Rich: Rock and Roll USA We're here folks, it's live !! Welcome to Rock and Roll USA. It's Rich Fields here. Tonight our in studio guests, The Cowsills. You can call and talk to them live, toll free at 1-800-292-9393. Hey we're on the air guys. Welcome to the show.
The Cowsills: Hi Hey Hi Rich On the Air
Rich: Wow The Cowsills are here.
Susan: Thanks for having us down.
Rich: Absolutely. Now I met you Bob at the R&R convention and said we'd have you by the show and here you are.
Bob: One of the few professional people I met that really did come through with what they were saying, up there where everyone is pressing the flesh.
Rich: Hahaha Yeah, a lot of stroking going on at those conventions. But what have you guys been up to as of late. What's been going on?
Susan: Paul what's been going on?
Paul: Well, we've been recording and we're getting ready to go out on the road and uh probably come this summer we got Good Morning America no the 29th. So things are starting to happen. We've wanted them to start happening and they're happening. And now...
Susan: And we like it that way
Rich: There's, how many in the family are playing now together?
Bob: For the summer we have the Core Four. They're four of us, John, Paul, Susan and I'm Bob, hi.
Susan: And I'm Susan, hi.
Paul: And I'm Paul, hi.
Bob: Everyone is committed and everyone will be involved and out there.
Rich: We got a lot of your music to play tonight. We got a bunch of cuts, some things you guys picked out by other artists.
Susan: We can't wait to hear it.
Rich: You brought your guitars by I see.
The Cowsills: We did.
Rich: You'll sing. So let's get right to it. Let's start with one of your later hits, Hair. How'd this all come about for you guys?
Bob: We were commissioned to this for a television special on fashion. And they thought "Well how cute it would be for The Cowsills to do Hair". The Broadway musical had come out and it was just getting to be a big deal. So we did an arrangement, took it into the studio, realized this is a good piece of work, gave it to MGM and they sent it back saying that, "This isn't The Cowsills. We're not interested." And we played it on a radio station in Chicago when we shouldn't have, and the phones lit up and that was that.
Susan: Yeah Yeah
Paul: And then it sold 9 million.
Rich: The Cowsills, Hair topped the charts in 1969 and you got 'em live on Rock & Roll USA.
Rich: Rock & Roll, USA The Cowsills, and Hair 1969. Now I heard a rumor that was banned in Nam, is that the truth?
Susan: It was.
Bob: It was banned. We were all watching China Beach a month ago and they zzzzz'd it. They did. They said, "Why would anyone ban The Cowsills?" But it was banned on the arm forces radio because of the, 'O say, can you see' portion. They didn't go for that. And we were just being innocent.
Paul: Really burning the flag.
Susan: We were innocent.
Bob: This was '69. This was radical time. OK. We didn't write that.
Rich: You guys were singing about hair, man, come on.
Susan: We weren't suppose to bring that up.
Bob: We felt good and radical.
Rich: Alright folks stand by and when we come back, we're going to the phones. Live and toll free 1-800-929-9393 Tonight our in-studio guests are The Cowsills. You're listening to Rock & Roll USA.
Rich: Hi and welcome back to Rock & Roll USA Live from Hollywood, high atop Columbia Square. Rich Fields here and our in-studio guests The Cowsills. You can call and talk to them live at 1-800-929-9393. You guys are already smiling.
Susan: Give us a call.
Rich: You're having fun all ready, aren't ya?
Susan: We're always having fun, Rich.
Paul: The phones are lit up.
Rich: Susan, Paul and ... Bob
Bob: Bob, Bob
Rich: And John didn't make it tonight huh?
Paul: No, he just called in. John, I know you're listening. We love you man.
Susan: We love you buddy!
Paul: He lives in Ojai and he had to gig tonight and he was going to try to get down and we just got a call from him and he's not going to be able to make it.
Susan: I'll tell you what though
Paul: Maybe he'll call in.
Susan: He's rather cranky when he's had a bad drive anywhere so it's probably for the best John.
