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??????????????????

Thursday, May 5, 2016

In Dan's Garage...#119

Wowzers! Please forgive my procrastinating. I could've gotten this post out at least two weeks ago, but between weekend trips to the southern tier and babysitting my granddaughter, who is a bundle of energy, and a really chilly afternoon minor league baseball game, I came up woefully short. But like they all say.... well not all, but some people anyway...."better late than never!" 
It was all good fun though, especially the trip to the Seneca-Allegany casino where I saw Buddy Guy with my lovely wife, her sister and husband, and her brother and wife. Her brother Karl sprung for the tickets and I'm eternally grateful for that because I enjoyed the hell out of it. My in-laws.....well...not so much. My wife's sister and brother-in-law are both musicians of the "old school" type and they didn't get what ol' Buddy was puttin' down out there. I had to explain that it's not about "musicianship", but pure emotion that makes guys like Buddy Guy tick. It was a great show nonetheless, and to tell you the truth, I'm glad I caught him before he passes on because if you haven't noticed, rock stars are dropping like flies this year. That's why I got my tickets to go see Ringo Starr's "All Starr Band", and get this, The Zombies. Yeah, Colin Blunstone and Rod Argent are touring and they're playing in Niagara Falls in a couple of weeks. THAT should be cool! I've also noticed that as I've gotten older and well into middle age, us folks who are graying, balding, and putting on excessive amounts of weight, are being herded into casinos to watch these shows. Hell, I missed Robin Trower last week at the Seneca Niagara casino which is where The Zombies are having their show. Ringo is playing the Seneca Allegany, so I guess they not only want our ticket money, but they want us to empty our pockets into buffet dinners, gaming machines and crap tables as well. Excellent strategy! By the way, Native Americans have a monopoly on gambling up here in NY State because of the kooky gambling laws, but now that our brilliant governor has figured out another way to squeeze even more tax dollars out of us, he's all in, but that's a discussion I won't get into on this blog. I don't have enough Excedrin handy. 
I hope all of you are well out there and are enjoying the seasonal change that comes this time of year. Trees are just starting to bud, flowers are blooming and my allergies are starting to kick in as well. That's OK, it's all worth it!!!!
For the friends and followers out there that have made me wise to dead links, Thank You, I will fix ASAP. As usual, I have a rather eclectic mix of frat rock, instrumental, garage, psych, some hard rock and even some "loner folk rock". Yeah baby dig it.

Gregory Dee & The Avanties - Olds Mo' William / Ain't Got No Home (1965)
Gregory Dee and The Avanites were one of the most popular bands in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area from 1962 through 1966. Their unique sound was due to Dee playing a big Hammond organ as opposed to a portable electric piano or combo organ like many other 60's bands. They also had a penchant for covering great R&B songs like this two sider here, where they tackle Paul Peek's "Olds Mo William" and Clarence "Frogman" Henry's "Ain't Got No Home" on the flip. Genius!

Jan Davis & The Routers - The Time Funnel / Walkin' Back (1966)
In my less than superficial attempt at research on Jan Davis, I really came up with very little. I know he's a guitarist that had a bunch of records released on a slew of different labels, but the only concrete info I got was from a German Wikipedia page that offered little info. That being said, this is a cool instrumental two sider that reminds me a lot of The Tornadoes "Telstar".

Candy Johnson Show - Hound Dog / Baby What You Want Me To Do (1965)
Candy Johnson. Ya gotta love her. She was that blond babe that shook her ass in those fringed outfits on all those cheezy Frankie Avalon / Annette Funicello movies from the mid 60's. Buster Keaton had a hell of a time chasing her all over "Beach Blanket Bingo". How the hell was I to know she actually had a musical act with an actual band backing her up?????? Here's the evidence.

Lollipops - Words Ain't Enough / Who Cares About Me (1966)
It's weird how I come up with these records. I see something interesting, the price is right, and I jump on it. Sometimes I'm successful, sometimes not. This one was somewhat "interesting" in that it was an "import" but also that it was a Swedish 45, something I don't have a lot of. (well... this may be the only one!). While it certainly isn't a "killer" by any stretch, it is a decent example of "good" mid-sixties British Invasion styled rock & roll. The Lollipops were actually two brothers and a cousin who were quite young when they started but managed to have a musical career into the 70s. This 45 from 1966 is rather good.

