Nashville Teens – Find My Way Back Home (they wuz robbed…)

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The Nashville Teens

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Sorry for the crappy pic. I couldn’t get a good shot of this one…

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Listen – Nashville Teens – Find My Way Back Home – MP3

Listen – The Choir – I’m Going Home – MP3

Greetings all.
I hope everyone had a most excellent weekend.
A while back, I posted ‘It’s Cold Outside’ by the Choir, a great slice of mid-60s Ohio garage pop. When I posted that, I digi-ma-tized that record’s flipside, knowing that I’d want to feature it sometime in the future. ‘I’m Going Home’ was the first tune I ever heard by the Choir, and the reason I bought the 45 in the first place.
Not long after I posted ‘It’s Cold Outside’ I got a note from Mack over at the excellent Kiss Tomorrow Goodbye blog suggesting I check out a certain tune by the Nashville Teens (and very graciously including a link) called ‘Find My Way Back Home’. After pulling down the ones and zeros, and having my mind blown by a truly amazing record that I’d never heard before, I realized that it also happened to be the song that the Choir, ermmmm “borrowed” to create ‘I’m Going Home’. I set out to get myself a copy.
I’m always on the lookout for stories like this, and this one had a couple of interesting by-products. First and foremost, it drew me into the discography of the Nashville Teens, a group I previously only knew via their hit version of JD Loudermilk’s ‘Tobacco Road’. Second, I’m always amazed when a group, only a year or two removed from the source material, chooses to “adapt” (an extremely charitable characterization of what’s going on here) that song and recast it as a creation of their own – I’m looking at you Led Zeppelin . Third, I was very pleased (and surprised) to discover that ‘Find My Way Back Home’ was co-written by none other than one of my favorite soul artists, Lou Courtney, under his real name Louis Pegues (or Peques depending on the source)*.
That said, it’s impossible to listen to the Nashville Teens charge through ‘Find My Way Back Home’ – in my opinion a far superior record – and not realize that Denny Klawson of the Choir was taking liberties by claiming authorship of ‘I’m Going Home’, which was little more than a loose recasting of the other song (you can hear both above).
I first discovered ‘I’m Going Home’ via a cover on the first Chesterfield Kings album. I picked up the Choir single a few years later (circa 1985). I always dug the loose, garagey swagger of the Choir tune, with the repeated ‘Yeah Yeah’s and the harmonica solo. The Choir record is cool, but I can’t imagine anyone hearing the combination of piano and distorted guitars, along with the much more aggressive tempo of ‘Find My Way Back Home’ and coming away from the comparison with anything but a diminished opinion of the Choir. The Nashville Teens record is about fifteen steps higher on the punk scale.
I realize that to most people, this would be considered something of a non-issue. Very few people that weren’t listening to these records when they came out – other that the collectorati – probably care much about an issue like this.
But I do, so bear with me.
The reason I write about music, is that I see a fabric of musical and cultural history that is largely neglected. The modus operandi here is first and foremost to expose you to music that you may not have heard, in the hope that you’ll take these posts as a jumping off point for exploration of your own. This isn’t so much an alternative history, as an unreported one.
There’s very little new music coming out today that interests me, yet I’ve been looking backwards for decades and I’m still discovering new and interesting music, and within that music cultural and historical tangents that bring to life untold stories. When it comes to light that a band like the Choir basically ripped off a band like the Nashville Teens, while it might not matter to many, I see it as part of a continuum, especially in the mid-1960s. While most British Invasion bands were worshipping at the altar of Chess blues and R&B, and transmitting that particular lost signal back to the country of origin, you had groups like the Animals taking a song of long standing, ‘House of the Rising Sun’ (albeit a ‘traditional’ tune) and putting Alan Price’s name on as if he had written it; a particularly bold move considering that Bob Dylan (among others) had recorded the song on his debut LP only a few years before.
While many of the UK acts gave credit where credit was due, a few years on saw the rise of Led Zeppelin, who raided the storehouses of Chicago and Delta blues, carrying away any number of songs that they would soon claim were their own. There are those who would take these actions and try to place them in the “blues tradition”, i.e. old timey bluesmen borrowing, redeveloping and putting their own stamp on existing material, but what these apologists forget (or willingly overlook) is that there is a huge difference between itinerant bluesmen, traveling from juke to juke, recording sporadically (and usually being rewarded as if doing piece-work), and modern day rockers creating in an environment of copyright, where they would be rewarded over and over again (via royalties) for their music.
How the Choir figured they could get away with taking the Nashville Teens tune isn’t too much of a mystery. ‘Find My Way Back Home’ was the group’s last charting record (only in a few regional markets, one of which was Detroit where it was a Top 40 hit (in early 1965), well within earshot of the Choir in their home base of Cleveland, Ohio). By the time ‘I’m Going Home’ was released in 1967, the Nashville Teens (at least in the US) were pretty much of a dead issue, and ‘Find My Way Back Home’ was lost in the huge wave of pop music that hit the radio in the ensuing two years. I’m sure someone in Ohio/Michigan** probably realized that ‘I’m Going Home’ had been lifted from the earlier record, but it seems likely – as a b-side – that it passed unnoticed by the larger audience, even though ‘It’s Cold Outside’ was a substantial regional hit
In the end, all that matters (since I can’t imagine anyone made a ton of cash off of either record) is that ‘Find My Way Back Home’ is now on my (and your) radar. I’m not getting rid of my Choir 45, but I can assure you that the Nashville Teens record will henceforth be my spin of choice.
I hope you dig the tune, and I’ll be back later in the week.

