Question Mark & the Mysterians – Can’t Get Enough of You Baby

Example

Rudy & the Gang: “Whatchoo lookin’ at?”

Example

Listen – Can’t Get Enough of You Baby – MP3

Greetings all.
Hey hey hey! Whatup Iron Leggers?
I come to you this evening courtesy of a wholly unexpected burst of energy.
The weekend has been busy, and as I inferred over at Funky16Corners, reality has rudely intruded upon my fantastic little bubble of blogosphericy (HEY! New word…10 points!). Nothing tragic but the kind of stuff that requires a little more attention than reg’lar old daily life.
This post came to fruition because I’ve kind of been circling the subject warily for about a week, and turning up new and interesting information along the way.
I first encountered ‘Can’t Get Enough of You Baby’ back in nineteen-and-eighty-five when it fell out of my radio courtesy of the Colour Field. Actually, though it was the Colour Field performing the song, the playing was courtesy of a long lost (and dreadfully lamented) local institution, WHTG-FM.
WHTG-FM was (back in the olden days) what folks in the biz – as it was – referred to as a “modern rock” station. Though that sobriquet would be replaced – rather objectionably – by “alternative”, in it’s early days, when New Wave was morphing into something a little shaggier courtesy of bands like R.E.M., WHTG-FM was one of only a very few commercial stations in the country with a focus on independent music, playing all kinds of stuff you’d never hear in a million years on one of the big mainstream rock stations. And – this is the good part – they were broadcasting right around the corner.
For a short while in the mid-80’s, WHTG-FM formed a golden triangle of a sort with a club called the Green Parrot, and possibly the greatest record store I ever patronized regularly (and I mean REGULARLY) Vintage Vinyl. This troika provided a fantastic little scene that made it easy for people with non-mainstream tastes to find great music, on the air, live on stage or on vinyl/CD. During this period the Green Parrot hosted a ton of great acts on it’s tiny stage. The ones I remember off the top of my head include the Dickies, Pylon, Social Distortion, Screaming Tribesman, and the Fleshtones.
Long story truncated slightly, it was great while it lasted.
Anyway, part of this was hearing the Colour Field on WHTG-FM, performing a great tune called ‘I Can’t Get Enough of You Baby’. Led by Terry Hall (late of the Specials and Fun Boy Three) Colour Field – in their brief existence – recorded a couple of great albums of atmospheric pop. It took me a while to find the 45 (which is odd since it was on a major label), but when I did I played it to DEATH.
Then, somewhere down the line someone heps me to the fact that this great tune is a cover of a Question Mark & the Mysterians tune.
“No shit?!” Said I, and I proceeded to seek out the original 45.
When I finally got it, it quickly became a fave.
So, here we all are some 20 years hence, and I pull out the Question Mark 45 to digi-ma-fy for the blog, and I start poking around on the interwebs for information.
Imagine my surprise when I discovered that the Question Mark recording was not in fact the original, but was preceded by versions by the Toys and the Four Seasons!
Now, Question Mark and the Mysterians were – as evidenced by their recordings and their badass slouching in most pictures – the hottest bunch of Tex-Mex via Michigan punks ever. How they ended up covering a Four Seasons song (?!?!?) is unknown to me, but I hopped on iTunes and found both the Four Seasons version and the original by the Toys.
If you know the Toys, it’s probably via their huge hit ‘A Lovers Concerto’. The Toys hailed from Queens, NY, and found their way to composers Sandy Linzer and Denny Randell via a singing tryout at the Brill Building. They recorded ‘Can’t Get Enough of You Baby’ on their 1965 LP, and while it lacks the swagger of the Question mark version, it’s still pretty interesting.
Flash forward a year to the Four Seasons (a group that interests me a little more with each passing year) who recorded the tune on their 1966 ‘Working My Way Back To You’ LP. Their version – with Frankie Valli sounding like a rusty gate swinging in a hurricane – is my least favorite.
Question Mark hit it – and hard – later that year, and I don’t think I’m taking any great chances by stating that that theirs is the definitive version of the song.
One need only make a brief survey of the Question Mark catalog to observe that they always brought a delightfully lurid edge to their performances, due in large part to the Chicano space alien-isms of Rudy Martinez, aka Question Mark. They were garage snot writ large, but replacing the kind of suburban teen trying to sound like John Lee Hooker minstrelsy-lite* with an authentic toughness that sounds positively casual when laid next to most well regarded garage punk. They recorded two excellent LPs before trailing off in a cloud of small label 45s. They’ve made numerous comebacks over the years, and Question Mark hasn’t lost one iota of his Question Mark-ness. In fact, I’d go so far as to say that 40 years after springing onto the charts, he’s even more Question Mark-y than ever.
That said, sometime in the last few years the goons** who had the rights to the Cameo Parkway catalog finally allowed a legit reissue of classic Question Mark & the Mysterians recordings, which you simply must grab. Trust me, there’s a lot more there than just ’96 Tears’.
Peace
Larry

Example

*Though I often wonder if the American kids, who were imitating Mick Jagger had any idea that he was trying to sound like Hooker and Muddy Waters….

