You hear a song for years and think you know the band, but maybe you don’t. It’s no accident the band below sounds like The Beatles, but it’s actually New Jersey’s The Knickerbockers.
The Knickerbockers’ singer Buddy Randell really could play the saxophone, and in the video, you can see him put it to his lips just as the guitar solo kicks in, but if it’s there, it’s buried in the mix. Buddy’s around 24 in this clip, but he had a radio hit with another band before he was even 18.
The Royal Teens went to #3 in 1958 with “Short Shorts.” On the single, Buddy plays the signature sax riff and says, “Man, dig that crazy chick.” In the clip below, someone else is faking to Buddy’s part. By 1958, the song was a hit, but Buddy left that band because he was still in high school and couldn’t tour. Bob Gaudio is definitely the guy on piano here. Gaudio co-wrote “Short Shorts” and, eventually, went on to perform with Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons for decades.