RIP Ron Edgar

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The Music Machine, Ron Edgar 2nd from left

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The Millennium, Ron Edgar 2nd from right

 

Listen/Download – Music Machine – Talk Talk

Listen/Download – Music Machine – Masculine Intuition

Listen/Download – The Millennium – Prelude/To Claudia On Thursday

Listen/Download – The Millennium -I Just Want To Be Your Friend (45 edit)

Greetings all.

A little more than a week ago the sad news came down that Ron Edgar, drummer for both the Music Machine and the Millennium had passed away at the age of 68.

Edgar, who had gotten his start as a jazz drummer, had played with Curt Boettcher in one of the iterations of his early group the Goldebriars, before joining Sean Bonniwell’s group the Music Machine.

The Music Machine, known to most as a one-hit wonder (‘Talk Talk’ went Top 40 in the Fall of 1966), were actually one of the deeper bands of the garage era.

They combine complex music, and dark lyrics, all presented in a fuzzed-out, garage-on-the-way-to-psychedelic sound that gave their records a timeless feel that makes them as exciting today as they were almost 50 years ago.

Edgar’s complicated and hard-hitting drumming was an important part of the Music Machine sound, taking a co-lead role in ‘Talk Talk’ and providing layers of sophistication to songs like ‘Masculine Intuition’.

Following the break-up of the Music Machine (Mk1), Boettcher enlisted Edgar (and his Music Machine bandmates Doug Rhodes and Keith Olsen) to work in the studio on tracks for the Sagittarius project. They were soon joined by Lee Mallory, Sandy Salisbury, Michael Fennelly and Joey Stec and became the Millennium.

The Millennium were even more sophisticated than the Music Machine, taking cues from all corners of the pop/rock world, and having one of the heaviest songwriting pools around right there in the band.

I’ve written a lot about the Millennium here at Iron Leg, but I don’t think I’ve ever directly addressed the majesty of the opening tracks of their sole LP ‘Begin’*.

‘Prelude/To Claudia On Thursday’ form not only one of the most sublime and uplifting medleys in the history of 60s pop, but are also a great illustration of the percussive versatility of Ron Edgar.

‘Prelude’, which opens with harpsichord and congas (or tablas?), is soon blown wide open by Edgar’s drums, with an emphasis on a supremely heavy bass drum foot, expanded on with jazzy work on the snare and cymbals.

Segueing directly into ‘To Claudia On Thursday’, you get to hear Edgar lay down a Brazilian beat underneath the heavenly, Beatle-esque harmonies of the group. The way the voices come together in this song – trademark Boettcher – is practically unmatched. This is one of those records you have to really plug into with headphones, and let the voices wash over you.

Edgar’s subtle, jazz-inflected playing on ‘I Just Want To Be Your Friend’ (presented here in its 45 mix) is also excellent.

Edgar went on to play on a variety of Millennium-related solo projects, as well as appearing on Bread’s 1969 debut LP.

He was a great drummer and an important part of 60s pop history, and will be missed.

I hope you dig the sounds, and I’ll see you next week.

Peace

Larry

 

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*Though I have posted the Jimmie Haskell/Denny Doherty covers of these tunes
PS Head over to Funky16Corners for some soul.

Iron Leg Radio Show Episode #45

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Beep beep beep beep…..

Playlist

Alan Hawkshaw/Keith Mansfield – Action Scene (KPM)
The Move – Fire Brigade (A&M)
The Move – Walk Upon the Water (A&M)
The Move – Flowers In the Rain (A&M)
The Move – Here We Go Round the Lemon Tree (A&M)
Tom Northcott – Blackberry Way (UNI)
The Fortunes – Fire Brigade (UA)

Jennifer – Close Another Door (Parrot)
Jennifer – Sunny Day Blue (Parrot)
Jennifer – Chelsea Morning (Parrot)
Jennifer – I Am Waiting (Parrot)
Jennifer – Places Everyone (Parrot) Fargo
Jennifer – The Park (Parrot)
Jennifer – Saturday Night at the World (Parrot)
Jennifer – Just Like Tom Thumb’s Blues (Parrot)

Jennifer Warren – PF Sloan (Reprise)
Jennifer Warren – Empty Bottles (Reprise)
Jennifer Warren – Sand and Foam (Reprise)
Jennifer Warren – Be My Friend (Reprise)
Jennifer Warren – These Days (Reprise)
Jennifer Warren – Magdelene My Regal Zonophone (Reprise)

Hoyt Axton – Double Double Dare (VeeJay)
Hoyt Axton – I’ll Be There (VeeJay)
Peddlers – Song For the Blues (Philips)
Peddlers – Whatever Happened to the Good Times (Philips)
Lee Mallory – Take My Hand (Valiant)
Lee Mallory – The Love Song (Valiant)
Summer Snow- Flying On the Ground (Capitol)
Summer Snow – Your Thoughts Have Wings (Capitol)
Velvet Underground – Jesus (MGM)
Velvet Underground – I’m Set Free (MGM)
Velvet Underground – I’m Beginning To See the Light (MGM)

Listen/Download -Iron Leg Radio Show Episode #45 – 203MB/256kbps

 

NOTE: There were some problems with sound  dropping out in this edition of the podcast. I reassembled the file from scratch and remixed it. The link above should work fine. If it doesn’t, please let me know.

