Following a string of international hits in the 1960s, including the pop confection masterpiece, "Happy Together," the Turtles called it quits in 1970. The two primary vocalists and front men, Howard Kaylan and Mark Volman, along with bass player Jim… Read more
Following a string of international hits in the 1960s, including the pop confection masterpiece, "Happy Together," the Turtles called it quits in 1970. The two primary vocalists and front men, Howard Kaylan and Mark Volman, along with bass player Jim Pons, were invited to join Frank Zappa's Mothers of Invention. Their contributions led to one of the most outrageous incarnations of that band and the most vocally gifted. Contractual restrictions prohibited Kaylan and Volman from using their own names or any reference to the Turtles in any other musical context, so they became known as the Phlorescent Leech and Eddie during their tenure in the Mothers. They recorded several albums with Zappa, including the classic Live At Fillmore East and they appeared prominently in Zappa's 200 Motels movie.
Disaster struck twice as they were touring Europe with The Mothers. Famously chronicled in Deep Purple's song, "Smoke On The Water," during a Mothers performance a venue in Montreux, Switzerland burned to the ground, along with much of their equipment. Days later, while performing in London, Frank Zappa was attacked onstage by an irate boyfriend of a fan, sustaining serious injuries and canceling all future plans during his recovery. With a solid cache of irreverent comedy and a large supply of quality songs, Kaylan and Volman continued touring and recorded their first album, The Phlorescent Leech and Eddie. Over the course of the next decade, they developed their own following by touring extensively, releasing additional albums under the Flo & Eddie name and creating a popular radio show. Following years of legal restrictions, Kaylan and Volman finally reclaimed the Turtles' name in 1983. This allowed them to tour as "The Turtles featuring Flo & Eddie," and along with another hit machine in the late 1960s, Gary Puckett, attracted audiences from every conceivable age group. In 1984, they expanded this original concept and together with three other groups from the 1960s (Gary Puckett, Spanky & Our Gang, and the Association), they traveled across North America as "The Happy Together Tour," another highly successful endeavor that created a resurgence of the interest in 1960s music.
This concept was repeated in 1985, when it consistently became one of the top grossing American tours, leading to appearances on MTV, VH-1, The Today Show, The Tonight Show, Garry Shandling's Show, and even as the musical voices for the National Dairy Council and Saturn automobiles. The group is still together.