I’ve worked with Tim Woolfe, an instructor at Wright State’s Nutter Center, for a little over a year, setting up the archery equipment for his class. We were always friendly when crossing paths, but never did we go into personal matters. It wasn’t until last week, over coffee, that I found out he was the bass player in a band called Patti Holiday & The Luv’d Ones who had opened for many famous groups during the 1960s, including Simon & Garfunkel. My internal obsession with the counterculture years needed to know more about this humble man and his long-abandoned, musical alter-ego.
Here is that interview:
So, what got you interested in the music business? Did your parents do any of that?
No, it was…jeez. What made me pick up a guitar? Boy, that’s tough.
Did you start with guitar?
Yes. Well, no, actually, I started with a trumpet in school. Didn’t particularly enjoy it. Marching band, all that crap. For whatever reason, it wasn’t my thing. And I don’t remember if it was my parents who asked me or what, but we had this little place in town called The Band Box with all this musical equipment and stuff. I would ride my bike downtown to go to that music store. I’m gonna take a wild guess and say that it was the instruments on the wall that made me ask my parents for guitar lessons. That’s how I got started. It was five dollars a lesson back then. So, I started taking lessons at The Band Box, and then a local guy helped me out. No idea what his name was. In all honesty, I could not, at least not very well, read music. I played by ear.
Right. I’m the same way. Now, to me, bass is such an underrated instrument. But it’s basically the backbone to all songs, alongside percussion. So, why bass? Was it the thrill of being the glue of the band?
I had learned on a regular six-string, also twelve-string. But in our group, Dan Weaver, who was the lead guitarist, was much better. He had been playing longer, and was a year older, cause that makes a difference. And Lynn, who was the rhythm guitarist, he and I were pretty much the same. So, I think in the end, it was something that I didn’t know too much about, but I wanted to. So, I played bass. Had a little difficulty, initially, especially when it came to runs. I was simplistic for a while, which is okay at first. Just keeping the rhythm for the group as opposed to getting real fancy.
Right, right, right. So, your band was called The Luv’d Ones, correct?
Yes, L-U-V apostrophe D.
I tried looking you up on the Internet and three pictures came up. I couldn’t tell which one was you, but you were in there somewhere.
Haha, god, I can’t believe you looked for ‘em.
Patti Holiday & The Luv’d Ones, right?
Yeah, that was all I could find on you, which is interesting to me, because it was, obviously, before the Internet and stuff like that. And it’s crazy that all this history behind your band happened, and it’s never been recorded to the point that it’s easily accessible.
Right, because at that time, some of the people who we grew up with became fans. We became friends with a couple other groups that were trying to get themselves started at the same time we were. I think one group was called Beastie & The Cave Men. The guys, oh man…not The Yardbirds... who wrote "Mr. Tambourine Man?"
The Byrds. We did end up playing with them, I can’t remember where that was, but there was somebody else from another group…god, I can’t remember shit. But, I’m guessing that’s how that stuff got on there, too. A lot of people from around the area remember us. Dive into Facebook and whatever. I’m not into it.
All the members were high school buddies?
Yeah, all went to school together.
Cool. Now, I’ve performed on a stage that Steppenwolf, Alice Cooper, and Led Zeppelin were once on. But, it’s much different when you open for famous groups, as you did. You were even friends with a few of them, including Simon & Garfunkel.
Simon & Garfunkel, The Young Rascals, I think they’re The Rascals now, Mitch Ryder & The Detroit Wheels, Steppenwolf, The Beau Brummels, Lovin’ Spoonful. There were a lot of groups coming from England during that time. You know, when I stop and… Wayne Fontana & The Mindbenders. You’ve probably never even…The Turtles!
You opened for The Turtles!?
Ha, you remember The Turtles?
Oh, yeah. I ‘member.
Hey, listen, they made a couple of good songs.
I often listen to their “Golden Hits” album. So, did you realize how huge this was, playing for these bands?
I think we did, but we were in high school. Kids, I guess. Most of the people we were playing with were older. At least early 20s. I’m not sure how old Simon & Garfunkel were then. I always though Garfunkel was a little weird. We played with them right after they had made “Sounds of Silence.”
Wow. Was that a rush for you?
I don’t think so. We were excited, but I think more about it today than I did back then. I mean, we were somebody because we were playing with all these people. Getting those opportunities. I knew we weren’t The Beatles or the Stones, but at the same time, there was always opportunity. We played all the time. Every Friday and Saturday until summer hit, then we were just whammed. Here, there, all over the place. And you’re right, Brandon. I’ve never had anybody ask me that question before. No, I didn’t think about it too much. I wasn’t that impressed. We had a great time, though.
Walking through the halls of high school, I’m sure you got some attention. Women crawling up your legs, men bowing down, etc.
Not that so much that, but the fact that we had to comb our hair back. We always wore double-breasted jackets, bell-bottom pants – those were the big rage back then – and Beatle boots. A lot of suede, big flares. I probably took shit from some of the guys once and a while. Of course, I was a jock at the same time. That was sort of different because I was the only one in the group that was always caught. Our parents were always scared that we would say screw everything. Rebel, and become these rock star idiots. But, at the same time, I was conflicted because I was a jock. Baseball, football, track. It was a big deal for me. My sophomore year, I was a starter for everything I played. As much as I loved the music, the craziness, the chaos, whatever you want to call it, I still enjoyed athletics. When I got away from the music, it was strictly sports. I was always dedicated to both and was constantly torn. When I wasn’t sweating balls, it was all about music.
How did your parents react to all of this?
