Sunday, October 2, 2016

I'll be back soon!!!!!

     Hello friends and music lovers!!!!! As some of you have noticed I haven't posted in quite a while, some of you may be concerned that I'm not okay, but everything is fine here at Dan's Garage central. I've recently started doing an Internet radio show on Radio Free Phoenix which naturally is called "Dan's Garage". It's basically an extension of what I do here except you get it in "radio" format, and you get to hear what a doofus I am in real life!!!!!! Click on the link in the sidebar and check it out. You Can hear it every Wedensday at 8:00 PM Pacific, and 11:00 PM Eastern. Not a good time for you??? No problem! The show is aired again on Deep Oldies every Sunday at 12:00 Noon Pacific and 3:00 PM Eastern. This is great background music to drown out the play by play analysts on Sunday football games!!!!! A heartfelt thank you to Andy Olson, head honcho at Radio Free Phoenix, and Dan's Garage fan for giving me the opportunity to make internet radio an extension of this blog.
      I WILL BE BACK, better than ever with more posts and rants in the near future, I'm just just juggling what little time I have with sharing the coolest music on the planet, and believe me I have records piling up on every side of my desk here. In other words, life is getting in the way somewhat, but once I get a few loose ends tied up and the dust settles, things will be cool and copacetic. In the meantime check out the show if you can, and we'll see each other again soon!
Love, Dan

Saturday, June 18, 2016

In Dan's Garage...#122

Greeting friends and followers!!!! I sometimes am confused by the various descriptions record collectors and general fans of what is considered "garage" use to describe certain types of music. In my opinion, things generally fall into three categories (some will argue there are more but that's a topic that could last for hours perhaps days....) Rock & Roll, Rhythm & Blues, and Country. Under these three categories spring dozens, if not hundreds of "sub-genres". Mix R&B with country and you get Rockabilly, or perhaps "Hillbilly Bop"???? What about good old Rock & Roll??? Well, Rockabilly certainly falls under that category but so does Little Richard, and Fats Domino, but they're as much R&B as they are Rock & Roll no??? Was Buddy Holly a "Rockabilly Guy"??? Perhaps, but some may argue because he had much control over his musical output that he was one of the first "progressive" rockers (a dirty word in many circles). What about the instrumental musicians and groups like The Ventures and Link Wray??? Obviously I'm sort of rambling here but as a fan of what is described as "garage", I find myself wading through countless sub-genres that fall under this description. Psych, Bubblegum, Beat, Freak-beat, Mod, Punk, Folk/Rock, I'm very curious about this interesting facet of collecting because I recently saw a comp called "Tittyshakers Vol.1". Not that I'm against tits shaking around or anything, but what exactly defines a "Tittyshaker"??? I know most of them are instrumental and usually have a honking tenor sax and some pounding drums, usually to get the "Tittyshaker" to dispense with another article of her clothing. But I sometimes wonder if even that description gets watered down somewhat, as in the case of "garage" which has been reduced to anything that isn't "mainstream" rock. In several cases I've seen records by The Beatles, Stones, and Dave Clark Five listed as "garage". What the hell is "Popcorn"???? I see this description all over Ebay but I'm still not certain what it is exactly. My favorite is "Northern Soul" which seems to be anything with either a black guy/girl singing or something with a horn section in it. I've recently seen The Music Explosion's "Little Bit O'Soul listed as "northern soul". I'm not complaining here mind you, I'm just pointing out some crazy aspects of record collecting that drives me crazy and makes me cringe because a lot of Ebay sellers are co-opting these descriptions and calling anything with an obscure label "garage" or "northern soul" etc. OK enough of my incessant and incoherent babbling, on to today's post....

G-Men - Raunchy Twist (1962)
The "G-Men" were the backing band for Johnny Kongos, a South African artist who was quite popular from the early 60's through the 70's. This is his backing band doing a cover of Bill Justis' "Raunchy" with the obligatory "twist" angle added. This was the flip of a particularly corny novelty song by Johnny Kongos called "Johnny & The Mermaid". I left it out for obvious reasons. The G-Men though, deliver with a nice instrumental and you know they were clearly influenced by Hank Marvin and The Shadows.

Original Soundtracks - Fooba Wooba John / Come On Let's Go (1963)
The Original Soundtracks were fom Syracuse, NY (a mere 1.5 hrs. away from Rochester) and were better known as "Sam & The Twisters" an incredibly popular group around the area. They would later become "The Livin' End" whose "La La" is featured on IDG #53.

