Before he became Patti Smith’s bass player, Lenny Kaye compiled the 2 album set, Nuggets: Original Artyfacts from the First Psychedelic Era. Released in 1972, the two-LP set covered American garage rock and psychedelia from the years from 1965-1968, and was a major influence on punk rock. Rhino Records reissued an expanded version of the set in 1998, with 118 tracks in total. I’m profiling and rating each of these 118 tracks, working backwards.
Track 108: Just Like Me by Paul Revere & the Raiders
Release Date: 1965
From: Boise, Idaho
Aphoristical Rating: 10/10
Paul Revere & the Raiders are the only act on Nuggets that I own a CD by. I liberated a copy of their 1967 Greatest Hits from the bargain bin almost twenty years ago, and have enjoyed it ever since. They enjoyed more prolonged success than most Nuggets acts, with a flurry of hits in the mid-1960s, and a number one comeback hit, 1971’s ‘Indian Reservation’.
Paul Revere & the Raiders released their first single in 1960 but 1965’s ‘Just Like Me’ marked a major uptick in their fortunes, almost cracking the US top ten. The band had a distinctive visual aesthetic, dressing like American revolutionaries, and took their name from the famous American patriot. Keyboardist Paul Revere was actually born Paul Revere Dick – he merely dropped his surname to create his stage name.
They’re more advanced than a lot of the other Nuggets acts – Drake Levin’s guitar solo is double-tracked, Mark Lindsay is a commanding vocalist, able to switch to a full-blooded roar, while Revere’s organ playing is sophisticated. The song isn’t especially original, with echoes of ‘Louie Louie’ and early Kinks, but there’s enough happening to make it a garage-rock classic.
The classic lineup of Paul Revere and the Raiders didn’t last long – Levin, drummer Mike Smith, and bassist Phil Volk all left the band at the height of their popularity. Mark Lindsay stayed with the band until the mid-1970s. The band is still active, despite the death of Revere in 2014; they’ve recorded 17 studio albums, although the most recent, Paul Revere Rides Again, dates back to 1983.