The Wild Ones with Jordan Christopher (right) and Sybil Burton (aloft)
Listen/Download – The Wild Ones – Wild Way of Living
Listen/Download – The Wild Ones – People Sure Act Funny
It is the dawn of a new week – if not a new era (apologies to the Specials) and I for one am ready to meet the onrush of new things, even if it’s just being overrun by knuckle-dragging, neo-puritan Morlocks.
This month’s Iron Leg Radio Show will be hitting the page (episode #5) next Monday, so hang on tight on account of it’s a good one, if’n I say so myself.
The tune I bring you today is one of those deals where the story behind the music is almost as cool as the music itself (though in this case it’s a very close race indeed).
I’d heard of the Wild Ones long before I found a copy of their album last year, but had no idea how deeply they were woven into the fabric of that beast we know as the 60s.
What if I told you that they were the house band at one of the great in-crowd discotheques of the era (home to the pioneering platter splatterer Terry Noel) , led by a male starlet (Jordan Christopher), who happened to be married to the club’s proprietess (Sybil Burton), who herself was the ex-wife of a huge movie star (Richard Burton)?
The club in question was named Arthur, and the album in question, ‘The Arthur Sound’ by the Wild Ones is an interesting relic of that transitional era when the jet age twist boom, which lit the fuse of the discotheque explosion, was right on the verge of turning into something a little Mod-der.
The Wild Ones were the house band at Arthur, and despite the fact that they ( at least as evidenced on this record) weren’t the hottest band in the land, had a certain rough, post-frat, pre-garage edge to their sound, not unlike the au-go-go sound of early-era Sunset Strip.
The tunes I bring you today, interestingly enough both appeared (as did the band) in another fantastic era-specific artifact, a film called ‘The Fat Spy’ that starred Jack E. Leonard, Jayne Mansfield and Phyllis Diller. I mean, honest to god, if the pop-culft factor gets turned up one more notch my head may explode.
‘Wild Way Of Living’ is the garage-ier of the two, due in large part to some very groovy combo organ by keyboardist Tom Graves. It’s not hard to imagine a packed room full of celebrity (and celebrity wannabe) swingers frug-ing to a tune like this.
The album is ostensibly “live” but I’d be very surprised if this was anything more than “live in studio”.
The second cut, a dark, almost weird version of Titus Turner’s ‘People Sure Act Funny’ wouldn’t be out of place on a comp of teen basement pounders. This probably has something to do with the fact that the Wild Ones weren’t some kind of pre-fab combo cranked out to augment the club. They were an existing band whose singer was an aspiring thespian who just happened to have hooked up with a discotheque mad celebutante (though she was creeping up on 40 at the time).
In fact, Jordan Christopher left the group not long after this album came out to concentrate on his acting career. The band remained together, eventually recording the original, pre-Troggs version of ‘Wild Thing’.
Jordan Christopher went on to star in one of the truly twisted psychotronic films of all time ‘Angel Angel Down We Go’ (aka Cult of the Damned).
I hope you dig the sounds, and I’ll be back next week with the Iron Leg Radio Show.