Best of Iron Leg – The Spats – She Done Moved

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The Spats ABC LP (above),
Lead singer Dick Johnson on Shindig (below)

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Listen/Download – The Spats – She Done Moved

 

Note: I have some stuff going on this week, so enjoy this 2011 classic from the archives

Greetings all.

Anybody in the mood for some fuzz?

It’s been a since I dropped some of the good old garage punk stuff on you, and I assure you that today’s selection will remedy that, and then some.

A while back I finally gave in and picked up the Rhino boxed set ‘Where the Action Is: Los Angeles Nuggets 1965-1968’.

I had hesitated on picking it up only because I had taken a look at the song list and seen a whole lot of stuff I already had on vinyl.

I have gone into the subject countless times, but I will reiterate once again that I have a very special place in my heart for the mid-60s sound of the Sunset Strip. There’s something about the mix of jangle, fuzz, pop hooks and nascent psychedelia that hits the pleasure centers of my brain in just the right way so that I end up half-conscious with a big, dumb smile on my face.

Once again the folks at Rhino have done a superb job putting together a heaping helping of amazing music (much of it new to me) and presented it in a dynamite package with tons of info, and groovy pics.

I said that there was a lot of familiar stuff in the set, but the stuff that was unfamiliar was by and large absolutely amazing.

As is the case with any great compilation, I walked away from it with a pack of new records tacked onto my want list.
One such track was ‘She Done Moved’ by the Spats.

I’d never heard of the band before, but their record was a bit of pure garage brilliance.

If you could take the zeitgeist of early 1966 LA and put in in a meat grinder, the delicious sausage that would be extruded couldn’t possibly taste any better than ‘She Done Moved’.

The song itself is pretty simple (it is in fact an adaptation of Lonnie Johnson’s 1928 ‘Kansas City Blues’), but the arrangement is a crunchy, fuzzed out, attitude soaked piece of punky perfection.

I had never heard of the Spats before and was surprised to discover that for a brief time in the mid-60s they were all over the place.

Based in southern California, the Spats were formed around the core of the three Johnson brothers, Dick (the lead singer), Charles and Ronnie. They got their start as apack of teenage house rockers, recording loose and inspired, R&B based frat rock like ‘Gator Tails and Monkey Ribs’.

They appeared on American Bandstand (you have to see their performance of ‘Gator Tails…’ which includes some of the most spasmodic ‘choreography’ I’ve ever had the pleasure to witness), Shindig and the Jerry Van Dyke sitcom ‘My Mother the Car’ and apparently had a semi-regular gig at Disneyland.

If you take a look at the group performing on Bandstand, it’s hard to believe that they would ever be capable of a record like ‘She Done Moved’.

They were a tightly wound mass of Brylcreem and matching suits (wearing spats, natch) with some of them looking like they’d just escaped a junior high student council meeting.

By the time they recorded ‘She Done Moved’ in 1966, they had been joined by Doug Rhodes (later of the Music Machine and the Millennium). I found an interview on-line where Rhodes says that he was actually playing a Hammond organ on ‘She Done Moved’. He apparently wasn’t in the band very long before moving on to bigger and better things.

The flip side of ‘She Done Moved’ is a positively awful, good timey, tack piano tune called ‘Scoobee Doo’, which may provide one of the widest quality gaps between two sides of a 45 that I’ve ever encountered.

I hope you dig the tune ( I know you will) and I’ll see you next week.

Peace

Larry

 

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PS Head over to Funky16Corners for some soul.

The Kaleidoscope – Elevator Man

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The Kaleidoscope (US)

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Listen/Download – The Kaleidoscope – Elevator Man

Greetings all.

The world of digging (into/for) music is – assuming that you’re always on the hunt, over the long term – full of surprises.

Back in the olden days of the 80s, when the mod/garage revival was in full swing, and pushed along quite nicely by a wide variety of reissue labels, we were exposed to new (to us) and interesting sounds on a regular basis.

