Thursday, September 2, 2021

In Dan's Garage...#143


Greetings music lovers! Well, I'm back at it again with some more offerings here. This particular post features some real curveballs, so I hope everyone digs it. While there's a healthy dose of garage and psychedelic stuff, I included a couple of my favorite 45's that don't exactly fit the mold so to speak, plus I'm featuring five Japanese 45's that I got a couple of years back and they are quite interesting to say the least. I hope everyone here in the USA has a great Labor Day weekend and I hope all of you out there enjoy this!

Jimmy Velvet Five - Good Good Lovin' / Heart Breakin' Misery (1966)
Here's a 45 that's kinda soul influenced, I mean it is a cover of James Brown's "Good Good Lovin'" and it gets the southern "blue eyed soul" treatment here. I guess Jimmy Velvet's real name was Jimmy Tennant and was good friends with Elvis going so far as to have his own Elvis museum in Memphis. He supposedly appeared on American Bandstand a few times as well.

Buffaloes - You Told Me Lies / She Wants Me (1966)
The Buffaloes from Glen Cove, NY released this way cool garage 45 in 1966 and unfortunately was the only record they put out. Both sides are pretty hip and have a good lo-fi feel to them. Check out the feature on them at the great Garage Hangover website.

Kids - Flipped Hair And Lace /Lovin' Everyday (1965)
Here's one from my neck of the woods, Auburn, NY famous for the Auburn Correctional Facility where they first used "Ol' Sparky" better known as the electric chair. The Kids were literally "kids" in that the oldest member was thirteen years old and the youngest ten. I gotta hand it to these youngsters because they hang pretty well with the older teenage groups of the era. As far as garage bands go these lads sound pretty tight even if their vocals are a bit off. Both sides of this gem are great fun. Unfortunately I don't have the cool as hell picture sleeve of this 45, but I was able to find a couple of examples of it on the web...

Sharp Hawks - Young Night / Saturday Of Love (1967)

Sharp Hawks - Let's Go Back To The Sea / Star Carnival (1967)

Sharp Hawks - Far Beach / As Usual (1966)

Beavers - Hatsukoi No Oka / Hello Coffee Girl! (1967)

Jaguars - I Want To See You Again / Beat Train (1967)
For all of you regular readers of this blog, you'll know that I like to take chances on 45's that look cool and may be a steal. Back in 2018 there was an Ebay listing of "five Japanese 45's from the 60's" and the opening bid was pretty low. Looking at the pics in the listing I'd noticed that "Sharp Hawks" was written on a couple of these and after little investigating I came to find out that they were a popular beat/pop group in Japan. I won the bid (really low by the way) and was pleasantly surprised when the needle hit the grooves on these. All five of these 45's are extremely cool with twangy guitars, cheezy organs, and even some cool fuzz thrown in. Although some of the vocals are corny, the ten tracks on the whole are very hip. I'm going to spare you more commentary on the rest of these because A. they're very similar, and B. I don't understand Japanese, but I was able to translate the titles and they are all listed here to the best of my ability. BONUS. These 45's were all released in STEREO!

Blue Things - You Can Live In Our Tree / Twist And Shout(1967)
I finally did it. This was the last 45 I needed to find to complete my Blue Things collection of 45's. I'm not exactly a "completist", I mean I have a lot of Beatles 45's too but I'm not going to go out and find every iteration of "I Want To Hold You Hand" that was ever released, although I must admit I have this weird thing about those 45's on the "Hit" label out of Nashville, TN. You know the 29¢ knock offs of hits that were covered by such luminaries as The Jalopy Five? I'm always looking for those, but I digress. I had managed to get my hands on every other 45 by The Blue Things a while ago. Except for this one and it's definitely one of their best. I'm pretty sure their whacked out version of "Twist And Shout" was erroneously put on an Eva Records comp featuring "Texas Punk Bands From The Sixties" We now know that they were indeed from Kansas. Oh yeah, the A side which for some odd reason I'd never heard before is just as cool!

