The Other Side – Streetcar b/w Walking Down the Road

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Listen/Download – The Other Side – Streetcar

Listen/Download – The Other Side – Walking Down the Road

Greetings all.

The 45 you see before you is one of those records that got lodged in my brain like some kind of splendid splinter back in the heady garage/mod days of the 1980s.

Both sides of the Other Side’s sole 45 had been included on a compilation LP (Mindrocker) and represented for me – then and now – the peak of the mid-60s California garage band sound.

In many ways this is a perfect two-sider, with a garage mover (Streetcar) on one side and a moody folk-rocker (Walking Down the Road) on the other, reflecting the brightest facets of the pre-psych years.

The Other Side were a San Francisco Bay-area band (they cake from Fremont, just south of Oakland), and only ever recorded the two sides you’re hearing today, for the storied Brent label, also home to Boo Boo and Bunky and the Harbinger Complex.

‘Streetcar’ has that West Coast pop/garage sound, with just a touch of UK R&Beat rave up in the mix.

‘Walking Up the Road’ is a very groovy folk jangler with a really interesting change-up in the chorus and a positively sublime guitar solo that may be the ultimate bit of Byrds music not actually created by the Byrds.

This record is a perfect microcosm/time capsule of a very specific moment in California rock history, just before things started to get a little heavier and more serious.

During their brief time together the other side gave up members to both the Chocolate Watchband and the Vejtables*, but by 1967 they were a done deal.

Interestingly, both sides of this 45 appeared on the 1967 Mainstream comp ‘A Pot of Flowers’, before showing up a bunch of times on various comps during the 80s garage revival.

I hope you dig the sounds as much as I do, and I’ll see you all next week.

Peace

Larry

 

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*There is also an unconfirmed rumor that Skip Spence may have played on this 45

 

PS Head over to Funky16Corners for some soul.

The Strangeloves – Night Time

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The Brothers Strange

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Listen/Download – The Strangeloves – Night Time

Greetings all.

As I was driving around with the kids the other day, running errands with the radio blasting (as usual), what should come on, but ‘I Want Candy’ by the Strangeloves.

The boys started singing along, since they’d become familiar with the song on the soundtrack to the film ‘Hop’.

So, I start telling them the story behind the Strangeloves (since every 8 and 10 year old should be familiar, right?), about how Giles, Niles and Miles supposedly hailed from an Australian sheep farm.

Then I told them that they were actually three New Yorkers, Bob Feldman, Jerry Goldstein and Richard Gottehrer who probably never got any closer to sheep farm than owning a sweater or two.

The kids weren’t captivated by this tale of marketing gone wrong, but they did keep singing, which is a testament to the lasting value of the Strangeloves records.

While I don’t recall hearing any of their songs as a kid, I did get smacked right between the ears by George Thorogood and the Destroyers 1979, 100MPH cover of ‘Night Time’.*

It was a couple of years before I laid my hands on a copy of the Strangeloves 45, by which time Bow Wow Wow had already dragged the band’s biggest hit, 1965’s ‘I Want Candy’ kicking and screaming into the MTV era.

I wouldn’t go as far as to suggest that the Strangeloves were some kind of lost ‘great’ band, but their best 45s were revolving in the same asteroid belt as the finest Nuggets-style ish, loud, a little bit dumb, but as fun as hell.

Interestingly, though the record was produced by F/G/G, it was arranged by Bassett Hand, a pianist/organist who recorded a couple of interesting 45s of his own**.

So bang your head while listening to this one, and I’ll see you next week.

Peace

Larry

 

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*I would like to take a minute here to speak up in defense of Mr Thorogood. Back when I was a teenager, and didn’t know jack diddley about the blues or R&B, old George and his thundering herd (only three guys back in the day) were bashing the bejeebus out of the likes of John Lee Hooker, Elmore James, Bo Diddley, Hank Williams and yes, the Strangeloves. This was years before the band became a walking-talking neon beer sign, and I would suggest strongly that if you dig real, solid, rock’n’roll, that you give his first three LPs a listen.

