The Young Rascals Tell All.. And Mean All!!
Hit Parader April 1967
If you want to find out what a pop star is really like, ask the other members of his group. When four or five guys work and travel together for months or years, they either become the best of friends or they hate each other. During the long trying hours of rehearsing, recording, going on the road and making personal appearances, all of a person's faults and virtues are revealed.
When Don Paulson interviewed the Young Rascals, he simply asked each of them "What are the other three guys in the group like?" Their answers turned out to be the most perceptive, revealing and outspoken description of a group we've ever published.
Felix, Eddie and Gene were interviewed together in the Atlantic Recording Studio. Dino wasn't able to make that session. He came to our office a week later, listened to the tapes of what the other guys had said, and made his comments.
Despite the candor in the following remarks, rest assured that the Rascals are all good friends.
Eddie is, like, insane. He has two completely different personalities. One is a very nice, beautiful, quiet individual. The other is a completely loud, base, insane individual capable of anything at any time.
He's liable to cause a major disturbance at any time or come up with some very beautiful poetry in the next breath.
He's approaching his twenty-first birthday - which is a major step in his life - with complete panic and fear. He just doesn't want to be twenty-one. Eddie feels like it's the end of the line and he's going over the hill. He's a kid.
Eddie is a fantastic source of untapped talent. He's just started to develop as a great singer. He could go from the the group and become a solo performer. He has a very strong link with his family, whom he really loves.
And he's a nice guy.
Dino Danelli is a very good-looking, talented person who contributes greatly to the sound of the group by being the musician that he is. He's one of the best drummers anywhere.
He's struggling to improve himself by reading a lot of different literature he'd never been exposed to before. He's learning to paint and he's coming upon some of the things he's heard about but was never able to do before. Dino is basically a nice guy. He's very quiet, but he has a terrible temper. He's what is known as a Sicilian, which means that anything can happen with him as far as blowing his top is concerned.
He doesn't have much family life. His background is the streets. He's been on his own for a long time, so he knows his top is concerned.
He's perverted. He spends too much time on his hair. Any male who gets hung up on his hair must have problems.
Dino is very shy. He doesn't like anyone to see his artwork. Maybe he's not sure of it, but from what I understand it's supposed to be very good.
Gene is single, comes from Rochester, New York, is an only child and has all the qualities of an only child. He gets very lonely sometimes.
He has a lot of talent in many different areas. Like, he's very business-minded.
He likes to eat to satisfy his desires. Whenever he has a problem he'll go to the table and eat.
Gene doesn't really like to be bugged or criticized much, but he takes it like the backboard of a basketball court. As soon as you criticize him, he knocks you down.
Gene has consideration for other people. Like, he remembers birthdays, engagements, Christmas presents .... things like that. He also has close ties with his family, whom he really loves a lot.
He has two large dogs that he talks about a lot. They're Labrador Retrievers, big hunting dogs.
Gene is a hypochondriac. He finds all kinds of things wrong with himself that don't exist.
And I guess that's all about Gene, our astute guitar player.
Let's talk about Felix. He's a nice guy. Occasionally he flies off in different directions. I don't mean temper-wise. It's just that if he can't have his own way he disappears .... into the air.
He's got a lot of hang-ups. Felix never seems to realize when he's wrong.
Felix and I are good friends. He's taught me a lot about what I'm involved in. It's getting to the point where he can't teach me anything any more. He's helped me like a big brother. But, little brother has grown up.
We get along great. We keep off each other's personal property. He's OK.
Now let's shoot over to Dino. When I say the name Dino, I think of changes.
Basically, he's a very groovy guy. He knows all about - I guess you might say - the streets and how to get along on his own.
New ideas are coming to him, as Felix said before. Dino has changed, he's progressing, his art talent is developing and he's finding things in himself that he's never had a chance to bring out before.
I guess you'd say we're pretty tight.
Gene .... Rut dadda dat dada. Rut dada dut dada do (Eddie imitates a trumpet fanfare). Now here's a guy who's crazy. I tried to understand him for a long time. Either I never got there or I passed him up or something. I don't understand him. Also, he's slightly lazy.
As far as talent, the other three guys obviously have talent. We're in a position where only talent could have put us. There are very few people I would rather work with and go onstage with. I don't think anybody could have handled it like we have.
There are a lot of talented people in other groups, but our combination is something else. Everyone can hold his own.
In general, the way life and everything else goes, we have our disagreements and our little fetishes. But we all get along pretty well and it's got to get better. It's like being married to three people.
Being the youngest member of the group, I used to shut up and listen and see who knew what. Now I'm gaining confidence and making decisions for myself. I could have done it before, but now I hove enough experience to make better decisions.
If I wasn't where I am now ... I'd be someplace else.
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