Sunday, January 22, 2012

In Dan’s garage…#70

    Hello friends!!! As you can see, I got busy this weekend and got to that extra post I promised. Besides, I had quite a bit of down time so spinning 45s takes up slack and believe me….it’s very therapeutic. I also said that I would get to the story of “Fat Chuck”, a guy I mentioned in my last post. Some of you may have noticed that a good bit of my collection have dates stamped on the labels and the radio call letters WSAY (I’ll get to THAT story in the next post). Well, as fate would have it WSAY went out of business sometime in late 1979 I believe, and this guy (Fat Chuck) buys the ENTIRE radio station library. I never knew Chuck’s last name, we just called him “Fat Chuck”. He was a big, fat, rather unkempt guy, and was what I refer to as a “pack rat”. You know, he’d buy anything and sell it. He also had a really nasty personality and was rather grumpy most of the time, especially if you were trying to haggle with him. He was actually kind of like “The Soup Nazi” on Seinfeld. If you got on his bad side, he wouldn’t sell you anything.
   In the early 80s he was just a rumor until I finally found out where he had his “business” which was in a warehouse on E. Main and Goodman Streets here just outside of downtown Rochester. I first went to visit him because I was told he had a Farfisa Compact organ for sale and The Projectiles desperately needed a replacement at the time. So I pull up to his “store” (actually just the front door to his space) and there he was, standing there eating a candy bar. I inquired about the organ and he took me to a room in the back where it was and he plugged it in, and it worked . I asked him “how much” and he said “fifty bucks”. I asked if he would go any cheaper and he almost blew his stack, but fortunately I managed calm him down. I needed to get on his good side. So I hand him the cash and I say…”I hear you sell records here too”. He says…”oh yeah, I got a bunch in the back and more “upstairs”. So I asked him if I could have a look and he obliged.
   Holy shit. There it was. Most collectors today would consider this “THE MOTHERLODE”. Boxes, and boxes, and boxes, of 45s from the 50’s through the 70’s, most sorted by label. Some boxes had two copies of each 45. This was going to be fun to say the least. A box on the Date label yielded a couple of copies of “’Twas Brillig’s” “Dirty Old Man/This Weeks Children”. The Liberty box had both Unrelated Segments 45s. One day I came across a box of stuff on Hickory and got The Sparkles’ “Hipsville 29 B.C., No Friend Of Mine”, and Roy. Jr.’s “Victim Of Circumstances” That was a banner day for me. He would also troll around garage sales and find stuff too. One day I went in there, spent an hour or two and plucked a good dozen 45s, but before I paid him he says to me..”I just got a bunch of new stuff here, you wanna check it out?” I was in a real hurry but I said OK and he shows me a copy of The Heard’s “Stop It Baby”, and The Jury’s “Who Dat” which I promptly bought. I say to him “I gotta get out of here”, and he says to me…”but I got more”. As fate would have it, “more” turned out to be a copy of Byron & The Mortals’” “Do You Believe"Me”. What a moron! I was in a rush because I had to get my freakin’ HAIR CUT!!!! So what happens? My pal Chuck C.(no relation) shows up about a half hour later (we would do many record shows together and were collecting buddies) and scores the Byron 45. Oh well, at least I scored The Heard 45. I passed up TONS of cool 45s over that time, simply because I had a limited amount of cash and I had to take home the best ones I could find. I’d stash records in places so I would remember where they were the next time I’d go back, and sifting through boxes was a real chore because there was no real organization. It was never an easy task, but I can say one thing…all this stuff was very affordable and would be considered steals by today’s standards so the time spent was worth it.
    Fat Chuck had to give up the warehouse as rent was too high. Eventually he moved and rented out one of these storage spaces in nearby suburbia, and we had to call him on the phone and set up an appointment to go visit and pluck through records that were stacked sky high in this place. That was real difficult in the winter so we could only buy from April till maybe October. He would also show up at record shows and I heard he visited flea markets as well. Well, all good things eventually have to end, and of course the well ran dry and now Fat Chuck has a space at a local flea market here downtown, not to far away from the old warehouse but it’s slim pickin’s these days. I will, in a future post, relate as much as I can about radio station WSAY, which was Rochester’s own WKRP.
