Ron(n) Campisi, bass, vocals
Vinn Campisi, rhythm guitar, lead guitar, electric banjo, mandolin
Bob "Jesse" Henderson, drums
Bill Linnane, lead guitar
Scott Curtis, organ
Len Cirelli, keyboards
from the left
Vin Campisi,Ronn Campisi,Bill Linnane,Bob Henderson, 1964
The Rockin' Ramrods started as instrumental ban. in early '60s.They were managed by Bill Spense and became house band at his big Nantasket Beach nightclub.
They opened for Jan & Dean, The Dave Clark Five and The Orlons by August of 1964. At the time they changed their music to vocal instrumental combo.
They played "Play It" on a movie called "Discoteck Holiday."In 1966 Len Cirelli replaced Scott Curtis.
Hitomi:How did you start music? Robin and the Hoods was your first band?
Len:I started played the accordion at a very young age and in my teens
switched to piano and organ. I went to high school with Robin MacNamara
and Ron Campisi. Our manager Bill Spence owned the three Surf Ballrooms
and we played there with the other "Surf" groups, The Techniques, The
Pilgrims, and others who I cannot remember right now.
Robin and the Hoods was the first band I ever played in that played
in public. The lead singer was Robin McNamarra who was a very talented
singer and went on to have one hit solo record called "Lay a Little Lovin'
On Me".He later stared in the play "Hair" all over the states and in Europe.
recently tracked him down and he has a recording studio in Florida and is doing well. We played all over the Boston area and were doing well.
H:Did you join Rockin' Ramrods between their opening act of Kingsmen
to Rolling Stones tour?
L: We filled in for the Ramrods at the Surf while they were on tour with the Kingsmen in 1965. During that tour the keyboard player for the Ramrods took off and never came back. The other Ramrods asked me to join the band,and with Robins' blessing, I left and became a Ramrod.
Later that year our manger, who booked big name rock acts in his three Surf clubs, had booked the Stones for three dates, each in a different location. During the negotiations for that the Stones management indicated they were looking for a band to open the show and back up the other two
acts, The BlueBells and The Vibrations. The BlueBells were Patti LaBell who is a big star in my country still, Cindy Birdsong who joined the Supremes after Dianne Ross left, and Nona Hedricks who has had a couple of hits here in he US.
I have many many Stones stories I could tell you. Remember Brian Jones was still in the group then and Andrew Loog Oldem was still the manager. The tour started in Canada and worked its way down the East Coast of the States, across the country, to the West Coast. On that tour I got to meet,Bob Dylon, Sam the Sham, Paul Revere and the Raiders, to name a few.
H: I have "Bright Lit Blue Skies " 45. Did you change the name to Ramrods
at the taime?
Was the 45 your best hit?
L: Yes we did drop the Rockin' from the name after a while. " Can't
and "Bright Lit Blue Skies" did well for us.
H: We can listen Can't YOu See on Ramrods CD on UK Bigbeat now. But
I think it is unreleased in '60s.
Was the song popular at the gig?
L: you are correct the song Cant you See was never released but
was a big favorite when we played out locally.
My greatest memories of my rock life was of course the Stones tour but in my career I also got to meet Jim Morrison, The McCoys, The Ventures, The Left Bank, The Rascals, The Kingsmen, Dion, and many many more. I am proud to be a small part of rock history.
H: After you quite Ramrods , which band did you play ?
L: After I left the Ramrods I played in a few bands and even a duo but it was never the same.
After Ron Campisi left the Ramrods we replaced him with Dave "Chico" Ryan who later became the bass player for Sha Na Na. Dave recently passed away and we all miss him..
H:Thank you to answer my question.
The Best of the Rockin' Ramrods Bigbeat
The Rockin' Ramrods EVA 12015 (out of print)