Rolling Stone reports that Paul Revere, frontman for the theatrical ’60s rock band Paul Revere And The Raiders, died at home in Boise on Saturday. No cause of death has been revealed, though TMZ reports that Revere had been suffering from cancer in recent years. Revere was 76.
Revere was born Paul Revere Dick in Nebraska, and he ran a few restaurants in Idaho in the late ’50s, when the band came together. In 1960, they changed their name to Paul Revere And The Raiders and built their gimmick around Revere’s name, dressing in frilly Revolutionary War uniforms and sometimes playing onstage with flags or cannons. This was an admittedly silly gimmick, and though it helped them stand out on TV, it sometimes distracts from the fact that Revere And The Raiders were one of the great mid-’60s garage-punk bands; you need only listen to their “Just Like Me” single for proof.
Revere And The Raiders recorded a very early version of “Louie, Louie” in 1963, possibly before the Kingsmen recorded their definitive version. They also wrote and recorded a sequel to the song called “Louie, Go Home,” and David Bowie and the Who later did their own versions of that one. Throughout the mid-’60s, they scored jangly, driving hits like “Kicks,” “Hungry,” “Good Thing,” and “Him Or Me.” But their greatest popular success didn’t come until 1971, when the band’s cover of John D. Loudermilk’s protest song “Indian Reservation (The Lament of the Cherokee Reservation Indian)” went to #1 in the U.S. Revere continued to perform with different lineups of the band for the rest of his life, touring the nostalgia circuit tirelessly even in recent years. The band had live shows booked into 2015.
Below, watch some videos of Revere at work.