The Strangeloves – Night Time


The Brothers Strange


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.





*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)


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


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.







PS Head over to Funky16Corners for some soul.

Iron Leg Radio Show #40


Beep beep beep beep…..


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.





PS Head over to Funky16Corners

Them – Bring ‘Em On In


That’s a mean looking bunch’o’spuds.


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.





PS Head over to Funky16Corners for some soul.

The Sunshine Company – Bolero


The Sunshine Company


Listen/Download – The Sunshine Company – Bolero

Greetings all.

I hope the new week finds you well.

I have been in a pensive mood of late, thus filling my ears at every opportunity with the dreamiest mellowness that my collection has to offer.

One of the discs that I keep returning to, over and over again is ‘Bolero’ by the Sunshine Company.

I first got into the Sunshine Company while feeding my Curt Boettcher obsession.

The group had recorded a couple of excellent covers of his songs (especially their take on ‘I Just Want To Be Your Friend’), so I started grabbing their albums whenever I found them.

The groovy thing, is that in addition to the sounds I sought out specifically, I discovered that there was a lot to like about the Sunshine Company.

As their name might imply, they dealt in bright, sunshiney, harmony pop – like the amazing ‘Love That’s Where It Is’ – but were hardly limited to those sounds.

Forming in Orange County, California, the Sunshine Company – Maury Manseau, Larry Sims, Mary Nance and Merle Brigante – recorded three excellent albums for Imperial in 1968 and 1969.

Though their records often included polished, edging up on ‘easy’ arrangements, they also included healthy doses of folk rock and even things that wouldn’t sound out of place on an early Jefferson Airplane LP.

The tune I bring you today comes from their third LP ‘Sunshine and Shadows’.

I grabbed this 45 while I was out digging, unheard, mainly because I dug the band, and I didn’t know the song.

When I finally had a chance to listen to the 45 I was blown away by the mellow, trippy vibe. The guitar reminds me a lot of the sounds on Fleetwood Mac’s ‘Then Play On’ (which actually came out a year later).

‘Bolero’ is a beautiful song, with sublime guitar and bass interplay and rolling drums, making for a hypnotic blend that manages to be psychedelic without employing any of the clichéd signifiers of the genre.

It’s one of those records that I can listen to repeatedly and never get tired of.

As far as I can tell, none of the CD reissues of the Sunshine Company’s material are currently in print, so the best way to get their music is on the original vinyl.

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





PS Head over to Funky16Corners for some soul.

The Mindbenders – The Morning After


The Mindbenders


Listen/Download – The Mindbenders – The Morning After

Greetings all.

This week I have something very heavy and very groovy for you.

‘The Morning After’ by the Mindbenders is one of those records that fell into my ears via the Rubble comps back in the 80s and pretty much found a secure home in my mind ever since.

Though most people are familiar with the Wayne Fontana led Mindbenders, they had a decent amount of success following his departure from the band in 1965.

Guitarist Eric Stewart (later of 10CC) took over as lead vocalist, fronting the band on their big 1966 hit ‘Groovy Kind of Love’, as well as their fantastic, overlooked 45 of the two songs the band mimed to in ‘To Sir With Love’, ‘Off and Running’ b/w ‘It’s Getting Harder All the Time’, one of the finest bits of progressive beat sounds on the way to freakbeat.

Speaking of freakbeat, there is hardly a better example of the genre than ‘The Morning After’.

Released in December of 1966 on Fontana (I was surprised to discover that there is a US release of this single as well), ‘The Morning After’ b/w ‘I Want Here She Wants Me’ (written by Rod Argent but recorded prior to the Zombies version) is one of the most amazing 45s of the period.

‘The Morning After’ powered by a stomping rhythm guitar, and exploding into an anthemic (yet wordless) chorus, is the perfect bridge between the straight ahead rock of the beat era and the flights of fancy of the psychedelic years, thus the freakbeat.

Strangely, despite the fact that the Mindbenders were in the midst of a run of UK hits, neither side of this 45 charted.

I waited almost thirty years before I got my hands on this 45, and I was as excited to listen to it now as I was back in the day.

It is a certified killer, and I hope you dig it as much as I do.

See you next week.





PS Head over to Funky16Corners for some soul.

The Sonics – Keep a Knockin’


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


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.





PS Head over to Funky16Corners for some soul.


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