Note: This is not a total transcript but rather I tried to find some highlights with some quotes to go along with those.
Cowsills share their bus with Association and Chuck Negron. Paul and Chuck were bunkmates. They say Chuck tells the best stories. Susan says of Chuck “He’s the winner of story time on the bus.”
Bob says The Cowsills recorded milk commercials at the famous Fillmore East in Manhattan, New York. The Jefferson Airplane sent milk to their dressing rooms one day. Paul was the house manager of the Fillmore East after the Cowsills split.
Bob says Artie was upset with Mercury twice. 1) When the C’s were assigned to him and 2) when the C’s were let go.
Bob says before the famous COWSILLS Paul would come out (in a white suit) and sing one song “Mickey’s Monkey.” He was the soul brother.
Bob says in a writing session for We Can Fly, that Artie mentioned marijuana to Bill and then Bill to Bud and that’s when Artie got fired.
Bob says We Can Fly album was recorded twice. First with Artie and Brooks Arthur and then after Artie was fired, they started over.
Bob says: “Gray, Sunny Day” was a favorite of the Ramones. Coming out from doing The Howard Stern Show, the C’s walked out to the Ramones getting out of their limo playing “Gray, Sunny Day”. The Ramones got out of the limo and bowed to the C’s.
Paul states that “In Need of a Friend” was the first stereo 45 every made.
Bob in talking of The Ed Sullivan show reminded folks their 10 appearance deal with bigger than what was offered to The Beatles. Bob Precht, was the son-in-law of Ed Sullivan and the person Bud got into a fight with over Bill’s mic being unplugged from the wall at the start of TRTP.
Paul says Victor Borge opened for the C’s in college shows.
Bob says The C’’s opened for Authur Godfrey
Bob says of the Eddie Arnold tour, “His country fans were in the same audience as our pop fans. And tour didn’t work out as well as they thought because of that.”
Bob says of the Carol Burnett show: “That was another ‘What were you up against? Why didn’t you last longer?’ story. Back then the popular shows like The Carol Burnett Show and The Smothers Brothers and Sonny and Cher they were all responsible for their summer replacements. They took 3 months off in the summer and like when the Smothers Brothers left they had Glen Campbell for three months which triggered his own show of course. This is what you could do back then. This is your opportunity. So the Carol Burnett people had gotten in touch with us while we lived in Los Angeles at the time to see if we’d be the summer replacement for her show. And in the meetings our Dad needed $30,000 in cash for a Navy buddy of his – Darrell Ford – you don’t need to put the name in, but he needed 30 grand for this buddy of his. I mean on the spot. “I need 30 in cash right now.” And you’ve got the Cowsills for the summer replacement. And they said “No” and we didn’t get it.”
Susan said she thinks the thing Bill hated most about “Indian Lake” was the war whoops. Bob adds that Bill was the one who put that in. Bob says it was the words. The demo sent to them was a guy singing and playing a piano.
Bob says of Wes Farrell: “Wes was a very – and we love him OK – but he was a very slick New Yorker. New York kind of suited, jeweled guy. Talked fast. A whole different ballgame (from Artie Kornfeld) with Wes and it didn’t click personality wise. We weren’t going to get much further than “Indian Lake”.” He continued to say these were talented people, but the chemistry just wasn’t there. Bob added. “Bill and I, in protest, wrote another song to replace “Indian Lake”. We called up MGM. We were living in New York City at the time. Called them up – of course they had to take a meeting with us now that I think of it – and they didn’t, but they did. And Bill and I went over and in the office sat in front of this guy singing this song called “A Good Day” that we had written. And the guy looks at and he goes, “You know boys that’s a nice song, but this is a hit record.” And he reached back and he picked up this little record player needle and he puts it on this demo that is sitting on the thing behind. Of course it’s “Indian Lake” the recording we had just done. “This is a hit.” So we left with our tail between our legs and they turned that song we wrote into a milk commercial. And made us sing “It’s a Milk day,” instead of “It’s a good day.”
Of Bill’s firing from the band, Paul says he remembers getting ready to live for the airport for a gig in Ohio and seeing Bill’s guitars and gear being tossed out of the station wagon in Santa Monica. Bob says : “Dad had found some pot remnants in Bill’s car and he called us all in the living room and to let us know what happen to those who break the rule. Remember we’re a military family. So, that’s right, he threw Bill out of the family and the band that day, just before we were going to the airport. I went down to the house. Bill was on our property where he lived with his wife and confirmed all this and he said yeah he was staying and off we went without him and man that was the beginning of the end right there. I did his vocals, Paul did mine and we passed vocals right down the chain to the brothers and we all just put it together. So now we were in Annop…. Wherever we were there was six of us now and believe me, we all looked alike. It’s not like John Lennon got thrown out of the group. We went and did the show the next night. No one really honestly really knew what happen. Even the audience, the next night, they didn’t know. There were too many of us. But WE knew, and it was very difficult after that because Bill was the cog, the artistic cog that linked up actually to me and up to the rest of everybody else.” Susan adds, “And really for the family, for the kids, he was our leader. He was our personal emotional leader.”
As to why things didn’t work with London Bob said it was because the audience “They don’t have time for you to re-invent yourself and try – in front of them – to fix something that they’re not used to. This is asking too much of your audience. And we put out a couple of good records. We would have done well. We continued to record well into our new music that hardly nobody has heard. Right through every decade we’ve recorded. We never stopped recording because that’s what we do and that’s what we did.”
Paul speaking of Richard’s passing, “It was funny because we were – when our brother Richard was passing and he was real sick – Susan, Bob and myself we were out there and just one night I remember we decided well let’s eat some time up, so we’ll go to the movies. So me, Bob and Susan, we go to the movies and you know how movie theatres are. They are never really full anymore and so we went to our row and were sitting in this row and I looked down the row and in the past when I would have looked down that row, all the seats would have been filled. And there in this huge theatre there were the three of us sitting and it kind of stuck me how small we’ve gotten as a family.”
Paul said they do have some new material written and still preparing to record another album.