By the time they recorded their third Top Ten album The Spirit of '67, Paul Revere and the Raiders were firmly established as one of America's best and most popular homegrown rock 'n' roll acts. The band had also begun to spread its wings creatively, expanding the garage-flavored rock 'n' roll of their early hits into more ambitious and sophisticated musical territory. Along with such classic Raiders smashes as "Hungry," "Good Thing" and "The Great Airplane Strike," The Spirit of '67 finds the quintet embracing psychedelia on such tunes as "Oh! To Be a Man," "1001 Arabian Nights" and "Undecided Man," while delivering memorable showcases for bassist Phil "Fang" Volk ("Why? Why? Why?") and drummer Michael "Smitty" Smith ("Our Candidate"). This expanded edition augments the original 11-song album with three rare bonus tracks, including an alternate version of "Hungry" and the single mix of "The Great Airplane Strike."
Recently Mark Lindsay recalled the recording and rediscovery of the alternate version of "Hungry" found on this CD. See below from Mark.
On the Spirit of ‘67 CD, you’ll find 2 versions of Hungry - the one we released, and the one that was censored and hidden in the vaults for decades by the Columbia brass.
We were having a tough time making the song come together...trying too hard to make it happen...so Terry Melcher took us up on the roof for a little reefer madness.
A lot more relaxed, we went back in the studio and nailed the track. The next night, Terry and I drove down from Cielo to CBS so that I could do the lead vocal, with Ray Gerhardt engineering. I did a few takes...it wasn’t happening. But with each take, I was getting hotter, so I took off my shirt...still not working, getting hotter, took off my boots, socks, and pants, and it was getting better, but still not there. At CBS they had tall baffles to keep sound from bouncing around, so I asked the engineer to add a baffle in front of me so I couldn’t see anyone in the booth.
I then took off my shorts, and am now standing buck naked in front of the mic in Studio A, and tried again...stripping off all the impediments so I could become one with the song. But something still wasn’t quite right. I asked the guys to just hit record and leave the booth, so I could be alone with the song.
Terry said “OK” through the talk-back, but since I couldn’t see, I assumed they left...and it was just a naked guy in front of a AKG C-12. And this time, since I assumed no one was listening, I *really* let it rip...and because I wasn’t thinking, the hungry panting and sensuous breathing just happened.
When it was over, and I was so consumed with the take that I didn’t remember what I did, Terry opened the talk-back and said “I think we’ve got it, man...come on in.” So I hastily dressed. When I heard the playback, I was almost embarrassed. It sounded way too over the top, and maybe a little pretentious, but Terry said, “That’s IT, you’re not doing it again.” And since I don’t remember what I did, it was an honest performance. The long night was finally over.
We left on tour, but shortly thereafter, I got a call from the head of A&R (Jack Gold), who apologized profusely and told me that the engineer had accidentally erased part of my vocal, and since Hungry was due for immediate release, they were sending a Lear Jet to bring me back to re-sing those parts.
The Lear Jet was chartered in Kansas City the next day, and off we went to LA, specifically Van Nuys airport. The pilots were friendly and were excited to be heading to LA, because they’d never been west of the Rocky Mountains before. Since there’s no cockpit door on a Lear, I had a great pilots-view out the front, almost like I was flying the plane, as well as the regular view out the side windows. I’m sure it was against the rules, but the ex-Air Force pilot did a couple of barrel rolls to show me how hot the jet was.
As we approached Van Nuys, they got permission from air traffic control to land, although it *was* a bit foggy. We kept lowering our altitude as the pilots lined up with the runway lights that we could dimly see ahead through the fog.
Except...as we were just about to touch down, we suddenly flashed through an intersection, just above the street lights, with 3-story buildings higher than the jet on either side of us. They’d mistakenly been lining up on Van Nuys *Boulevard*, which paralleled the airport runway. Their faces went white, the pilot yanked back on the yoke, and we immediately shot upwards. No one said anything after that.
I went to the studio, sang the parts again as best as I remembered them, but apparently not what I’d originally sung. Everyone was happy and back I went on tour, on a much less exciting Lear Jet ride. I was ticked off at the whole wasted time in the middle of a tour, but it was what it was.
Now, fast forward to 1995, when we were in NYC at the Sony studios working on the Essential Ride release with Bob Irwin from Sundazed, who was the project producer. He’d called up all the master tape HCO numbers of Hungry so that we could find the cleanest copy. We were all chatting as one tape was playing, but suddenly “penthouse in the sky where we can both stay stoned...” filled the room. WHOA. (I wish I had a photo of everyone’s jaws dropping at that moment.)
So, apparently when the Columbia brass heard the follow-up to Kicks with that ad-libbed line, a general freak out occurred and the erasure story was born.
(By the way, it was supposed to be “penthouse in the sky with an unlisted phone,” but that made no sense to me, because I thought, “Why would you want an unlisted phone? If you’re rich and famous, wouldn’t you want *everyone* to call you?” So in the spirit of the roof event, I made up a different one, creating chaos in my wake.)
Click here to read Domenic Priore's interview with Mark Lindsay!