The Clique

Band members                             Related acts

  line up 1 (1966)  as The Roustabouts

- Dave Dunham -- vocals, sax

- Cooper Hawthorne (RIP 2008) -- guitar, backing vocals

- John Kanesaw -- drums, percussion

- Larry Lawson -- vocals, keyboards, sax, trumpet

- Bruce Tinch -- bass


  line up 2 (1966-67)  as The Sandpipers 

- Dave Dunham -- vocals, sax

- Cooper Hawthorne (RIP 2008 --  guitar, backing vocals

- John Kanesaw -- drums, percussion

- Larry Lawson -- vocals, keyboards, sax, trumpet

NEW - Randy Shaw -- vocals, sax

- Bruce Tinch -- bass


  line up 3 (1966-67)  as The Sandpipers 

NEW - Bill Black -- guitar (replaced Cooper Hawthorne)

- Dave Dunham -- vocals, sax

- John Kanesaw -- drums, percussion

- Randy Shaw -- vocals, sax

NEW - Sid Templeton -- guitar, keyboards (replaced Larry Lawson)

- Bruce Tinch -- bass


  line up 4 (1968-72) as The Clique 

NEW - Jerry Cope -- drums, percussion replacing John Kanesaw)
- Dave Dunham -- sax

NEW - Oscar Houchins -- keyboards (replaced Bill Black)

NEW - Tommy Pena -- bass (replacing Bruce Tinch)
- Randy Shaw -- vocals 
- Sid Templeton -- guitar, keyboards





- Just Us (Mike Teaque)
- The Lavender Hour (Jerry Cope, Tommy Pena and  

  Sid Templeton)

- The Sandpipers

- Randy Shaw and the Clique

- The Roustabouts (Dave Dunham, Cooper Hawthorne, 

  Larry Lawson, John Kanesaw and Bruce Tinch)
- Tiger's Claw (Mike Teaque)



Genre: pop

Rating: *** (3 stars)

Title:  The Clique

Company: White Whale

Catalog: WW 7126

Year: 1969

Country/State: Beaumont, Texas

Grade (cover/record): VG+/VG+

Comments: --

Available: 1

Catalog ID: --

Price: $30.00


Here's another mid-'60s group with a a torturous history.   While I'm not certain of the comings and goings, I think I'm at least in the right ballpark.  Sax player Dave Dunham, guitarist Cooper Hawthorne, drummer John Kanesaw, singer/multi-instrumentalist Larry Lawson and bassist Bruce Tinch started out as the Beaumont, Texas-based The Roustabouts.  In 1966 singer Randy Shaw joined the line-up with the band changing their name to The Sandpipers.  Undergoing a steady stream of personnel changes, by 1968 Dunham and Shaw had been joined by The Lavender Hour alumni drummer Jerry Cope, bassist Tommy Pena and guitarist Sid Templeton.  The band also opted for another name change - The Clique.

Signed  by the  small Texas-based Cinema label, The Clique made their debut with a sweet 1967 cover of The 13th Floor Elevators' 'Splash 1'. 
The single sold well regionally, attracting the attention of Scepter Records which promptly reissued the 45 nationally 

- 'Splash 1' b/w 'Stay By Me' (Cinema catalog number none)

- 'Splash 1' b/w 'Stay By Me' (Scepter catalog number SCE-12022). 

Backed by Scepter's distribution system the single just missed the top-100.  The following year the band released a follow-up


- 1968's 'Love Ain't Easy' b/w 'Gotta Get Away' (Scepter catalog number SCE-12212)


Another commercial disappointment; Scepter subsequently dropping the band from its recording roster.