One of the biggest influences in that direction was Edsel Records in the UK.

It was via Edsel, that I – and many of my ilk – first heard the sounds of the (US) Kaleidoscope.

I already knew of the group’s founding guitarist David Lindley, through his work with Jackson Browne, and his own band El Rayo X.

When I first read about (in some zine or other) the Kaleidoscope (I don’t recall is I was aware of the UK band of the same vintage yet) I was surprised that Lindley’s roots went back that far.

Picking up the Edsel comp of their Epic recordings, ‘Bacon From Mars’ was a revelation.

The Kaleidoscope mixed mid-60s California folk rock and psychedelia with all manner of world music influences, making for some of the coolest and most interesting music of the period.

The track that drilled its way the furthest into my head however, was one of their more conventional numbers, ‘Elevator Man’.

‘Elevator Man’ is as close as the Kaleidoscope came to channeling the garage sound of the time, with rolling electric guitar, combo organ, and a snarling vocal.

The thing is, I don’t think I ever had any idea where the song originally appeared.

I eventually found myself an original copy of their first LP ‘Side Trips’ (which featured the other side of this 45, ‘Please’), ‘Elevator Man’ and I never crossed paths.

Until recently, that is, when it turned up on a sales list, where I grabbed it forthwith.

It was released as a 45-only/promo-only track in 1967 (the same year as ‘Side Trips’), and despite ‘Please’ making a minor dent in Southern California and elsewhere in the southwest, went approximately nowhere.

Which is a shame, since it’s such a groovy track, but as I’ve said many times before, 1966/1967 was a period packed so densely with genius that a lot of otherwise memorable stuff went by the wayside.

So dig the goodness, and if you’re not hip to the Kaleidoscope, grab some of their stuff.

See you next week.

Peace

Larry

 

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PS Head over to Funky16Corners for some soul.

Baker Knight and the Knightmares – Hallucinations

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Baker Knight

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Listen/Download – Baker Knight and the Knightmares – Hallucinations

Greetings all.

I hope the new week finds you well, or at least well enough to withstand having your ears turned inside out and your mind blown.

The record you see before you is one that I hunted for a long, LONG time.

You already know that I am a huge fan of the mid-60s Sunset Strip Au Go Go sound, embodied in those records that once they fall under the needle, release into the air the very essence of flashing lights, op art, granny glasses and the sweet onrush (yet not complete onset) of psychedelic expansion.

‘Hallucinations’ by Baker Knight and the Knightmares is such a record.

I first heard it maybe ten years ago when Rhino Handmade released the comp that borrowed its name from the song, ‘Hallucinations: Psychedelic Pop Nuggets from the WEA Vaults’.

There is nothing quite like having your cage good and rattled by a song that you have never heard before, so much so that all you want to do is hear it again right away, which is what happened when I hit play on that very comp.

‘Hallucinations’ is perhaps the finest example of the form that I have ever heard, representing the gateway from the SoCal of pre-1965, with hot rods, surfboards and sun, into the world of 1966 and beyond in which minds were starting to open, yet not so far that brains were spilling out on the sidewalk (if you know what I mean).

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As discussed years ago when I first dropped/pontificated on ‘Iron Leg Digital Trip #5: The Party’, there’s something very groovy when someone outside of a scene looks inward and tried to recreated a simulacrum thereof. In that case, I was talking about largely square Hollywood types glomming onto youth culture, with highly skilled craftsmen like Mancini applying their gifts to the groovy.

What you get with ‘Hallucinations’ is kind of the same thing, but created a lot closer to the source.

Thomas Baker Knight started out as a rockabilly cat, meeting Ricky Nelson in the late 50s and writing a grip of tunes – including ‘Lonesome Town’ – for him. He went on to write songs like ‘The Wonder of You’ (recorded by Elvis, among others), a bunch of cuts for Dean Martin (including ‘Somewhere There’s a Someone’) and tracks for folks like Frank Sinatra and Sammy Davis Jr.

