Cowsill's Concert Book 1970
This is the one I got in Manhattan, Kansas on October 3, 1970.
Click here to see photos from that show.
Inside Front Cover
People always seem to wonder how it is that success didn't spoil The Cowsills.
And it turns out to be so simple. They're appreciative of what they are. They've worked hard to get where they are. There are no stars in our family. If the little ones begin to bet a bit swelled, they immediately get put down by their elders. And the younger ones have to admit that they've gotten there through the older ones' efforts.
Actually, there's no reason for "star" complex. The achievement should be glory enough. We take it one step at a time. When we reach one goal, then it's on to the next. The kids' attitude is "that's cool, now we can do something else." We've never gone after success greedily or desperately. To receive a gold record is like whipped cream on a cake.
The kids know how to laugh at themselves. We watch it; if it's not fun, we change it.
No one of us would ever think of trying to tie another into The Cowsills. When one wants to leave, he's free to go. When Bill decided that is was time to strike out on his own, it wasn't earthshaking, even though as one of the original "Cowsills," he was a backbone and leader of he group. We've always tried to give each the spotlight as an individual performer, showcased within the group. Individual identity can't play second base to a group image.
When we think about the future, it's one step at a time. The kids know we're not planning their futures. We don't know their futures; we simply offer them one.
We have never lost sight of the fact that most important is first to have a successful family. Yet we don't want to come off as the perfect family. A family is composed of separate personalities, and more than likely there's a bit of the rebel in each of us. It's unrealistic to expect to bat 1000 every time.
We look on ourselves as individuals who comprise a family unit, and we don't confuse our professional image with our own personalities.
And if we've found success as well as happiness, we're proud of both achievements.
This page was blank, but this is where I added info from the concert I went to including the setlist as follows:
Two By Two
The Rain, The Park and Other Things
When I'm 64
The Cruel War
He's Still Only A Child
Killed In Velvet
I'll Walk The Line
Red Ring Of Fire
Honky Tonk Woman
That's What You Get For Loving Me
Puff The Magic Dragon
We Can Fly
Silver Threads and Golden Needles
Who Will Stop The Rain
Dancing In The Streets
The difference between now and then for us as performers is that we started out just playing dances. So people danced while we played. Now they sit and listen.
"Then" is when Barry taught me that one beat, and I was off. I was hooked. It was a double bass beat, and it took me a month to master, but from then on I could make up my own.
Now I think the group as a whole has gotten into the music part more. We used to only think about the voices. Now we're into the whole thing.
I dig The Beatles. They're always moving. Onwards and upwards. You know, if you stay with one thing too long, you get a mental block and you blow it. We're like that, always trying something new simply because the other way would be a bore.
When you come right down to it, it's not any different being a "Cowsill" than being a Smith, a Carter, a Jones, or whatever. You're just a human being with likes and dislikes.
But we do travel more than most people. It's interesting to see what types of people there are. Like what I hate is the "cold type." I hate to sign checks in a hotel. They always look at me and ask where my older brother is.
Or I call the hotel operator in my "telephone voice" and ask for the time. And she says, "Yes Madam, the time is ..."
When I joined the group onstage, my previous musical experience included football, acting as road manager for The Cowsills with Dick, and the tambourine.
But being a performer really hasn't made any difference. No big head. I've had this same personality since I was "yeah" big; I've just moved it from here to there. Having a million seller is my business. One of the best things about being a "star" is that you don't have much time to think about it.
We've been in this business for more than ten years, working, waiting, expecting success to happen. We'd been expecting it for so long that when we received that first gold record, it didn't change us. The "glory" is in yourself; your achievement. Keep it there. You can't let it affect your attitudes.
We got a kick out of being a comic book. That's a king of "glory." But it was fun. Without a sense of humor, you can really get messed up. It's the element that helps you get to the top.
Outside people think "the family that sings together stays together." What they don't know is how much trouble that is -- staying together -- happily. Like it can be a drag going to school with your little brothers. But if you have to do something, you adjust to it and like it.
