Merrell Fankhauser – Tampa Run b/w Everybody’s Talkin’

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Merrell Fankhauser (front) and HMS Bounty

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Listen/Download – Merrell Fankhauser – Tampa Run

Listen/Download – Merrell Fankhauser – Everybody’s Talkin’

Greetings all.

Before I get started I should mention that next week sees the arrival of the yearly Funky16Corners Pledge Drive, wherein we pass the hat to try to raise funds to cover the costs of keeping the blog(s) running, i.e. server space, with whatever’s left being poured back into the operation (just recently had to replace my trusty podcasting microphone).

Since Iron Leg is an outgrowth of the Funky16Corners Blogcasting Nerve Center and Record Vault, and is in every way inseparable (it is just me after all) I have something special planned for Iron Leg as well to wrap it into the whole fundraising “bag” as it were, so stay tuned in this space. The whole thing gets underway next Monday, 6/5.

That said, the tune I bring you today is a transitional record by an artist who was – appropriately – in a constant state of transition (stylistically anyway) during the 1960s.

As a fan of psychedelia and garage, the name Merrell Fankhauser (one you’ve heard it, how could you forget it?) loomed large in the 80s.
Though he has recorded steadily since the early 60s, Fankhauser’s surf, folk rock, and psyche stuff was getting reissued a lot during the 80s and he was always popping up somewhere, whether directly through his music, or indirectly through fanzine articles and such.

Though he was born in Kentucky, Fankhauser moved west to California and formed his first band, a surf outfit called the Impacts in the early 60s. This transitioned by mid-decade into the Exiles (beat/garage/folk rock), a band which included in its ranks two future Beefheart-ians, Drumbo French and Jeff Cotton.

Following the dissolution of the Exiles, Fankhauser formed Merrell and the Exiles (billed on their album as Fapardokly),
His next band, HMS Bounty recorded an album for UNI. Today’s selection ‘Tampa Run’ has normally been listed as part of that band’s discography, though it’s billed solely to Fankhauser, and references seem to indicate that although they did record the song, the version that was released is actually Fankhauser backed by session musicians.

A fast moving bit of country-ish rock, ‘Tampa Run’ was released in 1969. The tale of a drug runner went on to be a minor hit on the west coast.

The flipside features an unusually fast paced version of Fred Neil’s ‘Everybody’s Talkin’ backed by Farfisa organ and mariachi horns, sounding like a Sir Douglas Quintet outtake.

After HMS Bounty broke up, Fankhauser went on to record two early 70s albums with MU, and then on to solo work.

I hope you dig the tunes, and I’ll be back next week.

Peace

Larry

 

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PS Head over to Funky16Corners for some soul.

Moody Blues – This Is My House (But Nobody Calls)

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The Magnificent Moodies (Mr. Laine, at left with git-box)

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Listen/Download – Moody Blues – This Is My House

Greetings all.

The new week is here, and if you haven’t given the very first Iron leg Radio Show a listen, you should doso since it is (if I say so myself) quite groovy and filled with lots of cool music. You can click on the Iron Leg Radio Show tab in the header. The new episode will appear in this space sometime around 6/15.

In other news, if you’re in or around NYC this Monday 5/23, I’ll be returning to Spindletop @ Botanica, and while I usually DJ soul and funk, I’ll be digging in my garage punk, beat, freakbeat and frat rock crates, so if that sounds like something you might enjoy hearing, fall by (47 E. Houston St, NYC) and join me for some 45s and a cocktail or two.

The tune I bring you today is an old fave, and while it appeared in a mix here a few years back, it certainly deserves to be heard on its own, so here it is.

I have stated here before that while I dig the Moody Blues in their various incarnations (both moody and blue), I am an especially big fan of the brief transitional period in 1966/67 when they were getting the tiniest bit freakbeaty, having departed from the blues and R&B influences of their beginnings, but not yet having passed into their psychedelic period.

There is of course a very clear dividing line here, that being the one the runs between Denny Laine (the original lead singer, years before he became a Wing alongside his pal Macca) and Justin Hayward, he of the groovy blond mod cut and deep, sonorous voice.

Today’s selection ‘This Is My House (But Nobody Calls)’ was the Moodies last widely circulated 45 of the Laine era (there was one other that was withdrawn almost immediately) from October 1966.

This is the sound of a band steeping in the pop of the mid-60s with the jangly guitar, jolly piano, good-timey hooks and the crazy, somewhat werewolf-ian “awoooo” backing vocals.

It’s one of those songs that is positively impossible not to sing along with, or if not, at least to generate a good, solid fit of head nodding and foot tapping.

Unfortunately this appears to have caught the band in a bad stretch since it didn’t even chart in the UK, which is probably more of a testament to the fact that in 1966 the radio was absolutely filthy with great music, and this little gem just got lost in the shuffle.

It would be a little over a year before the band returned to the charts (in a big way) with ‘Nights In White Satin’.

I hope you dig it, and I’ll be back next week.

Peace

Larry

 

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PS Head over to Funky16Corners for some soul.

