Greetings music lovers!!! Glad to be working at the ol' keyboard and turntable spinning cool 45's for our pleasure, and as usual I'd like to give a big thanks to all of our friends and followers out there enjoying my little slice of the cyber universe. I had an issue with my old scanner which workrd just fine, even after I migrated to Windows 10 earlier this year, but I unplugged it from the PC and for some reason I couldn't get the son-of-a-bitch to work anymore. I threw up my hands and bought a new one which as you can see works just fine.
Unlike the last post which was sort of a kookfest, I've gone back to more "traditional" fare here (whatever "traditional" means on this blog), and I spun a bunch of 45's that focus on garage, surf, psych, freakbeat, and pop from the 60's and early 70's. As usual, I hope you all enjoy.
As I was perusing records on Ebay these past few weeks, I've noticed how "Garage" records, and 45's in particular, have split into many "sub-genres". I know how this kind of thing irritates purists to no end, but I, as an avid collector, find it very interesting. Let me just preface this by informing all out there that this is strictly my opinion and hypothesis on this phenomenon, and I'm sure that there are a whole bunch of you out there that will either agree or completely disagree with it.
When I started collecting what at the time we called "Garage and Psychedelic" 45's, the benchmark was Nuggets, Pebbles, and Boulders, three seminal comp series that reshaped my way of looking at the history of rock & roll. When I first discovered these I still thought songs like "For What It's Worth" & "Space Cowboy" were really far out. "Venus" by Shocking Blue??? Definitely a deep cut man. I eventually got turned on to "Nuggets" (the original LP) which by today's standards, is held up as the genesis of all that cool garage and psychedelic shit. It was on a 90 min. cassette tape and the rest was filled with a "best of" from the Pebbles series. This was truly heavy stuff at the time and all I wanted was more. It was nice having a band like The Chesterfield Kings in town, and having Greg Prevost working at the House Of Guitars, he could guide me to the latest and greatest comps that came out that week. Eventually, I felt the need, as a record collector, to seek out originals and I spent years focusing on what were described as "killers". I managed to get a few and bought bunches of other cool 45's that didn't quite fall into the "killer" category as well, but the main thing was I was accumulating a modest, yet very nice collection of 45's. Then I had kids. That put the kibosh on serious collecting for about 15 years as 45's only trickled in once or twice a year. A comp here, a few 45's there. I threw them in boxes and basically filed them away for the future....
In 2009 I discovered that you could have your own forum on the web, this little thing we call "blogging". I also discovered that good records could be had for a reasonable price on Ebay if you played your cards right. Another discovery was how sellers were plying their wares as "garage", but were nothing like what I considered garage "back in the day". Now you have "Pop Psych", "Sunshine Pop", "Tittyshakers", "Teen Garage", "Garage Soul", "Mod", "Mod Dancer", "Heavy Psych", "Bonehead Crunchers", "Outsider", the list is endless, and they all sort of fall under that "hip" umbrella. Know what I mean????
Personally, I'm glad things shook out this way. While greedy sellers are trying to dupe people by advertising Dave Clark 5 45's as garage, if you sniff around you'll find some very cool sounds that break away from the "Garage" orthodoxy. I can listen to records that I thought were complete shit when I bought them 30 years ago, and actually appreciate them now with a fresh set of ears.
So as I enter my fifth decade of collecting records (holy shit, I AM GETTING OLD!!!), I have learned to appreciate all the different sounds that deserve play here on this blog. Although the title of this blog is "Dan's Garage", it's much more than strictly a repository of "garage band records", but a look into hip sounds that that we may have missed while listening to AM or FM radio while we were growing up, and as for the younger folk out there who are digging this, we're glad you came along with us to dig all these crazy sounds from what I consider, the greatest era in music history.
Novas - The Crusher / Take 7 (1964)
Let's start this shindig off with a true classic. An ode to professional wrestler Reginald Lisowski a/k/a "Crusher" Lisowski, this Minneapolis band backs up a guy doing his best "crusher" bit. "Do The hammer lock", "Do the eye gouge" as if it were the Frug, the Mashed Potato, the Twist or some other dance craze of that generation. Fortunately the dance craze never really caught on (although it did hit the Billboard charts), or else we'd have a lot of broken bones and eye patches out there.....
Underdogs - Judy Be Mine (Friday At The Hideout) / The Man In The Glass (1965)
Another bona fide classic. The Underdogs were from Grosse Point, MI and played a bunch of gigs at "The Hideout" and rubbed elbows with Bob Seger, The Pleasure Seekers (featuring Suzi Quatro!), and a bunch of other Michigan luminaries at the time. They had seven 45's released on Hideout, Warner Brothers, and V.I.P., which was a subsidiary of Motown and all are great but this one here is the "gem" of all. Truly great stuff.
Fink Muncx IX - Coffee, Tea, Or Me / What's Right (1964)
Wow. Another "classic" so to speak. This came out on the "Garage Punk Unknowns" series back in the mid 80's and was always one of my favorites because of it's rawness and the frantic performance.
The story of The Fink Muncx IX is as follows and I will try to be brief...
A couple of high school pals from Dayton, OH wanted to raise money to buy a car for another one of their buddies who was about to attend Ohio University. These geniuses thought recording a record and selling it would be a good idea so they mustered up seven more guys, three to help with the singing and "hand clapping", and four actual musicians, hit the studio and came up with this wild and wacky 45. For those that have never heard the B side, it's not as crazy, but pretty cool as well.
