The amazing Don Gallucci and his progressive rock band

Don Gallucci of the Kingsmen - photo © LouieLouie.net

Don Gallucci is a familiar name in the LOUIE LOUIE universe. He was the original keyboardist for the Kingsmen during the recording of “LOUIE LOUIE.” He might have stayed in the Kingsmen, touring all over the country to promote their big hit record if only his parents didn’t force him to stay in high school finish his education.

Don & Goodtimes, featuring Don Gallucci

After he graduated high school, he formed Don & the Goodtimes, which wound up as the house band for the Dick Clark TV show “Where the Action Is.” After releasing a few records on Wand and Jerden, this Pacific Northwest band moved to Los Angeles, and got a gig as the house band for the Dick Clark TV afternoon show “Where the Action Is.” After signing to Epic Records, their debut single, “I Could Be So Good To You,” got to No. 56 nationally, although it did better in several key markets, ascending to No. 15 in Los Angeles and reaching the top 40 in New York.

At one point in his musical career, he worked for Elektra Records, working in the A&R department. During this very interesting period, he collaborated with Iggy Pop, producing Fun House, the second Stooges album, which was released in July 1970. In 1999, Rhino Handmade put out a boxed set of outtakes from Fun House sessions. This 7-CD set was limited to 3,000 copies, which sold out within a year. Nowadays, you’d be lucky if you could find a copy for less than $500.

When I interviewed Don for my documentary during the late 80s, he told me that his proudest achievement in music was his progressive rock band Touch, which released one album in 1969.

Touch - the album

A few days ago, Bob Smit wrote to tell me about a special MySpace page he created to celebrate Touch. Here’s what he wrote on his tribute page:

I am not affiliated or associated with Touch in any way. I created this page not only as a tribute to be shared and enjoyed by people who are already TOUCH fans, but also to be discovered by those who may not have been previously aware of this amazing and hugely influential band, the historical significance of which should not be overlooked. It should be noted that the TOUCH album, produced by Gene Shiveley and released in early 1969, came out at a time when Yes, Genesis and King Crimson (among others widely credited with creating what is generally considered “progressive” music) were still in their infancy. It is an ambitious, enduring and utterly unique musical achievement that still stands tall by any standard. Nearly forty years later, TOUCH might STILL be ahead of their time.

I encourage all that are even slightly curious to check out Bob’s page, which features some samples of this music.

enjoy!

http://www.myspace.com/seventyfivemusic

17 comments to The amazing Don Gallucci and his progressive rock band

  • Bill Sciore

    I do remember well. You raised the bar quite higher than it was.I always hear the tunes in my head, a pleasant memory recall, always. It’s my honor to personaly thank you for such musical enjoyment all these years. I still have 3lp’s. To me Touch was one of the few,”perfect albums” forever greatful, Bill Sciore

  • Richard McMahan

    I think Don Gallucci was the most talented musician to come threw my home town (Pasco, mid sixties). We viewed him as a prodigy, and often evoked his name when forced to defend our music of choice. I hope he got as much out of playing, as we did in the hearing. Thank you Don Galucci.

  • Allen Chitwood

    Thank You Don Gallucci. I have several Touch LP’s I’d like you to sign..

  • Michael Lepine

    Don, you probably don’t remember me but in spring of 1970 a band named “Amedeus” visited your A&R office at Electra Records, with an 8-demo in hand. I was the drummer for that group and I remember one of your comments on our demo to this day, “Gee, this sounds a little bit like Touch.” We were actually flattered at the time, because the Touch album was one of our inspirations. It only dawned on me later, after Electra passed on signing us, that it was more of gentle criticism that we didn’t sound original enough. Thanks for your kind consideration – we got much harsher treatment from the other labels.

  • Brian Semple

    I remember you from Don & the Goodtimes,as well as Touch. I worked @the Target Ballroom in Burien, Wa. I remember Joey Newman from Merrilee’s band, the Turnabouts,as well as Jeff Hawks and Ron Overman from Hawk and the Randellas. I heard a rumor that you were writing a book. Any truth to that? Brian Semple

  • EP

    Don – where are you? It’s been ages since we’ve chatted….. I hope you are well. Please drop a line when you get a chance!

