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Saturday, April 18, 2020

Dan's Garage #136



Greetings music lovers!!!! I hope all are doing well out there during this rather messed up episode in human history. I myself am doing as well as I possibly can although we've taken a bit of a financial hit because of this "situation", but we'll keep posting here as long as we possibly can! Due to previously unforeseen circumstances, I've had to put a moratorium on buying records but I can assure you that I've got scads of way cool 45's not entered in this blog yet so I'll be busy for a while. 
We here at Dan's Garage Central are trying to stay sane while we suffer the effects of this pandemic AND the resulting fallout. Ironically, this actually leaves me with more time to spin records and write this blog, I mean, it's still too early to do any real outdoor work around here, and because we're "tightening our belt" so to speak, major household upgrades are on hold (for the short term I assure you). We're well stocked with food and stuff so we don't have a lot of shopping to do, but what the hell, try finding a packet of yeast around here! I had to go to a local bulk food store and buy two pounds of the shit just to bake a couple of loaves of bread! I'll be experimenting in the kitchen every weekend for the next two years!!!!!! 
Oh right....the blog....
As I said,  I actually have a bit more time on my hands so I'll take advantage for now. I'm still poring through boxes of records trying to figure out what hasn't been posted yet and by my calculations, there's a LOT!. So we'll continue this time around with a rather "eclectic" handful of 45's that I'm sure will please all of you out there.
Many thanks to our friends and followers of this blog for the very kind comments. Keep them coming and please share this blog wherever you can! 
Without further adieu.....Dan's Garage #136

There's a few friends and followers out there who are having trouble finding a download link through Box. I tried accessing it with my Iphone and came up with a blank page which seems to be the trouble some are having. I was able though, to copy the url from the link, paste it into a browser and voila! The page with the link came up. I'm not familiar with Macs because it uses a one button mouse, but I'm guessing the operation is similar to the Iphone. I like to use Box because 1. It's free and 2. the links don't expire. I hope this helps. Thanks, Dan.

Bob Kuban Band - Turn On Your Love Light / Jerkin' Time (1965)
You know I must confess, I really HATED bands with horns. Back in "the day", we garage punk enthusiasts would poo-pooh this 45 as total bullshit, and I'm sure some of the so-called "garage elitists" today will do the same. 
     When I was a young lad I really hated clams. I also hated bourbon whiskey and dry red wine and a host of other things that today, I find quite tasty like Gorgonzola cheese and raw oysters.  As I grew older,  I started to "acquire" the taste for those things as well as the taste for records like this one.
      Bob Kuban was a drummer from St. Louis, MO and formed his band in 1965 as simply "The Bob Kuban Band". He later changed the name of the group to "Bob Kuban & The In-Men" and had a sizable hit in 1966 with "The Cheater". 
One cannot deny the raw intensity of this track and sheer enthusiasm that goes along with it. As I mentioned previously, I have acquired a taste for a lot of music that does not fall into the "garage-punk orthodoxy" and this is a good example. Dig it....

The Shadows - The Frightened City / Back Home (1961)
The Shadows were perhaps the most influential band in the UK in the post "skiffle group" era. This would be "pre-Beatles" I might add, but even The Beatles were tremendously influenced by them and their classic cut "Cry For A Shadow" is a good example. I was lucky to nab this one at a bargain price a few years back and I think it's one of their best.

Viceroys - Liverpool / Tonk (1964)
There were a few "Vice-Roys" floating about in the early to mid sixties. One of them was from the Pacific-Northwest but I'm pretty sure these guys were not them as the USA label was out of Chicago,IL and this group was most likely from that area.
      This is a rather interesting 45. I'm not sure who the group was, but they had a very interesting take on the "Liverpool" thing as evidenced by this two sider. "Liverpool" starts with a "I Want To Hold Your Hand" intro but immediately goes into an extremely cool instrumental with a ska beat! The 'B' side is pretty cool as well.