Bruins - Believe Me / The Slide (1964)
Every time I try to do a search on this group I end up in a Boston Bruins website, so the facts are are sketchy to say the least. I have two other "Bruins" 45s on two other different labels and to me they sound like the same band, but I could be wrong. In any case, I read somewhere, at some point, that this group had Eddie Phillips of Creation fame in it's ranks, but I've never really confirmed that. Excellent British Invasion sounds here.

Royal Shandels - Be Careful With Your Car-full (1966)
This one is a hoot! From Detroit, MI comes this public service announcement  urging all teenagers to "be safe" while driving and don't forget to fasten those seat belts!!!! The flip was intended for inebriated old timers so I won't include it here.

Five Canadians - Writing On The Wall / Goodnight (1966)
OK, so I don't usually post re-issues here, but since I got the next three in a lot which cost me about $15, I guess I could break protocol,  and include them since they are all pretty freaking good. But first I'd like to explain that these are all "Garage Greats"re-issues" which have come under quite a bit of criticism lately. I know there are a few hucksters out there that are re-issuing great 45s and  butchering them in the process, but I, in my honest opinion, are OK with these. They are OBVIOUSLY re-pros, and if you can't get an original, I guess these'll do. I'm not overly picky, and they came CHEAP! First up are "The Five Canadians" who I think were really not Canadian at all but from somewhere in Texas. Actually, they were from Texas and it was just a gimmick but I'm not exactly sure about that. How they ended up on Canadian label, Stone, is a mystery to me.

Barons - Time And Time Again / Now You're Mine (1966)
Not to be confused with the Barons from Texas (featuring John Nitzinger) this obscure bunch were from Washington D.C. and released this one killer 4 of folk/rock on the A side and a killer garage/punk number on the B side.

Expedition To Earth - Expedition To Earth / Time Time Time (1967)
The last of our re-issue trio features a band from Winnipeg, Manitoba that released this killer psychedelic 45. You can read some in-depth info on these guys HERE.....

Ricochettes - Find Another Boy / I Don't Want You (1966)
The Ricochettes are a band from the Milwaukee, WI area that still perform gigs to this day. Clearly influenced by the British Invasion, and folk/rock, they deliver the goods her with a very nice two sided effort showcasing the skills at vocal harmonies.

Chasers - Let Me Kiss Away Those Teardrops / Unchain My Heart (1967)
Real cool two sided 45 from a group out of Denver, Colorado. A side is garage mixed with some pop style verses and the flip is a good version of Ray Charles' classic, which would get four stars if not marred by a horn section.

Plato & The Philosophers - C.M. I Love You / I Don't Mind (1967)
From Moberly, MO come Plato & The Philosophers who's first 45 is as good a debut as you can get. They would release another one "13 O'Clock Flight To Psychedelphia" which was a bit more psychotic in 1967. This particular 45 was released twice, first on the local "It" label and then this one on General American.

Lonnie & The Legends - I Cried / Baby, Without You (1966)
From Sylmar, CA comes Lonnie & The Legends who were from what I gather, a backing band for a few C&W artists in that area. They managed to release a few 45s including this gem from 1966

Uniques - All These Things / Tell Me What To Do (1967)
Another great 45 by the Uniques, this time it's a moody blue eyed soul two sider.

Chesmann Square - Circles / Why (1969)
From Kansas City come the Chesmann Square who deliver a terrific 45 with their cover of the Who's "Circles" They were very popular in the area but unfortunately only had this one 45 to offer. Check out their story HERE.....

Mashmakhan - As The Years Go By / Days When We Are Free (1970)
A somewhat common 45, I came across this while thumbing through "the pile", listened to and thought...."this is way better than I remembered it to be". A band from Montreal, Quebec, they were considered very "progressive" and were featured in the 1971 film "Festival Express" with The Grateful Dead, Janis Joplin, The Band, Buddy Guy, and several other acts. I've really grown to like this 45 and although it's not "garage". it's definitely "psychedelic". Dig it.

Velvet Crest - Things We Said Today / Something Tells Me (1969)
We featured these guys in our last post, and here we get a somewhat "Vanilla Fudge" influenced version of The Beatles' "Things We Said Today" I have three 45s by this band, and the first two (which I've posted) are excellent, the third one I have is pretty putrid I'm afraid....

