NEAL FORD & THE FANATICS

NEAL FORD & THE FANATICS were a 1960's rock band from Houston, Texas.    They released one LP on the Hickory label, along with a number of singles on Hickory and other labels.   Their songs were strong and the band was tight, playing regularly at skating rinks, shopping malls and night clubs like The Catacombs and The Living Eye.   I was fortunate to see the band play a set at Memorial City Mall in 1968.  
It was the era of hip huggers, bell bottoms and miniskirts, and the crowd had a great time listening to the groovy sounds of
NEAL FORD & THE FANATICS!




This web page is my tribute to NEAL FORD & THE FANATICS.
E-mail me if you have suggestions or comments.

YouTube video (thanks Jonny!)


JON PERELES, songwriter and guitarist for Neal Ford & The Fanatics, was seriously injured in a cycling accident in Italy in May, 2014.
Please consider donating to the fundraiser to help with the cost of his medical care and transportation back to the USA.
CLICK HERE FOR UPDATES ON JON AND INFORMATION ON HOW TO DONATE



GOOD MEN:
Neal Ford & The Fanatics CD Anthology!

Ace Records has released the Anthology CD
of 26 songs with a 28 page booklet!
They also released a vinyl single of "I Will Not Be Lonely".


Click here for information from the Ace Records website

Click here for a larger photo and additional information about the CD tracks!

Amazon.com page for ordering the CD



PERSONNEL (in 1968; left to right in photo)
Click on link for profile from LP liner notes

NEAL FORD INTERVIEW by Bill Thompson (July 2008)

NEAL FORD INTERVIEW by Vicki Ayo (excerpt from her new book "BOYS FROM HOUSTON")

Photos from the Celebration of Life for Lanier Greig (March 10, 2013):
Jon Pereles & Neal Ford in March 2013:   Photo 1     Photo 2 (with guitars)



SELECTIONS FROM THE RICHARD AMES MUSIC COLLECTION
(courtesy of The Center for American History at THE UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS)

Rare photos, newspaper articles, contracts for recording sessions and club appearances, correspondence from Steve Ames and Dick Ames, and much more



NEAL FORD & THE FANATICS - A CHRONOLOGY
(based on Steve Ames' monthly calendar notes, concert posters, and newspaper notices)




Here's a message from Neal Ford (April 2009):

There is a group in Germany called The Satelliters. They recorded one of our old songs called "Shame On You" some time ago and released it as a single and put it on a vinyl album called "Unknown State (Of Mind)".  I sent them some lyrics that I wrote back in the late 60's. They liked the lyrics and put music to them and it is their new single called "Lost In Time". 
Check out their myspace page and give a listen.


Neal Ford has been appearing at Sammy's Club in Halletsville, TX on weekend nights. (September 2010)
Check out the YouTube video with highlights of a recent performance!


VIDEO: NEAL FORD & THE FANATICS ON THE LARRY KANE SHOW!

Apparently, the master videotapes of the band's appearances on KTRK's Larry Kane Show have not survived the years.   The Fanatics appeared on TV programs in other cities, so there is always hope that some video footage of the band's performances may surface.

In the meantime, a silent 8mm film was discovered from a Fanatics appearance on The Larry Kane Show.   Backstage footage shows members of the band visiting with Sonny and Cher, and a few seconds of The Fanatics performance on the show. 

Click here to see the YouTube video (14 minutes)







FAN CLUB BOOKLET (thanks to CHERYL & SANDY!!):


Booklet from Caped Crusader #74:
1966 magazine "VARSITY TATTLER":  

OTHER PHOTOS and scans:


GARNER STATE PARK CONCERT (JULY 4, 1965):
Color Photos of The Fanatics from this concert trip:   
    Group photo (minus Neal)         Onstage snapshot
    Click here to see the omplete slideshow from the bus trip and outdoor concert at Garner!
    KNUZ Radio Spot (Broadcast June 16, 1965)

Flyer #1:  for appearance at Carousel Skating Rink (10-16-65)

Flyer #2:  for appearance at Carousel Skating Rink (9-18-65)

Flyers for concert appearances by the Fanatics (courtesy of Dr. Dennis Hickey):            

Early promotional portrait (8 x 10 glossy)

Color photo of group wearing their black boots

Neal Ford on stage singing "Shame On You"  (John Cravey in the background)

Other Snapshots and Photos:

Backstage photos: Neal Ford & The Fanatics opened for The Beach Boys in Houston in 1965

Letters from The Catacombs Club regarding a Fanatics benefit concert:   Letter 1     Letter 2

From Billboard Magazine January 21, 1967:
KILT 610 AM STAR OF THE WEEK:  NEAL FORD & THE FANATICS (JANUARY 11-18, 1967)

KILT 610 AM: NEAL FORD AND THE FANATICS REACH #1 "Gonna Be My Girl" (JANUARY 18-25, 1967)

KNUZ 1230 AM: NEAL FORD AND THE FANATICS REACH #1 "Gonna Be My Girl" (JANUARY 13-20, 1967)        Scan of survey

KNUZ 1230 AM: "WAIT FOR ME" is # 3 on the chart! (APRIL 28, 1967)

KILT 610 AM: "GET TOGETHER WITH ME" is the "DISC-COVERY" OF THE WEEK! (JULY 12, 1967)

Promo ad for 45 release "I Have Thoughts Of You"

Promo ad for 45 release "Mary Wanna Marry Me"



From the book "Eye Mind: The Saga of Roky Erickson and The 13th Floor Elevators" by Paul Drummond (page 228):

"In February 1967, The 13th Floor Elevators were voted fifth in the Houston Post's best local bands poll,
WHICH WAS WON BY NEAL FORD AND THE FANATICS."