Local success on the Houston club scene led to appearances on The Larry Kane Show.  In turn that captured the attention of larger labels and the band was eventually signed by White Whale (then hot with The Turtles).  Recorded in Los Angeles, 1969's "The Clique" teamed the band with producer Gary Zekley.  Zekley was also credited with co-writing the majority of the eleven songs.  Musically the album offered up a mildly engaging set of radio-ready pop-rock with occasional psych touches. While the liner notes didn't show much in the way of performance credits (probably due to the presence of studio musicians), material such as 'My Darkest Hour' and 'I'll Hold Out My Hand' found a nice balance between lightweight psych, blue-eyed soul and top-40 pop. Bet Felix Cavaliere and The Young Rascals would have liked to have had a shot at recording something like 'Hallelujah'.  Best of the lot was the strange 'Superman" (and you thought Michael Stipe and company wrote it).  No the set wasn't perfect.  A cover of The Bee Gee's 'Holiday' and the bland ballad 'I'll Hold Out My Hand' were unnecessary.  Certainly not the year's most original offering, but Shaw had a nice, raspy voice and it made for a cool period piece that's still fun to listen to.  Top three performances: 1.) 'Sugar On Sunday', 2.) Hallelujah, 3.) 'Superman'.   A minor chart success, the album hit # 177. (Nice to see White Whale spending so much on album design.)

"The Clique" track listing:
(side 1)

1.) Sugar On Sunday   (Tommy James - Mike Vale) - 2:59   rating: **** stars

Even if you weren't aware of the songwriting credits and had never heard the Tommy James and the Shondells original,  hardcore music fans could probably have guessed 'Sugar On Sunday' was a Tommy James composition.  There was just something about the song's bouncy, hyper-commercial melody.  As a cover this version wasn't all that different from the James original - to my ears the production was a touch fuller, the performance a bit faster and some of the echo effects were stripped off.  Awesome tune that's prime fodder for a film soundtrack.


- 1969's 'Sugar On Sunday' b/w 'Superman' (White Whale catalog number WW-323)
2.) My Darkest Hour   (Gary Zekley - Mitchell Bottler) - 2:40   rating; *** stars

The heavily orchestrated ballad 'My Darkest Hour' has always reminded me of a Turtles performance.  I'm a Turtles fan so that's not necessarily a bad thing.  Shaw's vocals were a little brittle, but the backing vocals were nice.
3.) Holiday   (Barry Gibb - Robin Gibb) - 3:15 
  rating: ** stars

I never really liked The Bee Gees original and since this was a rather rote cover, I can't say it did much for me.
4.) Hallelujah   (Gary Zekley - M. Bottler - Twain) - 2:16  
rating: **** stars

Powered by a gritty Shaw vocal, 'Hallelujah' found the band diving headline into garage band territory. Their energetic performance made this one of the album highlights.  Shame it was so short.
5.) I'll Hold Out My Hand  (Chip Taylor - Al Gorgoni) - 2:17  
rating: **** stars

'I'll Hand Out My Hand' was a nice, slightly country-tinged country ballad with a nice raspy Shaw lead vocal.  I actually like their version of the song better than the cover by Gayle McCormick and Smith.  The track was tapped as the album's third single:

- 1969's 'I'll Hold Out My Hands' b/w 'Soul Mates' (White Whale catalog number WW-333)

(side 2)

1.) Little Miss Lucy  (Gary Zekley - M. Bottler) - 3:18   rating: *** stars

The folks who wrote 'Summer Nights' from the "grease" soundtrack are lucky they weren't hit with a plagiarism lawsuit.  On the other hand, Zekley and Bottler were lucky The Righteous Brothers didn't go after them for borrowing from 'You've Lost That Loving Feeling'.
2.) Judy, Judy, Judy  (Gary Zekley - M. Bottler) - 2:36  
rating: *** stars

Surprisingly cool pop/garage tune with a great sax solo ... always wonder if Laugh-In grabbed the sock-it-to-me line from the track.  The tune was tapped as a promotional single:





- 'Judy, Judy, Judy' b/w 'Judy, Judy, Judy' (White Whale catalog number WWS-367)




