Sunday, April 13, 2008

THE BOYS NEXT DOOR - MANDY

I can't remember how i first discovered this tune, but I know that I loved it immediately. And why not? This group from Indianapolis, Indiana, which had some earlier releases under the name the Four Wheels, was more or less seen as the Beach Boys of the Midwest. They even opened for the Beach Boys several times when they came to Indianapolis. They also performed on tours with Bobby Goldsboro, Jerry Lee Lewis, and Herman's Hermits. Between 1964 and 1967, they released several 45s as both the Four Wheels and The Boys Next Door. They eventually split after lead singer and guitarist Steve Lester decided he wanted to move to the west coast and become a session musician in the psychedelia music scene, while drummer Jim Koss and keyboardist Skeet Bushor wanted to perform R&B music.

The group's music remained relatively unknown outside of Indiana, despite having several national releases under both of their performing names, the Boys Next Door and the Four Wheels. It also didn't hurt that this record in particular was produced by Bright Tunes Productions, which was the Tokens' production company. This record definitely should've been a big record nationwide, but it seems that it's been all but forgotten, especially with its only cd release being an out of print Boys Next Door compilation from Sundazed. Perhaps some enterprising record executive will see and hear this blog and get this song out to the public again? Only time will tell...


2 comments:

Al said...

Hey Steve the bass player from the four wheels/ boys next door, was my neighbor in Indy on Pickwick Drive growin up and the first guy I knew who actually played real R&R gigs! They ruled our HS the first couple years I was there, then us slightly younger psychedelic kids got our chance... He was a great guy, also played tenor sax. I remember how cool it was to hear pre release tapes of "Mandy" and "There is no Greater Sin" down in the basement of the parents' house..

I still have a couple of 45's
al

MS said...

It's interesting to hear some details about the band and Steve/Bread. He's my uncle but for some reason I never heard much about the band from him. I saw one album cover and heard a few songs. It's ironic to me that it's beach music because I knew him best from living with him at the beach. He put me up in SoCal when I moved out here about 10 years ago. He still had a big acoustic bass in the living room then.