** Thanks to commenter Porky for letting me know that Bassett Hand was in fact an invented pseudonym for F-G-G. I went and dug out my Bassett Hand 45s and sure enough they’re both F-G-G compositions/productions!

PS Head over to Funky16Corners for some soul.

Them – Bring ‘Em On In

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That’s a mean looking bunch’o’spuds.

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Listen/Download – Them – Bring ‘Em On In

Greetings all.

Welcome to the new week.

As I was flipping through the vast ‘to-be-blogged’ archive, trying to pick out a tune for this week, I happened upon something groovy, which – ironically – I had forgotten.

Unjustly, too, since the beat/blues wailing of George Ivan Morrison, the man responsible for my all-time favorite rock song (G-L-O-R-I-A…) is one of my very favorite sounds (as is his slightly later, much hippy-dippier profundity).

If memory serves I picked up this 45 at a record show, mainly because I had never heard (more accurately, did not remember) the songs.

As it turns out, both tracks on the single, ‘Bring ‘Em On In’ and ‘Call My Name’ appeared on 1966’s ‘Them Again’, which I owned a copy of (and have since misplaced/Lost) back in the garage/mod days of the 80s.

Though they are often grouped with the British Invasion, Them were much closer to (and quite close to the top of the class) the R&Beat sound.

That they had the voice and songwriting prowess of Morrison put them close to the front of the pack, but they were first and foremost a shit-hot band, in the end far more influential than they were successful.

On that note, it’s odd to discover that they were a much bigger deal (though still relatively small potatoes, no pun intended) here in the States than they were on the other side of the Atlantic.

They had a handful of moderate hits here in the US, with ‘Here Comes the Night’ being the biggest (and ‘Gloria’ the most influential), as well as a couple of regional successes.

‘Bring ‘Em On In’, released in 1966 as the B-side to ‘Call My Name’ (one of the aforementioned regional hits, making some noise on SoCal and Florida) is a hard-charging bit of R&B cum garage, with some fuzz guitar, piano and of course a searing vocal by Van the man.

Of course by this time, Them – in their Van led incarnation – were pretty much a done deal.

They imploded following a West Coast tour of the US, with Van moving on to working with Bert Berns, and some of the rest of the fellows continuing on for a few years.

It is a very sweet little number, and I hope you dig it.

I’ll see you all next week with a new episode of the Iron Leg Radio Show.

Peace

Larry

 

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PS Head over to Funky16Corners for some soul.

The Sonics – Keep a Knockin’

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“Officer!! They’re looting the Food King!”

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Listen/Download – The Sonics – Keep a Knockin’

Greetings all.

As I was cleaning (or more aptly, working some level of organizational triage) in my record vault, I pulled the 45 you see before you today out of a box and thought to myself, ‘Hey, the time is right for something a little nutty.’

Sure, I could have put it back and whipped a little sunshine pop on you, or maybe even some fuzzy garage, but when fate steps up and hands you a Sonics 45, you kind of have to fall in line and do what you’re told.

If you don’t know the Sonics, even if only by reputation, then I don’t know what to say.

The day I first heard the Sonics, some 30-odd years ago, my brain was rewired permanently, in a way that only happens to you a few times in life (if you’re lucky).

I had some small amount of experience with ‘garage punk’, but no amount of snotty, teenage fuzz could have prepared me for the Sonics.

Taking form in the foggy, moss-covered glens of the Pacific Northwest in the early 60s, the Sonics sounded like (and I’m going to quote myself here, because I don’t think I can do any better)

“…pure, unbridled animal energy, mixed with an electrified libido and marinated in grain alcohol is reduced to a serum, injected into Little Richard, who then went to the zoo, mated with a hyena in a swimming pool during an electrical storm then took their unholy spawn into a recording studio (during a tornado) and whipped up something very, very heavy.”

