Golden Hits Of The 60s” 

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(Steve Leonard)

Best 13002

No. 18    March 14, 1964




They had bald heads and were known as “the crazies of the surf scene.”   In the heat of the Beatle Invasion,

the British press ran stories and referred to them as “America’s answer to the Beatles.” They were not to be,

but the Pyramids did make an important contribution to the handful of never-ending summer classics

annually activated by rock-radio programmers on the dwindling number of “oldies radio stations.


Willie Glover was a shy, poor, North Carolina-raised youth who moved to Long Beach, California, in the

summer of 1961.   Will would bring his guitar to school, keep to himself, and practice.   Fellow Long Beach

Poly High student Skip Mercer approached Will, struck up a friendship, and suggested they form a group.

After some shuffling of members, the line-up was set and the name was chosen.    In addition to Mercer

(lead guitar) and Glover (rhythm guitar), the Pyramids were Steve Leonard (bass), Ron McMullen (drums),

and Tom Pittman (sax).


John Hodge approached the group,  offering to manage the Pyramids as well as record them.    With

borrowed money, he hustled the guys into the Garrison Studios in Long Beach and cut two sides.   Issued

on Best Records, “The Pyramid Stomp” sold only a handful:  airplay had been zip, and distribution was nil.


The Pyramids returned to playing school dances and record hops.    Steve Leonard created a take-off on

“Pipeline,” an instrumental smash by THE CHANTAYS.   The Pyramids recorded “Penetration”–originally

entitled “Eyeballs”–as a “B” side to the otherwise forgettable “Here Comes Marsha.”   This time, Hodge

managed to secure  local airplay and national distribution with London Records.   With an eye to a

marketable gimmick, he convinced the guys to shave their heads, and invited the press to take snap shots.

“Penetration” pierced the nation’s top 20.


The band was hotter than the noon-day sun.    Stuffed in a station wagon with primitive sound equipment,

the baldies moved about making TV appearances on  “American Bandstand,”  “Hullabaloo,” and “The

Lloyd Thaxton  Show”; they even snuck in a bit part in Frankie and Annette’s third flick, Bikini Beach



Ironically, the Pyramids never received a penny for their chart­ mounting moment in the sun.   Glover,

Leonard, and McMullen, in an interview with Kicks ‘ writer Robert Dalley, charged that their trusted

manager, John Hodge, had gathered up all the money for himself and lost it all in bad investments.

Disgust and discord set in, and even though a few more highly collectible singles were issued, the

Pyramids rapidly crumbled.