Peace
Larry

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*Oddly enough, Courtney also co-wrote ‘Do the Freddie’ for Freddie & the Dreamers

**No doubt the president (and sole member) of the Detroit chapter of the Nashville Teens fan club

PS Head over to Funky16Corners for a James Brown track you may not have heard.

PSS Check out Paperback Rider too…

Iron Leg Digital Trip #17 – Iron Leg Confidential

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Playlist
Joe Bennett & the Sparkletones – Black Slacks (ABC – Paramount)
Boyd Bennett – Boogie Bear (Mercury)
OC & the Holidays – The Tuttle (Warners)
Eddie Cochran – Something Else (Liberty)
Ray Sharpe – Linda Lu (Jamie)
Jim Dandees – The Loco Motion (Star Crest)
Buddy Knox & the Rhythm Orchids – C’ Mon Baby (Roulette)
Buzz Clifford – Baby Sittin’ Boogie (Columbia)
Duals – Oozy Groove (Infinity)
George Hamilton IV – If You Don’t Know (ABC – Paramount)
Four Jets – Jet Black (Capitol)
Link Wray – Turnpike USA (Swan)
Joe Bennett & the Sparkletones – I Dig You (ABC – Paramount)
Kipper & the Exciters – Drum Twist (Torch)

Listen/Download 43MB Mixed MP3

Download 43MB ZIP File-

Greetings all.
I hope all is well on your end, and that you’re just a hair away from recovering from a weekend of debauchery.
I for one spent the last few days running errands, writing, reading and hanging out with my wife and kids. My debauched years are behind me.
However….
Much in the same way as the Big Bang was a huge explosion, the effects of which are still rippling out in the far reaches of the universe, I like to think that I have some debauchery “credits’ built up, with a huge storehouse of memories filed away. If I ever have a yearning to act the fool again, I can dip into that file and live vicariously through memories of my younger self while simultaneously reflecting ruefully on a whole host of youthful tomfoolery (so ruefully as to prevent 2006 Larry from walking into the same dead ends as 1988 Larry). This formula is not foolproof (pun intended), and I sometimes – like many of my species – do things I know to be stupid, but I like to think that those occurrences are in the minority.
That said, the sounds I bring you today, blended together to suggest a vibe of sorts are just the kinds of things you might want to be flowing from the speakers in your crappy, barely-functional vehicle as your best friend hangs out the window, beer in hand, all the while howling like Lon Chaney Jr on the night of the full moon.
There’s a fair amount of rockabilly here, along with some greasy trash rock, echoey guitar instros and pounding drums. This is primal stuff, much of it close to (or more than) half a freakin’ century old, yet (and this is the important part) more vital than any fifty current popular songs.
There is of course the likelihood that most of the folks who bopped to this stuff the first time around are either dead, or in Florida riding to bingo on electric scooters, but I like to think that out there somewhere, maybe in a walled compound that time has somehow forgotten, there dwells a group of superannuated greasers, bad attitudes not only intact, but seasoned with age. Perhaps this greasy Shangri-La exists on another plane entirely, having been forced to leap dimensions in order to survive. A dimension soaked in reverb, guitar twang, hiccupping vocals, tribal drum thumping, raised eyebrows and Dixie Peach pomade.
Maybe not….
However (again)….
I (we) can dream, and if we’re going to, let this edition of the Iron Leg Digital Trip be our soundtrack.
The actual time-span here reaches from about 1956 to around 1964, though I haven’t been able to track down info on everything here, so if I am incorrect in that particular assumption, please let me know.
Things get off to a rousing start with a track that I first heard in a cover by retro-billy Robert Gordon. Joe Bennett and the Sparkletones were a South Carolina group who actually had a Top 20 hit with ‘Black Slacks’ in 1957. The lyrics to this one are brilliant (derbies, cat chains, red bowties???).
Boyd Bennett was a Nashville based singer who recorded a number of well regarded rockabilly tunes in the 50s. ‘Boogie Bear’ (clearly an attempt to capitalize on the popularity of Yogi Bear) was his last hit in 1959.
