Woodstock 24 - Putting the "Sha" in Sha-Na-Na (Elliot "Gino" Cahn - Rhythm Guitarist)

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Sha-Na-Na was formed in 1969 at Columbia University as the Kingsmen, a choral group. Rather than sing the traditional choral fare, the groupd decided to sing doo-wop music from the 1950’s. Due to the popularity of a band from Portland, OR who sang “Louie, Louie”, the band changed their name from the Kingsmen to Sha-Na-Na (taken from the refrain of “Get a Job” by The Silhouettes). As I mentioned previously (See Woodstock #17 – Sha-Na-Na), I had met two of the original members of Sha-Na-Na in December of 2008; however, at Woodstock there were 12 people in the band. As part of my research, I googled Sha-Na-Na and came across a Yahoo! group for Sha-Na-Na fans. The group consists of mostly women who talk about how cute each of the guys were/are; however, sometimes there is some good information posted. Back in June, I was surprised to see a request from Elliot “Gino” Cahn (Rhythm Guitarist from formation until 1973). He asked if anyone had any access to a copy of a television special entitled “Good Vibrations from London” which starred the Beach Boys and Sha-Na-Na, among others. While I don’t have a copy in my archives, I felt that this was a golden opportunity. I figured if I could do me a favor, he would do me a favor and autograph my poster. I replied to his e-mail, privately, and told him where he might be able to find a copy. I also asked him if he would sign my poster for me. Elliot Cahn is interesting man. After he left Sha-Na-Na, he moved to the Bay Area and went back to school at the University of California at Berkely where he studied law. Eventually he married his love of music and his love of the law to be an attorney for such groups as Primus, The Offspring, and Rancid to name a few. He also served as Green Day’s first manager until they broke big with the “Dookie” album. I sent out my poster to him and he very quickly signed it and returned it to me. This brought my poster total to 33.

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