Monday, June 6, 2016

In Dan's Garage...#121

Greetings once again friends and followers! As usual things are quite hectic here at Dan's Garage Central and I've obviously been keeping busy with lots of yard work, a few barbecues, and some family get togethers as well as two concerts I recently attended, The Zombies and Ring Starr's "All Star Band". First The Zombies. They played in a very small venue at the Seneca Niagara Casino in Niagara Falls, NY called "The Bears Den". They state the capacity is 600 but I swear there couldn't have been more that 300 people there and it was full. A super awesome intimate setting where you feel up-close and personal with the band and the sound was superb as well. Just a nice small stage and NO jumbotrons. I swear there wasn't a bad seat in the house, and as for the Zombies, they were fantastic! For a bunch of guys who are in their 70's, they can still perform at an extremely high level and Colin Blunstone's vocals were spot on as well. Yeah, he may have missed a couple of high notes on a song or two, but he was in excellent form all evening. Rod Argent is a monster keyboard player as well and the rest of the band was top notch,. As for Ringo....well....I love Ringo and I love his spirit and yeah, I did want to catch an actual Beatle in concert, but I gotta say it was pretty lackluster. The "All Star Band" consisted of Greg Rollie from Santana, Steve Lukather from Toto, Todd Rundgren, some guy from the band Mister Mister who's name escapes me at the moment and a couple of sidemen. It was basically two hours of a bunch of guys having a jam session and Ringo singing a few of his most well known songs. The band was good, but we all had to sit through a LOT of filler performed by each of the all stars. The venue (another casino) totally sucked ass. It was literally a big outdoor concert stage erected in a parking lot with a shitload of folding chairs for seating, not to mention the smell of cow manure wafting our way every time the breeze shifted. Todd Rundgren even joked about that. I suppose I got my money's worth but I left the show somewhat disappointed. We ventured into the casino afterwards and my wife won $29 playing penny slots so the evening wasn't a complete loss.
I'm hoping you all enjoy the warmer weather coming and look for "Dan's Leftovers" to come out of hibernation sometime in the near future. I expect to start that up again real soon, but in the meantime dig the latest edition.....

Fabulous Flippers - Shout / Turn On Your Lovelight (1967)
I'm starting this post with something that's not exactly garage, or psychedelic, or even pop for that matter. The Fabulous Flippers from Lawrence, Kansas evolved from a group known as Terry & The Flippers, and simply "The Flippers". They grew into a big James Brown style R&B show band and were rather popular around the Midwest. This 45 is probably what you got at a typical Flippers show. I have a love/hate relationship with the song "Shout" though. One the one hand it's a great R&B tune and certainly a "standard", but on the other hand it's the theme song for The Buffalo Bills (the Bills make me want to "Shout") and come August I gotta hear it on the radio every ten minutes and besides I am NOT a Buffalo Bills fan.

Dino & His Fabulous Jerrells - Freddie's Marilyn / For Your Love (1965)
I had a difficult time finding any info on this band. They are supposedly from Rochester, but I couldn't really confirm that although it does sound like it was recorded at the Fine Recording studio here in Roch. Both sides are rather crude, the A side an up tempo frat rocker and the B slow teen ballad.

Four Blazers - Mr. Ticket Man / Let It Be Me (1968)
Supposedly recorded at Robin Hood Brians' studio in Tyler, TX in 1968, The Four Blazers amazingly had FIVE other 45's released on the famous Buddy record label. Marshall, TX is located just west of Shreveport, LA so it's possible they could have been from somewhere in Louisiana, but I can't say for sure.

Nocturns - What Do They Know / Sha La La (1965)
A real stumper from the U.K. A side has a Dylan feel to it while the B is routine pop and NOT the same as the big Shirelles/Manfred Mann hit.

Pete Martin & The Features - Elvira / She's Alright (1967)
Originally from Taos, NM Pete Martin and The Features evolved from a group called the Zircons that left New Mexico via Las Vegas for California. They managed a few 45's as the Zircons, changed personnel and continued on as Pete Martin & The Features releasing this garagey cover of the famous annoying C&W song "Elvira".

Johnny Thompson Quintet - For Us There'll Be No Tomorrow (1967)
Johnny Thompson Quintet Guitarsville PS Promise Her Anything
A strange 45 by a west coast group that had several other 45 in the same style although i haven't really heard them. I included a scan of the picture sleeve which features the A side which I didn't post because I thought it was terrible. Look for it in an upcoming edition "Dan's Leftovers" OK?

Mickey & The Invaders - Love Is A Wonderful Thing / You'll Never Know (1967)
Mickey & The Invaders were a popular East L.A. group similar to The Premiers, V.I.Ps, etc. The A side of this 45 sounds strangely similar to The New Colony Six' "You're Gonna Be Mine" released around the same time. An in depth story on this band can be found HERE.