** I had a message passed on from someone who worked on this reissue, and I should clarify that the “goon” reference was aimed not at the people who worked on the reissue (which is great) but at the person who sat on the Cameo Parkway masters forever (if you’re a music fan you probably know who I’m talking about).

L

IL Meets F16C #2: The Banana Splits – I Enjoy Being a Boy (in Love With You)

Example

King of Bubblegum: Joey Levine

Example

Example

Listen – I Enjoy Being a Boy (In Love With You) – MP3

Greetings all.
Welcome to the second collaborative post (is it still a collaboration if I’m responsible for both halves???) between Funky16Corners and Iron Leg.
You can check out Funky16Corners for the explanation about how this particular dual post got started, but the Iron Leg half of things came to be thusly.
After spinning ‘Doin’ the Banana Split’ a few times, I let the record go (both 7” records are 4-song EPs) and listened to the other song on that side, ‘I Enjoy Being a Boy (In Love With You)’
I recall back in the heady garage revival days of the mid-80’s that a friend of mine used to sing this song with a Sky Saxon-ish inflection, which these 20 years hence (as I’m hearing the record for the first time) turns out to have been not too far from the mark.

Example

As I mention in the Funky16Corners post, the Banana Splits musical catalog has several contributions from artists that one might reasonably assume would never have had anything to do with such a prefab enterprise (like Barry White, Gene Pitney and Al Kooper*).
On the flipside of that particular coin is ‘I Enjoy Being a Boy (In Love With You)’ which was composed by the man who might be considered to be one of the godfathers of the bubblegum pop era, Mr. Joey Levine.
You may not know his name, but you have surely heard his voice. In the mid-60’s Levine was a key member of the Kasenetz-Katz bubblegum pop factory, writing, producing and singing (that’s his voice on ‘Yummy Yummy Yummy’ by the Ohio Express and ‘Run Run Run’ by the Third Rail) a grip of chart hits. Levine would record lead vocals for a number of Kasenetz-Katz projects, and would go on to create and voice some of the most memorable advertising jingles of the 70’s, including “Sometimes You Feel Like A Nut” for Mounds/Almond Joy candy bars and “Just for the Taste of It” for Coca-Cola. If that wasn’t enough, Levine also gets a bit of rock credibility for writing ‘Try It’ which was recorded by the Standells in the US and the Attack in the UK.
The tune you are downloading today, ‘I Enjoy Being a Boy (in Love With You)’ is a great slice of vaguely fuzzy bubble-garage-psyche that’s just potent enough to stand up proudly next to much of what was on the charts when it came out. While it’s not going to win any gold medals at the garage punk Olympics, it’s evidence that even in the world of (almost literally) disposable pop, there were gems to be found.
As far as I know there has never been a legitimate reissue of the Banana Splits “catalog”. Initially there were three 45s and a full length LP on Decca, and the two EP’s issued by Kelloggs. There were also several songs that appeared only on the TV show, including alternate versions of some the tracks that were released on vinyl. There was a bootleg CD reissue in the 90’s that included all of the LP, 45 and EP tracks but I’ve heard that the tracks were mastered from vinyl, so the sound quality left something to be desired. The original vinyl is findable with varying degrees of difficulty, with the Kelloggs EPs being the easiest and the LP the most difficult (and expensive).
Dig it.
Peace
Larry

Example

*Though Kooper got his start playing on the Royal Teens ‘Short Shorts’ so this may be a what goes around comes around moment…

Remember to head over to Funky16Corners for the soulful side of the Splits!

Southwest F.O.B. – The Smell of Incense

Example

Southwest F.O.B.