3.) Soul Mates  (S. Roberds - S. Weatherly) - 2:13  
rating: *** stars

Typical slick '60s pop tune with intricate lead vocals that should please Association, Cowsills and early Monkees fans.  Always loved the bass line on this one.
4.) (There Ain't) No Such Thing As Love  (Gary Zekley - M. Bottler - Twain) - 2:27  
rating: *** stars

My initial impressions were sappy ballad and while that was an apt description thanks to an energetic lead vocal the tune started to grow on you after a couple of spins.  
5.) Superman  (Gary Zekley - M. Bottler) - 2:27  
rating: **** stars

'Superman' was easily the album's most lysergic tinged performance and should come as a massive revelation to the generation who grew up thinking this was a R.E.M. song.   Ironically it was also a song the band members did not like and did not want to record; seeing it as overly bubblegummy.  Awesome track which explains why it was tapped as the album's second single:

- 1969's 'Superman' b/w 'Shadow Of Your Love' (White Whale catalog number WW-312)

6.) Shadow of Your Love (G. Colby) - 2:35   rating: *** stars

The ballad 'Shadow of Your Love' was another tune the band expressed displeasure with.  Like 'Superman' they felt pressured to record the track by producer Zekley, feeling it was too pop-ish for their tastes and reputation.  Personally I like the track's sweet harpsichord powered melody.




Two more non-LP singles and with label White Whale going bankrupt, the band were history:

- 1970's 'Sparkle and Shine' b/w 'I'm Alive' (White Whale catalog WW-338) 

- 1970's 'Memphis' b/w 'Southbound Wind' '(White Whale catalog number WW-361)



I was poking around the web and stumbled across some comments from band members in a very peculiar place - an Amazon listing for a reissue of their 1969 album.  The funny thing is none of the band members seemed to have known their catalog had been reissued 


This group was one of the best Texas (Houston) rock groups of the 60's. They were a show group that not only knew how to play music, harmonize but really put on a show. The synergies of the individuals were perfect as they each anticipated the other members of the group. Their music was of a generation that reflected the innocence of youth, but the movement of rock. I have such great and wonderful memories of The Clique because I was a founding member, vocalist and keyboard player. If you're looking for a piece of 60's reflection...this is it. The original members of The Clique were Larry Lawson, Cooper Hawthorne(Lead Guitar/vocals, Bruce Tinch(Bass Guitar), John Kannesaw(Drums/Vocals), Randy Shaw(Vocals) and David Dunham(Sax/Vocals).  

Larry Lawson, August 2003



As a founding member of this band of crazy musicians, it's a shock to see that the album is now out on CD - it was originally released on White Whale Records. I loved all the guys in the group, even through the personnel changes, and I see that Larry, and David's daughter have posted a review - best wishes to all my old band-mates, and to all of our loyal fans of the past! Guess I'll have to order the CD to go with my original record albums... what a hoot!

John Kaneshaw, October 2003



Wow, does time fly! I just read the post from John Kanesaw, Jr., our drummer. I relocated to Beaumont, TX, in 2000, and would love to get together again. Larry Lawson (keyboards) and I have discussed the "Clique Reunion Tour" in jest over the years, but we have talked to Bruce Tinch (bass guitar) and Randy Shaw (lead singer)on different occasions and we all think it would be fun! No one seems to know where David Dunham (vocals and sax) is these days but I would enjoy hearing from him too. I found the CD at Best Buys, back in the late 90's and it was quite a surprise! I had left the band by the time the original LP was released, but I was on the original three 45's we released prior to the album. I have many great memories of the venues and other bands that we played with back then. John, I bet you must have a collection of photos etc. from our early days. Would love to get together with you again. I'm in Beaumont and in the phone book. I'll try to get in touch with you too. Best  Cooper Hawthorne, April 2004


In January 2008 many of the band members reunited for their induction into the Museum of the Gulf Coasts Music Hall of Fame.  There's a nice interview with late inning keyboard player Oscar Houchins at:



Original guitarist Hawthorn died of cancer in 2008.