Apr 1, 2009
WAYNE FONTANA & THE MINDBENDERS - S/T (FONTANA 1965) Jap mastering cardboard sleeve + 13 bonus
(Continue).....The band set off for America almost immediately and ran straight into trouble. Visa difficulties had forced the band to cancel a couple of shows at the start of the tour -- immigration officials actually demanded statements from both Billboard and Cashbox to prove that the band's Stateside success actually justified their presence here. Then, the moment they stepped off the plane, the Mindbenders were served writs for one million each. They were being sued for not making two gigs in New Jersey.
Thankfully, the threat came to nothing and the remainder of the tour passed off happily. A new version of their debut album, featuring several cuts not on the U.K. album was released, making a respectable number 28; unfortunately, the moment the band's back was turned, their fortunes began to dip. Their next single, "Just a Little Bit Too Late," only reached number 45 in the U.S. (and number 20 in Britain) and when "She Needs Love" halted at number 32 in the U.K., at the same time as their second album, Eric, Rick, Wayne and Bob, stiffed, it appeared as though the Mindbenders' magic had dissipated already.
Certainly Wayne Fontana, the Fontana label, and the Kennedy Street Enterprises management label, thought so. The singer had always entertained visions of eventually graduating to a solo career and, in October 1965, everybody concerned realized the time had come; everybody, that is, aside from the band. They remained in the dark until, midway through a live show, Fontana simply walked off stage, turning to Stewart as he left and saying, "It's all yours."
It was not the first time the band had played on without their frontman; back in March, nervous exhaustion had confined Fontana to bed, midway through a 21-date, twice-nightly British tour with Herman's Hermits. So, with Stewart taking lead vocals, the band finished the set themselves; the audience seemed to enjoy themselves and the decision was made to carry on as a three-piece, which was precisely what their label and management had been planning all along. And, overnight, one fading chart act became two promising newcomers, singer Wayne Fontana and band the Mindbenders...[allmusic]