The Past Catches Up, Part 2: REVOLVER

REVOLVER (early 1976), consisting of (left to right): Bill Hokenson (bass guitar, bass pedals, vocals); Dez Dickerson (guitars, lead vocals); Palmer Harbison (organ, electric piano, synthesizer, vocals); Hyam R. Sosnow (drums, tubular bells, gong, no vocals). (Yes, that's the same Dez Dickerson who played with Prince in the pre-"Purple Rain" days.)

REVOLVER followed along the lines of PULSE, playing mostly covers of hard-rock songs to audiences of intoxicated young adults who should have known better than to drive for miles in sub-zero weather to a rock'n'roll show in the hopes of getting laid. However, Dez was a far better vocalist and guitarist than any of the ones in PULSE, and as a bonus brought original material into the band. REVOLVER even released two of these songs ("Song For Becky" and "Little Miss Hip") as a 45rpm single (remember those?) that was sold at venues where they played.

REVOLVER played for two years all over the upper midwest, mostly in the same sort of dingy clubs and ballrooms (and to some of the same not-so-just-of-age-anymore girls) previously haunted by PULSE. Tapes of some of these performances reveal Hyam to have matured into a formidable drummer with a solid groove and chops to spare, talents that he felt were going to waste playing other people's music.

When REVOLVER's internal tensions (read: ego battles between Dez and everyone else) reached a peak in mid-1977, Hyam decided he'd had enough of starving and miserably cold winters, left the band and moved back to southern California, where he had grown-up. Having decided that he would not compromise his music for the sake of trying to make a buck, Hyam spent the next 11 years gaining weight, losing his hair and working in the audio industry as a "productive member of society", all the while honing his drumming and listening to music that is miles from the mainstream. Repeated attempts to find a musical soul-mate went unrewarded until he answered Greg's ad early in 1988, and "a new chapter in musical history was born".

Hyam R. Sosnow on stage with REVOLVER at the Bel Rae ballroom in Minneapolis, early 1977. Although you can't see much of them, the drums were Ludwig clear Vistalites, the snare was a Fibes SFT 690 (fiberglas), and as always, the cymbals were Avedis Zildjian. The sticks were delicious.

 

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