March 28, 2016

WE THE PEOPLE (New Bedford, MA)

In the southern coast of Massachusetts, the city of New Bedford had a thriving music scene in the 1960s. In fact, the city was home to prolific record label Arco Records / Stereophonic Corp. as well as Metcalf Recording Studio. Despite the volume of output from this area, one band's recorded legacy remained buried for decades after the fact outside of their home city: We The People.

We The People at one of their first gigs during the 1965 New Bedford High School senior get-togther event at the Jewish Community Center. From left: Jarry Shervo (bass), Manny Fagundes (lead guitar), Ally Levin (drums), John LaBrode (rhythm guitar). Cropped out of the photo is Bruce Entwistle (keyboards).

Manny Fagundes (left) and “Peter Weeple” Jarry Shervo
No relation to the major label Florida band active at the same time, this outfit featured leader Manny Fagundes on lead guitar, Jarry Shervo (“Peter Weeple”) on bass, Bruce Entwistle on vocals and keyboards, John LaBrode on rhythm guitar, and Alan Levin (“Ally”) on drums. Manny actually jammed one practice session with The Stonemen prior to We The People — both bands were managed by Fall River-based promoter Don Perry.

Like The Stonemen, Don took We The People to New York City to record. It is interesting to note that the matrix numbers of “Always Lies” are in exact succession to The Stonemen’s “No More” 45: both were apparently sent in to be pressed up at RCA Custom at the same time. (The following year, Don would release records by the Darkest Our from Fall River and the Underground Railroad from Brockton, Mass., under his Littletown label.)

High school sophomore Jarry sang lead on the desperate “Always Lies” — and yow, check out those screams at the end! —while Bruce sang the upbeat flipside, “I'll Get You Yet.”

As for the classic pseudonym on the record label, Jarry explains: “How I became Peter Weeple was Manny’s idea during the recording session and I think it had something to do with having a name that had a hook to hang the song on before we went to New York City to record. But it was a real laugh in the studio and being young and full of future stardom I enjoyed the role.”

John LaBrode, Bruce Entwistle and Alan Levin passed away in 2010, 2015 and 2017, respectively.

“Always Lies” was just included on the “Last Of The Garage Punk Unknowns Volume 8” LP (the “Heartbroken American Garage Jangle Misery” volume). Buy it here!

Always Lies / I'll Get You Yet
Seventeen Records 
(263/64 • T4KM 4253/54)
March 1966

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