April 18, 2017

THE END (Worcester, MA)

Practicing in the Evans’ rumpus room, from left: Jimmy D'Angelo, Jim Evans, John Solaperto, George Evans, John Witti.

This short-lived group of youngsters (aged 14-16) from the Burncoat section of Worcester, Mass., released two different versions of their original tunes within seven months of each other. The band consisted of Jimmy D'Angelo on guitar, John Witti on bass, brothers George Evans on keyboard and Jim Evans on drums, and John Solaperto on vocals. The crew practiced in the Evans’ house, previously owned by a handicapped man who had an elevator installed, which made it easy for moving equipment in and out. John Witti's dad, Steven A. Witti, managed the band, and the publishing company credited on both records’ labels was made from his initials (S.A.W.). The End played mostly dances at their own Burncoat High School, though on one occasion the senior Witti brought them up to New Brunswick, Canada. He rented a huge venue and tried to build excitement and coax attendees by billing them as being “from the U.S.”  — but alas, only about a hundred people showed up.

The first versions of the tracks “Can't Get Free” and “Movin’ Out” were recorded at Hills Sound Service (same studio as Mickey & The Motions and The Specters) and was pressed at the Rite plant in Ohio in September 1966. Co-writer Jimmy D'Angelo said he thought that he sang on the a-side, so perhaps it was before vocalist John Solaperto joined the band. (For what it's worth, the performance is barely held together and the vocals are more desperate than then the subsequent version … I prefer it.) An oversized picture sleeve on very thin, shiny paper with a posed band photo exists for this release.

The End re-recorded their two compositions at Northeast Recording in Worcester in April 1967, showcasing a tighter, faster unit. This version was housed in an updated picture sleeve using the same design, but with a live photo from the band's practice space, and on thicker cardstock.

Jimmy left the band in 1967 to join his brother Joe's band, The Joneses (one 45 on MGM with the songs “Washington Square” and “Baby”). Jimmy pursued a career in music with the acts Mad Angel and August, and still performs with his band Deep 6. John Witti went on to the American Standard Band in the mid-’70s, who in 1978 were recruited by Joe Cocker for his backup band.

From left: John Solaperto, Jim Evans, John Witti, Jim D'Angelo, George Evans.

1966 picture sleeve on thin shiny paper.
1967 picture sleeve on thick cardstock.

Can't Get Free / Movin' Out
Saw Publishing Co. 
(17657/58 • Rite 1245)
September 1966

Can't Get Free / Movin' Out
Northeast Recording 
(NE 207 • 1657 4-67)
April 1967

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