Eden’s Children were a Boston power trio, active from 1966 to the end of ’68. During that time, they played clubs, colleges and concerts, and recorded for the ABC label.
The group began as an idea of two Boston University roommates with folk rock leanings who played guitars and sang – Bill Glasser and Bill Robar. In its earliest stages, the band consisted of five pieces. However, as the extent of the capabilities of the three core members – guitarist/ singer Richard “Sham” Schamach, bassist Larry Kiely, and drummer Jimmy Sturman – began to reveal themselves, the music began to move in another direction. To facilitate the shift, these players decided on a “less is more” approach, and the group pared down to three, with Schamach then writing the material.
At a time of proliferating Boston bands, the trio format, along with their penchant for extended improvisations showcasing their instrumental virtuosity, served to help the group establish a distinctive identity. Schamach was one of the first “fast” rock guitarists, Kiely was an adventurous bassist, and Sturman was a propulsive and indefatigable drummer. Their sound was primarily hard rock based, with some jazz flavor and lots of fuzztone guitar.
In the late ’60s there were numerous music venues flourishing on the Boston scene. Many of these hosted national acts as well as local talent. Among the smaller venues were The Catacombs, The Unicorn, and The Rathskeller (The Rat), and among the larger ones were The Boston Tea Party, The Psychedelic Supermarket, The Crosstown Bus, and the Hatch Shell – and these were all places where Eden’s Children performed. Away from home, the Children played a six state area, which included bookings at Philadelphia’s Electric Factory and The Scene In NYC. Memorable live shows paired Eden’s Children with The Velvet Underground, Van Morrison, J. Geils Band, and Howling Wolf – and on bills with The Yardbirds, The Rascals and others.
Signed to ABC Records in ’67, the group put out two albums of original material by Schamach, with Kiely contributing two songs on the second album. The first album was essentially a live in the studio session with a heavier sound, while the second had a more produced feel and a noticeably lighter sound, owing to the engineer running the guitars directly into the board. Unauthorized CDs of this material have been released since that did not benefit the band, but did give some Eden’s Children fans something to add to their collections.
Towards the end of ’68, Kiely departed the band to follow ambitions as a guitarist, and Rusty Marcus came in to fill the bass position for remaining dates. Drummer Sturman elected to resume his academic pursuits, and Sham returned to Denver to get married.
Out of the group, Schamach is the only one to have continued as an active player. Eden’s Children developed a fan base that endures today, with original and newer members.
Published on December 28, 2012