Astronauts - The La La La Song / I Guess It Doesn't Matter Anymore (1965)
I love The Astronauts. They had about a gazillion 45's & LP's on RCA Victor, and made a few appearances in a couple of 'B' movies that were teen/surf related. This 45 was released while they were "transitioning" from a pure surf band to a "beat" group. The'A' side is a great pop effort and the 'B' side is a good take on the Buddy Holly classic.

Bad Seeds - King Of The Soapbox / He's Lying (1966)
The Bad Seeds (on Columbia records) were reportedly from Kentucky and had nothing to do with the legends from Texas. That being said, this is an excellent two sided folk rocker that is well produced as many of  Columbia records were. I just wish I knew more about this group....

Merseys -  Sorrow / Some Other Day (1966)
Originally known as The Merseybeats, guitarist/vocalists Tony Crane and Bill Kinsley broke off of the group and formed a duo and simply called themselves "The Merseys". Obviously they changed their style as well, moving into a pop direction with big production. They made a few appearances on the German "Beat Club" program and had a minor hit with this cover of The McCoys' "Sorrow".

Young Monkey Men - I'm Waiting For The Letter / I Love You (1966)
This bunch was from Trenton, NJ and had two other 45's both very good including the moody garage/punk classic "I Believed You" which was featured on a volume of "Teenage Shutdown". This two sider is really good as well with some nice fuzz guitars courtesy of lead guitarist Eugene Patricella.

Willie & The Walkers - (Alone) In My Room / Poor Janie (1967)
Willie & The Walkers were a very popular group out of Edmonton, Alberta, Canada and were together from about 1965 to 1972. The group was led by Bill "Willie" MacCalder who played keyboards and sang lead vocals. They had a nice career opening for acts like Dino, Desi, & Billy, The Guess Who, The Box Tops and others. The 'A' side of this is a cover of "(Alone) In My Room" which was originally done by Verdelle Smith, a somewhat obscure R&B singer, and later done by The Walker Brothers. This version obliterates both of them. With a sinister, haunting organ intro, the song tells a typical story of a love that has died and how the singer (Willie) is coping with it. This is real good stuff and the whole thing is genius in my very humble opinion. In late 1966 these guys took a long trek down to Norman Petty's studio in Clovis, NM to record this 45 and the results are A-1. This 45 was also released about a year later in the U.S. on United Artists.

Rovin' Kind - My Generation / Girl (1967)
The Rovin' Kind were an outfit from Chicago, IL that had about a half dozen 45's on several different labels including Smash, Roulette, and a couple on Dunwich as shown here. This one takes a somewhat inept stab at The Who's classic, not that the entire band struggles with it, but the bass player seems to have a hard time replicating John Entwhitsle's iconic solo. The flip is a decent cover of The Beatles' "Girl". The Rovin' Kind would eventually evolve into The Illinois Speed Press which had two 45's on Columbia (one featured in IDG #74) as well as an LP. Band member Paul Cotton went on to replace Jim Messina in Poco in 1970.

Yardbirds - My Girl Sloopy (Columbia Special Products)
This song here is really no "great shakes" and probably one of The Yardbirds' throwaway tracks (although I could be completely wrong about that) that was featured on this groovy EP presented by "Great Shakes" which was kinda like Nestle's Quick, but as you continued shaking it, it got really thick and turned plain ol' milk into a frothy milkshake. Here's some pics of the cover...
As you can see, teens are rocking out to the hip sounds of this EP while shaking their "Great Shakes"
 I remember my oldest brother being wild about this stuff and I also remember the plastic "shaker" that came with it. Great Shakes was promoted in radio ads by The Blues Magoos, The Who, and a few other cool bands of the era. Sadly, Great Shakes disappeared from the shelves never to be seen again.

Do' & The Don'ts - I Wonder If She Loves Me / Our Love May Not Live Again (1966)
The Do's And The Don'ts are from Cedar Rapids, Iowa and had about seven 45's released in the mid 60's and possibly into the 70's. Although I can confirm this 45 was released in July of 1966, they had six on the local "Zorch" label that I can't be certain of. This has a nice "teen" vibe to it, nothing crazy, just very nice mid-sixties pop. These guys are still playing oldies in the Cedar Rapids area.

