The Enfields/Friends of the Family

The Enfields and early Friends of the Family

The Enfields were one of the countless garage bands competing for airplay in the 1960s. They released a series of quality local 45s before morphing into the more progressive Friends of the Family, of which by that time, principal songwriter Ted Munda was the only surviving member. The Enfields hailed from Wilmington, Delaware, where they were unquestionably the area’s top group.

In The Eyes Of The World” was their first Richie 45 released in late 65/early 66. This track is really a teenbeat gem with the great reverbed hollow-body guitar work of John Bernard and plenty of ghostly harmonies via Ted Munda and Charlie Berl. “In The Eyes Of The World” did not have a B-side but sold well locally, making Wilmington’s top 40 and established the group as a force to be reckoned with. The Enfields’ next number, “She Already Has Somebody/I’m For Things You Do” was a #4 local smash and perhaps their finest moment on vinyl. Very similar to the Dovers’ material from around the same time, “She Already Has Somebody” is a minor key folk-rocker with solid hooks, lots of nervous energy and fine guitar work. By the release of their third single the Enfields began branching out into harder, more aggressive sounds. “Face to Face,” another near classic from 1966, opens with a toggle switch guitar sound (probably influenced by the Who), features tough Taxman-like riffs and a brief psychedelic guitar solo. The single’s A-side, “You Don’t Have Very Far” is musically very strong but represents somewhat of a throwback to the 1965 folk-rock sound. This is definitely a “must own”45 from 1966!

After the Enfields broke up in 1967, Ted Munda formed Friends of the Family. He recruited Wayne Watson and Jimmy Crawford from local group the Turfs. They released one disappointing 45 in 1968 but thankfullly made it into the studio for two recording sessions. Munda and his new group recorded throughout 1967 and 1968, amassing about an album’s worth of material (11 songs). While these recordings barely reached the demo stage, the music is accomplished and worth your time. Tracks like the excellent “Last Beach Crusade,” “Together” and the 6 minute “Hot Apple Betty” are progressive and sound like a jazz influenced Left Banke. These three tracks were recorded in 1968 and show the Friends experimenting with lots of keyboards, challenging guitar solos, Zombies/Beatles’ influenced vocals and complex song arrangements. “Funny Flowers,” one of the earlier songs recorded in 1967, is just as appealing but more song-based (jangly folk-rock). “You See I’ve Got This Cold,” another highlight from the 1968 sessions, is a personal favorite that reminds me of Frank Zappa’s Mothers of Invention. It’s full of psychedelic weirdness; check out the bizarre lyrics, tinkling piano, and trippy wah-wah. The band forged on into late 68 opening for The Who and Pink Floyd at the Philadelphia Music Festival. Eventually, Friends of the Family broke up and some years later Ted Munda formed Hotspur, who released an album on Columbia in 1974.

The best way to hear the Enfields/Friends of the Family saga is through Get Hip’s superb 1993 cd reissue, Classic Sounds of the 60s. Normally a patchwork reissue like this doesn’t work but Ted Munda rarely recorded anything bad, making The Enfields/and early Friends of the Family a very impressive release.

Update: Ted Munda is currently seeking financing to record a new album of original material. Get in touch with Ted here.

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“In The Eyes Of The World”

:D CD Reissue | 1993 | Get Hip | at Get Hip | at amazon ]
:) Original Vinyl | search ebay ]


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18 Comments.

  • Inagaddadavida_loca

    I went to school with Ted Munda’s son . . . and it was in DELAWARE (check the spelling!)

  • Charlie

    I roomed with Jimmy Crawford on the 4th floor at Harter Hall at Delaware in 1966 and I remember the Turfs and Friends of the Family very well. Living with a drummer changes your outlook on life but expands your music horizons. And after 40 years I am still married to a Claymont girl.

