Saturday, April 20, 2013

In Dan’s Garage…#86

86 front
Hi Y’all! With all the super duper crazy shit that’s been going on here in  the good ol’ USA these days, I thought it would be a nice change of pace to offer up some good “wholesome” entertainment for you. So please, turn off the evening news for a while and indulge in some cool sounds from the 60s and 70s. You deserve it.

Blue Beats – Born In Chicago / I Can’t Get Close (To Her At All) (1966)
We heard these guys in the last edition of IDG doing a nice garage/pop 2 sider. They stick to the same formula on the B side of this follow up, but try their hand at some gritty Yardbirds style blues on the top. The A side was written by Nick Gravenites who’s work was extensively covered by the likes of Janis Joplin, Mike Bloomfield, Quicksilver Messenger Service, The Electric Flag, and The Paul Butterfield Blues Band who most famously covered “Born In Chicago”.

Saints – Out In The Street / Please Don’t Leave Me (1966)
Not to be confused with the Aussie punk legends, these guys were (or at least the label was) from suburban Chicago. Absolutely nothing is known about this band except for the location and the fact that they attempted a Who cover. The flip is a nice Invasion styled ballad which is somewhat crude and inept as well. In other words, a GREAT 45!

Tears – Weatherman / Read All About It (1966)
A fantastic Bay Area group that released one other 45 in 1968, but this one here is a standout, featuring way cool fuzz guitars and terrific vocals.

Agents – Gotta Help Me / Calling An Angel (1965)
A West Coast group that sounds like they cashed in on the Byrds hype at the time by aping “Mr. Tambourine Man”, turning it sideways a bit, and changing the subject matter to girls (naturally). Genius.

Beaten Path – Doctor Stone / Never Never (1966)
beaten path
I’m not exactly sure if this is the same group from Reading, PA that delivered the awesome “Original Nothing People”, or if they are from Brooklyn, NY as some people claim, but either way this is an excellent version of the Leaves’ song. The label says that this was featured in the Warner Bros, film “The Cool Ones” (which I’ve yet to see by the way…) but The Leaves were the band that actually were featured in the flick, so it’s kind of like some “false advertising” if you will. In any case, I consider this to be the “superior” version. Only because I’ve heard it a gazillion times and it’s pretty much etched into my brain…..

Fantasmics – Wild One / Heaven Or Hell (1966)
A group from Manchester, NH that melded some Sir Douglas vibe with Bo Diddley. Nice combo.

Uptowners – She’s Mine / Down The Pike (196?)
Another take on “Willie & The Hand Jive”, this one from Fort Worth, TX. The flip is an early 60s style sax driven instro.

Liverpool Five – Cloudy / She’s (Got Plenty Of Love) (1967)
We all know the story on these guys. Here’s another example of how they could take a song and truly make it their own. “Cloudy” is schmaltz but you gotta admire the way they tackle it and turn it into something cool, and I do like Paul Simon and think this is one of his better songs. “She’s Got Plenty Of Love” was a song from The Peeps and they slow it down and turn it into a moody classic. Genius.

Harrison – Rejected Me / There’s Time (196?)
Another mystery group, this time from Minneapolis, MN. Not sure of the date either. It could possibly be from as late as 1970 but who knows for sure????? Excellent brooding garage with a prominent organ.

Act Of Creation – I’ve Just Seen You / Yesterday Noontime (1967)
act of creation
Holy Cats!!!!! Talk about sheer psychedelic GENIUS!!!!!!! This 45 is among the best in my humble opinion (as far as psychedelic songs go) because it embodies everything great about what is “psych”. Fuzz guitar, a dreamy double tracked harmonized vocal, some weird percussion in the background. Ahhhhh…perfect. Especially the bridge and it’s exit. Everything about this 45 is FANTASTIC! Why these guys didn't get any fame is beyond me.

