Vocalists Howard Kaylan and Mark Volman formed the Turtles in 1965. After a successful cover of Bob Dylan's “It Ain't Me Babe,” the group went on to have several hits including “Happy Together,” “Elenore” and “You Showed Me.” Amid contractual disputes the group disbanded in 1970, leaving the Turtles' name tied up in legal troubles. In response they christened themselves Phlorescent Leech and Eddie eventually shortening it to Flo & Eddie.
This Saturday, they will be appearing at the Orange County Fairgrounds alongside '60s throwbacks like Mickey Dolenz and the Grassroots. But the chart-topping success of Flo & Eddie didn't end with the dawn of the 1970s. In fact their biggest selling singles lay just ahead.
The duo went on to offer their services to countless disparate bands looking for that unmistakable Turtles sound – Frank Zappa's Mothers of Invention, Alice Cooper, Stephen Stills, Duran Duran, etc. Here are five songs that just wouldn't be the same without Kaylan and Volman's contributions.
“Bang a Gong (Get It On)” from Electric Warrior (1970)
Less than a year after disbanding the Turtles, Flo & Eddie lent their croons to T. Rex's Electric Warrior album. Marc Bolan's rock and roll strut is aided immensely by the pair's alternating, demure and shrill background vocals. The honking saxophones are a nice bonus.
“Love My Way” from Forever Now (1982)
In 1982, Richard and Tim Butler's post-punk rock band Psychedelic Furs had a hit on their hands with this haunting, xylophone-plunking jam. Flo and Eddie provided the floating charms for millions of neon-clad girls to sway to.
“Poison Heart” from Mondo Bizarro (1992)
Few New York bands were as enamored with the California sunshine as the Ramones. By 1992, the band was hardly at their peak. This song was written by bassist Dee Dee Ramone despite the fact that he wasn't even the band by the time they recorded it. The verse may be classic Ramones but Flo & Eddie's tight harmonies boosted the chorus into pure California gold.
“T-Birds” from Autoamerican (1980)
On the more glamorous end of the CBGB spectrum, Blondie recorded their Autoamerican record in Los Angeles. Although the album is remembered for Debbie Harry's attempt at rapping on “Rapture,” Flo & Eddie provided their Turtles-esque harmonies for the rumbling “T-Birds.” Harry's bratty pout never sounded better.
“Hungry Heart” from The River (1980)
According to legend, this song was originally written for the Ramones. Instead Bruce Springsteen kept it for himself, crafting a fool-proof chart hit with Clarence Clemon's bass-line like saxophone part, an oscillating organ and the unmistakable Flo & Eddie backing the Boss in every direction he went. It was a deliberate bid for chart success that was Springsteen's biggest hit until “Dancing in the Dark” claimed a higher chart position a few years later.