barry winslow royal guardsmen

ET: After the success of “Snoopy Vs. the Red Baron”, were you given any say in what was recorded next or was it just a given it would be another Snoopy song? Then Christmas of 1967 came around and they wanted us to do “Snoopy’s Christmas” which we weren’t too enthusiastic about but it turned out to be a good move. CHRIS: We got a good response to the shows. CHRIS: We got a good response to the shows. How did that photo shoot come about? He only released it regionally in Florida and it only sold like 2000 copies. BILL: We played the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, the Animals, and the Zombies. Then Christmas of 1967 came around and they wanted us to do “Snoopy’s Christmas” which we weren’t too enthusiastic about but it turned out to be a good move. My parents had just bought me a Farfisa organ which was an Italian combo that was more of a tank than the Vox Continental, it wasn’t as cool. Eventually we told him to leave and finished up with the orchestra without him. When Charles Schulz started drawing Snoopy on his doghouse yelling “Curse you, Red Baron”, Phil went to Dick and said why don’t you put that in the song you wrote about the Red Baron and make it a novelty thing? CHRIS: We wanted to write serious music. JOHN: When “I Needed You” was recorded, Chris had all the lights turned down and he made us step off to the side so we weren’t in his vision. JOHN: When we did the Joey Bishop Show I went to move the boom mic because I didn’t sing at that time and I heard a huge voice come out of the sky and say “don’t touch that”! The Red Baron“, der auch der Titel ihres ersten Albums wurde. I also played this big line of tubular bells with flip flops on! We played Washington State, Oregon, LA, and San Francisco. BARRY: We did one show in Seattle at a huge coliseum called The Round. BARRY: Return was just one of those typical record company things. We were a cover band back in the days before the term caught on. The album was good but they were just throwing the single out there to keep it going. We figured nobody was ever going to hear it any way! We were a cover band back in the days before the term caught on. ET: How close was that version to the one that ended up on Laurie Records? We both went and got hair cuts but we saved our hair and stuffed it in the school’s mail box! BILLY: That was done at Six Gun Territory. The place was packed and the stage started to jerk about every tenth round. ET: Being asked to join The Royal Guardsmen was obviously more attractive than starting with a new group like The Griffins. ET: “The Return of the Red Baron” is probably your most personal album but neither it nor the single did as well as the first ones. I wasn’t about to just let them throw me on the ground so I went to enlist and I cut all my hair off, I wasn’t going to let them do that either. ET: Prior to the first album being released, what types of songs did you play in your live shows? They released that as a single and Billy and Barry wrote it. Tom was the only one in the whole school who had red hair so eventually they figured it was him. They had great harmony together. He ratted me out and we got suspended. We had a full orchestra. They list a few songs on the front but it’s basically a big drawing of the Red baron on the cover and a tiny picture of The Royal Guardsmen on the back. We played it for him and he said play it again, I kind of like that. People were blown away with what we were playing. Even though we had a partition behind us it was still odd. I suspect Charles Schulz didn’t want his Charlie Brown to be associated with that one. BILL: We weren’t too enthusiastic about it in the first place because all Gernhard had told us was to give it three or four chords and a military feel on the drums. It was used for talk shows and to record radio jingles. BARRY: I had turned eighteen already and I was in the draft. We came on stage and started doing all this Procol Harum stuff and they just sat down and didn’t move for two hours! They didn’t take me because I had a bad elbow and back at the time so I had to wear a wig! The stage was backlit so you could barely see a row out, the rest was just noise! Gernhard said we needed a professional photo done. JOHN: Phil Gernhard had promised us he would put a regular song out, which he did with “Baby Let’s Wait”. BILL: For our first session, we did “Baby Let’s Wait”, we did the blues song “I Needed You”, a song Tom wrote called “He Isn’t Here”, and “Leaving Me”. JOHN: We did the Mike Douglas Show. JOHN: Of all the songs we did I think that one had the nicest production. CHRIS: We wanted to write serious music. I didn’t know there were union rules and stuff like that! CHRIS: We got a good response to the