Iron Leg Digital Trip #10 – Transitive Nightfall of Diamonds

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Hippified bliss…

Listen/Download 51MB Mixed MP3 – MP3

Download 40MB ZIP File-

Playlist

Spirit – Girl in your eye (Epic)
Buffalo Springfield – Expecting To Fly (Atco)
The Association – Everything That Touches You (WB)
Beach Boys – I Know There’s An Answer (Capitol)
Rolling Stones – She Smiled Sweetly (Abcko)
Grateful Dead – Dark Star (45 Edit) (WB)
Pearls Before Swine – I Saw the World (ESP Disk)
Simon & Garfunkel – Fakin’ It (Columbia)
Steve Miller Band – Quicksilver Girl (Capitol)
Zombies – Beechwood Park (Date)
Fleetwood Mac – My Dream (Reprise)
Richie Havens – Strawberry Fields Forever (Verve)
The Who – Rael (Decca)

Greetings all.
It’s been a busy – but fun – weekend here in NJ, despite the fact that Spring has once again gone into temporary hiding. Thursday afternoon it’s 75 degrees, Sunday morning it’s back in the 40s….WHAT THE HELL?!?
It’s not like I’m not used to it. I’ve lived in New Jersey for almost my entire life and I can assure that it has always been thus. Of course by the end of the first week in June I’ll be back here carping about the heat, but that’s just the way things are.
Anyway…it was nice enough on Saturday to take the kids to the Cape May Zoo (a very nice zoo and the admission is free!) and then jet on over to a blissfully pre-summer Wildwood (a real mob scene after Memorial Day) for some gourmet hot dogs.
Last week I snagged some very cool vinyl (some for here and some for Funky16Corners) which I am in the process of digi-ma-tizing, and I’ve also managed to record the tunes for the first two parts of what I intend to make an ongoing series about the 1980s garage/mod revival (part one to drop in a few weeks).
The mix I bring you this fine day – no less than the TENTH edition of the Iron Leg Digital Trip – is a testament to the fact that I’m putting these podcasts together as much for myself as for the folks who stop by here to download the ones and zeros.
I have been, since I first had the mechanical wherewithal, a compulsive maker of mixes. First, back in the late 70’s (and for many years afterward) on cassette, then on CD and for the last few years in the digital realm, stored and played back frequently on my iPod. The most frequently accessed playlist on said MP3 delivery system is the one composed of Funky16Corners Radio and Iron Leg Digital Trip podcasts, which – according to iTunes – now lasts almost two full days.
Though I’m certainly far from the only person with this particular affliction, some might say that I take it to a kind of extreme in that all of the mixes I make these days end up on the interwebs for public consumption. Could it be that I’ve become some kind of Global Village version of that jerk that comes to your party and monopolizes the stereo?
I hope not.
No matter, the making of the mixes is rooted in a need – which I’m sure anyone with a serious interest in music has – to string together just the right songs to create, or in some instances recapture a specific mood, and either maintain it, or manipulate in one direction or another.
To any regular reader of either of my blogs it should come as no surprise that I lead a somewhat hectic life. I have two small children, a job that brings with it a certain amount of psychological wear and tear and two ongoing blogs. The only part of that equation I could do without is the job (though couldn’t we all?), because I love my wife and kids more than life itself and the blogging is (aside from intermittent returns to drawing) my sole creative outlet.
That said, this past week was a particularly hectic one at my job (in addition to the current onslaught of pollen) and by the time Friday arrived my head was spinning and I felt like going down to the basement, turning off the lights and curling up on the couch for a 48 hour nap. Since that was unlikely to happen, I applied a little musical therapy to my throbbing brain, and the result is the mix you see before you.
I’ll spare you the song-by-song details*, but I will say that what I’ve put together is many of my favorite cool-down tunes, all guaranteed to put the weary portions of your mind to rest, invigorate the parts that need a boost and take you on a pleasant 40 minute excursion.
The mix contains a number of approaches to, and levels of psychedelia** with tangents to the baroque, sunshine pop, folk rock and even a dash of roots rock.
As always, I hope you dig it, and maybe put it aside for a time when you need something to help un-knot your own weary brain.
Peace
Larry

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PS Head over to Funky16Corners for a great bit of soul

*There’s nothing too obscure here, but if anyone has any questions you need only ask.