Jan & Dean - Yellow Balloon / Taste Of Rain (1967)
Real good psych-pop effort by Jan & Dean here, their only record on Columbia and is actually just Dean Torrence solo as Jan Berry was recovering from his near fatal car accident. This is the original version written by Gary Zekley and apparently he didn't like the Jan & Dean treatment so he shopped it off to Canterbury Records who got some session musicians to record it and it became somewhat of a bubblegum hit in 1967.

Bucky Wilkin - Delta Day / I Wanna Be Free (1968)
I really had a hard time deciding whether to post this 45. Although I like it, it doesn't quite fit well with the general theme of this blog, but it's not the first time I've gone astray so-to-speak so I figured what the hell. John "Bucky" Wilkin was most famously known as "Ronny" of  Ronny & The Daytonas who we all know had a big hit in 1964 with "G.T.O.". This 45 on the other hand is a studio concoction and  a sort of protest song as well with it's Vietnam War theme and seems to be co-written by Kris Kristofferson. The flip, on the other hand, is a very nice version of "I Wanna Be Free".

Merlin - Dirty Woman / Telephone (1970)
I'm having a hard time finding ANY concrete info on this act, although a blog from Hungary did post this and offered up a bit, although the translating through Google is rough. It seems these guys were from Houston, TX and offered up this sole 45 on 123 Records in 1970. The 'A' side is nice bonehead cruncher heavy psych with lots of organ and the 'B' side is more like late sixties British psych/pop. Very nice. It also seems that keyboard legend John "Rabbit" Bundrick was in this band as he was also in a group called "Blackwell" that also worked with Jones Sound Productions.

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Monday, March 16, 2020

Dan's Garage #135



Greetings music lovers! Well, it's been two weeks since I last posted and that was possible due to a stomach bug that was being peddled around by my grand kids, and it put me out of commission for a couple of days, now I got a regular run-of-the-mill cold bug that hit me hard last Thursday, and is taking a few days to exit my system. Have no fear, I don't think I have the corona virus that's sweeping the globe and making people here in these parts totally CRAZED!!!! I mean, what the hell??? The world is NOT coming to an end. Here at Dan's Garage Central, we're trying to stay calm, go about our business as normally as humanly possible and whether whatever "storm" hits us. Just wash your hands, keep your distance, and if you're sick, stay home and please I will not read lectures from anyone telling me I'm going to die and what an irresponsible asshole I am for not "taking this epidemic seriously".  I get that it's bad and very contagious which is why I've refrained from hugging and kissing people, and general touchy feely stuff. I am staying home till I get better, and then will go back out in the world to face whatever I have to with my job duties which is a courier for the freaking University Of Rochester which means I have to handle all sorts of nice germy packages and envelopes with God knows how much disgusting crap on them, and oh yeah, I also spend a significant amount of time in the UofR Medical Center as well. How's that for a job???? By the way, I'm considered "essential personnel" so we NEVER shut our doors. Whew, I'm glad I got THAT off my sore chest.
Records??? What about the records Dan????? Hmmmm????
Yeah, we got 'em in spades and like my workplace, we never really shut the doors around here. New stuff pours in regularly and some of them are featured here, and a few I've had for a while. I just got a big lot of Italian records for dirt cheap and have been trying to sift through them day by day. Being an American of Italian descent and knowing the language quite well, I figured I could enjoy this stuff and actually know what the hell their singing. Most of it is slick pop stuff, but there are a few interesting re-makes of American songs like The Turtles' "Elanor" and "1-2-3 Red Light". Perhaps after I've gotten through a few of them I'll post them up in a special "Italian Edition". Before we get to the 45's please read closely. I've gotten some very nice comments from all of you and thank you profusely for them, but a lot of the comments I've been getting are in regards to old dead links and why they don't work, AND problems with opening them. ALL RE-UPS FROM #1 TO #131 ARE IN THE MARCH 2019 SECTION OF THE BLOG ARCHIVE WHICH IS AT THE RIGHT HAND SIDE OF THE PAGE AS YOU SCROLL DOWN. THERE ARE TWO LINKS. PART ONE AND PART TWO. THEY ARE ALL THERE (FROM #1 TO#131) AND TO MY KNOWLEDGE ARE ALL WORKING. #'s 132 TO #135 ARE CURRENTLY UP TO DATE. WHEN YOU GET TO THE BOX.NET PAGE, CLICK ON THE DOWNLOAD BUTTON ON THE PAGE AND A .RAR FILE WILL DOWNLOAD TO YOUR DEVICE OR DESKTOP OR LAPTOP. ONCE IT'S DOWNLOADED, UNPACK IT IT WITH WINRAR OR 7ZIP. IT WILL NOT OPEN IN THE BOX.NET PAGE. I apologize for that "tone" and the bold caps, but I consolidated all those links to two pages for everyone's convenience including mine.
As I've said, some of these 45's are fairly new acquisitions, and some I've had for a while, all of them I like, and the styles are all wildly different,  so without further adieu...
Dan's Garage #135.

