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Before

Paul Revere & the Raiders

"FANG" was with a band called

"The Chancellors"

Back in 1962 - 63
Boise, Idaho
The Chancellors, of Boise Idaho, were a very professional band that performed every Saturday night to a capacity house at the Fiesta Ballroom. We had a wardrobe and choregraphed staging, which most bands in that region and era strived for, in an effort to emulate the regional heroes, Paul Revere and the Raiders, who were the "kings of rock" in the eyes of all us up-and-coming rockers in the Boise, Nampa, Caldwell, Idaho area. The Raiders put on the greatest dance/shows of all time. Because their tour schedule kept them out of town quite a bit, other local bands like the Chancellors, The Chessmen, The Nameless Ones, & Dick Cates could shine in their absence and cultivate a strong local following. The Fiesta Ballroom became legendary as the only place for high school kids to be on Saturday night to mix with their friends. Because two rival high schools would show up for the dance, it sometimes became Boise's version of the "West Side Story" with the "Jets" and the "Sharks" rumbling on the dance floor. Since the Fiesta Ballroom was on the second floor of a factory building, one night a bad fight broke out and a kid got pushed out the window and another pushed down the long, steep staircase. I'm still amazed that no one got killed that night. It became obvious that we needed more security and bouncers, which we quickly hired for the following week. My favorite spot was the fire escape landing where I would spend my breaks making out with my steady girl friend, Kitty. As a very famous song said many years later: "...I'm a lover, not a fighter." Since I had to stay on stage and play all night, my break-time with my girl had to be quality time, unless of course, I could occasionally sneak off stage during a ballad and catch a slow dance with Kitty. I played rhythm guitar with the Chancellors, and did some of the lead vocals, when our lead vocalist and bongo player, Rich Crowley needed a break. Some of my lead vocals were "Hello Josephine" by Fats Domino, and "Return to Sender" by Elvis Presley. I also played lead guitar on "Sleep Walk" by Santa and Johnny. We were essentially a rock and roll show band, that did lots of great instrumentals like "All Night" by the Marquees. We had one sax man, Eddy Hueman, but our piano player, Dale Rich, also doubled on horn, so we were able to do some great horn songs. In fact, when the Chancellors began their recording career, "Black Out" was a horn song instrumental, while the 'A' side, "Diamond In The Sky," was a vocal. Terry Call was the lead guitar, Tom Lowe was on bass, and Russ Bice was on drums. Russ and I had been good friends for many years.

Phil's first band, "The Classics" in Nampa, Idaho, 1960-61

Russ and I had came from a small farming town 30 miles away called Nampa, Idaho, and had gone to high school together, and had been members in my first band called: "The Classics" What a great experience that was, for on my very first night doing a gig out of town when I was only 16 years old, I hooked up with a sweet little girl who must have been impressed with my stage presence, because we sat in the back seat of the piano player's car making out all the way back to Nampa on the ride home that night. I was the lead singer of the band, and the only guy who got a girl that night, and I remember it being a very exhilarating and sexy experience. I decided, then and there, that I had to stay in this wild and crazy music business, because the "perks" were fabulous. I'm sure most guys who got into bands in those days, certainly must have had a few fantasies about playing guitar and getting "chicks." Well, all those fantasies eventually came true. We were all smitten with the "Elvis syndrome," which essentially equated playing guitar and singing rock and roll, with getting girls. It was an amazing chain reaction of human emotions mixed with music, but the chemistry seemed to work every time, and the girls were always there, making the music business the greatest business in the world, or at least it seemed that way to us young, inexperienced farm boys, getting their first real exotic taste of the good life of the musician. It was a complete package: girls, cars and rock and roll. (It was too early in history for the more dangerous and volatile version: sex, drugs & rock & roll). We were still quite innocent in comparison to today's standards, but I'm sure we still worried alot of parents who saw there daughters dating a rock and roll musician, and not an athlete or student body president. The fact of the matter is, I did the other stuff, too, so I came with the whole package: Musician, Jock, and Student Body President Elect. (Unfortunately, I was stripped of my rightful Presidency because of a few corrupt ballot counters who stuffed the ballot box with their candidate of choice, so the Principal finally called the election a draw, and ordered a re-vote between me and my opponent. I may have lost the election on that second round, but I'm sure no one will forget my speech in the auditorium, which was essentially 10 minutes of stand-up comedy that had the crowd in stitches and won me a large constituency of voters. My campaign slogan: "A Vote For Volk Is a Vote of The People." (you see, the name "Volk" means "people" in German. You know, like Volkswagen, i.e. peoples car) Anyway, Russ and I migrated to Boise, the capital city, joined the Chancellors and played with them during our junior and senior years. After a couple of years of huge success with The Chancellors, and watching Paul Revere and the Raiders launch their recording career with viable regional success, we started looking in that direction and started working on original material for our future recording enterprise. This was the spring of 1963, and I was doing great on the high school track team, with fast legs, and a strong desire to succeed in the athletic portion of my high school career.