shows. Charles looked at it but never sent a response on whether we could do this or not. We had record companies calling, Gernhard was all excited and of course, we were too. ET: Obviously, there was an official image of The Royal Guardsmen that was sold to the public and there was the true image behind that one that was a different group. Eventually we told him to leave and finished up with the orchestra without him. BARRY: I had turned eighteen already and I was in the draft. A lot of people were introduced to this single at a young age and when they flipped the record over they were in for a very jarring surprise on the B side. On “The Return of the Red Baron” we had him saying I hate that little dog Snoopy! The audience didn’t accept it though because it wasn’t what they thought of as The Royal Guardsmen. It didn’t go so then he came back and said now you have to do Snoopy. I also played this big line of tubular bells with flip flops on! The place was packed and the stage started to jerk about every tenth round. We played it for him and he said play it again, I kind of like that. We came on stage and started doing all this Procol Harum stuff and they just sat down and didn’t move for two hours! BARRY: They went long in Ricardo Montalban’s segment and they just threw us in there. They list a few songs on the front but it’s basically a big drawing of the Red baron on the cover and a tiny picture of The Royal Guardsmen on the back. CHRIS: As soon as the guys who were still in school got out for Christmas break we did a West Coast tour. I saw this blue-white light just arc as it shorted out on my lip! Ironically, after I had quit the band in 1969, by 1970 I was playing piano in the honky tonk saloon at Six Gun Territory for two and a half years while I finished up college. It held forty-five thousand people and the stage revolved. JOHN: We did the Mike Douglas Show. I remember them saying they were getting the sound of my flip flops in the recording as I ran down the bells but I didn’t think anyone would be able to hear it. I pulled the metal tag off the amplifier and stuck it to the face of the bass drum. He was in Ocala checking out the local talent to bring to Tampa and Jay told him about us. I think that’s what really kept us going after the Snoopy hit and the record company beating us with the gimmick stuff. Tom was the only one in the whole school who had red hair so eventually they figured it was him. Ironically, after I had quit the band in 1969, by 1970 I was playing piano in the honky tonk saloon at Six Gun Territory for two and a half years while I finished up college. There was a different sound and different tracks you wanted to play. I was into the sound effects and finding things to hit that would make neat noises! BARRY: They went long in Ricardo Montalban’s segment and they just threw us in there. The place was packed and the stage started to jerk about every tenth round. Most of us were still in high school and couldn’t have long hair so they had us wear wigs. It would turn so far one way and then stop and turn the other way. We looked at the legal pad but didn’t think much about it because we had a show to play. ET: How close was that version to the one that ended up on Laurie Records? ET: Did Phil Gernhard have permission from Charles Schulz to use Snoopy? What was the reaction of the record company? I think that’s what really kept us going after the Snoopy hit and the record company beating us with the gimmick stuff. BILLY: We played a community center in Chicago during our 1968 tour for a bunch of hip kids. They list a few songs on the front but it’s basically a big drawing of the Red baron on the cover and a tiny picture of The Royal Guardsmen on the back. BARRY: We did one show in Seattle at a huge coliseum called The Round. I also played this big line of tubular bells with flip flops on! ET: Well the Charlie Brown in that song is a different one from the Peanut’s Charlie Brown and not painted in the most upstanding of lights. Two of the members of The Posmen had quit, the singer and our guitar player. BILL: We didn’t want to do any more novelty type tunes. If you listen closely, Chris does a great vocal on it. It wasn’t against each other it was just the whole business. BILLY: I think that’s what kept us going. They released that as a single and Billy and Barry wrote it. Were you pushing for something else? The Red Baron” or was the idea to get into the studio and record an album as quickly as possible? We were down there one afternoon setting up the equipment when a guy walked up to us with a yellow legal pad. The others, except for Barry, were all in college at that time. JOHN: That’s because they had just made us get it cut! JOHN: Tom and I actually got thrown