The Sound of the 4 Instants

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Clem Cattini

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Listen/Download – The 4 Instants – Bogattini
Listen/Download – The 4 Instants – Watermelon Man
Listen/Download – The 4 Instants – Discotheque

Greetings all.

I have something rather groovy for you today.

A while back all-around pop-cult maven Kliph Nesteroff posted a Youtube vid on my FB wall, asking if I was familiar with the track in question.

I gave it a spin, and I was as clueless about the song/group as I was blown away by the track.

The group being the 4 Instants, the track a wild bit of noise entitled ‘Bogattini’.

So, naturally I set out in search of the record and information about the 4 Instants. The former proving scarce and the latter all but non-existent.

Then, a few weeks later a copy of the record popped up on Ebay from a UK seller and I was lucky enough to enter the high bid.

Flash forward a week or two later and the record popped through the mail slot, and I was very happy indeed to discover that the LP ‘Discotheque’ was no mere one-track-wonder.

The small bit of information I have been able to gather suggests that he 4 Instants were a group of studio musicians gathered together to record an LP’s worth of dance floor sounds to be sold to clueless teenagers eager to stuff their ears full of beat music.

Following the writing credits on the original tracks, the members of the 4 Instants included former Tornado and UK studio all-star drummer Clem Cattini, guitarist Mickey Keen, bassist Dave Winters and Michael O’Neill (who I’ll assume was playing the organ).

The LP includes three originals and covers of Herbie Hancock’s ‘Watermelon Man’, Carl Holmes and the Commanders ‘Mashed Potatoes’, Major Lance’s ‘Monkey Time’ (composed, of course by Curtis Mayfield), Jimmy McGriff’s ‘All About My Girl’, Booker T and the MGs ‘Outrage’, Duke Ellington’s ‘Caravan’ and the old stripper’s standby ‘Night Train’.

‘Bogattini’ is nothing less than a slice of madness, complete with odd sound effects (including a flushing toilet, thus the ‘bog;), heavy, nearly freakbeat guitar, buzzing bass and wild, unhinged drum solos by Cattini. It flirts with novelty, but the package taken as a whole is rather solid.

The version of ‘Watermelon Man’ is 100% unadulterated mod R&B, featuring the organ and some tasty guitar.

‘Discotheque’ is an upbeat, au-go-go number, sounding like it emerged from the soundtrack of a 1966 teen movie.

The bottom line is, there are several tracks on this album, that had they only ever been issued as obscure 45s, would have record collectors killing each other to get them.

As is, they’re all sitting on an equally obscure LP waiting for you (though the album has seen reissue).

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

Peace

Larry

 

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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

RIP Trevor Ward Davies (Dozy, of DDDBM&T)

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Dave Dee and the rest of the gang…

 

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LISTEN/DOWNLOAD – Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick and Tich – He’s a Raver – MP3</b>

Greetings all.

As I have been unexpectedly in the hospital for most of the last week, my work schedule has taken a hit. I have a new Iron Leg Radio Show ready to go but it hasnt’t been tagged or uploaded and I can’t get it from here, so hopefully next week.

That said, while I was sitting here staring at the walls I noticed a link that the man that played one of my favorite bass lines, on one of my favorite records had passed away.

The record: ‘He’s a Raver’ by Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky , Mick and Tich

The bassist: Trevor Ward-Davies

Davies, whose heavy bass was a big part of the group’s sound  passed away at the age of 70 last week.

I thought it might be nice to send him off this way.

So dig the rave up, raise a glass to Dozy, and with any luck I’ll be back here next week.

Peace

Larry

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Originally posted 2010

I hope you’re all well, since I’m sitting here with what feels like a migraine headache.
Fortunately it’s fairly quiet here, so I figured I’d get some blogging in before I try to nap the pain away.
The tune I bring you today is something that I have coveted for a long, LONG time, and only just scored a copy (at a nice price, natch) in the last month.
I’ve been a big fan of Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick and Tich (known henceforth as DDDBM&T) since I first heard their music about 25 years ago. There was a point at about that time where I scored almost all of their cool 45s at various discount prices (I’m not sure anything of theirs, aside from oddball foreign issues, is actually ‘rare’), but the tune I bring you today eluded me.
Now, there are those that will tell you that DDDBM&T had probably the worst name in 60s pop, but even the briefest survey will reveal that although it is quite akward, their name is surpassed in pure stupidity by any number of US-based hippie bands.
DDDBM&T are one of those rare groups who were clearly being sold to their audience as teen-dream, bubblegum, candy-floss, yet managed to transcend those labels.
They were handled, and provided with much of their material (most of their hits) by Ken Howard and Alan Blaikley (who also worked their magic with the Herd), and though much of their catalog could be labeled formulaic, it was a good formula, matching razor sharp pop hooks with an aggressive, Freakbeaty vibe that got them 14 Top 40 hits in the UK (and almost as many in Germany and New Zealand) between 1965 and 1970.
This is not to say that they didn’t have their lame moments, but their best stuff is not to me missed.
The tune I bring you today, ‘He’s a Raver’ is in my opinion the best thing they ever did, a freakbeat masterpiece and interestingly enough, penned by the band.
It was the b-side to the much less interesting ‘Okay’ in 1967 and was a Top 10 hit in the UK and Germany (thus the Star Club issue of the 45).
‘He’s a Raver’ sounds like the intersection of the pilled-up Mod sound and the frilly-cuffed Carnaby Street vibe of ’67.
The lyrics, concerning a wealthy scenemaker who ‘lives in a castle in the country’ and ‘buys the finest clothes’ who’s hair is so long ‘people stop and stare’.
It’s propelled by heavy guitar, throbbing bass (that sounds about twice as loud as anything else on the track) and a very groovy organ break halfway through the tune.
I can just imagine the crowd at the Tiles (no doubt including several people who fit the description from the song) losing their shit when this came over the speakers.
I know I do and I hope you do too.
Psyche out baby!

 

 

Peace

Larry

 

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PS Head over to Funky16Corners too!

Paul Revere 1938-2014

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Paul Revere (center) and the Raiders

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Listen/Download – Paul Revere and the Raiders – The Great Airplane Strike

Listen/Download – Paul Revere and the Raiders – Louise

Listen/Download – Paul Revere and the Raiders – Louie Go Home

Listen/Download – Paul Revere and the Raiders – SS396

Greetings all.

I woke this morning to the sad news that Paul Revere, leader of the Raiders, had passed away at the age of 76.

Oddly, I had just finished prepping two different posts about Pacific Northwest bands (the Kingsmen and Don and the Goodtimes), but I’ll have to push those back a few weeks.

I’ve decided to devote next week’s edition of the Iron Leg Radio Show entirely to Pacific Northwest bands, so stay tuned for that.

The music of Paul Revere and the Raiders has been featured here at Iron Leg a bunch times in the past, in posts and as part of the podcast.

I’m one of those old timers that’ll take time out of my busy day to bend your ear about how the Raiders were one of the great underrated/underappreciated bands of the 60s.

The irony built into that particular conversation is the fact that they were, for a few choice years, very, very successful and big stars.

They were a regular presence on the charts, and on TV, appearing on just about every show that presented rock bands, and as regulars on a couple of Dick Clark vehicles, like Where the Action Is and Happening ’68.

The band, but especially lead singer Mark Lindsay, was fodder for the Tiger Beat crowd as well, appearing in teen magazines and no doubt tacked to the bedroom walls of a healthy percentage of America’s teenage girls.

Oddly enough, it was this popularity, and the band’s highly polished showbiz schtick, with the Revolutionary War uniforms, synchronized steps and clowning, that sank them like a brick in the estimation of the ‘serious’ rock crowd, when that part of the scene rose to prominence in the late 60s.

When the festival and mud thing took over, and rock singers became something a lot less finely tuned and more ‘underground’ (though their records were still being manufactured, marketed and sold by the same gigantic corporations) Paul Revere and the Raiders fell out of fashion.

They still had records on the charts, but my the mid-70s they were by and large relegated to the oldies circuit, with Mark Lindsay gone, and Paul Revere leading a revolving cast of Raiders through the state fairs and night clubs of America.

I first became aware of the Raiders through oldies radio in the early 70s (when their oldies were less than half a decade gone), largely oblivious to their image and the era when I was too young to notice them.

What I heard,  was a band that mixed pop hooks with fuzzed out power better than just about anyone else.

At their best, Paul Revere and the Raiders made records that – had they been recorded by some obscure pack of long-haired basement dwellers and released in a run of five hundred singles, sold out of car trunks and at pizza parlor gigs – would be changing hands for hundreds of bucks today.

They were a big part of the Pacific Northwest sound (and its most successful proponents) , having cranked out their first hit in 1960.

When I came of age, in the late 70s and early 80s, while alt rock was emerging, the classic Raiders vibe couldn’t have seemed less cool.

These were the days when bands cultivated an ‘organic’ look, in which everyone tried their hardest to seem like they couldn’t care less. Paul, Mark, Fang, Harpo and Smitty yukking it up on Hullabaloo was the very antithesis of Michael Stipe peeking through his mop while emoting to a bar full of hipsters.

Yet, by 1984, something weird started to happen.

While most of the alt rock world was wearing their hearts on their sleeves, a bunch of us made a U-turn, going back to 1966 for attitude, fashion, and most importantly music.

This was less of a reach than you might imagine, since 60s sounds, jangle, pop, and even fuzz had been a big part of New Wave and power pop, but what my friends and I were onto was something much more explicitly retro.

