The Rugbys – You, I

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The Rugbys

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Listen/Download – The Rugbys – You, I

Greetings all.

Whilst strolling aimlessly through the back alleys of the windows of my hard drive, it occurred to me that I had never posted the record you see before you today (except for an appearance in a mix).

The Rugbys were a Kentucky band that specialized in a certain brand of what might be called “early American heavy”.

Though they got their start during a more genteel, psychedelic era, they laid down ‘You, I’ right on the cusp of flower power getting obscured by acres and acres of mud and amplifiers.

I think it would be fair to trace most of this back to the Cream (a band who’s sticky, hash-oil fingerprints are all over this record), with the volume, and the wah-wah and the heavy drums and of course the Jack Bruce-ian vocals.

The Rugbys had already had some local success with their cover of Doug Sahm’s ‘Walking the Streets Tonight’, but when they unleashed ‘You, I’ on the world they had a monster on their hands.

The record was an instant smash in Louisville, and was soon Top 40 (often Top 20) in much of the rest of the country.

This is where I have to take a detour to question why- if this song was so successful – had I never heard it until a few years ago?

Sure, the Rugbys were heavy, even treading delicately over the border into Stooges territory for a few moments, but then so was Blue Cheer, who had a similarly sized hit with ‘Sumertime Blues’ the year before, which never seems to go away.

There’s an argument to be made that Blue Cheer, though they might have been a tad, how do you say, dumber, were in the long run a far more consistent band than the Rugbys, laying down a blueprint that legions of filthy hippies (said with nothing but love, of course) would follow decades hence, whereas the Rugbys didn’t seem to have their eyes planted quite as securely on the prize, having a tendency to get a little more in the words of the great Chico Marxtootsie frootsie.

People have always assumed that the end of the 60s was some kind of hippie paradise, but I’d argue that a listen to the first Stooges album is a much clearer snapshot of the era. There is no arguing with the potency of ‘You, I’, especially the last 30 seconds which paint a very vivid picture of the way the worm was turning that year.

It’s a groovy 45, and one you ought to be able to pick up for a couple of bucks.

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

Peace

Larry

 

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PS Head over to Funky16Corners for some soul.

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.

Iron Leg Radio Show #41

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Beep beep beep beep…..

Playlist

Alan Hawkshaw and Keith Mansfield – Action Scene (KPM)
Harvey Mandel – Wade In the Water Pts 1&2 (Philips)
Clover – Wade In the Water (Liberty)
Keith – Waiting (Mercury)
Motherlode – Soft Shell (Buddah)
Grateful Dead – Dark Star (45 Edit) (WB)

Everly Brothers – Mary Jane (WB)
Everly Brothers – Talking to the Flowers (WB)
JK and CO – Land of Sensations and Delights (White Whale)
Joyride – Crystal Ship (World Pacific)
Kaleidoscope – Keep Your Mind Open (Epic)
Tommy Boyce and Bobby Hart – For Baby (A&M)
Beaver and Krause – Good Places (WB)
Beaver and Krause – By Your Grace (WB)
Fairport Convention – She Moves Through the Fair (A&M)

Buffalo Springfield – Expecting to Fly (Atco)
Virgin Sleep – Love (Deram)
Bobby Bland – Rockin’ In the Same Old Boat (Duke)
Grace Markay – Sally Go Round the Roses (Capitol)
Mickey Newbury – The 33rd of August (Mercury)
Jerry Blavat – All Be Joyous (Bond)
The Sunshine Company – Bolero (Imperial)
The Beach Boys – Feel Flows (Brother)

 

Listen/Download -Iron Leg Radio Show Episode 41 – 160MB/256kbps

 

Greetings all.

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

Hey, maaaaannnn…..

When I sat down to work out this month’s podcast, some of the trippier things caught my ear, so I decided to make this episode one in which you should feed your head.

Things are – as always – in a free-form bag, but it’s all engineered to get you to mellow down easy.

I’ve given this one a few listens, and I think you’ll dig it.

See you next week.

Peace

Larry

 

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PS Head over to Funky16Corners

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.

The Millennium – I Just Want To Be Your Friend (45 Mix)

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Picture Sleeve for this 45 (ripped corner edited out…)
Note: The group name misspelled on the label!

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Listen/Download – The Millennium – I Just Want To Be Your Friend (45 Mix)

Greetings all.

I thought we’d take some time this week to take a stroll back through the magical pixie-delic forest of Curt Boettcher.

You already know that I’m fascinated by all things Boettcher, finding his mastery of vocal harmonies and pop to be without equal.

I had been on the hunt for a long time for a copy of the 45 you see before you today, and a few months ago, I thought I had.

Until, that is, it arrived cracked quite cleanly in half, rendering it unplayable.

So, I reset the search, and oddly enough another copy pretty much fell into my lap.