  • My name is Ennalls Berl and two of my brothers were in the Enfields the garage band refered to in this story. They would practice at our house at 8 Red Oak road in Wilmington, in the Rockford Park area. The house was sold long ago. I remember riding my bike and as many as 10 or 15 girls would be hanging outside the house listening and watching them practice. I also remember Vince Rago and my dad discussing dealings relating to the group. Apparently it was bigger than I realized at the time. I remember the battle of the bands. I recently spoke with John Bernard for the first time in 40 years. Charlie and Gordon are both well and living out of the area. If anyone knows of the whereabouts of Bill Gallery who played bass for the group I would be interested in knowing. I was only about 12 or 13 when all of this was going on so memorys are sketchy. Thanks for any info, Ennalls Berl

  • Never heard of the Dovers; people list a lot of influences I never had; mostly it was The Beatles as they did EVERYTHING first. After that, it was the song or the arrangement that mattered the most. All those guys were super talented and that is what really made the songs come alive. I am in regular contact with Gordon Berl and spoke to Charlie some months ago.I have a new compilation album on amiestreet.com with tunes from the past 10 years. I also have tunes that were playing in england, spain, germany, ect from some publishing I did in the 1970′s that SONY now publishes. I don’t even know who is recording this stuff but I get small BMI Publishing checks so, it must be for real. I must say that nothing can compare to the total creative freedom we had in the Enfields & Friends and that is the majic that you can hear and vibe to on the records.I love music and creating but the music biz is just weird. Peace, Ted

  • John Rhoads

    I played bass with the Enfields after Bill Gallery, and for a short while with the Friends of the Family (the Get Hip compilation CD has my name misspelled). As Ted says, it was a very fun group to play with, only excepting that we had a contract with shady Vince Rago and Richie Records. A key factor in ending the Enfields was a very cheesy speeded-up version of one of our songs that Vince released as a single. I first heard it riding in the car with Ted. We laughed so hard at how badly Vince had messed up the recording that Ted had to pull off the road, and soon thereafter we decided that the group was doomed.

    I get a kick out of all the “influences” that the reviewers here and on other websites say that we had — many of the groups we were supposed to have been influenced by I had never heard at the time, and some of the ones that we had heard we would have gone out of our way NOT to sound like.

    I’ve exchanged emails with Ted lately. Would love to get in touch with John Bernard if anyone can give me a lead.

  • David Sullivan

    I had the pleasure of experiencing the Enfields in person while a student at A.I. DuPont in Wilmington. They were an incredible live band and on record and I still listen to their 45s from time to time. I remember a battle of the bands dance at A.I. with the Enfields, the Bards, and an A.I. band that mostly played instrumentals from the Ventures. What a great time! (The Enfields won the contest.)

    Although he wouldn’t remember me, I was at the Greenville School with Gordon Berl and attended a birthday party at his house when in the fifth or sixth grade (I thought this house was off Montchanin Road). Mr. Wagonmon (sp?) Berl and Charlie joined in for a football game out on the lawn. Mr. Berl senior outran us all. The Berls were great athletes as well as musicians. Mr. Ennalls Berl, whose comments were shown above, was a baby at the time. I also have a vague remembrance from this party of pictures in the family’s den of Gordon’s father from Marine Corp days.

    Mr. Munda’s music was/is terrific and I frequently play “Can’t Go Home” when I want to hear some great rock and roll. It still measures up with some of the best music of that era and beyond.

    Fans of The Enfields and Friends of the Family are alive and well and still listening! Thanks for publishing this site. It brought back some wonderful memories.

  • Mac Morgan

    I heard the Enfields back in 64-65 at a party in Greenville, DE. I was into folk music but was impressed by Teddy Munda’s talent, voice and the group’s music. Teddy and I became good friends and after Charlie Berl left for the military, I briefly joined the group on vocals and acustic guitar. Both Ted and John were excellent guitarists – much better than I. I remember going to the Beatles movie – A Hard Day’s Night – with Teddy. We walked down Market St. in Wilmington with girls pointing at us and giggling.

