|The Malibus, looking quite jovial despite the heartbreakers who inspired their perfect debut 45. From left: Peter Place, Joe Broccoli, Peter Bulger and Jack Henehan. Photo courtesy of Pete Bulger.|
When one thinks of teen garage records from Rhode Island, the Malibus 45 from 1966 on Planet Records is the long-running crown jewel. The band's first vinyl outing is a stunning two-sider, with the one-two punch of garage punker "Cry (Over Her)" on the opening side and the moody Zombies-esque "Leave Me Alone" on the flip. A true indication of its greatness, "Cry" was chosen for inclusion on the very first Back From The Grave compilation LP back in 1983, while its counterpart appeared on the very first New England Teen Scene LP volume the same year.
The band — Jack Henehan, Joe Broccoli, Peter Place and Pete Bulger — sprung from Cranston, R.I., lasting from 7th grade all the way through college at the University of Rhode Island. Broccoli, Place and Bulger went to Cranston High School East, while Henehan attended Bishop Hendricken. The Malibus gigged heavily in venues of all sizes ranging from school dances to private functions to opening slots at large auditoriums for major-label acts such as the Byrds and the Left Banke.
A faster, but far tamer version of "Cry" was cut two years later in 1968, paired with a new ballad flipside. Some copies of this 45 came with a dynamic fluorescent bumper sticker. The two tracks also surfaced as part of a monthly flexi-disc series in Massachusetts sponsored by Pepsi. However, this record spotlighted the b-side, "I Miss You," and relegated "Cry" to an abridged version which abruptly fades out as the disc's groove space ends.
(The etching in the dead wax area reads "Pepsi #8" so theoretically there are at least seven other artists who received this treatment. The ones I've found accounted for are the Ramrods, the Fabulous Frauleins, the 5 P.M., and the Royal Knights (Maine). If anybody out there remembers where these cryptic flexis originated from, we'd love to find out more information.)At the end of the decade, coinciding with some lineup changes, the Malibus changed their name to Bastille, and in 1972 the band self-released its only vinyl output, the "Trying To Be Free / Music Ship" 45.
In May 2013, drummer and resident pack rat Pete Bulger unearthed a treasure trove of Malibus memorabilia … and we've got 'em all scanned and showcased below. These relics reinforce just how popular the band was and the breadth of their busy performance schedule — including television appearances and even road trips to the Atlantic City (N.J.) Steel Pier and Expo 67 in Montreal.
Be sure to also check out the fine Garage Hangover site, who were the first to feature the complete Malibus/Bastille story!
|Early promotional shot. Photo courtesy of Garage Hangover site. Used with permission.|
|At right, the Malibus rockin' Rocky Point Amusement Park in Warwick, R.I.|
|Sideburns … the later years.|
|Channel 4 in Boston television appearance, Sept. 18, 1965.|
|The Cranston Herald Oct. 5, 1967, (left) and the Providence Journal Oct. 3, 1967, promote the Malibus' appearance at the Expo 67 world fair in Montreal, October 1967.|
|The local boys received lots of press in the Cranston Herald: Dec. 22, 1966; June 15, 1967; April 18, 1968.|
|Program from the aforementioned talent show on Dec. 30, 1966, with Malibus promo shot and bio.|
|Dig the Malibus illustration! Unfortunately, no photos of the Malibus and their Wing-Ding Dancers have turned up .|
|A few years, tokes, and wardrobe changes later ... Bastille, from left: Sam Gingerella, Pete Bulger, Rick Nielsen, Peter Place, Ray Renzi and Jack Henehan. Photo courtesy of Ray Renzi and Garage Hangover site. Used with permission.|
Cry (Over Her) / Leave Me Alone
Planet Records (No. 58) 1966
Cry / I Miss You
Malibu Records (MC-1) 1968
Trying To Be Free / The Music Ship
no label (RITE-5355) 1972