A Group Called Eve - Smile / Within A World Of You (1969)
Genius pop two sider from a Cleveland, OH group (where else???) that had some connections to The Choir and The Raspberries.

Colours - Bad Day At Black Rock, Baby / Love Heals (1969)
Pretty good psych/pop from a diverse group of musicians which included future Delaney & Bonne/Derek & The Dominoes bass player Carl Radle.

Illusion - Did You See Her Eyes (1969)
Great heavy psych/rock from a Long Island group. This was a minor hit which reached #32 on the Billboard charts. Sorry, the flip is somewhat putrid.

Love Society - Candle Waxing / Bang On Your Own Drum (1970)
A decent pop/psych group out of Wisconsin that released about a half dozen 45's on various major and local record labels including Scepter and RCA.

Mighty Avengers - When Blue Turns To Gray / I'm Lost Without You (1965)
A band from Coventry that played around for a few years before being scooped up by Andrew Loog Oldham and getting some songwriting help from Mick Jagger & Keith Richards including this cool version of "When Blue Turns To Gray" which is quite different from the Stones' version. There's a very informative article on them HERE.

Wildcats - I Think We're Alone Now (196?)
Well, except for the fact that this record came from somewhere in Texas, I have no clue as to who they are, or what part of Texas they're from, if they are even from there.. Great garagey version of Tommy James' big hit.

Velvet Crest - Na Na Song / Did You Ever feel Like Kicking Yourself (1968)
More genius power pop sounds from Ohio, this time Mineral City which lies somewhere south of Canton, home of the Pro Football Hall Of Fame. YOW! They began as a group called "By Popular Demand" which I featured their one and only 45 on IDG #26. What's most interesting is how this band got a hold of a relatively obscure mod song from the U.K. in this case, The "Na Na Song" by The Ferris Wheel. While they don't do an exact cover of it, they tailored it themselves and came up with a winner. I love the B side as well.

Fever Tree - I Put A Spell On You (1970)
The last 45 released by this great band. By the time this came out, they had gone through several personnel changes and this was sort of a last ditch effort to keep things going. I'm sorry I couldn't include the flip "Hey Joe", but this copy had the same song on both sides.

Wild Butter - Roxanna / Terribly Blind (1970)
What do we have here??? Another band from Ohio??? More genius power pop???? Yip! Wild Butter released one L.P. and one 45 and they are totally representative of what rock & roll bands were doing in Ohio at the time. Great vocals, harmonies, and arrangements. Need I say more??????


Saturday, May 7, 2016

In Dan's Garage...#120

Getting sick and staying home does have it's benefits. While recuperating, you can pass what would otherwise be valuable time, spinning scratchy 45s and writing your blog. My discomfort is your gain this weekend as I've quickly assembled another montage of cool records for your approval. This one leans a bit on the obscure side so let's get things started........

Rockin' Ramrods - Wild About You / Cry In My Room (1965)
One of Boston's most popular groups in the 60s, the Rockin' Ramrods had several 45s including the fabulous "She Lied", a bona fide garage classic. This one's pretty good as well.

Dinks - Nina Kocka Nina / Penny A Tear Drop (1965)
Hilarious "Surfin' Bird" styled garage novelty out of Beloit, KS. I first heard this on a Boulders comp way back in the 80's and cracked up every time I heard it. The flip's great as well although not quite as funny. Here's an in depth article about them.

Shaprels -A Fool For Your Lies / You're Cheating On Me (1968)
The Shaprels hailed from Milwaukee and released four 45's. This was a "cleaned up" version of their first 45 which was released on Feature records in 1966 and is a bit easier to find than the early release.

Jades LTD. - You're Not There / Last Chance (1967)
Not much info on this one. The sole 45 released by this unknown group. A nice blend of garage,pop,12 string guitars, and blue eyed soul.

Flowerz - I Need Love Now / My Sad Story (1967)
Reading, PA was home to this bunch who released two excellent 45s which were recorded at Barclay one of the region's busiest studios in the mid sixties.

Equazion - It's Alright / I've Been Hurt (1968)
From Buena Vista, GA comes The Equazion, who left us with this one very cool moody 45. Tomahawk records was based out of Columbus, GA and actually released quite a few records, mostly soul and country, but they did have a few garage discs thrown in as well. Both sides of this record were written by Ray Whitley, and Bill Deal and The Rhondels had a hit with "I've Been Hurt".

