ADR – 7 – 004




black vinyl / lonely sea blue vinyl / 7″ / 45 r.p.m.

includes photo / bio insert


The Escavels were more than just part of the Chicago garage band explosion of the early 1960’s: their influence stretches into some pretty heavy gigs, from garage legends to major label blues n’ boogie bands to 1970’s cult psychedelic albums. Started in Wheaton, Illinois, in 1964, The Escavels rose out of the ashes of another suburban garage band, the Tempests. The band developed around the axis of recent Iowa transplant Stan Sherbino and Ken Utterback, a Wheaton teen who had taken up guitar after falling under the spell of rock n’ roll as a kid in 1956.

After a succession of personnel changes, Ken and Stan found a great fit in guitarist Tony Pavilonis and drummer Raymond “Buzz” Fyhrie. The lineup was complete. The Escavels painted their name on the bass drum and proceeded to spend the rest of 1964 and the beginning of 1965 rocking basement parties, dances, weddings, teen clubs and youth centers as hard as any other group on the scene at the time. They even generated a bit of controversy with their scorching rendition of “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction” when they played the Fourth of July celebration in the summer of 1965 in Wheaton. The result noticeably pumped up their popularity with local music fans. Just after the July 4th incident, they won the “Talented Teen Contest” at the Market Plaza in Glen Ellyn. The audience’s response was used by the judges to select the winners. They received plaques, a little money and a free recording session at Recordings Unlimited in Chicago where they later cut two original songs direct to an eight-inch lacquer coated aluminum disc.

The first was an original from Utterback: “Lonely Sea,” a moody surfer’s lament largely influenced by the band’s love of the Beach Boys. On the other side was “You Should Know,” an upbeat garage stomper with a rather interesting story. The song would pop up again a year later on a 45 by The Pattens, another Wheaton band. The Pattens would claim authorship when they cut their more polished pop version for the Stature label in 1966. In fact, the song was written by Stan Sherbino with contributions from Ken and Tony shortly before the Escavels cut their acetate in mid-1965!

By the end of 1965, The Escavels were finally starting to move apart. Eventually, Tony, Buzz and Ken departed. Stan soldiered on for some time with lineups consisting of various new members, some sourced from other popular local groups like The Ravens. By 1966, the group was no more. Stan hit the road for other musical opportunities and eventually made the long lost psychedelic classic Catharsis as part of the group McDonald and Sherby in the early 1970’s. Tony continued in more mainstream entertainment, eventually appearing on the Ed Sullivan show as part of the Young Americans. Buzz spent some time as the drummer in a band known as the Rhythm Method and started a long career of entrepreneurialism and racing Corvettes. Ken went on to a number of notable local bands, including time as part of the group Things To Come. The lone single Things To Come cut is still hotly collected for its textbook garage punk sound. Following that, Ken spend the early 1970’s with a major label gig, playing guitar in Pacific Gas and Electric, touring in support of the band’s biggest hit: “Are You Ready” on Columbia.
The Escavels’ acetate sat forgotten in a basement for almost 50 years until it was rediscovered in 2012. It had survived heat waves and floods pretty well for a disc that was essentially a single use disposable recording device. Over time the lacquer on the disc has undergone a natural degradation process and an ultra high-quality transfer was quickly arranged to preserve the recordings before the grooves faded for good. Once transferred, an expert mastering engineer restored the recordings as much as possible without altering its original sound. Please enjoy this record. The sound of the recordings may not be perfect, but they represent the end of an exhaustive search by Alona’s Dream to bring the music of this important obscure Chicago group to light.

From Roctober Magazine

Nov ’12:

Rocktober review Nov 2012

From Shindig! Magazine #30

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