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Formation of the Band

Page history last edited by PBworks 16 years, 5 months ago

I found the below photograph in a large personal archive of my father's which contained a large and diverse assortment of photographs, newspaper clippings, negatives, magazines, magazine clippings, letters, memos, and similar materials, all about the band. I can't remember when I first saw this photograph, but I always remember it being my favorite photograph of the Wild Ones, and there were many. This was the photograph that was most used when the group included Jordan Christopher. Standing, from left to right, is Eddie Wright, Tom Graves, and Tom Trick. Jordan Christopher is sitting on the floor, Chuck Alden is sitting on the barrel. The subject of this photo that stands out most to me is my father's snare drum, which (I presume) still has the original head, which is quite worn. My father always regretted selling that drum.

The Wild Ones were formed in 1964 (Alden Interview 1). The original instrumentation was as follows:


  • Jordan Christopher - Lead Vocal
  • Chuck Alden - Guitar / Backup Vocal
  • Jimmy Zack - Electric Piano / Backup Vocal
  • Eddie Wright - Bass / Backup Vocal
  • Tommy Trick ("Trick" was a stage name, his birth name was Thomas Tricarico) - Drums (Alden Interview 1; Tricarico Interview 2)


The band got its start when Jordan Christopher and Chuck Alden met. Chuck Alden recalls:


Eddie [Wright] and I were in the Crests, I had met Jordan when I was working with the Black Crests on a job in Westchester somewhere, like a state fair, it was a carnival or something, and there were a lot of oldies acts on the bill (including the Isley Brothers), he was with Jordan and the Fascinations, we met again three, four weeks later. I was walking up Broadway and he was walking down, Jordan was with Jerry Love, next thing you know we were invited up to his office at 1619 Broadway and we were looking at tunes and all of that, and we hit it off and became friends and decided after some time that we wanted to start a band. (Alden Interview 1)


Once this was decided (and Eddie Wright was brought into the fold), they began to search for a drummer. Recalls Thomas Tricarico:


…I was playing in a road band, and I was playing with Harvey K & The Larks, and I was playing in his band at Trudy Heller’s, it was a big place in the [Greenwich] village, she owned a couple of bars in the neighborhood, including Trudy Heller’s and the Eighth Wonder, before Harvey K I was playing with another guy at the Eighth Wonder, Ronnie Paris or something like that, then I started playing at Trudy Heller’s...who was I playing with when I met Chuck? It was upstate somewhere, it was Harvey K and the Larks, and we were backing up the Crests, and it was right after [Johnny] Maestro left, and Chuck was singing in his place, and we were backing them up, it was a record hop show or something like that. And then I met Chuck and he, oh, he liked the way I played and he knew Jordan and Eddie, and they came to see me at Trudy Heller’s, when I was playing with Harvey K, and that’s when we decided to put a band together. (Tricarico Interview 1)


As mentioned earlier, originally Jimmy Zack played electric piano. Neither Alden nor Tricarico could recall how Zack was brought into the fold (Alden Interview 2).


Once this was decided, the group began rehearsing at the Educational Alliance building at 197 East Broadway on the Lower East Side of Manhattan. The group's first job was at the Town Hill in Brooklyn at Eastern Parkway and Bedford Ave (Alden Interview 1). Dave Turner (a comedian and M.C.) and Lotte the Body (an exotic dancer) were also featured on the bill. The presentation began Friday, August 14th, 1964, and continued for one full week (Town Hill; Alden Interview 1).

Neither Tricarico nor Alden could recall the name of the band's manager at this time (Tricarico Interview 1; Alden Interview 1).


Jimmy Zack played in the band for a very short period. The only job he played with the Wild Ones was the Town Hill. According to Alden Interview 2: "Just a few months, from what I can remember...I only remember that one gig [the Town Hill], he might've played another one, I know he didn't play in the Peppermint Lounge...so, I'd say, one or two gigs, or two or three months, something like that...."


In a newfound search for an keyboard player, the group found Tom Graves. Graves was an acquaintance of Tricarico (Alden Interview 1). Graves was a native of Germany (Wild Ones write-up). At the time that the Wild Ones wanted him to join the group, he was living in Greenwich Village in Manhattan and an undergraduate student at New York University (Alden Interview 1). The following is a recorded dialogue between Alden and Tricarico (Alden Interview 1):


Alden: "How did we find Graves?"

Tricarico: "I knew Graves.”

Alden: “That’s how it happened? I remember, we went to Brooklyn, he was playing, and he was going to college, and we talked him out of going to college to play, and the idiot did it! I think he was still going to, where the hell was he going...somewhere in the village? ...NYU, that was it.” (Alden Interview 1)


Now, the Wild Ones has been formed. At this time, the instrumentation of the band was as follows:


  • Jordan Christopher - Lead Vocal
  • Chuck Alden - Guitar / Backup Vocal
  • Tom Graves - Organ / Backup Vocal
  • Eddie Wright - Bass / Backup Vocal
  • Tommy Trick - Drums


The group will remain this way until Jordan Christoper leaves in 1966 (Alden Interview 2).


Next Page: Early Days at the Peppermint Lounge

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