I haven’t been able to track down much of anything on OC & the Holidays, other than the label they recorded for was owned by Bob Shad, who went on to found Mainstream Records. ‘The Tuttle’ sounds as if it were based on the riff from ‘Good Morning Little Schoolgirl’.
I’ll go ahead and assume you all know who Eddie Cochran was. Cochran, who made some of the best, and most commercially successful rockabilly sides, had the movie star good looks to be huge. ‘Something Else’ is by far my favorite of his many amazing sides. One can only imagine what he might have gone on to do had he not died in a car crash (which Gene Vincent and Cochran’s girlfriend, songwriter Sharon Sheeley survived) while touring the UK. He was only 21 years old.
Ray Sharpe was that rarest of the rare, a black rockabilly singer! The Texan hit the Top 50 with ‘Linda Lu’ in 1959. The single was produced by Lee Hazlewood and reportedly features none other than Duane Eddy on guitar. I’m not one hundred percent sure, but I believe Sharpe is the same guy who went on to record for Philadelphia’s ‘Sock & Soul’ label (with the Soul Set) in the late 60s.
The Jim Dandees are another group I haven’t been able to dig up anything about. ‘The Loco Motion’ – no relation to Little Eva or Mark Farner – is a cooker with a real Duane Eddy-style twang to it.
Buddy Knox and the Rhythm Orchids were a Texas group (they recorded at the same New Mexico studio as Buddy Holly & the Crickets) who had several chart hits in the late 50s, including the 1957 number one, ‘Party Doll’. ‘C’mon Baby’ suggests that they were sharing ideas as well as a studio.
Buzz Clifford had a million seller with ‘Baby Sittin’ Boogie’ (dig those crazy sound effects) in 1961, and not long after faded deep into the background. However, his post rockabilly career was quite interesting. He worked steadily as a songwriter through the 60s and 70s, and was part of the band Carp, which also featured a pre-insanity Gary Busey.
The Duals were a West Coast group who had some success in 1961 with a tune called ‘Stick Shift’, which was originally released on the Star Revue label and then picked up for national distribution by Sue. ‘Oozy Groove’ was the b-side of their third single, which was released first on the Sue-associated Juggy label, then again on Infinity. It’s an absolutely superb bit of reverb drenched guitar madness. The intro alone is worth the price of admission.
George Hamilton IV (no, not the naugahyde tanned TV pitchman) is best known as a huge country star of the 60s and 70s, but he got his start in the 50s as a rock’n’roller. ‘If You Don’t Know’ – the flip side of his first big hit ‘A Rose and a Baby Ruth’ – is one of his better efforts and a great example of how country boys (George Jones had some great rockabilly-ish stuff in his catalog) could grease up when they had their cat clothes on (not to mention the Elvis namecheck…).
The Four Jets was actually bassist Jet Harris and the Drifters (soon to become the Shadows) . They had a UK hit with ‘Jet Black’ in 1959, and the group’s name had to be changed when the record was released in the US. The lead guitar on ‘Jet Black’ is actually Harris’ bass! The roots of the Shadows sound are there, but there’s a rougher edge too.
I’ve covered the genius of Link Wray in this space before, specifically the brilliant ‘Jack the Ripper’. ‘Turnpike USA’ was his distortion drenched 1963 follow up to that killer. It may be a lesser effort in comparison, but let’s be honest, pretty much everything else is.
Joe Bennett and the Sparkletones’ rocking ‘I Dig You’ was the b-side of their 1958 single ‘Cotton Pickin’ Rocker’. There are a couple of places where the multi-tracked (or at least doubled) vocals seem to be slightly out of sync. I dig the rough and ready guitar solo on this one.
The set closes out with yet another anonymous instro, ‘Drum Twist’ by Kipper and the Exciters. The only thing I’ve been able to discover is that this song charted regionally (California) in 1962. It sounds like it was recorded on the back of a truck going through a long tunnel (with the sax player being dragged behind).
That all said, I hope you dig the vibe of this mix, and I’ll see you all next week.
Peace
Larry
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PS Head over to Funky16Corners for an old-school, soul dance party on Funky16Corners Radio.

