Turtles frontman Howard Kaylan recently participated in an installment of the GRAMMY Museum's An Evening With series. Before an intimate audience at the Museum's Clive Davis Theater, Kaylan discussed the Turtles' hits "Happy Together" and "You Showed Me," and detailed his new memoir, Shell Shocked: My Life With The Turtles, Flo & Eddie, And Frank Zappa, Etc., among other topics. Kaylan also performed a brief set, including "Happy Together."
"We went into the studio, we cut the song, [and] we walked out of there absolutely knowing — for the only time in my life — that ["Happy Together"] was a number one record," said Kaylan. "It's never happened before, or since, so it was a very, very strange and almost mystical recording."
Born in New York, Kaylan moved to Southern California during the rise of the surf music craze of the early '60s and subsequently formed the Turtles with guitarist and singer/songwriter Mark Volman. In 1965 the Turtles' hit cover of Bob Dylan's "It Ain't Me Babe" helped their debut album of the same name crack the Top 100 on the Billboard 200. The band followed with 1966's You Baby/Let Me Be and 1967's Happy Together, the latter of which reached No. 25 on the strength of the infectious title track. "Happy Together," the Turtles' lone No. 1 hit to date, was inducted into the GRAMMY Hall Of Fame in 2007. The Turtles scored additional Top 10 hits — "Elenore" and "You Showed Me" — before disbanding in 1970.
Kaylan and Volman joined Frank Zappa's band, Mothers Of Invention, and appeared on Zappa albums such as 1970's Chunga's Revenge. Throughout the '70s and '80s, Kaylan released albums with Volman as the duo Flo & Eddie, including Flo & Eddie (1973) and Rock Steady With Flo & Eddie (1981). Kaylan's most recent solo project, Dust Bunnies, was released in 2006. Kaylan and Volman are currently in the midst of their Happy Together tour, during which they perform songs from the Turtles and Flo & Eddie. Tour dates are scheduled in the United States through October.
Kaylan details his five-decade career in his new memoir, Shell Shocked: My Life With The Turtles, Flo & Eddie, And Frank Zappa, Etc., which was published in March.
Upcoming GRAMMY Museum events include Renman Live! (June 28), Spotlight: Blush (July 10), The Drop: Tig Notaro (July 15), The Drop: Sarah Lee Guthrie And Johnny Irion (July 16), Reel To Reel: Mistaken For Strangers — A Year On Tour With My Brother's Band (July 18), and An Evening With Ian Mclagan (July 19).