Rich: Probably for the best John's not here huh?
Paul: Oh can I tell John one thing here quick? John, tell Val I made her carrot cake today. She's pregnant and she has these incredible fetishes.
Rich: Thanks for bringing it in man. Let's go to the phones. We got a lot of people standing by here. Let's go to line one, Angela from Celmar, Angela say hi to the Cowsills.
Angela: Hi guys. How are you?
The Cowsills: Great Fine
Angela: I have to say what I would have given 21 years ago, when I was eleven, talk to you. I can't believe I'm talking to you today.
Susan: Where are you calling from?
Angela: I'm calling from Celmar.
Susan: Ahhh too far to drive.
Angela: Anyway I grew up in Ohio.
Susan: I was born there.
Paul: ooooohhhh Canton
Angela: Yeah, near Youngstown
Susan: That's right. What's on your mind, hun?
Angela: Anyway, I just wanted to know, as all eleven year old girls did at that time. I read 16 Magazine faithfully. I remember reading that your group inspired the television show, The Partridge Family. Is that true? And did you receive any royalties from it? And why were you guys not cast in the roles of that?
Susan: Paul, you want to take that one?
Paul: Yeah I can do it. Well I can handle all three. Actually yeah. Screen Gems came to us with a written piece about The Partridge Family. They wanted to call it The Partridge Family. And they wanted Shirley Jones to be the mother. So, it would have been like Shirley Jones and the Cowsills.
Paul: And we had a mom. I mean Mini-Mom. We love Shirley Jones, but we love our mom a little more. And so we kind of decided to just uh have Screen Gems get a good batch of people to do the show.
Susan: Give us a little money.
Paul: Give us a little money. No, they didn't really. But they did stay real close at the beginning on some of the shows and then it went into fantasy land.
Susan: They were from Ohio.
Paul: On a bus.
Susan: On a bus.
Bob: Oh Angela, this is Bob. And I just want you to know that I heard from David Cassidy that he's tired of answering the question also. He's started answering that question, "Isn't it true it was inspired by The Cowsills?"
Angela: Yeah that's great. You guys are great. Good luck to you.
Susan: Thanks a lot.
Rich: Thanks for calling in tonight. Alright, let's move along. Let's go to Sandy on line too from Anaheim. Say hi to The Cowsills. Sandy !
Sandy: Hi Cowsills
Susan: Hi Sandy
Paul: Hi Sandy
Susan: How are you, hun?
Sandy: Just fine now that I'm talking to you.
Susan: Sandy, how old are you?
Susan: OK You sound about 16 and I was going to say, "What the heck are you calling us for?" What's going on?
Sandy: Well, I'm here in Anaheim and it's great to have you back. I heard you're going to be back on the musical scene and I wanted to know what happen to Barry?
Sandy: He was with the Belair Bandits. I saw them back in 1983 till about 1986 and when I recently saw Jan & Dean he wasn't the drummer any longer.
Susan: I know.
Sandy: And I was wondering if he was with anther group now or is he going to be touring with you.
Susan: Well I'll tell you. Barry lives up north and has a nice little family and he won't be coming out with us this summer but he will be participating hopefully. Barry if you're listening.
Paul: We love you Barry
Susan: We love you B and he'll be participating with like material and recording on our up and coming album. So, though he won't be this summer, he'll be involved because it's a family thing.
Bob: He's our brother. And he's not heavy.
Rich: So he was a Belair Bandit, huh?
Susan: Barry is very talented.
Rich: You heard our Rock & Roll USA jingle? That was Dean Torrance and the Belair Bandits. Did he play on that?
Susan: And as far as
Paul: No, John
Susan: No, that was John and John dumped Jan & Dean for us and we love it. Cuz we love you John.
Paul: We love you John.
Susan: No, they are very good friends and we love Jan & Dean and we hope they love us.
Rich: Let's move on. Let's go to line 3. Jim from Lake Elsinore. Jim, say hi to the Cowsills.
Jim: How you doing? I just wanted to ask you a quick question. How did you get the name The Cowsills?
