When Jeffrey Katz and Jerry Kasenetz discovered The Rare Breed in a New York City club playing cover versions of other artists' hit records under the name "The Conquests", they were impressed enough with their tightness and versatility to take the aspiring stars into a recording studio to see if they cut the mustard on tape.
These earliest sessions yielded seven or eight tracks, including "Mickey's Monkey", a Smokey Robinson & The Miracles song, which was a popular staple in the repertoires of Brooklyn/Long Island "white soul bands" such as The Young Rascals, The Rationals and dozens of others. Many of these groups remain unknown to the public at large and are largely forgotten by record collectors in general.
The Rare Breed, though, were given a shot at success by Kasenetz and Katz, two extremely energetic young producers who already had a relative hit with Crazy Elephant's "Gimme Gimme Good Lovin" and an acknowledged smash with The Music Explosion's "Little Bit 0' Soul". The "Super K" team, who would spend days (and nights) at Southern Music and other publishers looking for the right song and the next potential hit, presented The Rare Breed with "Beg, Borrow And Steal".
The record was clearly and humorously a knock-off ol "Louie, Louie", but it worked as a new record and Kasenetz and Katz, who released the single on their Attack label, felt they had a hit. There was a hitch: getting airplay in New York is tough. The two producers discovered that it was far easier to break a record in the midwest and their success with The Music Explosion (from Mansfield, Ohio) bore that out. The Brooklyn-based Rare Breed were now presented as an Ohio band, at least to the radio programmers in Dayton. Jeff and Jerry were correct in assuming a predisposition of radio stations to play songs by local artists.
After Jeff ( Katz ) and Jerry ( Kasenetz ) took the master, they found other people to make the tour). As evidenced by these archival tracks, the band was a sublime amalgam of The Beatles, The Seeds, The Zombies and The Ventures. Throw in a little Tony Orlando and Duprees schmaltz and you have it. This record sounds better now than it did in '67. It's interesting to note that "Beg, Borrow And Steal" was later released in a different version by a group Super K dubbed "The Ohio Express". (No one who made the original Rare Breed "Beg Borrow and Steal" played on any Ohio Express album).
Their version of this record received far more attention and it is that version that most people are familiar with. Locating original copies of Rare Breed recordings is almost impossible. Most discographies do not document them, and even hardcore collectors didn't realize that this album existed-indeed a Rare Breed!
by Stephen Kaplan
1. Beg, Borrow And Steal - 2:30
2. Lightning Doesn't Strike Twice - 2:40
3. Lonely Nights - 2:24
4. I Won't Be There - 2:00
5. Where Are You Going To - 2:38
6. All Alone - 2:02
7. Bad Girl - 2:22
8. City Girl - 2:14
9. Dark Nights And Mornings - 2:05
10.Mickey's Monkey - 2:19
The Rare Breed
*Barry Stolnick - Keyboards
*John Freno - Vocals, Lead Guitar
*Alexander (Botts) Norbett - Bass
*Joel Feigenbaum - Rhythm Guitar
*Tony Cambria - Drums
*Jim Pfayler - Organ