Share a Cuppa Tea with..
TOAD from The Cryan’ Shames as he discusses Elmer Fudd, Jackie Kennedy, and singing in the shower.
Summer, 1966, and I was a teen correspondent for an American pop music magazine.
My treasured press card gained me an audience with many of the top musicians of the heady days of the Sixties. Luck delivered an opportunity to interview the amazing band known strangely as The Cryan’ Shames.
A Chicago based group in possession of the most highly energised stage performance ever (and I actually mean EVER – take my word for it), the Shames had boundless enthusiasm, buckets of charisma and the most unique of unique selling points: a mad one-armed percussionist who sported a gigantic steel pirate’s hook where one would expect to see a left hand.
They also had the cutest lead singer west of The Beatles, Thomas Doody, who was known as Toad. Toad had the best singing voice of just about any pop band of any era, as well as the best hair, smile, and personality to go with it; and – wow! – could he throw around a microphone! Put Roger Daltrey to (cryan’) shame.
Fast forward a mere 50 years (FIFTY YEARS?) and I am sharing a cuppa tea with my old pal, Toad. I think I had better sit down for this one.
1) Music or business or music business?
It was always music for me and for everybody that I knew. The business was just an unpleasant afterthought that we all had to deal with.
2) Where has your spiritual journey taken you?
I have been a follower of Christ for as long as I can remember. Sometimes closer, sometimes farther; but always there.
3) What was the first record you bought?
First record I bought was Raunchy by Bill Justice.
4) Last book you read?
The Smoke at Dawn by Jeff Shaara.
5) Who would play you in a movie of your life?
This is easy. It would be Elmer Fudd.
6) When did you last cry?
I cry easily. Music, literature, movies. Anything can move me to tears.
7) What or who is your favourite comic book ever?
I never was into comics. I don’t know why but it just never was.
8) What is in your fridge?
Grapes, milk, chicken, lettuce, cheese, etc. etc.
9) The Who or the Beatles?
The Beatles had the most profound effect on me of any group ever.
10) Do you sing in the shower?
Never sing in the shower. As a matter fact, the only time I ever sing is for performances.
11) Who have you asked for an autograph?
I have asked Paul McCartney for an autograph, as well as Del Shannon, and Arnold Palmer.
12) If all of the original Cryan’ Shame band members could be here to share a cuppa tea with us today, what would you say to them?
If I could have a cup of tea with all of the original members of The Cryan’ Shames, I would tell them how much I loved each and every one of them and what joy they have given me in my life.
13) 1966 or 2016?
14) Who was your youthful celebrity crush?
15) What’s new?
I get up each morning thankful that I still get up each morning. That’s new enough.
Check YouTube for lots of great music by The Cryan’ Shames including their monster hit “Sugar and Spice” and the world’s best ever version of “Hey Joe”.
Well, I had a great natter over a great cuppa. Thanks, Toad. See you in 2066! Keep the kettle hot.
© JANE QUINN