    Record collecting is still fun, but those days of coming across huge amounts of cool 45s for cheap are long gone. I still go to record shows and sift through boxes of records but great 45s at reasonable prices are few and far between. In this day and age of Ebay and the internet, it’s very easy for sellers to see what some guy on the other side of this earth will pay for something, and I must say, some of it is quite out of hand, but that’s a discussion for another day. For now, let’s just enjoy this latest offering and be glad that were all around to savor it. Bon appetit!
Time Stoppers – I Need Love (1967)time stoppers
Originally done by The Mad Hatters from the D.C. area, this rather unknown group from Pittsburgh released this remake in 1967. Apparently this was the last 45 on the HBR label.
Juveniles – I’ve Searched (1966)juveniles jerden
Tough sounding garage number from a band that originally came from Oklahoma, but relocated to the Pacific NW. Sorry about the skip midway through the song……
Juveniles – I Know / I Don’t Wanna Know (196?)juveniles rickarby
Another bunch of Juveniles, but these guys are from the Mobile, AL area. Aside from that tidbit of info, I know absolutely nothing about this blue eyed soul 45.
Pageboys – When I Meet A Girl Like You / I Have Love (1965)pageboys
Not sure of this band’s origin either, but they’re rumored to be from “the NYC area”. Great British sounding stuff.
Craig & Michael – That Kind Of Girl / Drifty (1966)craig & michael
A duo from California doing some great folk rock. Sorry, I have no leads on this one either…..
Robin Hoods – Wait For The Dawn / Love You So (1965)robin hoods
Excellent invasion sounds from a Chicago area group.
Twilights – Take What I Got / She’s There (1965)twilights
More British sounding stuff, this time from Miami, FL. Brothers Bill & Fred Moss would later go on to join the Clefs Of Lavender Hill.
Peter’s Pipers – Airplane / I Didn’t Believe Her (1968)peter's pipers
These guys from Pittsburgh won a national battle of the bands to get this rather interesting 45 released. I say “interesting” because I have a hard time figuring this one out. Airplane starts out with a cool intro that has some great fuzz, but the chorus gets into pure sunshiny pop territory with flourishes of harp, and I don’t mean a harmonica. Overall, it’s a great 45 if not a tad bit schizophrenic. Guitarist Pete Hewlett would have a long successful career backing up the likes of Carly Simon, Billy Joel, and a few other “stars”.
Law Firm – I Love You More / Time (1965)law firm
I don’t know anything about this group, maybe they’re a studio project? I do love this song though because it has some of the most clever lyrics in it like…I love you “more than a singer loves adulation”, “more than a Swiss clock loves the hours”, but the best line is “I love you more than Liz loves Dick”!!!!!!!!!! Wow, where are these geniuses today?????
Liverpool Five – If You Gotta Go, Go Now / Too Far Out (1966)if you gotta go liv5
One of my all time favorite 60’s groups. It’s tough to pigeonhole these guys as a garage band because they were so proficient in every style that they played, as well as having stellar production on almost all their records. Here they take on a Bob Dylan favorite and do a stellar job IMHO.
Mouse – A Public Execution / All For You (1966)mouse
As long as we’re on the subject of Dylan, here’s Mouse & The Traps’ classic attempt at mimicking ol’ Bobby himself.
Rain – Love Me And Be Glad / Little Boy Blue (1967)therain webb
A group out of Osage City, KS that released this one 45 around 1967. Great light psyche with nice organ throughout.
Mind’s Eye – Tell Me Your Sign / Mystic Woman (1969)mind's eye
I’m not sure if this bubblegummy single is by the same Mind’s Eye from Texas that recorded the great “Help I’m Lost”.
Vandells – Hunters Fox / American Eagle (1969)vandells
The Vandells were from the Bay Area and released this 45 in 1969 during the height of the Grateful Dead and Jefferson Airplane’s popularity around the area. Obviously these guys didn’t quite fit in with that crowd and were subsequently made fun of because they weren’t “cool”. I think these guys are great and I’m glad they stuck to their guns. “Hunter’s Fox” is pure garage with Farfisa Organ and fuzz guitar throughout while the other side is a “protest” song of sorts and features some horns by what was to become the “Tower Of Power”. As you can see this 45 was graciously autographed by the entire band! Gary Raffanelli tells the Vandells story in brief HERE.
Kynd – Mr. America / Clouds (1969)kynd
Great psyche two sider from an obscure New Jersey band.
