First, I’d like to thank Kim Cooper and BU for this opportunity to speak out here. I actually wrote to her and asked for this opportunity for a few reasons which I will explain in this blog, and I hope to continue the discussion with old fans, new fans, the curious, anti-fans, and anyone else who wants to get involved or add to this.
My name is Floyd Marcus and I am the original drummer of The 1910 Fruitgum Company, and after being involved in many other musical projects over the years, I and Frank Jeckell, my long time friend and original guitarist and member got together with a friend Mick Mansueto who convinced us to get the band back together.We decided that it was the right time to do it, and that It would be fun again. We reformed over 5 years ago, and have had a great time playing and meeting fans ever since.
Over the years, I personally had not paid any attention to what was going on or what was being said about The Fruitgum Company. The more I was involved the more I realized how many lies, mistruths, misunderstandings, purposely concocted stories were out here on the net, in books, etc. There were and are writers (and I use that term loosely ; very loosely) that spew all kinds of garbage under the guise that it’s the truth, that they have some special attachment, whether fan or anti-fan, to the information pipeline about what occured with not only The Fruitgum Company, but other bands.
I mean a myth or two is okay. It’s fine for everyone, because it spices things up. I’m talking about morons who claim there was never a real band. Fortunately, there were 5 really talented musicians who became the Fruitgum Company. Unfortunately, after a few of us left, there were replacements (some not so talented) and things became watered down. I played on the first two albums. even when a new drummer was brought in, I was in asked to come in and play on the tracks.
Anyone with the slightest inclination to get to the truth can find it. For example: we five original members were on the road when we were asked about our new single (our third), and when Mark answered knowingly, the rest of us were suddenly aware that something was rotten, and one of us had been in collusion with the producer-managers. This was not because the band was incapable of doing a great job on those records or any others.There were a lot of reasons to record singles at that point while the band was on the road. I mean, why take the band off the road when it was earning and promoting.
Also, there was dissention by members as in most bands, as to what to do and it was obviously more practical business-wise to deal with a group of young musicians by sabotaging that dissent. Anyway, to set that straight, there were 5 talented musicians name Frank, Pat, Floyd, Steve and Mark that were the the actual original 1910.
Another thing is although the first album cover was tiny pictures off of film strips taken during the first photo shoot. If someone looked just a little further they’d find first the picture of me leaning on the gum machine, and Frank dressed as a "fortune-teller" with a turban and sunglasses, and the same guys on the front of Kasenetz and Katz singing Orchestral Circus album. In fact, although through the years the truth has been perverted to show second and third members on re-issue covers, there are hundreds of examples of the original 5 members on covers from, Japan, Italy, England etc. Plus, our names are listed inside the first album. Any questions?
Now, as to the question of talent. How many of the old fans who saw us remember what kind of music we performed in our shows. I recall a show where we arrived and were to replace the cancelled Vanilla Fudge. Well, rightfully so, the audience was very unhappy, felt ripped off, and were pretty vocal about it. There was a local DJ there whose name I can’t recall who calmed the audience down and said something to the effect of "These guys are not to blame for what’s happened here, so how about at least giving them a chance!". Well, we decided the best strategy to take was to perform "You Keep Me hanging On", the Fudges signature hit. By the end of the song we won over the audience. We also did great covers of Hendrix, Cream, The Beatles, the Stones, The Young Rascals, The Yardbyrds, The Animals, Marvin Gaye, The Four Tops, Mitch Ryder and others. And we’d do our hits, Simon Says, May I take A giant Step and 1,2,3 Red light.
And you know what? We were extremely capable of pulling all that stuff off. There were studio guys, but they came later. There was Joey Levine, and he was with the Ohio Express. They were a different band. No knocking any of those guys. Some of us are in touch with them even now planning jobs together.
I will be keeping you all up to date on our new projects through this blog. We have a studio CD being re-released, we have a live CD coming out, and I personally am going to get out our recordings we did during the period we were rehearsing, playing out before, and during our incarnation as The 1910. You know, the band that didn’t exist, according to some. Oh, by the way. I’ll be posting pictures of the original guys, the new, older incarnation of the band.