Kind of a Drag

Album: Kind of a Drag (1967)
Charted: 1
Play Video

Songfacts®:

  • "Kind of a Drag" was written by Jim Holvay, who was a friend of the band's from Chicago. It is The Buckingham's only #1 hit, although they peeked into the Top 10 twice more and charted a couple more times after that. Holvay went on to write "Don't You Care," "Susan" and "Hey Baby They're Playing Our Song" for The Buckinghams.
  • Is that a song from the late-'60s/ early-'70s with a horn section? Then odds are good it's produced by James William Guercio. Guercio produced both early Chicago and The Buckinghams, and the latter influenced the formation of Blood Sweat & Tears. Try playing "Kind of a Drag" back-to-back with "Saturday In The Park" (Chicago) and "You've Made Me So Very Happy" (BS&T).
  • Meet The Buckinghams: Dennis Tufano (vocals), Carl Giammarese (guitar), Martin Grebb (keyboard), Nick Fortuna (bass), Jon Poulos (drums). The band had dissolved by 1970, but a reunion has since taken place starting in 1980, with the only two original members now being Carl and Nick. Jon Poulos died from a drug overdose in 1980.
  • The Buckinghams had five charting hits, and they all occurred in 1967, prompting Billboard magazine to declare them "the most-listened-to band of the year." So why did they fall off the map? In our interview with Tommy James, he explained that 1968 marked the emergence of album-oriented bands, with singles acts dying off. Said James: "When we left in August (1968, for the Democratic National Convention), all the big acts were singles acts. It was the Association, it was Gary Puckett, it was the Buckinghams, the Rascals, us. But the point was that it was almost all singles. In 90 days, when we got back, it was all albums. It was Led Zeppelin, Crosby, Stills and Nash, Blood, Sweat and Tears, Joe Cocker, Neil Young. And there was this mass extinction of all of these other acts. It was just incredible. Most people don't realize that that was sort of the dividing line where so many of these acts never had hit records again."
  • The modern-day version of The Buckinghams have risen to such heights as playing at President Barack Obama's 2009 inauguration ball, and being inducted into the 2009 class of the Hit Parade Hall of Fame.

Comments: 10

  • Peter S. from St. Germain, WisconsinFor the original poster:
    Listen to me when I'm speaking
    'Cuz you know the words I'm thinking
    And I know that you've been cheating
    Oh I hope that we'll be meeting
  • Larry Gray from Edwards, MsI have never known anyone that knew the words that the background singers are singing. Does anyone know this?
  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyPer: www.legacy.com
    Former Buckingham Marty Grebb passed away on January 1st, 2020 at the age of 74...
    He was a talented multi-instrumentalist who was a member of the Chicago pop rock band The Buckinghams from 1966 until 1968. The band needed a keyboard player and Grebb was with the band for their biggest hit songs including “Kind of a Drag"...
    After his Buckinghams stint, Grebb played with Bonnie Raitt for 25 years and worked with major musicians including Eric Clapton and Leon Russell. He also was a member of the Band tribute band, the Weight, which included former members of the Band and Levon Helm’s band...
    May he R.I.P.
  • Lisa M. from ChicagoAround 1972 while in 6th grade at St. Bavo in Mishawaka, IN I had a teacher named Mr. Gast who once mentioned to the class that he played a horn instrument for The Buckinghams. He never actually said he was a band member but this has stuck with me all these years. I cannot find any information where his name is affiliated with the band. Any ideas on how to find him? I only know his last name. Just curious! Thank you.
  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyMmmm, two of the three Buckingham songs, "Kind of a Drag" & "Mercy. Mercy. Mercy"; that made the Top 10 are on Songfacts but not the third, "Don't You Care"???
    Well on March 5th 1967, "Don't You Care" entered Billboard's Hot Top 100 chart at #100; and nine weeks later on May 7th, 1967 it peaked at #6 {for 1 week} and spent 14 weeks on the Top 100...
    The quintet just missed having a fourth Top 10 record when "Susan" peaked at #11 {for 3 weeks} on January 21st, 1968.
  • Lazur from ChicagoTampa organist Dean Germaine, interviewed in the Oct/Nov'14 "Big City Rhythm & Blues" mentions that he played on "Kind of Drag". He seems to be saying he was a member of the band, but was too young to tour, (apparently a seventh grader at the time!). I'm fairly sure that Marty Grebb wasn' in the band until a song or two later, but this is news to me. Any truth to it?
  • Ted from New Port Richey, Fli cant find the words to kind of a drag by the buckinghams any where i have been looking for hours does any one know where i can look or does any one know them tedmal1@hotmail.com
  • Michael from Mcfarland, WiTheir debut album on USA is really amazing! One of the best lp efforts from this era. Features rocking organ instrumentals, a James Brown cover, fuzz guitar - it can't be beat!
  • Rick from Belfast, MeBack in the days of 45's.....my neighbor across the road would play this song forever and a day all summer the year it came out.....surprised that she didn't wear out the grooves...lol
  • Steve from Whittier, CaThe Buckinghams even played for the President Obama? Impressive!


    Can't believe that I'm the first to post a comment.

    There are two versions of "Kind of a Drag", for the second commentator [if just one person contributed fatcs on each.]
    The James William "Blood, Sweat and Tears" and "Chicago" Guercio recordings IS NOT the original. James William Guercio was ALWAYS connected WITH COLUMBIA Records. The Buckinghams were on the small USA records but it DOES cause confusion in this context, and my Columbia reissue even lists "April 1969" for the date,
    which is overall wrong. "Kind of a drag" in the original single version and other Buckinghams songs do have some horns, but hardly featured and an organ and strings are for the original song, and it's faster played. This is another [Light My Fire" by the one and only Doors is another] song with a reissue single that's oft-confused for the original, which it is not.

    Fun factoid: "Kind of a Drag"'s acronym initals; KOAD. Rhymes with TOAD.
see more comments

Editor's Picks

Director Paul Rachman on "Hunger Strike," "Man in the Box," Kiss

Director Paul Rachman on "Hunger Strike," "Man in the Box," KissSong Writing

After cutting his teeth on hardcore punk videos, Paul defined the grunge look with his work on "Hunger Strike" and "Man in the Box."

Trucking Songs That Were #1 Hits

Trucking Songs That Were #1 HitsSong Writing

The stories behind the biggest hit songs about trucking.

Jesus Christ Superstar: Ted Neeley Tells the Inside Story

Jesus Christ Superstar: Ted Neeley Tells the Inside StorySong Writing

The in-depth discussion about the making of Jesus Christ Superstar with Ted Neeley, who played Jesus in the 1973 film.

Sugarland

SugarlandSongwriter Interviews

Meet the "sassy basket" with the biggest voice in country music.

Judas Priest

Judas PriestSongwriter Interviews

Rob Halford, Richie Faulkner and Glenn Tipton talk twin guitar harmonies and explain how they create songs in Judas Priest.

Psychedelic Lyrics

Psychedelic LyricsMusic Quiz

Whoa man! Do you know which band came up with these cosmic lyrics?