Saturday, February 15, 2014

In Dan’s Garage…#95

95 front
   Hi Y’all! I was going to get this one out last Sunday, but the lingering effects of a particularly NASTY flu left be bedridden for a few days. Then I had to go back to work and schlepp mail for the rest of the week, and now I’m back to my desk punching away at this here blog! I’ve got some more interesting cuts for you all to enjoy and a good bit of it is post 1960’s but still fits in well with my overall theme so I hope you like it.
  Anyone out there ever seen that show “American Pickers”???? If you haven't, it’s a “reality” show where these two annoying yuppies go around in a really expensive van “searching” for junk and antiques from pack rats across the country so they can turn around and sell them to other really rich yuppies for an obscene profit. We all know that they have people that scope this shit out in advance and the show is definitely scripted, and I love it when they get all flustered and upset because the old codger that lives in the shack next to his pile of junk will not sell them a rusty old piece of shit for some insane offer. But I digress. Point is, wouldn’t it be great if there was a show like that about record collectors????? I mean, I could lease myself a nice van, and travel across the country stopping at record stores, garage sales, antique shops, etc. scoping out fine pieces of vinyl. They could have segments where I haggle with the store owner for a M- copy of The Vistas’ “Moon Relay”, or stumble across an old warehouse that’s been storing a defunct radio station’s records for the last 30 years and they tell me I can have the shit for free, but I have to haul it away myself…….Ooops, I’m sorry, I was just daydreaming. That would would be fun though wouldn’t it? In the meantime I’m just going to enjoy what I’ve got here and keep picking away at the dregs here locally. Oh, and writing this blog as well. Enjoy.

Mickey Dolenz – Don’t Do It (1967)
mickey dolenz
Somewhere between Mickey Dolenz’ career as a child actor and his stint with the Monkees, 1965 to be exact, he recorded this 45 for Challenge records that was left unissued until 1967 when he had established himself as the front man for TV’s most famous “pre-fab” rock group. The result was this rather cool pounder.

Miki Dallon – Do You Call That Love / Apple Pie (1965)
Miki Dallon is perhaps most famous for writing the freakbeat classic “Take A Heart”, but he also released several 45s, the insane “I’ll Give You Love”, and this neat two sider.

Moody Blues – Everyday / You Don’t (1965)
Ahhhh, there’s that beautiful swirly orange label again!!! This 45 was one of several follow-ups to the Moodie’s huge hit “Go Now” that never quite caught on even though I think both sides of this record are better songs.

Minitmen – Smokin’ In The Boys Room / Rollin’ In Money (1965)
Not much is known about this 45 except for the fact that it was written and produced  by Doug Morris, the same genius behind The Barbarians who incidentally also recorded at Allegro Sound Studios. Ironically, Morris would produce a different “Smokin’ In The Boys Room” in 1973 which was a huge hit for Brownsville Station.

Vacant Lot – I Blew It / When Things Go Wrong (1967)
vacant lot
Rumor has it that this bunch was from Clifton, NJ. The A side is a quirky up-tempo number whilst the B side is a great moody garage ballad.

Woolies – Who Do You Love / Hey Girl (1966)
A group from Lansing, MI, this was their second 45 and first for Dunhill which became something of a regional hit in 1966. They would continue on through the seventies but never quite achieved the success they had with this one.

Lords – Death Bells At Dawn / Light Rain (1966)
Wow. Here’s a 45 that defines “moody”. Talk about depressing, there’s few that reach down to this level. Apparently New Jersey was the home to this group of malcontents and this is their only known release. I got lucky when I found this one as it included one of their business cards in the sleeve as well!
lords card

Spats – She Done Moved (1966)
I like the Spats a lot, even though some of their output was “novelty” type stuff. This is an example of how they could lay down perfect garage/punk and is a true classic as well.

Nightcrawlers – Basket Of Flowers / Washboard (1966)
Genius folk/rock follow-up to “Little Black Egg” and perhaps their best 45

Renaissance - The Name Of The Game Is Love / That Someone Isn’t Me (1966)
Here’s another one that’s tough to get a grip on. My guess would be that these guys were from the Chicago area, but I could be way off. In any case this group delivers with a rockin’ garage two sider.

