The Palace Guard

Though Emmit Rhodes' name is often mentioned when discussing The Palace Guard (Falling Sugar), his replacement, drummer Terry Rae, was with the band during the height of their popularity. While Terry went on to play for a number of successful bands, he agreed to recall his days with the Palace Guard for

Terry Rae and the Palace Guard

Beatles, Beatles, Beatles. We ate, drank and slept Beatles 24/7. Everyone I knew was caught up in the scene. After seeing A HARD DAY'S NIGHT, I knew that I had to be in a rock band. I used to listen to the album tracks over and over while playing my bongos with a pair of sticks that my mother had gotten me. I learned bass drum highhat patterns from Ringo.

The first band I played with was a real garage band called The Scramblers. I saw these guys playing surf songs in this garage around the corner from my house. They sounded good, but they had a guy that had no clue how to keep a beat banging away on this old marching drum. Suddenly the guitar player, Rick, called out to the group of people standing around watching, "Can anyone else play the drums?" That was the moment that changed my life.

I later joined up with a group we called The Driftones. With the influence of Danny Horrter, our lead singer, we became a clone of The Rolling Stones. One night Danny took us all up to Hollywood to see The Yardbirds at the Hullabaloo. (That's when) Danny took us back stage to meet The (Palace) Guard. I thought they were great, so later that week when I received a call asking me to audition for them, I jumped at the opportunity. I became the Guard's new drummer. Emmitt (Rhodes) had left the Guard to play full time with his own project, The Merry-Go-Round. There was, funny enough, another drummer, Danny Gorman, who had also auditioned for the Guard when I did. He ended up meeting Danny Horrter and taking my spot with The Driftones. They later changed their name to The Yellow Payges.

Don Beaudoin (pronounced Boodwane) was the leader of The Palace Guard. He played guitar and was the vocal arranger. The strongest part of the group was their great vocal abilities. John and Dave Beaudoin were both front men singing and playing tambourine. They would sing I Got You Babe to each other just like Sonny and Cher! Chuck McClung played (George Harrison style) lead guitar, keyboards and sang harmony. Rick Moser was one of the premier bass guitar players around. He also would sing harmony and lead on Act Naturally, The Beatles (via Buck Owens) tune that cracked everyone up. I played drums, and would sing, too. My song was Sporting Life by Ian Whitcomb.

Emitt had plans to leave The Guard back when I first met them. He used to bring up his acoustic guitar and sing Yesterday at the Hullabaloo while he was with The Guard. I think this gave him the inspiration to play guitar full time, and to do only his material. The Guard had many people writing songs for them and basically he did what he had to do. It was the smart move at the time. Live and You're A Very Lovely Woman were classics to me.

As far as the Beaudoin's being from Canada, it's the same as anyone you see today. You just get out there and play for people. If you have something good, you might be discovered. Gary Bookasta discovered The Guard and became their manager. I don't know all the details.

The whole Don Grady ("Robbie Douglas" on MY THREE SONS and later a member of The Yellow Balloon and Windupwatchband) thing shouldn't even be mentioned as far as I am concerned. People write about that one record they did with Don (Little People in 1965) like it was The Guard's claim to fame. It was publicity for a new group, and a demo for Don Grady. I can't tell you anything else about him.

The band name and image was a group concept with help from management. Gary Bookasta had a lot of creative influence over the group. The Hullabaloo was set up by Gary to be a showcase for the Guard as much as it was (to be) a nightclub. It was all about making a bunch of kids as big as the Beatles. Nothing has changed in that regard, except you can do it these days on MTV.

The uniforms were great! It gave us an image on stage that was very strong. The girls loved it, too! We never wore any kind of hat; we had too much hair for that.

The Guard did not play any other clubs on the Sunset Strip. We would do mini concerts at high school auditoriums. Casey Kasem would put these dates together and promote them on KRLA radio. We saw a lot of very good bands play in those days. Some were working their way up, or trying to get a record deal. The Sons of Adam and The Eastside Kids were both very good groups that would play the Hullabaloo as much as possible.

The Palace Guard was very fortunate to have many connections in the business. With all the airplay we got on or records and with the Hullabaloo to showcase us, there wasn't anyone as popular as The Guard in the Los Angeles area. National distribution of a record did not happen in the '60s for the smaller record labels. I don't know why we didn't fight more for it, but we just kept on playing and hoping for the best.

We were big fish in a small lake. Our so-called tour took us across America on Route 66, all the way to Canada. The Guard used to cover many of the hits that were big in LA. Talk Talk by The Music Machine was a hit song here, but not in New York! It was weird. People would look at you play like you were from another planet.

We used to get a lot of publicity in LA. We (performed on) GROOVY, 9TH STREET WEST, SHIVAREE and WHERE THE ACTION IS. On the road, however, we (didn't have any publicity)! Due to bad management of our tour, we all became burnt out. By the time we got back to LA, it was over for The Palace Guard. What was equally bad was seeing that my old group, The Yellow Payges, had become close to Gary Bookasta, and while we were gone, had taken our spot at the Hullabaloo. It's only rock and roll, but we love it.

After (The Palace Guard) I played with many groups: Sweet Wine, Jamme, Space (aka Humans), Strawberry Alarm Clock (later line-up built around the man who wrote Incense & Peppermints), Festival of Lights, The Automatics, Flamin' Groovies (recorded Shake Some Action), Sales Brothers, Blue Cheer, Hollywood Stars, Strangers, and The King St. Dukes. (I also) recorded England with Sparks.

(Of The Palace Guard songs), I really liked A Girl You Can Depend On. Playgirl (not the song recorded by The Knickerbockers and Prophets Three) was a song that (nobody) else would do except The Guard. Saturday's Child was to be our next single, but The Monkees released it before we did. And that, as they say, was that.

"Copyrighted and originally printed on by Mike Dugo".
"Listen live, online to their music at Beyond The Beat Generation, 60's garage and psychedelia".