RIP Bill Rinehart (The Leaves/Gene Clark Group/Merry-Go-Round)

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by Clarkophile, Dec 1, 2018.

  1. Clarkophile

    Clarkophile Through the Morning, Through the Night Thread Starter

    Bill’s passing went unnoticed, so I wrote this brief obituary and posted it to my blog.
    William Barbour Rinehart
    February 14, 1946—April 18, 2017

    Bill Rinehart, a pivotal, if largely unheralded figure in L.A.'s Sunset Strip scene during the 1960s, died last year at the age of 71.

    Rinehart played a key role in the founding of the Leaves, whose memorable 1965 track, 'Too Many People,' (co-written with Jim Pons) was featured on Rhino's peerless 4-CD compilation, Nuggets: Original Artyfacts from the First Psychedelic Era, 1965–1968, in 2001.

    During his tenure with The Leaves, Rinehart struck up a friendship with Gene Clark, who shared his love of sports cars, music and girls. After his departure from that band, Rinehart jumped at the chance to join Gene's first post-Byrds effort, the Gene Clark Group (also featuring Chip Douglas and Joel Larson). Rinehart contributed guitar and co-wrote two songs ('Keep on Pushin' and 'Elevator Operator') on Gene's solo debut album, Gene Clark with the Gosdin Brothers, released in February 1967.

    Rinehart's next project saw him joining forces with his former bandmate from the GC Group, Joel Larson, along with Gary Kato, in the Emitt Rhodes-led Merry-Go-Round. Rinehart was eventually fired from the group after punching the band's notorious manager, Eddie Shaw.

    Sonny Bono, with whom Rinehart had struck up a friendship during this time, thought enough of his talent to have him produce/arrange Sonny & Cher's reflective chamber-pop waltz, 'A Beautiful Story.’

    In 1968 Bill recorded a 45 under the moniker The Common Cold, Come Down/Dream World, the A-side of which was included on a subsequent volume of the Nuggets series, Where the Action Is! Los Angeles Nuggets: 1965–1968.
    Further production work followed (Fields’ self-titled album; The Aquarians Jungle Grass, both from 1969), plus an unreleased solo album from 1973. Bill's songwriting was strong enough to earn him composing credits in films, including 1972's The Hot Rock (starring Robert Redford) and 1984's Falling in Love, with Meryl Streep and Robert De Niro.
    Fields - Fields (1969)
    The Aquarians - Jungle Grass (1969)

    Promo 45 for the aborted Bill Rinehart solo album from 1973

    This is only a partial history of Bill Rinehart's career. It is by no means complete. I am in the process of researching what I hope will be the definitive biography of Bill thus far—one that will include a thorough look at his recollections of the Gene Clark Group—that is set to appear in an upcoming issue of Mike Stax's legendary Ugly Things magazine. The research includes a comprehensive interview I conducted with Bill in 2010, along with contemporary reflections from former bandmates like the Leaves' Jim Pons, plus contributions from his best friend, musician and luthier Mike DeTemple, along with many others.
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2018
  2. Vangro

    Vangro Forum Resident

    RIP, played on some great records this guy.
  3. LandHorses

    LandHorses Forum Resident

    New Joisey
    Belated RIP
  4. popscene

    popscene Forum Resident

    San Marcos, CA
    Thank you for posting this. I had no idea that he had passed last year. I have many of the records mentioned that Bill touched. RIP.
    Telegram Sam and Clarkophile like this.
  5. Holy Diver

    Holy Diver Forum Resident

  6. Clarkophile

    Clarkophile Through the Morning, Through the Night Thread Starter

    It’s a long, harrowing, terribly sad tale, I’m afraid. I’m still putting all the pieces together. In fact, I interviewed his sister only this morning. Both she and I are hoping that once the story appears, and people learn more about Bill, that it will kickstart an effort to locate and release his lost ‘73 solo album.
  7. Nomadicarchivist

    Nomadicarchivist Forum Resident

    Washington D.C.
    The Leaves were the first to record and release Hey Joe in the form that later became more popularized by Tim Rose, Hendrix, the Byrd’s etc
  8. Clarkophile

    Clarkophile Through the Morning, Through the Night Thread Starter

    The secondary purpose of this thread is essentially a plea for assistance in locating anyone who either has possession of, or has information about, Rinehart's long-lost solo album.
    Here's the backstory I've used on a couple of sites to try to generate some tips:
    I’m hoping someone might be able to put me in touch with anyone who owns or has knowledge of the 1976 release of a Bill Rinehart album called Dynamite, on Tiger Lily, Morris Levy’s notorious tax-scam label.
    Rinehart was a veteran of the 60s LA/Sunset Strip scene while still in his early 20s, having played with The Leaves (he co-wrote “Too Many People”with Jim Pons), the Gene Clark Group, and the Merry-Go-Round. He went on to produce Sonny & Cher’s “A Beautiful Story” 45 and LPs for The Aquarians and Fields. A solo single was released in 1968 (credited to The Common Cold).
    In 1972 he contributed to the OST to the Robert Redford heist flick, The Hot Rock, and was at one point signed to Columbia as a solo artist.
    His debut solo album, set to be released in 1973 on the short-lived Mums label, a subsidiary of Columbia, featured top session players (including members of the Wrecking Crew) and cover photography by Henry Diltz, but never saw release (although a promo 45 of Bill’s cover of Del Shannon’s “Runaway” is regularly seen on eBay.
    It was this album that somehow became fodder for Levy’s Tiger Lily (see below), who threw together a cheap cover and renamed the album (it was originally a s/t release). I’m writing a story about Bill (who sadly passed away last year) for Ugly Things magazine. Rinehart's family would like to see the album get a proper release to honour his memory. Unfortunately, the tapes are long gone, and only a handful of actual LPs were created by Tiger Lily. There is an online record of a sale on eBay in 2012 (it went for just over 300 US, I believe) but nothing since then.