out of Ocala High School for having long hair. Then Christmas of 1967 came around and they wanted us to do “Snoopy’s Christmas” which we weren’t too enthusiastic about but it turned out to be a good move. We had to chase the mic stands and one of them hit me right in the face! ET: Did you play different tracks live than what was on the albums? We came on stage and started doing all this Procol Harum stuff and they just sat down and didn’t move for two hours! We had people come up to us afterwards and say we came to laugh at the Snoopy boys but you guys can play! Chris Nunley, Barry Winslow, Bill Balogh, Billy Taylor, John Burdett, the late Tom Richards. Then Christmas of 1967 came around and they wanted us to do “Snoopy’s Christmas” which we weren’t too enthusiastic about but it turned out to be a good move. Eventually our attitude did get sour. ET: That’s funny because on the cover of “The Return of the Red Baron” album, you and Tom have the shortest hair in the group. He said hi, my name is Phil Gernhard and I’m a record producer. They list a few songs on the front but it’s basically a big drawing of the Red baron on the cover and a tiny picture of The Royal Guardsmen on the back. You had a choice between French, Latin, or German, ironically no Spanish then, and I chose German. Ironically, after I had quit the band in 1969, by 1970 I was playing piano in the honky tonk saloon at Six Gun Territory for two and a half years while I finished up college. Snoopy's Christmas . It was pure Dick Holler. I remember them saying they were getting the sound of my flip flops in the recording as I ran down the bells but I didn’t think anyone would be able to hear it. The A and B sides of that single were clearly intended for two different audiences. I played the timpani and a cymbal and put in a drum solo. BILLY: Absolutely, we did “Sunshine of Your Love”, “Purple Haze” and lots of Procol Harum. ROYAL GUARDSMEN . I think that’s what really kept us going after the Snoopy hit and the record company beating us with the gimmick stuff. BARRY: We were a rock and roll band doing vocals and harmonies. I was told that I got the gig but I had to have a Vox Continental organ. He was just a wonderful guy, just warm and personal. We figured nobody was ever going to hear it any way! We came on stage and started doing all this Procol Harum stuff and they just sat down and didn’t move for two hours! CHRIS: We got a good response to the shows. Chris Nunley (vocals), I think that’s what really kept us going after the Snoopy hit and the record company beating us with the gimmick stuff. He sang it with all of his heart. ET: That was at Fuller Studios in Tampa? We held the auditions at the American Legion Hall in Belleview, right across the street from Barry Winslow’s house. BILL: After “Snoopy’s Christmas”, the follow up was “I Say Love” which was an original song. Chris Nunley: Yes, the studio was a little two track hole in the wall. BARRY: We did one show in Seattle at a huge coliseum called The Round. ET: Did you play different tracks live than what was on the albums? I don’t remember if the German intro was Gernhard’s idea or mine but I remember walking around the studio writing it. ET: Well the Charlie Brown in that song is a different one from the Peanut’s Charlie Brown and not painted in the most upstanding of lights. That came from Gernhard and his buddy, Johnny McCullough. BILL: Yes, they followed up Return with “Airplane Song” which was another novelty! It was done after the record had already taken off. ET: Did you play different tracks live than what was on the albums? John was from the Tampa area and was trying to manage bands. ET: How did “I Needed You” end up on the B-side of “Snoopy vs. I didn’t know there were union rules and stuff like that! JOHN: Phil Gernhard had promised us he would put a regular song out, which he did with “Baby Let’s Wait”. My mother thought I was on drugs! He only released it regionally in Florida and it only sold like 2000 copies. The album was good but they were just throwing the single out there to keep it going. They list a few songs on the front but it’s basically a big drawing of the Red baron on the cover and a tiny picture of The Royal Guardsmen on the back. From what I understand, they stamped up a new title of “Squeaky vs. the Black Knight” in Canada. ET: How much input did you have into the tracks that went on the album? JOHN: When we did the Joey Bishop Show I went to move the boom mic because I didn’t sing at that time and I heard a huge voice come out of the sky and say “don’t touch that”! BILL: Jay and I did. ET: So as the hierarchy of local groups went at that time, The Royal Guardsmen were at the top of the list? And that’s OK because we did have our 15 minutes of