The TRUE story of how it all began in 1965...........


I have thoroughly enjoyed your web site. I hope everyone (and I’m sure they do) appreciates the time you’ve put into it. I’m reading about bands and clubs that were a major part of my past and it has brought back some great memories.

To fill in the gaps for The Laughing Kind of 1965: Tom McTaggert(drums), Bill Smith (bass) and Keith Miller (lead guitar) were playing in a band called The Mysterions with the legendary Roy Cox. We had an opportunity to hook up with Max Range from Port Aransas and play the entire summer of 1965 at The Dunes restaurant (on the covered patio) next to the pier. We took the opportunity but Roy stayed back in SA. We added Bill “Willie” King (guitar) to the group. Max named the band “Max and The Laughing Kind”. We had a free place to live during the summer gig. We painted the walls with black and yellow stripes and called it the “Laugh Shack”. During that summer, we had lots of folks crash there, pretty much every night - surfer dudes, shrimpers, strays off the beach, and lots of women (most of them looking for Willie). We never locked the doors. No reason in the 60s.

Max Range Laughing Kind

Bill Smith, Keith Miller, Willie King, Max Range, Tom McTaggert 1965 Port Aransas

Tom, Bill and I went back to SA after the summer and hooked up with Bobby Trevino (keyboards) and Tommy Smith (vocals) late 1965. We continued to use the name The Laughing Kind. Never heard from Max again. Last word we got, he was in jail. The name wasn’t registered or anything fancy like that. It was just a good name that stuck around and had lots of great musicians associated with it.

Max Range Laughing Kind pose

Keith MIller, Tom McTaggert, Bobby Trevino, Tommy Smith, Bill Smith (standing) 1966/67

The Laughing Kind of 1966/67 (Bill, Tom, Bobby, Keith and Tommy) cut a record called “ I Could Have Showed You The Way”. It did pretty good locally in SA. Made #12 on KTSA/KONO hit lists. Tom McTaggert got drafted and we got Sol Casseb on drums. Roy Cox came back and played guitar for awhile on his way to hooking up with Rod Prince of The Bad Seeds and starting The Bubble Puppy. Bill Smith left and was replaced by Andy Solman, who is a great guitar player but decided to play bass for awhile. We picked up a couple of horn players (the Eagan brothers), did some soul stuff. Tommy Smith left the band and one of our fellow San Antonio College Delta frat brothers Leon Turbowitz started singing with us. Jerry Frank joined when Bobby left. It wasn’t easy playing lead guitar when the bass player in the group was 10 times better than you at lead guitar. But Andy was cool and I survived a little longer before moving on to UT in Austin. Andy started playing lead guitar when I left. That took us through late 1968. The next set of musicians that kept The Laughing Kind going were some of the best of the local SA music scene.

Laughing kind Port Aransas

Willie King, Keith Miller, Bill Smith, Max Range, Tom McTaggert (kneeling) Summer 1965

Photos and story contributed by Keith Miller