Thanks – Larry

 

Greetings all.

Welcome to this month’s episode (#45) of the Iron Leg Radio Show.

Thanks completely to aforementioned health issues, this episode comes to you a little late, yet no less groovy.

There are all kinds of goodies this time out, especially two sets of very interesting, little-heard early work by the vocalist Jennifer Warnes.

I hope you dig it.

See you next week.

Peace

Larry

 

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PS Head over to Funky16Corners

The Millennium – I Just Want To Be Your Friend (45 Mix)

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Picture Sleeve for this 45 (ripped corner edited out…)
Note: The group name misspelled on the label!

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Listen/Download – The Millennium – I Just Want To Be Your Friend (45 Mix)

Greetings all.

I thought we’d take some time this week to take a stroll back through the magical pixie-delic forest of Curt Boettcher.

You already know that I’m fascinated by all things Boettcher, finding his mastery of vocal harmonies and pop to be without equal.

I had been on the hunt for a long time for a copy of the 45 you see before you today, and a few months ago, I thought I had.

Until, that is, it arrived cracked quite cleanly in half, rendering it unplayable.

So, I reset the search, and oddly enough another copy pretty much fell into my lap.

The Millennium’s ‘Begin’ LP is one of those records that has – like the thousand petaled lotus, revealed itself to me gradually over the years.

The first time I heard the Millennium, they seemed almost impossibly twee. I’m not sure what I was expecting, but it took me a while – even in the presence of a remarkable amount of brilliant pop hooks, to really get it, and even today I can slap on the headphones and still discover new and groovy things in their music.

Such was the case when I recorded the 45 versions of ‘I JustWant To Be Your Friend’, and ‘It’s You’.

The versions on the 45 sounded slightly different than the ones on the LP, and as it turns out they were (are), with the lead guitar slightly higher in the mono mix.

Subtle – to be sure – and in the end neither here nor there (unless you fuss over stuff like that, which I often do).

One of the stories of ‘Begin’, is that it was one of the most expensive LPs recorded for Columbia (at the time), and when you really take the time to listen closely to the record, it is immediately obvious that not a penny of that money was wasted.

Though exploration of the group usually revolves around Boettcher, as close as sunshine pop has to a bona fide cult figure, a perusal of the writing credits reveals that the Millennium had what they call in baseball, a deep bench.

Every member of the band contributed excellent songs to the LP, and they were as powerful – vocally and instrumentally – as anyone on the scene.

Produced by Boettcher and former Music Machine bassist (and future super-producer) Keith Olsen, ‘Begin’ is a flowing tapestry of voices and melodies delivered with Beatles-level instrumental innovation.

‘I Just Want To Be Your Friend’ is a perfect example of how the music of the Millennium can be something of a Trojan horse.

Written by Boettcher, and probably their most covered song, ‘I Just Want To Be Your Friend’ starts off light and breezy like something from a Claudine Longet album, but builds slowly and almost imperceptibly into something else entirely.

At around 1:20, when Boettcher sings ‘Look into your eyes today..’ the band pretty much explodes into a psychedelic wave, led by dueling guitars, and then, less than a minute later, they all slide back into low gear.

It’s at this point that I always find myself coming to the point where I feel the need to separate the Millennium from the sunshine pop pack.

This was no throwaway, manufactured pop band dealing in other people’s hooks and singalong choruses. These guys were the real deal, and while I can’t imagine them (or any similarly complicated band of the period) duplicating much of this on stage, I would put ‘Begin’ up against anything that came out in 1968.

If you haven’t got a copy, get yourself one and soak it in.

Dig the sounds, and I’ll see you next week.

Peace

Larry

 

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PS Head over to Funky16Corners for some soul.

The Sunshine Company – Bolero

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The Sunshine Company

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Listen/Download – The Sunshine Company – Bolero

Greetings all.

I hope the new week finds you well.

I have been in a pensive mood of late, thus filling my ears at every opportunity with the dreamiest mellowness that my collection has to offer.

One of the discs that I keep returning to, over and over again is ‘Bolero’ by the Sunshine Company.

I first got into the Sunshine Company while feeding my Curt Boettcher obsession.

