US Flag TRAVIS PIKE'S TEA PARTY (1967-1969) Mass State Flag
These blow ups off a proof sheet of photos taken in 1968 outside the old Pike Productions Studios at 47 Galen Street in Watertown, are the only pictures Travis has of the original Tea Party.  From left to right, Karl, Phil (his face hidden by the tea pot), Mikey Joe, Travis and George.
"Drum breaks" were common, and the Tea Party's Phil Vitali, with double bass and six toms played some of the very best, but the Tea Party also featured lead guitarist Karl Garrett's classical guitar solos or percussionist Phil Vitali and bass player Mikey Joe Valente with Karl as a jazz trio!
Equipment failures sometimes forced Travis to solo with poetry or ballads, but singer-guitarist George Brox (above) also did solos.  These sudden and spontaneous evolutions in response to the atmosphere and mood of an audience were accepted, even widely anticipated events!
Versatility is rarely appreciated by record producers who want groups to fit neatly into "pre-sold" niches, but William Phillips, contributing critic to a Boston newspaper covering the 1967-1968 Boston Pop Festival wrote "Travis Pike's Tea Party performed in about every conceivable pop style from straight rock to psychedelic to folk to rinky-dinky ragtime.  Aside from an excessive fondness for gimmickry and bad humor, they are pleasing and versatile entertainers."