Thursday, March 24, 2011
Posted by Dan at Thursday, March 24, 2011
Wow, I thought I’d never get this one out! I’ve had a rather busy month of March weekend-wise, so I haven't had a whole lotta time to do my thing so to speak, but I got up real early this past Sunday and spun records for a couple of hours to get this one going. Through all the time I spent doing the Upstate NY post, I’d been receiving a lot of records (including a wad of French Canadian 45s!!!), and this post has a good bit of them. What’s featured here is a real bunch of oddballs. A bit of garage, some psychedelic stuff, some very sunshiny pop stuff, and a couple that defy description. So if you're a hardcore garage punk fanatic, this post probably isn’t for you, but what the hell check it out anyway. You might like what you hear…..
Thirteenth Committee – Sha La La / You Really Got A Hold On Me (1966)
Another oddball that’s kind of garagey, I mean, it’s lo-fi and it’s got this fuzz guitar blasting underneath, but the vocals are a little sappy and it has a sort of teen thing going on. The flip’s a decent cover of Smokey Robinson’s hit.
Gary & The Hornets – Patty Girl (1967)
Here’s one that’s no mystery. Gary & The Hornets were three brothers, Steve, Gary, and Greg Calvert who were 7, 11, and 14 years old respectively.
This is the third of their three 45s on Smash. I haven’t heard the others but this one is half and half. Hi Hi Hazel is a goofy song with a kazoo blaring through it, but the flip here is a real decent folk rocker. They also made some TV appearances including this one where they do “Money”
Caesar & The Romans – Jailhouse Rock / Leaving My Past Behind (1969)
This one kind of slipped by me as I probably should have featured it in the Upstate series. Caesar and The Romans were from Buffalo and had two really good 45 on GJM records “Green Grass Makes It Better” and “Black Lantern”. This was one of two they had on Scepter and it’s a good one too and kind of shows them leaning towards a “retro” 50’s sound. They would later change their name to “Big Wheelie & The Hubcaps” and do just that, become a Sha Na Na type act. They were very popular around these parts and I did see them once.
Sounds Of Phase III – Special Citation / La Bomba (1967)
Oh boy, this one’s real weird. There’s so much going on I’m not sure how to accurately describe it, but I can say one thing….It’s original! “Special Citation” kind of starts out bluesy then picks up speed after the first verse and after that has about three more tempo changes with a B-3 blasting in the background and a flute solo just to keep things slightly off balance. This one really grew on me. I had to include the flip which is a frantic take on “La Bamba” with a lot of yelping, more chaos, tempo changes and a verse from “Like A Rolling Stone” for good measure!
| Over the last month or so I’ve been featuring bands and such from Upstate New York’s rich rock and roll history, and have put an emphasis on my hometown of Rochester, NY. That is where I grew up, developed my “talents” and made lots of friends and colleagues over the last 30 years. So it was rather ironic that in the midst of all of my blather about 60’s bands from Rochester, I was involved in what I think was one of the most stunning gatherings of Rochester talent in many a year, all for the benefit of a guy who never really was in many bands (one I think), but who’s contribution to the music scene here in Rochester during the 80’s was as vital as any band or single artist. That guy is a very unassuming fellow named Mick Alber. Mick (pictured above on the left with fellow DJ Mike Murray) was co-host with good friend Mike Murray of the radio show known as “The Boss Beat”. They almost exclusively focused on 60’s Garage and Psyche, and featured many of the “neo” garage bands of the day on their show as well as lots of local talent, like myself and the band I was in, “The Projectiles”. Mick eventually left the show in the mid 90’s and Mike went solo changing the show’s name to “Whole Lotta Shakin’” which airs every Saturday for two hours. Mick got married, had kids etc. etc. and it seems as life was AOK. Well, Mick has had a stroke of bad luck recently. A messy and expensive divorce, loss of employment, and to put icing on the cake he developed ulcerative colitis, a nasty condition which required some very expensive surgery and a long expensive hospital stay. Mike Murray and another musician and personality extraordinaire, Stan Merrel, organized a benefit to raise funds for our stricken brother. What was to unfold on Sunday March 6th was one of the most amazing days I had in quite a while. |
Ten acts spent the better part of a day at Abilene Bar & Lounge providing top notch entertainment for the fund raiser, but it was more. Oh, it was much more. It was the most exiting gathering I had been to in ages. It was an eclectic mix of electric and acoustic, rock & roll with hints of rockabilly and Americana. Straight up garage, and punk. It was all there in full view for the sake of one of our own. The old mingled with the young and all of us were treated to a nine hour Rock & Roll feast. Which brings me back to our city, and the wealth of talent that is here. My faith in the local “scene” was renewed and yes there is room for all of us here. Young and old. God bless you Mick. We hope you have a speedy recovery, and we all hope to see you in our midst very soon.
D.F.T.B. w/ Mike Murray
D.F.T.B. drummer Greg Andrews
D.F.T.B. (Yours Truly, Greg Andrews, and Jerry Flanagan)