Here's a song that would have been quite ordinairy if it wasn't for the scorching fuzz guitar that runs through it.
From Olivet, Michigan.
Jeff Mate, original drummer with The Camel Drivers has kindly been in touch to share his recollection of his time with the band;
The original name for the band was "Abdul and the Camel Drivers". Dick Nahikian founded the band with a couple of his fraternity brothers (Tom Curlin and Terry Connon) at Olivet College. They didn't have a drummer and I started messing around with them in 1963 when I was a freshman there. We started playing together I think around late 1963. Tom's brother, Dave Curlin, joined us about 1964ish. Dick left the band after he graduated or soon after and we just were called the "Camel Drivers". We picked up a new lead guitar player named Greg Sanders. Terry played bass, Tom rhythm guitar, Dave could play guitar but was a great singer, and I was the drummer. The band stayed together until around 1970. I left the band in 1968 to become a teacher. The I don't know the drummer's name that took my place. It was a long time ago.
I must say that our best quality as our band was the ability to "cover" almost any song that was popular at the time. We had three and four part harmony which enabled us to sound like anyone. We played slow, hard rock and everything in-between. We were a band that played locally for the Coral Gables chain of bars mostly in Lansing, Birmingham, and Saugatuck Michigan. We traveled to Asbury Park New Jersey a couple of summers to play on the shore in the mid 60's.
I didn't handle all the mechanics of the record recordings. Tom did most of that. Terry as well. Tom became the leader of the group when Dick left. We recorded for Artie Fields in the Detroit area on a couple of labels because I think Buddah bought the songs for better distribution. I'm not sure. I don't know why the flip side was different. I think Tom wanted on of his songs on the flip side and Artie or someone from Buddah wanted a song that Don Domingas wrote. Don't really know. I can remember that Tom pushed hard for one of our songs. Top Dog was Artie's and Buddah was not. I have some memory that Atlantic records was involved with us and maybe Buddah came about from them?
I'm astonished that the record was released in England!! We were a local band from a very small college in central Michigan. We played all the small towns and big towns in Michigan and some, as I have said in New Jersey. We came from the gymnasium at Oliver College to the Rooster Tail Night Club in Detroit. There were never any plans for a tour. This is speculation on my part, but we were caught in the music business when the sounds were changing. We were the bar band that could sound like anyone else. We didn't ever have our own identity. We played on TV on the rock stations around Detroit. CKLW radio was the big rock station in the area. Tommy Shannon was the DJ. Robin Seymore had a Swinging Time TV show on weekend which all the big groups in the country were on. Both CKLW radio and Singing Time were out of Windsor, Canada just across the river from downtown Detroit. Robin Seymore was the MC for the Rooster Tail as well and that is why we played there too.
Terry and his family live in Florida. Terry runs an audio visual business. Tom, as I understand it, lives in Ontario, Canada. He married a Canadian gal from school and is or was in the plastics business. Dick and his wife live in Colorado and are or were teachers. Dave lives in Florida as well but don't know much about him now. Greg - I have no info. I live in Ann Arbor, Mi. with my wife. We are retired teachers. Do you get the idea that we were all pretty much in the teaching profession? That is what we all started out to do form Olivet College.