Puzzle - Hey Medusa / Make The Children Happy (1969)
A hard psych outfit from Washington D.C, Puzzle released an LP and this one 45 on ABC Records. Both sides are good up-tempo numbers with some very good guitar work from bandleader Tony Grasso. This usually fetches a good buck on the market but I was able to snag what looked like an un-played copy for a mere bag of shells.

Grin - White Lies / Just To Have You (1972)
I'm going to take a sharp left hand turn on the next two 45's because they are neither garage, nor psyche or even bubblegum or sunshine pop for that matter. They're just really good. I first heard "White Lies" when I was perhaps 13 or 14 years old and even back then I knew it was a great song. So great I had to include it in the edition of Dan's Garage. Nils Lofgren was barely in his twenties when re recorded this and was featured on Grin's 1+1 LP. This is Nils' crowning achievement as far as songwriting goes as I've tried to dig his other songs, which are good, but not nearly as good as this one. I hope you all like it as well.

Neon Boys - Love Comes In Spurts / That's All I Know (1980)

Richard Hell & The Voidoids - Dont Die / Time (1980)
In the late 70's I really got into punk rock. I mean really got into it. My oldest brother Vinny was a record collector (it runs in the family I suppose) and he once brought home a copy of "Live At C.B.G.B.'s" and was kind of raving about all the cool and weird bands that were on it like The Laughing Dogs, The Tuff Darts, Mink Deville, The Shirts, etc. and the sounds were amazing. I discovered that you didn't have to be a virtuoso guitarist ala Jimmy Page to actually strike a nerve. My brother Vic was a guitarist (that also runs in the family) and was playing in a band that was doing some proto punk type stuff at the time and their lead singer came over one day with a copy of Iggy And The Stooges' "Raw Power". I was sold. 
It was around that time the the word "punk" was being used to describe the new sounds of '76 and '77 and the place to find these cool sounds were at a record store called "Record Theatre". It was a chain, but someone in charge was getting stuff from the U.K. and their import bins were stocked with the newest releases. Soon they broadened their scope and one of the LP's that I found was Richard Hell and The Voidoids "Blank Generation". I soon had amassed quite a collection of punk and new wave LP's. Unfortunately I sold a good bit of them.
 Fast forward to around 1986 when I was at the height of my 60's garage band persona and collecting every 45 I could get my hands on. This was one of them, and I found it interesting that not only Richard Hell was on this with The Voidoids, but with a Pre-Television Neon Boys as well. This is a stunning E.P. and a great example of what was brewing in New York City at at the time. I'm not sure when these four songs were recorded, but it probably wasn't 1980 as the record would indicate. Any additional info would be appreciated.


Saturday, August 21, 2021

In Dan's Garage...#142


Hello friends and followers!!!!! After an eight month sabbatical with this blog, I've dusted off my keyboard, revved up my turntable, and got back to posting stuff after an incredibly long and depressing period of time. Although the records aren't pouring in at a frenzied pace these days, they do trickle in every so often, and some of them are really cool. I'm still trying to organize my "posted", and "unposted" 45's, and there's quite a few to be ripped yet. I did acquire some new equipment back in May, a nice shiny new Audio Technica AT-LP120X which for me does the trick as it's more suited to DJing, but I kinda miss the auto return of my trusty old Technics SL-D202, which has too many quirks now to be totally reliable, so I quietly put it on the shelf with my other half dozen or so turntables and am giving it a rest until I can find another suitable use for it. The AT is great because it really keeps the record speed firmly where it belongs and the the whole thing is just more stable so what you get are better sounding recordings. Everyone wins.

As usual, I've plucked a nice sample of goods from my collection to share with you. Some great garage, frat, pop, and psychedelia for your listening pleasure. I hope you all enjoy them.

Cat's Meow - La La Lu / Confusion (1966)

The Cat's Meow were from Staten Island, NY and released two 45's on Decca this one being the first from about April of 1966 and the second was "House Of Kicks" which was featured on Pebbles Vol. 13. The A side here is terrific garage pop with lots of cool guitar breaks and an overall upbeat feel to it, the B side is a frantic instrumental. Apparently, this record was somewhat of a hit in Germany and Australia. Should've been a hit here in the U.S.