We're a group as performers and together as a family so much that even my mother and father want out sometimes. You know seven kids running around could get you a bit nutty. But if you get uptight, you reason it out.
Music is just a part of my life. Boy! Was I psyched out when I got my first set of drums! When I was growing up, I used to do all The Beatles songs. I do our stuff now, but I still listen to The Beatles on the headphones when the other guys are rehearsing. We just moved up real slow and even. Every group has to go around impersonating someone else before it gets established and can go out on its own. We did The Beatles, which was cool.
We all get along, but you should see John and me fight it out in the hall when John turns off the TV. Paul gets airsick. I have a rock stomach. Susan can be a little itch, always trying to get in the last lick. Mom is a worry wart, but then, that's what mothers are for. Bobby is a really nice guy. He can dig what's happening for each of us because he's older, and he's been there. We know what we're going through, and I'm not sweating it. Brothers can tell you things.
You do get a little static being a Cowsill. Kids think we're going to be snobs, which we aren't. I think they'd like to say something else, but something else comes out. Once they know us, though, everything's cool.
I get along with everybody. In fact, what I like best about school is the social part, the other kids, especially the girls.
Sometimes I think I must be going through a "weird" stage. It's kind of a "what's happening scene." I overdo things.
I'm always spilling things. Always late. I forget I'm supposed to be places. Never have a watch. I'm a regular clock myself. I think "It's now 12:30." Sometimes it is, but sometimes it's not. I know I'll get over it, but that's the future. It's a matter of living through it.
People always want to know what difference it makes having a top record. Well, it shows that doing what we want to do is making the right move.
I've been involved in this thing since I was 13, when I played my first professional job. I decided, "I'm going to become famous." There was no one there to debate it. When it happened, I wasn't excited. Happy, yes; but not excited. When we finally took off, nothing had changed, really. Although we play many more concert and campus dates, we do many of the songs we've always done. They're new to the public, but not to us.
It isn't any different making friends if you're a "Cowsill" than if you weren't. My friends meet me and accept me as me. They wouldn't know the Bob Cowsill onstage.
Onstage you have to play a role. But live performances are fun. You do so many shows that sometimes you don't feel like getting up there, but once you're up there you forget that you didn't want to, and you want to.
It's great to now be able to say what we want to record. Whatever we like, we do. And it works. Because usually what we want, people like. After all, we've got all the age groups right here.
We all like what we're doing or we wouldn't be doing it. And I think I'll be sticking with music. When you've done something for over nine years, you don't shake it off. It's become a part of you life - a part you enjoy. And isn't that the name of the game?
I like to talk. And I'll tell you a secret. When my brothers are all nice to me, they let me come along, and I like that. What's really fun is like being with my brothers and they say, "Hit the funny chord."
I did We Can Fly album first. I had wanted to work because I thought it was cool. They used to practice on the porch in Newport, and I kept asking. I found out that if they didn't yell at me, that meant I wasn't in the group. Finally they yelled at me. I was in.
What I like best about concerts is afterwards when all the fans come backstage. One time they made us wait until all the fans were gone. I didn't like that. I cried when I didn't get to meet Davey Jones of The Monkees.
I like to travel, but I can't always take my poodle, Suebar. When he was a baby, we had to. Mom would put him in her pocket when we were in a place you couldn't have a dog. But he kept sticking his head out
I like singing, but what I really like best now that I'm working is having my brothers like having me around.
When I first joined the group, I was scared to death. I'd been a star in my own home for 20 years, but suddenly I was out there in front of the world; me, a "kitchen singer!" The kids had to bribe me with a promise of a new dress for every song I recorded with them when they asked me to do The Rain, The Park, and Other Things.
I never worried that my joining the boys was a turn-off to teen-age audiences. It just broke the image The Beatles had created in the world of a pop group - four guys.
Bud and I consider our children "little giants." We are immensely proud of their individual and cooperative success. And nothing could please us more as parents than their willingness to share the excitement of their lives with us.
Design: Carl Schenkel
Photography: Ed Caraeff
Cowsills Fan Club
9255 Sunset Boulevard
Los Angeles, Cal. 90069
Inside Back Cover