Sunday, September 16, 2012

In Dan’s Garage…#77

  Greetings music lovers! I hope summer was great for all (winter down under), and the upcoming fall brings much happiness and joy to you. I love the fall (or autumn whichever you prefer) because the air gets a little crisper outside and I don’t sweat quite as much. Things are settling down nicely here at Dan’s Garage central and I’m confident I’ve nailed down a winning formula for getting the records digitally transferred.
   This post is a sort of eclectic in that it includes a variety of styles from the early 60s to an early 70s bubblegum treat, and perhaps a little emphasis on “vocal group” sounds. I hope everyone enjoys this one!
Tico & The Triumphs – Motorcycle (1961)tico triumphs
Last edition featured The Crestones “She’s A Bad Motorcycle”, a wild, frantic garage number. Here we find Jerry Landis, better known as Paul Simon winging his way through a super cool doo-wopish bopper. He later became a writer of “meaningful folk songs”, teamed up with Art Garfunkel (again), and the rest is history.
Andy & The Live Wires – You’ve Done It Again / Maggie (1960)
andy live wires
Robert (aka Andy) Anderson was a guy from Omaha, Nebraska who fronted several groups including The Manhattans, who’s “Double Mirror Wraparound Shades” has been on my want list for a while. This one released in 1960 has a great Bo Diddley style beat to it, and the flip is a good instrumental.
Oncomers – You Let Me Down / Every Day Now (1964)oncomers
McKeesport, PA (just outside of Pittsburgh) was the home of this band. “You Let Me Down” is a real moody garage tune, while the flip has that Doo-wop feel so popular with groups in that area at the time.
Denims – Sad Girl / Everybody Let’s Dance (1965)DENIMS
New York City group famous for shilling “The Adler Sock” in ‘66. Top side is a ballad, while the B side is more rockin’ and sounds a lot like “Turn On Your Lovelight”.
Fenways – Satisfied / Love Me For Myself (1966)fenwaysIIIII
Another Pittsburgh group with a penchant for group (doo-wop) vocals. They backed up the Vogues on “Five O'clock World”, and eventually morphed into The Racket Squad.
Furys – I Walk Away / Gone In The Night (1966)furysII
A Boston area group who had this originally released on the local Fleetwood label. Two very moody low key ballads here…..
Jack Eely & The Courrtmen – Louie Louie ‘66 / David’s Mood (1966)jack eely courtmen
Wow. Where do I start with this one???? Well…as we all know, Jack Eely was the vocalist on what is arguably thee definitive “garage band” tune, Louie Louie. I recommend you all try to read Don Gallucci’s story of that song in Ugly Things Vol. 25. It’s a hoot. Here’s the “Readers Digest” version… Since the Kingsmen were really not a vocal group at the time, Jack got elected to “sing” Louie Louie which was one of the most popular songs in the Pacific NW at the time, and was pretty much in every band’s repertiore. Apparently the engineer thought he was lousy so he kept raising the mike above Jack’s head, and Jack compensated by stretching his neck up, hence the tortured vocal sound on the final recording. The record initially was a flop because it was considered inferior compared to versions by Paul Revere, The Wailers, et. al. Enter a Boston DJ who locks himself in the studio and plays the song for three hours straight and it goes gangbusters. The rest is history. Jack left The Kingsmen sometime between the initial release and the time it became a hit, but by then Lynn Easton had taken over as front man and poor ol’ Jack was on the outside looking in. He formed a group called the Squires and also had a cool Louie Louie rip-off on RCA Victor as “Jack E. Lee” titled “Love That Louie”. I’ll get to that one in a future post. In the meantime, dig this remake which features organ in place of the electric piano, and groove on the instrumental flip as well.