  • Diane McCracken-Jeffers

    I remember Don from Creston Elementary school. He was a good musician and a great guy even then. Good to know you’re still kickin it!

  • Rolf Boigs

    I got to know the glorious album “Touch” by chance as a visitor of a hippie community in London as a 16 yrs. old pupil on a short London visit – as a fan of “prog” music of that time i was completely overwhelmed! First thing we did at home in Germany was buying the record (not easy at all!) “and listen listen listen”… Later, the record has been damaged, but the music continued to play in my head again and again…

    Later on, i developped a little bit as an amateur musician in rock and fusion music.

    Some weeks ago, i realized by chance the re-issue as a cd and mp3-album; of course, i bought it “and listen listen listen”. Thanks for this fantastic piece of music, light years ahead of its time in the late 60ies!!!!!

    Rolf Boigs

  • Gary Tash

    A good friend from Franklin High School. We had alot of “goodtimes” together.Let me know how you are doing..

  • JW Gang

    Where in the world is Lynn Easton? Why do we never hear from him?

  • Scott Phoenix

    Don,

    I love the Touch album. To me, born in 1950, this is simply an astonishing compilation of composition. It’s the sort of thing that might not be capable of being produced currently by major recording companies. Too much at stake to invest? I am just grateful that you did what you did. My friends and I spent MANY hours enjoying the intelligent variety of epression in this album. I, in fact, was introduced to it by a group of friends in L.A. in 1969 and I still enjoy it at the ripe age of 62.

  • Bob Bourland

    I clearly remember seeing the Touch album in the record store for the first time. An orange band with a mission statement, “We are Touch plural.” A gatefold sleeve split down the middle. Five guys flying through the universe linked arm and arm with one huge hand coming at you from each side of the group. I bought it immediately. I was 17 years old at the time, but I was ready for this. I loved it from the first play. Even though Seventy-Five is the highlight, every song on the album would become my favorite at some time or other. It is still to this day one of my all-time favorite albums. I am writing to thank Don Gallucci and everyone associated with Touch for creating a masterpiece. I also want to thank Joey Newman for Blue Mountain Eagle, another fantastic album I dearly love. Thanks guys!

  • rick roe

    My friends and I found TOUCH in 1969 nearly as soon as it was released. Moving from Indiana to the

    My friends and I found TOUCH just as it was released in 1969. It became a touchstone for us as a band and we played the record nearly every day for a long while until, in a move to California from Indiana, we somehow lost the album.
    Many years passed, including, for me, a move to Rhode Island and a newfound family – in that time I never stopped looking for a coopy. As you may well imagine, I was elated – ecstatic – to finally acquire a new one in the early 80’s. It is my great pleasure to this day to introduce people to this most amazing artifact of the late ’60’s. Believe me, I still play this record all the time, because in my opinion, there is no more outstanding, exhilarating music anywhere on vinyl.
    So, if this somehow reaches the attention of Don or any of the others, please allow me to say how much your music has meant to me. I am in complete agreement with Scott Phoenix – absolutely!! Thanks for years of enlightened moments.

  • Scott Phoenix

    I am NEVER without loss of words for what an incredible album Touch was and is. Think of what was happening in the era it was recorded to have a sense of what these guys laid out for the world to hear! Astonishing. I suppose the wonder of it all is that it was even recorded and distributed. One can thank the era for its experimentation and boldness in pushing the envelope. We do not have that sense of revolution now, I believe. Perhaps we owe it in part to Vietnam and racial opposition in the late 60’s. I’m proud to have LIVED the era, which anyone who did that knows what I mean. That included struggling with whether or not to go into the military (eventually I did, volunteering for the Army in 1972, which was not a popular thing to do!).

    The only thing close to this was what Frank Zappa and the Mothers were up to. Boy, had you wanted to clear out a college dorm room in a hurry, chose either this album or something by Zappa and the deed was done in a flash!

  • Tom Guy

    You changed your name to Don Caverhill after discovering you were of British descent in 1972 or 1973, correct Don? Your new name appeared on “Brothers” album and I believe on Steve Ambrose’s album.

  • Diane Mantia

    You are the most difficult man to reach. Would love to hear from you. I hope all is well with you.
    Take care, Diane Mantia

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