Happenings, The

Band members               Related acts

- Tommy Giullano -- vocals, percussion

- Mike La Neve -- drums, percussion, vocals

- Bernie LaPorta -- lead guitar, vocals

- Dave Libert -- vocals, bass, keyboards

- Bob Miranda -- vocals, guitar, keyboards



- The Four Graduates




Genre: psych

Rating: *** (3 stars)

Title:  Piece of Mind

Company: Jubilee

Catalog: JSG-8028

Year: 1969

Country/State: Paterson, New Jersey

Grade (cover/record): VG/VG

Comments: embossed gatefold sleeve

Available: 1

GEMM catalog ID: 4505

Price: SOLD $20.00

Cost: $66.00


Geez, if you'd asked me about The Happenings I probably would've smirked at you and said something along the lines of 'lame, Tokens-styled pop group'.  Shows you that I don't know squat.  Actually, for the most part my snide comments would have been right on the mark.  What I didn't know is that late in their careers the group somehow managed to record one all but ignored killer album.


late-1960s promo shot


1969's self-produced "Piece of Mind" is simply unlike anything else in their catalog.  Like many of their contemporaries (The Four Seasons and The Tokens readily come to mind), this album was apparently a last ditch effort to modernize the group's sound in the hopes of expanding their rapidly dwindling audience.  The results weren't perfect, but anyone who knew these guys for hits such as 'See You In September' and 'Go Away Little Girl' would be amazed to hear original material such as 'Heartbeat', 'Living In Darkness' and 'Be My Brother' .  With bassist Dave Libert and guitarist Bob Miranda responsible for the majority of the twelve tracks, the band turned in surprisingly impressive slices of lite-psych and conventional rock.  An impressive blend of their patented harmony vocals and some interesting studio effects, the set's high points were probably the rocking 'Don't You Think It's Time' and the six minute plus 'Imagine'.  In addition to an interesting song structure the latter even sported a cool Eastern-flavored Bernie LaPorta guitar solo.  One more song like that and the LP would've warranted four stars.  Besides, ever imagine you'd hear these guys singing a song entitled 'Where Do I Go / Be In (Hare Krishna)'?  Mind you, old habits die hard and it was probably too much to expect the group to totally abandon their old ways.  'Cold Water', 'New Day Comin'' and the country-flavored 'Piece of Mind' were sufficiently schmaltzy to appeal to their older fans - provided the other stuff hadn't killed them.  The bizarre but way cool cover art was almost worth an additional half star.  


Jubilee also tapped the album for a single in the form of:



- 1969's 'Where Do I Go / Be In (Hare Krishna)' b/w 'New Day Comin'' (Jubilee catalog number JB-5666)


Given how radically different it was from their typical sound, the single sold surprisingly well, hitting # 66 on the pop charts.


"Piece of Mind" track listing:

(side 1)

1.) Where Do I Go / Be In (Hare Krishna)   (Rado - Raginia - MacDermott) - 2:35

2.) Heartbeat   (Bernie LaPorta - Bob Miranda) - 3:24

3.) Living In Darkness   (Dave Libert - Bob Miranda) - 3:05

4.) Cold Water    (Dave Libert - Bob Miranda) - 2:25

5.) Be My Brother   (Dave Libert - Bob Miranda) - 3:30

6.) New Day Comin'   (Dave Libert - Bob Miranda) - 2:45


(side 2)

1.) Imagine   (Dave Libert - Bob Miranda) - 6:56

2.) Let's Do Something   (Dave Libert - Bob Miranda) - 2:46

3.) Piece of Mind   (Dave Libert - Bob Miranda) - 2:40

4.) Don't You Think It's Time   (Dave Libert - Bob Miranda) - 3:55

5.) We're Gonna Make Them Care   (Dave Libert - Bob Miranda) - 3:21



This is kind of funny but someone associated with The Happenings website (fronted by Miranda who looks amazing youthful the band is still active and performing in the new millennium), apparently stumbled on to my short write up and wasn't all that thrilled with my comments. They quoted the review verbatim and then took me to task for it.  It's kind of amusing in part due to the fact I thought I made it clear that I liked the album.  Based at least in part on my comments, I've sold at least four copies over the years.  I certainly wouldn't be as positive about an album I didn't like. ( I'll even tell you that I like some of their other stuff, though for different reasons.)


By the way, nobody associated with The Happenings website ever made an attempt to contact me. None of this matters in the big scheme of things, but for what it's worth, I pulled a copy of the comments off their website:


Editors response: Growing up in the late 60s rock and pop harmony didn't fit in most record buyers head's. You were either into melody and harmony or you hated it and wanted sceamin' [sic] guitar chords and pounding beat with as little melody as possible. After all this was new and innovative. This has persisted today with many as this reviewer shows. But many who loved melody and perhaps rejected rock at the time can now see how the blend the Happenings tried on this album was a fine mix of old qualities with new and by retaining a sense of humour [sic] with 'Cold Water' and 'Piece of Mind' the group obviously caught this reviewer 'cold'. Maybe he will in time appreciate what the Happenings where and what they became.


For anyone interested, here's a link to The Happenings official website.  It's actually quite entertaining: