The Association is a pop music band from California in the folk rock or soft rock genre. During the 1960s, they had numerous hits at or near the top of the Billboard charts and were the lead-off band at 1967's Monterey Pop Festival.
Jules Alexander (born September 25, 1943, Chattanooga, Tennessee) was in Hawaii in 1962 serving a stint in the Navy when he met Terry Kirkman (born December 12, 1939, Salina, Kansas), a visiting salesman. The two young musicians jammed together and promised to get together once Alexander was discharged. That happened a year later; the two eventually moved to Los Angeles and began exploring the city's music scene in the mid-1960s. At the same time, Kirkman played in groups with Frank Zappa for a short period before Zappa went on to form The Mothers of Invention. Eventually, at a Monday night hootenanny at the LA nightclub The Troubadour, in 1964, an ad hoc group called The Inner Tubes was formed by Kirkman, Alexander and Doug Dillard, whose rotating membership contained, at one time or another, Cass Elliot, David Crosby and many others who drifted in and out. This led, in 1965, to the forming of The Men, a 13 piece folk-rock band. This group had a brief spell as the house band at The Troubadour.
After a short time, however, The Men disbanded, with six of the members electing to go out on their own (some of the remaining players continued on as Tony Mafia's Men, one of the others, Mike Whalen, joined The New Christy Minstrels). At the suggestion of Kirkman's then-fiancée, Judy, they took the name The Association. The original lineup consisted of Alexander (using his middle name, Gary, on the first 2 albums) on vocals and lead guitar; Kirkman on vocals and a variety of wind, brass and percussion instruments; Brian Cole on vocals, bass and woodwinds; Russ Giguere (born October 18, 1943, Portsmouth, New Hampshire) on vocals, percussion and guitar; Ted Bluechel, Jr. (born December 2, 1942, San Pedro, California) on drums, guitar, bass and vocals; and Bob Page (born May 13, 1943) on guitar, banjo and vocals. However, Page was replaced by Jim Yester (born November 24, 1939, Birmingham, Alabama) on vocals, guitar and keyboards before any of the group's public performances.