|Argh! About the KT|
|a response to the nonsense|
After a year up, a piece on the Kingston Trio (now in the Archive section) suddenly received a LOT of hits over the last week (400 a day for a while). Looking through reference stats, it clearly was from mention on a Trio fan site. With this came some harsh emails from temporary addresses fully in keeping with my impressions of the folks who send such. If my tone is combative, it is nothing compared to what I have received.
In reference to some silly statements on at least two websites and lord knows where else – either because they haven’t actually read it or because they want to create straw dogs to pose as protectors of the new guys for public strokes - I want to clear up some misconceptions. Some of the confusion may have arisen because the piece was taken from a much longer work and I’m too close to it to see the points of confusion. That said, though:
1.) Anyone who thinks the Kingston Trio members are portrayed as losers is an idiot. An absolute idiot.
2.) Nowhere in the article does it say Zorn is a better banjo player than Grove; nor can I imagine the point of such a comparison. In any case, I point out that they have been the best instrumentalists in the Trio proper, ever. But I don’t think their terms in the Trio are very important. Dave Guard apparently thought Grove a very good addition, by the by.
3.) Nowhere in the article does it say Guard was a bad singer. He was a very good singer, with a huge range, great enunciation, and much linguistic virtuosity. I don’t think he had any vocal magic like Shane had. I further suspect that in their exhaustion, many songs did not receive the great arrangement attention that Guard implies he gave them. The proof is in the pudding: there often are not three parts, but two rather sloppy ones. Further, like Phil Hartman in comedy groups, he was great in the mix and a great addition to any group because of his flexibility but he wasn’t, apparently, going to make it as a lead singer, instrumentalist, or arranger. As soon as it became clear to him that Voyle Gilmore saw Shane as the star (apparently early on), Guard seemingly tried to shore up his importance in other ways.
vocal coach is quite different from a vocal arranger.
5.) I don’t disagree at all with Reynolds’ stated appreciations of his affectionately recalled deceased comrade. But the evidence for my position is on record as surely as his is. They aren’t mutually exclusive.
6.) There is nothing in this article as embarrassing (although it isn’t as funny) as stuff Bob Shane has said from stage through the years about his own antics. In fact, this is pretty pedestrian stuff you could find in any group of people who work together for a long time at anything.
7.) I do not make fun of Grove because of stature or hair loss. I point out that the new group is attempting to retrieve something of the visual image of the classic Trio (they claim it exclusively for the ‘sound’ – and possibly the increased income without a backup band - but I doubt most people can distinguish or would care about the tonal differences of a resonator-less long neck or an RB800) and it looks – to me – as silly as these people who pose in Kingston Trio get-up with their cheap and ugly guitars as adults and send it in to be posted on websites.
said in the 1960’s that the