PSS Check out Paperback Rider too…

Moby Grape – Someday

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Moby Grape

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Listen – Moby Grape – Someday – MP3

Greetings all.
The tune I bring you today is one of my favorites by one of the great underrated bands of the 60s.
I first encountered the music of Moby Grape, not in its original form, but rather via a record by the Golden Palominos.
The GPs were a loose conglomeration of multi-generational alterna types that I came to via the involvement of Michael Stipe of REM. The group’s 1985 LP ‘Visions of Excess’ included contributions from Stipe, Richard Thompson, Syd Straw (what ever happened to her??), Jack Bruce, John Lydon, Bill Laswell and Jody Harris of the Raybeats. What the album also included, was a song called ‘Omaha’, which got a fair amount of college radio play.
It wasn’t until a few months after picking up ‘Visions…’ that a chance visit to the loft of a garage punk guitarist in Manhattan – where an old 45 was pulled from a box and played – that I realized that ‘Omaha’ was a cover of a Moby Grape song. This revelation was a real eye opener because in addition to the fact that I knew the name (but not the music) of Moby Grape, the original version of ‘Omaha’ was nothing less that brilliant.
In the years since, especially after the release of the 2-CD Grape retrospective in 1993, I’ve grown to love and respect the band.
The history of Moby Grape is a tortured one, filled to bursting with business rip-off, mental health problems and an excess of bad timing. Fortunately it’s also filled with a couple of albums of outstanding music, some of the finest to come out of San Francisco in the late 60s.
The tune I bring you today was the flipside of ‘Omaha’, the group’s only chart “hit” (#88) in 1967. ‘Someday’ is every bit as restrained and subtle as ‘Omaha’ is boisterous and dynamic.
I’ve always considered Moby Grape to be a kind of Northern California version of Buffalo Springfield. Both bands had multiple lead singers and guitarists, as well as the ability to fuse rock, country, psychedelia and jazz into something new and different.
‘Someday’s gentle sound stands in direct contrast to its surprisingly bitter lyrics of a love gone bad, until the bridge, in which the anger in the words is reflected briefly in the music, followed – oddly enough – by a jazzy little coda.
If you’re not familiar with Moby Grape, do yourself a favor and track down that 2 disc comp (if you can find it) ‘Vintage: The Very best of Moby Grape’. It’s an excellent – well annotated – compilation. If you can’t track it down, there’s a later single-disc comp, as well as CD reissues of the individual LPs.
I hope you dig the tune and I’ll see you all on Monday.
Peace
Larry

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PS Head over to Funky16Corners for a tribute to Norman Whitfield.

PSS Check out Paperback Rider (just updated) too…

Rick Wright R.I.P.

