Having won a recording session as a result of their victory in a Battle of the Bands - and forbidden from recording a cover tune - Columbus, Ohio's The Edicates spent a weekend writing two original songs to comprise their single. The result? The garage band classic She's Gone b/w Worried Mind. Tim Fleischer recalls the recording session, appearances on local TV, competing bands, and more in this exclusive interview for 60sgaragebands.com.
An Interview With Tim Fleischer
60sgaragebands.com(60s): How did you first get interested in music?
Tim Fleischer (TF): Back in the early '60ís, many of us werenít as interested in music as we were being popular with the chicks. I mean I loved music but - other than a few piano lessons - that was as far as it went. My cousin, Ron Martin, was playing guitar in a Ventures-style Rock-A-Billy band, and he nudged me along, also. I canít even recall the name of their band.
60s: Was The Edicates your first band?
TF: The Edicates was my very first band - as it was for everyone else in the original band. We kept the name of The Edicates until January of 1971 when it was changed to Boxcar. Boxcar was three members of The Edicates and one newcomer - Dan Westbrock from The Dubonettes.
60s: Where was The Edicates formed, what year, and by whom?
TF: The band started in 1965 on the old south side of Columbus, Ohio. Glen Cataline and I actually started the band. We had been friends for most of our lives and grew up in the same neighborhood. Original members were me on rhythm guitar; Glen on drums and lead vocals; Mike Fitzgerald on electric bass; and Jim Fox on lead guitar. Jim was from the west side.
60s: The band experienced several personnel changes throughout its history...
TF: The complete run down and the dates of when members came and went are:
Tim Fleischer (original member) - Rhythm guitar and backup vocals; Glen Cataline (original member) - Drums and lead vocals; Mike Fitzgerald (original member) - Bass (from beginning to mid-1968); Jim Fox (original member) - Lead Guitar (mid 1965 until mid-1966); Mike Finks - Organ and vocals (added May 1966 until early 1969); Joe Dodge - Replaced Fitzgerald on bass (mid 1968 until 1972); Tim Fleischer - Replaced Finks on keyboards and doubled on guitar (mid 1969); Richard Shaffer - Added rhythm guitar (late 1969 until Feb 1970); Larry Gates - Replaced Shaffer (March 1970). Jim Fox was let go early in 1966. No one else in the band could get along with the guy. In his defense, he was the outsider to the band and the neighborhood. But thatís when I assumed lead guitar position. Mike Finks was added as the groups first organ player right about the time of Fox's departure. We did play a few gigs with all five of us. It wasnít long after that, about mid-1968, when Mike Fitzgerald started having girlfriend problems that seemed to always interfere with the band. Thatís when Joe Dodge was hired on as bassist to replace Mike. I think The Edicates were probably at their best both musically and otherwise when it was Glen, Finks, Dodge and me. Vocals were good and we were pretty tight.
60s: Why did Mike Finks leave the band? And did the addition of Larry Gates conclude the final line-up of The Edicates?
TF: Finks departed with the band mainly because he liked to take off to Atlantic City during the summer months. Summers were big for us - state and county fairs, pool parties, block parties, etc. The rest of us loved playing the summer months. It just didnít work out with Mike. As far as Larry, we knew him from gigs we played with The Metronomes. Larry eventually became my brother-in-law. I think our last gig on DANCE PARTY was with Larry and he was the last guitar player with The Edicates before we changed the name to Boxcar.
60s: Where did the band typically play?
TF: In the early days we played block parties, sock hops, and pool parties. Rollerland was our first "real" gig where we were actually paid by a means other than passing the hat. Then we started getting in tight with the frat houses at Ohio State University, Ohio Wesleyan, and Dennison. Those parties were great and they kept us pretty busy. We were all still in high school so it was really cool being at frat parties.
60s: How would you describe the band's sound? What band's influenced you?
TF: This is where I usually get flack from other musicians because we were not influenced much by The Beatles. We appreciated The Beatles and did a couple of Beatles songs, but we were more into stuff by groups like Bob Seger, The Animals, Steppenwolf, The Young Rascals, and the like. Glen had a great voice and was coordinated enough to play drums well while singing. Our overall sound was sometimes a little bit raw but we were still able to pull off some of the more mellow stuff. We were pretty versatile. Weíd do something like Crimson and Clover by Tommy James and then go right intoYou Canít Win by The Iron Butterfly.
60s: Photos of the band make it appear as if you traveled in a hearse. Whose idea was that?
TF: Actually, we had an old black 1962 Chevy panel truck that looked a little like a hearse. And the reason I bought it was because it was the cheapest truck on the car lot. Joe, our bass player, also had an old Econoline van that weíd take all over the place. There was a band in town though called The Bonnevilles who used a real hearse to haul their gear around. It was painted bright yellow and red. We gigged with those guys on occasion.
60s: Did you play any of the local Ohio teen clubs?
TF: As far as true teen clubs, we played a few: The Hullabaloo and Smokeyís in Columbus and The Alcatraz in Newark. But we did a lot of bars like The Sugar Shack, The Castle, PaPa Joes, The Upper Deck, The Purple Onion, and La Roc, all in Columbus. They didnít check IDís of the bands very close back then.
60s: How far was the bandís "touring" territory?
TF: As far as Ohio, we played the entire state from corner to corner - Cleveland to Cincinnati and Defiance to Athens.
60s: What other states did you perform in?
TF: When we ventured outside the state it was usually to Parkersburg and Morgantown, West Virginia and Uniontown, Pennsylvania.
60s: Did The Edicates have a manager?
TF: We worked with several different agents over the years (John Moore, Dynamic, Summit) but the only real "manager" we ever had was a guy by the name of Bill Weaver. He was friends with the owner (John Hall) of Musicol Recording Studio and when we were doing the Sheís Gone / Worried Mind project thatís when we hooked up. Bill worked with us for only about a year.
60s: How popular locally did The Edicates become?
TF: Locally we were fairly popular. But you gotta remember at that time there were some big guns in town: The Dantes, The Rebounds, The Fifth Order. They were some stiff competition. And there were a lot of bands in Columbus in the '60Ďs.
The DANCE PARTY TV show really helped us get our name out there. It seems like more people remember us from that show than anything else. The Dantes and The Rebounds were very popular at the time, and they were well deserving. But there were also other really great bands in the Columbus area in those days: The Metronomes, The Dubonnetes, Sir Timothy and The Royals (later The Ohio Express), The 4 OíClock Balloon, The Lapse of Time, The Gears, The Electras, The Fifth Order, and the list goes on and on. But the three bands that really impacted me the most were probably The Emeralds, Wild Billy Graham and The Escalators, and The Epics. The Emeralds were from our neighborhood and they had been around a little while before we (Edicates) had gotten started. They were a good solid band with great musicians. Wild Billy Graham and The Escalators were a black soul band with a brass section and they were about as funky as it gets. We opened for them a couple times. They released a record called Ooh Poo Pa Do in Ď67 (I think) which became a big regional hit. And we also played gigs with The Epics. They always reminded me of Manfred Mann or The Animals. They had a real British flair and were very well rehearsed.
60s: The Northland Battle of the Bands seemed to be a huge yearly deal in Columbus during the '60's. Why didn't The Edicates compete in a Northland Battle?
TF: Northland Battles were huge in Columbus and I honestly don't know why we never took part. I can tell you that it wasn't a consious thing. We just never got entered into any of them. Maybe it was a North / South thing.
60s: The Edicates won a Battle Of The Bands that landed the band a recording session. Do you recall which other bands you competed against?
