In John's own Words; "The Pulsating Heartbeats"

by Michael R Dougherty
(California)

John Apostol on the right

John Apostol on the right

It all started with the Beatles on Ed Sullivan -

The following is from an interview with John Apostol of the Anchorage, Alaska band "The Heartbeats" conducted by Michael and Mary of Anchorage Memories.com


Anchorage Memories - Mike and Mary:

John, when did you and your brothers Eddie and Raul decide to form a band?


John Apostol:

On February 9, 1964 after watching the Beatles debut appearance on the Ed Sullivan Show. We got so inspired and motivated by the Fab Four music that night and couldn't seem to stop talking about them.

My brother Eddie, half joking, said to Paul (Raul) and I, "let's form a band for our own enjoyment" but the problem was that at that time, none of us knew how to play any musical instruments.

That summer, my brother Eddie worked and saved all his hard earned money and bought us the musical instruments we needed from the Sears catalog. He bought me my first electric guitar, an amp and a guitar chord book. He bought Paul a drum set and he bought an electric bass guitar and amp for himself and then he told us to learn how to play the instruments he gave us. And that's how we got started.


Anchorage Memories - Mike and Mary:

How did you come up with the name "Heartbeats"?


John Apostol:

The band took the name the Heartbeats from the Herman's Hermits hit song, "Can't you hear my Heartbeats"?


Anchorage Memories - Mike and Mary:

What was it like when you auditioned for Pacesetters so you could play at local dances?


John Apostol:

As I recall, when the Heartbeats auditioned for Pacesetters, I thought we sounded a little bit rough, raw and nervous, but OK, even though we were still learning how to play together as a band.

It was a learning experience for us. It was actually our very first time auditioning and playing in front of people.

After our audition was over, Betty Poeschel suggested that we practice in the garage at Betty's Record Den after business hours. And that's what we did. Practice, practice, practice till we got better. Thanks to Fritz and Betty Poeschel for the use of the garage and for giving us a place to practice.


Anchorage Memories:

How did your hit song "Anne" come about?


John Apostol:

I wrote the song "Anne" for a girl by the name of Anne. She was one of the Go-Go dancers at Shindig City. I had a big crush on her at the time so I thought I'd write a song about her. And that's how the song "Anne" came about.


Anchorage Memories - Mike and Mary:

The Heartbeats toured all over Alaska. What towns did you play and what was it like to be on tour?


John Apostol:

We got very excited when we were told that we would be touring all over Alaska.

While on tour, we developed such good camaraderie and respect for one another. And we got to experience the people of Alaska in towns like Juneau, Ketchikan, Sitka, Valdez, Cordova, Kodiak, Fairbanks, Point Barrow, Palmer, Glenallen, Annette Island, Tok Junction and Petersburg.

It was such a joy for the Heartbeats to bring happiness and smiles to people's faces in all the towns we visited. Priceless memories!


Anchorage Memories - Mike and Mary:

Where did the name "The Pulsating Heartbeats" come from?


John Apostol:

The Pulsating Heartbeats came from Ron Moore. He started calling us "The Pulsating Heartbeats" everytime he introduced our band on the radio or at dances. It was such a catchy name. We love it!


Anchorage Memories - Mike and Mary:

John, what would you like to say to everyone who was a fan of "The Pulsating Heartbeats"?


John Apostol:

To all the fans of "The Pulsating Heartbeats" past and present. We all thank you so much for all the support you have given us through the years. We appreciate it very much. We love y'all! The Pulsating Heartbeats - Eddie, John, Paul, Skip and Emerson.


Anchorage Memories - Mike and Mary:

John, thank you so much for your time and for the wonderful trip down memory lane with the Pulsating Heartbeats. Even though it's been years since Pacesetters, dances at Shindig City, the National Guard Armory in Anchorage, Ron Moore and the Coke Show, if we close our eyes and listen to your song "Anne" (see and hear the song at the bottom of this page) it seems like yesterday.

And by the way John, I remember when you and Eddie asked me (Mike) to join your band in Hawaii because I played the trumpet and you wanted to add brass to The Pulsating Heartbeats. I was working in television at the time and couldn't do it, but it would have been a blast making music with "The Pulsating Heartbeats."

Thank you John

Now turn up the sound, click on the video below and enjoy "Anne".


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