One Side Wonders #14: The Gentle Touch – Visitors Parking Only (1966)

gentletouch_sleeveThe name The Gentle Touch may conjure up images of sunshine psychedelic pop but ‘Visitors Parking Only’ is in fact a cool and moody garage number with a blistering guitar break and some very effective changes of dynamics in the second half of the song. It was one side of the band’s debut single, issued on RCA Victor in 1966 in a run of 500, some of which came in a picture sleeve with a photograph of the group. Needless to say, these are far more desirable than the copies in the stock company sleeve.

The group were from Hamilton, Ontario in Canada, and the line-up was band leader Bruce Ley, Ron Boyes, Jeff Snider and Alex Harrington. They started out as The Pharaohs but changed to The Gentle Touch to avoid confusion with a band playing in the United States with a similar name. The group performed several times on local TV station CHCH.

‘Visitors Parking Only’

Missing side: ‘One Way Ride’

There is also a 1967 single on Kapp by The Gentle Touch – ‘Among the First to Know / Merry Go ‘Round’ but this is the work of a different outfit.

Reissues: This is something of a lost gem as ‘Visitors Parking Only’ doesn’t seem to have been included on any commercial compilations. However, there is a series called Wyld Canada put together by a very generous collector that appeared for free a few years back and the song is on Volume 3. There were four volumes in total and they are all well worth tracking down.

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4 thoughts on “One Side Wonders #14: The Gentle Touch – Visitors Parking Only (1966)

  1. Thanks for this, re: The Gentle Touch and Visitors Parking Only! Yes, the band came out of Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. I am a sister of one of the band members, Ron Boyes, the blond on the RCA cover. The other members were Bruce Ley, bandleader, still composing and recording here in Ontario, Jeff Snider and Alex Harrington. They began as The Pharaohs but changed the name to distinguish from a band playing in the States under a similar name. They played around the area for a few years in the mid 1960s and had performances on the local TV station, CHCH, now CHCH-DT in Hamilton. The other Gentle Touch you mention, 1967 onward, was I believe a Canadian female band. If anyone out there has a copy of this limited-edition pressing of Visitors Parking Lot by the male group The Gentle Touch, we’d love to hear about it–particularly a version with the band pictured on the sleeve.

      • Thank you. Do you happen to know anything more about this limited pressing that was done, the 500? We have seen a few copies sold on eBay but would like to get hold of one for our family, with the cover depiction of the band. I’m sure Bruce Ley, the bandleader, still in the music business in Ontario, might like one too. Best, Lisa

      • Hi Lisa, unfortunately I don’t know anything more about the single. Like you I’ve seen a few for sale on eBay and the price seems to fluctuate between about $80 and well over $200. I would just like to hear the b-side. Do you know what that is like?

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