This interview with The Remains' frontman Barry Tashian was conducted in 1998 for my ill-fated, uncompleted history of Nuggets and the garage/punk bands of 1960s. This is its first publication.
Writer Jeff Jarema described The Remains as the great American hard rock band of the mid-'60s.
Let's start with your own background prior to The Remains. Had you been in any bands previously?
In between that you visited Europe, and kind of soaked up what was going on in that environment.
Right. Yeah, that's what happened. Only we're sounding better. Now, I'm glad that this box set [Rhino's four-CD Nuggets package] is out, and that The Remains are represented by two tracks. "Why Do I Cry" was a song that, when we started putting the band together that September, I remember I just sat in my little apartment and put that song together in about twenty minutes. And I knew it was something cool. And my friend Bert was sittin' right there. So, that turned out to be the band's first single. And I think it got up to # 3 in Boston. It came out in March of...'65, I think it was.
I like "Once Before" a lot, too. We were just playing that this weekend. They got us a funkier sound down there in Tennessee, just like they said they would. And I'm really glad we came here, because that's my favorite studio stuff that The Remains did. I think we did about eight tracks down here, maybe more. "Time Of Day," "Me Right Now," "Once Before," "Can't Get Away From You,""But I Ain't Got You," "Diddy Wah Diddy"--how many is that?
Oh, I forgot that one. So anyway, that and "Don't Look Back," which we did in New York with our new drummer, N. D. Smart. N. D. was great, but he just wasn't the same as Chip, so that kind of spelled the breakup of the band after the Beatles tour.
It was with us!
Oh yeah. I was watching it, and I thought, "Who told them about us?" It's so close, so close. The main difference being that The Remains never had a big hit. But as far as breaking up after a big tour--very, very close. I thought they did a great job.
Barry & Holly Tashian's albums, as well as Ticket To Ride, Barry Tashian's book about The Remains' tour with The Beatles, are available for purchase from their website, Barry & Holly Tashian