**If one was to split hairs, there are songs here that bear only a passing resemblance to “true” psychedelia, but I refuse to subscribe to a purist agenda and as a result the definition of the genre that I offer you here is mine and mine alone. I hope you dig it but I certainly wouldn’t be offended if you didn’t.

The Hondells – Just One More Chance

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Gary Usher

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Listen – Just One More Chance – MP3

Greetings all.
I was originally going to post this track on Monday, but things happen, plans change and there’s always time (at least for now) for another post.
Though the Outer Limits original version of ‘Just One More Chance’ has been a favorite of mine since I first heard it more than two decades ago, I had not idea until very recently that the track had been covered, let alone that one of the cover versions was by the Hondells*.
Known only to me by their 1964 hit ‘Little Honda’ – which I never cared for all that much – I always assumed that they rode out that hit and promptly vanished. Then I started to do some research and found out that the history of the Hondells, and their cover of ‘Just One More Chance’, was a bit more complicated.
The first and most important fact is that at least in the beginning, there was no band called the Hondells. The tune ‘Little Honda’ – written by Brian Wilson and Mike Love – was brought to uber-producer Gary Usher (who, along with Roger Christian pretty much cornered the market on ‘hot rod’ records in the early 60’s) who gathered a studio group (including Glen Campbell) and laid down the track.
When the song became a hit Usher put together a touring band that went out on the road with the Beach Boys.
As I said before, I figured that’s where the story ended.
Au contraire, mon frere….
Apparently Usher kept the Hondells going for a couple of years, and as far as I can tell their post-‘Little Honda’ recordings were a mixture of contributions from the touring band – who eventually “became” the Hondells – and a studio project for Usher and his pals.
Well, one of Usher’s more prominent (and important) collaborators, a man we’ve discussed in this space before was none other than Curt Boettcher**. By 1967 Boettcher was in the process of co-creating the “group” Sagittarius with Usher, that band’s singles and album being composed of a mixture of Usher-only tracks, Boettcher-only tracks and combinations of the two*.
As far as I can tell the Hondells’ recording of ‘Just One More Chance’ in 1967 intersects with this project, and Boettcher appears as backing vocalist on both sides of the 45 (the flip being ‘Yes To You’).
This is not to say that ‘Just One More Chance’ was in any way a Sagittarius outtake or anything of the kind. However all indicators point to this much more sophisticated sound for the Hondells having been created in the very same crucible as those tracks and as a result is another stellar example of Usher’s increasingly complicated forays into what would become know as Sunshine Pop (among other sobriquets). It’s important to note that by the time they recorded ‘Just One More Chance’ the Hondells had recently experienced their last stab at chart success, with a cover of the Lovin’ Spoonful’s ‘Younger Girl’ a far cry from the formulaic “beach” sounds with which they started.
That said, while the original version of ‘Just One More Chance’ remains – to my ears – to be the definitive one, Usher’s West Coast take on the song, adding touches of folk rock and sunshine pop (I love the glockenspiel and harpsichord)  to the mix is certainly interesting. I’ve never heard the flip (or any other late-period Hondells material), so it’s entirely possible that my mind would change were I to hear this version within the context of a larger block of material.
Either way, it’s a cool track and a peek inside the world of a very creative individual whose work certainly deserves to be better known.

Peace
Larry

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PS Make sure to stop by Funky16Corners for funky stuff.