Sunrays - I Live For The Sun (1965)
I'm not exactly sure what to make of The Sunrays. If anyone's ever seen the Beach Boys biopic that's sometimes seen on VH1 Classic (is that even a station anymore???), you'd think they were put together by Murray Wilson, famous dad of Brian, Carl, and Dennis as some kind of retribution for The Beach Boys firing dear ol' dad as a manager. On the other hand, they were previously known as The Renegades and were from Pacific Pallisades, CA, and they did work as a band before ol' Murray got a hold of them so their history gets a little murky. In any case, they definitely were a surf/vocal group with emphasis on the vocals. Most of their stuff is really lightweight surf/pop, but this one here is actually pretty good IMHO.

Rivieras - Never Feel The Pain / Bug Juice (1965)
The Rivieras are perhaps one of the greatest "frat rock" groups in the history of the planet based simply on their version of  Joe Jones' "California Sun", which they sped up to warp drive and filled dance floors across the nation with it. This here is their last 45 and is kinda weird because it's not really the Rivieras. According to organist Otto Suss, this was not the Rivieras, but some other band from the area that was used, I guess, to fill in this 45. I know that sounds whack but in that era, who the hell knows what went on???? Another weird thing is that this song was also released by a band called "Dalek: The Blacktsones" and one can hear that version on "Highs In The Mid 60's Vol.4 CHICAGO". Although Dalek's version is the superior one, this may have been some kind of demo for that song. Just speculating.........
Oh, by the way.. the "B" side I'm pretty sure is the REAL RIVIERAS!!!!!

Elements - Promises (1963)
I usually don't go for these "cutesy" girl group songs, but this one was so annoying that I actually grew to like it.(???) Based on the old familiar tune "Shortnin' Bread", these gals whoop it up with a tale about a typical boyfriend who wont commit.  

Fourmost - Why Do Fools Fall In Love / Girls, Girls, Girls (1965)
The Fourmost were a group out of Liverpool and , I guess, were good buddies with The Beatles because they recorded two Lennon/McCartney songs, "I'm In Love", and "Hello Little Girl", both of which were decent hits for them. This 45 is probably NOT one of their better efforts. What we have here is a pretty good Merseybeat rendition of two songs the 'A' side being a Merseybeat  interpretation of Elvis' "Girls,Girls,Girls" and the 'B' side a cover of  Frankie Lymon An The Teenagers', "Why Do Fools Fall In Love". Both songs are steeped in "Merseybeat" mojo and unfortunately, by the time this record came out, fans in the U.K. and the U.S. were going on to bigger and better things.

Honeycombs - Color Slide / That's The Way (1966)
I usually don't serve up stuff like this on the blog. I have the first two Honeycombs 45's which are rather well known, but this one is somewhat of a rarity in that no one's ever really heard it. When I say "no one" I mean it wasn't a significant hit or had a lot of air-play. This is perhaps one of their best 45's and has that Joe Meek "goodness" plastered all over it! Bonus...you get a Honey Lantree vocal on the 'B' side!!!!!!

