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Meet Spiral Starecase [PHOTOS/VIDEOS]

Spiral
Let’s play song #8! (Craig Allen photo).

The Spiral Starecase is a 1960′s band, with a military connection!

The group evolved out of what was originally a four member instrumental band that formed for…an Air Force talent contest in Sacramento, California in 1964!

Known as the “Fydallions,” the guys hit the road after their military service, playing the Las Vegas lounge circuit!

Dick Lopes played sax, Bobby Raymond played bass guitar, keyboards were handled by Harvey Kaye, Vinnie Parello played drums, and Pat Upton played guitar, and was lead singer.

Gary Usher from Columbia Records spotted the “Fydallions” while they were playing in El Monte, California…and signed them to a deal…as long as they would change their name.

The new band name came from the movie “The Spiral Staircase,” but with a deliberate change in spelling (Starecase).

Columbia rushed out two singles, testing the waters for their newly-signed band…and found some regional success in the Southwest (including Phoenix).

Now, Sonny Knight was brought in by the label to produce the first Spiral Starecase album.

Gary Usher encouraged Pat Upton to write some original songs…and as luck would have it, while playing the Flamingo in Las Vegas, Upton had written a song called “More Today Than Yesterday.”

One of “Jersey’s Favorite Hits,” “More Today Than Yesterday” zoomed to #12 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in 1969.  It was a #7 record according to “Cash Box.”

Selling more than a million copies, “More Today Than Yesterday” was awarded an R.I.A.A gold disc.

Sadly, the next singles could not duplicate the chart magic…

“No One For Me To Turn To” (#52/1969)

“She’s Ready” (#72/1970)

Within 18 months of the “More Today Than Yesterday” release, Spiral Starecase split up, due to money problems and poor management.

Upton would return to Los Angeles as a session musician, eventually playing with Ricky Nelson.

Kaye returned to Las Vegas, where he re-formed Spiral Starecase with an all-new lineup. This band toured extensively, across America, Canada and Mexico, from the late 1970′s to mid 1980′s.

Currently…

Pat Upton and his family live in Alabama. He performs a few times a year.

Harvey Kaye started a management company with his wife, in Los Angeles. He died in 2008. His wife, Candy, holds the Spiral Starecase trademark. You might remember Harvey Kaye’s daughter from the 1980′s…”Brenda K Starr” (“I Still Believe”).

Bobby Raymond died in 1984.

Dick Lopes is part owner of a hair salon in Sacramento, California.

Vinnie Parello is retired, and living in Southern California.

 

 

 

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