SYNOPSIS 1964-1974: A Decade of Odd Tales and Wonders
Travis Edward Pike
Otherworld Cottage Industries (2018)
(Paperback: 363 pages, $22.95)

     Travis Edward Pike’s 1964-1974: A Decade of Odd Tales and Wonders, a memoir of his early career as a singer-songwriter, features more than 170 photos and artifacts, and complete lyrics and rhymes from the CDs shown on its front cover.
     In it, Pike discusses writing the title song for 1964’s Demo Derby, his father’s 28 minute action featurette that played on thousands of screens across the USA with the Beatles Hard Day’s Night, at the onset of the mid-1960s British music invasion. He also addresses starring in Pike Productions’ 1966 Boston-based feature film Feelin’ Good, the ten songs he wrote for it, and the eight he performed on screen in that movie.
     The Montclairs, a racially mixed group, winners of the First Massachusetts Jaycees Battle of the Bands, performed Pike’s title song on screen, but we learn that an innocuous scene of the Montclairs sharing a pizza during that volatile period of civil rights activism, restricted the film’s bookings in Southern theaters.
     Pike also recounts how following the January 1968, Tet Offensive, even after CBS Evening News anchorman Walter Cronkite spoke out against continued American involvement in Vietnam, its escalation continued, and the number of American draftees rose, inspiring Pike, a Navy veteran, to compose his only anti-war song, “Don’t You Care at All?”
     Pike believes “People, whether engaged or detached from the events that shape their world, are nevertheless compelled to experience the effects of their nation’s histories, economically, politically, psychologically, and spiritually, and the ramifications of events in 1968 still shape our lives.”
     In 1973, Pike’s music underscored the Golden Globe Awards nomination for Best Documentary Film, The Second Gun, about the 1968 assassination of Democratic Presidential Candidate, Robert Kennedy.
     Pike posted music sequences from that 1966 movie Feelin’ Good on Youtube in 2016. The “Watch Out Woman” and “Way That I Need You” video clips led to a 45 rpm soundtrack recording released by State Records (U.K.), and subsequently rated number three in Shindig! magazine’s Best of 2017 December issue

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