By Mark R. Swett
Having been asked to contribute a few thoughts as a Forward to this web site it is something that I find easy to do. It is not necessary for me to sit quietly and reflect upon the past to come up with a few paragraphs to add to this work. The memories are forever etched in my mind. They may have happened forty years ago but to me it was yesterday.
Today one is hard pressed to find someone who is not a musician, but in the late 60’s that was not the case. Walking down the street with a guitar case in hand would cause people to pause and take a second look.
Love Inc. went through several personnel changes before it finally came together in 1968 with Mike Gouzie, Bill Gouzie, Marc Mailhot and Mark Swett. The early days consisted of countless hours of rehearsals – straining to listen to every note and to find the correct chord to play. Of course all of that had to be based upon a strong backbeat – drums.
One of the things that we learned rather quickly was that with the right musicians and a lot of practice it was easy to duplicate the sound of most of the major bands of the day. It was fun to do and it also helped to contribute to some good paydays.
As the music scene evolved in the greater Portland area bands would come and go. The band names were as unique as the material that they played. The competition between us was strong – but friendly. Another thing that separated Love Inc. from the other bands at the time was that we did not just play music for the audience as musicians - we were also performers. That was not by design. It was fueled by our personalities and the also our feelings for the music. Some would call it showmanship. We used the Hamburg term, “Mak Show.” It didn’t take us long to make the shift from playing the songs of the day to writing our own material. That was where out heart was.
For me, the best memories are the people that we met along the way, the cities and towns that we performed in and, of course, the after show meals. However, the ultimate experience was taking the stage to perform in front of an audience. No matter how large or small it was the heartbeat of the band. It drove us to work harder – to try and deliver the excitement to the audience that we were receiving from them.
Special thanks to our parents who not only believed in us but also supported us. And also to Marco for creating this web site and documenting the history of Love, Inc..
INTRODUCTION & DEDICATION
By Marc P. Mailhot
As Mark said in his Forward...the memories are like yesterday.
Between May 1968 and June 1971 we were playing, rehearsing, touring and recording, and were by all accounts, considered the most popular and successful band in Maine at that time. As you will see in the following account, the years 1969 and 1970 were especially busy and working on this project made us all realize all the more how we managed to pack a lot of action into relatively so little time.
Most of the following information is reproduced from my 7 volumes of scrapbooks I kept with photos, names and dates of gigs and events within the band. Exact dates are listed when possible...otherwise only months are given. Unfortunately there are some items and gigs missing...but I wrote most of the following down as it happened. Additional credits are listed near the end of this intro.
To those up and coming groups now reading this, understand we did not have the venues...facilities...or promotional avenues available now, and we opened many doors from those long ago days. To those groups who are well established...I hope reading this will help you appreciate how busy we were at that time. We worked hard...played hard...had our share of "dog engagements"...and also had some very memorable ones as noted. But most of all...we enjoyed playing our music and entertaining audiences wherever we went. One more than one occasion...we lived the show business adage..."The Show must go on!" Vehicle breakdowns, equipment breakdowns, late nights, long hours, both on the road and rehearsing, and moving equipment, we did it all!
The three TV appearances at this time were unprecedented. All were on WCSH Channel 6 in Portland. The 1st was on Youth Cavalcade in March of 1969 where 4 years before Mark and I had performed as a Duo. Here we were again...now playing with the group and working hard. The other 2 were on the Dave Astor Show, a Saturday afternoon show that featured a different local High School every week. We performed when Westbrook High School was featured, and lip-synched our way through our songs, first time ever we had done that. While I do not have a specific date, I'm quite sure both were in 1970. All 3 performances took place in the old Congress Square Hotel (CSH!) with Channel 6 on the 4th floor...we had to load all of our equipment on an elevator to get to the studio...taking several trips both up and down.
This project would not have been possible without the help and recollection of my best friends, Bandmates, and "Brothers" in Love, Inc. who shared these wonderful times and made wonderful music with me. They carefully proof-read, added and corrected additional information, and provided photos and dates not previously included. Thanks also to Carol Starbird Bean for allowing us to use the Eastern Prom and Rock Mass photos she took in 1969.
Now.I update the Anthology once more...I look back on all the photos and the body of work we produced over 45 years ago...and stand very proud of what we did. In 2015 it's hard for me to believe I've been performing before audiences for 55 years...and little did I imagine back in the day...I'd still be playing...but here I am and enjoying it very much...thank you.
On December 22, 2012 we sadly lost another member of the Love, Inc. family as Mike and Billy's Mom Jean passed. We said goodbye to her on December 29. This leaves my Dad Philip, as the sole surving parent of us bandmembers.
In early January of 2015 we lost our friend and Roadie Bob Arsenault...a Classmate for Mark and I at ge 63. Bob passed way too early but we have he fun memories of a great guy who was fun to be with and very instrumental in our history and success.
As band Historian this has been a real pleasure for me to work on and share with everyone. I hope all who read this enjoy our exploits...and realize just how busy a little band from Westbrook could be, back in the halcyon days of Rock and Roll!
"Firsts" in Maine by Love, Inc.:
...First Pop Band to record an LP...April 1970
...First Pop Band to Chart 3 Singles on the Maine Airwaves...1969...1970 and 1971
...First Pop Band to acquire a National Booking Agent
...First Pop Band to play two "Rock Masses"...May and December 1969...and Advent Christian Service December 1969
...First Pop Band to make 3 Maine Television Appearances
...First Pop Band in Maine to record "United Way" Campaign Theme Song...1970
...Most successful Pop Band in Maine 1968-1971
To our families, friends and fans who faithfully followed us, came to our performances...and bought our records, we will always be grateful to you.
To the late Wayne Sacco, we will never forget you.
To Chuck Campbell who traipsed along with us through the trees and long-forgotten paths in Nubbles Pond in Raymond in June 1969 to shoot our only professional photo session...we thank you.
To Jill Starbird Clark for her courtesies and use of the Music Hall during the August 2007 BOTHN Sessions.
To Rick, we thank you for nearly two years of playing and adding your talents and great musicality to our performances.
To Dale and Bob, we thank you for the countless hours of loading, lugging, climbing stairs, getting through tight spaces, setting up and breaking down equipment, and in our final months for joining us in performance. Special thanks to Dale for allowing the use of many of the BOTHN photos during the Starbird Music Sessions. RIP Bob...thanks for making our time with you fun and memorable!
To all our parents...all of them but one gone now...thank you for your support and guidance. Without you none of this would not have been possible.
And finally...to Mike...Billy and Mark...thank you for the time of my life, and a musical experience like no other. I sincerely dedicate this to you. A special thank you to Billy for designing the Anthology Banner at the top of each page and to my life-long Brother Mark for writing the wonderful Forward.
"You had to be there..."
Vaya Con Dios.
Marc P. Mailhot, April 14, 2016
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