17th Avenue Exits - A Man Can Cry / I Ain't Gonna Eat Out My Heart Anymore (1966)

After doing a wee bit of research on this particular 45, I dicovered that it was released twice. The first was on "Big Bry Sound" out of Mobile, AL in 1966. It must have done well regionally because in April of 1967, Modern Records out of Los Angeles, a label known mostly for it's R&B roster picked it up. Both sides are pretty good garage cavers with lot's of fuzzy guitars, the A side being a cover of Johnny Rivers' "A Man Can Cry", and the B side a rework of The Young Rascals' "I Ain't Gonna Eat Out My Heart Anymore".

Danny King - Outside Of My Room / Amen (1966)

Danny King from Birmingham, had a short career in the U.K. during the early to mid 60's. Although he never had any big hits, his claim to fame was having bands that included members of The Move and The Moody Blues at one time or another. One story I read stated that The Moodies were his backing band just before they split with him and started having their own success. I'm not sure whos playing on this 45, but it's a very nice beat two sider with a "teen" feel to it. Bothe sides of this one were released separately on different 45's in the U.K.

Michael's Mystics - You Ran Away / Hi Bird (1965)

Michael's Mystics were a typical frat rock outfit from St. Paul, MN that  worked the area for much of the 60's and well into the 70's. As you can hear from this 45, they generally stuck to the typical formula that most frat/rock bands from the sixties used, a sax, keyboard, some cheesy guitar licks, etc. They later would add more horns to their act and release a version of "Pain" on Charlie records, a song originally done by a group from North Carolina called "Novas Nine". That record got picked up by Metromedia in 1970 (also becoming simply "The Mystics") and became a regional hit. Interesting note...Bill Lordan who played with Sly & The Family Stone and was the long time drummer for Robin Trower played for a while in the Mystics and played on "Pain".

"E" Types - She Moves Me / The Love Of The Loved (1966)

The "E" Types were from Salinas, CA and had four 45's, the most famous being, "Put The Clock Back On The Wall" which came out on Tower records and was produced by Ed Cobb, the guy that produced the "Dirty Water" era Standells and The Chocolate Watchband. He also produced this very nice two sider which isn't as much garage as it is pop, but the "E" Types were pretty adept at injecting that garage/psyche vibe to their records. That was probably Cobb's handiwork.

Noël Deschamps - Ils Étaient Trois / Ça Va Bien Pour Moi / Oh La Hey / Pour Le Pied (1966)

A couple of posts ago (that seems like WAAAAY back) I posted a Noel Deschamps EP that I acquired with a very nice haul of other 45's most of which I still have to get around to. Aside from some off putting horns and a bit of over-production, Noel really delivers the goods on all four tracks here, especially "Ça Va Bien Pour Moi" and his French version of Gene Vincent's "Bird Doggin'". 

Reverbs - Lie In The Shade Of The Sun / I Got The Need (1967)

As I've often stated on this blog, every once and a while I hear a song that really strikes a nerve, and "a good song is indeed a good song". This is one of them. The first time I ever heard this I said to myself, "that is a great song". 'Lie In The Shade Of The Sun" is no "killer" by any stretch. It has no fuzz guitars, no snotty vocals, no primal screams, but it's the spooky subdued nature of this tune that really gets to me. Cool organ fills, a haunting vocal, and snappy drums make this 45 a true winner IMHO. I'm not sure where these guys were from, but somewhere down south would be a good guess, Georgia perhaps????

Cascades - Flying On The Ground / Main Street (1967)

The Cascades' greatest moment was in 1962 when they had a huge hit with "Rhythm Of The Rain". After that, I'm unaware of any other blockbuster hits that they had, but to their credit they put out a slew of records on a bunch of different labels. This one here from '67 is a very nice version of The Buffalo Springfield's "Flying On The Ground" and The Cascades were most likely backed up by The Wrecking Crew on this one (they played on Rhythm Of The Rain) since Jack Nitzsche had the honors of producing this. The B side is not too bad either, a good pop tune with great vocal harmonies.