Bob: Oh that was a lot of searching and you know we...
Susan: Get out of here.
Bob: No, it's our last name.
Rich: Yeah it's a family of eight I guess huh?
Susan & Paul: Seven kids and Mom and Dad
Susan: We got it from our Daddy.
Bob: But secretly we did try to think of what we would call this band and when we came up with our own last name and put an s on the end and it sounded odd enough to work.
Rich: Cowsill yeah. Now name 'em all.
Bob: Richard, Robert, Bill, Barry, John, Paul, Susan, Frank, Jeffery, Andrew
Susan: Don't confuse the issue Robert.
Rich: And your mother's name was Barbara
Susan: It sure was. Mom's listening, believe me.
Rich: Passed away five years ago and
Susan: Five years ago, but she's listening.
Rich: The Shirley Jones of The Cowsills.
Susan: That's right
Bob: Yeah OK
Susan: I like Mom's voice a lot better.
Paul: In your face Mom.
Rich: Let's move on to Line 4. With us is Jim from LA. Say hi to The Cowsills, Jim.
Jim: Hello, what's happening?
Paul: Yeah how you doing?
Susan: James, how it is !!
Bob: Your happening.
Jim: OK I just wanted to know when are you guys going to be in concert in the Los Angeles area?
Paul. Well, we don't know exactly yet. We're waiting to hear from our agent here..
Susan: We're starting back east.
Paul: ... any day now. He's got us working east of the Rockies. We're looking to get in town close though real soon.
Susan: We're going to start back east and work ourselves back across.
Rich: You got that Good Morning America thing in June?
Rich: 29th and then in July you're in the Midwest and the east coast for the rest of the summer.
Paul: Right Hopefully we'll be back out here real soon though.
Rich: Maybe they'll perform for us tonight folks so you won't have your own little LA performance right here. Let's go on. Rick on Line 5 from La Crecenta. Rick say hi to the Cowsills.
Rick: Hi Paul, John, Sue
Susan: Hey Rick
Rick: How you guys doing?
Rick: I was just wondering if you guys are going to have any local shows coming up in the near future and where?
Susan: Well we just kind of answered that but gees let us answer it one more time. We're going to start back east in July and hopefully we'll be back around here June/July/August around August or September hopefully.
Paul: August/September - to the fair
Susan: Coming to your town - near you.
Rich: That was a Monkees thing wasn't it? Coming to your town, wasn't it?
Susan: Yeeeaaahhhh Monkees are awesome !!
Rich: We played it here. We sort of went out of chronological order but I'd like to get back in order here and start back in the beginning. Back in 67 or so The Rain, The Park, and Other Things, a big hit on the radio. How did this one happen for you guys?
Bob: Artie Kornfield and Steve Dubach wrote that. Artie had produced all our flop releases for other record labels before The Rain, The Park and Other Things and believed in the band and this particular song came out during a time when Motown was very big and acid rock. And it just came in as sort of a breath of fresh air and even in retrospect it sounds good still.
Rich: What was it like for you guys for your first song out of the box to go to the top of the charts?
Bob: Hey I graduated from high school and I had a number one record and I was cruisin' !!!
Paul: You were a lock in !!
Susan: I got a dog for Christmas. Things were lookin' up.
Rich: Cowsills - The Rain, The Park and Other Things - You caught 'em on
Rock and Roll USA
Susan: Ahhhhh Sing it Billy !!!
Song: The Rain, The Park and Other Things
Rich: Top of the charts in 1967. I think it got as high as #2
Bob: It didn't go to Number 1, Rich?
Susan: It did here in town.
Rich: Not on Billboard. Yeah locally it did in Los Angeles it got to number 1, but nationally #2. Gee whiz sorry
Susan: I found that out a couple years ago
Rich: Not that it made any difference in royalties. You guys still made a ton on that.
Susan: We'll live. Uh huh We still didn't get anything. I mean
Rich: So it's 1967 out of the box with a big hit. You guys are livin' high
Paul: We're happy.
Susan: We're famous.