*I was unable to track down a copy of the OG 45, but I found the track on this odd, early-80′s comp of surf and related tunes

**Boettcher is rumored to have sung on ‘Little Honda’ as well

Locals Only #3 – The Storytellers – Cry With Me b/w Danny Federici RIP

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(a borrowed pic of) The Storytellers, Danny Federici lower right

Listen – Cry With Me – MP3

Greetings all.
I had previously hinted that I’d be kicking off the week with that cover of the Outer Limits tune, but late last week I read the sad news that E Street Band organist Danny Federici had passed away.
I know that many of the folks that stop by here may not be big Springsteen fans (I grew up one town over from Freehold and 20 minutes from Asbury Park, so there was really no way around it). I happen to love much of what he did up to ‘Darkness on the Edge of Town’, but that’s really neither here nor there. The Iron Leg-gy thing about Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band is that among their ranks dwelt a couple of players (the Boss and Little Steven included) that were a part of the local 60 garage punk experience.
Monmouth County had a fairly fertile scene in the mid-60’s, with a number of teen clubs and some very cool 45s by local acts like the Mods, Inmates, Motifs, Hallmarks and the Storytellers.
That last band just happened to include Danny Federici on organ and singer/songwriter Billy Chinnock, who went on to record a few well regarded LPs in the 70’s and 80’s. The Storytellers 45 ‘Cry With Me’, on the Trystero label is one of the rarer local punk 45s – I don’t have an OG, so I lifted the track from a mid-80s comp called ‘Psychedelic Disaster Whirl’ – and try as I might I’ve never been able to score a copy (I don’t think I’ve ever seen one for sale).
Though most of the local material I’ve found (or heard on comps) is solid, I’d have to say that the Storytellers ‘Cry With Me’ is one of the finest; a real slice of teen angst with some great fuzz guitar (though the organ is WAY down in the mix).
Federici, who went on to play with Springsteen in late 60′s bands like Child and Steel Mill displayed his chops (on organ and accordion) much more prominently on albums like ‘The Wild, The Innocent and the E Street Shuffle’, but for fans of that wild 60s punk sound, his biggest bang was pushing that combo organ behind the Storytellers.
I hope you dig it.

Peace
Larry

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*Springsteen recorded two tracks (right here in Brick, NJ!!) with his own band the Castiles, but they never went beyond the acetate stage and have never been released. I have a tape somewhere of the Castiles playing at a teen club in 1967. Very lo-fi, but with some interesting song choices. I’ll have to dig it out some day and digi-ma-tize it.

PS Make sure to stop by Funky16Corners for a new podcast.

Iron Leg Digital Trip #9 – Dream Machine

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Some Appropriate Kaleidoscopic Imagery…

Listen/Download 35MB Mixed MP3 – MP3

Download 28MB ZIP File-

Playlist

Kaleidoscope – Flight From Ashiya (Decca)
Virgin Sleep – Halliford House (Deram)
Sauterelles – Dream Machine (London)
Apple – Buffalo Billycan (Page One)
Spooky Tooth – Sunshine Help Me (Mala)
Outer Limits – Just One More Chance (Deram)
World Of Oz – Peters Birthday (Black and White Rainbows) (Deram)
Dead Sea Fruit – Kensington High Street (Atco)
Tintern Abbey – Vacuum Cleaner (See For Miles)
Equals – The Guy Who Made Her a Star (RCA)
Soft Machine – Love Makes Sweet Music (Polydor)