Iron Leg Radio Is On The Air!

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Beep beep beep beep…..

Playlist

Opening Theme – Alan Hawkshaw/Keith Mansfield – Action Scene (KPM)

Baker Knight & the Knightmares – Hallucinations (Reprise)
Apparitions – She’s So Satisfying (Caped Crusader)
Andre Brasseur – Pow Pow (Palette)
101 Strings – Spinning Wheel (Alshire)
World of Oz – Peters Birthday (Deram)
Turtles – She’s My Girl (White Whale)
Radio London – Pussycat

Standells – Little Sally Tease (Tower)
Tino & the Revelons – I’m Coming Home (Dearborn)
Thee Muffins – Surprise Surprise
The Lime – Love a Go Go (Westwood)
Strangeloves – In the Night Time (Bang)
Sonics – Lost Love (Picadilly)
Sonny and Cher – It’s Gonna Rain (Atlantic)
Boyce and Hart – Coke Spot

Softmachine – Love Makes Sweet Music
Soft Machine – A Certain Kind (probe)
13th Floor Elevators – Livin On (45 Edit) (IA)
Blue Things – Orange Rooftop of Your Mind (RCA)
Buffalo Springfield – Expecting To Fly (Atco)
Yes – Everydays (Atlantic)
Upbeat radio Spot

Millennium – Prelude / To Claudia On Thursday (Columbia)
Neon Philharmonic – Brilliant Colors (WB)
Mark Eric – California Home (Revue)
Love Generation – The Love In Me (Imperial)
Lee Mallory – Take My Hand (Valiant)
Hondells – Just One More Chance (Columbia)
Neon Philharmonic Radio Spot

Insomniacs – My Favorite Story (Umbrella)
Mod Fun – I Am With You (New)
Lord John – Westminiature Abbey (Bomp)
Smithereens – Just Got Me A Girl (Dirt)
Biff Bang Pow – There Must Be a Better Place (Creation)
Game Theory – 24 (Alias)
Lloyd Cole and the Commotions – Rattlesnakes (Capitol)
Ravi Shankar Anti-Drug PSA

Montanas – That’s When Happiness Began (Pye)
Lovin’ Spoonful – Six O’Clock (Kama Sutra)
Animals – I’m Gonna Change the World (MGM)
Motifs – If I Gave You Love (Selsom)
Biff Rose – What’s Gnawing At Me (Tetragrammaton)
Billy J Kramer – 1941 (Epic)

Listen/Download -Iron Leg Radio Show Episode 1 – 266MB/256kbps

Greetings all, and welcome to something very special.

As mentioned in today’s post over at Funky16Corners, my experience creating the Funky16Corners Radio Show – which airs on Viva Radio and is then archived for download over at the blog – had me thinking about expanding the whole radio show bag.

Initially I considered doing a second Funky16Corners show, but eventually my thinking came around to the idea of doing something similar with the vibe here at Iron Leg, i.e. 60s pop (and sometimes beyond) of all varieties, with the garage punk, and the sunshine pop, and the psychedelic and whatever else happens to fall into that particular bag.

I’ve been doing Iron Leg, with both individual tracks and mixes for four years now, and I figured it was time for something new and (hopefully) interesting.

The Iron Leg Radio Show (you can tell I sweated over that name, huh?) will be posted on a monthly (for now) basis, and is likely to run in the vicinity of 90 minutes, though this first show breaks the two-hour mark.

You’ll be getting all of the groovy stuff you’ve come to expect here at Iron Leg, but the bouillabaisse is going to be stewed together in what will hopefully be new and interesting ways, with both music and information together, which in the words of Abraham Simpson, is the “style of the time”.

Right now, the Iron Leg blog will be home base for the radio show until I find somewhere else to host it as well, which is fine by me with the MP3s as good at my link as someone else’s.

That of course may never happen, since the internet and podcasts (and MP3 playback devices) have really replaced radio. My ipod (and I’m sure a lot of other people use theirs the same way) is a de facto radio, delivering everything my radio used to do, more efficiently and with much more personal entertainment value than the old wireless set, wherever, whenever, and for however long I want it to.

This is not to say that the old formats of radio are, or should be extinct. In fact podcasting has freed these formats from illogical (at least in what’s left of a free-thinking, adult-level world) constraints having to do with advertising, time limits, freedom of speech issues etc.

It bears mentioning that radio-style programming via podcasting is in many ways (all positive) returning broadcasts to an expansiveness, whether with musical choice or conversation (much of what I listen to in the car, on the ipod, are spoken word podcasts on a variety of topics) that they once had, even if only on the fringes.

We’re in a boom period now where (as it was with blogging) everyone and their crazy uncle has a podcast of some kind, but these things tend to shake out in the end, with the truly fringy stuff finding its small audience, more popular stuff finding a bigger audience, and those things with no audience at all eventually disappearing as their creators become bored or move on to something else (thus the vast floating islands of abandoned web sites and blogs out there in the wilds of the interwebs).