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Pink Floyd, Rick Wright second from left

Listen – Pink Floyd – Astronomy Domine – MP3

Greetings all.
With this unscheduled departure from our midweekly dose of radio silence I take a moment to note the passing of Rick Wright.
Wright, who this week succumbed to cancer at the age of 65, was one of the founding members of perhaps the most important psychedelic band of the 60s, Pink Floyd.
Like many a child of the 70s, both ‘Dark Side of the Moon’ and ‘Wish You Were Here’ (in particular the latter) were cornerstones of my formative musical life, as well as a recurring soundtrack to my own chemical flights of fancy (as it were).
I had every longhairs classic rock awe for the Floyd, but it wasn’t until 1984, when I first heard ‘Piper at the Gates of Dawn’, and had my mind seriously blown (and subsequently rewired) that Pink Floyd really became important to me.
Suddenly it was as if all that had come before was nothing but space rock window dressing, a sprig of parsley set beside the main course. That my introduction to ‘Piper…’, – which, along with the band’s early 45s and parts of ‘Saucerful of Secrets’ immediately became known as ‘Syd’s Floyd’ – coincided with my first steps into the psychedelic realm*, bears examination.
With the exception of three jazz albums (‘Thelonious Monk, Genius of Modern Music’, ‘Kind of Blue’ by the Miles Davis Quintet and ‘A Love Supreme’ by the John Coltrane Quartet) and Otis Redding’s set at Monterey Pop, no record before or since was as much of a game changer, in respect to how I heard music, than ‘Piper at the Gates of Dawn’.
Much the same was as the Beatles influenced virtually all rock music that came in their wake, the same can be said about the influence of Pink Floyd on British psychedelia. Though there are scores of brilliant UK psyche 45s, and a few other major LPs, no record before or since can be seen as important a blueprint for a sound than ‘Piper…’.
All styles of music have their tragic examples of unfulfilled promise, but in my opinion none is as tragic as that of Syd Barrett. He wrote (or cowrote) all but one song on ‘Piper…’ and pretty much went into decline almost immediately. ‘Piper…’ stands today as a rare example of a flawlessly brilliant rock album, and though Barrett’s songwriting and sensibility are it’s heart, it would be nothing without the band that brought those things to life, and Rick Wright was a major part of that band.
Wright’s work on organ and piano, as well as his vocals on ‘Astronomy Domine’ are crucial to the sound of the album, and were – like every note on the record – widely imitated.
It’s important to note, that although their early period music (or more accurately much of the music they inspired in others) was marked by a sense of the whimsical, both lyrically and musically, much of ‘Piper at the Gates of Dawn’ is remarkably challenging, eschewing the “toy shoppe” vibe and moving into areas closer to free jazz than flower pop. Check out ‘Pow R Toc H’, ‘Take Up they Stethoscope and Walk’ and especially ‘Interstellar Overdrive’ ( a number that they would use as a launching point for wild improvisation in a live setting) and then contrast it with much of the sound collected on ‘Rubble’ and similar compilations, and realize how different Pink Floyd really were.
Yesterday, when I heard about Wright’s passing I immediately reached for the iPod and was STUNNED to realize that although I own at least three different copies of ‘Piper at the Gates of Dawn’, I had never ripped it to MP3**. I’m sure some of this has to do with the fact that it isn’t a record that lends itself easily to what one might call “casual” listening, i.e. it’s not a record I’d play at work (Oh, I’d LOVE to but it wouldn’t be tolerated for long), and since I have two small children, I don’t have much of an opportunity to play stuff like ‘Piper…’ (or Ornette Coleman, or Flying Saucer Attack or any number of other non-mellow sounds) I hadn’t listened to it – and this is a record I used to listen to DAILY – in quite a while.
That will be remedied this evening.
I decided to post ‘Astronomy Domine’ because it features Wright on both vocals (an unusual occurrence) and keyboards. It’s also an amazing song.
I hope you dig it, and take a moment to remember Rick Wright***.
I’ll be back on Friday with something groovy.
Peace
Larry


*I recall a particular evening, more than 20 years ago, when under the influence of something – how do they say – trippy, while my brother sat in the kitchen and tuned the strings on his 12-string guitar (until they broke, boiinnnnggggg), I replayed the opening of ‘Astronomy Domine’ over, and over, and OVER again, attempting to decipher what was being said at the beginning (it’s the group’s then-manager Peter Jenner reading the names of stars through a megaphone, and no, I never figured it out that night). I’m pretty sure I ruined the record, but replaced it forthwith. Ahhhh, the olden days!

