Chad Graham & The Echoes
Chad Graham lived a few doors down the street from me and invited me to join his band during my Senior year (1963-64) at JEB Stuart High School. The Echoes included Chad singing and playing acoustic guitar, Jim Singer on bass (Jim took guitar lessons from famed jazz guitarist Charlie Byrd), Bill Pearson on drums and yours truly on electric piano.
Prior to forming the Echoes, Chad had sung in a folk trio at school.
I recall rolling my electric piano and amp down the sidewalks of Washington, DC on the way to the recording studio on K Street NW (now home to the powerful K Street lobbyists). It felt extremely cool to be making my first actual professional recording.
Note: Our recording session was on January 15, 1964, which was just three days before The Beatles released "I Want to Hold Your Hand" in the US.
One of my fondest memories of high school was walking down the hall hearing "I Want to Do It" playing through the school PA system. Fellow students were singing and whistling along to the melody.
I finally felt like somebody.
Shortly after we recorded these tunes, The Beatles had their first big hit record in the US ("I Want To Hold Your Hand"). We decided that they sounded too much like us, and that we should wait until The Beatles blew over before releasing our record.
The recording engineer cut these demo records for each of us right in the studio following the mix-down to tape. The records consist of a thin layer of vinyl sprayed over a metal core and are not meant for repeated playing. Luckily I've been able to preserve them with careful handling and infrequent playing.
Chad still has the Ampex 1/4" open reel tapes from the recording sessions. I had always assumed Chad wrote both songs, but his email cleared up the authorship:
I did write “Do It Any Way You Want” but I didn’t write “I Want to Do It.” To the best of my knowledge and belief that song was written by a NYC songwriting team from the era: Bob Feldman, Larry Goddard and Richie Goldstein, also called FGG.
Bobby Comstock recorded the original New England regional hit. I just knew the song and liked it. Actually, our version might be more exciting than his. At least it gives it a run for the money :)
This recent dialogue (1/08) should clear up any moral ambiguity:
... Several people to whom I've played it were surprised that we could get away with those words. It's fun to think that we were "pushing the envelope" way back then. Do you remember any controversy at Stuart about the song? (Arnie)
Any and all ambiguity concerning what “it” is – and any and all questions concerning moral turpitude – are cleared up in the third verse when the singer reveals, “I want to ask your daddy for your hand // I want to buy you a wedding band.” End of controversy :)