Ed ‘Big Daddy’ Roth RIP.
Boo Boo & Bunky – This Old Town (Brent)
Darelycks – Bad Trip (Fine)
Lindy Blaskey & the Lavells – Let It Be (Space)
Sonics – Maintaining My Cool (Jerden) 1966
Starlites – I Can’t See You (Barclay)
Mystery Bonus Track
Kit & The Outlaws – Don’t Tread On Me (Black Knight)
Springfield Rifle – 100 or Two (Jerden)
Terry Knight & the Pack – Numbers (Lucky Eleven)
Mouse & the Traps – Beg Borrow and Steal (Fraternity)
Bob Seger System – Down Home (Capitol)
I hope you’ve all (or at least some of you) been digging part one of the Anniversary mix. The allotted two days have passed and it’s time for part two in which the loop is closed, the cipher completed and the fuzz shredded just a little bit more.
Things get off to a blazing start with – once again – another longtime personal fave, ‘East Side Story’ by Bob Seger & the Last Heard. This was a HUGE hit in Michigan, so much so that it was picked up for national released on Cameo, and generated covers in California (Caretakers) and the UK (St. Louis Union). ‘East Side Story’ moves along on a locomotive fueled by equal parts ‘Gloria’ and ‘I Can Only Give You Everything’, led by Seger’s leather-lunged wail. Unlike many garage 45s, this one has a slightly more complicated rhythmic thrust (check the way the bongos roll underneath and carry the beat out of the chorus each time). Killer.
Next up is another one from the suburbs of California, the wailing ‘This Old Town’ by the oddly named duo of Boo Boo and Bunky. This is a great example of garage punk taking root in the fertile influence of the British R&B sound during 1965. Check out that wailing harmonica over the pounding guitars.
The next track is one of my great bargain finds, having picked it up in the basement of a New York City record store for a shiny quarter dollar. ‘Bad Trip’ by the Darelycks is a 1966 lo-fi gem out of the Fine recording studio in Rochester, NY. The Fine label also released some other rare garage and soul.
We return to the flipside of the Lindy Blaskey & the Lavells 45 with the manic ‘Let It Be’. Fueled by some low rent combo organ and a wailing harmonica, this complements ‘You Ain’t Tuff’ very nicely making for an excellent two-sider.
Speaking of two-siders, they don’t get much heavier or more deadly than the Sonics 1966 ‘Psycho’ b/w ‘Maintaining My Cool’. While the a-side will appear by itself in the not too distant future, the b-side is in my opinion the finest thing the monsters from the Northwest did during their later years. ‘Maintaining My Cool’ marries a heavily reverbed rhythm guitar crunch with a certain inebriated yet menacing party vibe that sounds like a frat kegger on the verge of turning into a riot. God bless the Sonics.
We head clear across the country for an absolutely brilliant example of Pennsylvania garage by the Starlites. I wish I could say that I owned an OG of this killer, but the comp from which it comes (‘Psychedelic Disaster Whirl’) is fairly rare in its own right, so take that for what it’s worth. I’ve seen this dated to 1965, which if true makes this a remarkable prescient bit of punkery.
The mystery bonus track in this mix is perhaps the greatest garage punk tune never issued on vinyl (and also played by skeletons).
I couldn’t very well put a mix like this together without including some deadly Texas punk, and there are a couple of winners this time out. The first is yet another local punk 45 that gained enough local popularity that it was picked up for national issue. Kit and the Outlaws iconic ‘Don’t Tread On Me’ first saw the light of day on the local Dallas, TX label Black Knight (the one I have) before being reissued by Philips. If I had to pick one 45 that is really the archetypal sixties garage punk 45, this would be the one.
The Springfield Rifle represented the lighter side of the Jerden label. They released over a dozen 45s (on Jerden, Burdette and ABC) as well as an LP on Burdette. The group’s first 45, ‘100 or Two’ with its French horn flourishes balanced against fuzz guitar and harmony vocals is a cool example of the more progressive end of the garage spectrum.
Terry Knight and the Pack were one of the more popular bands out of the Detroit area, glancing the national charts a few times. They are best remembered today for being the band from which Mark Farner and Don Brewer went on to form Grand Funk Railroad. ‘Numbers’ has a wild, repeated fuzz guitar riff, pounding drums and a snotty vocal by Knight. I really dig the Yardbirds-style rave up toward the end of the record.
‘Beg Borrow and Steal’ is another one of those tracks that I knew for years in a modern version (by the Plimsouls) , which I had no idea was a cover (of an original by Mouse and the Traps). Hailing – like Murphy and the Mob – from Tyler, TX, Mouse and the Traps, led by singer Ronnie Weiss had a minor hit with the tune ‘Public Execution’ and went on to record a number of outstanding garage punk 45s including ‘Maid of Sugar’, ‘I Satisfy’ and of course ‘Beg Borrow and Steal’. I love the guitar/organ riff in this one, the faux sitar noodling and Weiss’s repeated screams of “AWWWRIGHT!!”.
This second half of the Iron Leg anniversary mix comes to a close with a tune that comes outside of the traditionally accepted garage punk timeline, yet manages to pack a wallop (and a whole lot of attitude). ‘Appearing on the Bob Seger System LP ‘Ramblin’ Gamblin’ Man’, ‘Down Home’ has a cool guitar riff, some wailing harmonica and a bizarre lyric involving someone kicking a hippy in the head with hobnail boots (ouch!).If that ain’t punk brother, I don’t know what is.
That said, I hope you dig the mix, and I’ll be back next week with some more goodness.