Saturday, June 15, 2024

In Dan's Garage...#150

Greetings music lovers!!!!! Holy crap. This my be the longest hiatus from this thing I've ever had, not that I'm not into this anymore or anything, it's just that life gets in the way. At 63 I still get up to work everyday for the University Of Rochester, I'm up to five (count 'em FIVE) grandchildren, my Ma, God bless her is 93 years old, and she's not going anywhere anytime soon, and I have my beautiful house and my lovely wife to keep me busy, as well as The True Believers (my band), who have made a major comeback this past year after the untimely death of our beloved bass player Jerry Flanagan, who passed away in July of 2020. We finally re-grouped after ace bass player Jim Lampert joined us, a veteran of the Rochester music scene and one of the finest musicians I've ever had the opportunity to rub elbows with. This cat has got it together, and as a working musician, I'm finding myself busier than ever! I've also had a few issues with my health, mostly back related. But I still carry on as usual.

I haven't posted anything since last October, and that's a shame, because I still have LOADS of content to share with all of you out there! Some followers may think that things have dried up. On the contrary, I've got more stuff to share than ever! So, here we are many months later with a new post full of cool 45's. You know the drill...I sift through boxes of records and find cool stuff to post, kind of a stream of consciousness thing. I have these little "dot" stickers I place on my record sleeves to distinguish the 45's I haven't posted vs. the ones that I have. Turns out I'm seeing a lot of dots, so here we go!

This one's a mixed bag of Garage, Psych, Surf, Sunshine Pop, and a classic novelty for your pleasure. It's good to be back.

Fendermen - Don't You Just Know It / Beach Party (1960)
Let's start with this. The Fendermen were duo (two guitars!) from Milwaukee, Wisconsin and had a big regional hit with "Mule Skinner Blues" which was released locally on Cuca Records, and was then picked up by Soma Records for national distribution. They named themselves after the Fender guitars they played. They really only had one more 45 outside of this one, "Heartbreakin' Special" which came out in 1961, and that was it for The Fendermen.

Astronauts - KUK / Baja (1963)
I really love the Astronauts. Hailing from Boulder, Colorado, they cut their teeth on nailing down a surf sound that rivaled the best band from California. They later dipped their toes into straight up garage sounds, folk rock, and even some Beach Boys style pop ala "Pet Sounds". This is their 1st 45 on RCA, and an essential surf two sider.

Bassets - So Bad (1966)
This is most likely a studio group put together by Artie Kornfield who produced and arranged this. He and Steve Duboff had a bunch of 45's on Philips (a Mercury subsidiary) as The Changing Times, and at least one as The Sterlings on Mercury. This is a pretty good beat influenced tune, the flip on the other hand kinda sucks so I left it out.

New Colony Six - The Power Of Love / (The Ballad Of The) Wingbat Marmaduke (1966)
The New Colony Six is one of my favorite "garage" bands from the sixties. I put "garage" in quotes because they were actually a well rehearsed and well produced band out of Chicago, Illinois. They had two LP's, "Breakthrough" which had the local hit "I Confess", and "Colonization" which this, and three other 45's came from. The 'A' side of this is pretty cool with the typical cheezy organ in the background, and the flip is also good as well, telling a tale of some fantasy BS while still keeping it down to earth. This was the LAST 45 I needed for my "pre-Mercury records" NC6 collection. They would eventually turn into a decent Sunshine Pop band, but none of that material was as good as this.

Pretty Things - Don't Bring Me Down / We'll Be Together (1964)
YEAH BABY!!!! I was pretty stoked when I scored this 45, and for fairly cheap I might say! It's The Pretty Things at the top of their game. I don't think I need to say much about this one except that when I was assembling this, I thought this 45 was from late '65 or '66. I was wrong. This one is from 1964, so compare it to all the other "Beatlemania" stuff, (or even Stones for that matter) that came out in that year. Pretty heavy shit if you ask me.

Bill Hjerpe - Behind The Times / Mrs. Frost (1966)
I featured this guy back in '22 in IDG #144 with something called "Navigation Blues", a Dylan inspired track. This 45 isn't much different, in fact it's even better! Bill Hjerpe had two 45s on Epic and wrote a couple of songs for Rochester, NY legends The Show Stoppers, who were supposedly discovered by John Hammond who was a bigwig at Columbia Records at the time. He brought them into the studio and had them record two of Hjerpe's songs which were both in this style. I think this guy was one of the more creative figures in the '60s and its a shame he never really had more success. 

XL's - Wheels / We Must Find A Way (1967)
I did a very quick search on this group and found out that they were from St. Louis, backed up a singer named "Patti", had a couple of 45's on Dot Records and most likely headed to L.A. where Snuff Garrett produced these two great sides for White Whale Records. They had one more 45 after this one but I haven't heard it yet.