NEAL FORD & THE FANATICS DISCOGRAPHY


Albums
Released Title Writers Vinyl Label Cat# CD Label
Cat#
1968 "Neal Ford & the Fanatics"        Track List:   Side 1     Side 2

 Hickory 141

 
 

1
Gonna Be My Girl                           MONO           STEREO
Jon Pereles                                      

             



2
Nothing Left To Do                         MONO           STEREO
Jon Pereles





3
Bitter Bells                                      MONO           STEREO     
Ford, Stringfellow & Johnson





4
 That Girl Of Mine                           MONO          STEREO     
Jon Pereles





5
Get Together With Me                    MONO          STEREO       
Jon Pereles





6
 Get In The Rhythm                         MONO          STEREO  
Lanier Greig





7
One Times One Ain't Two               MONO          STEREO
Mickey Newbury





8
Contrary Mary                                MONO          STEREO
Jon Pereles





9
(I've Got A) Brand New Girl           MONO          STEREO
Ford, Pereles & Greig





10
Wait For Me                                   MONO          STEREO
Pereles & Greig





11
I Have Thoughts Of You                  MONO          STEREO
Jon Pereles






Singles
Released Title  Writers  Vinyl Label Cat# CD Label
Cat#








1963 Teenage Dream [The Ramadas]
(comments by Neal Ford on these early releases: ""The Ramadas"  had two single releases in 1963. The first was "Teenage Dream" written by Kim Espy, Ronda Espy and Neal Ford and the second release was "Summer Steady" written by Neal Ford.  Both were on Philips Records, the same as Paul and Paula and produced by their producer Major Bill Smith of Ft. Worth, Texas.  That was our first experience in the recording studio. It was recorded in Ft. Worth.  I remember that Ronnie Dawson played drums on our session and Bruce Channel of "Hey Baby" fame and Delbert McClinton were there also."
Kim Espy, Ronda Horn

(link with info on Kim & Ronda Espy)
Philips
40097




My Angel Eyes [The Ramadas]
Marvin Montgomery
Philips
40097



1963 Summer Steady [The Ramadas]
Neal Ford
Philips
40117




Lonely Tears [The Ramadas]
Kim Espy, Ronda Horn
Philips
40117



1963
Baby Just You (The VIP's)
Neal Ford
Mindi
1700



1964
The Very First Time [Neal Ford solo]
    Ford & Espy                 
Pablo
7013
7013
iTunes
Collectables



That Time of Year (Sweet Valentine) [Neal Ford solo]                       Ford & Espy              
Pablo 7013




I'm Going To Be Blue [as The Ramadas]
Ford, Espy & Hogan
New World
2000
2000




Walking Down The Hall [as The Ramadas]
Neal Ford
New World
2000
2000




Cindy [as The Ramadas]
traditional
New World
2007




Sweet Valentine [as The Ramadas]
Ford & Espy
New World
2007




Life Is So Tough [as The Ramadas] Ford & Espy
New World 2008
iTunes
Collectables



The Very First Time [as The Ramadas] Ford & Espy
New World 2008


1965
I Will Not Be Lonely [as The Fanatics]

Comments by Neal Ford:
The title on the record is actually wrong. It should be "I Would Not Be Lonely".  The record was actually put out prior to me approving it. One of those '60's maverick things.
Here are the lyrics.
There are only two verses, the second verse being repeated after the guitar solo.
 
"I Would Not Be Lonely"
When I'm with my baby
why she tells me maybe
Oh she must be cheatin'
I just stay here pleadin'
Oh, Oh, Oh
 
If she really loved me
she would care more for me
she would want me only
I would not be lonely
so lonely, so lonely
Oh, oh, oh-
 
Gutiar solo
repeat 2nd verse

Ford & Greig
 Gina 1118
Spalax
14606


Be Mine [as The Fanatics] Neal Ford
Gina
1118



1966 Good Men [as The Fanatics]     Picture Sleeve     Record Label
Lanier Greig
Caped Crusader
CC74
CC74
Sundazed
SC11186


For You [as The Fanatics]         Picture Sleeve     Record Label
Ford & Greig
Caped Crusader
CC74
CC74



1966 Woman [as The Fanatics]         Picture Sleeve        Record Label
Rod Argent
Caped Crusader
CC75




I Can't Go On [as The Fanatics]         Picture Sleeve (no sticker)         Record Label
Ford & Greig
Caped Crusader
CC75



