BORN TO WANDER
Do you believe that on rare occasions, when all the elements are arranged in exactly the correct cosmic alliance, something can be created that is far more than the sum of its parts? On a Sunday afternoon in May of 1966, just such an event occurred.
In a crude recording studio in the small town of Sparta, Michigan a young singer/songwriter named Jack Wood took a big risk on a big dream. With two hundred and fifty dollars of borrowed money he hired a band and two backup singers. His vision was to record a hard-driving example of early rock and roll that he had written just a few weeks before called “Born To Wander.”
The band consisted of a lead guitar, bass, drums and baritone saxophone. There was also, for the very first time on a rock and roll record, tympani drums. The recording was done “live,” meaning all the singers and musicians were recorded at the same time. There was no over dubbing, multi-tracking, auto-tuning or any of the technical gadgetry so essential to today’s modern recording.
The session lasted a few hours and after several “takes”, the band was happy with the sound they had created. For the “B” side of the vinyl, they also recorded a song Jack Wood’s fourteen-year-old brother, Bill, had written called “So Sad.”
Weeks later, 100 copies of the record were issued under the label "Lawrence Records".
No such record company ever existed.
Lawrence Records was the creation of an enthusiastic, talented musician who yearned to have his music heard.
“Born To Wander” received a couple weeks of local radio play before it was was completely forgotten by all but a few avid record collectors. The album and its unique sound became just a shadow in the archives of music history. And then, in the summer of 2015 the song was revived from it's slumber by an ad agency in New York searching for the perfect sound.
Out of literally millions of songs to chose from they decided that an obscure, forgotten record from the sixties was exactly the fresh, exciting sound they were looking for. In October of 2015 the Bacardi company licensed "Born To Wander" as the drive behind their "Rolling House Party" commercial. The ad began broadcasting on all the major TV and cable networks in the United States and Canada. It became an immediate sensation.
That same year, 500 new copies of “Born To Wander” were printed on the “Lawrence” label. Shortly after the new vinyls were issued, Third Man Records of Nashville, Tennessee bought the exclusive rights to produce the song on their own label. No further copies of "Born to Wander" will ever be released on the fictitious "Lawrence" label that Jack Wood created in 1966. As a result, these records have become collectors items as have the original 100 copies.
A new generation of garage rock, vinyl enthusiasts has unearthed the uniquely large sound created in a tiny studio that day in 1966.