The Remains formed in November 1964 at Boston University, where all four members were first-year students living in the same dorm (Myles Standish Hall) in Kenmore Square.
Barry Tashian had just returned from a summer in Europe and had seen The Kinks playing You Really Got Me. Returning to Boston he determined to emulate the sound and attitude, pulling a group together with Vern Miller, Bill Briggs and Chip Damiani.
They began playing R&B and Rock & Roll covers, as well as some Barry Tashian originals, at The Rathskeller, a tavern across the square from their dorm.
Soon, fans were lining up from Kenmore Square to Fenway Park to see them, and the tavern had to clear out a disused basement to accommodate the crowds.
While playing at Trude Heller’s club in New York they came to the attention of Ed Sullivan who invited them on The Ed Sullivan Show. They later also played on Hullabaloo.
The band made a couple of hard-edged garage-pop records in the vein of early Beatles, and their final single, Don’t Look Back (1966), was covered by Robert Plant on his 1990 single, Hurting Kind (I’ve Got My Eyes On You).
The Remains supported The Beatles in 14 cities across the US and Canada on their 1966 tour (pictured below) with a new drummer – following Chip’s departure – but broke up shortly after the tour.
They reformed in 1969 for a gig at the Boston Tea Party, eventually releasing a live album – mostly of cover versions – recorded on the night.
Drummer Chip Damiani died on 23 February 2014.
Vern Miller Jr.
Rudolph ‘Chip’ Damiani
N.D. Smart III