Bob: We went from living in an apartment, nine of us in one apartment in New York City. To have the record got a big hit and half of us got to get another apartment.
Paul: That was me, Bob and Bill.
Rich: Alright, so what was your next endeavor after that? What did you do?
Bob: We started producing ourselves. And we, Bill and I, basically got more into the artistic involvement, in writing and producing. And I don't know but...
Susan: Can you expand a little, Bob?
Bob: Well I don't know what happen with Artie and why it was just one hit and then he went on. Some of our own history I'm not real cool on. But...
Susan: If anybody knows call in and tell
Paul: Si La Vie
Bob: So we started the We Can Fly album, the second album and it was a real excellent record.
Susan: Paul and I joined the band
Bob: Susan joined the band at that time and we recorded We Can Fly once and it was horrible. We scrapped it and we started over. We recorded it a second time. The second time it one was very good.
Susan: And it's because Paul and I were on it. Thank you very much.
Rich: And this was it. We Can Fly - top of the charts - from the album We Can Fly - 1968 - Cowsills live on Rock and Roll USA
Song: We Can Fly
Rich: The Cowsills, Ladies and gentlemen, live
Paul: You know what's funny about that song? To us, it really never got too much play and I don't think it was number one and but boy it was a sleeper and I think everyone re-recorded that one. Lawrence Welk, Al Hirt, The Ray Conniff Singers
Susan: Mitch Miller and his buddies.
Paul: You'll be in a elevator or you'll be shopping and all of a sudden you'll be hearing this thing over the muszac system.
Rich: Who wrote it? Who wrote the song?
Bob: Bill and myself and Artie Kornfield and Steve Dubach
Paul: We're so proud of them
Rich: So all these folks Lawrence, Al Hirt and these guys who have cut it again, now you're making money off this.
Bob: Hey I get four checks a year and they're all about 34 cents.
Rich: Alright folks. Stand by we're live and toll free 1-800-929-9393 Tonight our in studio guests The Cowsills. My name is Rich Fields and you're listening to Rock and Roll USA We'll be right back.
Rich: Three Dog Night - Chuck Negron
Susan: I love that song
Rich: Welcome back to the program now. Who had the association with Three Dog Night?
Paul: I did sound for Three Dog Night
Rich: I'll be darn. How'd you get into - what did you quit the family thing there?
Paul: Well the family thing died out. I was 19, was getting drafted and went and joined the Navy, got out of the Navy and then I was looking for something to do and sound and lights and that whole back stage thing was something that just really came second nature. I was able to make that happen for me.
Susan: You had something to fall back on.
Rich: You were with some other famous folks as well.
Paul: Yeah, Mac Davis, John Denver, was a road manager for Helen Reddy. Hi Helen, Hi Jeff. They're probably going, "Oh no that dude is on the radio!!!" I was as little wild. I was a lot younger and we went nuts.
Rich: The Cowsills are out in studio guests on Rock and Roll USA. We're going to the phones. You know what's the thing with Michael J Fox? What's going on here?
Susan: Bob you want to take that?
Bob: Well Arsenio Hall was on Friday night and Michael was there and it was his birthday and apparently they fill out a bio and he said he liked The Cowsills. And so Arsenio sent the staff out to purchase our album and presented it to him, and old album, to Michael on the air and Michael was a little perturbed that it wasn't autographed. So, this is an open invitation to Michael. Come on down. Sunset and Gour and we're going to sign it for you, babe.
Susan: Come on down and we'll sign it for you.
Paul: And Arsenio, we'll deal with you later.
Susan: But anyway. Happy Birthday Michael
Paul: Happy Birthday Michael
Rich: Yeah you're welcome to come on down here anytime. OK let's get back to the phones. What do you guys say? Let's go to line 1. This is Dave from La Cresentas. Say hi to the Cowsills.
Dave: Hi guys
Cowsills: Hi Dave
Dave: Paul, this is for Paul, Dave Perry (??) from La Cresenta.
Paul: Hey Dave Hi !!!!
