The go-getting, well-liked but never particularly hip or innovative Paul Revere passed today (or was it yesterday?) at age 76. I always thought of Paul Revere and the Raiders as a fairly superficial white-boy band with an agreeably cranky metal-bass sound who got lucky with a few singles in the mid to late ’60s. (The enterprising Revere was the leader and keyboardist.) Their four best cuts were “Just Like Me” (’65) “Kicks” (’66) “Hungry“(ditto) and “Good Thing” (’67). I never a huge fan of Mark Lindsay‘s singing style but I always liked that Raider mix of dynamic harmonies and rumbling bassy chop-thunk. They had a nice tight sound. I know that the group never seemed to fit into the lefty-humanist anti-authority mold that 99.5% of musicians default to. “Kicks” and “Hungry” always struck me as conservative anthems. “Kicks” was a “just say no to drugs” song, of course. It was written by Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil, and was reportedly offered first to The Animals, who wisely turned it down. (If there was one time in the history of Western Civilization to not record an anti-drug song, it was 1966.) And what are the lyrics to Mann and Weil’s “Hungry” (“If I break some rules along the way, well, ya gotta understand”) but a young man’s rationalization for greedy corner-cutting and playing dirty? Revere and the Raiders never seemed to really embrace “the ’60s.” They were talented opportunists who wanted to be popular and flush, and they did pretty well along those lines for two or three peak years. I’ve had this idea for years that Revere was a Republican (despite being a conscientious objector in his early 20s) but I can’t find any links right now to support that suspicion. Except for the fact that he’s been eulogized on a site called Reaganite Republican Resistance.