Misfits were a garage band from Evansville, Indiana featuring Jeff DeVillez (vocals and writer), William Kneeland,Jr (lead guitar and backing vocals),Dave Ransom (rhythm guitar and backing vocals), David Blythe (drums and percussion), and Steve Gor (bass).
The band originally started around 1964 with William Kneeland,Dave Wells(keyboard),Jim Wells(Bass)and a drummer.They broke up and the Wells Brothers formed The Monzas,which included them and Gary Isbell on lead guitar;Danny Ritz on drums and Jeff Devillez as vocalist.
That group lasted about 18 months and never recorded. After the Monzas broke up around 1966,The Misfits regrouped and recorded “I’ll Feel Better” / “Please Don’t Go Away” on Showboat 1517. The band lineup later changed to Edwin Karges III (lead guitar), Pat Ritchel(drums), Ralph Child ”Chic” Bain (keyboard), Ernest James”Jim”Sanders (bass and sax). Jeff Devillez played bass when Sanders played sax. This later incarnation became popular regionally, playing 2-3 times per week in Indiana, Illinois, and Kentucky.
The band that recorded on Showboat was heavily influenced by the Beatles, the Byrds,the Hollies, Buffalo Springfield, the Association, the Lovin Spoonful, the Zombies, The Grassroots, The Kingsmen,etc. The last incarnation of the group was more psychedelic and heavily influenced by Jimi Hendrix,Cream,Vanilla Fudge, and Deep Purple.
A typical setlist for the band would include Wendy(The Association),Bus Stop(The Hollies), You’ve lost that lovin feelin(The Righteous Brothers),and many pop tunes of the era,along with a few originals.
In addition to the Showboat release, the Misfits recorded “If you believe in yesterday”/”Cry,cry,cry”. Five copies were produced on the studio’s cutting machine.
Showboat Records was housed in an older red brick building with stucco on the outside. The building is still in Santa Claus,but is part of the “Holiday World” theme park. In preparation for the recording, the band did several rehearsal runs. The acctual recordings were all done in about 4 or 5 hours in one afternoon using a 1/2 ” Ampex 4 track recorder. Ray Scrivner and another engineer acted as producers.
At that time,the rival bands that recorded were The Corvettes (later called Free Reign),The Turks (later The Young Turks), The Villians (they recorded some regional hits on a Nashville label called Bullet), and Gary and the Circles (headed by Gary Bugg)and The Nomads (who recorded for Skoop Records-a division of Showboat).
Other bands back then were The oinsmen(from Princeton), the Vikings,The Steel Head band, and The Unpredictables(who recorded a EP of 4 songs on GuildCraft Records of Indiana).
The Misfits won local Battle of the Bands competitions on multiple occasions-usually at the Gold Room of the downtown convention center
The band broke up when Jeff Devillez quit to take a month off to go to California with his family on a trip in July of 1968.