Example

Listen – The Smell of Incense – MP3

Greetings all.
I’m taking advantage of a small, precious bit of quiet time this morning to get a song posted.
This post ought to be subtitled, ‘The Groovy Roots of AM Radio Hell’, as the group playing today’s fine selection, the Southwest F.O.B. included in its ranks none other than England Dan (Seals*) and John Ford Coley.
But first – as if you didn’t see this coming – a little background.
I first heard ‘The Smell of Incense’ back in the mid 80’s garage/psych days when I saw a fuzzy, many times duplicated video of the group playing the song on a local Texas dance party show. If memory serves (as the video is long gone) I was struck first not by the song (which I came to love) but by the ultra-mod lime green pant suits that the band was wearing. The day-glo effect provided quite the jarring contrast to the mellow, trippy vibe of the song.
I had never heard of the band before, but started looking for their record immediately. Oddly enough I found a copy of their album long before I grabbed the 45 you see above, which is strange because the song was a minor hit (just outside the Top 50), and the single is actually pretty common.
‘The Smell of Incense’ is actually a cover, with the original version having been recorded a year earlier in 1967 by the West Coast Pop Art Experimental Band on Reprise (there was also a cover by a group called the Abstracts). The Southwest F.O.B., which hailed from Dallas recorded their version in 1968, and it was initially released locally on the GPC label). After the record saw some success the group was signed to the Stax subsidiary HIP Records. They went on to record the LP ‘The Smell of Incense’ for HIP – which also included an excellent cover of the Buffalo Springfield’s ‘Rock’n’Roll Woman’.
The Southwest F.O.B.’s version of ‘The Smell of Incense’ – which I prefer to the original – is a slice of late 60’s commercial pop-psyche perfection. It manages to be lightweight and heavy at the same time, teetering on the edge of faux-hippy cheesiness while managing to retain a kind of rough edged (dig the heavy guitars), paisley dreaminess.
It’s the kind of record I have to give multiple plays whenever I dig it out.
I hope you dig it.
The fine folks over at Sundazed Records (by far the best label for this kind of stuff) have done an excellent job with the reissue, including several bonus tracks.
I’ll be back later in the week with a cool ‘joint’ post with Funky16Corners.
Until then…
Peace
Larry

Example

*Making a case of 1970’s AM Radio domination, England Dan Seals (who went on to a very successful country music career) is brother to none other than Jim Seals of Seals & Crofts…

The Caretakers – East Side Story

Example

Bob Seger (top left) & the Last Heard

Example

Listen – East Side Story – MP3

Greetings all.
My apologies for a late arrival this week, and apologies in advance for an early departure as well.

This will be my sole Iron Leg post this week, if only to insert a small amount of breathing room in an already dreadfully overloaded schedule. This will go some small way into preserving my sanity for the week, and allowing me to recharge and gear up for a full blogging schedule next week.

That said, I figure if I’m only making one post this week, it ought to be a good one.

Those of you who blanche – understandably –at the mention of the name Bob Seger should relax, because I’m about to hep you to a time when Dr Jeckyll was still in control and the Chevy-shilling Mr Hyde we’ve all come to fear was still years away from materializing.

Back in the day – the mid-60’s to be exact – Seger had yet to grow a beard and was the very essence of soulful garage punk. He prowled the streets, stages and recording studios of his native Detroit with his band the Last Heard, and laid down some absolutely shit-hot 45s, crossing paths with local giant Del Shannon (who discovered Seger and made his first recordings), as well as future classic rock bigshot Glen Frey (who played in local band the Mushrooms and later sang backup on Seger’s classic ‘Ramblin’ Gamblin’ Man’).

One of these records – his first big success (in 1966), on a local level anyway, selling tens of thousands of copies in Detroit alone – was the blistering ‘East Side Story’. Issued locally on Hideout Records, and then picked up for national distribution by Cameo, ‘East Side Story’ driven by a deadly fuzz guitar riff and Seger’s injured howl was a garage punk masterpiece.

Though ESS, and ‘Heavy Music Pt1’ were big local hits, and starting to spread into other regional markets like Florida and Pennsylvania, Cameo soon went bust, sucking Seger’s career down the drain, at least temporarily until he signed with Capitol Records in 1968.

Though it didn’t make it as a national hit, ‘East Side Story’ ended up being recorded by at least five other groups, even garnering a cover by UK mods the St. Louis Union.

In the US, ‘East Side Story’ was covered by the Flakes, District Six, HP Movement and the group that recorded today’s selection, San Bernadino, California’s Caretakers.

I first heard the Caretakers version back in the 80’s on (I believe) one of the Boulders comps*. It quickly became a favorite, though it probably took more than ten years before I tracked down a copy of the original 45.

I don’t know much about the Caretakers, other than they recorded four singles for three different labels. Their lead singer Bruce Robertson went on to record a rare psychedelic LP under the name ‘Garrett Lund’.

