Thursday Song

daily-planet5

(Music Video below)

Marc was a skinny Polish-American Jew. I was a Euro-American mutt who’d decided he was Irish after playing a leprechaun in the high school musical. Our first band was clunky. If the chords to the song went, “Blum, blum, blum, blum,” the bass player would go, “Boom, boom, boom, boom” and the drummer would go, “bang, bang, bang, bang.” All skate.

The band broke up. But Marc and I started to write songs. Our favorite was a McCartney-esque paean to the day we wrote it, Thursday. There was a stage dad a few blocks away who was desperate to turn his 13 year old into a rock star. So we sold him our cast-off tunes for date money. But we refused to sell “Thursday Song.”

After a few false starts, we managed to finagle a Sicilian-American drummer named Joey into auditioning for us. We’d never heard anyone play like him. Forget “bang, bang, bang, bang.” Joey could go, “ska-dinka-dunka-clank-clank-ba-dink-dunk-shiiiik!” He was that good. And then Jeph, a 15 year old half-Native American bassist, who’d played a one-daily-planetnighter with the James Brown band (which made him a living legend) sat in with us, explaining that as soon as something better came along he’d be outa there. Nothing ever did.

It was the blind date that blossomed into love. We were better together than we were apart. We’d try to do covers, but then someone would say, “So I wrote this song,” and we’d work on that instead. It was a draw-back for school dances, where everyone wanted Top 40 and all we knew was Top Us. But eventually an embryonic fan club began to show up and call out the names of their favorite Daily Planet songs.

The Daily Planet. That was what we called ourselves, because of our international…ish…ness. We were just shades-of-white American teenagers, really. But we looked pretty diverse in our WASPy little SoCal suburb of La Mirada.

We managed to score some off-hours recording time with the Beach Boys’ engineer Chuck Britz (who was married to one of my mom’s childhood buds). We laid down four tracks at United Western Studios, where icons like Elvis and Ray Charles had recorded. Although our style was folk-rock, everyone picked the poppy “Thursday Song” to be our first hit.

daily-planet-at-the-garage2-spring-69So when Capital Records and the Singer Sewing Machine Company (go figure) announced their Sounds of ’68 campaign, we submitted “Thursday Song.” And then forgot about it. But a month later someone called and said, “Congratulations, you’re the best new band in the western United States!”

We drove to Hollywood and re-recorded “Thursday Song” with Billy Strange, the guitarist who’d done the James Bond theme (“DUM-da-da-da-DUM-dum-da-DUM-da-da-da-DUM-dum-da-DA-da-da-da-DA!”). And got our measurements taken by a wispy clothing designer named Boyd (his theme: “patent leather hippies”). And played at the Daisy Club in Beverly Hills, where our slightly stewed host Tony Bennett announced that we were his new protégés! (We never heard from him again.)

We lip-synched “Thursday Song” on a Tuesday at ABC Studios, for the adoring masses. Well, for our adoring little fan club back in La Mirada, anyway. Who would have eventually become adoring masses, if only…but that’s another story.

Here’s a video (in black & white for some reason–the show was in color). Be kind.

About mitchteemley

Writer, Filmmaker, Humorist, Thinker-about-stuffer
This entry was posted in Humor, Memoir, Popular Culture & Entertainment, Videos and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

41 Responses to Thursday Song

  1. mrsmmr says:

    Fantastic.They are some wonderful trousers.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Stephen Eyre says:

    Impressive. What fun! Thx.

    Sent from my iPhone

    >

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Eat your heart out, Monkees! Not sure I can be kind about the cossies, though. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Ellen says:

    Love this

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Kayla Johnson says:

    Woah a little Mitch Teemley! That was fun. You need to bring those boots back!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Groovy! I can see why you never wore the pants again, but are those boots I see? Pretty sure my daughter would love them. 😉

    Liked by 3 people

  7. Great story and video, my friend. Nice pants 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Nancy Ruegg says:

    You guys were ADORABLE! And you could sing, play, compose your own catchy tunes, too — unlike some who major(ed) in wailing guitars and screaming vocals. Whyizzit that talented cream doesn’t always rise to the top?! I don’t get it.

    Liked by 3 people

  9. I did some (less visible) band work myself (electric bass), so I know enough to be able to say that you guys sounded good!

    Liked by 2 people

  10. I agree with Nancy – Adorable. But I think I’m glad the vid was in black and white. The colors of the outfits might have blinded me. And yeah, funny aside about the boots. You guys reminded me of the Dave Clark V! Nice job!

    Liked by 2 people

    • mitchteemley says:

      ;>) Actually, the outfits were in black and white, Susan, but they would have blinded you anyway; they were rather op art-ish. I liked Dave Clark V, but most of our stuff was more folk-rock-oriented. Thursday Song was our pop-iest tune.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Roos Ruse says:

    Just for fun I jumped and screamed and cried while watching (what was that about anyway?). Only for you, Mitch.