The Millennium’s ‘Begin’ LP is one of those records that has – like the thousand petaled lotus, revealed itself to me gradually over the years.

The first time I heard the Millennium, they seemed almost impossibly twee. I’m not sure what I was expecting, but it took me a while – even in the presence of a remarkable amount of brilliant pop hooks, to really get it, and even today I can slap on the headphones and still discover new and groovy things in their music.

Such was the case when I recorded the 45 versions of ‘I JustWant To Be Your Friend’, and ‘It’s You’.

The versions on the 45 sounded slightly different than the ones on the LP, and as it turns out they were (are), with the lead guitar slightly higher in the mono mix.

Subtle – to be sure – and in the end neither here nor there (unless you fuss over stuff like that, which I often do).

One of the stories of ‘Begin’, is that it was one of the most expensive LPs recorded for Columbia (at the time), and when you really take the time to listen closely to the record, it is immediately obvious that not a penny of that money was wasted.

Though exploration of the group usually revolves around Boettcher, as close as sunshine pop has to a bona fide cult figure, a perusal of the writing credits reveals that the Millennium had what they call in baseball, a deep bench.

Every member of the band contributed excellent songs to the LP, and they were as powerful – vocally and instrumentally – as anyone on the scene.

Produced by Boettcher and former Music Machine bassist (and future super-producer) Keith Olsen, ‘Begin’ is a flowing tapestry of voices and melodies delivered with Beatles-level instrumental innovation.

‘I Just Want To Be Your Friend’ is a perfect example of how the music of the Millennium can be something of a Trojan horse.

Written by Boettcher, and probably their most covered song, ‘I Just Want To Be Your Friend’ starts off light and breezy like something from a Claudine Longet album, but builds slowly and almost imperceptibly into something else entirely.

At around 1:20, when Boettcher sings ‘Look into your eyes today..’ the band pretty much explodes into a psychedelic wave, led by dueling guitars, and then, less than a minute later, they all slide back into low gear.

It’s at this point that I always find myself coming to the point where I feel the need to separate the Millennium from the sunshine pop pack.

This was no throwaway, manufactured pop band dealing in other people’s hooks and singalong choruses. These guys were the real deal, and while I can’t imagine them (or any similarly complicated band of the period) duplicating much of this on stage, I would put ‘Begin’ up against anything that came out in 1968.

If you haven’t got a copy, get yourself one and soak it in.

Dig the sounds, and I’ll see you next week.

Peace

Larry

 

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PS Head over to Funky16Corners for some soul.

Iron Leg Radio Show #40

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Beep beep beep beep…..

Playlist

Alan Hawkshaw and Keith Mansfield – Action Scene (KPM)
The Lovin’ Spoonful – Six O’Clock (Kama Sutra)
The Magicians – About My Love (Columbia)
Billy J Kramer and the Dakotas – From a Window (Imperial)
Fortunes – I’ve Gotta Go (Press)
Lynn Castle – The Lady Barber (LHI)
Lost Souls – Sad Little Girl (Liberty)
Merrell Fankhauser – Everybody’s Talkin’ (Shamley)
Them – Mystic Eyes (Parrot)
Them – Bring ‘Em On In (Parrot)
Them – Call My Name (Parrot)
WC Fields Memorial Electric String Band – Hippy Elevator Operator (HBR)

Cheetah Club Concert Promo
Byrds – Hey Joe (Columbia)
Byrds- I’ll Feel a Whole Lot Better (Columbia)
Byrds – So You Want To Be a Rock’n’Roll Star (Columbia)
Byrds – She Don’t Care About Time (Columbia)
Byrds – Eight Miles High (Columbia)
Byrds – Dolphin’s Smile (Columbia)
Byrds – Lady Friend (Columbia)
Byrds – King Apathy III (Columbia)
Byrds – Bad Night at the Whiskey (Columbia)
Notorious Byrd Brothers Promo

Denny Doherty – To Claudia On Thursday (45 Mix) (Dunhill)
Dino Desi and Billy – She’s So Far Out She’s In (Reprise)
Family Affair – Let’s Get Together (Smash)
Terry Reid – Superlungs (Epic)
Terry Reid – Bang Bang (Epic)
Terry Reid – Stay With Me (Epic)
Small Faces – All Or Nothing (RCA)
Small Faces – Tin Soldier (Immediate)
There Are But Four Small Faces LP Promo

 

Listen/Download -Iron Leg Radio Show Episode 40 – 167MB/256kbps

 

Greetings all.

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

It’s funny how time flies when you’re having fun.

I can hardly believe that I’m forty episodes deep in this thing.

This month there are some groovy new arrivals, a couple of recently reconsidered b-sides and a set of the Byrds.

I think you’ll dig it.

See you next week.

Peace

Larry

 

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PS Head over to Funky16Corners

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.

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