The Beau Brummels
Listen -The Beau Brummels – One Too Many Mornings – MP3
How’s about something lively to get the week off to a banging start?
I have been a Beau Brummels fan for a long time. I always dug their jangly Merseyside via the Golden Gate sound, but they really dug themselves a hole in my brain the first time I watched the spectacularly awful mid-60s exploito film ‘Village of the Giants’. When I say ‘spectacularly awful’, what I mean is that it is in many ways truly spectacular, while simultaneously defining awfulness in a very ordinary way.
How else would you describe a movie that features a wild cast – including Beau Bridges, Ron Howard, Tim Rooney (son of the Mick and star of ‘Riot On Sunset Strip’), Toni Basil, and Disney/Beach Party stalwart Tommy Kirk, as well as Freddy Cannon and none other than the Beau Brummels.
I first saw this movie through a haze of vile, cheap beer at a party that followed a Phantom Five gig out in the wilds of Pennsylvania. I was sucked in by the wild, mid-60s drive-in vibe, but what really got me was when the opening guitar riff of the Beau Brummels’ ‘When It Comes to Your Love’ came shooting out of the TV.
Even in my polluted condition I was all ‘Whoa dad! Where has this song been all my life?’*
When I eventually remembered the song, I tracked it down only to find out that it only ever appeared on the soundtrack to that movie. I eventually got someone to dub me a copy and from that I ran a line from the TV to my tuner and made a rough cassette dub of the song that I played to death until a few years later when it was included on a Rhino ‘Best of’ CD.
This is all – of course – neither here nor there, serving only to let you know that I once dug the Beau Brummels, only to find myself digging them even more at a later date.
That said, the Beau Brummels are a great example of unfulfilled promise, in that they had a boatload of talent but were all but a done deal by the late 60s. This may have had something to do with an ill-advised/ill-timed all-covers album, ‘Beau Brummels ‘66’, recorded after they jumped to Warner Brothers records. The label did not control the group’s publishing, so in 1966, when the rest of the rock world was branching out and experimenting, displaying their artistic growth to the world, the Beau Brummels were covering those songs instead of doing the same.
Today’s selection is proof that they should still have been taken seriously. Itself a cover (of a Bob Dylan tune) ‘One Too Many Mornings’ is a great bit of countrified garage (or is it garagey country) with a stomping fuzz guitar opening up onto waves of jangly rhythm guitars. It’s a harder take on the kinds of sounds the Byrds would soon be working with, and I imagine that had they run with this vibe they might have risen to another level entirely.
Instead, they hobbled into their acknowledged masterpiece with an album that wasn’t heard by nearly enough people, the wonderful ‘Triangle’.
In fact, ‘One Too Many Mornings’ was the last Beau Brummels record to hit the charts, reaching the Top 40 in the Spring of 1966.
If you’re already hep to the Beau Brummels, dig the tune. If you’re not, grab the first two albums, as well as ‘Triangle’ and ‘Bradley’s Barn’ and dig into a truly underrated American band.
*This, and the fact that the band appeared in cartoon form on the Flintstones (as the Beau Brummelstones, natch…)