    Liked by 2 people

  12. Pingback: Me and Princess Leia’s Mom | Mitch Teemley

  13. jlfatgcs says:

    I love this story, and I trust / hope there will be another story (sequel) to this. I think my love for music, especially my teen years from ’63 on, has never left me. Even my kids agree. Well, everyone who knows me agrees, but that is another story… Thanks for a great read! -Jennie-

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Ray Stiles says:

    Mitch, do you remember opening at the club in South Central LA for “Everybody Needs Somebody” Solomon Burke? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FDtCOvAEpUM

    Liked by 2 people

  15. Hi Mitch, This post brought back so many personal memories that I thought I’d send an email rather than post a response. In those early La Mirada days, you may remember, I was a small part of the embryonic fan club. At the time, I had a huge crush on Joe Pino, aka Joe Pizza, who called me Dori Crouton… If you recall, we even ‘semi’ dated for a short time, but it never amounted to much. God had other plans, for which I am now grateful. Oh, and those outfits…Wow! You guys were so stylin’! And I had to wonder if the reason they didn’t zoom in on Jeff was because the rest of you were better looking or because he was bouncing around too much. 😂 At any rate, it was a hoot to reminisce with you…not to mention, I learned a few things I never even knew about the band. You actually went much further than I’d heard or realized.

    But the bottom line, I’m so grateful for grace and that we are where we are now! I never stop being amazed by grace! On another note, do you know anything about the other three and where they are…as far as knowing the Lord? I ran into Jeff at a high school reunion but sensed that he did not. In my own life, I am still praying for my dear brother every single day.

    Anyway, thank you for the post…and especially for the video. Enjoyed it all thoroughly! 😊 I pray the Lord continues to bless your ministry as you reach and touch so many lives!

    Your sister in Christ, Dori

    “The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love.” Gal. 5:6

    Sent from my iPad

    >

    Liked by 2 people

    • mitchteemley says:

      Dear Dori. No, I’m not sure I knew that you’d dated Joey, “semi” or otherwise. Yes, God did have other plans for us, didn’t He?
      The guys and I have maintained contact over the years. Jeff (he went back to the conventional spelling) has been married for many years, lives in Montana, and is involved in a Native American church (I’m uncertain what their beliefs are). Marc lives in Costa Mesa with his wife Judy, and is (as far as I know) a non-practicing Jew. Joe and his wife live in Laguna Hills and is actively involved in the Catholic church.
      Galatians 5:6 is one of my favorite verses.

      Liked by 1 person

      • That’s so great that you stay in touch with them. It was wonderful to see Jeff again…sweet guy! And Joe is a FB friend of late. And yes, how great that God had other plans for us…way better than the ones I had. He took all the broken pieces of my life and put them together in an amazing way, better than I deserve for sure. I’m still amazed by grace! 👆🏻 Thank you for taking the time to respond.😊

        Liked by 1 person

  16. Jeff Haberman says:

    Greetings and Salutations from Montana Mitch!
    Yes those were quite the wonder years and all of it flashed by in the blink of an eye. From highs to lows and everything else we somehow managed to keep it fun and creative for as long as possible. After all this time I’m still playing bass with a country band, backing a local blues artist and playing every Sunday at my church in Missoula. Oh.. and to set the record straight, I studied Native American Religious Traditions as part of my undergraduate work at the University of Montana. I’m currently serving as the president of board of trustees for Unity of Missoula (www.unityofmissoula.org). Presently I am considering enrolling at the University of Philosophical Research (www.upr.edu) which offers a Master’s degree in both Consciousness Studies and Transformational Psychology. Its based in Los Angeles and is set up as an a accredited long-distant online graduate program. The president (Dr.Obidiah Harris) also happens to be my uncle and has offered me a very generous tuition discount. Anyway, thanks for posting the Planet story.
    Love to you my brother,
    Jeff
    “Behold the Christ in you, the hope of glory.” – Colossians 1:27

    Liked by 1 person

    • mitchteemley says:

      Jeff, so glad you got a chance to read the post and respond! And glad you had the chance to set the record straight re. your beliefs (in response to Dori’s question above). I knew you had differing beliefs about Christ than do, as a principal or a force (I believe he’s a Person), but didn’t want to misrepresent them. At any rate, delighted to hear from you. Love you too, bro! ~Mitch

      Liked by 1 person

  17. tabitha59reachingout says:

    Wow, I only read three of your posts and a lot of comments and I feel like I already know you better! I am sorry I never followed you back from the beginning. Nice to see your “like” today and I am looking forward to reading more of your “stuff”. 🙂 Debbie

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Tekoa says:

    Love the pants! Love the cheesy grins. The song. The story. And how many “what if’s” it’s making me think about.

    Liked by 1 person

  19. Pingback: To be Immortal | Mitch Teemley

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