TF: There were The Bonnevilles, The Satellites, The Volcanos, The Side Effects, The Trolls, The Penetrations (and I thought "The Edicates" was a bad name), and about 30 other bands in all. I canít even remember half of them. We did all the typical three chord stuff: Louie Louie, Gloria, Twist and Shout, Money, Iím a ManÖyou know - easy stuff.
60s: Who decided on the name "The Edicates"? It sounds as if you weren't too crazy with the choice. Was it meant to be a play on the word "etiquette"?
TF: I think Glen came up with the actual idea and Iíd like to tell you that it was an intentional play on words. But honestly, we all thought thatís how it was spelled until after Glen had "EDICATES" painted on his bass drum head. Then it was too late to change our minds - so it just stuck. Scholars we werenít.
60s: Winning the Battle led to your single (the aforementioned Sheís Gone b/w Worried Mind). Where was the 45 recorded?
TF: Itís kind of a funny story. When we won the Battle of the Bands and got the record deal we didnít even have anything original to record, and we werenít allowed to do cover songs. So over a weekend Glen and I got busy and became songwriters. Sheís Gone and Worried Mind were the result. We first came up with a song called A Whole Lot of Soul but then A Little Bit of Soul came out on the charts that weekend and we thought it would look too much like we were trying to copy The Music Explosion. Musicol was actually a room built on the back of a house in Westerville, Ohio but it was a nice facilityÖprobably the best in the area at the time. The owner and engineers were great to us. They hadnít done a lot of rock bands and we had never recorded before. So it was a learning experience for both of us. Sheís Gone got a little bit of air play but not much. It was really a rush when youíre 16 and 17 years old and you hear your song on the radio. It probably got more airplay as background fill on the radio spots for the local clubs where we played.
60s: I believe that you and Glen received writing credit for the single. Did The Edicates write many original songs?
TF: Thatís correct - itís actually "Fleischer - Cataline" on sides A & B but they left out the "c" in my name. The Edicates and virtually all the bands Iíve been in during my 35 years of performing have been cover bands. And honestly thatís why we gigged as much as we did.
60s: Did you write often with Glen?
TF: Glen and I didnít write anymore songs together. On rare occasions weíd throw in an original song that one of the guys in the band wrote. Glen did write several songs for The Godz when he was the drummer in that band. I think Glen wrote or co-wrote at least two of the seven songs on that first self-titled album.
60s: Do any other Edicates recordings exist? Are there any vintage live recordings, or any unreleased songs?
TF: I recorded the band whenever I got the chance. I always felt that it was a great way to critique yourself. A lot of the tape just didnĎt survive. I do have some vinyl, and even a few original Sheís Gone / Worried Mind 45ís. Most of the live stuff that I have recorded came after The Edicates. Thatís when the tape machines got better. Iíve got a ton of recordings from my various bands over the years. In every band it seems like I was the historian so Iíve got a ton of audio, video and print material.
60s: How did The Edicates wind up as house band for DANCE PARTY?
TF: Actually we did some record hops for a local radio DJ by the name of Dave Logan. Jerry (Rasor) heard us at one of those hops and said that he thought weíd be a good band for DANCE PARTY. Our first gig on the show was to promote the record. We lip-synced Sheís Gone and it was a real train wreck. For the first 10 to15 seconds the audio got aired but we didnít hear it through the studio monitors. So we just kind of stood there looking stupid while TV viewers were hearing the song being played. All of the sudden, well into the song, the audio got piped into the studio and we started lip-syncing and acting like we were playing our instruments. We looked pretty hokey. On our second show we played live and it went well. This time the group doing the record promoting was The First Edition with Kenny Rogers. They lip-synced What Condition My Condition Was In and did a lot better than we had done. The rest about Kenny Rogers is history. I think we became DANCE PARTY'S house band because we were a dependable group. We always complied with WLWís wishes, we were always prompt, and I guess in general just easy for them to work with. There were certainly better bands then us who would have loved the exposure but we worked well with the station. I honestly donít remember how many times we played on the show but it was pretty often.
