April 21, 2020

THE ROGUES (Marblehead, MA)

From The Evening News (Salem, Mass.) - Saturday, August 6, 1966:
MUSICAL ROAD TO SUCCESS — Five band members of the "Rouges" have their fingers crossed and high hopes concerning recent cutting of a musical disc, which could lead to fame and fortune for all. Photographed during practice session, left to right are Terry Coogan, vocalist; Alan Healy, bass guitar; Willis Iannarelli, drummer; Bill Richards, rhythm guitar; and Greg Boardman, lead guitar. (Courtesy of Marie Printon & family.)

Label misspellings are most often confined to the wrong use of an apostrophe, though in the unfortunate case of The Rogues, a sloppy typesetter inadvertantly altered their band name for decades to come. With two keyboard clicks, a once hip teen moniker was transformed into a shade of blush!

The Rogues hailed from Marblehead, Massachusetts, a scenic coastal town about a half hour northeast of Boston. The initial lineup consisted of Greg Boardman (lead guitar), Terry Coogan (vocals), Bill Richards (rhythm guitar), Alan Healy (bass) and Willis Iannarelli (drums). Willis, Bill and Alan attended Marblehead High School — Willis class of '67 and Bill and Alan class of '68 — while Terry attended Biship Fenwick in nearby Peabody, Mass., and Greg attended St. John's Prepatory in Danvers.

As a high school sophomore in 1966, Al Healy decided he wanted to start a rock and roll band, so he approached his good friend Bill. Bill then went to Greg, who in turn called on Terry, who lastly rounded up Willis to complete the lineup. The band played the popular hits of the time — Beatles and Rolling Stones, Rascals, Temptations "My Girl."

The Rogues caught the ear of a friend of Terry's father from the local YMCA, Marie Printon. She played volleyball and taught swimming and calisthenics at the YMCA where the kids would hang out. She helped organize teen dances and parties, drove them to gigs, and the band would even practice at her house, to a captive audience of her daughters.

Through a connection, Marie set up the recording session at Waverley studios in Watertown, about 45 minutes southwest of the band's hometown. In the summer of 1966, the crew recorded two Greg Boardman originals, released on the studio's own record label. Both sides are moody, folky winners, though "Next Guy" is the clear standout: down-on-your-luck lyrics, minor key guitars, rock solid yet lively drumming — and the crude recording quality delivers it all with a particularly desperate edge.

"We always used to laugh about the fact that they called us the Rouges instead of the Rogues. Terry Jordon always took some kidding about that one," Willis recalls.

Shortly after the record's release, Marblehead High School classmate Terry Jordan ('68) joined on keyboards and backing vocals. Greg Boardman left the band circa October/November 1966 and was replaced with new lead guitarist Scott Sumner (MHS '67).

The band played teen hotspots throughout the surrounding towns: Marblehead, Salem, Swampscott, Beverly, and Thompson Country Club in Reading, Mass. Alan Healy: "In Marblehead we played at the YMCA dances and you could feel the floor go up and down due to the suspension … the Boston Yacht Club, the CYO dances at Our Lady Star of the Sea (Marblehead), and a dance at Temple Emanu-El (Marblehead) … a nurses' graduation party at Salem Hospital … I also remember playing for the Senior Prom reception at the Corinthian Yacht Club (Marblehead) for the Class of 1967. In Swampscott we were more or less the house band, for a while, at the Ionic Club playing a lot of Saturday nights. We played the Rocky Post in Beverly and won a battle of the bands at a junior high over there with Dave Maynard from WBZ as host. We also played the King's Rook in Ipswich, which was big time back then."

On one memorable night, the Rogues won the battle of the bands at the Where It's At club in Boston, with celebrity DJ Arnie "Woo Woo" Ginsburg officiating (see picture below). And if the Rogues winning top band honors wasn't enough, drummer Willis was presented the "best musician" award! Alan Healy adds: "I remember we got a big boost in the ratings when Terry Coogan at the end of James Brown's “I’ll Go Crazy” stomped on the tambourine and it shattered into a million pieces." What a showman!