Soul Inc. – Love Me When I’m Down / I Belong To Nobody (1968)
These guys were a busy bunch from Louisville, KY and recorded several 45s for local labels before Counterpart records from Cincinnati released this in 1968 and was then picked up by Laurie for national distribution. Oh so cool thumper with a heavy edge to it. The B side is a very good moody ballad in stark contrast to the top side.

Little Boy Blues – It’s Only You / Is Love (1968)
The Little Boy Blues were originally a blues influenced garage band from Chicago that issued the classic “Great Train Robbery” (as featured on Highs In The Mid Sixties Vol. 4) and had an excellent version of “I Can Only Give You Everything” as well as several other great cuts. By 1968 though, they had morphed into a, shall we say’ more “eclectic” act and released an LP on Fontana that was a mixed bag of lite and heavy psychedelia. This two sider is an example of what are considered the two best cuts.

Früt – Prison Of Love / Send Me Down (1971)
Originally known as “Früt Of The Loom”, they first released the utterly fantastic “One Hand In The Darkness” (a 45 that I had won in an auction about 30 years ago and was unable to pay for leaving me a deadbeat in “Goldmine” terms, and I’m still trying to get my hands on a copy to this day) and then came out with this 45 about 3 or 4 years later. An excellent rocker on the A side with a do-woppish ballad on the B.

Five Man Electrical Band - Absolutely Right / (You And I) Butterfly (1971)
Sure we all know these guys right? Their big claim to fame was perhaps one of the most annoying songs in the history of rock music “Signs”, a sanctimonious piece of crap that rubbed me the wrong way the very first time I ever heard it. This 45 though, contains two rather well crafted pop/rock songs with very good harmonies and some nice guitar work. From Canada, this group was originally known as the Staccatos who had a bunch of successful records before they changed their name.

Wicked Truth – Take A Chance / Rock No More (1973)
This 45 was long thought to be a late sixties effort, but I did some research and it is indeed from 1973, or at least that was when this was pressed. I’d say ‘73 would be very accurate given the style and delivery. Very heavy handed with lots of Hammond organ. I don’t know anything about this band except that they recorded this at Edgewater Acres in Alexandria, PA. Edgewater Acres was a sort of hotel/resort in Pennsylvania very close to State College, the home of Penn State. It was run by a couple named Ted and Ruth Reinhart who did a long running weekly country and western radio show from the studio in the hotel where this group presumably recorded this 45. “Teru” was an amalgam of Ted and Ruth’s first names obviously, and they also released their own LPs on the label as well. Unfortunately for Ted, he was embroiled in some kind of sex scandal involving underage girls and taking them across state lines and was eventually caught by the FBI and convicted and is presently doing time for it. Yikes. Sorry to end this post on such a bad note, but it is a true story. The record’s not bad though. I particularly dig the crazy organ work on the B side.


Saturday, February 1, 2014

In Dan’s Garage…...#94


94 front
Wow. It feels like an eternity since I last posted, and actually it has been. This winter totally sucks this year. I guess there’s this “polar vortex” thing that has a bump in it and it’s sending down the most frigid air I’ve experienced in quite some time. Yeah, I live in a crummy part of the universe as far as winters go, but this one is beyond the pale. When the temperature gets to 20°F (that’s --6.66667°C) and it feels like a heat wave, you know you’ve got problems.
  I hope everyone had a pleasant Holiday and New Year, I know I did, although I was quite busy and it seemed like I had very little time to work on this post. In fact, I’ve been picking away at this one since early December! Fortunately I have accumulated a wad of vacation time from work and now II ‘m using it to my (and your) benefit so on this warm (32°F) day I’ve decided to finish this and get back in the groove so to speak. I just wish I could get this thing out more often. Record buying has been rather slow lately as some of my disposable income is being re-directed towards beefing up my little home studio in my basement, but have no fear, I’m well stocked for future posts!
    On a personal note, the band that I was working with regularly broke up last October, and I’m not heartbroken in the least. Drama sucks and I’m glad I no longer have to deal with it. My longtime pals and band mates “The True Believers” are presently working on an album project which I’m recording in my aforementioned basement studio. It’ll mostly be covers but we’re thinking about recruiting some local artists to contribute original songs since we’re all very cruddy songwriters.
Thanks again to all the folks out there who left kind and mostly informative comments. To all of you I give you a thumbs up and NUMBER 94!!!!!!!!!!