    When I spoke with Bill in 2010 he expressed great pride in this record. Many people I've spoken with, including Rinehart's lifelong friend, guitarist & luthier Mike DeTemple (who's played with Dave Mason, Rick Danko, Paul Butterfield and others), believed it was Bill's finest hour as a songwriter. Certainly the appearance of so many big names from the early 70s LA music scene alone makes its rediscovery worthwhile. The cancelling of its release at the last minute damaged Rinehart, and his disappointment was palpable when I spoke with him.
    If anyone has any info about this release (you can assume I've seen all available online links) I’d greatly appreciate hearing from you.
    Side 1
    Circle Circle
    Dragon Fly
    Side 2
    Loving Words
    Tender Loving Care
    Cut My Love[sic] Correct title: Cut My Line
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2018
  9. Platterpus

    Platterpus Senior Member

  10. Clarkophile

    Clarkophile Through the Morning, Through the Night Thread Starter

    Just bumping this for weekday crowd who may have missed it.

    For Gene Clark fans, take a listen to Rinehart’s production job on “A Beautiful Story”, which is what I would’ve expected the finished version of “Down on the Pier” to sound like.
  11. Man at C&A

    Man at C&A Forum Resident

    Sad news. A name that when I read it didn't sound familiar at all, but then I went on to read that he played on some records I love by The Leaves, The Merry-Go-Round and Gene Clark. He also co-wrote one of the best anti work songs ever in Too Many People. That's a fine legacy.
    indigo_m and Clarkophile like this.
  12. Bill

    Bill Senior Member

    Eastern Shore
    RIP, Bill, and thanks. I have enjoyed his work from all phases of his career, from the Leaves on.
    Clarkophile likes this.
  13. indigo_m

    indigo_m @Neon_Brambles

    Tipton, MO
    Sad news about Bill. Looking forward to the article!
  14. indigo_m

    indigo_m @Neon_Brambles

    Tipton, MO
    Hope somebody has this. It looks like it might be a great 'lost' record!
  15. C6H12O6

    C6H12O6 Senior Member

    My lab
    This is pretty cool - all three versions of the Leaves' "Hey Joe" with Bill on lead guitar on all of them:

    indigo_m likes this.
  16. Clarkophile

    Clarkophile Through the Morning, Through the Night Thread Starter

    Bob Arlin is on lead guitar on the third version. Bill had left by then.
    Crescent Moon 1953 and indigo_m like this.
  17. longdist01

    longdist01 Senior Member

    Chicago, IL USA
    RIP Bill Rinehart, thanks for posting the news and many updates on his upcoming article/biography.
    indigo_m and Clarkophile like this.
  18. C6H12O6

    C6H12O6 Senior Member

    My lab
    Ah - makes sense, the first two are more like early punk whereas the third has that wild psychedelic stuff that's very new.
    Clarkophile likes this.
  19. Clarkophile

    Clarkophile Through the Morning, Through the Night Thread Starter

    Also need some help with this, if possible. Rinehart’s last professional credit came in 1984; he co-wrote the song “Nights on Fire” for the Robert De Niro/Meryl Streep film Falling in Love.
    Problem is, the track does not seem to appear on the soundtrack album credited to David Grusin, that only appeared last year.
    Original Soundtrack Recording of FALLING IN LOVE, composed by Dave Grusin

    I can’t find the song anywhere. Does anyone know the film or point me to how I might hear it?

    Last edited: Dec 5, 2018
  20. Chris M

    Chris M Senior Member

    Sad news indeed. Bill's guitar work on the Leaves version of Hey Joe is mighty mighty. Almost as apocalyptic as Seven & Seven Is.
    indigo_m and Clarkophile like this.
  21. Clarkophile

    Clarkophile Through the Morning, Through the Night Thread Starter

    Speaking of Love, I’m in the process of cleaning up the full transcription of my 2010 interview with Rinehart, but in my original notes from back then, Bill said that Arthur Lee was not pleased that the Leaves recorded Hey Joe. I guess the bragging rights from being first meant something...until, of course, Jimi came along and laid waste to all previous versions, lol.
    indigo_m likes this.
  22. Clarkophile

    Clarkophile Through the Morning, Through the Night Thread Starter


    If you have any information about Bill Rinehart's Dynamite album, (1976, Tiger Lily 14020), please send me a pm.

    indigo_m likes this.
  23. Clarkophile

    Clarkophile Through the Morning, Through the Night Thread Starter

    Still talking to people and finding out a lot more about Rinehart’s post-73 activities. In ‘76 he was part of a loose studio aggregation called Smoghorn that contributed to a surfsploitation flick called Go For It. Song is actually pretty good, elements of chamber pop, prog, hard rock.
    Smoghorn - “Transparent Dream”
  24. Clarkophile

    Clarkophile Through the Morning, Through the Night Thread Starter

    A little trivia for fans of 60s Sunset Strip music scene. Smoghorn also included Bobby Zinner, who wrote “Hippy Elevator Operator” by W.C. Fields Memorial Electric String Band, featured on the Where The Action Is box set.
    Telegram Sam and Mechanical Man like this.
  25. phillyal1

    phillyal1 Forum Resident

    philadelphia, pa.
    Tiger Lily was a tax dodge label. I have read a few articles on them (maybe the Waxidermy board?). This record is not familiar to me. Many of their releases are demo recordings, sometimes released without the artists' permission. Hard to find label.
    Bruso likes this.

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