28 April 2009
"THE NOVAS - WILLIAM JUNIOR" (60s GARAGE ROCK US 1966)
"The Novas" began in 1963 the Dallas / Fort Worth when "John Salih" and "David Browne" got together as a duo playing guitars instrumentals of the day, like "Walk, Don't Run", "Pipeline", "Outer Limits", etc.
They later added "Gary Madrigal" on drums and "Mike Mullen" on bass guitar, thus "The Novas" were born.
They got the name from a new car from Chevrolet, "The Nova".
They started playing instrumentals by "The Surfaris", "The Ventures", and "The Astronauts", as well as simple vocal tunes by "Chuck Berry", ans others like "Louie, Louie".
Their first break was at their "Junior High School" talent show where they played about 3 or 4 songs, and the girls in the auditorium went crazy and started screaming. "The Beatles" had just hit America by then, which explains why the girls was screaming wildly for "The Novas".
They became the most popular band in their school, and in the Dallas / Forth Worth area.
They gradually developed their own sound and discovered they had a real knack for vocal harmonies.
"The Novas" became known as the best harmony band in North Texas and could copy songs that no other 60s Garage bands could do.
Sometime in 1965 "Mike Mullen" had to quit due to parental pressure, and "The Novas" found "David Dennard" from a Surf band called "The Esquires".
"David Dennard" had been playing lead guitar in "The Esquires" but switched to bass guitar with "The Novas".
John Salih and David Dennard in 1966
"The Novas" was influenced by a wide variety of groups such as "The Beach Boys", "The Kinks", "The Yardbirds", "The Who", in addition to soul, as well as romantic melodies from such groups as "Beau Brummels", "Gerry and The Pacemakers", and of course "The Beatles" and "The Rolling Stones".
Dallas, Texas was very conservative and somewhat backwards during the 1960's (see "Eye Mind: The Saga Of Roky Erickson And The 13th Floor Elevators, The Pioneers Of Psychedelic Sound").
Everyone was real straight with crewcut hairstyles. There were a lot of problems if you were in a band and had long hair which actually wasn't very long, it was just shocking for the area.
"The Novas" played a lot of shows at places like "The Studio Club", "The Market Hall" as well as travelling all over Texas, Louisiana, Arkansas and Oklahoma.
25/03/1966: crude flier/handbill on blue paper; the show is billed as Spring Clean-Up (many thanks to Patrick the Lama)
This is the earliest known poster/handbill for "The 13th Floor Elevators". Earlier the same day "The 13th Floor Elevators" appeared on the local "Sump'n Else" TV show.
Gary Madrigal on Ludwig Blue Sparkle Drum Kit 1965 and David Dennard on Fender Precision Bass
"The Novas" opened for bands like "Paul Revere and The Raiders", "Mitch Ryder", "Spencer Davis Group", "The Hollies", "The Byrds", "Blues Magoos", as well as "Sonny and Cher".
"The Novas" began writing their own songs and "William Junior" /"And It's Time" was released in September 1966 in the "S.T.A.R. Label" out of Dallas.
The record charted in Dallas and made it to number 14 and received airplay on some local radio station as well as on "Ron Chapman"'s "Sump'n Else" TV show, where they made frequent appearances.
On the "Sump'n Else" show they lip synced to their 45 and the acetates which appear on this album.
By the summer of 1968 "The Novas" graduated high school, "David Dennard" left the band to go to college and the group was at the end.