Greetings all.
I hope the dawning of a new week finds you well.
This new edition of the Iron Leg Digital Trip – number nine to be exact – is the long promised (but just now delivered) sequel to Trip #7 ‘Technicolour Dreams’. This one’s not terribly long (just about a half an hour) but it is – if I say so myself – very tasty indeed.
Herein I deliver another dose of UK psych nuggets (with a brief side trip to Switzerland for all you chocolate clock lovers) guaranteed to stir up all manner of lysergic, Carnaby Street trace memories nestled deep in your subconscious.
Things lead off with a 45 that is not only a personal fave, but also one of the great finds of my collecting years. Even back in the late 80’s when I scored ‘Flight From Ashiya’ b/w ‘Holidaymaker’ by the Kaleidoscope for – wait for it, here it comes… – a crisp ten dollar bill, I knew I was getting a steal, because this is not only a rare 45, but it is also a 45 of rare quality. During their years together (with several 45s and two LPs before they morphed into Fairfield Parlour) the Kaleidoscope, with the exception of the track ‘Faintly Blowing’ which is a sugarcube mindfuck to rival all comers, never laid down anything as brilliantly strange as ‘Flight From Ashiya’. The song is a deeply trippy ode to a strange airplane trip (and what seems like a “trip” on an airplane) that really is – alongside the one ultra rare 45 by Tintern Abbey – the ne plus ultra of 1960’s UK psychedelia.
Next up is the flip side of a 45 I featured in the earlier mix, ‘Halliford House’ by Virgin Sleep. Yet another brilliant psyche side on the Deram imprint, the tune is rumored to be about the inmates of an insane asylum.
If Switzerland’s Les Sauterelles are known at all, it’s for the song ‘Heavenly Club’ which appeared on one of the British Psychedelic Trip comps back in the 80’s. That’s a wonderful song to be sure, but I also dig its flip side ‘Dream Machine’.
‘Buffalo Billycan’ was the second 45 (in 1968) by the Welsh band Apple. They released a few 45s and one extremely rare LP all for the Page One label (later home to hitmakers Vanity Faire). I love the Beatle-y vibe and the trippy guitar sounds on this one.
Spooky Tooth were fairly popular in their day, releasing several albums between 1968 and 1974. Formed from the ashes of underground faves Art (‘Supernatural Fairytales’), members of that band joined with New Jersey-born Gary Wright (yes, the man that brought you ‘Dream Weaver’) and laid down the very heavy ‘Sunshine Help Me’, later covered by the Move.
The next track is another flip of a previously featured track, this time by the Outer Limits. The pure pop brilliance of ‘Just One More Chance’ stands in stark contrast to the much heavier ‘Help Me Please’. Written by group leader Jeff Christie (who went on to have a hit with the tune ‘Yellow River’) this is another one of those great songs that should have been a huge hit, instead of obscure, which it is. Interestingly enough I recently tracked down an unusual cover of this tune (unusual in the band doing the covering) that I’ll feature very soon.
The World of Oz is another interesting band that recorded for Deram (pretty much the “official” label of UK psyche). They recorded three 45s and an LP for the label, and specialized in often twee ‘toy shop’* psychedelia. ‘Peters Birthday’ is a little bit heavier (just a little, mind you) than its better known flipside ‘The Muffin Man’.
I can tell you almost nothing about the curiously named Dead Sea Fruit, other than the fact that their most excellent tune ‘Kensington High Street’ (which carries with it a tip of the hat to JS Bach) was written by none other than Pete Townshend of the Who.
Now…Tintern Abbey….If I EVER come across and original copy of their 45 – in my opinion the finest UK psyche 45 ever recorded – you will know because you will read about it in my obituary, in which they will recount how I pulled the record from a box and was immediately struck dead with shock. One of only two tracks in this mix culled from a secondary source (in this instance one of the ‘British Psychedelic Trip’ LPs, itself more than 20 years old), ‘Vacuum Cleaner’ is positively brilliant, decidedly trippy, and as I mentioned rare as the teeth of the hen. I couldn’t put together a mix like this without including it.
We return again to the sounds of the Equals. ‘The Guy Who Made Her a Star’ is a track from their first US LP (on RCA) and is one of their psych-ier outings with a great vocal by Derv Gordon and some very heavy guitar.
Things come to a close with another rare track – in this case pulled from a mid-70s German comp – by the Soft Machine. Better known for their progressive work in the early 70’s (often leaning in the direction of fusion) their earliest work is decidedly acid-inflected. ‘Love Makes Sweet Music’ is a heavy bit of work.
That all said, I hope you dig the sounds, and I’ll see you soon.
Peace
Larry

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PS Head over to Funky16Corners for some funk from Ernie K. Doe

Shanes – Chris Craft No. 9

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(a borrowed pic of) The Shanes

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Listen – Chris Craft No. 9 – MP3

Greetings all.
Here’s hoping all is well in your end of the world.

All is well hereabouts, with the end of the week approaching and some cool new (old) vinyl sitting in stacks on my desk awaiting digi-ma-tization.

Today’s selection is a story of a pleasant surprise. One of those tales where I’m out digging and happen upon a record that I never expected in a million (zillion?) years to find (at least here in the US). The record itself is not especially expensive (it wasn’t when I found it, and now seems to be changing hands in the $25USD range, but it is – as might be expected – excellent, and so that is why I am bringing it to you today.