Their version of ‘East Side Story’ may lack some of the soulful grit of the original by Seger and the Last Heard, but they make up for it with a surplus of garagey power.

How the song made its way around to so many groups is a minor mystery. I say minor, because Cameo was well distributed nationally (even today OG 45s of Seger’s original aren’t too expensive), and because ‘East Side Story’ is an undeniably kick-ass song. As far as I can tell there’s no direct link between any of the groups that covered the song, making the likely scenario no more than a happy coincidence.

How it got to the Caretakers specifically is potentially more interesting. If you take a close look at the label, the producer is listed as Doug Brown. Bob Seger’s first band was Doug Brown and the Omens, with Brown going on to produce Seger’s Last Heard 45s (Brown played guitar on the original ‘East Side Story’). Could this be the same Doug Brown? One discography I’ve seen lists the Caretakers 45 as having been released in 1969, three years after Seger’s original. Is it possible that Brown ended up in California, and literally brought the song to the Caretakers, or was the credit on their 45 a mistake, or was this another Doug Brown? If anyone knows for sure please let me know.

While researching the tune, I came across a quote from a 1972 interview with Seger from Creem magazine, in which he complains about a cover of this very song:

“It seems like the only people who do my stuff are these really off-the-wall cats who are looking for really off-the-wall stuff. I always wanted to see Joe Cocker doing ‘Ramblin’ Gamblin’ Man,’ and that, but instead I get this horrible version of East Side Story by the St. Louis Union, produced by Tony Clarke [The Moody Blues]. Horns and a big production. It’s really funny. A kitchen sink production thing, it was terrible.”

Having heard the SLU cover, I beg to differ, but it is Bob’s song, so he’s clearly entitled to his opinion.

Either way, I hope you dig the song, and I’ll see you all next week with some Sunshine Pop, some Garage and I don’t know what else.

Have a great weekend.

Peace
Larry

Example

*The citations I’ve found on Google seem to indicate that the Caretakers version was also on Pebbles Vol 9, but my memory – tattered as it is – says that I had it on one of the old black & white jacketed Boulders volumes, with songs a cover of ‘This Sporting Life’ and a tune by the Cherry Slush.

PS There’s a great Philly Soul mix over at Funky16Corners

Glen Campbell – Guess I’m Dumb

Example

Mr. Glen Campbell

Example

Listen – Guess I’m Dumb – MP3

Greetings all.
Here’s hoping that the week having crested, you are all in good spirits and anticipating the sudden onrush of autumn. At least that’s how it’s supposed to play out around here, with the temperature dropping – in a weeks time – from the upper 80’s to the low 60’s.
As far as I’m concerned the change couldn’t have come sooner. I love the summer but after a while heat and humidity become monotonous (unless of course you’re a banana farmer, in which case it verily screams “PROSPERITY!”) and one requires a touch of crispness in the air to soothe the soul.
That said, in the small corner of the interweb that I inhabit blog-o-rifically, things have been moving a long at a brisk pace, due in large part to an infusion of fresh vinyl, including a couple of pieces that I’d been trying to track down for a while.
One of these is today’s selection, and once you’ve heard it I think you’ll agree that the search was worthwhile.
I’ve been a Glen Campbell fan since I was a kid. Though his mid-70’s travesty ‘Rhinestone Cowboy’ tortured anyone within reach of an AM radio in 1975, I remember his late-60’s, Jimmy Webb associated heyday when he had a TV series and was all over the charts with the brilliant likes of ‘Wichita Lineman’*.
Campbell – born in Arkansas in 1936 – was already a busy studio guitarist in LA when he first hit the charts (however gently) in 1962. He wouldn’t have his first major hit until 1967 and ‘Gentle On My Mind’. In the years leading up to his initial visit to the Top 40, he spent some time on the road with the Beach Boys as a temporary replacement for Brian Wilson.
The story goes, that as a thank you to Campbell, Brian Wilson “gave” him today’s selection ‘Guess I’m Dumb’.
Written by Wilson and Russ Teitleman, and produced by Wilson (with backing vocals by the Honeys), ‘Guess I’m Dumb’ had originally been recorded (and subsequently discarded) by the Beach Boys in 1964. The following year Wilson too Campbell into the studio, and created just over two and a half minutes of pop perfection.
I’d never heard of the song until last year when a clip of Campbell performing the song (on Shindig, I think) showed up on the Bedazzled blog. I was –from the very first listen – blown away. I set out immediately to try and track down a copy of the 45, but soon discovered that it was not only rare, but as might be expected, quite expensive. It was a few weeks ago that I found a copy at a record show. I didn’t get it for peanuts, but it was still about half the going price, so I didn’t hesitate to spend the dough.
Melodically ‘Guess I’m Dumb’ presages the kind of things that Wilson would be recording on Pet Sounds a year later. The arrangement is first-rate second-generation Wall of Sound, and the melody, filled with odd little dissonances – the kind of art-pop that Wilson did so well – is a marvel.
I’ve never heard the Beach Boys version of the song (if one even exists) but I can’t imagine that even their wonderful harmonies would be any better than Campbell’s crystal clear tenor. Gary Usher and Curt Boettcher no doubt felt the same way two years later when they used Campbell as the lead vocalist on ‘My World Fell Down’ by Sagittarius.
Sadly – at the time (aside from an oddball chart appearance in Salt Lake City) ‘Guess I’m Dumb’ proved too sophisticated for popular success and disappeared. Campbell went on to bigger (though maybe not better things) with a long and successful career.
See you next week.
Peace
Larry

