Monday, September 27, 2010

These Vizitors - Goshen

These Vizitors - Goshen, Indiana 1965 -1969.

Band included siblings -

Mike Curtis - Vocals / bass
Rick Curtis - Vocals / guitar
Tom Curtis - Vocals / guitar
Patty Curtis - Vocals / tambourine
and (non family member)
Travis Rose - Drums


One of the local bands that had a major label release, but didn't translate into major success. I don't know all the details but I'm going to "cut and paste" the info from Jason's Indiana 45's site. Anyone willing to correct, if needed.......


Here's some tunes:

Happy Man
For Mary's Sake
Reacher Teacher - Demo
Rippling Road - Demo

Don't know what the 5th demo was, can anyone shed some light?


"By Phil Yoder -courtesy of Jason at Indiana 45's.

The first band I will tell you about is the Curtis family, from Goshen, Indiana. The Curtis's are probably the most famous and succesful from my area. These Vizitors went to NYC in ' 67 and cut 5 demo tracks with a then unknown producer, Phil Ramone. 2 were released on a Capitol 45 "For Mary's Sake" b/w "Happy Man". They played in Florida at an outdoor rock festival in ' 68 on a bill that included Jimi Hendrix, Jefferson Airplane etc. At that time they lived in Florida and were one of the "local" acts that had a major label 45rpm, so they were added to the festival line up. They were a psych / folk sound (kind of like We 5 with a fuzz sounding lead guitar) They all sang well and still do. After Vizitors folded Rick and Mike were invited by Ralph Molina (drummer) to join Crazy Horse and were the main song writers on the 1972 Epic album "At Crooked Lake". In 1974 they cut some demos with Lindsey Buckingham and Stevie Nicks, who at that time were on option to the Polydor label, as were Rick and Mike Curtis. One of these demos was "Blue Letter" written by Rick Curtis which appears on the 1975 Fleetwood Mac album. The other was a song called "Seven league Boots" which features Stevie Nicks singing backup with Rick Curtis. This song was 50% sold to Steven Stills in 1980 and turned into "Southern Cross", in which Stills changed the lyrics and some of the arrangement and appears on the 1982 Crosby, Stills & Nash album "Daylight Again". Rick and Mike, along with brother Tom cut an album in 1976 on Polydor called "The Curtis Brothers" and also had a shelved (unreleased) album in 1978 on the International Artists label. In the 1980s Rick spent time out of the music scene and Mike went on to play with Gene Clark's Byrds on the road. Then in the early ' 90s Mike played with Dewey Martin's Buffallo Springfield. He also played for 12 years with Hoyt Axton's band. In the middle 90s Mike played in the "Byrds Celebration". In Janurary of 1995 Rick Curtis died from a seizure at his home in California.Michael continues to play and lives just north of Nashville, Tennessee. Rick and Michael Curtis are 2 of my best friends. In 1992, ' 93, ' 94 I promoted shows entitled Reunion Jams I, II, and III at the Elkhart County Fairgrounds in which the Curtis's werethe headliners. Each drew about 4000 - 5000 people."

2 comments:

Richard D. Kaye said...

Nice to read your post about Theze Vizitors. For the record: Phil Ramone was the recording engineer at A&R Studios, New York where I (then 21 year-old) Richie Kaye was the indie producer for Capitol Records. I met Rick in '67 in front of the famous Brill Building - 1619 Broadway and was blown away by his songs, guitar playing and vocals. I said, I'll get you a record deal" and after flying to Goshen several times to prep the Curtis family band - with Travis Rose on the drums - they were ready to come back to NYC where I set them up in a rehearsal room and invited record companies to hear them play. Two days later they were signed to Capitol Records. Note: The budget was for a single, but the band was so tight and Phil Ramone was so sensational at the board that we cut half an album! My company Greenleaf Music (ASCAP) is the publisher of these tunes, as well... R.I.P Rick Curtis - you were truly an amazing talent!!!

Bill Thomas said...

It's time to revisit These Vizitors. I looked through Michael's scrapbook last week. That was one amazing journey the Curtis family made.