Alright, this week we’re going to look at another band that probably knew me as “the guy with the camera” before they knew me as the “radio guy from NJ” and another band that I’m proud to say became my friends though the years … The Connells.
Started in 1984 in their hometown of Raleigh NC by brothers Mike Connell (guitar/vocals/songwriting) and David Connell (bass) with Doug McMillan (vocals). The band quickly added George Huntley (guitar/vocals/keyboards) and Peele Wimberley (drums) solidifying the “classic” line-up. Between 1985 and 2001 they released 8 albums including Ring in 1993 that included the worldwide hit “’74-’75.”
If I remember correctly, I had taken photos of the band at a show somewhere in the Hoboken/NYC area probably in 1990, and as I always did, I had sent copies to them in NC. One afternoon I’m hanging around at my parents’ house (I still lived there) and a phone call comes in from Mike Connell to thank me for the photos. I seem to remember us mostly talking about the Atlanta Braves, but I’m pretty sure it happened.
Though they haven’t released an album in over 10 years and they haven’t gone on a national tour in more, they do still perform semi-regularly in the south. In 2010 the at the time out of print releases of Boylan Heights, Fun & Games, One Simple Word, Ring, New Boy and Still Life were “digitally re-released” so that – at least digitally – those classic albums are back in circulation.
Of all the bands that we played at my old radio station (FM106.3) on the Jersey shore, the one that’s missed the most – possibly – is The Connells. I’m asked pretty regularly if I can, with my current radio station (90.5 The Night), bring The Connells back to the Jersey shore for a show. And my answer is always, I ask them pretty much every year what it would take to get them to come back and play a show … but I never get the answer I want to hear.
Seven (from Darker Days, 1985)
Scotty’s Lament (from Boylan Heights, 1987)
Over There (from Boylan Heights, 1987)
Something To Say (from Fun & Games, 1989)
Get A Gun (from One Simple Word, 1990)
Stone Cold Yesterday (from One Simple Word, 1990)
The ubiquitous Mark Pellington directed video.
’74 – ’75 (from Ring, 1993)
Slackjawed (from Ring, 1993, live on Conan O’Brien)
Maybe (from Weird Food And Devastation, 1996)
Fifth Fret (from Weird Food And Devastation, 1996)