lyme & cybelle (aka Warren Zevon & Violet Santangelo)
Listen – lyme & cybelle – Follow Me – MP3
I hope everyone had a fine weekend.
I hope the beginning of a new week finds you well.
The tune I bring you today is a great slice of mid-60s Sunset Strip folk rock, that like many of my favorite records, I came to in an utterly ass-backwards fashion.
One of the UR documents of the mid-80s scene was the Rubble series of comps featuring all manner of high quality UK psyche and freakbeat.
One of the songs that was included on those records was a tune called ‘Follow Me’ by the ironically named Californians (ironic since they hailed from a place thousands of miles away from that locale). ‘Follow Me’ was a great example of how poppy, yet also edgy the finest Freakbeat sides were. It certainly helps that the Californians were also responsible for the positively anthemic ‘Cooks of Cake and Kindness’.
Though I can’t say exactly when I noticed, but sometime after I picked up the record I scanned the label (which I always do) and saw that ‘Follow Me’ was credited to someone with the last name of Zevon.
“No…” I thought. “It couldn’t be..”
But then I though, how many Zevons could there be in the world, and among that small number, how many of them were songwriters? I did some asking around and it wasn’t long until someone more knowledgeable than I confirmed that the writer of ‘Follow Me’ was indeed the man behind ‘Roland the Headless Thompson Gunner’ and that – for an added bonus – had also recorded the original version of the song as part of the duo lyme & cybelle.
Sometime shortly after that I grabbed one of the many Nuggets LPs and heard the lyme & cybelleversion of ‘Follow Me’ for the first time, and of course dug it even moreso than the cover. It was another 20 years before I’d find myself a copy of the OG (on the Turtles label White Whale), and so I bring it to you today.
Fans of Warren Zevon MkII – i.e. ‘Werewolves of London’ et al – will have to listen very closely to detect any traces of that hyper-literate carouser. The vibe here is all raga on the way to the birth of psychedelia, with ringing guitars, organ and the tight harmonies of Zevon (lyme) and Violet Santangelo (cybelle). It’s agreat record and was actually a minor hit (Top 100, though it made into the Top 10 in some West Coast markets). They duo recorded a couple of 45s, though on some of the later ones Zevon is gone with Wayne Erwin taking his place.
‘Follow Me’ was also covered by the Tony Jackson Group and Nino Tempo & April Stevens.
Warren Zevon went on to be one of the most respected – if also out of control, even in a age of prodigious excess – singer/songwriters of the 70s, 80s and 90s before dying of cancer in 2003. Violet Santangelo changed her name to Laura Kenyon and has had a long career on Broadway.
I hope you dig the tune and I’ll be back later in the week with something a little far out from Detroit.