Munx – Girls, Girls,Girls / Our Dream (1968)munx
A Cleveland, OH area group who’s members included Henry “H-Bomb” Weck of Brownsville Station fame, and one of my favorite bands from the 70s. Nice poppy psyche.
Ventures – 2000 Pound Bee Part 2 (1966)ventures
I hadda throw this piece of total coolness in this mix. Probably their coolest (and only) “garage” tune ever.
English Setters – Wake Up / She’s In Love (1967)englishsetters
A Washington DC area group who had two terrific garage 45s on Glad Hamp before releasing this comparatively light pop single in 1967. Guitarist Punky Meadows would go on to play in 70s glam rock band “Angel”.
Kent & The Candidates – Trouble / Take Me By The Hand (1967)kent and candidates
Here’s a real interesting 45 from a soul/R&B group out of Kansas who were rumored to be Brenton Wood’s backing band. I almost never do the “Northern Soul” thing but this 45 deserves inclusion because of it’s sparse “garage” like instrumentation and delivery. Yeah, it’s got soul, but it’s also got a different, garagey feel to it. I think both sides are great.
Charaydes – Lonely Mixed Up Girl / I’ll Cry (1966)charaydes
Not sure where these guys are from, but somewhere near Nashville would probably be a decent guess given the fact they were produced by wacky novelty song guy Ray Stevens. A side is a cover of a Vogues song, but the B side is a dark, moody garage number.
Laughing Wind – John Works Hard / The Bells (1967)laughing wind
Michael Lloyd is a prolific songwriter and producer who’s output ranges from The West Coast Pop Art Experimental Band to the “Dirty Dancing” soundtrack, to stuff like The Cattanooga Cats. Obviously a pretty talented guy. But before he got famous, he was Kim Fowley’s protégé (of sorts) and released this  45 in collaboration with him.
Boston Tea Party – Don’t Leave Me Alone / Is It Love (1967)bostonteapartyIIII
Supposedly the same West Coast outfit that recorded “Words” on Challenge Records, and had an album on Flick Disk. I’m not so sure. This 45 doesn’t sound like either 45, In fact I’m pretty sure this 45 originates somewhere in the Midwest. In any case, both sides are pretty good despite the horns. Some decent guitar work too.
T.I.M.E. – What Would Life Be Without It / Tripping Into Sunshine (1968)t.i.m.e.
This group evolved from The Hardtimes, and included bassist Nick St. Nicholas from Sparrow and Steppenwolf fame. T.I.M.E. stood for “Trust In Men Everywhere”.
Genesis – Dubble Bubble (1971)GENESIS
Gotta throw in this little piece of bubblegum in the mix. Not sure who these guys were but probably some sort of New York City area studio group, and certainly not the pretentious progressive British rockers.
Chalklit Milk Revue – Forever Bliss (1968)chalklit milk
The B side of a dreadful pop ballad. This is definitely a studio concoction, and a good one at that. A great soul tinged instrumental.
Esko Affair – On Broadway (1969)esko affair
A heavy Vanilla Fudge-like take on the Drifters classic. Cool fuzzy guitar and few horns but all in all a good effort from this Philadelphia outfit.