Trend – Shot On Sight / Boyfriends And Girlfriends (1966)
I’m not exactly sure of this group's history, but from what I gather, it’s an early effort of Mike Giles who at the time was in the “Trendsetters Limited” and eventually would go on to form “Giles,Giles & Fripp”, one of the great British psych bands that ended up as King Crimson.

Living Daylights – Live For Today / I’m Real (1967)
living daylights
There’s an interesting story with the famous song that is on the A side of this 45. Although it’s most associated with The Grass Roots, who did an excellent version of it, it originally was written and recorded by The Rokes (I’ll get to that one in the future) with Italian lyrics entitled “Piangi Con Me’ or translated as “Cry With Me. The Living Daylights actually were the first to release this great song, (beating out the Rokes) but alas had no real luck with it. The Grass Roots took care of that issue just days after this was released in the USA.

Skapegoat – Good Times, Bad Times / Annabel Lee (196?)
Another mystery group, this time presumably from California, but I really can’t say for sure. They offer up a heavy rendition of the Stones’ “Good Times, Bad Times” on the A side and a cool heavy psych original on the flip.

Wild Cherries - You Know What Cha Want / Baby I See (1971)
wild cherries
Hailing from Iowa, these guys were originally known a s “The Plastic Mushroom Band” and had some records released on local labels. They eventually changed their name to “Wild Cherries” managed to get a recording contract with powerhouse label Kapp, and put out this one excellent 45 in the early 70s. Check their story out HERE.


Sunday, April 7, 2013

In Dan’s Garage….#85

85 front
   Greetings once again friends and followers! I got away with a minor computer crisis recently and thought that all the good stuff that was lying safe on my hard drive got wiped out, but I managed to retrieve it safely and now I can continue without a hitch. It looks like winter is finally over up here as I’ve witnessed one of the worst moths temperature wise in quite a while, so when the thermometer gets 10° above freezing (that’s Fahrenheit for those who aren’t here in the U.S.) it feels rather balmy and we start cheering for spring. As Gerry Roslie of the Sonics would say… WAAAAHOOOOO! Why is it so cold????? I don’t know, I guess I’m just plagued with living in a part of the hemisphere that kind of sucks weather-wise , but I’m sure some of you out there have it worse so I’ll shut up.
   Many of you out there have requested re-ups of past postings that got wiped out by Mediafire. I’m getting a lot of these so if I don’t answer you request verbally, don’t be offended. I just have to hash all of this out and re-up as I get requests, and even then I have to devote my time to something else. It took me weeks just to get my act together for this one, so please remember, patience is a virtue.
   Thanks once again for all the kind comments from ALL of you, they truly make my day and as the number of followers grows (over 200 now thank you!) the stack of new records grows with it and it looks like I’ll be doing this for a little while longer. I’m also trying to sharpen up my writing skills which kind of suck, but I hope you’ll all look past the inadequacies and enjoy the gist of what I’m doing here, it is my passion and keeps my blood flowing and eases all kinds of stress as well. Let’s spin a few 45s shall we????    

Shondels – Shake A Tail Feather / Don’t Put Me Down (1965)
A real raw stomper from Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. A side is a great frat rock rendition of “Shake A Tail Feather” but the B side is a somewhat moody, yet up-tempo garage put down song.

Vogues – Humpty Dumpty (1966)
We all know the Vogues were the furthest thing from what us purists consider a “garage band”, but this fine Diddelyesque thumper is pretty good in my opinion. Most likely backed by Pittsburg pals The Fenways.

Aquamen – Line And Track / Tomorrow Is A Long Time (1966)
Most likely a group from somewhere in California, but I can’t find anything concrete so I’m merely guessing. A side is a great garagey stomper while on the B they tackle a Bob Dylan favorite that kind of plods along a bit slowly and it sounds like they’re reading the lyrics of a piece of paper on a music stand! Apparently this 45 is fetching huge bucks from “Northern Soul” collectors, but I don’t know why. It doesn’t sound anything like “soul” to me, but what the hell do I know?

