The Remains hailed from the unofficial capital of New England, Boston, Massachusetts. The members of the band, Barry Tashian, Vern Miller, Billy Briggs and Chip Damiani, all met while Freshmen students at The University of Boston in 1964. From day one the band was in a groove. And the kids at BU knew it. The legend goes: acoustic dorm room rehearsals with kids spilling out into the halls led to the kids in Kenmore Hall setting up a rehearsal spot for the band in the basement. Kids from all over Boston started showing up to hear them groove. Then came the first gigs already filled with adoring fans pouring out into the streets. Epic Records heard of the legend and the band was signed in the waning hours of 1964.
The band released their first single in March of 1965. The Tashian penned Why Do I Cry was sophisticated and catchy. A real gem of production. But we're going to jump ahead and feature the band's third single. And of course, we're going to flip the sides.
The Flip-Side of their March 1966 release was composed by the rhythm section of the band, Vern Miller, the bassist, and Chip Damiani, the drummer. Once Before is a rocket fueled attack that would have made The Yardbirds proud. And damn, it's catchy too! Tashian's vocals are matched beautifully by his edgy guitar tone and wonderful rhythm guitar work and tastefully subtle fills.
The A-Side was a cover of the traditional blues number, Diddy Wah Diddy, and certainly picked up from Bo Diddley's version. The Remains do a great, peppy version that tracks closely with Mr. McDaniels' take on the number. It was a solid choice for the A-Side.
Everything was going great for The Remains. Epic Records moved them to New York, took them into a studio to record a full length album of killer track after killer track. Then they got the call. The Remains were tagged to open for The Beatles on what would prove to be the band's last ever tour. The Remains got a spot performing live on The Ed Sullivan Show. Hullabaloo was next. Everything was looking perfect. But just days before The Remains were to take off on the tour, drummer Chip Damiani decided he didn't want to go. What?!?!?!?! The band soldiered on without him but the remains of the band felt that it wasn't the same without him. So just as their album was released, the band broke up. Sheesh!
Barry Tashian went on to play with numerous Nashville-based acts including performing with Gram Parsons and Emmylou Harris and is still active in music today.