Zombie Jamboree!

Monday, September 3, 2012

In Dan’s Garage…#76

Hoo boy! What a weekend. It started Thursday evening with a nice little acoustic gig I played with my dear friends Lisa and Steve, and then my lovely wife Red and I prepared for our annual “Labor Day Weekend Bash” which was held yesterday. Although I’m only slightly hung-over, it was worth all the work. I live in a neighborhood that’s somewhat isolated so all the neighbors know each other and boy do they like to party!!!! They came in droves and we ate, drank (drunk?), and danced well into the night. So after an entire afternoon and evening of Bacchanalia I figured while I was winding down and had a day off, I could work on this post and get it out today. It’s a good one too (IMHO) because I finally found the last box I was working on before the move and fished out the remaining records that weren’t posted and they’re all some of the best in my collection. Enough talk for now, let’s get into In Dan’s Garage #76!
Rumblers – Boss / I Don’t Need You No More (1962)rumblers2
The Rumblers are an important band, not because they released a bunch of very cool instrumentals, but because “I Don’t Need You No More” is the definitive “proto-garage/punk” song. It’s just full of teenage angst and that snotty vocal is superb.
Crestones – She’s A Bad Motorcycle (1963)cresstones
A Chicago group that had several 45s on Markie and one on USA. This is a rework of Tico & The Triumphs’ “Motorcycle” only a bit more wild and frantic.
Blazers – I Don’t Need You / Lovin’ To Do (1966)blazers
Excellent garage 45 with pounding drums and a spooky electric piano riff. From Kansas City, MO
Terry Knight & The Pack – Better Man Than I / Got Love (1966)terryknightandthepack
A better than average effort from the pre Grand Funk Railroad bunch.
Limeys – Dance Girl Dance (196?)limeys
The very obscure Limeys were supposedly from Liverpool, but I doubt it. I really couldn’t come up with much more info on these guys, but it’s possible they were from Canada. They had one more 45 on this label.
Cobras – If I Can’t Believer Her / I’m Hurtin’ (1966)
The sole release by a group from Santa Cruz, CA. This copy was won from a Goldmine auction by Dave Gibson who was famous for the Boulder compilation series and is probably the same record used on Volume 5. You can find more info on these guys HERE.
Ex-Cels – Like A Dream / Sorrow And Pain (1966)ex-cels
Another 45 that’s tough to put a finger on. Possibly from Gloversville, NY which is near Albany but that’s uncertain. A side is another good garage pounder and the B side is a dreary cover of the Unit 4+2’s “Sorrow And Pain”
Mad Hatters – I Need Love / Blowin’ In The Wind (1965)madhatters2
We last heard The Mad Hatters doing a cover of Lulu’s “I’ll Come Running” on IDG #71. Here they give us the original version of “I Need Love” which was later covered by The Time Stoppers on HBR Records (IDG #70).
Michael & The Messengers – Romeo And Juliet / Lifs (Don’t Mean Nothin’) (1967)michael & Messengers
A nice upbeat cover of the Reflections hit is the A side, but the B side is a great original with a real trippy break at the end. I guess the actual name of the B side song is “Lies (Don’t Mean Nothin’) but hey, that’s the way it’s spelled on the label.
Sunday Group – The Edge Of Nowhere / Pink Grapes (1965)
sunday group
An obscure 45 from California. The vocalist has got this real sort of monotone voice but uses it for great effect on this one. Another tune with pounding drums.
Easybeats – Heaven And Hell / Pretty Girl (1967)easy beats
A typically fantastic two sider from the best group to come out of Australia during the 60s.
Pebbles – Don’t Come Running To Me (1967)pebbles
Awesome garage/pop from the west coast that was produced by Brian Ross of Music Machine fame.
Hogs – Loose Lip Sync Ship / Blues Theme (1966)hogs
Supposedly The Chocolate Watchband in disguise, it’s been speculated that Frank Zappa was”The Phantom” and the one who did the “vocal” at the end but no one really knows for sure. It does sound a lot like him though…….
Race Marbles – Like A Dribbling Fram / Someday (1966)race marbles
Gary Ferrier was a DJ on Toronto’s CHUM-AM and played top 40 hits during the day. On the side he recorded novelty records so when Dylan started hitting it big he got this imaginary band together and recorded this spoof on the Bobster. Really funny shit right here with some moronic stream of consciousness lyrics going on the whole thing.
Inner Sanctum – Can’t Make It Without You / Times Are Getting Better (1967)inner sanctum
Great moody two sider by an unknown group from Virden, Ill. Cool organ throughout.
Pretty Things – Talkin About The Good Times / Walkin Through My Dreams (1968)pretty things2
The Pretties take a sharp left turn from their raw R&B style and run smack dab in the middle of some extremely cool psychedelic sounds.
Livin’ End – Your Kind Of Love / You Make Me Feel (1968)livin'end
This Fort Worth area group was first featured on IDG #5. his one’s a slightly earlier release, but is more of the same light psych.
Mind Garage – Tobacco Road / Jailhouse Rock (1969)mindgarage2
It’s tough to figure this Morgantown, WV group out. They initially release a very heavy cover of “Reach Out” the do an “Electric Liturgy” and become a prototypical Christian Rock group, and then this 45 comes along. A decent fuzzed out version of “Tobacco Road” with a similar take on Elvis’ “Jailhouse Rock” that clocks on at a mere 1:24. In 1969 no less. Go figure.