    Not long after – Oct. 65 – I got drafted. So much for my music career. I ran into Teddy a few times after 1969 but we lost track of each other for a long time. Charlie Berl called me one night around 1986-87 about getting the band back together. I thought it could be interesting but had no idea where anyone else was. I’ve heard John is still around and is only getting better on guitar.

    Sometime around the early 2000′s (actually, it was right around 9/11 – the World Trade Center mess hit) I got a call one day from my wife telling me that Teddy had called and was in town. I hadn’t seen or heard from him in almost 25 years! He showed up at my door later that day looking great. We hung around quite a bit as Teddy tried to recapture the past. His band consisted of 4 beautiful dogs and his tour bus was a Dodge pickup. We talked a lot about music and as one might expect of a reunion of old friends, we tried to re-establish our relationship. Being a guitar junky but a lousy musician, we both decided to go out one day and buy something we both had desired back in the early days – a Rickenbecker 12 string.

    Teddy showed up a day or so after 9/ll with a song in his head called 2 Towers. We sat in my living room and miked up a Sony recorder and did a demo – I still have the original tape. I tried to get a couple of musician friends to put in on the deal but couldn’t get anyone interested. Teddy got a studio down in Elkton to record a better take. It never went anywhere but he tried.

    I still hear from him from time to time but don’t know where he is or what he’s up to. I’m sure he’s out there listening to all this… and might just get the band back together.

    God Bless you Teddy, John, Gordy and Bill wherever you are. I’m still in the phone book.

    Mac

  • Chas Timberlake

    Wonder if Charlie Berl is the same dude i knew in Washington DC who worked at
    Childe Harold in 1969-71? He had gone to ‘Nam and came back around 1968 or
    so. Love to hear from him if so.
    Thanks

    Chas with an S

  • gazzè carmelo

    Hello Ted, I ‘m an Italian boy (Sicily) a few years ago, early 90s I bought the vinyl of the Enfield / friends of the family, yet is now one of my favorite LP in the sixties. in october 2010 , will be released CD of my band I’d like to get in touch with you to get your opinion ….. my band plays only beat music, so who better than you can write a review.
    I hope you answer me …. this is really fantastic, unthinkable just a few years ago.
    Love, Carmelo

  • gazzè carmelo

    my page on facebook and myspace: the out key hole

  • Yes Carmelo,
    I’d be happy to write a review for your band. Glad you still like the Enfields. Me too.
    bizingo33@gmail.com
    Ted Munda

  • Ennalls Berl

    Great to read these comments since my Nov 09 post. Sorry to report that John Bernard has since passed. He was in my area (Rehoboth/Lewes) a couple of years ago and gave me a call asking for info about my brothers Charlie and Gordon which I gave him. Thank you Ted for puting together a remembrance gathering for him. I’ve been listening to those old records again for the first time in a long time, almost like hearing them for the first time and it is really amazing how good they really were for as young as they were. God love you John, you were and probably still are a rockin guitar player.

  • Mac Morgan

    Yes, it’s true that John passed away. His family lived down the street from us and his brothers held a very nice gathering for him. I saw many an old friend but I don’t think anyone from the Enfields showed up. If Ted reads this, please get in touch me. I’d like to hear from you.
    Mac Morgan

  • Gina Lobaccaro

    I am writing a blog about the Music Scene in Wilmington in the 80s, but I know the Meltons and Wayne Watson and Jimmy Crawford well. I would like to include information about The Enfields NS Friends of the Family on my Blog. I am wondering if this page is still active and if Ted Munda is still alive and well. Gina Lobaccaro

  • Diego rosenberg

    Gina, if you email me, I’ll hook ya up.

  • Soren Bartek

    The Enfields totally rock. I found them on a garage rock compilation and they stood out way above all the other bands. I love the raunch but the great sweet melodies too. I think “I’m for things you do” is one of the best songs I’ve ever heard . I wish I would’ve wrote it! I’ll be looking for the anthology or greatest hits album mentioned above. Ted and boys , if you’re still around keep rockin in whatever you do. R.i.p John.

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