An Interview With Rick Rogerson
60sgaragebands.com: How did you first get interested in music?
Rick Rogerson (RR): It’s hard to say how I first got interested in music. It probably stems from early school years when you were required to choose an instrument to learn. The violin and tuba were definitely not the cool thing at that time so I chose the guitar. I would also play the organ later in the band's life.
60s: Where and when was The Tides In formed?
RR: The band first got together in late 1963 or early 1964. It consisted of my friend, Pat Durso, who had a snare drum and cymbal and me. We would alternate our sessions between his attic and my basement. This would also alternate the migraine headaches we would inflict upon family members during our sessions. After about six months we added another friend, Frank Kamine, who also played guitar. In early 1965 we became more organized. We decided to become a band. I'm not exactly sure who came up with the name Tides In.
The band consisted of Rick Rogerson, guitar/keyboard/vocals; Pat Durso, drums/vocals, Frank Kamine, guitar and John Camilleri, bass guitar/vocals.
60s: How would you describe the band's sound? What bands influenced you?
RR: The Rolling Stones, Beatles, Frank Zappa, et al, were of course major influences. If I had to describe our sound in two words I'd say stoned rock.
60s: Where did the band typically play?
RR: There were gigs at private parties, which I vaguely recall. We were limited to the New York and New Jersey area. I don't recall any battle of the bands per se. However, I do remember playing as opening act for Alive-N-Kickin’ at one of the Hullabaloos. I believe that band went on to be fairly successful. In case you are unfamiliar with a Hullabaloo, it was like the precursor to a discotheque. I distinctly recall the Willow Brook. The majority of the audience was mental patients. It was a little unnerving, but when I think about it, we were as crazy, if not more so, than they were. We also auditioned somewhere in Greenwich Village, New York. I'm not sure of the place name but The Wall comes to mind. We went backstage to unload our equipment and noticed a vast array of male/female sexual organ props 10' long and 5' wide respectively, made of papier-mâché on wheels. We didn't get the job. That was probably a good thing.
We played at the following. I can't remember the dates:
Hullabaloo - Brooklyn
Hullabaloo - Lindenhurst, Long Island
Hullabaloo - Queens
Tambellis – New York City
Willow Brook State School - Staten Island
Kingsbridge Vets Hospital - Bronx
60s: Did The Tides In have a manager?
RR: My father was manager and financier. He set up most all the playing dates and bankrolled the equipment (amps, drums, etc.) purchases.
60s: What were the circumstances leading to the Sanfris 45?
RR: We began to record our songs on a home reel-to-reel. In early 1967 we went to a local recording studio, and at $20 an hour, recorded ‘Trip With Me’ and ‘Go Away From My Door.’ Our home recordings were actually better. All original songs were written by Pat Durso and I.
60s: Where did The Tides In record?
RR: In the fall of 1967, my father took us to the Sanfris Records recording studio at 1674 Broadway in New York City. We recorded the two songs and signed a publishing contract with Sanfris Records on October 13, 1967. The royalties were three or four cents per copy sold. During subsequent months we recorded the music for vocalist Tari Lane (‘When Summer Comes’ and ‘He is Gone’) and The Delmars (‘Pool of Sunshine’ and ‘Golden Dawn’), both on the Sanfris label. The recording sessions were what one would expect—a soundproof room with recording equipment behind a glass window. I think we completed each song with two takes each. It was a little strange playing the music first and then adding the vocals.
60s: Do any other '60's Tides In recordings exist? Are there any vintage live recordings, or unreleased tracks?
RR: In 1968 we added John Camilleri (bass guitar) to the group. I'm not sure why or when but we changed our name to Stonehenge. In late ‘68 we recorded ‘Mary’ and ‘Satan's Voice’ at Richcraft Recording Co., 1706 Flatbush Ave. in Brooklyn. I have the original reel-to-reel master tape, which included all takes.
60s: Did the band make any TV appearances?
RR: There were no TV appearances or video to my knowledge.
60s: What year and why did the band break up?
RR: I 1969 I was drafted. Frank went to work for the New York Department of Sanitation. John went to work for his father in upstate New York. Pat…I don't know. I guess it was for the best. The band was becoming more like work and less like fun.
60s: What about your career today? What keeps you busy?
RR: After an 11 year stint in the U.S. Army I went to work for the Federal Government as a Telecommunications Specialist at the U.S. Secret Service. I married, divorced, had three kids, and six grandkids later I retired in January 2007. I still enjoy playing the guitar for my personal pleasure.
60s: How do you best summarize your experiences with The Tides In?
RR: What a Blast! I don't think any of us had any expectations of fame and fortune. We did it because it was fun! Everything was good!
As far as the band's popularity, I don't recall any “money for nothing and chicks for free.” Garage bands were a dime a dozen in the ‘60s. It appears that we are much more popular 40 years later. ‘Trip With Me’ has been compiled on albums The Chosen Few Volume I (A-Go-Go Records), Psychedelic States: New York, and on the CD Music For Abnormal People. I also find it on several radio station play lists worldwide. We copy wrote that song a long time ago at BMI. I guess it becomes public domain after a while. Several years ago a gentleman by contacted me by the name of Mike Markesich doing research on ‘60s garage bands for a book. I don't know whatever became of that (Note: It’s coming!).
45rpm – ‘Trip With Me’ / ‘Go Away From My Door’ (The Tides In, Sanfris Records)
45rpm – ‘When Summer Comes’ / ‘He Is Gone’ (Tari Lane, Sanfris Records)
Reel-to-Reel – ‘Mary’ / ‘Satan's Voice’ (Stonehenge, Richcraft Studio, Unpublished)
Vinyl Demo 45rpm - ‘Mary’ / ‘Satan's Voice’ (Stonehenge, Richcraft Studio, Unpublished)