fame. How did that photo shoot come about? We didn’t mind doing whatever they came up with from their writers as long as it was more along the lines of what we wanted to do but they pushed “Return of the Red Baron” on us. The voice then said “to you, yes, don’t touch the microphone”! Schulz eventually gave his consent, they got a pretty healthy chunk of money, and we moved right on down the road. BARRY: Return was just one of those typical record company things. On “The Return of the Red Baron” we had him saying I hate that little dog Snoopy! ET: How close was that version to the one that ended up on Laurie Records? The album was good but they were just throwing the single out there to keep it going. The place was packed and the stage started to jerk about every tenth round. The Kingsmen had a hit with “Jolly Green Giant” and the Sam the Sham had “Little Red Riding Hood”. The place was packed and the stage started to jerk about every tenth round. We were tired, our eyes were puffy and we were just worn out. BARRY: Return was just one of those typical record company things. The Red Baron” or was the idea to get into the studio and record an album as quickly as possible? I had fun with that thing! JOHN: We did the Mike Douglas Show. A lot of people were introduced to this single at a young age and when they flipped the record over they were in for a very jarring surprise on the B side. The audience didn’t accept it though because it wasn’t what they thought of as The Royal Guardsmen. If you listen closely, Chris does a great vocal on it. BILL: He was upset but he got over it quickly. I have to tell you, there are those that consider “I Needed You” to be one of the worst records of all time! ET: I noticed that the track listing is left off the album cover. The true image kept asserting itself. ET: Prior to the first album being released, what types of songs did you play in your live shows? I suspect Charles Schulz didn’t want his Charlie Brown to be associated with that one. JOHN: Phil Gernhard had promised us he would put a regular song out, which he did with “Baby Let’s Wait”. It was done after the record had already taken off. They were going to have a “Shower of Stars” at the Curtis Hixson Hall made up of mostly Tampa groups with Monte Rock the Third as the headliner and we were asked to play. I was only seventeen and I didn’t know what was going to happen if I told them I was the one making that noise! Eventually our attitude did get sour. ET: Did you play different tracks live than what was on the albums? When we got the album done and they listed the songs, Charles Schulz asked us not to include that one. The Royal Guardsmen waren eine Rockband aus Ocala in Florida Werdegang. BARRY: I had a ball with the Christmas record. My mother thought I was on drugs! ET: Well at least that one didn’t have the word Snoopy in it! ET: That’s funny because on the cover of “The Return of the Red Baron” album, you and Tom have the shortest hair in the group. CHRIS: We wanted to write serious music. The album was good but they were just throwing the single out there to keep it going. Chris had the vocals for the Jagger and Burdon styles and Barry had the vocals for the Beatles. BARRY: It was within a month’s time frame, literally, from the time we recorded this thing to the time it started to kick. BILL: We played the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, the Animals, and the Zombies. BILLY: We did do a four or five week tour right around Christmas time though but it was in between recording the album. When you went to the University of Florida at that time, you had to take a foreign language. I was attending the University of Florida at the time, and would come home on the weekends. ET: That’s funny because on the cover of “The Return of the Red Baron” album, you and Tom have the shortest hair in the group. Barry Winslow (vocals/guitar), ET: Prior to the first album being released, what types of songs did you play in your live shows? I was into the sound effects and finding things to hit that would make neat noises! How long was it before you started recording? BILLY: Absolutely, we did “Sunshine of Your Love”, “Purple Haze” and lots of Procol Harum. Chris had the vocals for the Jagger and Burdon styles and Barry had the vocals for the Beatles. The stage was backlit so you could barely see a row out, the rest was just noise! ET: Well at least that one didn’t have the word Snoopy in it! We had to chase the mic stands and one of them hit me right in the face! I knew what it was but I was afraid to tell them! ET: Did you do any touring in support of “Snoopy Vs. We had a full orchestra. He sang it with all of his heart. I had fun with that thing! 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