The Little Richard comparison is apt, since today’s selection – ‘Keep a Knockin’ – was first unleashed on the world, via Mr Penniman in 1957, which seems like an eternity away, but when the Sonics recorded it (the b-side to their very first 45), was only seven years in the past.

Now, any fool knows that trying to beat Little Richard at his own game is work (usually) reserved for fools, but the Sonics had something special.

That something was the musical equivalent of a sledgehammer made of dynamite.

This is the sound of a band running at top speed plus, like a car used to burning gasoline with a tank full of rocket fuel instead.

There’s nothing subtle about the Sonics take on ‘Keep a Knockin’, but there never needed to be.

I’m convinced that their first album was called ‘Boom’, only because ‘KABLAMMO!!!’ wouldn’t fit on the cover.

You either grab on and hold tight, or fall under their wheels.

Your choice, buddy.

See you next week.

Peace

Larry

 

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PS Head over to Funky16Corners for some soul.

Iron Leg Radio Show #39

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Beep beep beep beep…..

Playlist

Alan Hawkshaw/Keith Mansfield – Action Scene (KPM)
The Cocktail Cabinet – Breathalyser (Page One)
Locomotive – Rudi’s In Love (Bell)
Earth Quake – I Get the Sweetest Feeling (A&M)
Harper and Rowe – Here Comes Yesterday Again (World Pacific)
Hal Blaine – Drums A Go Go (Dunhill)
Kim Fowley – Born to Be Wild (Imperial)
Wild Angels Promo

Bobby Sty – Incense and Peppermints (Hit Sounds)
Mike Landers – Hush (Hit Sounds)
Mike Landers – I Can See For Miles (Hit Sounds)
Mustang – Haight Ashbury Time (Somerset)
Mustang – The Acid Test (Somerset)
Soul Strings and a Funky Horn – Grazing In the Grass (Solid State)
Sam Wright Group – Green Onions (Curio)
Tommy Knight and the Knights – Tighten Up (Promenade)
Psych-Out Promo

Associated Soul Group – Are You Experienced (Contessa)
Electric Piano Playground – I Had Too Much To Dream Last Night (Bell)
Electric Piano Playground – Good Vibrations (Bell)
Electronic Concept Orchestra – Aquarius (Limelight)
Electric Indian – Storm Warning (UA)
Electric Tommy – Overture (Viva)
Marketts – Come to the Sunshine (World Pacific)
Stapleton-Morley Expression – Creeque Alley (Dunhill)
Stapleton-Morley Expression – 12:30 (Young Girls Are Coming to the Canyon) (Dunhill)
Stapleton-Morley Expression – San Francisco (Be Sure To Wear Some Flowers In Your Hair) (Dunhill)
101 Strings – A Taste of Soul (Alshire)
The Trip Promo

JP Rags – Scruffety (World Pacific)
JP Rags – The Bells 0f St Barbara (World Pacific)
JP Rags – Still Life (World Pacific)
Karen Karsh – Wasn’t Born To Follow (Dunhill)
Karen Karsh – Musty Dusty (Dunhill)
Brady Bunch – I Just Want To Be Your Friend (Paramount)
The Collage – Would You Like To Go (Smash)
New Life – Canterbury Road (Epic)
Wild In the Streets Promo

 

Listen/Download -Iron Leg Radio Show Episode 39 – 222MB/256kbps

Greetings all.

Welcome to this month’s episode of the Iron Leg Radio Show.

This time out I have a nice, long show for you, with more than two hours of sonic wonderment.

We get things off to a start with some groovy new arrivals, segue into two long sets looking at the various and sundry types of musical exploitation, and then some softer sounds to round out the show.

If this is your first taste, make sure to drop into the archive in the header and check out the previous 38 (?!?) episodes.

I think you’ll dig it.

See you next week.

Peace

Larry

 

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PS Head over to Funky16Corners

The Shillings – Children and Flowers b/w Lying and Trying

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The Shillings

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Listen/Download – The Shillings – Children and Flowers

Listen/Download – The Shillings – Lying and Trying

Greetings all.