Bobby & The Bombers - "Dance Time" (1964)
By the sound of this, it was most likely recorded at Fine Recording Studios given it's lo-fi nature. These guys must've been pretty popular at the time because most bands couldn't muster up enough dough to put out a quality package like this. As for the music???? Well, Bobby and Co. run through three covers and a cool moody instrumental original called "Greenfields". The rest of them are pretty routine including a rendition of The Beatles' "You Can't Do That". It should also be noted that the band included an accordion player!
Michael's Mystics - You Ran Away / Hi Bird (1965)
A great garage 45 by a group out of Minneapolis, MN that has that real "recorded in a basement" type sound. This band has a pretty complex history to go into too much detail here, but they started out as a seven piece called The Galaxies, broke up, regrouped as a five piece and called themselves "Micheal's Mystics" and recorded this way cool 45 at Dove Recording Studios. They later would add a horn section and record the original version of "Pain", a song that gets a lot of attention from the Mod, Northern Soul, and Beach Music crowd, which incidentally was covered by two other groups featured on this blog, The Novas Nine and The Downbeats.
Fables - I've Got The Will / Lonely Boy (1966)
Rolling Stones - I Wanna Be Your Man / Not Fade Away (1963)
I just had to do it. It was sitting there, in a pile of obscure stuff, and then I plopped it on the turntable and man oh man, there it was, one of The Stones' greatest cuts which would propel them to fame and fortune. It's quite fascinating when you juxtapose The Stones' career against The Beatles', I mean, they both recorded this song, and although Lennon and McCartney wrote it, each version is a polar opposite of the other. The Beatles' version is pretty wild, I guess, when compared to the other tracks on "With The Beatles" (or "Meet The Beatles" if you were in the U.S.), but this version is so full of raw intensity, The Fab Four's attempt pales alongside it. Perhaps it's why they (The Beatles) had Ringo sing it, because John and Paul couldn't do it justice the way The Stones did? Maybe, maybe not, but this is truly one of The Stones' best.
Sam The Sham & The Pharaohs - Old MacDonald Had A Boogaloo Farm / I Never Had No One (1968)
You gotta love Sam The Sham. One of Rock & Roll's greatest characters, he amassed a bunch of hits in the mid sixties, only to get pushed aside by the likes of Jimi Hendrix and Cream and a bunch of other "heavies" that made rock & roll "progressive". That's OK, because in 1968 Sam was still whooping it up with 45's like this one, his take on the Old MacDonald nursery rhyme and in usual genius Sam The Sham style, he nails it!!!! This would be the last official "Sam The Sham & The Pharaohs" 45 on MGM. After this he went on to "The Sam The Sham Revue" and a solo LP or two and then pretty much disappeared. Too bad, he was one of Rock & Roll's finest
Beauchemins - My Lovin' Baby (1966)
The Beauchemins were a Folk/Rock/Pop group out of L.A. which was produced, I would imagine, by Bob Keane head honcho at Mustang Records. The A side is pretty good folk rock, perhaps a bit "heavier" than The Mamas & The Papas and a little more Byrds like, which comes off really well. The B side, which I have not included, sounds a bit like Peter, Paul, & Mary. Meh. I have a TON of folkie stuff like the B side, and perhaps in the future I'll write a post on that!
Congregation - I Need Your Love (1968)
Probably a studio group from Nashville or thereabouts turning in a nice bubblegummy 45 which, in my opinion, is better than most that came out at the same time.
Grass Roots - Where Were You When I Needed You / (These Are) Bad Times (1966)
P.F. Sloan and Steve Barri were perhaps one of the best songwriting teams of the mid sixties andrival the best to come out of that era. They wrote a slew of hits for Barry McGuire, Herman's Hermits, Terry Black, Jan And Dean, Johnny Rivers, The Turtles, and a bunch for The Grass Roots before they became horn band mega-stars. This was The Grass Roots' second 45 and is a stand out two sider not just for it's A side which was their first chart topper, but for the B side "(These Are) Bad Times", which was originally recorded by Paul Revere & The Raiders on their "Here They Come" LP.
Rugby's - Rockin' All Over The World / Juditha Gina (1970)
Well here's an example of what some of us collectors out there would classify as a "bonehead cruncher" of sorts. The Rugbys were from Louisville, KY and had some cool garage 45's before evolving into a "heavy rock" band in the late 60's and having a semi-hit with "You, I" on Amazon Records. They released an LP entitled "Hot Cargo" and a few more 45's before splitting up and changing their name to Lazarus, another heavy rock band.
Alan Bown - Toyland / Technicolour Dream (1968)
The Alan Bown were a British band formed in the mid-sixties with trumpeter Alan Bown being the leader. They were originally a mod/soul act and then evolved into a very cool psychedelic band as evidenced by this way cool psych two sider. They would eventually go back to their mod roots and then disband in1972.
Cory Robbins & The Tone Deafs - When Oldies Weren't Old / We're Out Of Love (1974)
Here's a novelty record of sorts. I think these guys were trying to cash in on the "American Graffiti" craze which took hold of the US back in 1973/74. I remember this era very well as I was an AM radio listening teenager and some of the biggest hits were stuff like "Rock And Roll Is Here To Stay", "Rock Around The Clock", Crocodile Rock", and I guess this was an attempt at capturing that vibe. Unfortunately, Cory Robbins and his crew really do sound tone deaf on this rather lo-fi attempt at a 50's rock revival. Cool stuff though......