Phil winning two gold medals in the Idaho State Track & Field Meet, spring 1963.

That was just about the time that I was fired from the band for missing a gig due to the fact that I was on the track team at Borah High school and I needed my rest for the following day which was the State Finals Track and Field Meet. I told the band a few days in advance that I couldn't make a Friday gig out of town because of my commitment to the track team. The following day, our band manager and local DJ Del Chapman, walked out on the track field where I was working out with my team, and he fired me on the spot. Many years later at a reunion concert of the original Chancellors in Boise, Idaho, (1990), Del Chapman and I got a good laugh at the dramatics and intensity of my demise from the group, but at the time it was a very grievous and painful event in my life. Nevertheless, at the State Track Meet, I garnered two gold medals, establishing two new state records in the 880 yard relay and the mile relay. After the track meet, I joined Drake Levin's band called "Sir Winstons Trio," but that gig was short-lived because we were playing in a bar called Quinn's Lounge, and we were all fired for being under age. So, we redesigned the group, added a drummer, wore Hawaiian shirts and cut-off shorts, and called ourselves, ( are you ready for this?) "The Surfers" And yet, we never played any surf music, just R&B and rock and roll. What a concept! I don't think I have any pictures of those two groups. What a shame. But our big claim to fame is that we played the mighty Miramar Ballroom after only two months of being together, and in Boise, that meant that you had arrived into some kind of regional celebrity status. The Miramar Ballroom was where Drake and I had seen Fats Domino perform, as well as The Champs of "Tequilla" fame, Roy Orbison, and other famous recording artists who would pass through town for a one night stand. Are other claim to fame was an opportunity Paul Revere gave us to be his opening act at the Nampa Armory Dance Hall. You see Drake and I had become very close to Paul because "The Surfers" played regularly at his teen night club in Boise called "The Crazy Horse," during the summer of 1963. These were great musical times for us because we got to see The Raiders perform quite a bit in the club, and Smittty sat in with "The Surfers" all the time. Drake and I were very impressed with his solid, hard-hitting drumming. At the end of that summer, Drake was hired to play with Paul Revere and the Raiders, and I left Boise to attend college at the University of Colorado, in Boulder. A year and a half later, Paul Revere hired me to be his bass player. (I love this business!!!)

"Bye Bye Birdie" at Borah High School, Boise, Idaho, 1962
Phil playing the part of Conrad Birdie and being backed-up by The Fabulous Chancellors

