Ed ‘Big Daddy’ Roth RIP.
Sonics – Love-Itis (Jerden)
Lindy Blaskey & the Lavells – You Ain’t Tuff (Space)
Beckett Quintet – No Correspondence (Gemcor)
David Clayton Thomas – Done Somebody Wrong (Decca)
Knickerbockers – I Must Be Doing Something Right (Challenge)
Mystery Bonus Track
Apparitions – She’s So Satisfying (Caped Crusader)
Max Frost & the Troopers – Let Your Mind Run Free (Tower)
Sonics – Lost Love (Picadilly)
Greetings one and all, and allow me to welcome you to the Iron leg Blog First Anniversary Dual Podcast Fuzz-tacular.
Last year, when something possessed me to start a second blog I figured I’d take it slow, maybe post a track a week and intersperse the music with the occasional pop-cult rant. Naturally, as happened when I started Funky16Corners, the gravitational pull of the music took over and soon enough the non-musical stuff fell by the wayside and Iron Leg evolved into something with a fairly specific scope, that being 60’s sounds (though there have been occasional deviations from that timeline).
If you were a regular at Funky16Corners, where the focus has been on soul, funk and jazz, this may have seen like an odd tack, but if you read between the lines you would have been aware that my tastes are rather wide ranging. I spent the better part of the 80’s digging deep into the worlds of 1960’s punk, beat and psychedelia, and while I may have turned my focus toward the stuff you see at Funky16Corners, I never lost my taste for the former.
Every once in a while I’d get the urge to blog-i-ficate on a particularly tasty garage punk 45, or a trippy bit of psychedelia, and so Iron Leg was born. As I said, I was originally going to limit myself to single tracks, but as soon as I got to rifling through the crates, and digi-ma-tizing, the urge to create mixes took over, and so the Iron Leg Digital Trip podcast was born. I can’t believe that it’s been a year already, but with any luck there will be many more (lots, and lots, and LOTS of records..)
As I’ve said before, the creation of the mixes is as much for my entertainment as it is for all of you. I have a playlist on the iPod – including all the Funky16Corners Radio, Iron Leg Digital Trips and various and sundry guest mixes that is now almost 80 items long; enough to keep me busy for at least a couple of days.
That said, with the completion of the first full year of business hereabouts, I figured there was no better way to celebrate than digging out a pile of garage fuzz (and a little bit of jangle here and there), mixing it up with some cool drops and whipping it onto the interwebs for your delectation.
Part one of Iron Leg Digital Trip v.13 – Garage Fuzz Factory opens with one of my fave bits of teen savagery, ‘Hey You’ by Memphis, Tennessee’s Guilloteens. First off, how bad-ass is that name? Second, these longhairs were rumored to have been Elvis Presley’s fave local band. They did a couple of 45s for HBR (and at least one for Columbia). ‘Hey You’ is pure guitar crunch, a thing of beauty.
Next up is a later 45 by the mighty Sonics, pretty much the heaviest band ever. At their best they make Black Sabbath look like a bunch of pantywaists, sounding like the personification of one of Ed ‘Big Daddy’ Roth’s bug-eyed maniacs. ‘Love-Itis’ is a cover of a tune by Harvey Scales (also covered North of the border by the Mandala), with the Sea-Tac howlers getting a little soulful, kind of like if you took Vanilla Fudge, put them in a wine press and squeezed out all the psychedelic pretension.
Lindy Blaskey & the Lavells hailed from the dry, scorpion infested climes of New Mexico, where they released a number of excellent 45s from 1963 to the end of the decade. ‘You Ain’t Tuff’ is a nice piece of Gloria-esque punk that was popular enough that it saw release locally on the Space label, and then again nationally on Challenge.
The Beckett Quintet came from the LA, California area and recorded one excellent two-sider for the Gemcor label (later picked up for national distribution by A&M) in 1965. The a-side. ‘No Correspondence’ has a great rolling rhythm guitar line and a nice snotty vocal.
Now, I don’t think anyone was expecting to see the name of Blood Sweat and Tears vocalist David Clayton Thomas, but bear with me. Prior to his joining the king of all horn bands, Thomas recorded an excellent (and rare) LP for Decca. Composed mostly of blues and R&B covers, it includes his excellent, fuzz guitar laden cover of Elmore James ‘Done Somebody Wrong’ (the OG being one of the rockingest blues records ever).
Departing for a moment from the fuzz, I bring you the Beatle-y pop jangle of Bergen County, NJs own Knickerbockers. Best known for their biggest hit ‘Lies’they recorded a number of excellent 45s. ‘I Must Be Doing Something Right’ (from 1966, natch) was the flip side of the raver ‘One Track Mind’.
The mystery track – if you listen closely – should be no mystery at all. Just dig how these cats come up with the sweet harmonies even with the hard shell.
The Apparitions were one of the great undiscovered garage acts of the Midwest. ‘She’s So Satisfying’ never got past the acetate stage back in 1966, but some enterprising soul issued it as a 45 in the mid-80’s, which is where I got it. Great fucking song.
‘Let Your Mind Run Free’ is a track from the sole album by Max Frost and the Troopers only album on the Tower label. While it doesn’t have the “we’re the younger generation and we’re coming to get you” vibe of ‘Shape of Things To Come’, I still dig it. Word is that the band on this LP is in fact Davie Allen and the Arrows (of ‘Blue’s Theme’ fame) but I don’t know who the vocalist is.
Part one of this anniversary mix closes out with another side by the Sonics. ‘Lost Love’, the 1967 flip side of their uncharacteristically poppy ‘Any Way the Wind Blows’ (also issued on UNI) sounds as if they lifted the drum track from ‘Cinderella’. This is the sound of the Sonics being dragged (unsuccessfully) into a more progressive era. As you can hear, even in 1967, they still preferred strychnine to LSD.
That said, dig the fuzz and I’ll be back on Wednesday with Part two (even FUZZIER!!).
PS Head over to Funky16Corners for a great Nina Simone 45.