The Question: A reader recently asked me about this song on Youtube by The Grasshoppers and wondered if I could clarify, “Was this The Grasshoppers before Ben joined? Or a different band?”
The Answer: Nope. Not Ben’s Grasshoppers.
Though the music and vocals sound similar to the band that made Ben a local celebrity in Cleveland, Ohio, and the time period is chronologically right in there, it is just a coincidence. This single was recorded by a band out of Twin Cities, Minnesota, that consisted of Jiggs Lee singing lead, Ben Hamar helping with vocals and handling lead guitar, Tim Black on bass, Tom Acheson on rhythm guitar, and Phil Scowler on drums.
Jiggs would go on to front a band called Cain, a heavy metal group which had a degree of success through the 1970s with their two albums, A Pound of Flesh (1975) and Stinger (1977). Jiggs was inducted into the Mid-America Music Hall of Fame on September 17th, 2010.
The song featured in the video in question is “The Very Last Day,” written by Paul Stookey and Peter Yarrow. It was originally released in 1963 by Peter, Paul and Mary, and covered by The Hollies in 1965 (both versions also available on Youtube). This Grasshoppers recording was put out in 1966, and may have been the flipside to the band’s cover of “Sugar and Spice” by The Searchers.
Even though it is not our Ben, click below to take a listen. It’s a great tune!