When I did another Chancellor reunion concert in 1992, several wonderful things happened. My old girlfriend, Kitty, surprised me and showed up looking absolutely fabulous. Drake Levin, my best friend in the old days and till now, and of course my comrade later in the Raiders, also showed up and played the whole set with us. My Dad and Mom, and my two younger kids, Brian and Jessica were there, along with my wonderful wife , Tina. The band was in rare form that night and the concert was simply magical, with over 3,500 in attendance and with all the best people in my life being there to experience it. My lovely wife, Tina, video taped it that night so I've been able to visit that magical night every so often when I need a good dose of nostalgia. Tina, the wonderful lady that she is, was a terrific sport when Kitty and I were reminiscing the old days and perhaps embracing a little longer than we should have. I even brought Kitty on stage to quell any rumors that lead singer, Rich Crowley, never stood a chance with Kitty in our high school days, when he once attempted to win her over. It was a classic funny moment on stage when I confronted Rich with his defeat over a girl that we had both competed for. Kitty stuck by my side through the gag, and Rich was a very good sport and accepted "defeat" graciously and like a man. With our high school friends in the audience looking on, it certainly was a blast to the past, this little juvenile drama of a high school prank in the middle of our show. It was sweet, and it was silly kid's fun, but I'll never forget how great it felt to stand on stage with my old Chancellor buddies, my old girlfriend under my arm and watch time melt away, as if the past 30 years hadn't happened yet, and we were still just a bunch of teenagers living life large with our girlfriends, our rock music and our '57 Chevys. These kind of moments in life are rare. They don't happen every day. It truly was a magical night. The following day, the magic lingered as I visited my old Borah High School gymnasium to peer into the trophy case, and sure enough, way in the back row and a little dusty, were two trophies with my name on them. They said: "State Champions/1963/State Track& Field Finals." I have to brush away a tear as I write this, because when I looked into that trophy case in that same gymnasium where we had our sock hops after the football games, and where I had given my famous student body president election speech some 30 years previous, I remember getting very welled-up inside with alot of water in my eyes and realizing that those days are gone forever, and only memories and dusty trophies remain, along with the hollow sound of empty hallways lined with lockers, and the pungent smell of gymnasium sweat mixed with floor wax. Just the night before at the reunion concert, we had all taken a miraculous "time machine" back to those days, completely forgetting our current lives with all our deadlines and commitments, and reveling in the most precious and precarious years of our lives. Our days of great cars, steady girlfriends, and of course, the greatest rock and roll music of all time. How blessed we all were to live in those glory days of rock, before the world went crazy with the Kennedy assasination, the Viet Nam War, AIDS, and of course, the down fall of rock and roll – rap music – the antithesis of romance and love. (When we hear a great oldie on the radio, we can say with passion: "...oh, they're playing our song," and remember romantic times surrounding that particular song. But how can kids today possibly do that with today's violent, mean-spirited and empty headed rap stuff. It just isn't the same, and the beauty and innocence of young love is just simply missing from alot of today's music.)

The Chancellors Reunions in 1990 & 1992–Boise, Idaho (Drake in black behind Phil, far right)

The 1992 Chancellor reunion concert will always live in my mind as a milestone of love, friendship, and the most beautiful kind of nostalgia. With my family and my Dad and Mom, we visited all our farms and ranches where we used to live and the big lake where we used to go water skiing, and we even rafted down the Boise river with the whole gang including my folks. My dad couldn't swim but he went anyway and loved it. But he mostly loved seeing the old farms where he raised us. My Dad made the statement: "I've had many dreams of someday doing this, and now I'm finally here. It's all so beautiful as I remembered it." He was 82 years old at the time. Two weeks later, he died in Las Vegas, Nevada, August 18, 1992 of heart failure. The 1992 Chancellor reunion was one of the best times of my life. It all came together so perfectly, with all the right people being together in the same place on this planet, enjoying a magical night of great music, great friendship and the best of memories. I dedicate this portion of my website to two wonderful people: First, my Dad, who was full of joy and laughter that night and was able to visit the dream of his earlier years where he raised seven kids on the farm in Idaho. He's my hero, my champion, my mentor, my biggest fan and most supportive friend a person could ever have. And, Second: To Kitty Cosgrove, for the love and beauty I saw in her eyes that night. My heart has never been the same since our love got lost "somewhere in time," but that magical night at the Chancellor reunion, it returned for a brief moment, as powerful as ever, and I was able to touch it, to embrace it and feel it once again as if it had never been lost. In fact, I found out that night that it never was lost, it had just been sitting on the back shelf of a dusty trophy case in a gymnasium. The glory of true love resonates forever. It's never lost. (– Phil "Fang" Volk)
Mimi Volk
Fang
George Volk
Two of the greatest people I know on this planet – My Mom and Dad. She was a singer & a Dancer, and he was a stage & screen Actor. They got me started in showbiz at 3 years old.
1962
Fang & Kitty
1992
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