"FANG REVERES THE RAIDERS"
Own A Piece Of History!
"...meet you on the other side of Forever..."
I've lost my dear friend, my Raider buddy, and the music world has lost a guitar icon.
Drake and I met over 50 years ago in Nampa, Idaho. He was a city boy from Chicago, and I was a city boy from Los Angeles. Our families transplanted us to the farmlands of Idaho, where we became fast and loyal friends, and aspiring musicians. I had just got a guitar for Christmas (1959) from my parents, and Drake and I set out to conquer the world with our music. Although we weren't sure how we were going to do that, we had a dream that some day it would happen. Five years later, the dream was happening. Drake and I were filming a TV show with Dick Clark called "Where The Action Is." Some of the guests artists were Frankie Valli & the Four Seasons, Jan & Dean, The Supremes, Bobby Rydell and Frankie Avalon. These artists were already well on their way to super stardom, and our little rock band, Paul Revere & the Raiders, was now riding the same "glory train" with them and the adventure of a lifetime had just started for me and Drake. Several national tours followed, along with 5 gold albums and 12 hit singles, before Drake, Smitty and I broke out on our own to form The Brotherhood, who produced 3 albums for RCA Victor. The last tour Drake, Smitty and I did together for the Raiders in March-April of 1967 was a massive success. We played almost every major arena in the country, and on many occasions had double-billing with The Beachboys & the Rolling Stones. Our music dreams that Drake & I had formed way back in the farmlands of Idaho, surrounded by sugar beet fields, corn fields, and golden fields of wheat & barley, had come to pass we were actually living the dream. We were "brothers" in music, and The Brotherhood was a natural transition after the Raiders broke up. It was always our resolve to write music that would promote peace, love and unity in the world. We wanted to create music that had a real positive message. Drake and I became a very prolific songwriting team. At the end of that last Raider tour, I got a phone call from home that my older brother George had just died in Viet Nam. Drake was the first person I told, and he held on to me while I broke down in tears. He was a true and loyal friend. Drake always considered my family his "second family" because he spent more time at my place then anywhere else. George had helped him learn to play guitar, and because of our close friendship Drake was more or less "adopted" into our family When my mom passed away in 2006, he shed so many tears as if it was his own mom. I've always appreciated how much love Drake had for my brothers and sisters and my parents. We all will miss him greatly, as we do "Smitty" who we lost in 2001.
Drake leaves behind his loving and loyal wife Sandra of 37 years, his mom Charle, his brother Jeff, his sister Lori, and his two sons David and Darby. Our thoughts and prayers go out to them in their time of grief.
Drake Maxwell Levin also leaves us a stunning and soulful legacy of music as one of the seminal pioneers of some awesome rock & roll music and some of the most memorable guitar solos during the "glory days" of the 1960's.
One of my last conversations with Drake at the hospital in San Francisco was awkward and difficult. It's hard to know what to say when you know you won't see your buddy again, (that is, until the New World and the resurrection that Jesus promised in the Bible) I finally mustered the courage to say: "...alright my brother, I'll see you down the road..." I heard him say as I walked from the room, holding back the tears: "I'll be waitin' for ya..."
All you "FANG" fans out there, come on in & get caught up with "FANG's" 40 years of past
Rock & Roll history, going all the way back to his
High School & College bands, & leading up to his
big break with Paul Revere & the Raiders
followed by the Brotherhood, then on to
Ricky Nelson's Stone Canyon Band,
through 70's & 80's & all the Disney years with wife
performing in the Great Crowd &
the Friendship Train and beyond...
Also Including Fang's Current band
"Fang & The Gang"
Have A Great Rockin' Time & Keep Smilin'
Below: Fang, Family & Friends performing at the Zucchini Festival in Hayward, California August 20th & 21st, 2011 before an audience of over 3,500 people
Bottom left: Fang makes a spectacular leap at the end of a song, proving his athletic ability as well as his indomitable & ageless rock and roll spirit.
Phil "Fang" Volk