The Left Banke were a late 1960's band from New York with a unique sound. Critics labeled them "baroque-pop" due to the
classical influences in their music.|
Besides three songs that hit the Billboard charts, "Walk Away Renee," "Pretty Ballerina," and "Desiree," the group left behind a legacy of music that influenced notable musicians ranging from Leonard Bernstein to Alice Cooper.
|News & Updates Trivia Discography Pictures Related Artists 1 Related Artists 2|
|Walk Away Renee/Pretty Ballerina Left Banke Too Various Sessions|
|»The History Of The Left Banke|
|Tom Finn Steve Martin Caro George Cameron Michael Brown|
|»Dawn Eden Interviews|
|Walk Away Renee Michael Brown Tom Finn Rick Brand Alan Merrill|
|»Articles & Interviews|
|Left Banke Fan Club Newsletter KYA BEAT Oct 1966 KYA BEAT Nov 1966 KBTR/71 1966 Teen Screen 1967 LP Liner Notes 1967 Teen Set 1967 Song Hits 1967 Teen's Top 1967 Top Ten 1967 Teen Screen 1968 GO 1968 Hit Parader 1968 Hit Parader 1969 UK Record Collector 1991 Mojo 2002 Big Takeover 2003 RIP Jeff Winfield Left Banke 2011 Reunion|
|»Left Banke by Nona Egan|
From Teen Screen February 1968|
The group that rose to fame with "Walk Away Renee" and "Pretty Ballerina" is back with a new single, "Desiree," which was produced and written by their ex-organist-turned-producer Mike Brown, featuring a 27 piece orchestra!
Now there are four performing instead of five (Mike, having turned producer). Still the Left Banke have never really left (sorry) as their influence has always been present. Many of the top English and American groups have integrated their early arrangements into their current hit records. The Left Banke are very popular in England and hope to play for their fans there as soon as possible and even radio stations in the east have been playing "Walk Away Renee" and "Pretty Ballerina" back to back while the group was solving legal problems.
The Left Banke are dynamic and hypnotising showmen with one exception, if the audience is rowdy, they merely sing. They love to go to discotheques as all are interested as to what successful and up and coming groups sound like live!
They can often be found at Steve Paul's Scene or Salvation in New York. They can also oft times be found playing a Broadway bingo-like game called Facination, or singing and composing as they cavort down Broadway. Facination was a favorite pastime of the group while waiting for that first big record! (Facination was near their recording studio). They all love the night and sleep till about noon when not recording or on the road.
Lead singer of the Left Banke is Steve Martin, 19, a perfectionist who is very sensitive about his music. He does take a great deal of pride in his singing, however and is constantly seeking advice from those he respects in the music world on ways to improve. When I complemented him on his vocal in "Desiree", he proceeded to criticize himself and discuss how he'd like to work even longer on recording sessions.
Steve is of Spanish ancestry and he attended school in Spain, where his family was living, before he joined the Left Banke. Steve also spends a lot of time writing, and several of his compositions are slated for the next album.
George Cameron, the English-born member of the group, is a gentle person, always smiling, who can't understand man's hostility to man. George is aware that outside events will change his approach to music and spends his leisure time reading literature that might better help him understand people and world situations. George prefers Soul music, intelligent girls and hates false eyelashes (even on me, George?)
George is one of the few drummers on the pop scene having a complete knowledge of the intricacies of classical harmony. His own well thought out plan for a happy existence includes to one day be able to live in the woods of New Hampshire. (Or to be even a New Hampshire chipmunk!)
Tommy Finn, bass guitar, pensive deep eyes, jet-black shiny hair - likes people (tip to fans: Tommy likes to be pursued - could it be he's shy?). Before concerts, you are likely to find Tommy walking around, smiling and talking to friendly girls (how lucky can a girl get?) People are often shocked to look up on stage and find they have been talking to Tommy Finn, bass player!
Tommy, aside from playing bass has become known for his outstanding vocal arrangements.
Guitarist Rick Brand is well educated in science, and he flys his own plane (Cessna 172). Oh to be flying amongst the clouds with Rick Brand! Rick loves karate (Maybe I don't want to fly among the clouds with a karate expert) and Les Paul and Mary Ford (Les Paul and Mary Ford??) Rick is in charge of good spirits . . . he always makes, the group laugh while traveling on the road.
Last but definitely not least is writer-producer Mike Brown. Mike, aside from writing most of the songs and producing most of the recording sessions for the Left Banke's records, is working on the group's new album, a movie score, a Broadway show and his own classical compositions! (does he ever sleep??)
In this share time (what spare time?) Mike is a partner in a music publishing co. -- Mike Brown, Teen Tycoon (he's 19!)
Put them all together and they spell success!! And they're all single -- all under 21!