So, how did that guy (the one in the picture up top) end up writing and performing one of the absolute masterpieces of the early days of psychedelia?

The likely answer, is that Baker Knight was both a sponge (able to absorb the sounds around him) and a chameleon (then able to use those sounds in the proper way to emulate something he was not).

However, in my humble opinion, there’s no way to explain the perfection of ‘Hallucinations’ without assuming that somewhere, deep inside his Brylcreem soul, Baker Knight had a pageboyed, gogo dancing, freak stirring the pot so that just this one time, a record like this might pop out and make its way onto wax.

‘Hallucinations’ is as hard-hitting as any basement-crafted garage number, but also benefits from actual musical skill and craftsmanship.

Produced by Jimmy Bowen, the record features huge swaths of tremolo, fuzz, pounding drums and most interestingly, some tastefully applied Moog synthesizer!

Bowen manages to weave quite a rich tapestry of sound without tripping over himself. There are waves of guitar, vocals and sound effects moving through the mix without the power of the basic rhythm section getting lost.

This is one of those records that not only fills your ears, but also puts your minds eye to work. While I wouldn’t quite say that it rises to the level of synesthesia, you can’t help but “see” this record as it plays. It probably has something to do with how vividly a listener is already acquainted with the world of 66/67 LA, but if you are, ‘Hallucinations’ will take you there.

Oddly, despite his huge success as a songwriter for others, none of Baker Knight’s own records had any chart success.

Later in his life, Knight returned to his native Alabama, where he passed away in 2005.

I hope you dig this one as much as I do, 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

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

Iron Leg Radio Show Episode #38

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Beep beep beep beep…..

Playlist

Alan Hawkshaw and Keith Mansfield – Action Scene (KPM)
The Van Dyke Parks –Number Nine (MGM)
The Van Dyke Parks – Do What You Wanta (MGM)
Van Dyke Parks – Come To the Sunshine (MGM)
Van Dyke Parks – Farther Along (MGM)
The Byrds – 5D (Columbia)
The Byrds – Voices of Vista Segment/Don’t Make Waves
Cheetah Club Commercial

Manfred Mann – 5-4-3-2-1 (Prestige)
Manfred Mann – The One In the Middle (Ascot)
Manfred Mann – Come Tomorrow (Ascot)
Manfred Mann – Dashing Away With a Smoothing Iron (Ascot)
Manfred Mann – I’m Your Kingpin (Ascot)
Manfred Mann – It’s Gonna Work Out Fine (Ascot)
Manfred Mann – Untie Me (Ascot)
Manfred Mann – Sack O Woe (Ascot)
Manfred Mann – Watermelon Man (Ascot)
Manfred Mann – Watch Your Step (EMI) Mann Made

Jerry Blavat and the Yon Teenagers – Discophonic Walk (Favor)
Jerry Blavat – The Geator and the Geatorettes – Tasty (To Me) (Bond)
Jerry Blavat The Geator and the Geatorettes – All Be Joyous (Bond)
The Esko Affair – Morning Dull Fires (Mercury)

Eldridge Holmes – If I Were a Carpenter (Deesu)
ZZ Hill – Don’t Make Promises (Kent)
The Dillards – Reason to Believe (Elektra)
Bobby Darin – Misty Roses (Atlantic)
Bobby Darin – Red Balloon (Atlantic)
Wayne Cochran – If I Were Carpenter (King)
Gary Puckett and the Union Gap – Don’t Make Promises (Columbia)
Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick and Tich – If I Were a Carpenter (Imperial)

 

 

Listen/Download -Iron Leg Radio Show Episode 38 – 172MB/256kbps

Greetings all.

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

I have a very groovy collection of sounds for you this month, with sets devoted to Van Dyke Parks, Manfred Mann, the long lost musical career of Jerry ‘The Geator’ Blavat, and some very cool covers of Tim Hardin songs.

I think you’ll dig it.

See you next week.

