The Heeey Baby Days Of Beach Music [by Greg Haynes]







HBD Road Show - Burlington, N.C.
HBD Road Show - Burlington, N.C.
Steve "Moose" Smith (Keyboards)
 w/ In-Men Ltd Trumpeter, Howard Eaton

HBD Road Show - Burlington, N.C.
HBD Road Show - Burlington, N.C.
Steve "Moose" Smith (Keyboards)

w/ In-Men Ltd Lead Singer, Skip Hinshaw

Steve "Moose" Smith

Remembrance Of Steve "Moose" Smith, Back In The Heeey Baby Days

He was, and probably still is the, the best musician that I've ever known or witnessed (and I've seen a lot).  I played keyboards for 15 years or so and was never able to touch his talent on the B-3 and the Rhodes piano bass. I first met Moose on the beach at Pawley's Island in the late 60's. The Monzas were playing at the pavilion that weekend and Big John was sick or something, so they had asked Moose to play electric bass (although the keyboard was his instrument). He had rehearsed with the band only once, but never missed a note the whole weekend. It was Saturday afternoon and Johnny Andrews, Linda Quinlin (who was dating Johnny at the time), Moose, and I were lounging on the beach. I remember Moose had an acoustic guitar in tow and Linda asked him to play the Showmen's new songs. Johnny and I were relaxing with a couple of beers while being serenaded by Linda and Moose to the strains of "39-21-46" and "It  Will Stand "(neither of which I had heard nor heard of at the time) while the South Carolina sun warmed us and the ocean breeze blew through our hair (now that's a good Hey Baby Days memory). Moose told me a couple of years later that, looking back on that day, he was now embarrassed because it reminded him of a Beach Blanket Bingo scene with Frankie Avalon and Annette. I think by that time that the In-Men had become the Peace Core, and it wasn't cool to relax and have a good time.  Back to Moose... the In-Men had added a light show to their act, and Moose controlled all the switches to change colors, turn the lights on and off etc. with his left foot while the band played. I don't know if anyone watching the In-Men other than a fellow musician appreciated or even noticed what was going on with Moose but here it is: he was playing the Hammond B-3 organ with his right hand, playing the Rhodes Piano bass with his left hand, controlling the organ volume with his right foot, running the light show with his left foot, changing to speed on his Leslie organ amplifier with his left knee, and singing - all at the same time! And if the band was playing a song where Moose didn't sing, he could carry on a conversation with you while doing all of the above. One more thing.... he was unexcelled at his talent on the organ and bass. I daresay that there's neither bass player nor keyboard player in your book who can honestly admit that they were better than Moose. And Moose was playing both at the same time!!!   Thanks for listening to me rant and reminisce. 

John Jackson 

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