Paul Revere, founder of Paul Revere & The Raiders, passed away yesterday at the age of 76. His death was announced on the band’s official website. He was 76.
The cause of death has not been released, but he had been in poor health for the past year or so. In July, Revere reluctantly announced his retirement after 56 years in the music business.
Believe it or not, Paul Revere was actually his real name. Before going into the music business, Revere owned some restaurants in his native Idaho and became friendly with a young singer named Mark Lindsay who worked between gigs at a bakery that supplied Revere with his hamburger buns. Revere and Lindsay would soon collaborate musically. One of their first recordings was “Louie Louie”. But around the same time another group from the Pacific Northwest would record the song. They were known as The Kingsmen and they would have a number one hit with it.
But success would eventually come Revere’s way. Between 1965 and 1971, with Revere on keyboard, Lindsay on lead vocals, Drake Levin on lead guitar and Phil Volk on bass, Paul Revere and The Raiders had nearly a dozen Top 20 hits. Among their more notable hits were “Kicks”, “Good Thing”, “Him or Me (What’s It Gonna Be?”). Their final hit “Indian Reservation (Lament of the Cherokee Reservation Indian)” would prove to be their only number one hit. Aside from their musicianship, Paul Revere & The Raiders also stood out because they wore uniforms from the Revolutionary War. Well, with a name like Paul Revere what else could they have worn?
While Lindsay would leave the group in the mid-1970’s to pursue a solo career, Revere kept touring with the Raiders until he could tour no more. Now Paul Revere has a permanent gig in rock ‘n roll heaven.
UPDATE: I have amended the video to spotlight Revere on the keyboard, rather than Mark Lindsay’s vocal on “Kicks”. If you still want to listen to “Kicks” just click here. But this is Revere playing on an early instrumental in a live performance circa 2011 called “Like, Long Hair”. Originally released in 1961, Revere makes no bones about stealing it from Rachmaninoff “because he was dead and wasn’t using it” and giving it some boogie-woogie. Hopefully, some aspiring young piano player will come along and honor give the same kind of reverence to Revere.