Collectors – Early Morning (1969)collectors2
Vancouver group who were originally known as The Canadian Classics. They released the fantastic “Make It Easy” in 1968 and released the LP “Wild Grass And Strawberries” the same year.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

In Dan’s Garage…#69

    Good morning and good day friends!!!! I called in sick to work this morning because I’m feeling a bit under the weather and we all need a couple of what I like to call “mental health days” once and a while. So I figured as long as I’m home resting, I’ll get this blog post completed today and maybe, just maybe, I’ll get a two-fer in before the weekend is out!!!!!
   Here at Dan’s Garage central we really strive to bring you what I consider some of the best sounds of the garage and psychedelic era, but as we all know, most of these cool sounds were created by acts who weren’t exactly household names, thus, we have to rely on second, third, or fourth hand information as well as what turn out to be unfounded rumors and dubious quotes from ex-band members or their friends or family. Then they get printed in books that are written by so called “experts” that are basically just doing what I do. Things can get quite muddled at times. Since I admittedly “skim the surface” of a particular band’s history, I don’t give in-depth descriptions but rather make comment on a songs style or delivery, or provide an interesting anecdote. Unfortunately, even those anecdotes can be erroneous, but when I get what I consider a rock solid story on a certain group, I’ll almost always provide a link to the website where I obtained the initial info, and then let you get the story from the REAL experts, who incidentally are also you, the good readers of this blog. Lastly, I want to thank everyone out there for letting me be part of your day in one way or another. Thank You.
Buddies – The Beatle / Pulsebeat (1964)buddies
I’m not sure who these guys were, but neither side of this 45 sound like the Fab 4. “The Beatle” is actually a frantic Bo Diddley style pounder while the flip is a way cool surf instro that has a definite “Pipeline” feel to it.
Walt & The Satans – Maybe One Day / Bargain With Love (1965)walt and satans
Trying to get an exact date on this rocker from Newfoundland has been a bit tough. One source says 1961, while another says 1965. In any case, it’s a great hybrid of rockabilly and beat styles.
Kenny Shane – Earth Shakin’ Baby / Run To Me (1965)kenny shane
Another one that was hard to get any concrete info on. This is a great beat/rocker on both sides. Kenny also had another 45 on Brent released simply as “Shane”.
Minets – Secret Of Love / Together (1964)minets
An interesting 45 from a group of guys from Britain who ended up in Boston during the British Invasion and released this great 45. They had at least one other on DCP Records as “The Minets Of England”.
Tidal Waves – Farmer John / She Left Me All Alone (1965)tidalwaves
Legendary group from Detroit and one of the definitive versions of this song. The flip side is a fantastic, moody garage ballad. Guitarist Bill Long would later be in Ellie Pop, another great group from Detroit. For more in depth info check out Bill Long’s website HERE.
Uniques – Fast Way Of Living (1965)uniques3
Great southern garage/R&B from Joe Stampley & Co.
Turtles – Almost There (1965)turtles
So I’m going through a box of 45s preparing for this particular post and I came across this one, the flip of “It Ain’t Me Babe” and I just couldn’t resist. This amazing flip side is probably their finest moment…from a “garage/punk” point of view…..
Gil Bateman – Wicked Love / Goodnight Irene (1965)gilbateman
Terrific two sider from the Pacific NW.
Knaves – The Girl I Threw Away / Leave Me Alone (1966)knaves
OOOOOOHHHHH!!!!!!! One of the all time great two siders in the history of garage/punk/psych/whatever. “The Girl…” epitomizes the”moody folk/garage ballad”, whilst “Leave Me Alone” rivals the snottiest of snotty punk rockers. A true classic in every sense of the word.
Truths – Why / Pending (1966)truths
Top notch moody folk/punk from a  very obscure group.
Matthew Moore Plus Four – Codyne / You’ve Never Loved Before (1965)matt moore  4
I’m not exactly sure where Matthew Moore is from, but this version of Buffy Sainte-Marie”s “Codyne” is undoubtedly the best.
Missing Links – When I See My Baby / I Told You I Loved You (1966)missinglinks
One of at least five Missing Links trolling around the garage/punk universe, these guys were from the Long Island/NYC area and recorded this one twice. This is the second version, but they’re both real good in my opinion.
Mood – In The Amber Fields / Erica (1967)mood
Very obscure 45. Both sides are ambient and moody. (Are we sensing a theme here?)
