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.


  1. thanks dan another good one!!

  2. Your down time is our good fortune. Thanks!

  3. hello and thank you for your great posts. i enjoyed your story of Fat Chuck and record collecting very interesting. thanks again, Pablo

  4. I enjoy reading about your record collecting exploits.

  5. Enjoyed hearing about "Fat Chuck." It's been a very long time since I've stumbled across a "motherlode" like that one. It only happens in my dreams now...

  6. Thanks Dan, your comps are probably pound for pound the best on the web. Fat Chuck sounds like a real character. If he had held on to those records a little longer he would've really been rolling in the dough. Glad there's guys out there like you willing to share these in digital formet, otherwise most of us would probably never have the priveledge of hearing them.

    Take care and don't burn yourself out!

  7. I have a cracked copy of the Juveniles 45 that I got for free from a dealer in Atlanta. I used to have a group autographed copy of that Vandells 45. I traded it to a german record collector.

  8. Each time I come here I find some rare unknown stuff - many thanks for all your work.


  9. Hi Dan I've been digging your blog for a while now and it's about time I thanked you for all the great stuff you've put out - it's really outstanding. There is SO MUCH music out there! Hope you manage to keep doing your thing despite all this SOPA crap. Cheers Sid from London

  10. Thanks Dan - I have worked my way down to tagging Vol. 48 with all the 45 labels. Great music, thanks again.

    1. Cool! I have to post the label scans for #66 (The Pop Files) yet, but I'll get to 'em soon. Now if I could only remember which box I put them in...........

  11. Oh I knew Fat Chuck too and only managed to get into that lair at the Hungerford Building once (I later lived there myself on and off for a decade). I found SO many Warner-Reprise one off 45s that I wanted but didn't have the cash. I knew him from Play It Again Sam where I worked buying used records. Those WSAY 45s were floating iaround in several people's hands. I managed to get my hands on quite a few at the same time. I remember Fat Chuck was every bit as onery and repellent as you suggested. There is really no way to describe the shear AMOUNT of 45s he had there. I don't even remember any LPS because I was such a 45 promo hound, kind of like Kevin Patrick only less focused. I collected in and around Rochester for YEARS (I'd say 1971-1990 were my prime years) until I sold off the pile in 1993 out of panic for my living situation and fear that I would have a heart attack at 42 trying to move it one more time. I had moved well over 150,000 records FIVE times in EIGHT years and had no more friends willing to help me. The 30 years of Rock Magazines and 5000 books and 75 feet of Sheet Music probably didn't help either. The 45s are the ONLY thing I wish I hadn;t parted with. It's been an endless search to find the ones I could remember. Your mixes and those wonderful 200+ 'Lost Jukebox' collections (I have about 75 of those) satisfy my 'collecting' urge. Finding yours and similar collections is LIKE finding a Fat Chuck motherlode on a small scale. I'm at 400,000+ songs on 5 Hard Drives, looking at a sixth. Keep it up Dan. Hey, I'm sure we'll meet face-to-face at the NEW BOP SHOP when we least expect it, right? BTW, THEY bought my 45 collection and I know most of it's weirdness is still there because I've bought some of it back over the years. Happy hunting and thanks for the memories of Fat Chuck! (Want to discuss Ron Stein now? I didn't think so. He's down pillaging Southern Florida's old folks for all THEY'RE worth BTW)

  12. Dan,
    Thank you for such kind words and a great review! This is so cool of you! And for the the music you have provided, the images, the background on these groups! Priceless!
    Please enjoy my new album for 2012!


  13. Hello, Dan, thanks for all these comps! Could you please update some of your older links, such as #30 to about #45, which have expired links? I would like get these, and none of the sites work!

    1. Will do. I have a bit of updating to do since some of the more "popular" file sharing sites got nabbed.

  14. About The Law Firm: The Law firm was a group from England and they were very very talented. They recorded this song and three more for Imperial Records. The other three songs included, "Love Is Bad", "Girl From Liverpool" and "No Matter What I do". Tom Maher wrote most of their songs

  15. Thanks again for expanding my garage knowledge.
    Could you tell me who the group in the cover photo is?

    The last time I found a hole-in-the-wall used record dealer here was in the 70s -- tons and tons of former jukebox 45s for 10 cents apiece, and all organized in alphabetical order by group name.

  16. Whoever Anonymous is, they are incorrect about the Law Firm. They were not from England. They were a group out of Los Angeles which featured Michael Z. Gordon of the Routers and other Wrecking Crew musicians messing around in the studio.

  17. Hey there Dan,

    Those tons-of-45s-for-cheao places are still around! I live in Cincinnati, and a store I frequent is one of the least recognized in town - it gets no publicity at all and you wouldn't know it existed unless you walked by it. The owner of the shop has a basement FULL of vinyl. And by that, I mean 30 boxes of 45s, 200 in a box. That's just the basement! Of course, every single 45 is a dollar apiece. I've recognized quite a few finds on here as 45s that I got from that shop.