McKinleys - Then I'll Know It's Love / When He Comes Along (1964)
Hey!!! Here's another British Invasion 45 that managed to get released on a U.S. label, Swan Records to be specific, also the label which released The Beatles' "She Loves You", one of their biggest hits. The McKinleys were apparently twin sisters and by the sound of this recording , were backed up by some of Britain's best studio musicians including Jimmy Page on guitar. I may be wrong about that, but it sure sounds like his work on this fine two sider.

Marksmen - I've Never Known / You'll Never Walk Alone (1966)
Back here in The States, you had guys like The Marksmen, from who the hell knows where, covering gems by The Beau Brummels, but they give a nod to Liverpool on the'B' side by covering Gerry & The Pacemakers' version of "You'll Never Walk Alone".


Burned - All Who Enter Here (1970)
O.K. I goofed. This should have been towards the end of this post, but, hey, everyone makes a mistake once and a while right???? From 1970 this song has a lot of kooky stream of consciousness lyrics going on which are pretty psychedelic man. Can you dig this??????? Far out man!!!!

Coastliners - She's My Girl / I'll Be Gone (1966)
From Baytown, TX near Galveston, The Coastliners were a rather popular act in that area on the Gulf Cost of Texas. They seemed like a very diverse band in that the 'A' side of this is really influenced by the Beach Boys and surf, but the 'B' side is true garage/punk with some great reverb drenched guitar. 'B' side sounds like a remake The Turtles' "Almost There".

Moe, Adrian, & The Sculptors - Love Train / Shotgun (1966)
Here's a real intriguing group that was out of New York City and produced by John Hammond Sr. Moe, Adrian, & The Sculptors were a pretty obscure group and I'm not exactly certain how they got together, or what their history was, but what intrigues me the most is band member Adrian Guillery was a student at SUNY New Paltz, a school that I spent two semesters at, and wasn't very successful in my academic endeavors. Adrian was a musician and artist and there's a website which features pictures of him in his New Paltz days that features his artwork, and some way cool pictures of him playing his  Danelectro  guitar and a few studio shots that were perhaps taken at this recording session. Very cool. Adrian, if you're out there drop me a line. I'd love to know what New Paltz was like in the mid sixties. As for the record. it's tough to describe because it's raw in a "garage" sense, but has a soul/funk vibe to it as well. Lots of sax, flute and the harp wails throughout. Very cool 45 and one which should be sought out!

The #1 - The Collector / Cracks In The Sidewalk (1967)
The #1 were from New Haven, CT and were previously known as The Blue Beats who had two very good 45's on Columbia records. This 45 is a tale of two groups. "The Collector" is a terrific moody garage/psych/pop song with great ambiance, but "Cracks In The Sidewalk" sounds to me a lot like Jay And The Americans. I've included both here so you can hear the difference.

Koffee Beans - Been A Long Time / All My Life (1969)
Oh wow, one of my favorite 45's ever. Since good buddy Chuck Ciriello turned me on to this back in the late '80's, I've been a fan of this one. I never really knew until recently that this was from 1969. O.K., the lyrics definitely got a west coast hippie vibe to them, but the band is still living in 1966, or at least 1967. Koffee Beans were from Baltimore, MD and were once known as The Henchmen who had a killer garage/punk 45 on Ru-Jac Records called "She Still Loves You". Although this isn't "killer" garage/punk, it still has a bit of attitude left over from The Henchmen. Love it.

Unbelievable Uglies - The Tin Drum / Mrs. Mouse Anthology (1968)
A rather weird 45 from Minneapolis, MN. The "Uglies" had a bunch of 45's on various labels in various styles including the killer "Get Straight" which was released on Liberty records but this one strays into total weirdness, perhaps a bit too much L.S.D.???????

Condello - Goodnight (1969)
Mike Condello was a Phoenix, AZ legend that fronted several groups including "Hubb Kapp & The Wheels", "Last Friday's Fire" and simply "Condello". A very eclectic figure in the history of Phoenix rock & roll he had a bunch of records released between 1962 and 1969. This one is a neat psychedelic number that was two sided. A long and short version. We've included the full "long" version here.

