THE STONEMEN (Fall River, MA)

Look at those cold stares…they don't call them the Stonemen for nothing. From left: Mike Cote, Bob Boday, Nelson Araujo, Norberto Carreiro. Courtesy of Norbert Carreiro.

FALL RIVER, MASS. – Lizzie Borden, Battleship Cove, Emeril Lagasse…and the Stonemen?

For collectors of Sixties, um, rock vinyl, there's no question which is the city's most notable hallmark.

Fall River is a largely Portuguese city bordering on the Southeastern portion of Rhode Island. About an hour from Boston and 30 minutes from Providence, it is close enough to either city for bands to easily gig; however, Fall River itself indeed had quite a thriving little scene back then. Yes, this is a site about Rhode Island bands — but seeing as the Stonemen's drummer hailed from our state, and the 45 was recorded in Providence, we'll gladly welcome them in with an asterisk. After all, there is no denying the killer photos and long-buried unreleased janglers we're about to unveil…

The a-side of the Stonemen's lone 45, "No More," appeared on the New England Teen Scene Vol. 3 LP in 1991, and at the time I was familiar with the song from the Lyres repertoire. The sparse, ultra-lo-fi recording punctuates this devastatingly bleak tale of love lost: desperation weighs like a boulder on the heart of this Stoneman.

So, who are these tortured souls?

I pegged these guys for hopeless prep-school-looking dweebs, resigned to spending weekends tending to geometry homework while silently pining away for that one girl's unreciprocated smile. Well, slap me with a protracter if these guys ain't Beatle-booted punks. With go go dancers!

The Stonemen consisted of Norberto Carreiro (Fall River, Mass.) on rhythm guitar and lead vocals; Mike Cote (New Bedford, Mass.) on lead guitar and vocals; Nelson Araujo (Fall River, Mass.) on bass guitar and vocals; and Bob Boday (East Providence, R.I.) on drums and keyboards. The band played mostly in the Southeastern Massachusetts area, and made one trip down to New York City to perform when their 45 came out.

The two tracks from the single were recorded in early 1966 at New England Recording Studios in Providence. Nelson handled the vocals on "No More" while Norberto sang lead on "Where Did Our Love Go." The band was to attend the mixdown session at Bell Sound Studios in NYC with their manager Don Perry, but a wild evening with said go go dancers resulted in a slight change of plans. Mike Cote recalls:
"We were partying in Fall River on Sunday night with the Go Go girls and got arrested in Fall River and spent the night in jail and went to court on Monday morning. We were supposed to take the train out of Providence early Monday a.m. and meet Don at Bell Sound in NYC. However, we couldn't get a train out until the afternoon because of our unfortunate delay and missed out on the mixing schedule that was set up for sometime Monday afternoon. So we partied in NYC that night and went to the Night Owl in the Village where the Lovin' Spoonful had played and ended up at the Peppermint Lounge. We met Don on Tuesday at Bell Sound. He had already remixed the record and we just got to listen to what he did. We were not pleased with all the reverb and echo he put into the mix. However, we just went with it."
With Norbert and Mike's departure date for the Air Force looming in June 1966, the Stonemen decided to capture five songs at Metcalf Studios in New Bedford, Mass., in April and May of 1966. Luckily for us, 48 years later, these unreleased gems — which only exist on beat-up, one-sided acetates residing in the Azores — flesh out the Stonemen legacy.

We'll let the guitars and gals do the talking here, as most details of the band's exploits are lost to the years.

An amusing side note: Without the band's knowledge, the Stonemen's agent, Fall River man-about-town and record label magnate Don Perry (of the Spi-Dells), used the backing music of "No More" and subbed in his own tearful, sobbing vocal track. He then pressed it up under the Kri-Babe moniker on the aptly named Boo Hoo label. A real head-scratcher, for sure.

Bert Carreiro now spends his time in the Azores, Portugal and Spain. He worked as a Carnival Cruise Lines entertainer and still slings guitar in a band. Nelson Araujo is retired and takes lead guitar and vocal duties in a couple of Southeastern Massachusetts bands. Bob Boday continued to drum for various blues and jazz outfits up until about ten years ago. Mike Cote still plays guitar and resides in Plymouth, Mass., sans leopard vest.

Endless thanks to Norberto for the band photos and acetate scans. Acetate digital transfers and clean-up by Luis Dores.

From left: Norberto Carreiro, Bob Boday, Mike Cote, Nelson Araujo. Courtesy of Norbert Carreiro.

From left: Bob Boday, Nelson Araujo, Norberto Carreiro, Mike Cote. Courtesy of Norbert Carreiro.

Live at the Academy Theater in Fall River, Mass. Courtesy of Norbert Carreiro. (Click for full-size view.)

Live at the Academy Theater in Fall River, Mass. Courtesy of Norbert Carreiro. (Click for full-size view.)

Nelson, Norbert and Mike at Metcalf Studios in New Bedford, Mass., April-May 1966.

Norberto with an unidentified musician (left) and hamming it up with Mr. Metcalf off to the side.

Nelson (left) and Mike (right) tuning up.

Bobby on keys (left), and talking shop with an unidentified band (right). Does anybody out there remember these guys?



The Stonemen live and in color at the Binnacle Club in Newport, R.I., at possibly one of the band's last performances before military service. According to Mike, the club was on the second floor above a laudromat, up the street from the Newport police station. Photo courtesy of Mike Cote.



Stonemen reunion - Oct. 22, 2014
All four original members perform together for the first time in 48 years...and without a rehearsal!

The festivities started with a delicious Portuguese dinner at Clipper Restaurant in Fall River.

At the Holy Ghost Club in Westport, the boys played an unrehearsed set of 50s/60s covers including "That's How Strong My Love Is," and also broke out three originals: "No More," "Where Did Our Love Go," and "I Don't Want You."







THE STONEMEN
No More / Where Did Our Love Go
Big Topper
(1107/1108) March 1966




THE STONEMEN
#1 Fool
Acetate-only recording
Metcalf Studios, New Bedford, MA
April 1966






THE STONEMEN
I Don't Want You
** Lead vocal: Nelson Araujo
** Keyboards: Bob Boday

Acetate-only recording
Metcalf Studios, New Bedford, MA
April 1966






THE STONEMEN
I Could Love A Girl (A Lot Like You)
Acetate-only recording
Metcalf Studios, New Bedford, MA
May 24, 1966






THE STONEMEN
That's How Strong My Love Is
** Keyboards: Bob Boday
Acetate-only recording
Metcalf Studios, New Bedford, MA
May 24, 1966






THE STONEMEN
6 x 9
** Keyboards: Bob Boday
Acetate-only recording
Metcalf Studios, New Bedford, MA
April 1966






KRI-BABE
No More / No More
Boo Hoo
(BH-1/2) 1966



5 comments:

  1. Does anyone know how I can contact Norberto ??
    my email is mtcc830@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The original group is playing tonight at Holy Ghost club in Westport, MA

      Delete
  2. Does anyone know how I can get ahold of Bob Boday ? I am a old friend from East Providence.....My email is RobtMuldoon@yahoo.com

    ReplyDelete