Puff — “Go With You”: Brace for the Obscure (60s rock)! — September 21, 2022


587) Puff — “Go With You”

The Rockin’ Ramrods — one third of Boston’s garage rock trinity — transform into Puff. They show off their sensitive side with a touching love song from an exquisite album of what Ritchie Unterberger calls “light, sophisticated pop/rock with lots of harmonies and slight psychedelic touches”. (https://www.allmusic.com/album/the-best-of-the-rockin-ramrods-mw0000613200).

“The sound of the group changed dramatically. It was softer, more experimental, and for the first time introduced jazz, blues, and classical themes into the music.” (http://www.therockinramrods.com/The_Rockin_Ramrods/The_Rockin_Ramrods_History.html). They must have been drinking too much dirty water!

If you are from Bosstown, you know that, as Mark Deming tells us:

One of the leading acts on the Boston rock & roll scene in the 1960s, the Rockin’ Ramrods never broke through to nationwide popularity but they were a potent draw in New England, playing a steady stream of gigs both as headliners and opening for many of the leading acts of the day, as well as releasing a handful of regional singles. The . . . Ramrods were formed by Ronn Campisi, who played bass, sang lead, and wrote the group’s original material; Vin Campisi, Ronn’s older brother, on guitar; and drummer Bob Henderson, who also sang backing vocals. . . . The group started out as an instrumental combo, but as acts without singers fell out of favor, Ronn . . . took on vocal duties, and the group wrote and recorded a number of strong pop/rock tunes. The[y] were managed by Bill Spence, owner of the Surf Ballroom chain in Massachusetts, and they were frequent headliners at Spence’s venues as well as other New England clubs, social events, and teen dances. In 1965, Spence helped book a short tour of New England for the Rolling Stones, and the Rockin’ Ramrods opened the shows as well as backing up two vocal groups on the bill, [including] the Bluebelles (featuring Patti LaBelle) . . . . As the ’60s wore on, the Rockin’ Ramrods became the Ramrods . . . . In 1968, they evolved into Puff, who recorded an album for MGM Records[.]. Ronn . . . wrote all the songs for Puff but didn’t appear on the album[, which] proved unsuccessful . . . .


Stephen Haag adds that:

Along with The Remains and The Lost, The Rockin’ Ramrods formed Boston’s Garage Rock trinity in the mid ’60s. Although they never approached a level of notoriety like that of The Remains, they were very popular in Massachusetts, playing regularly at Bill Spence’s Surf Ballrooms at Nantasket, Hyannis and Salisbury beaches and, during their run, sharing the stage with such luminaries as The Ventures, The Rascals, The Swingin’ Medallions, The Lovin’ Spoonful, The Left Banke, The Tremeloes, The Doors, and Tommy James and The Shondells. Their eight singles [including] the Lennon/McCartney numbers “I Wanna Be Your Man” and “I’ll Be On My Way” earned them an opening slot on the Rolling Stones’ first stateside tour in 1965, where the band was often called upon to serve as decoys to allow the Stones to escape their throngs of excited fans. . . . Unable to capitalize on momentum from the Stones tour, The Rockin’ Ramrods disbanded, with chief songwriter Ronn Campisi unveiling his new psychedelic act, Puff, in 1968.


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“Go With You” starts at 32:38:

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