The Storm arose in the mid-'60s at, of all places, Phillips Academy in Andover, Mass., the same blue-blooded prep school that produced Oliver Wendell Holmes and Frederick Law Olmsted and Edgar Rice Burroughs and George Herbert Walker Bush and other prominent Protestants with three or four names. In the mid-'60s, Andover, as the place is usually called, was still very much an "old school" boarding school where the boys - it was all boys then - wore suits and ties and went to chapel every morning and called their teachers "sir" and were groomed to take their rightful place among America's ruling elite. The boys were also groomed to meet - and later mate with - similarly blue-blooded females, thus producing the next generation of the ruling elite. To this end, the girls at nearby prep schools were bused into Andover to attend "mixers" - excruciatingly awkward dances for sweaty-palmed youths who had never before seen each other. In the 1966-67 school year, the entertainment at those mixers was the Rising Storm, a band composed of six Andover seniors led by [Tony Thompson] and famous for long slow songs that permitted randy preppies to grind their pelvises together for 20 minutes.
It got weirder. Boston Magazine and the Boston Globe did stories on the Rising Storm. Eva, a French record company, released a bootleg edition of "Calm Before," complete with French liner notes. Psycho Records, a British company, included three Rising Storm songs on an anthology album with a cover that showed a hypodermic needle speeding through the cosmos like a rocket. And Arf! Arf!, a small Boston label, recorded the Rising Storm performing at the class of '67's 15th reunion in 1982 and released an album called "Alive Again at Andover." And Stanton Park, another small Boston label, re-released "Calm Before." And then Arf! Arf! produced a CD that included both "Calm Before" and "Alive Again" - and it actually started getting airplay on some hip college radio stations.
PHOTO,,R.K. Byers; PHOTO-COLOR,,Nubar Alexanian CAPTION: The Rising Storm in 1967, above. From left: Rich Weinberg, Todd Cohen, Tony Thompson, [Tom Scheft], [Charlie Rockwell] and [Bob Cohan]. Right, the band in 1992. From left: Cohen, Cohan, Thompson, Scheft, Weinberg, Rockwell. CAPTION: In color-coordinated (sort of) psychedelic splendor, the boys in the band practice their art, circa 1967. CAPTION: Shaking their well-upholstered butts, aging preppies do long-forgotten dances as the Rising Storm rocks out.
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