Beyond the Music
A new book finds some former Hub stars in curious places. Sure, everyone knows how things turned out for Aerosmith, but what about the local musicians for whom fame was fleeting? For his new book, The Sound of Our Town, music writer Brett Milano tracked down decades’ worth of ex-rockers—and discovered that their lives went in one of three directions.
1. The Lifer
Vocals; The G-Clefs
Then: With their 1956 song “Ka-Ding-Dong,” the G-Clefs were the first Boston group to climb the national pop charts. They also shared a stage with Chuck Berry.
Now: Living in Roxbury and still jamming with the G-Clefs (at age 67, he’s the youngest). He also teaches dance in Jamaica Plain, and performs in the annual production of Urban Nutcracker.
2. The Straight Man
Then: Maltais was rowdy in the 1950s, singing songs like “Gangwar” (first line: “Splash of blood and thunder, man are we gonna fight”). He eventually hitchhiked the country, seeking fame.
Now: Living in Florida, after working as a New Hampshire policeman. His music career derailed in 1958, when his label, Decca, ditched him in favor of Buddy Holly.
3. The Washout
Vocals; Myles and the Wild Ones
Then: He had a brief hit with the single “Hey Little School Girl,” and in the 1960s opened for Sha Na Na. With his pet alligator, he was one of rock’s early eccentrics.
Now: Connor’s made trips to prison for drugs and theft, and was even suspected of masterminding from behind bars the notorious 1990 heist at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum (he denies it).