They did fine with it for a long time. If I remember correctly, when we got ready to go to New York for our recording session, there was some conflict among the group. Obviously, I’m saying obviously but I know everyone doesn’t have a set of parents, we all had them, mom and dad. Patty and Dan, the singer and lead guitarist, were brother and sister. The rhythm guitarist and drummer were brother and brother. And then there was me. The drummer and rhythm guitarist’s parents and my parents were close. They were more down to earth; they didn’t get caught up in all the shit. Danny and Patty’s dad, and I’m not knocking anybody, here, but he was a minister, a big preacher. Baptist, yeller, screamer. One of those guys.
A Sam Kinison type.
Yeah. And that’s how that family worked within the group. And so, when we got a little bit of notoriety, they wanted to take over and run everything. And I’ll be honest with you, Brandon, that was a big reason why we broke up. Even big groups today, somebody’s not getting along, somebody’s taking over this or that, whatever. And in this case, they wanted to control the money. My parents weren’t going to let that happen, and I knew Lynn’s wouldn’t either. Ultimately, there was a big fight about that. Patty’s older brother wanted to manage us, always butted in, even though we had a Fifth-Third Bank president and a DJ from the most popular station in the whole area buying us clothes, our equipment. Shit, we had the same equipment that The Beatles had! Vox amplifiers, the best Fender stuff, sound proof booths. We just despised their brother. Woody, god. He drove us nuts. That became a huge clashing point. I would blame that for us not continuing. If our parents were still alive, they would say the same thing.
So, all of this happened before you decided to go into ROTC?
Would you change anything?
No. For us to have continued, change was needed. One, their parents had to be out of the picture. Patty became a prima donna. I used to date her in high school and god did she drive me crazy. She wanted to have a female traveling with her all the time when we were touring. Her parents thought all these people wanted to get into her pants. Always like that. All of us couldn’t give less of a shit. We were so disgusted with the whole process. To do that, we would’ve had to give up more money to cater to her needs. We just weren’t going to do it. To answer your question, I wouldn’t change anything. If we would have changed that, would things be different? Yeah. Very much so. I don’t know where we could have ended up. But I also know that I wouldn’t have the life I have right now. Could I have made more money and became a big rock star? Sure. I could’ve. I could’ve also become a drug addict, a boozer, and be laying in an alley some place and have killed myself. It’s hard for me to say because I’m also realistic about the situation. The whole atmosphere was drugs and booze. But I wouldn’t change any of the opportunities that I got from that standpoint. It was awesome. Tremendous. Met some wonderful people.
You know, Patty’s prima donna attitude kind of reflects her personality later. You told me she went on to be in Young & the Restless.
In the show, her name was Gina, I think. Patty Weaver. I believe she was like a night club singer or something.
What did Dan end up doing?
He went on to play with a few other groups as backup guitar, pretty much. He never got a starring role.
I thought you said he played with the Edgar Winter Group?
That would have been Rick Derringer. He played with the McCoys. They were good friends of ours, too.
Well, I need to explain that one to my dad, then. Either way, there’s something exhilarating about being on stage. Whether you’re playing to ten people, one hundred people, or nobody, you’re the center of attention. It’s an amazing thing. So, when’s the last time you performed on stage? Did you play with any other band?
Nope. I completely gave it up. And believe me, I get asked this question all the time, but I probably played up until my freshmen or sophomore year of college. Now, Lynn, he still plays on his own. So does Dan. Patty still thinks she’s larger than life, just the way it affected the band back then. Dan wasn’t having much success. And since he didn’t devote much time to anything else, he’s not living the most glamorous life anymore.
Would you play again?
Phew… you know, my wife has asked me that many times, it seemed like once I got away from it and concentrated on sports, it kind of drifted away from me. I still have memorabilia, but it’s a great memory that I have stored away. But, here we are, how ironic, we get to yakking a little bit and I spill the beans. Otherwise, we never would have talked about it. I would never had brought it up in a million years. And it’s not that I didn’t have a great time or that I’m not proud or any of that, it’s just tucked away and it’s a nice memory. Sitting here, talking with you, Brandon, I’ve had a very interesting life. I’m thankful for the experiences I’ve had. Thinking to when I was in the band, playing with all those groups, you stop and think well, here’s a guy, does all the music stuff, goes through ROTC, becomes a lieutenant, goes to ranger school, a physically demanding thing, spends all that time in the military, and thinking back to the music, it doesn’t seem to go together. I was also on the Ohio State campus when the Kent State shootings occurred during Vietnam. On our campus, we had shootings, too, but no one was killed. Have you been on the Ohio State campus?
You know The Oval? Well, just think, bumper to bumper, highway patrol and Humvees circling that place. They had implemented curfews and all that crap. So, being the assholes that we were, we tried to infiltrate the buildings, sneak around by the bushes while helicopters are flying above with their big search lights, looking for people. We’re jigging and jagging around everything. What a bunch of idiots. We would’ve been thrown in jail. Then I think about those times and I get out of college. I’ve had many opportunities, but I have no complaints. None, whatsoever. Life’s been good. I have so many great interests. I love to bike, camp, hike, the great outdoors. I take trips, not with my wife, she’s not interested, but I’ve got some great friends that I go with. I even had seven grandkids.
So, you’re satisfied.
I am satisfied. I’ve even become a lover for gardening. I love plants.
Not everybody needs fame.
If you were to ask me if there’s anything that I spend a lot of time dwelling on, it’s stopping and thinking to myself what might be today if we would have continued. If there’s anything I ever dwell on, it’s that. How different my life might be. How different it would’ve been with my folks, my brother. Would I have had the strength to avoid the pitfalls that many rockers get into? I’m not sure. No regrets, nah. Just good memories.