The group had recorded a couple of excellent covers of his songs (especially their take on ‘I Just Want To Be Your Friend’), so I started grabbing their albums whenever I found them.

The groovy thing, is that in addition to the sounds I sought out specifically, I discovered that there was a lot to like about the Sunshine Company.

As their name might imply, they dealt in bright, sunshiney, harmony pop – like the amazing ‘Love That’s Where It Is’ – but were hardly limited to those sounds.

Forming in Orange County, California, the Sunshine Company – Maury Manseau, Larry Sims, Mary Nance and Merle Brigante – recorded three excellent albums for Imperial in 1968 and 1969.

Though their records often included polished, edging up on ‘easy’ arrangements, they also included healthy doses of folk rock and even things that wouldn’t sound out of place on an early Jefferson Airplane LP.

The tune I bring you today comes from their third LP ‘Sunshine and Shadows’.

I grabbed this 45 while I was out digging, unheard, mainly because I dug the band, and I didn’t know the song.

When I finally had a chance to listen to the 45 I was blown away by the mellow, trippy vibe. The guitar reminds me a lot of the sounds on Fleetwood Mac’s ‘Then Play On’ (which actually came out a year later).

‘Bolero’ is a beautiful song, with sublime guitar and bass interplay and rolling drums, making for a hypnotic blend that manages to be psychedelic without employing any of the clichéd signifiers of the genre.

It’s one of those records that I can listen to repeatedly and never get tired of.

As far as I can tell, none of the CD reissues of the Sunshine Company’s material are currently in print, so the best way to get their music is on the original vinyl.

I hope you dig the tune, and I’ll see you all next week.

Peace

Larry

 

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PS Head over to Funky16Corners for some soul.

Iron Leg Radio Show #39

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Beep beep beep beep…..

Playlist

Alan Hawkshaw/Keith Mansfield – Action Scene (KPM)
The Cocktail Cabinet – Breathalyser (Page One)
Locomotive – Rudi’s In Love (Bell)
Earth Quake – I Get the Sweetest Feeling (A&M)
Harper and Rowe – Here Comes Yesterday Again (World Pacific)
Hal Blaine – Drums A Go Go (Dunhill)
Kim Fowley – Born to Be Wild (Imperial)
Wild Angels Promo

Bobby Sty – Incense and Peppermints (Hit Sounds)
Mike Landers – Hush (Hit Sounds)
Mike Landers – I Can See For Miles (Hit Sounds)
Mustang – Haight Ashbury Time (Somerset)
Mustang – The Acid Test (Somerset)
Soul Strings and a Funky Horn – Grazing In the Grass (Solid State)
Sam Wright Group – Green Onions (Curio)
Tommy Knight and the Knights – Tighten Up (Promenade)
Psych-Out Promo

Associated Soul Group – Are You Experienced (Contessa)
Electric Piano Playground – I Had Too Much To Dream Last Night (Bell)
Electric Piano Playground – Good Vibrations (Bell)
Electronic Concept Orchestra – Aquarius (Limelight)
Electric Indian – Storm Warning (UA)
Electric Tommy – Overture (Viva)
Marketts – Come to the Sunshine (World Pacific)
Stapleton-Morley Expression – Creeque Alley (Dunhill)
Stapleton-Morley Expression – 12:30 (Young Girls Are Coming to the Canyon) (Dunhill)
Stapleton-Morley Expression – San Francisco (Be Sure To Wear Some Flowers In Your Hair) (Dunhill)
101 Strings – A Taste of Soul (Alshire)
The Trip Promo

JP Rags – Scruffety (World Pacific)
JP Rags – The Bells 0f St Barbara (World Pacific)
JP Rags – Still Life (World Pacific)
Karen Karsh – Wasn’t Born To Follow (Dunhill)
Karen Karsh – Musty Dusty (Dunhill)
Brady Bunch – I Just Want To Be Your Friend (Paramount)
The Collage – Would You Like To Go (Smash)
New Life – Canterbury Road (Epic)
Wild In the Streets Promo

 

Listen/Download -Iron Leg Radio Show Episode 39 – 222MB/256kbps

Greetings all.

Welcome to this month’s episode of the Iron Leg Radio Show.

This time out I have a nice, long show for you, with more than two hours of sonic wonderment.

We get things off to a start with some groovy new arrivals, segue into two long sets looking at the various and sundry types of musical exploitation, and then some softer sounds to round out the show.

If this is your first taste, make sure to drop into the archive in the header and check out the previous 38 (?!?) episodes.

I think you’ll dig it.

See you next week.

Peace

Larry

 

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PS Head over to Funky16Corners

Iron Leg Radio Show Episode #36

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Beep beep beep beep…..