Him & His Sons - The Words I Say / I Love The Way You Love Me (1967)
Trying to find info on "Him & His Sons" came up with a relative dead end. I do know that Mills Audio & Recording were from Canton, OH home of the Pro Football Hall of Fame, but aside from that the only details I have is that this was definitely a family affair, as we can see on the autographed copy of this 45. After staring at these signatures and looking at the label for while, I came to the conclusion that "J. Sheldon Carothers" was the dad or "Him", and Bennie, Chris, & Bob were "His Sons". While this 45 is marred with some cheezy horns, it's a decent 45 nonetheless. Great Farfisa organ as well.

Wildweeds - It Was Fun (While It Lasted) / Sorrow's Anthem (1968)
The Wildweeds from Windsor, CT have the distinction of having "Big" Al Anderson as their lead guitarist. Al would go on to join NRBQ and have a prosperous solo career as well.

Electric Flag - Peter's Trip (1967)
To be perfectly honest, I'm not a fan of The Electric Flag. Although they were very talented, they helped usher in such acts as Chicago and Blood Sweat & Tears, bands that were defined by their "horns", and I never quite bought into The Electric Flag's "An American Music Band" tag. Like, was ? & The Mysterians not playing "American music" at the same time???? I don't have a problem with horns as long as they're used in context and not overused. This "tune" here was featured in the somewhat cool exploitation flick, "The Trip" starring Peter Fonda, and this tune was used during his "L.S.D. trip" scene, supposedly. I don't remember really, I mean...I've seen the film once or twice and to be perfectly honest was so bored by it that I don't recall musical details. For my money, "Wild Angels" is a much better flick.

Love Sculpture - Sabre Dance / Think Of Love (1968)
Love Sculpture's claim to fame is that it had a young Dave Edmunds playing lead guitar. Sabre dance was a hit in 1968 and the band recorded two albums before calling it quits. As we all know, Edmunds went on to to an excellent solo career, fronting his own band, playing with Rockpile and producing some of the 70's best records. Thanks Dave.

Midwest Delegation - Mr. Soul / We Love (1970)
A very obscure group out of the Midwest (naturally) that does a fairly decent job covering Neil Young's "Mr. Soul". This is a great example of how many bands from the outlying regions of the U.S. were trying to be "progressive", yet still carried that "garage band" mentality into the studio. Although there's no label for this 45, it was most certainly recorded and released by Golden Voice Recording Co. from S. Pekin, IL just outside of Peoria.

Warlock - In A Dream / Feel A Whole Lot Better (1971)
More early 70's garage, this time from Wisconsin. Where in Wisconsin I don't exactly know but that was all I could get. Wisconsin. They do a decent job covering The Byrds' "Feel A Whole Lot Better".

Phase IV - Plastic World / It's You (1972)
I'm On a roll here with this obscure 70's garage/psych stuff. This time we have for you Phase IV from Fall River, MA who evolved from an earlier group called "Bobby & The Ferarris" Both sides are pretty good here especially "Plastic World" which has some decent guitar work. Read some in depth info on them HERE.

Bohemos - Life Goes On, Mia, Good Luck  / There's A Girl, Citybeat (1979)
I'm not sure what the hell to make out of this 45. I come across some pretty wacked out pieces of vinyl, but this one's out there. Not because the music is superlative, or different, in fact, it's pretty vanilla in my opinion. Bohemos were a couple of guys from what I would gather, the N.Y.C. area. Here's an ad from the Village Voice from 1975...
I sure as hell NEVER saw these guys on Don Kirshner's Rock Concert. This shows them wearing what would appear to be skirts????? Kinda like "The Turfits" but who the hell knows what these guys were thinking. They also released an L.P. on Space Records (the label of this 45)...
which by all accounts was released in 1976. So why does my 45 have a 1979 date on it???? Who the hell knows????? What I do know is that Bohemos were two guys that had a penchant for very nice mid sixties styled garage/power pop/bubblegum/Beatlesque type songs and melodies that are rather cool once you get past the sickening fake Farfisa organ sounds. These guys were also NOT U.S. natives. NOT THAT THAT'S A BAD THING. You can tell by their tortured use of the English language and their heavy accents, although I have no clue where their heritage may be. Also, I'm not exactly sure if these are "samples" of songs from their LP, because it sure sounds like a cut and paste job to me, or if these songs were actually sequenced this way. Who knows???? You be the judge. In any case, both sides of this 45 are quite enjoyable. Does anyone out there have any concrete info on these guys??????????????????