Hey, how's everyone doing on this fine Mothers Day?? Upstate New York weather is so freaky this time of year ya know? So they called for "chilly weather" this weekend. I had no idea it was actually going to snow. It's not that I was shoveling, and nothing really stuck, but the thought of snow in May is pretty repulsive, unless you're living up in Greenland, Alaska, or the Yukon or something... So I went to a record show last week, and came home with a few goodies which I'll post today. This one is really all over the place. We've got garage, folk rock, some real psyche goodies, and a bunch of "happy, sunny, flowery, pop" gems that I hope you'll enjoy too. I've been getting into that stuff as of late. Not exactly "garage band fare", you know what I mean??? Let me bore you with some tales of my younger days... You see, back when I was a fledgling musician in the 10th Ward here in Rochester, I was considered a misfit of sorts. Both my older brothers were musicians, and they definitely had far more sophisticated tastes in music than my neighborhood pals. Back in '75, everyone in my neighborhood was playing guitar. I wish there were more guys playing bass and drums but that's another story. Anyway, GUITAR ROCK RULED. I mean good guitar rock man. Not this Grand Funk bullshit. Nope. Led Zeppelin ruled, as well as Lynrd Skynrd, The Allman Brothers. R.E.O. Speedwagon was pretty big before they totally sold out. Ted Nugent was a biggie too. He just cranked! The Who, although not a band that lended itself to soloing was big, and we were also into some other acts that were under the radar like Savoy Brown, early Foghat and Z.Z. Top, Wishbone Ash, and Rory Gallagher, who was and is still one of my favorites. But as the 70's rolled on, I found myself discovering other, shall we say..."alternative sounds". I remember going to a concert with my pals in '78. It was Foghat and the opening act was Cheap Trick who had just come out with "Heaven Tonight". I told my friends "you gotta check out this Cheap Trick band, they're fucking great!!!! So here they come, Robin Zander and Tom Petersson looking great as usual, and Rick Nielsen as goofy as ever, and Bun E. Carlos with the trademark tie and vest and cigarette in mouth. They did "Hello There", "I Want You To Want Me", and most of Heaven Tonight, and then Bun E. did this kooky drum solo with these gigantic drum sticks. I was blown away. My pals on the other hand weren't so impressed. They thought they flat out sucked. What a bunch of myopians. I also discovered punk very early on through some guys in high school who weren't from my neck of the woods. The Ramones were the first obviously, and then I saw a special on some late night show that did a thing about punk in Britain, and I said "wow, that's intense!". I think they did a profile on the Damned, so I went out and found their first LP in the import bin at "Record Theatre". Then I got turned on to Iggy's "Raw Power" and a bunch of other stuff that was cropping up in the late 70's. Of course I dabbled with everything at that time. I really got into Jazz and Blues for a couple of years, and even went through a hippie phase, but being brought up on 60's invasion sounds, I found myself gravitating towards that again. It all seemed so fresh sounding compared to post punk new wave sounds and the whole 1983 MTV thing. Ummmmm.....What was I talking about???? Oh yeah, it's about songs you see. There are a lot of people out there who are garage fanatics who actually parallel my old neighborhood buddies. "Well... if it aint got fuzz, it must suck", or the whole "It's gotta sound like Green Fuz or it's shit" mentality. Yeah, I get it. I love The Green Fuz, and The Worlocks, and The Keggs, and all those real hardcore garage bands, but good songs are good songs, and there's so much to be treasured out there, that I can't see myself being a myopian. Especially since I used to be one of those aforementioned guys. Okay, got that off my chest today. Enough jibber jabber already! Here's....In Dan's Garage...#32!!!!!
Bossmen - Baby Boy / You And I (1966)
Let's kick off with a good one from Flint, MI. Dick Wagner ia a prolific guitarist, songwriter, producer, session man, who's resume includes Lou Reed, Alice Cooper, Kiss, Aerosmith, and countless others. This one I believe is the second Bossmen 45, and includes a pre Grand Funk Mark Farner on the A side, as well as being produced by Terry Knight.
Sandmen - You Can't Judge A Book By Looking At The Cover / I Can Tell (1966)
Wow. This Minneapolis group must have really had a thing for Bo Diddley because they not only covered one, but both sides of one of his greatest 45s.