Today’s selection, ‘Chris Craft No.9’ by the Shanes also provides another example of the fog of memory. When I pulled out the single to record it, I thought that I had first heard the tune on a mid-80’s comp of Swedish Beat sounds. When I sat down to research this post I discovered that this was not in fact the case (though the comp I was remembering did have another track by the Shanes) and that I probably heard it first on a mix tape provided by a friend. Either way, ‘Chris Craft No. 9’ came into my life somewhere around 1986, and quickly became a fave.

I can’t say that I’m anything like an authority on Swedish beat. Here, 20-some years down the pike I have yet to pick up anything by the Tages or the Hep Stars (the two BIG names of that era), but I like what I’ve heard.

The Shanes released their first records in 1963, and started out doing mostly Shadows-style instrumentals. By 1965 they had switched to a more Beat-ish sound and were one of the most popular bands in the country. Between 1965 and 1967 (when four of the bands members had to take leave to perform compulsory national military service) they rode the top of the Swedish charts.

‘Chris Craft No. 9’ was a hit when it was released in 1966, and has that great combination of Beat pop, and just a touch of garage roughness that places it – at least for me – in the Freakbeat category.

I remember when I came across the 45 being shocked, first that I found it at all, second that it had been released in the US. There are certainly precedents for oddball releases by foreign bands on US labels (like the Capitol 45 I have of the Dave Davani Four), and I can only imagine some cigar-chomping suit figuring, ‘They have long hair and guitars…the kids’ll LOVE it!’. Adding credence to this scenario is the fact that the record company thought enough of the Shanes to send them to the UK to record this 45.

The band eventually regrouped, but broke up by the end of the 60’s.

That said, I hope you dig the tune. If I can motivate myself I’ll be back on Monday with another UK psyche mix.

Until then…

Peace
Larry

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PS Make sure to stop by Funky16Corners for funky stuff.

13th Floor Elevators – You’re Gonna Miss Me b/w Don Buchanan RIP

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The Phantom Five at CBGBs 1986

(L-R) Chris Grogan, Don Buchanan, Bill Luther, (out of frame… me)

The night Woody quit the band.

(Picture by Andy Peters)

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Listen – You’re Gonna Miss Me – MP3