What's Left - Hands Off / Smokie Part II (1973)
Wow. Let's take a real sharp left turn and dig on this 45! What's Left was apparently what was left over from Elvis Presley's original band, including Scotty Moore who "presented" this record. A nice mix of rockabilly, country, and good ol' rock 'n roll are featured on the 'A' side of this gem. The 'B' side is re-make of "Smokie" a Bill Black Combo "hit" that is unfortunately one of the most boring instrumentals ever. Just sayin".

Elf - Sit Down Honey / Gambler Gambler (1975)
This 45 was released in 1975, but I believe it was recorded somewhere in 1971 when Elf were at their peak as a local act here in upstate NY. I may be wrong about that, but I'm a bit weary right now in the "research" dept. What I can tell you is that "Elf" were previously known as "The Electric Elves" and had a way cool 45 on MGM. Actually a couple cool 45's and an LP on Epic. Lead vocalist Ronnie James Dio was the driving force of this band and they had a close relationship with Deep Purple, this 45 being produced by drummer Ian Paice and bassist Roger Glover, often being an opening act for them. When guitarist Ritchie Blackmore ditched Deep Purple in 1975 he chose Elf as his his backing band, re-named them "Rainbow" and had a successful run with them. Ronnie Dio would later replace Ozzy Osbourne in Black Sabbath and have a successful solo career himself. Some real bona-fide "hard rock" here. Not "garage' in any sense of the word but a nice cool local upstate NY artifact.

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Monday, March 2, 2020

Dan's Garage #134



Greetings music lovers!!!! Whew! This one was a looooong time coming and I'm glad I got it finished because I always get this creepy feeling in the back of my mind that I'm seriously neglecting this blog which I've been writing and sharing music with for 10+ years. I should've done a "10th Anniversary post sometime last year, but even that got away from me. 
I suffered a somewhat debilitating accident at work last June, and although it didn't put me down entirely, it certainly messed with my mojo for a good six months. That and the holidays and my migration from Windows 7 (which worked just great for the last 10 years) to Windows 10 also put a huge damper on things. I mean what the hell, can they make it any more difficult for you????
Records are still trickling in every month and although I'm not getting big boxes of records that often, like we say around here...slow drip fills the bucket. My biggest issue at this point is getting organized. I'm basically trying to figure out what's been posted as opposed to what hasn't and I sometimes find myself in a state of confusion. Nonetheless, I try to soldier on with this. 
As usual, I plucked a bunch of stuff which style-wise is a real mixed bag. Garage, psychedelic, pop, even a little bit of folk is being thrown in there as well and I hope you all enjoy. So without further adieu... Dan's Garage #134!!!!!


Five Sounds - Miss Ann / Peanut Butter (1966)
The Five Sounds were a group out of Halifax, Nova Scotia up in Canada and released two 45's on Epic (Their crosstown rivals The Great Scots also managed to get a 45 released on Epic. Seems as if a talent scout was up there looking for cool bands), both which are outstanding, especially this one with it's great performance and excellent production. These guys would eventually change their name to the Central Nervous System and release an LP which I've never heard and a 45 on Laurie records.

Naturals - I Should Have Known Better / Didn't I (1964)
A group out of the UK that released four 45's, four in the UK and two in the US on Liberty. This was one of the four releases in Britain which was a nice peppy cover of The Beatles' "I Should Have Known Better" which I believe made the charts there. Both sides are uptempo and feature some falsetto vocals in the mix.

Regents - Bald Headed Woman (1966)
I forgot to add this 'B' side the last time I featured this 45, a decent version of "Bald Headed Woman". The Regents were from California and released several 45's on four different labels.

Shuggy Ray Smith - Ruth From Duluth (1965)
Not exactly sure who Shuggy Ray Smith was, it seems he also recorded as "Ray Smith" as well doing mostly country styled songs and this rocker from 1965.