Bob Seger & The Last Heard - Vagrant Winter / Very Few (1967)

The second last 45 Seger would put out on Cameo records before he left them for Capitol and superstardom. This one is particularly good (at least the A side is) and is probably one of the best from this era, rivaling "East Side Story". I have almost all of Seger's Cameo 45's and I don't ever recall hearing a sappier B side than the one here, but what the hell do I know? You may just like it.

October Country - October Country / Baby What I Mean (1967)

Michal Lloyd was a rather prolific performer, songwriter, producer and his credits include The West Coast Pop Art Experimental Band, St. John Green, even cartoon characters The Cattanooga Cats!!!! This record is sort of an apples and oranges affair. "October Country" (the song) is really good sunshine pop with those nice harpsichords ringing out and great vocals, the B side on the other hand has a party like atmosphere and sounds kinda like they stuck one or two mics in the room and let it rip. Very garage like.

Paupers - One Rainy Day / Tudor Impressions (1967)

The Paupers from Toronto, ON were a very popular act in the mid to late 60's and did quite a bit of gigging on both sides of the border. I think they even made an appearance at the Monterrey Pop Festival in 1967. Their style is a mixed bag of pop and psychedelia and this 45 is a bit on the folk/loner side. It's mainly acoustic and kind of "progressive" for lack of a better term. They started in 1965 and it looked like they were on the cusp of fame but somehow, like many bands from that era, success eluded them and they finally hung it up around 1970.

Vanilla Fudge - Hold On / I Can Make It Alone (1969)

YEAH BABY! Give me shot of that oh so heavy B-3 organ, some killer drums courtesy of Carmine Appice, wild guitar, and a low down bass and what do you get??? The Vanilla Fudge in one of their wilder moments from 1969. These guys are still out there doing their thing and hopefully I'll get to see them on one of their next tours.

Chris Farlowe - Paint It Black / What Have I Been Doing (1968)

Chris Farlowe, it seems, had a rather close relationship with The Rolling Stones as his early records were produced by Andrew Loog Oldham and a bunch of his recordings were covers of Stones songs including this one here which came out on Oldham's Immediate label and was also produced by Mick Jagger himself. How much actual "producing" Jagger did is anybody's guess, but Farlowe turns in a nice rendition of the Stones classic.

Friday, January 22, 2021

In Dan's Garage...#141


 Greetings music lovers!!!! Welcome to 2021which will hopefully be a busier year than last as far as posts on this here blog are concerned. Sorry for the sloppy mess I left on the last one. Bad scans, incomplete files, not exactly up to scratch as the QC dept. here at Dan's Garage Central fell asleep at the wheel, but hopefully we'll make amends this time.
I hope everyone had a great holiday this year as ours's was somewhat modified given the number of guests we were "allowed" to have at one time. Nothing that a little bit of surf 'n turf wont take care of!!!! That being said, all was fine and we hope yours was as well.
Records have been trickling in slowly these past few months, but we still have many untapped resources, so let's get right to it with NUMBER 114!

For those of you who are still asking to update dead links, #1 through 85 are  HERE and #86 through 131 are HERE.  Every post beyond that should have a working link. These are for the Dan's Garage posts only. If you're looking for re-ups of "Obscure 60's Garage", I'll get to them when time permits. Sorry, I have no re-ups for the "Best Of" posts. Those were one off things I threw together and unfortunately, they were lost when my hard drive crashed a while back. Thanks for all your patience and kind kind comments. Stay tuned for more!

John Chester & The Chessmen - Bye Bye Johnny / Miss Ann (1964)
I was fortunate to pick this one up for real cheap a year or so ago, not knowing exactly what I was going to get, but I've had a lot of luck with stuff on Interphon, which seemed to be a label that specialized in acts from the U.K. and Australia, like this one here. Noteworthy groups on this label include The Takers (AKA The Undertakers), The Ad-Libs, The Groundhogs, The Soul Agents, and their biggest act, The Honeycombs. John Chester was one of the first rock & roll artists to hit it big in Australia, and although he released seven 45's in Australia with the Chessmen, he managed only one up here in the U.S. 

