With a career dating back to 1963, Bostonian living legend Travis Pike has had more than five decades in the music business, but the casual listener could be forgiven for not being familiar with his name.
Releasing only 2 singles under his own name on obscure labels (the ballad “Don’t Hurt Me Again”, backed by The Montclairs’ “Feelin’ Good”, released on Pike Productions to tie in with the film release – more about that in due course, and the incredible garage-psych classic “If I Didn’t Love You Girl”, credited to Travis Pike’s Tea Party, Alma Records, 1967), Travis first found his love of song writing when he composed the title track for “Demo Derby”, a 28-minute featurette produced by his father, James A. Pike, which ran as second feature to “A Hard Day’s Night” in 1964, enjoying much success as a result.
Joining the US Navy and stationed in Germany, he then experienced a degree of fame in Hamburg’s legendary Star-Club, billed as “Teddy Pike—Twist And Show Sensation”, before a car accident and resulting shattered ankle brought his twisting days to an abrupt end, and Travis returned to the US in late 1964.
Fast-forward almost 2 years to early 1966, and Pike Productions was ready to make another film, this time aiming to produce the “antithesis of the beach party flicks”, then very popular on the West Coast. While recuperating from his injury and operation, Travis taught himself to play guitar and got busy composing. 10 of his original songs were eventually used in the movie “Feelin’ Good”, including the 2 tracks presented here, featuring Travis himself backed by Oedipus And His Mothers, renamed The Brattle Street East; mixed race group, The Montclairs, who also made a brief appearance in the film, performed two more of Travis’ songs. As inconceivable as it seems today, the inclusion of such a group caused a major issue for the film’s distributors in the Southern states, who declined to book the movie unless the ‘offending’ scene was cut. To his credit, James Pike refused to censor his film; unfortunately, it cost him the level of success he had experienced with “Demo Derby”, and the film sank with little trace.
Fast-forward (again) almost 50 years to 2012, and Travis was able to locate three of the film’s original five reels, successfully restoring 6 music sequences, which he subsequently posted to YouTube, so at least some of “Feelin’ Good” can now be seen and appreciated by a wider audience than its original (limited) theatrical release would have allowed.
State Records are to release 2 of the tracks for the first time, officially authorised and sanctioned by Travis himself, as a limited edition vinyl 7” single in glorious MONO!
Watch Out Woman / The Way That I Need You by Travis Pike & The Brattle Street East is scheduled for a 500 copies limited 7″ vinyl single release on State Records on 10th July 2017.