60s: What are your recollections of Jerry Rasor?
TF: Jerry was truly a great person but he was misunderstood by some people. He loved music, he loved peopleÖthe kids. He was a benevolent man and a professional in every way.
60s: Did the band make any other local TV appearances?
TF: DANCE PARTY and their summer version of the show called SPLASH PARTY, which was shot at various local swimming pools during the summer months, were the extent of our TV appearances. I actually have video tape (not film) of one of our DANCE PARTY shows. Itís my prized possession and the first thing people ask is, "how did you get that when in 1967 there were no home video recorders?" I wish I could tell you how, but if I did Iíd have to kill you. Plus, I donít even think WLW has as much footage of the show as I do. I do know that whenever they do a history of local live TV in Columbus the DANCE PARTY clip they use features The Edicates. I think thatís the only archive they have.
60s: When exactly did the band change names to Boxcar?
TF: In the early '70ís we recruited Dan Westbrock from The Dubonettes (another band we played a lot with) and we changed the name to Boxcar. The line up of that band was Glen, Joe, Dan and myself. Boxcar lasted until 1972. After Boxcar everyone went their separate ways. Glen was with The Godz for awhile. Finks and Gates played music on and off over the years. Joe went to Germany and no longer did any performing. I played part time pretty much continuously up until 2001.
60s: Is The Godz that Glen later joined the New York band, or another Columbus group?
TF: Iíve heard that there was another Godz but Glenís is the only one I really know of and they were based out of Columbus. They were very successful. One of their big songs was Gotta Keep A Runnin'. Mark Farner of Grand Funk worked with them and recorded them at The Swamp in Flint, Michigan. Mark Chatfield, their guitar player, now plays for Seger. The Godz as I knew them were Glen on drums and vocals; Mark on guitar and vocals; Bob Hill on guitar, keys and vocals; and Eric Moore on bass and vocals. The album I have is on the Millennium (CasaBlanca) label. I think The Godz were an offshoot of a band called Sky King, but thatís about all I know. Glen and I donít keep in touch anymore.
60s: What other bands or groups did you form or join?
TF: There were many but Iíll spare you the details and mention only the ones that lasted more than a year. Basically there was Skyline and The Works. The cool thing about both of these bands is that we got to play with some of the groups and performers who we never dreamed of playing with when we were younger. Skyline played concerts with Gary Pucket and The Union Gap, Rare Earth, The Byrds, and The Buckinghams. The Works not only played concerts with The Drifters, The Turtles, and Gary Pucket, but we also performed as "The Hermits" for Peter Noone (Herman of Hermanís Hermits). Now if you would have told me back in the days of The Edicates that some day Iíd actually play on the same stage and in the same band as Peter Noone, I would have said you were crazy. So needless to say that was a real high point in my career, and for the rest of the guys in the band too.
60s: How often, and where, do you perform today?
TF: For the past 30 years I have been married and my full time gig has been a project manager for a large insurance company. I have two grown kids and a grandchild on the way. Since The Edicates, I have played in duos, eight-piece soul horn bands, and everything in between. There hasnít been much time in between bands where I havenít played. Though I havenít actually gigged since 2001, I have been doing some writing and recording and plan to start getting back out again soon.
60s: How do you best summarize your experiences with The Edicates?
TF: This sounds so corny but it really is hard to come up with words to describe my experiences with The Edicates and with rock and roll bands in general. Iíve learned so muchÖnot just about music but about running a business and about dealing with people. It rivals the education I received in four years of college. But most importantly, Iíve met and played with some great people. Iíve made some life long friendships. And whatís strange is that you can go without seeing some of these people for years and then when you do get together itís like you were never apart. Next to my family, I wouldnít trade the time Iíve spent in the garages, the basements, the bars, the party houses, the frats, the vans, or lugging heavy gear around for anything in the world.
For more on The Edicates, visit http://members.tripod.com/skylineduo/id16.htm