**I had it on my old 30GB iPod but when I passed that on to my wife (and lost much of my old iTunes library) I never re-ripped it to the 80GB

***And Syd of course, who’s been gone for just over two years now.

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PS Head over to Funky16Corners for some storming soul jazz.

PSS Check out Paperback Rider (just updated) too…

Simon & Garfunkel – The Big Bright Green Pleasure Machine

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Paul & Artie

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Listen – Simon & Garfunkel – The Big Bright Green Pleasure Machine – MP3

Greetings all.
I hope the beginning of a new week finds you well.
The days are getting cooler (the nights even more so), and an extended lack of any serious rain has caused the front lawn to be coated with dead leaves about a month and a half early. Before the most recent hurricane remnant, it looked as if the lawn might very well catch fire in the sun, but a few days of soaking ran have restored it to it’s previously lush, crabgrassy self.
The tune I bring you today is one of those great “lost” tracks by a group that was simultaneously super-successful and underrated. What I mean is that although you all know who Simon and Garfunkel were/are, and some of their biggest hits may very well be on your (and my) list of songs you never need to hear again, their albums were actually – even in their “folkie” period – quite good and often home to very unusual, seemingly out of character tunes. Though the duo’s name conjures up thoughts of ‘Sounds of Silence’ and ‘Bridge Over Troubled Water’, for each of those songs there are many other, much more obscure cuts that ought to set your ears on end. Tunes like ‘Bleecker Street’, ‘A Simple Desultory Philipic’ and pretty much every note on the ‘Bookends’ LP (one of my favorite 60s records) ought to provide (as they have for me) a new window into the music of S&G.
One such tune is today’s selection ‘ The Big Bright Green Pleasure Machine’, which originally appeared on their 1966 LP ‘Parsely Sage Rosemary & Thyme’. The album, which produced a few big hits – ‘Scarborough Fair/Canticle’ and ‘Homeward Bound’ – was an important transitional record for Simon and Garfunkel in much the same way that ‘Rubber Soul’ or ‘Revolver’was for the Beatles. The sounds on the record, with their original folk harmonies morphing into folk rock, and then again into something else entirely are proof that Simon and Garfunkel are certainly deserving of a little more respect than they are traditionally afforded by rock snobs.
Though ‘Big Bright Green Pleasure Machine’ displays the influence of both Bob Dylan and the Beatles, it also serves as a great example of the kind of songwriting that Paul Simon has always been capable of. While tapping into the multitude of sounds swirling around in 1966 (or ’76, or ’86 or ’96 etc.), Simon wove them together, mixing in threads of humor and optimism and finishing it off with his and Garfunkel’s perfect harmonies.
The song was issued as the b-side of ‘The Dangling Conversation’ which was a Top 40 hit in 1966. Oddly enough, the tune was covered that year by none other than Gerry & the Pacemakers, in an interesting version.
I hope you dig the tune, and I’ll be back later in the week with something cool.
Peace
Larry

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PS Head over to Funky16Corners for some slamming disco funk.

PSS Check out Paperback Rider (just updated) too…

PSSS The Iron Leg Digital Trip Podcast Archive has been updated as well…

Bob Seger System – Innervenus Eyes

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Bob Seger circa 1969

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Listen – Bob Seger System – Innervenus Eyes- MP3

