A peculiar number from a straight-laced quintet, “Live With The Moon” filtered through the decidedly non-Edenic sprawl of San Antonio, Texas. They began a the Monarchs in 1965 with Charlie Eddleman on guitar and vocals, Wayne Gustafson on rhythm guitar, Dale Watson on bass, Bob Tunmer on drums, and guitarist Myles Wells—a 14-year-old wunderkind who wrote most of their original recorded material. When Tunmer walked into practice with suede boots and one chain down his leg, the Monarchs transcended their garage band status, with one slight alteration. “Myles is spelled with a y instead of an i,” said Eddleman. “You know, like the Beatles—Chayns.”
As Chayns, they played the Teen Canteen once a month, won the Battles of the Bands several times, and performed on bills with the Royal Jesters
, the Standells, the Music Machine, and the 13th Floor Elevators. To go with the new name, they followed Tunmer’s lead and soon all wore Beatle boots draped with chains, and played through glittery upholstered amps. They used their earnings from gigs to fund a session at Alamo Audio in mid-1966, emerging with a cover of the Strangeloves’s “Night Time” b/w “Live With the Moon,” a haunting Myles original, issued on their own Chayn-Reaction Productions. “The studio had eight tracks, but we couldn’t figure out what to do with five of them,” Eddleman recalled. “Live With The Moon” originally had vocals sung by Eddleman, though he preferred the melody the way Myles played it on guitar. “You could sing it, but you’d have to have a phenomenal voice,” he said. “I didn’t have a phenomenal voice.”
The record was sold from the stage and consigned at local shops, but it wasn’t until Eddleman and Watson started hanging around KTSA and befriended the local DJs that Chayns began to break. The single went to #2 locally and was eventually picked up by International Artists out of Houston, who promoted “Moon” to the A-side. “There's Something Wrong in This Place” b/w “See It Thru,” also distributed by IA, reached #40 locally in 1968. “Run And Hide” b/w “Why Did You Hurt Me?” followed in 1969, recorded at Texas Sound Studios and once again released on Chayn-Reaction.
After four years of shredding around the Lone Star State, Wells left for Texas A&M in 1969, forcing Eddleman to put together a short-lived second lineup of the group, which never recorded. Upon his return in 1971 a third lineup coalesced around he and Eddleman—featuring Jimmy Bruzel on organ, John Stevenson on drums, and Larry Milligan on bass—and recorded one final Chayn-Reaction single, “You” b/w “Let Yourself Go.” Eddleman married at 23 and by 1972, he said, the band was “growing up and apart.” After that initial dislike, he’d become so attached to the Chayns name that years later he resurrected it for a nonmusical business venture, Chayn Reaction Video.
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