The Remains were a mid-1960s rock group from Boston, Massachusetts, led by Barry Tashian, who later was harmony vocalist and guitarist for Emmylou Harris and part of the duo, Barry and Holly Tashian. The Remains performed in Boston in 1964 and 1965, playing The Rathskeller where fans lined up from Kenmore Square to Fenway Park to see them.
They are best known for being one of the opening acts of The Beatles' final US tour in 1966.
Although associated with the garage rock scene, the Remains were highly accomplished professional musicians and their recordings, while hard-edged, are notably well-produced and arranged. The band enjoyed a local hit with their version of the Bo Diddley/Willie Dixon classic "Diddy Wah Diddy". Despite considerable local success and strong critical acclaim (including an appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show), the band failed to break through on a national level and folded in late 1966. However, in common with many of their garage rock contemporaries, the Remains gradually acquired a cult status, and eventually reformed to play at several garage revival shows such as Cavestomp in New York City during the late 1990s, Las Vegas Grind in 2000 and a tour of major European cities in 2006. They recorded a new album in 2003.
The band's first and last singles, "Why Do I Cry" and "Don't Look Back" respectively, are both featured on the Nuggets: Original Artyfacts From the First Psychedelic Era box set.
In 2007, Epic/Legacy came out with a reissue of The Remains' 1966 album, which received the following review from rock journalist, Mark Kemp, in Paste Magazine (June 2007): "Had these Boston bad boys stuck it out beyond their 1966 debut, we might today be calling them—and not the Stones—the World's Greatest Rock 'n' Roll Band. As it is, The Remains most certainly are America's greatest lost band."
Kemp's praise echoes the well-known critique written 40 years earlier by rock critic (and subsequently Bruce Springsteen's manager), Jon Landau, in Crawdaddy! magazine (January 1967): "They were how you told a stranger about rock'n'roll."
In 2008, the world premiere of a documentary about The Remains, "America's Lost Band," directed by Michael Stich, took place at the Boston Film Festival. Steve Simels, Boxoffice Magazine, describes the film as "a fascinating retelling of one of the great what-might-have-been stories of American music of the '60s."
The Remains' story was also the subject of a stage musical at the 2004 New York International Fringe Festival, "All Good Things," which received acclaim from a variety of critics. (60sgaragebands.com, News & Nuggets, August 31, 2004).
In 2010, The Remains released a new song about the Boston Red Sox, "Monbo Time," that was done as a tribute to the 1960s Red Sox pitcher, Bill Monbouquette. The Remains pledged that they were donating 50% of the revenues they receive from sales of the song to cancer research. (06880danwoog.com, April 23, 2010; Boston Herald, April 22, 2010).
February 23, 2014, Rudolph "Chip" Damiani passed away due to complications of a stroke.
- Barry Tashian – guitar/vocals (born 5 August 1945, Oak Park, Illinois)
- Bill Briggs – keyboards/vocals (born 19 March 1945, Battle Creek, Michigan)
- Vern Miller – bass/vocals (born 31 January 1945, Orange, New Jersey)
- Rudolph "Chip" Damiani – drums (born 16 June 1945, Waterbury, Connecticut, died 23 February 2014) (1964–1966, 1998–2014)
- N.D. Smart – drums (1966)