Example

PS Here’s another TV performance of the same song on Youtube

The Family Tree – Slippin’ Thru My Fingers

Example

The Family Tree

Example

Listen – Slippin’ Thru My Fingers- MP3

Greetings all.
Happy (I suppose) beginning (sort of) of the week.
Last week – as recounted over at Funky16Corners – I went on a digging expedition, in fact the first serious one in quite a long time.
In addition to a grip of very tasty soul and funk, and closing out a couple of long standing wantlist items (one that will appear in this space soon), I also managed to pick up a couple of interesting 60’s pop pieces.
Perhaps the best thing about digging with a portable turntable is that I am instantly able to validate (or dispose of) records that catch my eye for one reason or another. Usually it’s an interesting name, label or song title, but as any seasoned digger will tell you, even a combination of all three of these indicators is no guarantee of a great record. My crates have many examples from my pre-portable years of records that verily screamed “BUY ME IMMEDIATELY AS I APPEAR TO BE THE KIND OF RECORD YOU’D DIG!!” until I got them home and whipped them on the turntable, where they started to scream something entirely different (and almost always unpleasant). On (extremely) rare occasions this plays out differently (like the 45 that I picked up in my garage punk days, which turned out to be a very tasty funk side), but most of the time what you get is annoying calypso, old-timey R&B or bizarre novelty.
Having the portable allows you to give visually promising records a preview for both content and condition.
Thanks to this modern convenience, I picked up the record you’re listening to presently, ‘Slippin’ Thru My Fingers’ by the Family Tree.
I had never heard of the Family Tree before, but the band name and song titles looked interesting, and their was a familiar name on the label. That the record contained some very nice pop-psych sealed the deal, onto the “keeper” pile it went.
When I looked up that name on the label, It turns out I have no idea why it was familiar to me, but a little research turned up a very interesting story.
Bob Segarini, who wrote both sides of the 45, had a long and storied career that started out in the San Francisco area with the legendary Brogues (some of whom went on to form Quicksilver Messenger Service), then on to the Family Tree (which included a keyboard player named Mike Olsen, who would become better known as Lee Michaels) who recorded a 45 and an unreleased LP for Mira, and then a few 45s and an LP for RCA.
‘Slippin’ Thru My Fingers’ is from that LP (‘Miss Butters’), which was reissued in the last few years by the UK Rev-Ola label. The tune is a fantastic bit of pop-psych that sounds like ‘Horizontal’-era Bee Gees after a few months soaking up the California sun (in fact it bears a close resemblance to the Gibb Brothers ‘The Earnest of Being George’). There are also traces of the Beatles, but for me there is a very strong LA vibe in ‘Slippin’ Thru My Fingers’ that reminds me a lot of some of the stuff on the first few Nitty Gritty Dirt Band albums, or maybe something by Emitt Rhodes. I love the vocals, and guitar, and I think there might even be bits of moog synthesizer in the background. Interestingly enough this LP was recorded at the same time (same arranger George Tipton) as Harry Nilsson’s masterpiece ‘Aerial Ballet’. The two RCA records even have sequential catalog numbers.
The Family Tree broke up after ‘Miss Butters’, with Lee Michaels going on to a serious solo career, and Segarini to a succession of bands including Roxy, and the Wackers (which recorded several LPs) before moving to Canada and recording some seminal power pop LPs under his own name.
I’ll be back later in the week with some more groovy gravy.
Peace
Larry

Example

Buy – The Family Tree – Miss Butters – at Amazon.com

All Hail the Roman Gods!

