Jim DeStout ’69 wrote to tell us that The Others, the band he and other URI students formed in 1964, was inducted this spring into the Rhode Island Music Hall of Fame.
Jim lives in Beavercreek, Ohio, after a career as a pilot in the Air Force—he retired as full colonel, and has since served as a defense consultant—but he says music has remained a significant part of his life, from playing bluegrass to directing a Catholic choir. The Others helped him pay his way through college, but perhaps most significantly, it was during his time as lead guitarist and vocalist for The Others that he met his wife of 47 years, Betty. We’re betting she had plenty of competition for his attention. Here’s his story:
I met two guys named Pete Shepley and Mike Brand during freshman week, and we decided to form a band to play on campus. We pulled in our friends Mike Patalano and John Costa. John went to Brown University, so we drove to see him and sang Beatles songs in the parking lot in three-part harmony. It sounded great, and that was the beginning of The Others.
The first time we performed publicly was at “Rhody Night,” a talent show at the college; we sang ’When I Get Home’ by The Beatles. Then, in early 1965, Mike Brand’s father met a New York City talent manager who agreed to listen to the band if we were ever in New York City. We drove down the next week.
From that audition came a recording contract with RCA Victor and two records in 1965-1966: “I Can’t Stand This Love, Goodbye,” and “Lonely Street.” They were followed by one single with Jubilee records, “Morning,” which featured a flip side song titled “My Friend the Wizard.” The singles have been featured in garage band, rock and psychedelic pop anthologies.
During the school year, we opened for many well-known groups when they came to Rhode Island, including The Lovin’ Spoonful, The Byrds, The Animals, and The Left Banke. We worked summers at a club, Rolling Stone, in New York City.
We all went on to a variety of careers. Pete attended Johns Hopkins University for his master’s in creative writing; he migrated to the Philippines, and unfortunately passed away in 2014. Mike Brand moved to San Francisco, where he became a freelance video producer. After a few years as a young Army Officer, including a combat tour in Vietnam, Mike Patalano owns his own accounting firm, as well as becoming a colonel in the Army Reserve. John had a successful career as a business and corporate attorney. Two members who joined later, Bob Angell and Joe Parisi, continued on as musicians in the group Blues Outlet. Bob also became an English professor at CCRI, and Joe went on to a career in sales and marketing. John Costa was replaced in late 1966 by Bob Johnson, a Brown student, who later traveled to Europe to continue his music. •