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Everybody knows The Partridge Family was based on The Cowsills, right? Just as The Monkees on The Beatles. Unfortunately for The Cowsills, they appeared on the scene just as to be seen smiling in promotional pics was viewed as uncool---scowling was the correct pose. And to have your mom in the group?! They also sported high school haircuts (for you younger dudes, there was a dress code in those days; your hair couldn’t touch your ears or your shirt collar), and sang a song which seemed to mock the long hair which was pretty much required in Rock ’n’ Roll at the time. Very uncool.
Susan Cowsill has had an interesting post-Cowsills career. She hooked up with Dwight Twilley in the late-70’s, and they have had an on/off relationship ever since (I could tell you stories ;-) . She was part of a great group in the 90’s, The Continental Drifters, who made three good albums. Other CD members included Vicki Peterson of The Bangles, Peter Holsapple of The dB’s (to whom Susan was for a time married), Mark Walton of The Dream Syndicate (a real *ssh*le---I speak from first-hand knowledge), and drummer/singer Carlo Nuccio, who played on Tori Amos’ first album. He’s really, really good. They were an excellent live group, I saw them quite a few times.
Originally the Cowsills drummer (and later it’s bassist), Barry drowned in New Orleans in 2005 (Hurricane Katrina), and lead singer Bill followed him a year later. After having relocated to Canada, Bill fronted The Blue Shadows, an Alt-Country band. I have two of their albums, which are good. Drummer/singer John Cowsill is currently a member of The Beach Boys road band.
@sbank, The Continental Drifter’s albums are good, and they were an even better live band. They had a residency at a club called Raji’s, located in the basement of an old hotel on Hollywood Blvd. They played every Tuesday night in the early-90’s, along with invited guest artists such as Beck and Los Lobos. Great nights of live music!
I had rubbed elbows with Peter Holsapple a few years prior, at the record release party for Brian Wilson’s first solo album. I had a spare copy of some promotional item for the album, and knowing of Peter’s long loved of Brian offered it to him. He invited me to his little bungalow on Fountain Avenue (a block off Sunset, somewhere between Tower Records and the Capitol Records building on Vine St.), so a few days later I brought over it and my girlfriend (she was a big dB’s lover. Very cool girl ;-). Peter was at the time playing keyboards with R.E.M., iirc. My girlfriend reminded him of an encounter we had with him back in ’83, in Bleecker Bobs record shop in the Village in NYC. I was looking for a certain Rockabilly compilation album, and Bob didn’t have it. Knowing Peter was a record collector, I asked him if he knew where I could find "Wild, Wild Young Women" (the album’s title). Without missing a beat, he replied "St. Marks Place?" Quick wit; St. Marks Place was a street in the Village littered with tattoo parlors, piercing salons, and punk clothes shops.
I played one of the Raji’s shows with a young singer/songwriter named Steve Tagliere, who was later in a band named Gingersol. Steve is now living and working in Texas, both solo and as a duo with his wife, also a singer. A really nice guy who loved (and probably still loves) The Replacements and Elvis Costello, he was mighty impressed by The Drifters. Everyone was!