Short Kuts – Born On The Bayou (1969)short kuts
Decent cover of CCR’s hit with some gargantuan fuzz riffs mixed in…..
Von Ruden – Spider And The Fly / Judy (1970)von ruden
I remember first hearing this one on Pebbles back in ‘84 and thinking “what a cool sixties garage 45 this is!” With all that cool fuzz, and the lo-fi vibe to it. I was amazed when I plucked this one out of one of “Fat Chuck’s” boxes (I’ll get to this guy’s story some other time) to find not one, but two copies of this gem, and then discovering that it was from 1970! The flip side “Judy” was released on the same label as “Bobby Trend”. Both sides are real ambient, spaced out psychedelic winners.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

In Dan’s Garage…#68

   WOWIE ZOWIE!!!! Hello friends and followers! I hope everyone out there has had a wonderful holiday and I hope the New Year is going well for for all…so far. I had a very nice nice one myself and although the snow is surprisingly scarce up here in Western NY this year, I welcome the unusually balmy weather with open arms. My New Years was a gas as usual as we did it in style with our good friends Roxanne & Tim. Tim is an avid record collector himself and is fond of those late 50’s and early 60’s “teen” rockers, so we spent part of the night spinning some vinyl and afterwards, feasted on lobsters and steaks. Definitely yummy.
      One of our New Years Eve rituals is to watch poor old Dick Clark muddle through the dropping of the ball at Times Square on TV. I really respect the guy for still hanging in there, even though he dished out a lot of crappy music over the years, but he did feature the 13th Floor Elevators on “Where The Action Is” back in the day, but even though he’s “half the man” that he used to be, I’ll cut him some slack. I almost threw up my surf & turf when I had to sit through Lady Gaga and her puke inducing routine just before midnight. Oh God, is there anyone out there that’s worse????? If there is let me know. Did anyone see her afterward??? She was wearing this gigantic mask that must've weight about 15 pounds, and you could see her poor head trembling from the weight of it. I think I saw Justin Bieber too. He looked real pretty as usual, and hey..check out Carlos Santana! Talk about a total ass kissing sell out. He knows he can’t make any real dough playing one note for an hour, so he pals around with the likes of “Pitbull”, a real “artist”. Jenny McCarthy looked like total shit too, but my sister and brother-in-law thought she was looking great. Oh well….what the hell do I know?
   So the ball drops and we drink champagne and watch everyone slobber over themselves on TV, and I kiss my lovely wife who’s just about had it for the evening, and then we sit through another half hour of puke inducing acts on TV, just so we can make fun of them. Where the hell is Guy Lombardo when you need him????????
  But seriously folks, I love the holidays. I just wish they would start pushing them on you a little later, and let the festivities hang around a little longer. I swear, they start pushing shit right after Labor Day (that’s the first week in September for anyone who is not familiar), and shove it down your throat right up till Christmas Eve. By the time New Years Day rolls around, you’ve had it. They literally shut it down the day afterward. For me it’s not the glitz and bullshit that gets me, but the festive atmosphere, and the longer we can let it linger, the happier we all will be.
   So here we are in 2012. Posts have been a bit scarce this past year, mainly because of busy schedules, family tragedies, a bit of vacation/holiday, and home improvement projects. Oh yes, the NFL football season has kept me occupied most Sundays this fall/winter season as I vowed to watch every single game my beloved New York Giants were playing in this year. So far they’re still in the running for the Super Bowl. GO GIANTS!!!!! But in between I’ve managed to get some music in too, and I’ve finally got #68 under my belt. I can't believe I’ve done so many of these!!!! At the onset of this blog I thought I’d get at the most 50 posts, but about two years later, I’ve managed to go well beyond that. We also have had over 200,000 hits on this blog , and if anyone has scoped out the little Feedjit app on the right of this blog, you’ll see they’re coming in from all over the world! Thanks to all of You!!!!! Last but not least, PLEASE, I BEG OF YOU, I IMPLORE YOU, CHECK OUT MY BLOG ARCHIVE!!!!! What you’ll discover are some of the coolest sounds and the most interesting reading on this wonderful planet of ours. Really! I mean it! They are totally cool!
   So here is the latest, and the first edition for 2012….”In Dan’s Garage…#68”. You know what they say….”better late than never”…..
