KATFISH - DEAR PRUDENCE


KATFISH - 'Dear Prudence'/'Street Walkin' (Big Tree Records BTS-16045) 1975

Sometimes the 70s threw up some strange curios, records that belonged in another time. Take this 45 from Katfish who were believed to be from Lewiston, Maine. They probably went into the studio to record gig favourite 'Dear Prudence' but it came out at the other end sounding like a record from late 1969 thanks in every way to producer Bob Herne's psychedelic studio tricks. He served his time well in the late 60s producing for The Flat Earth Society and Lazy Smoke.

"Dear Prudence won't you come out to play,
Dear Prudence greet the brand new day"

There's a picture cover of this release and it shows a four piece group in daft '70s clobber so it doesn't look like Katfish were on some kind of '60s revival trip. The flip 'Street Walkin' is a typical '70s rocker and probably a good indication of what they sounded like most of the time.

Comments

  1. We saw Katfish in the early 70's be fore they opened for arosmith in Lewiston and they were a great band to bad for bad management I miss going to the bars and clubs to hear them play Best wishes boys. spear.mike@ymail.com

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  2. Yes, we were from Lewiston Maine. We recorded these tunes at EAB Studios, and Bobby Hearne engineered and produced us. The owner of EAB, Ed Boucher loved the Beatles and encouraged us to record this, and at his expense, we did. Being the confident, cocky 19 year olds we were, we thought an uptempo cover of this great Beatle tune would be kool. It caught the ear of the president of BIg Tree Records and they released it nation wide the summer of 1975, it got as high as 63 on the Billboard Hot 100, if memory serves, and stayed on the charts for 8 weeks. It got us the opportunity to open for the likes of, Marshall Tucker, Charlie Daniels, Brownsville Station to name a few. We had a heady, glorious short lived run, but what a blast! Not too shabby for 4 nobodys from a a little mill town in Maine. We all still perform and record to this day in our various own musical projects and are all still friends. Katfish was: Nick Knowlton, vocals, Jeff Wright, guitar, Maurice McKenna, bass, vocals and me, John G. Hart, drums
    Rock on!

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    1. Hello John: I really loved that song when I was a kid, I was 13 when it was out. I remember the store and the other 45 I got with dear prudence - it was ABBA - S.O.S. Played the shit out of both 45s - A-side and B-side of both. I just played "Dear Prudence" and I wondered "Did they have a follow-up single? - Did a search on "google" and found this article. So, Did you guys have any other records? Maybe a local single? I would like to hear it. Tried searching on E-bay and I found a local pressing of "Dear Prudence" on Gonad, with picture sleeve - bought it! There were a couple of Big tree pressings but no other single. Just wanted you to know I still love that version of the song. As far as I am concerned it is the best version. Good Job!!

      Later
      Ed S

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  3. Thanks for getting in touch John and filling me in on more details. Like I said in my review 'Dear Prudence' is an excelent cover version..

    It may have even been a hit in Britain if it had got a release over here.

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  4. Where are they now? Still in Lewiston,Maine?

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  5. Nick knowliton the singer/vocals still preforms for fusions at the Ramada inn in Lewiston he has his own business the music connection sings for weddings and events he's still a awesome singer

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  6. Did you guys play in Portland at Deering Oaks in the late 70's? If so, I remember it being awesome. I had been trying to find more info over the years but I thought it was "Catfish"

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    1. Hey Rick, yes we did. It was a promotion (if memory serves ...been a few decades bro) by a popular Portland Maine Top 40 radio station then called WJBQ. We set up in the middle of Deering Oaks as I recall on top of a flatbed truck trailer. We just rolled up one nice summer afternoon. We set our own gear up. In those primitive days, bands even brought their own P.A Systems. We just cranked old school from the stage with our Marshall Stack for guitar, Univox for bass, Lead singer screaming thru the P.A, and me bashing my Ludwig kit with baseball bats for sticks and let her rip!! It had a crazy turnout as I recall. It was promoted heavily by one radio station. No, social media back then man, just peeps that listened to good radio, and starved for great free rock that we were glad to deliver. It would be called a flash mob now I guess? lol
      I even have pics from that show if you want them just contact me at drummers@maine.rr.com. I am only on this site tonight because I stumbled on it due to my wife watching boring gardening shows and I was learning some new blues licks and migrated here some how.!! Too funny!
      .

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  7. John, This goes back, but wanted to express to you how much I liked this cover and *still* like it more than the The Beatles original! I remember when your version came out in Maine. It did get some good airplay on radio stations like WJBQ (and a lot of requests). I bought the 45 and still have it, what, some 40 or so years and 10 moves in 5 states ago! Was there ever an LP? I know I saw you guys a few times. Listened to Aerosmith a lot back then and thought you opened for them maybe at the Cumberland County Civic Center in Portland, no? If not, there was a place in L/A called The Bird I sometimes went to, which closed some years ago, I think, so maybe it was there. I gather Lewiston has changed a lot in recent years. Is WBLM still there? Glad to hear you're all still doing music, and wonder if you've ever considered, just for kicks, a reunion to record another great cover? Technology has made audio/video easier, faster, and cheaper, ya know... Best wishes to you all. W.L.

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  8. So sorry, I just learned Nick Knowlton passed away in 2017.

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