|The Effects were one of Philadelphia’s finest and more accomplished rock groups during the ‘60s. Due to their affiliation with Discoscene magazine and M.W. Lads Records, The Effects were highly-promoted and performed at several high-profile gigs. Jimmy Coulter joined the band after having drummed for The Tensions, another excellent (but competing) teen combo.
You can read more about Jimmy's time with The Tensions, The Effects and other bands on his excellent and detailed website...
|An Interview With Jimmy Coulter
60sgaragebands.com (60s): How did you first get interested in music?
Jimmy Coulter (JC): My interest in music and entertaining started in about the fourth grade. I was in about six plays before graduating. At the graduation ceremonies I received the school’s “Music Award” and performed the tune, ‘Climb Every Mountain’ (at J.W. Catherine Elementary School S.W. Philadelphia).
As far as picking up the drums, it was mostly due to my mother and her not wanting to let a friend of mine gloat over the fact that he had a killer set and would (always) let me know about it. We both thought the Tonight Show drummer was "Boss"--and Buddy Rich, too, of course--but in 1958 Cozy Cole had a bullet on the charts called 'Topsy Part 2' and it featured a drum solo. My older siblings would play that tune often on their record players and you'd hear it on the radio. That was it--next thing I knew my mom bought me a set of Zim Gar drums made in Mexico and the rest is still being written.
60s: When did you join The Effects?
JC: The original formation of The Effects took place without me. I came along later as I was a part of the competition for a few years (The Tensions). What I do know is John, Chuck and Dennis were Philly boys. The original drummer, Joe Diaco, lived on the “Main Line.”
The Effects were: Dennis Bourke, lead guitar and vocals; Chuck Nardelli, rhythm guitar, keyboards, vocals; John Kelly, bass guitar and vocals; and Jimmy C, drums and vocals.
60s: What were your thought sof The Effects while you were still drumming for The Tensions?
JC: I thought The Effects had more potential; they focused on singing like The Beach Boys, Beatles, etc. The Tensions had an instrumental focus like The Ventures; even The Tensions' originals were instrumentals. I was getting the singing bug so I made the jump.
60s: How did you first hook up with The Effects?
JC: Hmmmm, that's a bit fuzzy. We more than likely had a "record hop" together and we started talking...but in order for me to take their old drummer's place. they may have had issues with Joe Diaco. I can't recall. It just may have been a mutual agreement.
60s: What were some of the better gigs that The Effects performed at?
JC: The answer to this question will be interesting as you start to get info hopefully from the other members; as for me, they were all spectacular but I guess one would be the PAL competition at the Academy of Music, playing at Steel Pier, our fan club concerts, numerous mixers at Temple, Drexel and University of Pennsylvania.
60s: The Effects were managed by Jackie Gold and Marty Portnoy, who were know for also managing Big Bands. How did you hook up with them?
JC: That’s a little hazy in my brain. I’m thinking we met them through our Go Go dancers we were working with. They had some great ideas and connections and got us some high profile gigs and work…while it lasted. Again…I’m hoping John and Chuck and Dennis can shine more light on this.
The recording of our tunes for M.W. Lads simply coincided with us getting together with Marty and Jackie and their connection with Discoscene/M.W. Lads Records and the plan to promote the band.
60s: As you’ve indicated, the M.W. Lads label helped promote the band via cardboard singles and coverage in Discoscene Magazine, as well as a promotional 45 coupled with a song by Gass Co. What was The Effects' exact affiliation with MW Lads?
JC: As far as I know, we had no written or verbal contract with M.W. Lads Records for our material (Dennis might have more of an insight on this). In any case, we don’t owe them any money for owed albums and Marty and Jackie worked all that out; we would go on promotion gigs for the magazine and the record label.
60s: How many singles did The Effects record?
JC: We recorded four tracks for the Lads label: ‘Elevator Operator’ and ‘Don’t You Ever Make Me Blue’ were the only ones to make it to an actual vinyl pressing (Note: 'Elevator Operator' was also issued with 'I've Been Told', MW Lads 3407). The others ('I Won't Be There' b/w 'Boys', Virtue Recording Studios acetate) were in the can for future release. They were going to be released but we ran out of time with Dennis being drafted and,as we were under the direction of Portnoy and Gold (Music Associates), it was really up to them; as you know they had the Gass Co., too.
60s: What do you remember about the recording sessions?
JC: Virtue Studios was the place in Philly to record at the time before Sigma Studios came along and a couple others (Frankford/Wayne). Recording techniques were pretty simple compared to today's but efficien--maybe two mics on the drums; no more one overhead and the other had to pick up the bottom end somewhere. Frankie V. was fun to work with. He knew his stuff and had recorded with the biggies; we followed as he instructed. This had actually been my second time at Virtue. The Tensions a few years earlier recorded 'Apache' and 'Journey to The Stars' or 'Walk Don't Run'. I've tried and tried to track down the acetate for that session but our old manager has not been very cooperative.
The Effects sessions went pretty smooth. We had been playing so much that we just knocked them out, very few takes from what I can remember; in fact, we may have just done it as like a live recording.
60: Did The Effects write many original songs?
JC: Dennis, Chuck and John were the songwriters. Dennis wrote 99% of them.
60s: Are there any other recordings by The Effects? Are there other unreleased recordings, or any live recordings?
I wish we had more recorded material, but I can't think of any and I would have thought some of that would have surfaced by now just from the band getting back together. You would have thought someone would have said something. Believe it or not, portable recording devices were not that cheap back in those days.
60s: Do you recall anything specific about the band's appearances on the Ed Hurst TV show, or on George Wood's The Guy With The Goods?
JC: From what I can remember, they were lip-sync affairs. Maybe there was a live one at The Aquarium; I believe that was Ed Hurst and we may have met The Robbs at that gig. Georgie Woods was strange because he was a big time black deejay in Philadelphia and we were as white as you could get but he was trying to crossover and it was the start of UHF channels in those days--a precurser to cable possibly. We more than likely took our equipment, set it up and did our thing. It was nothing like how it would be done today. We could have filmed Ed Hurst's show at a studio too, I seem to remember; we did two shows with him and, again, they were very basic. We set up where the director wanted with our gear--
maybe some props but mostly our amps and drums--put the music on and...away we go. Live TV!
60s: Reportedly, The Effects appeared in an early music video format called the Movie-O-La...
JC: The Movie-O-La was of course a forerunner to MTV and everything. (The film featured) The Effects dancing around somewhat like The Beatles in A Hard Day's Night to our tune 'Elevator Operator.' Naturally it was filmed in and around an elevator. I've seen some info on the machine in general just from my life experiences and basically it was an 8mm projector with a loop of film for as long as the song played. The sound was possibly attached to the film like the big 35mm movies but I doubt it. There had to be a juke box device inside the machine to handle the audio and play the selection. I believe it cost a quarter.
60s: When did The Effects break up?
JC: Dennis or John or Chuck can answer that better--mainly Dennis...because he's the one that got drafted and left.
60s: How do you best summarize your experiences with The Effects?
JC: I truly truly believe The Effects could have gone somewhere bigger--knowing what I know now and the make up of the band. We were on the right track and just starting to tap the talent. We enjoyed the vibe between the members and we were growing musically together, which is sometimes not the case in some bands. We were totally screwed by the draft, and the war; yes, we were inexperienced in some areas but the most important thing was the band chemistry...and that was way cool!