That famous "Fang" smile greets me in the sunny courtyard of Phil and Tina Volk's Las Vegas home. With the Spring Mountains as a backdrop, the Volk's property features corrals for the horses they kept until recently, but for now their two large and exuberant dogs have claimed the area. Tina welcomes me inside, where the walls are filled with framed photos of their children and large extended family, just as you would expect from a couple married for 43 years. But most couples don't also have photos of themselves on stage with James Brown (Tina) or rows of gold records (Fang) or a spacious living area complete with instruments and mic stands suitable for a full-scale jam! Music is clearly still a passion that they share.
Phil and Tina met in 1966 when both were regulars on Dick Clark's "Where the Action Is," Fang as bass player and singer for Paul Revere and the Raiders, and Tina as a solo singer. They raised their four children (Christian, Kelly, Brian, and Jessica) while playing in bands together until Tina retired from show business. Fang continues to perform (he was one of the stars of the massive Rock Con event this past summer) and will soon be hitting the road with an all-star band (more about that later!)
Bolstered by appearances on WTAI five days a week, the enormous popularity of the original Paul Revere and the Raiders lineup of Paul, Mark, Fang, Drake and Smitty has never been matched. The musicianship, showmanship and style of the band resulted in an estimated 750 television performances and a steady stream of hit records including "Kicks," "Just Like Me," and "Hungry." Headlining tours and appearances on the top variety shows of the day (including the Ed Sullivan Show) followed. As the youngest member, Fang was one of 16 Magazine's most loved and pinup-worthy faves. His popularity in the magazine often rivaled that of lead singer Mark Lindsay. The two were contrasts in style and demeanor, intense and sexy Mark vs cute and fun-loving Fang, and 16 readers chose their favorite Raider as their fantasy boyfriend. Fang left the Raiders in 1967 to join and record 3 albums with Drake and Smitty as The Brotherhood. During his days as a Raider, Fang was always on Gloria Stavers' radar, and was the subject of countless cover photos, contests, and articles such as "Be My Sweetheart," "My Life in Pix," and "Come To My New Pad!" and the cover of "16's Secret Sweetheart Book." Fang shared some memories with me about Gloria Stavers and his days as a 16 fave.