Fabulous Four - Now You Cry / Got To Get Her Back (1966)
The Fabulous Four were a very popular group out of Kansas City, MO that started their career off in the early sixties and went well into the seventies. This is their first 45 originally released on the local Brass label and was picked up by Decca for release on their Coral subsidiary. They released other records on Brass simply as "The Fab Four", changed their name to "Next Exit" for a release on Warner Bros., went back to The Fab Four for a one shot on Pearce, and ended up releasing a 45 as "Kansas City" on The Trump label (no relation to the former Pres.). In all, their output was really good, especially their second 45 on Brass, "I'm Always Doing Something Wrong", one of the great teen garage janglers from the mid sixties. This 45's is no slouch either as the A side is a rather moody garage ballad, and the B side is some of the finest Garage/Pop to come out of the 1960's.

Sounds Like Us - Clock On The Wall / Outside Chance (1966)
Apparently from Duluth, MN, these guys decided to cover two of the era's better songs, The Guess Who's "Clock On The Wall", and The Turtles' "Outside Chance". Personally, I think these versions are the superior ones, ONLY because I heard these first. I especially love their take on "Outside Chance" which is the version that The Chesterfield Kings most likely used as a template on their first LP (a classic IMHO). They had a second 45 on Soma which was a version of  Frank Sinatra's (or the Kingston Trio's, take yer pick) "It Was A Very Good Year", backed with a crazed psychedelic instrumental called "The Other Side Of The Record". 

Long Brothers - Lonely Time / Dream Girl (1966)
You know, I coulda swore I had some concrete info on these guys at some point, but in the fickle universe called "psyberspace" (did I spell that right???), things appear and disappear randomly, so I'm gonna wing it with my feeble memory as my only notes....
The Long Brothers were actually twin brothers from I really don't know where, but they left us with this cool single, a two sider that features a moody ballad on the A side that has a riff reminiscent of  "And I Love Her" but mucked up by a lousy horn section. The B side on the other hand is the winner here. Great cheezy garage/folk/punk with an up-tempo delivery!

Thomas Edisun's Electric Light Bulb Band - The Circle Is Small / Flying On The Ground (1969)
Thomas Edisun's Electric Light Bulb Band was a group out of Lafayette, LA and had two 45's, one on Tamm records and the other here on Donson, both local labels. I don't know a lot about this band's history, but they probably were ridiculed quite a bit as 1960's Louisiana, outside of NoLa was pretty conservative, and since these guys were, let's just say, "slightly psychedelic", they may have taken quite a bit of flak from the locals. This is just pure conjecture here, because I wasn't there, but they did leave us with a couple of cool 45's including this one which is another double two sided cover record. A cover of a Gordon Lightfoot song (that I've never really heard), and a slow, loopy cover of Neil Young's "Flying On The Ground Is Wrong", a rather popular song in the late sixties covered by more bands than I can mention here.....

Amen Corner - High In The Sky / Run, Run, Run (1968)
Amen Corner was a really good mod/r&b/psych outfit from the U.K. that only had four releases in the U.S., three on Deram and one on Immediate. It was led, more or less, by vocalist Andy Fairweather-Low who had a decent solo career in the seventies performing with the likes of Eric Clapton, George Harrison and others, and keyboardist Blue Weaver spent some time with Mott The Hoople, Strawbs, and other bands. Their singles are really very good and worth seeking out as they have a nice mix of psych, r&b and mod.

Buffalo Nickel - I Could Be So Good To You / Hard To Be Without You (Dome)
Holy moly! These guys had to call themselves "The Buffalo Nickel" and release a relatively obscure 45 on an even more obscure label, so in this space age of interwebs and ggoooggling you know what I get??? A lot of info on buffalo head nickels. I'm pretty sure these guys were from California although I can't confirm that, but they do a nice job with Don & The Goodtimes' "I Could Be So Good To You", but the B side "Hard To Be Without You" is the winner here.

Depoe Drifters - Sweet, Sweet Love / Soul On Fire (1969)
Here's one that I would assume is from somewhere in the deep south. Perhaps Tennessee or Mississippi, or Alabama?????? In any case, it's release date is 1969 which is pretty late for a lo-fi number such as this, not that that's a bad thing mind you. While everyone else was going "progressive" The Depoe Drifters managed to press a way cool 45 in the midst of all the change in styles. The A side is a great moody number and the B side is a haunting instrumental. Great stuff!!!

