It took the eighth installment of Fake Beatles to finally get to one of the most heralded (and most successful) Beatles soundalike discs, namely "Lies," by the Knickerbockers, of Bergenfield, N.J. Before fronting this combo, Knickerbockers lead singer Buddy Randell (under real name Bill Crandall) was the sax player on the Royal Teens' 1958 novelty smash "Short Shorts" alongside Bob Gaudio, who later became a founding member of the ultimate Jersey boy band, the Four Seasons.
The band, which took its name from Knickerbocker Avenue, Bergenfield's main drag, initially based its sound on an R&B/dance formula, as found on the group's first LP, Jerk & Twine. However, it was their one Top 20 hit, "Lies," written by Randell with bandmate Beau Charles and released at the end of 1965, that earned the band's placement in the Beatles Hall of Fake. With its Merseybeat on overdrive sound coupled with Randell's uncannily Lennonesque vocals (including falsetto octave leaps), the song fooled many a Fabs fan, who, to a person, were gladly hoodwinked. "Lies" was more than just a Beatles-sounding disc, it was a truly great rock 'n' roll record that also sounded like the Moptops.
The Knicks subsequently issued a catalog of songs of varying fake Beatletude, including the more than credible "One Track Mind" and "Just One Girl," but alchemy was fleeting for the boys from Bergen County.
While the Knickerbockers were the toast of North Jersey, they had a doppelganger of sorts patrolling the southern tip of the Garden State. As cited in Fake Beatles No. 7, the Redcoats, from the Wildwood/Cape May area, were blazing up and down the lower Jersey Shore with their own brand of bogus Beatling. The parallels between the Redcoats and the Knickerbockers are plentiful: Both had colonial-evoking band monikers, both had a member who had a pre-Beatles novelty hit single (Redcoats leader John Spirt was in the Ran-Dells of "Martian Hop" infamy, a fact that also illuminates the "Randell"/"Ran-Dells" name coincidence), and both had singers who could almost out-Lennon John Winston himself.
Like many of their Fake Beatles brethren, the Redcoats delivered songs that hearkened to specific Beatles songs and styles, as heard on "You Had No Right," "Love Unreturned," "Another Took Her Place" and "Back to His Door," all strangely unreleased until the 2001 compilation Meet the Redcoats! Finally. This 12-song disc also shows the Redcoats delving into a variety of mid-period and later-Beatles pastiches, such as "Man," which is half of "Taxman" in both title and tune, as well as their foray into the Herman's Hermits-isms of "The Dum Dum Song," which did find release in 1965 on Laurie.
Perhaps feeling less than patriotic about their Tory-refencing band name, the members of the Redcoats issued a 45 on the teensy Providence label under the name the Statesiders. "Patterned the Same," backed with "She Belonged to Another," re-create their Beatles love, with lower fi than to be found in the group's next incarnation, as the better-produced Sidekicks, who released an LP on RCA in 1967.