Dee & The Yeomen - Take The First Train Home / Why, Why, Why (1965)
Dee & The Yeomen were from Toronto, Ontario, Canada and were quite popular, releasing seven 45's up there on Wolff and Reo records as well as two here in the US in 1969 as simply "The Yeomen" on Mainstream. They were led by guitarist/vocalist Graham Dunnett who was a transplant from the UK that played in a group called "The Starliners" who shared bills in Hamburg, Germany with Gerry & The Pacemakers and of course The Beatles. He moved to Toronto in 1964 and enjoyed some success throughout the mid sixties.

Checkmates - Hey Girl / All The Time Now (1965)
The Checkmates from Amarillo, TX were more famously known as Ray Ruff & The Checkmates who recorded and released about eight 45's which were recorded at Norman Petty's studio in Clovis, NM and where Ruff became a staff producer as well. This was the last he released as The Checkmates and both sides are nice garage/pop numbers especially the flip "All The Time Now".

Downtown Collection - Washington Square / Sunshine (1969)
Here's a 45 that's a cover of The Village Stompers folk hit "Washington Square" with some updated hippie lyrics and arrangement for the era. This 45 is noteworthy in that it was produced by Milan Radenkovic also known simply as "Milan" or more famously "Milan The Leather Boy" who had four 45's under that moniker as well as "The World Of Milan" and simply "Milan". He was also involved in a 45 by a bubblegum group called "Ice Cream" that had a 45 on Capitol records as well as a bunch of others. He was a rather busy guy in the sixties until his untimely death in 1971.

Stratfords - Never Leave Me (1964)
For some oddball reason I always thought these guys were from Pennsylvania but they were actually from Baltimore, MD and this was somewhat of a regional hit in 1964. This tune is real moody and features a male/female duet about two lovers promising never to leave each other. Real teen heartthrob stuff here. The Stratfords had seven 45's which is a lot for a local group in those days. I have one other which is far cooler than this one here. I promise to get to it in the future (if I haven't already!).

Buzz - You're Holding Me Down / I've Gotta Buzz (1966)
As a record collector who is on a rather tight budget, I'm always looking for steals and deals in the marketplace. I do most of my shopping on Ebay mostly because it allows me to peruse 45's for sale in the comfort of my home or anytime I have my Iphone with me. It's a lot easier than hauling my ass crosstown to one of the few record stores in that even remotely deal with this kind of stuff. I do try to hit the local record show which comes up about twice a year and I sometimes have good luck with that, but since the advent of the internet, Ebay, and other platforms, record shows have gotten smaller with less dealers and good product. Why would anyone pay $75 for a table and schlep their stuff into a large room and hope they get a good turnout? Such is the 21st Century, but I digress. This record represents one of those rare occasions that I stumble on something that is so cool, I gotta buy it no matter what condition it's in.
The Buzz were a group out of the UK, Edinburgh to be exact and recorded this 45 with whacked out genius Joe Meek at the controls. I've read a few articles about this 45 and all of them are spot on, this is the essence of "freakbeat". "You're Holding Me Down" would be a masterpiece without Joe Meek's production, but when you add him to the mix you get a totally demented track that doesn't fail to impress. Heavily compressed with wild fuzz, trebley guitars and shrieking echoed vocals that scream "go back, go back,go back" are the highlights of this 45 and could be Meek's finest moment. The flip is ok but compared to this it falls flat.
Now on to the record itself. This thing usually fetches pretty big bucks wherever it's being sold and you're most likely going to pay well over $100 for it whether it's the US release on Coral, or the UK release on Columbia. I managed to score this on Ebay for $10 in a set sale with the caveat that it was "really scratched up" and in G- condition (G- is nearly unplayable using 'Goldmine' standards), so I was quite horrified when I eagerly opened the package to discover a severely hammered record. I popped it on the turntable and to my surprise played all the way through with no skips. Now, I really am a stickler for playing my own 45's and hate substituting with something from a CD which I certainly could have done, but I present this gem in all it's scratched up glory as is. Dig it.