Johnny Stark w the Four Winds - Rockin' Billy (1957)
I usually don’t do “rockabilly” in this blog, but this one came up and it is a fine rocker at that. Apparently Johnny hailed from Englewood, NJ and had one other 45 on this same label. FYI… WVBU is Bucknell University’s radio station.

Dick Dale & His Deltones – The Scavenger / Wild Ideas (1963)
Give it up for good ol’ Dick as he basically sets aside his guitar for a couple of vocal numbers.

Anglo-Americans – The Music Never Stops / Are You Ready For This? (1966)
A real groovy 45 presumably from the west coast with some cool jangly guitars, fake British accents, references to James Bond, and a hilarious Dylan cop on the B side.

Ivan& The Sabers – Just Let Her Go / It’s Not Like You (1964)
A popular Ohio group from Centerville, that eventually relocated to Cincinnati, shifted their lineup somewhat, teamed up with some ex members of Tony And The Bandits, and eventually became the Lemon Pipers who’s “Green Tambourine” would be a huge bubblegum hit.

Jaybees – I’m A Loner / Do You Think I’m In Love (1966)
From Montreal, they were originally known as J.B. & The Playboys but changed their name simply to “The Jaybees” so as not to get confused with Gary Lewis’ band. They started doing Beatles covers but evolved into an original act, moved to Toronto and released this frantic raver in 1966.

Limeys – That’s What I Want / Somebody Help Me (1965)
It’s tough to get a read on this act. I’m not sure if they’re from the US or Canada, but my guess would be that they were a studio group cashing in on the British Invasion. They had one other 45 which was more up-tempo than this cover of the classic “That’s What I Want”, one of my favorite songs ever.

Sir Douglas Quintet – The Tracker / Blue Norther (1965)
Continuing with their perfect blend of garage/punk and Tex-Mex, the follow up to “She’s About A Mover” does not disappoint. I could listen to these same two riffs all night. Gimme a pair of maracas……

Rationals – Respect / Feelin’ Lost (1966)
The Rationals were one of Michigan’s greatest bands and most prolific as well. They had a long career that extended into the 90s and this was one of their first 45s. A combination of solid R&B and British Invasion sounds.

Thyme – Love To Love / Very Last Day (1967)
Another A² act from Ann Arbor, these guys took a different approach and covered a Neil Diamond tune on the A side and covered “Peter, Paul, & Mary” on the B side with excellent results. Genius

Uncalled For – Do Like Me / Get Out Of The Way (1966)
uncalled for
A bona fide classic. These guys have been mistakenly thought to have been from Detroit, or Youngstown, OH, but are actually from Tennessee. One of the greatest garage 45s ever.

Clique – Gotta Get Away / Love Ain’t Easy (1967)
A 45 that kind of gets away from “collectors”. I see many references to their great cover o the 13th Floor Elevators’ “Splash 1”, and “Superman” but this one escapes many lists. In my opinion their best 45.

Peter & The Rabits – Someone I’ve Got My Eyes Upon / Bless You Little Girl (1967)
Not much info on this classic except for the fact that the publishing company is titled “Tennessee Music”. Perhaps they were from Nashville or thereabouts??? In any case what we have here is a great folk/rock inspired song on the A side with a Beach Boys styled number on the B.

October Country – My Girlfriend Is A Witch / I Just Don’t Know (1968)
october country
Michael Lloyd was a very busy guy in the mid to late sixties and well after that, producing, arranging and writing songs for such acts as The West Coast Pop Art Experimental Band, A.B. Shky, The Fire Escape and numerous others including October Country which is featured here. The funny story about this song is that is was later done by cartoon act The Cattanooga Cats, a Saturday morning kids show!

? & The Mysterians - Turn Around Baby (Don't Ever Look Back) / Ain’t It A Shame (1969)
You gotta hand to these guys. They really never changed their formula (except for one or two 45s in the 70s) and continue giving us that tried and true “96 Tears” sound to this day. On this one they don’t stray too far and give us a brilliant two sider that is overlooked by many collectors.

Crow – Cottage Cheese (1970)
A hard rock group from Minneapolis who’s “Evil Woman Don’t Play Games With Me)” was most notably covered by Black Sabbath on their first LP. This was their follow up, an interesting tune with lots of cool guitar and bass breaks. This must have been a regional hit around these parts because copies can be easily found.

Maxx – 200 Years (1969)
Let’s end this affair with some wild fuzzed out heavy psychedelia from Detroit.