***CAUTION: Large images and some totally-worth-it load time ahead.***
Welcome to the first edition of REBEAT RAVER, a Recurrence dedicated to those amazing 1960s music magazines and their illustrious material. I could think of no better subject to kick off the festivities than Mark Lindsay, who saturated the teen rags for the majority of the decade. What was it about him? His tall, dark, handsome, mysterious presence? His soul-soaked R&B voice? His ponytail?
Most people know that Mark Lindsay was the lead singer/front man for Paul Revere and the Raiders, a band that, in my opinion, often gets short-changed when it comes to its contribution to ’60s soul/blues/R&B. Sure, it had some incredible pop hits, but at the root of its songs were gritty, crunchy and aggressive musical lines and lyrics. So the members wore full-on colonial garb. Who cares? It’s all about the music, man!
For a primary on “Madman Marcus,” as was his Raider nickname, we turn to Flip‘s countdown of 10 things Mr. Lindsay couldn’t do without, originally printed in its July 1967 issue:
tl;dr – He likes cars, ads, tea, and YOU! (He likes you, he really likes you!)
But sorry, he probably likes his car more. This piece in the August 1967 issue of 16 boosts the image of Mark as a daredevil and obsessed with risking his life for high speeds, undeterred by a near-brush with death involving a homemade vehicle when he was eight. Since 16‘s core readership would probably be bored by this article’s second fuel-injected paragraph, we can only assume its contents was just a giant euphemism for something that might have interested them more…
With a headline that might now be deemed “clickbait,” Mark Lindsay confides “the bad things he does” to his loyal 16 readers in its September 1967 issue:
A little later in Teen Life‘s July 1968 issue, we see a more focused, serious side of Mark, evidenced by the title. Spoiler alert: the reason his friends worry about him is that he works just too damn hard.
True, in the latter years of the Raiders, especially after the departure of many core members (Phil “Fang” Volk, Mike “Smitty” Smith, Jim “Harpo” Valley, and Drake Levin, who left in 1966 to join the National Guard), Lindsay became the group’s prime producer and songwriter. With an ever-changing lineup, which, at one point included future country star Freddy Weller (and Charlie Coe, pictured in the below pinup from 16, September 1967), Lindsay truly had his hands full.
Only Lindsay and the band’s eponymous co-founder Paul Revere stayed with the group for its entire duration, even through the “New Raiders” years, as 16 so eloquently put it on the below pinup from August 1967:
Though PR&TR did end up disbanding as the 1960s came to a close, Lindsay had some success afterward with hits like “Arizona” and, most notably, the #1 tune “Indian Reservation,” which, although billed under the Raiders’ moniker, was actually Lindsay solo.
Today, he’s still on the road, looking healthy (sans ponytail), and still exhibiting some of those high “kicks,” even almost 50 years later. Guess those fast cars weren’t such a danger after all.
(Cover banner from Tiger Beat, April 1966.)