Mar 15, 2018

1965: The Warlocks (Massachusetts)

Cash Box ad, June 5, 1965

NEW YORK - The Warlocks, the group that introduced the Temper Tantrum dance in a Boston night club, has recorded a single, "Temper Tantrum," for Decca.
The dance, introduced May 12 at the Forum, a Hub discotheque, was shown in film clip form on "The Tonight Show." It has received exposure on Boston radio and TV stations and in the local press.
Dick Jacobs, Decca a&r man, recorded the disk in Boston. Charlotte Holicker, one of the dance's inventors, explained the dance on "The Mike Douglas Show" Friday (28).

(from Billboard, 5 June 1965)

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BOSTON - Alan Ross of Decca Records may be responsible for a new dance known as the Temper Tantrum, by the Warlocks, ready for release on Decca. It grew out of a session at Boston's Forum with most of the record distributors present. Alan secured tape of music and film of the dance and sent it to New York. Presto! a new record and perhaps a new dance. Hub dancer Charlotte Hollicker will show it to Mike Douglas and Patrice Munsel on the Douglas Show soon.

(from Billboard, 12 June 1965)

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NEW YORK — Decca Records has rushed into release a single record based on the new dance, “Temper Tantrum.” The dance was introduced last month at The Forum, a Boston discotheque, that had invited the Hub press, radio, television and the general public to the first public demonstration of this new “tension relieving” dance conceived by Charlotte and Joe Holicker. The room was jammed to capacity as the dancers stamped their feet and gyrated, as a small child in a fit of temper, in time to the music, as the patrons joined in and a new dance craze was born.
The next day the Boston press and radio-TV carried the message that this was the dance to do in Boston and the surrounding areas. “The Tonight Show” heard about the excitement generated by the dance and showed a film clip of the steps of the “tantrum” to a national viewing audience. At the same time it was brought to the attention of A&R staffer Dick Jacobs, who immediately flew to Boston to record “Temper Tantrum” with The Warlocks, the musical group that first introduced the dance.
The Decca record was cut, mastered and shipped all in the period of three days to keep pace with the national excitement being generated by the fad. Charlotte Holicker made a guest appearance on “The Mike Douglas Show” this past Friday (28) to tell the story of the dance to the show’s vast syndicated audience. Many national publications are now planning spreads on the dance.
Decca’s full promo forces are going all-out to garner similar reaction in all areas to “Temper Tantrum” as happened when first introduced in Boston.

(from Cash Box, 5 June 1965) 

from the Record Reviews:

WARLOCKS (Decca 31806)
THE TEMPER TANTRUM (2:25) - Easy driving beat behind smooth vocals on this outing make for possible clicking with  dance crowds. The free moving rhythm could connect with good sales and spins resulting.
I’LL GO CRAZY (2:46) - Pounding beat on this rock number.

The Temper Tantrum (by Joseph & Charlotte Holicker; A-side)
I'll Go Crazy (by James Brown; B-side)

October 1965...

Phil Lesh: "I was browsing in a record store and found a single by a band called the Warlocks, on Columbia. I brought the bad news to the guys, and we started to bandy new names about...but nothing really sounded right, and we just couldn't decide. Meanwhile, we were recording some demo songs for a local record label, and we needed not to be the Warlocks anymore. So we agreed on a temporary name - the Emergency Crew - for our first recording sessions. What on earth to call ourselves?..."

Jerry Garcia: "Our name was originally the Warlocks, [but] we discovered that there was a band back east or something like that recording under that name, and we decided, 'Oh, no, we can't have that. We can't be confused with somebody else.' So we were trying to think up names..."


  1. The "Temper Tantrum" fad must have gone unnoticed in Palo Alto... It probably vanished within the month.

    Phil would have been especially surprised when he spotted this single because the Dead also covered James Brown's I'll Go Crazy. (At least, it appears on a January 1966 setlist; and Garcia also recorded it decades later with David Grisman.)

    Ironically, by the time Phil saw the single, the other Warlocks were probably no more. They disappeared after their discovery by Decca, never released another single, and were forgotten by the world. But they were the first of many Warlocks to record.

    America was crawling with Warlocks in the late sixties, many of whom appeared on record:
    - the Warlocks in New York City changed their name to the Velvet Underground before recording anything;
    - the Warlocks in Ohio had a track (You Should've Listened) on a record called "The Dayton Scene" released in June 1966;
    - the pre-ZZ Top Warlocks in Texas released two singles (Splash Day & If You Really Want Me To Stay) in 1966;
    - the Warlocks in Missouri released a single (Beware/Secret Agent Man) in 1966;
    - the Warlocks in Michigan released a single (Girl/Hey Joe) in 1967;
    - the Warlocks in Idaho released a single (You Keep Me Hanging On/Banana Soul) in 1967;
    - the Worlocks in Pennsylvania released a single (I Love You/Stay By Her Side) in 1967;
    - the Warloks in Oregon didn't release anything that I know of.
    I'm sure there were other unrecorded Warlocks as well that have been completely forgotten!

  2. But there was only one Grateful Dead! (Except for all the biker gangs.)

    1. For those curious about the Grateful Dead biker gangs:

      There was also a Warlocs [sic] in Orlando, Florida, who had two tracks (Oo Baby Baby & It's All Right) released on a couple Bee Jay sampler records in 1967-68.
      There was ALSO a Warlocks in New Haven, Connecticut, active in 1965-66, but they didn't record anything. (They've been confused in the past with the Warlocks from Beverly, Massachusetts, who recorded the Temper Tantrum single.)
      So that makes a dozen states with Warlocks in those years! Any more?

      The only other thing I know about the Massachusetts group is that they played in Boston and covered the Animals' We Gotta Get Out Of This Place. Some comments here:

    2. There was also a Warlox in Virginia, who released a single (Vision of Love/You Can't Win) in 1967.

    3. "The "chit chat" column of the Oakland Tribune, October 23, 1965, p. 7B makes mention of a local battle of the bands in which one of the competitors is The Warlocks, from Encinal High."

      Encinal High is in Alameda, next to Oakland. Given the October '65 date, I wonder if this band had seen the Palo Alto Warlocks! But it was probably just synchronicity, given how many Warlocks were popping up all over.

  3. Late to this one, so great! Some of the former members of the Massachusetts Warlocks are still active it seems like, and there's more Warlocks history here:

  4. There was also a band called the Warlachs in Napa, CA. Deaddisc's North California Groups page notes that they were "a British Invasion-influenced combo from the Napa Valley who had evolved from an earlier Napa group called The Strangers. Playing a mix of Yardbirds and Rolling Stones R&B numbers, they were a popular local attraction from 1965 to 1966." Their manager was Gene Sculatti, later known for being a music journalist & a writer on the San Francisco rock music scene.
    They won a Battle of the Bands playing "I've Got My Mojo Working," "Mystic Eyes," "Not Fade Away," "King Bee," "I'm A Man" and "It's Alright," so their repertoire wasn't far from the Palo Alto Warlocks. They didn't record anything, as far as I know.
    Who was responsible for the name "the Warlachs," I could not find.