The Daily Flash
I have been itching to drop this little vinyl bomb on you ever since I finally got my hot little hands on a copy earlier this year.
I was first turned on to the Daily Flash via a Psycho Records comp back in the mid-80s.
That LP contained both of the group’s 45s, as well as a couple of unreleased live tracks from their heyday and it was a staple of my garage-era listening.
The Daily Flash were formed in 1965 by several members of the Seattle, WA folk music scene.
They were unlike the majority of the Seattle-scene bands, leaning away from hard edged, R&B influence sounds and toward a more melodic vibe.
They recorded their first 45 (the one you see before you) in 1966.
The Daily Flash started gigging on the San Francisco ballroom scene, and on a trip to Los Angeles were signed up by Charlie Greene and Brian Stone (York/Pala Productions) managers of Sonny and Cher and the Buffalo Springfield (among others).
This helped the Daily Flash – who only ever released two 45s – a surprisingly high media profile, with the band appearing on ‘The Girl from U.N.C.L.E.’
The Daily Flash on The Girl From U.N.C.L.E.
‘Jack of Diamonds’, the A-side of their first 45, is a wild fuzz bomb.
That opening feedback/echo (it’s the first 21 seconds of the 45!?!) says that you’re not dealing with a bunch of lightweights here.
The song, and old folk blues tune (recorded by, but pre-dating Blind Lemon Jefferson), is driven by the bass guitar and harmonica, with a shimmering guitar bubbling up here and there until a fuzzed out solo blows the whole thing wide open.
It is the perfect intersection of garage snot and psychedelia, and is a remarkably heavy sound for the time.
The flip-side is a great folk rock reading of ‘Queen Jane Approximately’, one of my favorite Dylan tunes and a song that doesn’t get covered that often.
One can only imagine what the band would have been capable of if they’d had the opportunity to do a whole album.
By the time they released their second 45 (this time, for UNI Records) the group was starting to fall apart, with guitarist Doug Hastings briefly joining the ever rotating line up of the Buffalo Springfield.
The members of the band continued to make music, Hastings ending up in Rhinoceros, and others in Bodine (the band that Billy Cowsill would produce an album for on MGM).
As far as I can tell none of the original Daily Flash material is available right now, though you can pick up some of the various reissues (‘Jack of Diamonds’ was included on the Nuggets box set) on Ebay.
That said, pull down the ones and zeros, feed them to your ears, and I’ll see you next week.