Preview: Jump Out the Window – The Brotherhood Story
April 30, 1967 — On this Sunday evening, the popular group Paul Revere and the Raiders were scheduled to appear for the first time on the hit television program The Ed Sullivan Show. At the peak of their popularity, the Raiders were slated to perform their hit “Good Thing” from The Spirit of ’67. It was planned to be one of the final performances by the most celebrated lineup of the band: the power trio of guitarist Drake “the Kid” Levin, bassist Phil “Fang” Volk and drummer Mike “Smitty” Smith had all given their notice to Revere, having made plans to form their own group. What could have been a high point of their time as members of the hit-making Raiders instead marked the abrupt end of a chapter. Shortly after the performance, Drake, Smitty and Phil were off to pursue their musical vision, one quite different from the band they had just left.
Drake, Phil and Smitty founded a group that would record three albums, perform a handful of concerts, and remain together barely two years. But while the music was heard by few at the time or since, during their brief time together, their band, Brotherhood, existed at the center of an exciting musical scene and created enduring music that deserved more success than it found…
Above: a rare live shot of a rare live performance by the final lineup of Brotherhood (L-R: Drake Levin, Joe Pollard, Phil Volk). Circa 1969. Photo by kind permission of Phil Volk.
To read the rest of my feature, JUMP OUT THE WINDOW: THE BROTHERHOOD STORY — not online; available in print only — order the latest issue of Ugly Things Magazine. This in-depth story is based on extensive interviews with many of those who were there, then.
Thanks to Phil Volk, Joe Pollard, Ron Collins, Sandra Levin, Lynnette Stevens, Jim Valley, Eirik Wangberg, Roger Hart, Jeff Levin, Donald “Buddha” Miller, Paul Moser and Tim Livingston for their willingness to be interviewed. Thanks also to David Levin, Brenda Hibbs, Lars Keilhau, Neal Skok, Debbi Bennett, Harold Brown, Bob Koenig and Sunita Patterson for their invaluable assistance in developing this story.
UPDATE: A serialized version of the entire story starts on this blog on Monday April 24, 2012.
With a background in marketing and advertising, Bill Kopp got his professional start writing for Trouser Press. After a stint as Editor-in-chief for a national music magazine, Bill launched Musoscribe in 2009, and has published new content every business day since then (and every single day since 2018). The 4500-plus interviews, essays, and reviews on Musoscribe reflect Bill's keen interest in American musical forms, most notably rock, jazz, and soul. His work features a special emphasis on reissues and vinyl. Bill's work also appears in many other outlets both online and in print. He regularly hosts lecture/discussions on artists and albums of historical importance (including monthly events Music to Your Ears and Music Movie Mondays), and is a frequent guest on music-focused radio programs and podcasts. In Spring 2023 he taught a history of Rock 'n' Roll at UNC Asheville's College for Seniors. He also researches and authors liner notes for album reissues -- more than 30 to date -- and co-produced a reissue of jazz legend Julian "Cannonball" Adderley's final album. His first book, Reinventing Pink Floyd: From Syd Barrett to The Dark Side of the Moon was published by Rowman & Littlefield in 2018, and in paperback in 2019. His second book, Disturbing the Peace: 415 Records and the Rise of New Wave, was published in 2021 by HoZac Books. His third book, What's the Big Idea: Great Concept Albums will be published in 2024. Read even more about him here.