Where the iron Leg Radio Show ends up on that spectrum remains to be seen. If a healthy percentage of the existing audience for this blog, and those from Funky16Corners whose tastes cross over like mine do take a listen and dig what they hear, that’ll be enough for me.

It’s fun creating these shows and I hope that comes through in the podcasts.

I hope you dig it, and I’d like to hear what you think, so drop me a line if you have the time to give it a listen.

Enjoy, and I’ll see you all next week.

Peace

Larry

 

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PS Head over to Funky16Corners for some soul.

Pretty Things – Don’t Bring Me Down

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Oy! What you lookin’ at??

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Listen/Download -Pretty Things – Don’t Bring Me Down

Greetings all.

The 45 I bring you this week is one of my all-time favorite finds.

Back in the day (way back in the day) I took a little trip to a local antique mall on account of I’d heard there were records to be pawed over.

At first, aside from a very expensive copy of the Rajput and the Sipoy Mutiny LP (way too rich for my blood) there didn’t seem to be much there, until that is I stumbled upon a table full of 45s.

Even when I got into that mess, it didn’t seem too promising.

Then, while flipping through a stack of sevens I happened upon the familiar, blue Fontana label.

My first assumption was that I had happened upon yet another copy of Serge Gainsbourg and Jane Birkin’s ‘Je T’aime…’, so imagine my surprise when I looked down and saw that what I was holding was a Pretty Things 45!

It was shocking because outside of the rarefied air of record shows it was the first (and last) time I ever encountered one of their records in the wild.

During those heady, mid-80s garage/mod days the Pretties loomed large, first and foremost because of their bad-assery, which was compounded by the fact that they had the cache of obscurity here in the states (practically unheard of aside from their much later Swan Song LPs junking up flea market stalls).

Amongst the British R&Beat scene, the Pretty Things were a very big deal, scoring in the UK, on the Continent and pretty much everywhere else aside from the US of A, where in 1964 they were way too long-haired, mean and freaky for the time.

Mickie Most could stuff the Animals into matching suits and they’d pass on American TV, but I can’t imagine Ed Sullivan taking a shine to Phil May and Dick Taylor with their ratty thrift store sweaters and vomit-flecked boots, not to mention their unspeakably long hair and general bad attitude.

Though the Pretty Things would later add a touch of pop and jangle to their barbed wire, in the early days they were among the most faithful devotees of the US electric blues sound, presaging US-style garage punk with their snarl.

Written by Johnnie Dee (lead singer of a group called the Bulldogs, I’m not sure if this is the same Johnnie Dee who recorded for Sonet) and released in 1964 (it was the group’s follow-up to ‘Rosalyn’) ‘Don’t Bring Me Down’ was a UK Top 10 hit. It’s rawer than most of similar contemporary efforts from that side of the pond, with wailing guitar and harmonica and of course Phil May’s snotty vocals.

The opening guitar line, moving into the tambourine hits is one of the great openings of the Beat era.

I hope you dig it, and I’ll be back next week.

Peace

Larry

 

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PS Head over to Funky16Corners for some soul.

Esko Affair – Morning Dull Fires

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Listen/Download -Esko Affair – Morning Dull Fires

Greetings all.

How’s about something freaky to twist your head while the rest of you gets warmed by the springtime sun?

Last year I was out digging at one of the Asbury Lanes Garage Sales, and I’m sad to say that the 45s were slim pickings.

Fortunately for all concerned I did manage to find one seller with a couple of boxes of heat, and walked away with a couple of real winners, including a nice Northern Soul 45, and the record you see (and hear) before you today.

If memory serves I picked up ‘Morning Dull Fires’ by the Esko Affair because it looked interesting. I’d never heard of it, and didn’t recognize any of the info on the label. When I got it home and dropped the needle on the record I think it’s safe to say that I was good and truly blown away.

Emanating from the grooves of this unassuming white label promo 45 was a genuinely mind blowing mixture of late period US freak scene and UK psyche prog sounds that were alternately hard edged and trippy.

Released in 1969, and apparently based in Philadelphia, the Esko Affair was centered around two brothers named Edward and Jeffery Esko who had previously recorded as the Liberation News Service (also quite trippy, check it out on Youtube).

To say that ‘Morning Dull Fires’ would fit nicely alongside anything on the British Psychedelic Trip would be an understatement, as would be saying that the flipside of this 45, ‘Salt and Pepper’ couldn’t possibly sound more like a completely different band. It’s a weird bit of pop soul that sounds like it was designed exclusively for the AM radio. With a more aggressive vocal (and less insipid lyrics) ‘Salt and Pepper’ might even pass for fairly decent Philly soul.

As significant differences in quality between A and B sides of a 45 go, it’s one of the greatest I’ve ever heard.

‘Morning Dull Fires’ was comped on ‘Psychedelic Unknowns’ and is apparently worth a little more than the dollar I paid for it.

That said, I think you’ll be giving this one repeat plays.

I hope you dig it, and I’ll see you all next week.

Peace

Larry

 

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PS Head over to Funky16Corners for some soul.

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