The Rainbow Press is a band that recorded two albums for Mr. G Records out of New York City released in 1968 and 1969, “There’s a War On” and “Sunday Funnies” Both original albums are highly sought collectibles today.
For fans of The Beatles, Coldplay, ELO and Moody Blues
In 1968, 19-year old Marc Ellis was playing Beatles songs on his guitar in his living room in Larchmont, NY when his dad, legendary arranger and producer Ray Ellis, came over to him and said, “Marc, how would you like to record an album?” Little did Marc know that his dad’s friend, Herman Gimbel, owner of Audio Fidelity Records, was looking to lose $15-20K as a tax write-off.
Marc contacted Bill Yergin, the drummer from his high school band, The Specs. With the help of college friend, bassist Dave Troup, they recruited lead singer Joe Groff, keyboardist Larry Milton and organist Charlie Osborne. The Rainbow Press was born.
After Marc and Larry spent weeks writing songs and the band rehearsed, they cut the album “There’s a War On” at the 4-track recording studio at Radio City Music Hall. Featuring a tie-died newspaper front page as cover art, the album was shipped to various markets. The five hundred sent to San Francisco sold out in a few days, multiple reorders came in and in a few weeks the Rainbow Press was a smash in SF, having sold 20,000 albums.
The band was excited, but Herman Gimbel was not. The album was supposed to lose money, not make money! So, a few months later Marc’s dad proposed cutting another album, this time at Phil Ramone’s legendary A&R Studio, an 8-track state of the art facility. When the album “Sunday Funnies” was released, there was no promotion, just money spent. Mr. Gimbel was happy.
The band members went their separate ways. Decades passed, and the dawn of the internet arrived. Suddenly Bill Yergin found that the bands’ recordings had attracted a cult following after 35years. Bootlegs of both albums had been released on CD, their songs were posted on Youtube and their original vinyl records were selling online for anywhere from $150 to $250! This discovery prompted Bill to reconnect with the other members of the band.
In 2018, at Bill and Dave’s suggestion, the band celebrated a 50-year reunion. Traveling from LA, Toronto, Boston, Ohio and Virginia, they converged on Joe Groff’s farm in upstate NY. After 4 days of rehearsal, they performed for a local event in Granville, NY. Following the joy of reconnecting and playing together again, everyone knew they didn’t want it to end there. Since then, they’ve been writing and recording new material. Enhanced by sensitivity and depth from experience and age, “their new music keenly tunes into today’s issues, and achieves the inspired actualization of the promise of their youth!” … A fan.