Sometime in 1967, the Rogues won a battle of the bands at Marblehead High School with their version of the Rascals' "Good Lovin'." The prize was recording time at Decto Recording Services in Salem (the studio was actually in a basement on Pleasant Street in Marblehead), where the band laid down two new cuts, "Did You Ever Get The Feelin" and "Noise." Unfortunately, only two of the members even remember that session, and nobody remembers who wrote the songs! Luckily, one demo acetate disc survived — albeit noisy, super low fidelity, and with a number of skips — and it shows their fuller sound showcasing Terry Jordan's organ and backup vocals and Scott Sumner's fuzz guitar shredding.

The Rogues performed together for the last time at a graduation block party in the summer of 1967.

Where they are now: Willis Iannarelli served 26 years in the Navy and is retired as fire captain in Marblehead. Alan Healy is an accountant; Bill Richards works in the corporate business world; Scott Sumner works in the Marblehead school department and still plays some guitar; Terry Jordan resides in England; and Greg Boardman continued on with a storied musical career. Listen to a sampling of his songs here!

From Greg: "For what it's worth, after leaving the Rogues I went to France for a year and played acoustic folk and blues with my friends there. Came back, finished high school, then followed Greg Barry to Colby College. Got real deep into traditional folk, blues, bluegrass, and fiddling in the Maine style, kind of Irish and French and Scandinavian, then got smitten with classical music, majored in viola performance at USM, became a strings teacher in public schools and continued performing and recording. Never went far with it, but dare I say very deep in the local sense."

Special thanks to Willis Iannarelli and Marie Printon!

Recording "Next Guy" and "Faces On The Wall" at Waverley studio, a converted attic in Watertown, Mass., summer 1966. From left: Greg Boardman, Bill Richards, Terry Coogan. Photos courtesy of Greg Boardman & Mike Markesich.

Alan Healy with band manager Marie Printon supervising, Waverley studio.

Willis Iannarelli contemplating his next manic drum fill, Waverley studio.

Teen Town at the Salem YMCA, October 1966. Greg Boardman (lead guitar, vocals), Willis Iannarelli (drums) and Terry Coogan (lead vocals, tamborine). Courtesy of Willis Iannarelli.

Victorious battle at the Where It's At club in Boston! Standing, left to right: Bill Richards, Terry Jordon, Scott Sumner (holding the first place trophy), Willis Iannarelli (winner of the night's "best musician" award). Kneeling, from left: Terry Coogan, Alan Healy. Standing next to Bill Richards is Dave Maynard, longtime Boston radio and television host. Presenting the trophy to Scott Sumner is famous WMEX Boston radio host Arnie "Woo Woo" Ginsburg.
Courtesy of Marie Printon & family.

From left: Scott Sumner, Terry Jordan, Terry Coogan (standing), Willis Iannarelli (sitting), Bill Richards, Alan Healy. Courtesy of Marie Printon & family.

Teen Town at the Salem YMCA, October 1966. Courtesy of Willis Iannarelli.

Swampscott YMCA pre-Thanksgiving Dance on Nov. 23, 1966. At least the paper spelled half of the members' names correctly! Courtesy of Marie Printon & family.

Victorious again at Marblehead High, at the Combo Competition sponsored by the Swampscott-Marblehead Chapter of Hadassah. The Rogues were in competition with five other combos and runners up were Danny and the Dreamers. Courtesy of Marie Printon & family.

Next Guy / Faces On The Wall
Waverley Records 
(108-03 / 109-04)
© September 1966

Did You Ever Get The Feelin / Noise
Decto Recording Service 
(unreleased acetate)
Circa 1967

A round of applause is in order for our man Ryan Richardson, who put his microscope and extra-fine sewing needle to use (no, seriously) and removed a cluster of skips from the last 30 seconds of the A-side, making for a far more enjoyable listen.

1 comment:

  1. Hey, I'm the guy who runs Dirty Old Boston (the og) on Instagram and Facebook. Want to do a story. Interested?