Brimstones - I'm In Misery / Cold Hearted Woman (1966)
All I got on this one is that they were from Placerville, CA which is just outside of Sacramento. Not a killer, but a decent 45 nonetheless.

Herman's Hermits - Moonshine Man / Don't Go Out Into The Rain (You're Going To Melt) (1967)
I am a Herman's Hermits defender. If all you have to go on is "I'm Henry The VIII", and "Can't You Hear My Heartbeat", then your opinion of these guys is probably set in stone. They're a bunch of lightweights who really don't play their own instruments blah, blah, blah.... And while those songs are...well...'lightweight", the do garner some merit. They actually played on their records, on their playing is pretty good. Peter Noone may not have been the greatest front man, but he could deliver a solid vocal as he did on "Moonshine Man". This is one of those original 'B' sides that Mickie Most would let them have and by the way, Derek Leckenby was a pretty good player and Karl Green, Keith Hopwood, and Barry Whitwam were a decent rhythm section. 

International Submarine Band - One Day Week / Sum Up Broke (1966)
I've been waiting forever to post this one! This is one of those two siders where you can't decide which one is better, although One Day Week is my pick. The International Submarine Band was formed in Cambridge, Mass. by Graham Parsons and John Neuse in 1965. I'm not going to go through a detailed history of the band, because they were mainly a "Country Rock" band, but I ain't hearin' much country here, tell you what. I mean, dang! These boys are just playin good ol' Rock 'N Roll! It's interesting that these guys, at least this particular 45, reminds me of the Remains (from Boston) somewhat, with the same instrumentation, guitar, bass, drums, and electric piano. Also interesting is that the Remains would cover one of their later songs from 1968, "Luxury Liner". Did these guys know each other in the sixties perhaps when they were hangin' around Boston and Cambridge??????? Inquiring minds want to know.

Evil 'I' - Can't Live Without You / Love Conquers All (1966)
Lately I've found myself buying repros of killer garage 45's. In this case I would call it a re-issue because it was originally released on the Bridge Society label. That being said, kudos to whoever it was that re-issued this wild psychedelic gem in 1996. Both sides are fuzz drenched insanity although "Love Conquers All" sounds a bit like The Doors. Not that that's a bad thing.  I understand that this was a very limited pressing of 300 copies, so I guess it makes it kinda rare.

Racket Squad - Suburban Life (1968)
The Racket Squad were originally known as The Fenways, kind of a frat-rock band that had several 45's on Co & Ce, Roulette, and some other labels. They supposedly backed up The Vogues on "Five O'Clock World", but I can't confirm that. They would eventually change their name to "The Racket Squad", record a couple of LP's on Jubilee and release nine 45's before calling it quits. I like these guys but I can't put a finger on what they do because their style varied wildly from song to song. This one is a nice funky soul/psych number with some great fuzzy guitar and heavy a B-3 organ break. 

The Village - Help Your Brother / A Passing Thought (19??)
Now we're getting deep into the weeds. Another one of those, "I'll take a stab at it" 45's, this gets into some of what most record collectors these days call "Outsider" music. To me it sounds like a bunch of hippie folkies and all the hippie platitudes that go with it, but with just a touch of ineptness that makes it charming. 

Motions - I Want You, I Need You / Suzie Baby (1967)
The Motions were possibly one of the most popular bands to come out of The Netherlands. They started out as a beat group, but as the decade progressed, they started venturing into pop sounds and some blue eyed soul sounds, as we hear on this 45. Guitarist Robbie van Leeuwen would later on form Shocking Blue and have a huge international hit with "Venus".

Precious Treasure - Penny Bright / Cinnamon Taxi (196?)
Here's a little "twee" pop from a girl group, probably a bunch of suburban teens from Massachusetts, with a "killer" sunshine pop two sider. I have no idea who these teen gals were, but this is a fun 45 to spin. Definitely an acquired taste.

Alfred E. Neuman - It's A Gas (1966)
I had to do it. 
This has been floating around in by box for over ten years, just begging to be ripped, and posted on this blog. I have very fond memories of this particular "record". When I was a young lad of five or six, I lived in a neighborhood where EVERYONE knew each other. My oldest brother Vince, or "Vinny" as everyone would call him, was about seven years older and at the time was really getting into music. So were a lot of our neighbors at the time, including Jimmy Gattalerro, A/K/A "Guts", who was really into James Brown, but also bought every issue of Mad magazine, especially the issue that included this cardboard 45. I remember everyone flocking to his house just to hear Alfred E. Neuman "vocalize" while we busted a gut laughing at this. Those were good times. 
King Curtis was responsible for the wild Tenor Sax solo on this cut, and the rest of the band is pretty solid as well. I don't mean to offend anyone here, we all know this record is really juvenile, but we can still laugh at stuff like this...can we???
I think so.