Hamilton Streetcar - Wasn't It You / Brother Speed (1969)
Hamilton Streetcar was a group out of L.A. that had two classic 45's on LHI Records and then released an LP on Dot in 1969. The first two 45's are premium examples of west coast psychedelia ca. 1967 and are classics, they later hooked up with producer Richard Delvy and released an LP of decent material, although it's somewhat overproduced in comparison to their earlier 45's. "Wasn't It You" is a song that was originally recorded by Petula Clark (I believe) and covered by a slew of other acts including these guys. The better side is "Brother Speed" a nice up-tempo psyche tune.

Captain Freak & Lunacycle Band - 20th Generation Sad / What Ever Happened To Superman (1971)
Not much is known about this kooky novelty tune from 1971. Not garage or psychedelic, this particular 45 was also released on the "Phil-La-Of Soul" label the same year. Co-producer  and writer Howard Boggess also released a slightly different version of "20th Generation Sad" as a solo artist on Jamie 1396 with a much better flip. This guy sounds a bit like Randy Newman to me.

The Fox - The Astrology Song / The Man, The Man (196?)
Here's another total dead end in the info dept. This 45 is another, well, sort of, "novelty" record, but I'm not sure it was intended to so. But I might be wrong, I think these guys were just really stoned. I have no idea who "The Fox" was but he probably cut this garage/psychedelic two sider sometime in the late 60's, possibly the early 70's, but judging by the way it sounds, I'd say....1969! "The Astrology Song" is a rundown of all the signs of the zodiac he's encountered, and the Fox explains all their diverse thoughts, or something like that. The flip, or the actual "A" side here is even better as The Fox warns all of us about "The Man", the "fuzz" to be exact going around town looking "for someone to bust" all sung to a Bo Diddley beat with some cool B-3 organ and bongos in the mix. I probably should mention that this was released on the "Rings Of Saturn" label and the "executive producer" was "High Priest Smoking Bear". Far out man!!!!

Wild Cherries - Wigwaum / Whistle Stop Revue (1971)
Some very nice bubblegum out of Iowa. "Wigwaum", is ok, typical bubblegum stuff from this era, but the flip is way cooler and probably represents what the band really sounded like. One of the last 45's released by Kapp Records before they were absorbed by MCA along with Uni, Decca, Coral, & Brunswick.

Yellow Payges - Vanilla On My Mind / Would You Mind If I Loved You (1969)
The Yellow Payges released a bunch of 45's on Showplace and Uni records in several different styles. Garage, Psychedelia, Flower-Pop, and just plain ol' "Pop" like this finely crafted two sider. I know all the "garage" and "psychedelic" purists may pooh-pooh this record, but I think it's really fucking good. Especially "Vanilla On My Mind". I'll say it again...A good song, is a good song, and "Vanilla" is right up there with them. 

Keef Hartley - Waiting Around / Halfbreed (1969)
The focus of this blog consists almost entirely of garage, freakbeat, British invasion, surf, sunshine pop, bubblegum, etc., but I really do love "British Blues" from the mid to late 60's. I'm not talking about groups like The Animals, Them, The Yardbirds, Rolling Stones et al, I mean Ten Years After, Chicken Shack, Savoy Brown, John Mayall, and on this here 45, one of his drummers, Keef Hartley. Hartley split with Mayall around 1967 or 68. He played on Mayall's "Crusade" LP which I think is one of the finest examples of British Blues pressed on to vinyl (Mayall's LP with Eric Clapton is way better though ;)). After his departure, Hartley formed an act quite similar to The Bluesbreakers and featured a few of Mayall's former sidemen, so when this 45 became available at a very nice price, I took a stab at it and was pleasantly surprised. It's "British Blues" at it's finest. Guitarist Miller Anderson shines on this and he would later team up with Kim Simmonds and Stan Webb (of Chicken Shack) and record an LP as Savoy Brown called "Boogie Brothers". I used to have most of Keef Hartley's LP's and sold them off in the mid 80's. Right now, I kinda wish I had those records back.