Greetings all.
I hope everyone is having a good week.
You’re getting this one a day early because I’m taking the rest of the week off from the blog-o-sphere, so I figured I get all my ducks in a row, as it were.
I’ve gone on about the early, much cooler days of Bob Seger in this space before. If the concept is an unfamiliar one, the brief recap is thus:
Back in the olden days of Dee-troit sounds, Seger, first with the Last Heard, and slightly further on with the System, laid down some very heavy sounds, ranging from pure, fuzzed out garage snot, proto-whiteboy soul (not too far removed from Grand Funk-osity) and all-around good stuff that will flip the wig of anyone who thinks he’s all about ‘Like A Rock’ and other such commercial soundtrackery.
The tune I bring you today might be considered mid-period Seger, coming as it does from the days of the Bob Seger System (right in the middle as it were), before he struck out as a solo.
As I’ve heard it told, by 1969 the world of the regional rock bigshot was starting to leave a heavy imprint on the weary mind of Mr Seger, so much so that he was apparently considering chucking it all and going back to school (bringing to mind the nightmare vision of Bob Seger CPA).
It was during this period that Seger allowed a fellow named Tom Neme to join the band, and – it appears – take a significant amount of control. The second Bob Seger System LP ‘Noah’ features no less than five Neme compositions (a full half of the album). I’ve seen a quote from a 1972 interview where Seger makes it clear that he was on the verge of dropping out of the business, thus ceding a hunk of that album to Neme.
I’ve never been able to score a copy of ‘Noah’, so I can’t speak on the comparative quality of Neme’s songwriting or performance. The record I bring you today makes that something of a moot point, since it features one of Seger’s songs from the album.
‘Innervenus Eyes’ is a pretty hairy ride. Whether this is a direct reflection of the man’s psychological travails, or merely a taste of 1969 freakout is up for debate. I’ve always been a big fan of Seger’s early period vocals. That end of the 60s was positively thick with screamy whiteboy wanna be soul revue frontmen. Seger had enough of an actual voice to stay just this side of extreme, and his singing on cuts like ‘East Side Story’, ‘Heavy Music’ and ‘Ramblin’ Gamblin’ Man’ is very cool.
That said, I hope you dig the tune.
Hang tight and I’ll be back on Monday with something groovy.
Peace
Larry

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PS Head over to Funky16Corners for two interesting covers from the world of James Brown.

PSS Check out Paperback Rider too…

lyme & cybelle – Follow Me

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lyme & cybelle (aka Warren Zevon & Violet Santangelo)

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Listen – lyme & cybelle – Follow Me – MP3

Greetings all.
I hope everyone had a fine weekend.

I hope the beginning of a new week finds you well.
The tune I bring you today is a great slice of mid-60s Sunset Strip folk rock, that like many of my favorite records, I came to in an utterly ass-backwards fashion.
One of the UR documents of the mid-80s scene was the Rubble series of comps featuring all manner of high quality UK psyche and freakbeat.
One of the songs that was included on those records was a tune called ‘Follow Me’ by the ironically named Californians (ironic since they hailed from a place thousands of miles away from that locale). ‘Follow Me’ was a great example of how poppy, yet also edgy the finest Freakbeat sides were. It certainly helps that the Californians were also responsible for the positively anthemic ‘Cooks of Cake and Kindness’.
Though I can’t say exactly when I noticed, but sometime after I picked up the record I scanned the label (which I always do) and saw that ‘Follow Me’ was credited to someone with the last name of Zevon.
“No…” I thought. “It couldn’t be..”
But then I though, how many Zevons could there be in the world, and among that small number, how many of them were songwriters? I did some asking around and it wasn’t long until someone more knowledgeable than I confirmed that the writer of ‘Follow Me’ was indeed the man behind ‘Roland the Headless Thompson Gunner’ and that – for an added bonus – had also recorded the original version of the song as part of the duo lyme & cybelle.
Sometime shortly after that I grabbed one of the many Nuggets LPs and heard the  lyme & cybelleversion of ‘Follow Me’ for the first time, and of course dug it even moreso than the cover. It was another 20 years before I’d find myself a copy of the OG (on the Turtles label White Whale), and so I bring it to you today.
Fans of Warren Zevon MkII – i.e. ‘Werewolves of London’ et al – will have to listen very closely to detect any traces of that hyper-literate carouser. The vibe here is all raga on the way to the birth of psychedelia, with ringing guitars, organ and the tight harmonies of Zevon (lyme) and Violet Santangelo (cybelle). It’s agreat record and was actually a minor hit (Top 100, though it made into the Top 10 in some West Coast markets). They duo recorded a couple of 45s, though on some of the later ones Zevon is gone with Wayne Erwin taking his place.
‘Follow Me’ was also covered by the Tony Jackson Group and Nino Tempo & April Stevens.
Warren Zevon went on to be one of the most respected – if also out of control, even in a age of prodigious excess – singer/songwriters of the 70s, 80s and 90s before dying of cancer in 2003. Violet Santangelo changed her name to Laura Kenyon and has had a long career on Broadway.
I hope you dig the tune and I’ll be back later in the week with something a little far out from Detroit.
Peace
Larry

Example

PS Head over to Funky16Corners for a Northern Soul classic.

PSS Check out Paperback Rider too…

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