the Grasshoppers

Cleveland, 1963-5

This hoppin' foursome started as a rockin' instrumental combo and caught on quickly with local teens. Their local popularity earned them a regular slot on a the "Big 5" TV show (precursor to Upbeat). They recorded two sides at Cleveland recording with the intent on releasing a 45 for Sunburst, but the label realized they had two potential hits, so they pulled two earlier instrumental recordings to flip the vocal songs. The first release, "Mod Socks", was a big local hit and was picked up by Warner Brothers, probably through the Glasser pipeline. The second 45, "Pink Champagne", was also a local hit but not quite as large. The band broke up in '65 as a couple members were drafted. Rhythm guitarist/primary singer Ben Orzechowski (nicknamed "eleven letters") joined the Mixed Emotions before moving to Columbus with his friend Rick Otcasek, where they were in the Id Nirvana before moving to Boston and founding the Cars.