Whazoos - Inside Of Me / The Rains Came (1968)
This group out of Wilkes-Barre, PA released this one great 45, a very nice example of late sixties garage/psyche that features some excellent fuzz guitar ala The Iron Butterfly. The flip is an ok version of Sir Douglas' "The Rains Came".

Moon - You've Got Your Needs / Nothing Around Me But Love (1969)
I have this weird fascination with the Murbo records label. Everything that I have on it is pretty cool especially "The Household Sponge" 45. I mean, there were 54 45's released on this label from 1963 to '75 so there's got to be a few stinkers right??? This is another good one, and while it's not any sort of garage punker, it is rather unique in that it has no guitar on either side. "You've Got Your Needs" features an electric piano and cheezy organ with great snotty vocals and some excellent backing harmonies. The flip is a little more subdued, well... a lot more subdued,  with some acoustic piano, bass and drums in 3/4 time but retains great lead and background vocals. I know nothing about this group but have read in a few places that they may have been from New York.

Banned - It Couldn't Happen Here (1968)
If you've ever seen the picture sleeve for this 45, one would think that The Banned were a group of way cool teenage garage punkers. I mean, I always thought they would be. The Banned, "It Couldn't Happen Here", it all sounds too cool right? That's until I finally got my hands on a copy of this record. Disappointment is probably an understatement, but I grew to like this record as I acquired a taste for "pop/psyche" 45's and this one falls squarely into that category. I'm glad I only spent 99 cents on it.

Crabby Appleton - Go Back / Try (1970)
Here's a 45 that actually cracked the top 40 in 1970, but I honestly don't remember hearing it at the time, perhaps my AM radio ears had not developed  (I was 9 or 10 at the time. Oh shit I gave that away!), but upon listening to this, I gotta say it's highly enjoyable. This band was fronted by Michael Fennelly who came out of The Millenium and was produced by Don Gallucci most famous for his genius electric piano playing on the Kingsmen's "Louie Louie", and for being the leader of Don & The Goodtimes. Oh, he also produced The Stooges "Funhouse". In fact, Crabby Appleton and The Stooges shared this production/engineering team and their records were released a mere two months apart. How's that for some trivia!!!!

Dion - Daddy Rollin' (In Your Arms) (1968)
Talk about whacked out records. We all know Dion Di Mucci as "The Wanderer", the "Run Around Sue" guy, who had a slew of hits in the early and mid sixties and then fell to the temptations of heroin, and made a comeback in '68 with his huge hit "Abraham Martin and John". Well, this is the flip to that aforementioned record and it's one of his cooler, if not the coolest track he's ever recorded. Supposedly, this was recorded in the back of a bowling alley with a bunch of Jamaican guys banging on trash cans or cardboard boxes or something, and to great effect. A must have in everyone's collection.

Douglas Fir - Smokey Joe's (1970)
Good uptempo early 70's rock with some added horns that aren't too bad. From Portland, OR.

Kindred Spirit - Under My Thumb (1969)
The Kindred Spirit were from Johnstown, PA just outside of Pittsburgh and released two 45's (this one here came in three different variations) and became a regional hit in NW Pennsylvania and eastern Ohio. I gotta say, I didn't expect this version to be so frantic. That and the rather lo-fi recording makes this one a winner!

Mystic Crash - The Sun Is Just A Hole In The Sky (1968)
Pretty good psych/pop. Unfortunately, I don't have a lot of info on this band except they may have released an entire LP on ABC.

Soft Machine - Why Are We Sleeping / Joy Of A Toy (1968)
This was the first of what would be only two 45's that The Soft Machine ever released, the other being one called "Teeth" on Columbia records. About the time this one came out they were a four piece and were touring with Jimi Hendrix and and playing with Pink Floyd at The UFO club in London. This was about as "mainstream" as this band would get I believe, I must admit I'm not a fan of these guys. I had about six or seven of their LP's and couldn't really sit through any of them, but this 45 caught my eye, and I'm glad I got it. Very cool spaced out psychedelia.  They would later head into a more Jazz oriented direction, which is where I think they lost me.

HERE