Floyd & Jerry with The Counterpoints - Believe In Things / Girl (1966)
We heard Floyd and Jerry do "Summer Kisses" in #20 of our series doing a real teenybopper type thing. This, their first, is a great poppy folk rocker and real different from the previous one we heard. From Phoenix, AZ.
Hard Times - They Said No / Sad, Sad, Sunshine (1967)
Why this band never made it real big is a mystery to me. The A side of this 45 is near perfect pop, and should have been a hit. The Hardtimes were originally from San Diego, and made numerous appearances on "Where The Action Is".
Night Crawlers - You Say / Night Crawlin' (1966)
Talk about fabulous folk rockers, this one is it! This here is a terrific 45 from a group of Minnesota guys, who are actually still together. I love this one!
Lords Of T.O.N.K. - Miniver Cheevy / The White Knight (1968)
I'm not exactly sure where this mystery group is from. In fact, aside from the Jamie discography which put it's release at 1968, nothing is known about this bunch. Apparently they seemed to be into medieval subject matter singing about knights and what not. Actually, this is an E.A. Robinson poem set to a teen garage combo backing. Nevertheless, this is a way cool garage/psyche 45 with some edgy fuzz thrown in.
Denims - The Ghost In Your House Is Me / I Do Love You (1966)
There's been some debate as to whether this is the same Denims that had records on Columbia, and did "The Adler Sock" (IDG#2). One thing I do know. This is the same group that did "White Ship" from Pebbles Vol. 7, and they were reportedly from Elmira, NY, but I'm having trouble confirming that.
Parade - Sunshine Girl (1967)
The epitome of sunshiny, poppy, sunshine pop tunes. This one actually charted in the summer of '67, and pretty much sums up the genre we all know as "Sunshine Pop". Slick production, perfect vocal harmonies, and that ever so optimistic outlook on things. They don't make 'em like this anymore....
Sunshine Company - Look, Here Comes The Sun / It's Sunday (1967)
Care for another dose???? This one's just as bright as the Parade's 45! More beautiful harmonies and impeccable production.
Swampseeds - Can I Carry Your Baloon (1967)
In northern New Jersey they were taking Vanilla Fudge styled blue eyed soul groups and converting them to East Coast versions of sunshine pop groups. Clearly there is a huge difference in the approach these guys take to the pop/psyche thing. This is much more boisterous that their west coast counterparts.
Herd - I Don't Want Our Loving To Die / Our Fairy Tale (1968)
Britain was not immune to poppy psyche sounds either as we all know. This one comes to us courtesy of a very young Peter Frampton about a year before he struck big with Humble Pie (another one of those "under the radar" bands that we used to love!). I really dig the Hammond organ on these tracks.
Timothy Clover - Great World Next Door / Trolley Car Line (1968)
Another great pop/psyche 45 from a bunch of Boston studio guys who also produced Teddy & The Pandas on Tower. Timothy Clover is not an actual guy, but just the name of this amalgam of musicians.
Beacon Street Union - South End Incident (1968)
As Long as we're in Boston, let's check out this magnificent, tense psyche number from The Beacon Street Union!
Wellington Arrangement - Love / The World Needs Our Love (1970)
The last of four 45s by this Philadelphia group. "Love" is really fantastic, and is quite out of place in 1970, a time when "progressive" and "heavy" rock bands were taking hold. A real gem.
Goliath - If Johnny Comes Marching Home / Yesterday's Children (1969)
Here's a real somber 45 from another Vanilla Fudge style group. Real heavy organ, and the guy sounds like a cross between David Clayton-Thomas and Graham Bond.
C.P.&W. (Cashman, Pistilli, & West) - Automatic Pilot / Midnight Man (1970)
You're all thinking I'm crazy for posting this. I know it's a straight up pop tune, but after wondering if Johnny was ever gonna come home, I had to have something to cheer us all up. And why not??? I really like this one!!! CP&W released an album of great psyche/pop in 1967 and this was possibly their last 45. Produced by Wes Farrell, the guy who gave us such diverse songs and acts such as "Hang On Sloopy", "The Beacon Street Union", and yes "The Partridge Family"
Get it HERE