Peace

Larry

 

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PS Head over to Funky16Corners

Return of the Au Go Go Mixes!

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Iron Leg Digital Trip Number Five – The Party

Playlist

1 Henry Mancini (The Party OST) – The Party (vocal) (RCA)
2 Keith Mansfield – Boogaloo (CBS)
3 Enoch Light – Over Under Sideways Down (Project 3)
4 Moe Koffman – Dr Swahili (Jubilee)
5 Mr Jamo – Shake What You Brought With You Pt1 (SSS Intl)
6 Dick Hyman – The Liquidators (Command)
7 Walter Wanderley – Kee Ka Roo (Verve)
8 Sweet Charity OST – The Pompeii Club (Rich Man’s Frug) (Decca)
9 John Philip Soul & his Stone Marching Band – That Memphis Thing (Pepper)
10 Andre Brasseur – The Duck (Palette)
11 Tony Newman – Soul Thing (Parrot)
12 Jimmy Caravan – Look Into the Flower (Vault)
13 Vic Mizzy (Don’t Make Waves OST) – Vox Box (MGM)
14 New London Rhythm & Blues Band – Soul Stream (Vocalion)
15 Dave Grusin (Candy OST) – Ascension to Virginity (ABC)
16 Henry Mancini (the Party OST) – The Party (instr) (RCA)

Listen/Download 46MB Mixed MP3 – MP3

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Iron Leg Digital Trip #32 – A Not Unpleasing Splash of Colour

Playlist
Keith Mansfield – Soul Thing (Pronit)
101 Strings – Jesus Christ Superstar (edit) (Alshire)
Jimmy Smith – The Cat (45 edit) (Verve)
Enoch Light – C’Mon and Swim (Command)
Living Strings – Out and About (Camden)
Mariano and the Unbelievables – Sunshine Superman (Capitol)
Lady Nelson and the Lords – Soho Strut (Dunhill)
Louis Bellson – The Eel (Project 3)
Quincy Jones – Mohair Sam (Mercury)
Lloyd Green – Steel Blue (Chart)
Mike Sharpe – Spook A Lou (Liberty)
Dave Pike Set – You’ve Got the Feeling (Wagram)
Vic Mizzy – Daybreak In Malibu (MGM)
Andre Brasseur – Pow Pow (MFP)
Virtues – Meditation of the Soul (Andee)
Enoch Light – Bond Street (Project 3)
New London Rhythm and Blues Band – Soul Mate (Vocalion)
Freddie Scott and the Seven Steps – It’s Not Unusual (Marlin)
101 Strings – Spinning Wheel (Alshire)
Mohawks – Baby Hold On Pt2 (Cotillion)
Moe Koffman – Funky Monkey (Jubilee)
US Air Force Academy Falconaires – Day Tripper (USAFA)
Keith Mansfield – Funky Fanfare (KPM)

Listen/Download 102MB/256K Mixed Mp3

 

Greetings all.

This week sees the return (by special request) of two of my favorite Iron Leg Digital Trip mixes, #5 and #32, aka The Au Go Go Mixes.

The yearly Funky16Corners Pledge Drive is underway, and since Iron Leg is an important part of the Funky16Corners Blogcasting Network, and depends on the same paid storage space in which to function, I thought it made sense to tie this blog in with the goings on at that (blog).

If you dig what we do here (or there,or in both places) fall by Funky16Corners, click on the Paypal button and drop a coin (or two) in the jukebox (as it were).

It will be greatly appreciated.

Iron Leg Digital Trips numbers 5 and 32 really do belong together, with the latter being intended as a sequel to the former.
They are my take on the Au Go Go vibe of the swinging 60s, with all manner of groovy stuff stitched together from soundtracks, library music, jazz, pop, soul, funk and kitsch.

You can read the original manifesto here.

So mix yourselves up a cocktail, pull down the ones and zeros and I’ll be back next week with some garage punk.

Peace

Larry

 

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PS Head over to Funky16Corners for some soul.

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