Deacons – The Baldie Stomp / The Baldie Beat (1964)deacons
Superb frat from Minneapolis. I guess these guys weren't “bald”, but were singing about a local gang from their hometown.
Blue Echoes – How Do I Tell Her / Rosanna (1964)blue echoes
An obscure group from Worchester, MA who had a regional hit with the instrumental two sider “Blue Bell Bounce/Tiger Talk” which would later be released on Swan records the day that JFK was assassinated. No rock & roll was played for weeks afterward so the 45 pretty much went nowhere and so did the Blue Echoes. Very unfortunate……
John Fred (With The Playboys) – How Can I Prove / Wrong To Me (1965)johnfred2
Ya know something???? John Fred ain’t half bad when he’s pretending to be like a British Invasion band or something, as we see on this really cool 45 from 1965.
Rick & The Legends – I Wonder Why / Love Me Like You Know I Care (1965)rick and the legends
Teen / Garage sounds from Ohio. Pretty good too……..
Windsors – Fingers & Thumbs / Keep Away (1965)windsors
I can’t find a damn thing about this group, but what little I have come up with tells me they’re either British or Canadian…….
Boogers – Nitetime People / Should You Be Surprised (1967)boogers
Let me tell you all that I really get a kick out of bands with weird names, and in the 60s, there were tons of ‘em. You know…the typical Jefferson Airplane clones like “Hamilton Streetcar” and the food names like Chocolate Watchband, Strawberry Alarm Clock, Butterscotch Caboose, Peppermint Trolley Co…..well you get the picture. Then you got real whacked out ones like “The Cruds”, and one of the all time greats “The Electric Toilet”. But I was unprepared for this one when I saw it on Ebay. “THE BOOGERS”!!!!!!! HOLY CRAP! You truly have to have a major pair of balls to go out there with a name like that and expect to get gigs in the pre-punk rock era. So I bid on this without even trying to find out what it sounded like (although I already had it on an obscure comp buried somewhere on my hard drive) and was pleasantly surprised when I got it in the mail. Good mid-tempo garage with a nice Wurlitzer Electric Piano ringing throughout.
Stacy’s 5th – My Lovin’ Baby / This Thing (1966)stacys 5th
Wild and crude pounder from Massachusetts. One of my all time favorites!
“Yes It Is” – Walkin’ The Dog / Little Boy (1966)yesitis
A group from Duluth , MN who had at least one other 45. Great version of “Walkin’ The Dog” backed by a really cool moody folk rocker.
Slade Brothers – What A Crazy Life / For A Rainy Day (1966)slade brothers
Let’s switch gears and take a right hand turn with this real nice slice of 60’s pop done by an obscure and lesser known British duo.
Clockwork Orange – Help Me / Sweet Little Innocent Lorraine (1967)clockwork orange
Way cool two sider that features this NYC group going in two very different directions. “Help Me” is a fuzzy psych number while “Lorraine” is a great psych/pop tune. One of at least three “Clockwork Orange” named bands paying homage to Anthony Burgess’ novel a good three years before the film came out.
Dalton, James, & Sutton – One Time Around / Run Baby (1967)dalton, sutton, james
Oh so fantastic Byrds/Gene Clark cloning here, I really can’t describe it in words, you just have to hear it. This song is the best example of “country/folk/rock” I’ve ever heard and the B side is pretty good too! I’m not certain of the date, but I’ve seen 1967 and I’ve also seen it listed as late as1970.
Easybeats – Do You Have A Soul / Who’ll Be The One (1967)easybeats2
”Friday On My Mind” was probably their biggest hit ever, and it’s no coincidence that genius Shel Talmy produced this brilliant two sider along with “Sorry”, “Remember Sam” and several other greats from 1966/67.. 
Godz – Wiffenpoof Song / Travel’n Salesman (1967)godz
Yeah! Here we have for your listening pleasure, The Godz from New York City, and let me just say that along with their label mates “The Fugs”, were definitely one of the kookiest bands ever to come out of that great city as we hear on this strange, inept offering from 1967.
Crystal mansion – I Got Something For You (1969)crystal mansion
OK, let’s get back to earth with some fuzzy blue eyed soul that has a rather commercial twist to it……
Owl – Aunt Cate Is Dead / As The World Keeps Turning (1970)owl
Terrific pop/psyche by a band from Massachusetts who were once known as “Lazy Smoke”.