Cat’s Meow – House Of Kicks / True True Lovin’ (1966)
Long thought to be a studio group, The Cat’s Meow were an actual band from Staten Island, NY. They eventually became The Beeds, who’s “Run To Her” is featured in IDG #84. Read more about them here at the fantabulous “Flower Bomb Songs” blog.

Jim Jones & The Chaunteys – Next Exit / One Fine Mice (1967)
jim jones
Not sure of the date on this one, but I guessed 1967???? Oh well, in any case, The Chaunteys were an extremely prolific band out of Fort Worth, TX that released about a dozen 45s from the early to mid 60s including this organ drenched lite-psych flavored number. The flip is a goofy tribute to Mickey Mouse, but since they were a house band at a Disneyland teen club, I guess they were obligated to pay tribute to the Mickster and his legion of followers. Read an excellent interview with Jim Jones at the fine “60s Garage Bands” website.

Blue Beats – Extra Girl / She’s The One (1966)
blue beats
Superb power pop from Danbury, CT. They had one other 45 on Columbia and eventually changed their name to “The No.1” and released another superb track “The Collector” (I’m presently trying to track down a copy as we speak). Check out an interview with guitarist Lance Drake here.

Link Wray & The Raymen – Hidden Charms / Ace Of Spades (1966)
Perhaps his most brutal 45 ever. Link goes all out here guitar AND vocal wise with thee definitive garage treatment of Willie Dixon’s “Hidden Charms”. “Ace Of Spades” is perhaps one of his finest instros as well.

Sessions – Let Me In (1965)
According to Colin Mason (who’s “Flower Bomb Songs” blog is perhaps one of the best and is far more astute than I in the area of band research) this 45 was released in the U.S. only, and predates the Sorrows’ version by about a year. He also reveals that along with Miki Dallon, this group had a young Ritchie Blackmore playing lead guitar and Nicky Hopkins pounding the keys. “Miki” would later rehash this riff on “When I Was 15” which can be heard on IDG #45.

Cavemen – A Small World / Whatever Will Be Will Be (1966)
Reportedly from New Jersey and NOT the garage rockers from Rochester, NY (my home town!!). Great organ driven garage on the A side and a decent rendition of “Que Sera Sera” on the flip. I still to this day don’t know why bands covered that one…….

Care Package – Vinegar Man / Mister Child (1966)
care package
Excellent garage/folk on the A side here, with guy/gal vocals that were very typical for the era. The flip has a more sunshiny feel to it.

Los Bravos – I’m All Ears / You’ll Never Get The Chance Again (1967)
los bravos
I don’t know what it is about Los Bravos that piques my interest in them. On the one hand, they kind of have an overproduced, bombastic, sort of… over-the-top sound, but lurking underneath is a pretty good beat group trying to get past the horn section that sometimes (well..usually) takes over their songs. “Black Is Black” is certainly one of my favorite songs and this follow up from ‘67 has the same formula.

London & The Bridges – Keep Him / I'll Probably Understand When I'm Older (1966)
Featured in IDG #83, this was the last of three releases from this Great Neck, NY band.

Boss Blues – Takin’ Life Easy / Could It Be True (1968)
boss blues
These guys may have been from Massachusetts, but I can’t say for sure. Somewhere in New England would be a fair assumption though. Very good bubblegum sounds here.

Idle Race – Here We Go Round The Lemon Tree / My Father’s Son (1967)
idle race
One of the great British Beat/Freakbeat groups, The Idle race was the home to Jeff Lynne and had some involvement with Roy Wood as well. As we all know, Lynne went on to form ELO and involve himself with The Travelling Wilburys and Tom Petty.

Bill Wendry & The Boss Tweeds – Trying To Get To You / When He’s Gone (1969)
The second of three 45s issued by this Massachusetts based group. Although there’s a significant amount of horns on these songs, they’re pretty good with a powerful delivery. If you get a chance, check out “A Wristwatch Band”, a real weird moody psychedelic freak-out,  their finest moment.