Book Reviews

They Came To Play: Stories From The Early Days Of Rock
By Garret Mathews
Foreword by Bruce (Cousin Brucie) Morrow

(McGregor Publishing)

Garret Mathews asked 80 rock 'n' roll and pop survivors from the 50's and 60's to reminisce about their early days and he assembled those tantalizing tales in this newly released book from McGregor Publishing.

A number of entries will be of interest to Classic Bubblegum fans. Among those are from Dean Kastran of Ohio Express, Tom Schiffour of The Shadows Of Knight, William Maybray of the Jaggerz, Frank Jeckell of 1910 Fruitgum Co., and Ivan Browne of the Lemon Pipers.

But the whole book is filled with one-hit-wonder types with one-in-a-million stories. Such as Bo Savich of Johnny And The Hurricanes who says that he still gets fan letters 40 years after having a hit with Red River Rock. "To tell you the truth, I'm reluctant to answer them. There were a lot of girls back then and, well, you know."

More than a "where are they now?" and complain and gripe collection, They Came To Play demonstrates how fate delivers success and how easily it all slips away.

Capturing and celebrating an important time in history (and not just the music!), this is a must-have book for serious rock 'n' roll and bubblegum collectors alike. - Andrew Bergey

Bubblegum Music Is The Naked Truth: The Dark History of Prepubescent Pop, from the Banana Splits to Britney Spears

Kim Cooper & David Smay, Editors

Feral House, 2001

Andy reads two books a year. Ask him to read yours: