asked us for an autograph.
The band only lasted a couple years as the military draft was in effect. Jimmy joined the Air Force and I joined the Marines. These were two great years and we still talk about it today. To us the music of the sixties is the best — with the British invasion, the instrumental groups, the surfin’ music, and the great vocalists of the day.
— Wayne Brockney, June 2015
|Photos courtesy of Courtney Audet.|
J. GOON AND THE BELVEDERES
Beware / Linda Lou
Fleetwood (FL 4562) February 1966