Though the band had a strong vocal resemblance to International Pop group The Beatles, 60’s band 4 O’Clock intrigued many listeners with their tight harmonies and incredible songwriting techniques discussing environmental issues, political warfare, and everyday situations. After forming in 1969, Connecticut-based group 4 O’Clock quickly emerged as a hot musical commodity during the Beatles-Era. 4 O’Clock band members Brooke Halpin (Keys, Vocals, Bass, Guitar), Jim Miccio (Guitar, Bass, Vocals), Rich Monterose (Lead Guitar, Vocals), and Ken McKay (Percussion, Vocals) helped continue the musical era with their charming looks, tight harmonies/sounds, and strong musicianship. Stand-out tracks recorded by 4 O’Clock include “Paradise“, “Starting to Spread“, and “Tennessee Grog“.
Through the track “Paradise“, Singer/Songwriter Brooke Halpin focuses on the environmental issues that were impacting Society during the 1960’s. During the late 1960’s, air pollution was growing at an alarming rate. Many of the pollutants filling the air linked to disease and death throughout various parts of the Country including New York and California. The outbreak caused a stir among many Americans, which would eventually lead to the Nation creating “Earth Day” in 1970. Through “Paradise“, Halpin is able to incorporate Americans’ moods during this troubled time by singing the lyrics, “…There’s no luck with autos/We’ll get some nice warm horses…/” The song’s lyrics help to encourage others to “escape” and move from the pollutant-filled air.
The members of 4 O’Clock discuss their frustrations with the Vietnam War on the song “Starting to Spread“. While singing the lyrics, “…We have had enough/And we’re not taking anymore/We are all fed up/And we’re not fighting any War/So there…/”, the members of 4 O’Clock were only a small fraction of the protestors that emerged during the 1960’s Anti-War Movement. Due to the protests against the Vietnam War, thousands were arrested throughout the Country. The verse, “…It’s starting to spread/We’re raising the dead/The buildings are starting to crumble/We’re using our eyes and getting real wise/We know that the country’s in trouble…/” is used twice, to highlight the dramatic effects the War had in American’s lives. Years after the initial release of the song, the lyrics to “Starting To Spread” would have meaning during the tragic events of 9-11.
While 4 O’Clock displayed songs of political and environmental impacts in Society, their music also reflected happier times. This happy and mellow vibe is displayed through the rhythmic track “Tennessee Grog“. After heavily drinking Whiskey, Guitarist Jim Miccio became inspired to write the track. The lyrics, “…passing precious time/drinking Wine/I don’t know/Where I’m at…/” demonstrate the mood Miccio was in during the writing of the song. During the instrumental piece of “Tennessee Grog“, listeners are taken on a journey of memory bliss through the fine instrumentations of the Guitar and Keys. This instrumental sound invites listeners into a World of peace and serenity.
After relocating to various parts of the United States, the band members of 4 O’Clock would eventually break-up. Throughout the years, Guitarist Jim Miccio and lead Singer/Songwriter Brooke Halpin have kept in touch on a regular basis. Miccio and Halpin are currently collaborating on writing a batch of new songs set to be recorded in the studio in the upcoming year. In the recent years, Halpin has had a hand in writing and directing various side projects inspired by his time with 4 O’Clock. Recently Halpin created and wrote a Quiz Book called “Do You Really Know The Beatles?“, which was inspired by his major musical influences. Book called ” Halpin is also working on an upcoming Screenplay adaptation inspired by his time with 4 O’Clock and his other band The Pandemoniums. For more information about this film, please visit http://www.magicalmysterytourmovie.com/ .