Blues Magoos – Gotta Get Away


The Blues Magoos


Listen – Gotta Get Away – MP3

Greetings all.
I know I generally never do a second post in the weeks I drop an Iron Leg Digital Trip, but since I promised I’d be back with some fuzz, I couldn’t very well let the weekend hit without making good.
Back in the stone age, i.e. the mid-80’s garage revival days, part of the basic fuzz/snot curriculum was the sound of the Blues Magoos.
This had a lot to do with the fact that the Blues Magoos had been one of the few garage punk bands to make it up the national charts, hitting the Top 40 (Top 10 in a bunch of markets) in the Fall of 1966 with ‘We Ain’t Got Nothing Yet’. As a result, tweny years down the pike, as bootleg videos were trading hands, vintage wax was being unearthed and the results of both were making their way into the hands of young goons like myself, the Blues Magoos, who had made many a TV appearance and had hit records were a solid presence in our recycling of the mid-60’s zeitgeist.
Coming straight outta the Bronx, The Blues Magoos, started out as the Trenchcoats, eventually switching to the Bloos Magoos, and then finally to the name we all know and love. After a few singles, they were finally signed by Mercury Records, where they eventually recorded a few albums before switching to ABC Records in 1969.
The tune we bring you today was not a hit (though it rode the b-side of ‘We Ain’t Got Nothing Yet’), but is in the opinion of this writer the finest thing they ever did. ‘Gotta Get Away’ starts out with some extra-grungy sounding combo organ, before making way for some exceptionally snotty – and in this instance, there’s a certain nasal quality that renders the tune both literally and figuratively “snotty” – vocals. Things lumber along at a Jurassic pace before the wailing chorus, with the chaotic, overlapped


There are parts of the song – especially ‘I’m getting addicted to your brand of LOVE!’, where the word ‘love’ is pronounced “LOAWFFF”, sounding as if it were being delivered by some for whom English is a second language – that are among the best moments I’ve ever heard in a garage tune.
The fact that a song this tough resides on the flip side of a hit (ergo, easily obtainable) 45 should make it a required part of any respectable garage collection.
Interestingly enough, ‘Gotta Get Away’ was co-written by Alan Gordon, a member of another New York group, the Magicians, who along with Gary Bonner also wrote a little tune called ‘Happy Together’ for the Turtles.
That said, I hope you dig the sounds, and I’ll see you all next week.


PS Make sure to stop by Funky16Corners for some sweet Northern Soul.

PSS If you’re in the area, I’ll be selling records at the Asbury Lanes Record Show this Sunday, 4/6, and I might just be bringing some garage, psyche and rockabilly 45s along with the soul and funk.

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  1. Thanks, Larry.

    My older sister’s rekkid stack revealed this one to me in the early 80s.
    I used to play it on a punk show on a local 10-watt station.
    I only wish the “Hey-Hey-Hey-Hey” was left-right alternating stereo panned.

    I love that sort of cheap gimmick.

    Gotta get away and back2work.

  2. So… any evidence that these guys influenced the Ramones?

  3. Ray
    No ‘direct’ evidence that I know of, but I do know that Joey Ramone was old enought o have seen a number of acts during the mid-60’s, and as a teen in the outer boroughs of NYC must have been aware of the Blues Magoos.
    There are certainly similarities in the vocal delivery of Peppy Castro and Joey.

  4. Cool blog!! BTW! Don’t forget.. the Blues Magoos are playing at The Fillmore – Irving Plaza with The Zombies on July 11th in NYC! Also, in Springfield, MA at a festival the day before (July 10th) they are back out on the road again! I’m Mrs. Ralph Magoo .. so this is the word! Spread it baby!

    Peace !
    Beki Brindle-Scala, Ralph Scala and the Blues Magoos

  5. Hey Larry,
    Thanks! We’re gonna rock Gotta get away tomorrow night at the filmore. Hope we get a chance to meet. Best. Peppy CAstro ” Blues MAgoos”

  6. Hey Peppy! Thanks for stopping by!

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