1966 Bitter Bells               Acetate of "Bitter Bells" Ford & Stringfellow
 Tantara T1101
T1101

  


Don't Tie Me Down
Ford, Stringfellow & Johnson
Tantara
T1101



1966 All I Have to Do is Dream
B. Bryant
Tantara
T1104
T1104




Searchin'
Lieber & Stoller
Tantara
T1104


1966 I Will If You Want To Ford & Greig
Tantara T1107
Spalax
14606


Woman Who Turns Away
Ford & Johnson
Tantara
T1107



1966 She Is All There Is Ford & Greig


GearFab
Spalax
GF-197
14606


I Can't Believe (aka "Woman" - see Caped Crusader CC75)
Rod Argent


Spalax 14606
1967
Shame on You

comments by Neal Ford:
"Here's the real story on "Shame On You".  I wrote the song around 1965 (I think). We recorded it at Jones Sound Recording in the Heights. The owner Doyle Jones and Mickey Gilley were the engineers. I took the tape to Nashville and got an offer from Hickory Records owned by Acuff/Rose Publishing. At the time they were being very successful with acts like The Newbeats-"Bread and Butter", Sue Thompson and other pop acts. The main song that they were interested in was "Shame On You".  If you look on the single you will see that it was released as the "A" side and was being promoted as the single until Joe Ford at KNUZ flipped it one day and played "Gonna Be My Girl" which was written by Jon Pereles.  The phones lit up and KILT jumped on the flip side also and it leaped to # 1 staying on top of the charts for weeks. This changed the whole direction of our album and future recording efforts. Prior to that we were doing a harder rock oriented music like "Woman", "I Will Not Be Lonely", "Pain" etc.  "Gonna Be My Girl" took us to doing more of Jon's compositions which was a much lighter pop/rock sound. I called it Hard Bubblegum.  In retrospect, I wish we had stayed more in the original style.  "I Will Not Be Lonely" was my original direction for us and the real me at the time.  I never intended to sing "Shame On You" as you hear it on the record. It just developed to that in the studio. I'm totally shocked to see it on so many internet sites and on so many compilation CD's. It and "I Will Not Be Lonely" are getting more play and recognition now than back when we did them."
Ford, Stringfellow & Johnson
 Hickory P1433
P1433
Archive
Essential Pebbles Vol.2


 



Sundazed
SC11139

Gonna Be My Girl       
(scan of KILT 610 Top 40 Survey - January 18-25, 1967: #1 position)
Jon Pereles
Hickory
P1433



1967 Wait for Me  Pereles & Greig
 Hickory P1450
P1450
P1450

  


(I've Got A) Brand New Girl Ford, Pereles & Greig
Hickory
P1450
P1450
P1450



1967 Pain 
Ford & Cravey
Hickory
P1468



Get Together With Me
Jon Pereles
Hickory
P1468
P1468



1967 I Have Thoughts Of You         Promo ad for the single
Jon Pereles
Hickory
P1490
SPX12


That Girl Of Mine
Jon Pereles
Hickory
P1490
P1490
SPX12

1968 Little World Girl
John D. Loudermilk
Hickory
P1500




Movin' Along
Jon Pereles
Hickory
P1500
P1500



1968 Mary Wanna Marry Me         Promo ad for the single
Neal Ford & The Fanatics' recording of "Mary Wanna Marry Me" was used in the soundtrack for the 2001 film "Last Orders" starring Michael Caine, Bob Hoskins and Helen Mirren.   The scene appears at about the 42:28 mark.  In a flashback, Ray (Bob Hoskins) is standing in the doorway of his daughter's room as the record is playing on her phonograph.  As they begin a conversation, she picks the needle up off the record.  The scene lasts about 20 seconds.
Click here to read the IMDB entry for the soundtrack music
Click here to see the video clip (NOTE: you will need to download the free FLV player to see the clip)
Click here to see a screen shot of the ending credit showing information on the recording
M. Newbury & Don Gant
Hickory
P1506




The Jones
John D. Loudermilk
Hickory
P1506
P1506



1968 I'll Put My Boots on Backwards Dewayne Blackwell
 Hickory P1516




Buttercup
Mickey Newbury
Hickory
P1516



1969 You Made Me a Man  [as Neal Ford Factory] Jeff Barry & Andy Kim
 ABC 11184
11184

  


I've Got To Find Me A Woman   [as Neal Ford Factory]
Jeff Barry & Andy Kim
ABC
11184











Misc
Vox Commercial

Caped Crusader
CC75



Misc
Garner State Park Concert Radio Spot (June 16, 1965)







Links

THE NEAL FORD FOUNDATION (1971 LP)

NEAL FORD with RICK MENSIK (LP)

1960's Texas Music site - info on Catacombs Club, Fanatics, and other Houston groups (multiple pages)

Dr. Dennis Hickey's web page about The Catacombs Club (with several posters for Fanatics appearances!) including other related links

Interview with Steve Hammond

60's Garage Bands site

Vicki's Texas Music Writer page

"Beyond The Beat Generation" - Playlist (includes several Fanatics tracks)

Back to the Thompsonian Institution