Greetings all.
I hope everyone had a great weekend.
I’m going to start the week off with something a little serious (in all senses of the word).
A little over a month ago, my younger brother Chris turned 40, and at his party we had a reunion of the band we (along with our brother Vince, and our buddy Bill) started over 20 years ago.
The Phantom Five was together for a little under four years. Starting out of jam sessions in our parent’s garage (no more appropriate place for a garage band) we ended up recording – in that same garage – and releasing a four-song EP in 1986, and then recording (but not releasing for a variety of reasons) another EP the following year. We broke up in 1988, having had enough of the kinds of arguments and artistic clashes that can only happen in a band containing three brothers.
Over those four years – aside from the three Grogan boys – there were three other members of the band.
There was our original rhythm guitar player (and co-founder) Bill Luther, who would go on to join the Tea Club (a band that included in it’s ranks two future members of the Insomniacs), and in the later half of the bands “career” (after we played for a time as a trio) there was guitarist John ‘Bluesman’ Rahmer, who stayed with us until the bitter end, and was there with us when we reunited.
During the first year of our existence, a time when we would play our first gigs, there was for a brief time another member of the band, bassist Don Buchanan.
During an episode so shameful that thinking of it still gives me pause, we pushed my 15 year old brother (our original bassist) out of the band so that we might bring someone into the ranks “old enough” to play bars/clubs and the like (conveniently ignoring the fact that my brother Chris wasn’t old enough to do so either). Aside from the fact that this was a supremely uncool thing for one brother to do to another, in the long run the replacement we brought in didn’t work out (in either party), and Vincent came back into the fold.
That replacement, Don (known to most everyone by his nickname ‘Woody’) was a long time (since childhood) friend of Bill’s and at first glance (and second, and third) a real rock and roller. His tastes ran more to the (70s) punk side of things, but for a while we made the best of the fact that we were all –in other ways – kindred spirits, and the fact that we had a lot of fun hanging out together. As Woody’s tenure in the band didn’t last all that long, it was in that capacity – as a ‘running buddy’ of a kind – that we really got to know him (my brother Vince going on to be good friends with him).
That was in 1985.
Last week I got a message from Bill, that Woody had taken his own life a few days before.
I remember the first time I ever met Woody – months before he joined the band – when he shared a ride with us into the city to go see some band or other at the Dive on 23rd St. We were all much younger then (I was the oldest of our group at 23, Woody and Bill were both 19 and Chris was 17) and most of our free time, not spent playing, or as Bill, his pal Rudi* and myself did putting together fanzines, was devoted to piling into an available car, going to see bands and hanging out. That we did so frequently almost goes without saying.
Though I can’t say with complete certainty – it seems likely that I was at the wheel that night, piloting my 1972 Plymouth Satellite station wagon – aka the ‘Boss Hoss’ – with no fewer than five, and maybe as many as eight passengers.
My first impression of Woody, was that he was a lot of fun; as up for a party as any of us and with a smart, biting sense of humor. This first impression was borne out over the next few years.
As I mentioned before, Woody’s time in the band was fairly brief, but thanks to the web of friendship, we spent a lot of years hanging out, going to the same parties, and sometimes going to see the same bands (as well as going to see Woody play when he did a stint with one of the best bands in New Jersey, the Mad Daddys).
However, as these things go – more than 20 years having gone by since we first met – lives having undergone serious change, I hadn’t seen much of Woody recently. If memory serves the last time we saw each other was probably close to five years ago, after I was married but before either of my sons came along. Woody had met a new girl – who he eventually married – and seemed, after the same species of prolonged adolescence (aka the rock’n’roll life) that we had all lived to varying degrees, to have gotten his life onto a somewhat more stable track.
Predictably, Woody’s whereabouts was part of the conversation at the aforementioned party, and though none of us had been in close touch, the word was that he was still happily married. When I opened the message from Bill – who had remained close with Woody – and read the bad news, I was shaken. There was the initial shock in finding out that someone relatively young (in his very early 40’s) had taken his own life, in which for a brief moment I felt a pang related to my own mortality, followed immediately by the realization that I had to pass this unfortunate information on to my brother Vince, who as I said before had been closer to Don than either Chris or myself. Once that was accomplished, I spent the remaining hours of the work day with memories of the good times we had all had lo those many years ago.
I was reprocessing stories that had gone through my mind at the party/reunion, but this time with a bittersweet edge. Though I knew Don we were never really close. I certainly never knew him like Bill or Vince, but we spent enough time around each other,and around the same people that memories of him were definitely woven firmly into the fabric of my life.
Oddly enough, I had digi-ma-tized the 13th Floor Elevators 45 you’re downloading today months ago, long before any of this came to pass. I was holding it aside because I was waiting until I could approach it with the profundity I felt it deserved.
The short story is that since those days in the mid-80’s, when my friends and I were consuming the sounds of the 60’s so voraciously, the Elevators, like the Velvet Underground became the musical equivalent of those amino acids that make up the building blocks of life. They were part of a foundation on which all other sounds were reflected/connected and on which we built our larger musical tastes.
Our musical world views were composed of a series of tangents where we might bounce from garage fuzz, to soul, to psychedelia to orchestral pop, to blues and back again, moving from vibe to vibe and finding the connective tissue between these sounds with every new record.
‘You’re Gonna Miss Me’ was so much more than just another 45. It was the very essence of rock music taken to the edge, filled with manic energy and delivered with the fervor of a fundamentalist preacher. It was the kind of sound that you could wrap yourselves in and really feel. I remember going to party after seeing a gig at Maxwells in Hoboken, in a basement apartment a few blocks away. There, my brothers, and Bob Strete (the bassist from Mod Fun) huddled around the refrigerator, surreptitiously filling our overcoat pockets with purloined beers, and, spurred on by someone using a half empty bottle like the Elevators jug, sang, at the top of our lungs, a capella, a ragged but right version of ‘You’re Gonna Miss Me’.
Though the song was never a firm part of the Phantom Five set list, we had – on occasion – worked it into freewheeling medleys, and when we gathered last month, all 20+ years older than when we first played together we again – on the spur of the moment – surrounded by our wives and children, ripped into ‘You’re Gonna Miss Me’ like the maniacs we were (or aspired to be) back in the day.
It makes me sad that we never got the opportunity to have a “full” band reunion – especially now that Woody is gone – but we weren’t the Band, and my brothers 40th birthday party wasn’t the Last Waltz. I can’t imagine that there are too many people – that weren’t there in person – that had much interest in seeing the Phantom Five reunite.
After we played, I have to admit that I (very) briefly allowed fever dreams of playing the drums again to dance through my head. Then I remembered that no matter how much fun I had just had, it had been more than 15 years since I played the drums on a regular basis, and that these days, I prefer to spend my time banging on a laptop keyboard. The things I produce that way are much more satisfying to me, and at least somewhat more coherent and of lasting value to others.
That said, these two events have been a real study in stark contrast, reliving the past sweetly, and month later being forced to do so again in a sad way.
It’s no mistake that one of the greatest works of surrealism was entitled ‘The Persistence of Memory’.
Peace
Larry