Example

The Fleshtones!

Listen – The World Has Changed – MP3

Listen – All Around the World – MP3

Greetings all.
I just finished Joe Bonomo’s fantastic biography of one of the truly great American rock bands, the mighty Fleshtones.
When I first saw ‘Sweat: The Story of the Fleshtones, America’s Garage Band’ I was naturally suspicious. I am – and this is no exaggeration whatsoever – a voracious reader. Even under the current free-time constraints that come with having two little kids, I generally put one (sometimes two) books to bed per week.
Whenever I hit the local mega-mondo-book-and-music-plex (in our case either Borders or Barnes & Noble) I head right over to the music books first, to see if there’s anything new worth checking out.
Any suspicions I had were wholly created by past experiences with music bios about artists that might be thought to inhabit cult/fringe status (and as you know, this is no value judgement on my part, as a good 80% of the music I consume on a given day hails from those hinterlands of little reknown). I’ve often found that such biographies have often been written by fanboys (or girls) who have neither the skill nor the remove to bring the proper perspective to any story.
I’m more than happy to tell you that this is not the case with Bonomo’s book. Not only is he an excellent writer/storyteller, but he had great material to work with, that being the 30 year career of the Fleshtones.
I can’t say that I’ve been following the Fleshtones since the beginning, but my brothers and I got on the bus pretty early. Back in nineteen and eighty two, I grabbed the band’s first IRS EP ‘Up Front’ and played ‘Theme From the Vindicators’ until my record player was an ashen heap.
A few years later, at a long gone and lamented New Brunswick record store (anyone remember Music In a Different Kitchen?), I picked up the 45 that since that day has been a fave, and that you are downloading as we speak.
‘The World Has Changed’ b/w ‘All Around the World’ revealed itself as a winner from the second that the needle hit the wax. The topside is a punishing sonic assault that runs the Yardbirds through a blender with the MC5, that with steller production by Richard Mazda verily leapt from the turntable directly into the listeners brain.
The flip – the tune that introduced me to Little Willie John – was a supercharged cover of Titus Turner’s ‘All Around the World’ (aka ‘Grits Ain’t Groceries’). All told one of the finest 45s to be produced by ANY band during the 1980’s, and sorrowfully (nay DISGRACEFULLY) out of print.
Through the 80’s I saw the Fleshtones (one of the truly great live bands I’ve ever had the privilege of seeing) many times, though the show that stands out for me was a sparsely attended – but no less blistering – show at a place called the Green Parrot in Neptune, NJ. The club, where I also saw the Dickies, Pylon, Screaming Tribesman and a grip of other amazing bands, was for a brief period an oasis of “alternative” music, where many touring bands would stop on an off-night between New York and Philadelphia.
That long ago night I walked out of the Green Parrot drenched in sweat, with a huge smile on my face, the Fleshtones’ set list in one hand and Peter Zaremba’s harmonica in the other.
At the time a good portion of the audience was known to the band – if not by name, then by face – as we were all denizens of the New York City garage scene. If I have a bone to pick with Bonomo’s book it’s that those few years in the mid-80’s, when the streets of New York City were crawling with bands devoted to 60’s Mod and Garage sounds, to whom the Fleshtones were most definitely godfathers – are pretty much neglected in the book. The Vipers (who’s leader Jon Weiss played sax on the Fleshtones ‘Roman Gods’ LP) are mentioned, as are Fleshtones offshoots like the Love Delegation*, yet the vibrant scene that yielded the Fuzztones, Outta Place, Mod Fun, Cheepskates is glossed over. There is some mention of the higher-profile ‘Paisley Underground’ bands out in Cali, and oddly enough later bands like the Strokes and White Stripes, yet the NYC garage scene, which may very well not have happened without a band like the Fleshtones didn’t get much play.
Either way, it’s still a fantastic book, and if it does anything to get the word out about the Fleshtones, who are still a going concern today, then all the better.
Until IRS (or whoever controls their catalogue) gets off the pot and reissues the classic early 80’s Fleshtones material, you can troll the interwebs for OG vinyl, or you can take advantage of the late-era stuff that is available on botheMusic and Itunes for download.
Peace
Larry

Example

*I saw the Love Delegation a couple of times, and they were a tremendous amount of fun. In a bizarre twist, years later one of their singers, Micheal Ullman ended up working with me for short time in the composing room of a local newspaper.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,470 other followers