Dave: How you doing guy?
Paul: Good !!
Dave: I heard you were on the radio and I thought I'd call and support the cause.
Rich: Where do you know each other from?
Paul: Little League Baseball, right Dave?
Rich: Are you serious?
Paul: Yeah I coached Little League Baseball. I coached Dave's son
Susan: Paul's awesome.
Dave: I actually have a serious, professional question for you guys?
Susan: Hit it Dave
Dave: I heard your demo tape and it's dynamite OK, and I want to know are you guys going to record? What are your plans in that area?
Bob: We have gotten out of the studio. The tape is being shopped, in town and we are working up the rest of the album. It's excellent material.
Susan: It's Pop Rock What do you want to hear?
Bob: When we were little kids back in the old days, we were kind of immature and young and that's probably how we sounded to a lot. And now we have got a nice mature sound and it's basically The Cowsills grown up.
Paul: Dave, it's neo-Cowsill. I think it's the natural progression The Cowsills would have made over the years that we've been growing.
Susan: And that they kind of stopped us from making.
Bob: Artistically - this is Bob - artistically I am 30. Isn't that nice? I took 10 years off, so you got to figure, you know
Rich: Thanks for calling in Dave. Let's go to Line 4 and Melissa from Burbank. Say hi to The Cowsills, Melissa.
Melissa: Hi Cowsills
Cowsills: Hi Melissa
Melissa: I was just wondering what are some of your influences?
Susan: That's a good question.
Paul: What color is your hair Melissa?
Melissa: Right now it's getting green.
Rich: Do you know this girl?
Susan: You could say that. Some of our early influences - what Beatles, Byrds, McCoys, Mama & Papas
Paul: Spencer Davis was one of mine. Big big fan
Susan: Lovin' Spoonful, Rascals
Rich: He'll be glad to hear that. Spencer listens to this show
Paul: I love you Spencer.
Susan: Hey Spencer. Thanks for calling Melissa.
Rich: Thanks for calling. Let's move along. Let's go to Line 2.
Susan: Wayne's World
Rich: What now, what did you throw that in for? Ha ha ha
Susan: Ah she knows.
Rich: Paul from Anaheim Say hi to the Cowsills, Paul.
Paul from Anaheim: Hi guys
Cowsills: Hi Paul
Paul from Anaheim: How you doing? This is fun so far.
Paul: It's fun for us too !!
Paul from Anaheim: With the demo tape, and the USA Today article and the east coast tour, and the Good Morning America, all these things are starting to happen for you guys and I'm really excited about it. And I wanted to thank you for making such a difference in my musical life. At least the last 22 years that I knew you were around.
Susan: Thanks a lot Paul
Bob: Thanks Paublo Appreciate it.
Susan: We feel the same way about all you guys.
Rich: Wow, just calling in to say thanks. You guys get a lot of that now when you're out on - doing shows and stuff?
Susan: We do, actually. It's kind of remarkable to me.
Paul: Because we were so young when it was going down. We didn't really realize we were making an impact on anything or anybody
Susan: I still don't realize it.
Bob: I always ask people when they say I met you back then, I go "Was I nice?"
Susan: I know I was nice. I was seven years old.
Paul: We had Dad just leading the way and if we weren't nice, boy we paid for it.
Rich: Did you ever have fans give you odd articles onstage? Gifts and stuff?
Cowsills: Oh yes !!!
Bob: I got a bra once.
Paul: No not a bra !!!
Bob: I wrapped it around the ---
Susan: Rich can I ask you where you got the inspiration for that?
Paul: No but you know what we used to do, we all used to have to dress up in tuxedos you know and they got reeeeaaaalllllyyy to be a pain in our butt. So OK so what we had used to do at shows is we used to plan before the show, let's get rid of the tuxedos tonight and we used to throw our tuxedos out into the audience and then we got in trouble from management because it was like sharks feeding and the clothes - it was so radical.
Rock and Roll USA Interview continued here.
Including calls from Vicki Peterson, John Cowsill
and Bill Cowsill !!!!