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Kenneth Howard Smith - VINYL KNIGHTS - Chapter Two - Please Be Mine

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Kenneth Howard Smith's - VINYL KNIGHTS - Chapter 2

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During the years that Billy was off in the Marine Corps, I started my first year of junior high school.  I was still in the school marching band, and was looking for something more.

Around the last of the school year, the Antelope Valley Fair was the biggest thing in the desert for each and every town around there.  It was the first time I had the chance to experience a "battle of the bands" contests.  These guys were good.

One band did not have to complete in the competition, they were already starting to become hot recording artists.  Merrell and the Exiles.  These guys were very slick.  Hot jackets, hot new looking guitars, and loud amplifiers that dug deep into your body.  I remember this guy, the leader of the group thanking everyone that had brought their new single "Please Be Mind", and they started playing the tune.  My ears peaked, I was in shock... as I said to myself, hey, I've heard that song on the radio a lot of times.  And that's the band.  Man, the girls were going crazy.  They started to over-run the stage, the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department made a run for the stage, the same time this girls did, and Merrell and the Exiles keep right on rocking down the house.

What made this music different -- well it was the amplifiers.  It was kind of country, it was kind of rock 'n' roll, and it was kind of Rhythm & Blues, it was Chuck Berry, Little Richard, Ricky Nelson, Freddy Hart, Patsy Cline -- thing ... it was different.  And this was before the Beatles!!