The tracks I bring to you this fine day are a stellar example of East Coast folk/pop.

The Shillings (of which there were many, but these cats were from Eastern, PA) released several 45s on labels like Fontana, Virtue and Three Rivers in 1966 and 1967.

They hailed from the Allentown area and played local ten clubs like the Mod Mill and King Arthur’s Court.

The record you see before you was released in 1966.

‘Children and Flowers’, written by Jackie DeShannon, had already been a minor hit for New Jersey’s Critters in 1965.

DeShannon recorded – but did not release – her own version, which later surfaced on the CD reissue of the ‘Laurel Canyon’ LP.

The Shillings version takes the Sunset Strip folk rock sound and dials it down a notch, softening it up with a dose of AM pop.

The flipside of the 45, ‘Lying and Trying’ (written by group member Tom Ross) was actually a regional hit, charting in the Top 20 in Massachusetts and Connecticut.

‘Lying and Trying’ follows the same basic formula, with just enough jangle and drums to be taken seriously, but poppy enough to keep the teenyboppers interested.

I especially dig the guitar solo.

The Shillings  broke up in 1968.

You can pick up a collection of the Shillings recordings, entitled ‘Hoagie Shop’ (including these two songs) in iTunes!

I hope you dig the tunes, and I’ll see you next week with a new episode of the Iron Leg Radio Show.

Peace

Larry

 

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PS Head over to Funky16Corners for some soul.

The Remains – Diddy Wah Diddy b/w Once Before

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The Remains

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Listen/Download – The Remains – Diddy Wah Diddy

Listen/Download – The Remains – Once Before

Greetings all.

Near the end of February, the sad news came down that the drummer of the mighty Remains, Chip Damiani had passed away at the age of 68.

Back in the garage/mod days of the 80s, when reissues of classic 60s material were coming fast and furious, the French import comp of the Remains best material was a big favorite.

Record collector types are always bending someone’s ear about how their favorite band really should have been huge, but in the case of the Remains, that old saw has the ring of truth.

Formed in Boston in 1964, the Remains made music that was hard edged – often muscling in on the garage punk vibe – full of R&B swagger yet with enough pop flavor to get them (theoretically, anyway) on the radio.

They were enshrined on 1972’s ‘Nuggets’ comp, with ‘Don’t Look Back’ (written by a young Billy Vera), but that record – as great as it was – only scratched the surface.

Despite a lack in actual chart success (outside of Boston), the Remains managed to make it onto the Ed Sullivan show, and score themselves a spot opening for the Beatles on their last tour in 1966.

They shoulda/coulda been, but broke up not long after the Beatles tour.

In their short career they recorded one rare LP for Epic, a handful of 45s (most of the tracks from the LP), and that – as they say – was that.

The two tracks I bring you today were released on 45 in 1966.

Their reading of Bo Diddley’s ‘Diddy Wah Diddy’ was their biggest hit – charting in the Northeast and southern California – and has a big, booming sound. The drums, acoustic guitar and electric piano get things rolling before the harp and vocals come in. There’s plenty of forward motion for the dance floor, and just enough grit for the longhairs in the crowd.

The flipside, ‘Once Before’ – opening with a razor sharp rhythm guitar slash – sounds like what the Yardbirds might have sounded like had they emerged on the opposite side of the Atlantic. Written by Chip Damiani and bassist Vern Miller, the song is my favorite of the band’s original songs, and in a just world would have been a hit.

Fortunately, after decades of doing other things (with Barry Tashian crossing paths with Gram Parsons and Emmylou Harris) the Remains came back together in the late 90s and performed at many modern garage fests.

You can grab all of their material in reissue (hard copy and digital), and if you dig these tracks, I assure you that the rest of their catalog will not disappoint.

See you next week.

Peace

Larry

 

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PS Head over to Funky16Corners for some soul.

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