The Young Rascals Tell All About Each Other
Part II: Gene Speaks Out
Hit Parader May 1967
Here's the second installment of the candid, revealing descriptions of each other the Young Rascals gave to Don Poulson. After you've read them, you should know what these four individual guys are really like.
Last month, Felix Cavaliere and Eddie Brigati expressed their opinions. This time Gene Cornish takes the microphone and he has a lot to say.
Special thanks go to the engineers at the Atlantic Records recording studio who gave Paulsen a roll of tape when the supply in his tape recorder ran out in the middle of the interview. Now, let's roll it:
GENE CORNISH SPEAKS
The first time I saw Felix he had long hair down to his shoulders. At the time none of us had long hair. His coat was a bear coat, he needed a shave, he needed his nose hairs cut and the whole bit. I felt like saying, "Man, can I loan you a dime for coffee?"
We become good friends. Felix and I shared a dressing room and we began to learn more about each other. At the time, neither of us knew where we were at, musically or otherwise.
I could never tell how good Felix was playing because the drummer was too loud. But Felix could hear me because I was loud. This was before we formed the Rascals. Felix, Eddie and I were in another group and we were getting Beat for every cent we had.
Felix is responsible for getting the Rascals together.. He Is a very talented songwriter, a very talented organist, a very sloppy dresser and he's always late. But I guess he's going to be prompt now because we had a big discussion about being late, and he was on time today. He likes beauty more than a lot of other important things. Like, if we're late for something or we're running from the stage, and a little girl is wearing a skirt that he likes, he'll stop and study it. It'll, like, wreck him.
He gets attached to certain things real fast. He's attached to his hat. If you have anything you want someone to be attached to, send it to Felix.
If you have any problems .... if any little girl has a problem.... he's the sponge. He absorbs everybody's problems. But he can't take care of his own. He has inner problems that he can't handle, but he's doing everybody else's.
Felix is definitely a lover.
His father is a dentist and he never gets his teeth fixed. Felix's father just straightened Eddie's teeth. Eddie is the only one in the group with good teeth.
Sometimes Felix makes a little too much of beautiful things. Like, he'll let a little girl con him into doing something or giving her something when actually she's just a phony. But he'll say, "Oh, wasn't she a sweet little girl?"
There's a lot more things I could say, but there are still two more guys to talk about.
Felix and I have completely opposite personalities. Like, if I got bugged, I holler. If Felix gets bugged he holds it in. He has more tact. I don't. But he has a temper. If you step too far, he'll sound on you.
He's a big promisor: "I'll do this", "I'll do that", and then he doesn't do it.
Dino is our doll. He's our beauty mark, our immaculate dresser. He's very big on clothes and about his appearance.
Yet, he'll come in all dressed up in a beautiful suit with paint all over his hands from a picture he just painted.
He's a good painter. He's the greatest drummer I've ever worked with, or over could work with. He can't sing a note, he writes songs that are not in meter and make no sense, he plays autoharp and I think he hollers louder than I do. He's definitely more forceful than I am.
He's very businesslike, to a certain extent. Like, he wants everybody also to be on time, but when you try to call him, he won't answer the phone.
I guess that's all about Dino.
When I met Eddie, he was a short kid with short pants, with boots on, with a green sweater - I'll never forget it -- and he had a haircut that looked like they put a bowl on his head and cut around it. He had just decided to grow his hair completely long, but it was neither short nor long.
He has the greatest set of teeth I've ever seen in my life. He's proud of them.
I guess he was 19 when he joined us. Sometimes he'd act like he was 25 years old. But other times he'd be very childish and we'd have to gripe about it to him.
Everybody in the group has had his problems. We have meetings. If someone is messing up, we jump on him. Eddie was the first one in the group to be jumped on because, as he said, he was quiet and he'd never give his opinion on things. He'd let us make the decisions but then he'd go off on his own. Like, if we decided to be serious he'd say, "Okay," then he'd joke around.
Eddie used to wear suits until he discovered that Mick Jagger and other people didn't have to wear them. Then he decided that he didn't have to wear suits either, and that clothes didn't make the man. He was right. He had suits that didn't help him a bit!
Eddie had an accident that changed him completely. He had to re-adjust himself completely to life, the group and everything else. He was with the group from the beginning. After the accident he was out for two months. When he come back he was a strange person.
All of a sudden he wanted to make the most of his career. Before that, his attitude toward success was "if it comes, it comes." He changed.
He felt very insecure. This was his second accident and he felt that he wasn't going to get another chance. Either that, or he'd got a million chances.
He's very close with his family. The first things in his mind above anything else ore his mother, father, brother and sister. He's in the process of buying his parents a home.
He's very level-headed, yet he does strange things. I don't believe in everything he does, like his relationships with other people. He has a certain way of being friends with people that I don't like. He doesn't agree with my way of thinking a lot of time.
He definitely likes to be noticed. If people aren't aware that he's there, he'll definitely let them know. He definitely wants attention most of the time, yet when he wants to be alone he wants to be left completely alone. He'll leave.
Eddie, first of all, is as talented as anyone else in this group. He may not play the guitar, organ or drums, but he sings which makes up the difference, and he has more personality than anyone else in the group. He's just learning to use his talent and he's a definite asset to the group.
He bites. If he doesn't have his own way, or if someone gives him a hard time, he'll be bugged all day.
I guess that's it about Eddie. I've wasted a lot of tape.
(Next month we'll wrap things up with a wild scene in the recording studio where the Young Rascals were cutting their new Atlantic album ... and this interview. Also, Dino Danelli will talk about the other 3 Rascals. This is one article you shouldn't miss.)
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