Listen/Download – The Woolies – Who Do You Love
Welcome to yet another week here at Iron Leg.
I hope you all had a chance to check out this month’s edition of the Iron Leg Radio Show, and if now, please do so as soon as is convenient (or head over to the archive and grab them all!).
As I was wading through the massive Iron Leg MP3 storage facility trying to decide on what to post this week, I was leaning in the direction of something in a pensive, poppy mode.
Then I remembered that I had the Woolies eviscerating ‘Who Do You Love’ all ready to go and went in the completely opposite direction.
The Woolies were a Detroit-area aggregation that got rolling in nineteen and sixty four.
They released some 45s on their own Spirit label (this one picked up nationally by Dunhill), one of which, the aforementioned ‘Who Do You Love’ was a fairly significant regional hit in late 1966/early 1967.
Despite the slightly late date, the Woolies version of Mr Diddley’s monument to bad-assery positively screams 1965, in that it carries with it the sound of garage punk as it was crawling from the ruptured belly of folk rock and the British Invasion.
You get a shambolic 12-string guitar solo, maracas, pulsing (that’s really all it does, pulse) combo organ and a brutally inept (yet completely fitting) harmonica solo.
The vocals by Stormy Rice (he even gets to namecheck himself in the lyrics) are spirited and groovy and the overall attack is very, very solid.
No matter that this style was going to all but vanish in a few short months (days?) the Woolies delivered in a fashion often described as ‘balls-out’.
I don’t know if I’ve ever said it here before, but back in the day, when I was never happier than when banging on my drums and bellowing into a microphone with the Phantom Five, ‘Who Do You Love’ was by far my favorite song to perform live. There’s something absolutely brilliant about Bo’s lyrics, with tombstone hands, human skulls, cobras, rattlesnake whips and even (yes, EVEN) and ice wagon that is simultaneously bone chilling and hilarious and they were as close as real poetry as ever came spilling out of my maw.
That the Woolies, who took off in an entirely different direction after Stormy left and was replaced by a guy named Zocko (seriously) matters not a whit, because this gem is as good as things ever got.
It’s that good.
I hope you like it too, and I’ll see you all next week.