Somebody Else’s Dream by Maxim W. Furek

Book Review presents reviews of recent publications on Pennsylvania subjects by noted scholars, historians and journalists.

Somebody Else’s Dream
Dakota, The Buoys & “Timothy”
by Maxim W. Furek
Sunbury Press, 356 pp., paperback $19.95

Maxim W. Furek’s Somebody Else’s Dream explores one of the strangest hit records in rock and roll history — the Buoys’ “Timothy” (1971). Written by Rupert Holmes of “Escape (The Piña Colada Song)” fame, “Timothy” told a macabre tale about three guys trapped in a mine cave-in. By the time rescuers dug them out, “the only ones left to tell the tale were Joe and me,” sings the Buoys’ lead vocalist Bill Kelly. The devil was in the details, of course. The two survivors had full stomachs, while poor Timothy was never found. “God what did we do?” cries the singer in anguish.

Furek’s introduction explains why he wrote the book: “I always felt that the impact of ‘Timothy’ had been neglected, and I wanted to reintroduce the story of the Buoys, Dakota [their later spin-off], and other regional bands [from Pennsylvania] to a younger audience. My book of music history is also a cautionary tale promoting an anti-drug message.”

The author accomplishes those goals and much more. His detailed coverage demonstrates that the Buoys were far more than just one-hit wonders. He places the talented group and “Timothy” in a broader context of the times, explaining how they reflected trends in music and American culture. As an added bonus, this book answers the question posed in the Buoys’ song: “Timothy, Timothy, where on Earth did you go?” Not only do we learn the truth about Timothy’s fate, but we find out what happened to Bill Kelly, Jerry Hludzik, and other band members and associates who contributed to the group’s success. The result is far more than just a history of one band and a Top 20 hit record. It is a valuable case study of grassroots rock music in Pennsylvania during the late 1960s and early ’70s.

Richard Aquila
Penn State University, the Behrend College