Mood - Who Do You Love / Train's Late (1967)
A very obscure group from Port Colborne, Ontario, just west of Buffalo, NY. Apparently, this was their only 45 and from what I gather (which isn't much), they only pressed 100 copies for promotional purposes, which would make this 45 extremely rare. Fortunately I got this beat up copy on the cheap!

Human Beings - Ain't That Lovin' You Baby / Because I Love Her (1965)
A great band from Detroit that released this pounder in 1965 as well as three other 45s on the local "Impact" label, including the classic "You're Bad News".

Britain Brothers - Mary Go Round - 300 Days (1965)
It's tough to get any info on this one. Probably a U.S. group trying to sound British, but I can't say for sure. Big production pop sounds here.

Inrhodes - Try And Stop Me / Lookin' Around (1966)
From the Santa Monica area of L.A. came The Inrhodes, a group of high school buddies that met in band and decided to make rock & roll records. They released two 45s both of which are more pop than garge, but pretty good nonetheless. The example here was a Canadian release. You can get more info on the Inrhodes by clicking HERE.

Free Spirits - Cosmic Daddy Dancer / Blue Water Mother (1967)
Every time I scour the listings on Ebay I'm looking for several things. First, it's got to have a reasonably low starting bid, second, it helps if the seller gives an accurate description (although that's pretty iffy these days), third, the group has to have some kind of cool name. This one fit into all those categories, as well as having a catalog number from 1967, so for 99¢ how can you go wrong??? Well much to my surprise this turned out to be a VERY interesting 45. It's not quite garage, but it's definitely psychedelic. The coolest thing is that The Free Spirits were led by none other than jazz/fusion guitarist Larry Coryell, a guy that I had seen a few times back in the late 70s early 80s. Real off kilter stuff here, and you can kind of tell which direction Coryell is going to before he became a jazz/rock icon.

Ricky & The Lexingtons - Have A Heart / Walking The Dog Shotgun (196?)
Except for the cryptic picture which graces the front cover of this project, I know virtually nothing about this band and this great 45 they released. Michigan or the Midwest may be a possibility judging from the label, but who the hell knows??????

Carp - Mammoth Mountain Blues / Save The Delta Queen (1969)
Carp formed at Oklahoma State University sometime in the mid sixties, and released an LP in 1969 that although I've never heard it, is reportedly a mix of psych, blues, and country. Pretty typical for the period. This 45 isn't bad though and has some decent guitar work on it. Carp's main claim to fame though, is that it included a young Gary Busey, who would go on to fame as being the guy who portrayed Buddy Holly in "The Buddy Holly Story". He also played many other parts, one of my favorites being Commander Krill in "Under Seige" a great over-the-top action movie with Steven Seagal and Tommy Lee Jones.

Dolphin - Let's Get Together / Grubbs Blues (1968)
Dolphin from the Baltimore/D.C. area, were a transitional group of sorts in that it included former members of The Hangmen who recorded the great "What A Girl Can't Do", and a young Nils Lofgren. Lofgren would later form Grin, (a band that I rather like), have a successful solo career, and then settle down playing with Bruce Springsteen in his band. The A side of this is a wacky frantic version of the hippie anthem "Let's Get Together".

Sapphire Thinkers - Blues On You / Melancholy Baby (1969)
Not exactly heavy like The Jefferson Airplane, but not as poppy as say The Mamas & The Papas. The Sapphire Thinkers fall somewhere in between with a definite west coast influence. To me they sound a lot like The Art Of Lovin', an east coast band from Connecticut. Both sides of this 45 are pretty good and very likable.

Heather Black - Look Around Son (1970)
Ehhhhhh........You know....I'm not exactly sure why I included this one. Maybe it's because its one of Gaylon Lattimer's later efforts. Gaylon was also known as Gaylon Ladd who released the pounding garage classic on MGM "Her Loving Way". This "loner folk" ballad is nothing like it and I don't blame anyone if they delete it. Blecchhhh.

Coven - Jailhouse Rock (1972)
Coven were a heavy rock band fronted by Jinx Dawson and included members of Aorta. A rather "heavy" version of the Elvis classic.