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PS Make sure to stop by Funky16Corners for a new Funky16Corners Radio Podcast.

*Who sadly was lost in a similar way back in 1986

Blues Magoos – Gotta Get Away

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The Blues Magoos

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Listen – Gotta Get Away – MP3

Greetings all.
I know I generally never do a second post in the weeks I drop an Iron Leg Digital Trip, but since I promised I’d be back with some fuzz, I couldn’t very well let the weekend hit without making good.
Back in the stone age, i.e. the mid-80’s garage revival days, part of the basic fuzz/snot curriculum was the sound of the Blues Magoos.
This had a lot to do with the fact that the Blues Magoos had been one of the few garage punk bands to make it up the national charts, hitting the Top 40 (Top 10 in a bunch of markets) in the Fall of 1966 with ‘We Ain’t Got Nothing Yet’. As a result, tweny years down the pike, as bootleg videos were trading hands, vintage wax was being unearthed and the results of both were making their way into the hands of young goons like myself, the Blues Magoos, who had made many a TV appearance and had hit records were a solid presence in our recycling of the mid-60’s zeitgeist.
Coming straight outta the Bronx, The Blues Magoos, started out as the Trenchcoats, eventually switching to the Bloos Magoos, and then finally to the name we all know and love. After a few singles, they were finally signed by Mercury Records, where they eventually recorded a few albums before switching to ABC Records in 1969.
The tune we bring you today was not a hit (though it rode the b-side of ‘We Ain’t Got Nothing Yet’), but is in the opinion of this writer the finest thing they ever did. ‘Gotta Get Away’ starts out with some extra-grungy sounding combo organ, before making way for some exceptionally snotty – and in this instance, there’s a certain nasal quality that renders the tune both literally and figuratively “snotty” – vocals. Things lumber along at a Jurassic pace before the wailing chorus, with the chaotic, overlapped

HEY HEY HEY HEY HEY HEY HEY HEY HEY HEY HEY HEY HEYS!!!!!!

There are parts of the song – especially ‘I’m getting addicted to your brand of LOVE!’, where the word ‘love’ is pronounced “LOAWFFF”, sounding as if it were being delivered by some for whom English is a second language – that are among the best moments I’ve ever heard in a garage tune.
The fact that a song this tough resides on the flip side of a hit (ergo, easily obtainable) 45 should make it a required part of any respectable garage collection.
Interestingly enough, ‘Gotta Get Away’ was co-written by Alan Gordon, a member of another New York group, the Magicians, who along with Gary Bonner also wrote a little tune called ‘Happy Together’ for the Turtles.
That said, I hope you dig the sounds, and I’ll see you all next week.
Peace
Larry

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PS Make sure to stop by Funky16Corners for some sweet Northern Soul.

PSS If you’re in the area, I’ll be selling records at the Asbury Lanes Record Show this Sunday, 4/6, and I might just be bringing some garage, psyche and rockabilly 45s along with the soul and funk.

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