Madison, Wisconsin was one of the centers of the countercultural movement in the mid-'60s; in fact gaining the title "the Berkeley of the Midwest" due to the political and social consciousness of the city's student population, and, as in Berkeley, music played a large factor in this movement. Tayles were at the center of that musical soundtrack. Started in 1966 by Jeremy Wilson after two bandmates from his previous group, the Canterbury's, were killed in a car crash, the band played '60s cover tunes at frat parties in and around Madison, gradually evolving into a popular blues-rock band with psychedelic influences. Members came and went throughout the late '60s, while Tayles' regional popularity continued to grow. Scott Eakin (flute, vocals) joined the band in 1969, followed in 1970 by former Captain Billy's Whiz Bang members Bob Schmidtke (guitar, vocals) and Rick Markstrom (drums, vocals). Paul Reyzold completed the lineup on organ. Tayles earned an immense local and regional following playing mostly at colleges and concerts as well as performing regularly at the Nitty Gritty, a Madison bar considered a base of sorts for the band. A double-gatefold 45 was released in early 1971. One of the songs, "Funny Paper Sam," was banned from AM radio because of the four-letter word that makes an appearance toward the end of the song, while another, "It's High Time," was afforded the same treatment due to a perceived drug reference. In March of 1972, the band recorded a live album at the Nitty Gritty. The album, titled WhoAreTheseGuys?, shows the band to be not merely adequate musicians but fine writers and players. By the end of the year, however, the band was no more. The members went on to other bands, before Wilson and Schmidtke re-formed Tayles with Eakin and a new guitarist in 1976. They lasted for only a year, though, before calling it quits for good.
Share this page