Playlist

Alan Hawkshaw/Keith Mansfield – Action Scene (KPM)
Sunshine Company – Love That’s Where It Is (Imperial)
Candymen – Ways (ABC)
Tommy Roe – Aggravation (ABC)
Tommy Roe – Leave Her (ABC)
Chain Reaction – You Should Have Been Here Yesterday (Verve)
The Poor – My Mind Goes High (York)
The Turtles – She’s My Girl (White Whale)
Emmit Rhodes- Really Wanted You (ABC)
Rick Nelson – Don’t Make Promises (Decca)

British Walkers – I Found You (Try)
Changing Tymes – Free Spirit (She Comes On) (Bell)
Brian Hyland – The Joker Went Wild (Philips)
The Collage – Rainy Blue Day (Smash)
The Collage – Would You Like To Go (Smash)
Fun and Games – Elephant Candy (White Whale)
Fun and Games – The Grooviest Girl In the World (White Whale)
Jimmie Haskell – Prelude (ABC)
Jimmie Haskell/Denny Doherty – To Claudia On Thursday (ABC)
The Love Generation – The Love In Me (Imperial)

The Montanas – That’s When Happiness Began (WB)
Hondells – Just One More Chance (Columbia)
Coopers – Didn’t I (White Whale)
Nino Tempo and April Stevens with the Guilloteens – I Love How You Love Me (Atco)
Del Shannon – She (Liberty)
Cowsills – River Blue (MGM)
Eternity’s Children – Mrs Bluebird (Tower)
Chris and Peter Allen – Just Friends (Mercury)
Free Design – Kites Are Fun (Project 3)
Joyride – Big Bright Green Pleasure Machine (World Pacific)
Van Dyke Parks – Come To the Sunshine (MGM)
Thom McCan Commercial

 

Listen/Download -Iron Leg Radio Show Episode 36 – 160MB/256kbps

Greetings all.

Welcome to this month’s episode of the Iron Leg Radio Show.

This month I was in the mood for some hooks and jangle, so I dipped into the archives and pulled out a bunch of groovy stuff. You get a grip of Curt Boettcher-associated material (songs, productions, arrangements), some soft pop, sunshine, bubblegum and even a bit of freakbeat.

Wait for a sunny day and play this one while you fly a kite (cuz kites are fun!).

See you all next week.

Peace

Larry

 

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PS Head over to Funky16Corners

Iron Leg Radio Show Episode #34

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Beep beep beep beep…..

Playlist

Alan Hawkshaw/Keith Mansfield – Action Scene (KPM)
Underdogs –Love’s Gone Bad (VIP)
Jacques Dutronc – Et Moi Et Moi Et Moi (Vogue)
Bobby Brelyn – Hannah (Jorel)
Mars Bonfire – Ride With Me (UNI)
Chris and Peter Allen – My Silent Symphony (Mercury)
Ruthann – Carry On (Glittering Dancer) (Reprise)
Utica Club Natural Carbonation Band – Utica Club Natural Carbonation Beer Drinking Song (Utica Club)
Jim Lowe – Michael J Pollard For President (Buddah)
Jefferson Airplane Levis Commercial

The Eagles – Eagle (Warner Brothers)
Bucky Wilkin – I Wanna Be Free (RCA)
Bucky Wilkin – Delta Day (RCA)
John Buck Wilkin – Faces and Places (Liberty) 
John Buck Wilkin – My God and I (Liberty)
John Buck Wilkin – Boy of the Country (Liberty)
John Buck Wilkin – Apocalypse 1969 (Liberty)
John Buck Wilkin – Me and Bobby McGee (Liberty)
John Buck Wilkin – The Daydream (Liberty)
Sopwith Camel Levis Commercial

Buck Wilkin – Going On (UA)
Buck Wilkin – Get Up (UA)
Buck Wilkin – Down On Music Row (UA)
Buck Wilkin – Star Spangled Girl (UA)
Buck Wilkin – Sun, Moon and Stars (UA)
Canned Heat Levis Commercial

Boyce and Hart Coke Commercial
Tommy Boyce and Bobby Hart – Where Angels Go Trouble Follows (A&M)
Tommy Boyce and Bobby Hart- Out and About (A&M)
Tommy Boyce and Bobby Hart – Sometimes She’s a Little Girl (A&M)
Tommy Boyce and Bobby Hart- Blow You a Kiss In the Wind (Aquarian)
Curt Boettcher Levis Commercial

Listen/Download -Iron Leg Radio Show Episode 34 – 197MB/256kbps

Greetings all.

Welcome to this month’s episode of the Iron Leg Radio Show.

I have some cool stuff for you this time around, including all kinds of new arrivals, a long look at the sounds of unjustly forgotten Nashville rocker John Buck Wilkin and a set of Boyce and Hart action.

As always, I hope you dig the sounds.

See you next week.

Peace

Larry

 

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PS Head over to Funky16Corners

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