We were tunneling backward and appreciating the (mostly) lost sounds of the mid-60s, garage punk, mod, R&Beat, folk rock and psychedelia, trading bootleg tapes of shows like Hullabaloo, Shindig, Action, Beat Club, Ready Steady Go and Upbeat, and (to varying degrees) resurrecting the fashions of the times in clubs in New York City, Los Angeles, San Diego, London and anywhere else there were enough devotees to muster up a scene.

While all of this was going on, a generation of kids, most of whom weren’t nearly old enough to realize what a big deal Paul Revere and the Raiders had been the first time around, started to dig their music.

Nearly twenty years removed, with most of their fame buried in cobwebs and the fan magazines mildewed, their music struck a nerve for all the right reasons. The big booming sound, power chords, fuzz and most importantly the hooks drilled their way into fresh, unspoiled minds.

Sure there were still the hardcore obscurantists, hipper than thou, who insisted that the Raiders were uncool, and way too mainstream to stand alongside barely-heard local 45s from 1966, but those types pop up in every scene and are (and were) best ignored.

The tracks I bring you today are some of my favorites by the band, as well as an obscurity that I only recently put my hands on.

Here you get all of the aforementioned elements, the hard charging side of Paul Revere and the Raiders, with the fuzz, tremolo, pounding drums and memorable melodies.

‘The Great Airplane Strike’ – maybe my fave Raiders record, was co-written by Revere, Lindsay and Terry Melcher, and is still a mind-blower. Not their best-known song, but not exactly obscure (it grazed the Top 20 in the Fall of 1966) is a throbbing tornado of guitars. The production by Melcher is amazing, with the fuzzed-out lead cutting through waves of rhythm guitar, bass and drums.

‘Louise’, written by Jesse Lee Kincaid of the Rising Sons was recorded by both Keith Allison, and the Raiders (who he would soon join). Released by the Raiders first, ‘Louise’ was a minor 1967 hit for Allison who recorded his vocals over the existing backing track. It’s a classic slice of pop-garage, with a pounding rhythm guitar line.

‘Louie Go Home’ (co-written by Revere and Lindsay) is one of the more interesting cuts in the Raiders discography.

The original version, a minor hit early in 1964 is a bit of classic PNW R&B stomp, covered by both the Who and Davie Jones and the King Bees. A few years later, the band rebuilt the song on a more 1966-friendly frame for the ‘Midnight Ride’ album, turning it into a completely different, much groovier beast.

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Raiders SS396 Picture Sleeve (water damage included!)

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The last track was a promo for the Chevy SS396 released on a 45 with a tribute to the Camaro by the Cyrkle on the other side. Released in 1965, and sounding like the band had been hanging around with Jan and Dean, it wouldn’t be the last time they pushed muscle cars, doing a commercial for the Pontiac GTO ‘Judge’ a few years later.

The cool thing is, you can easily find some excellent collections of their stuff (The Legend of Paul Revere, and the Complete Columbia Singles) over at iTunes, or head to your nearest flea market or garage sale where you’re likely to find some of their 45s (or LPs if you’re lucky).

If you’ve never seen the Raiders in action, get on over to Youtube where you’ll find a grip of TV performances from their peak years.

So take a moment to hoist a tankard of ale to the memory of the mighty Paul Revere.

I’ll be back next week with that all-PNW edition of the Iron Leg Radio Show.

Peace

Larry

 

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PS Head over to Funky16Corners for some soul.

Iron Leg Radio Show #40

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Beep beep beep beep…..

Playlist

Alan Hawkshaw and Keith Mansfield – Action Scene (KPM)
The Lovin’ Spoonful – Six O’Clock (Kama Sutra)
The Magicians – About My Love (Columbia)
Billy J Kramer and the Dakotas – From a Window (Imperial)
Fortunes – I’ve Gotta Go (Press)
Lynn Castle – The Lady Barber (LHI)
Lost Souls – Sad Little Girl (Liberty)
Merrell Fankhauser – Everybody’s Talkin’ (Shamley)
Them – Mystic Eyes (Parrot)
Them – Bring ‘Em On In (Parrot)
Them – Call My Name (Parrot)
WC Fields Memorial Electric String Band – Hippy Elevator Operator (HBR)

Cheetah Club Concert Promo
Byrds – Hey Joe (Columbia)
Byrds- I’ll Feel a Whole Lot Better (Columbia)
Byrds – So You Want To Be a Rock’n’Roll Star (Columbia)
Byrds – She Don’t Care About Time (Columbia)
Byrds – Eight Miles High (Columbia)
Byrds – Dolphin’s Smile (Columbia)
Byrds – Lady Friend (Columbia)
Byrds – King Apathy III (Columbia)
Byrds – Bad Night at the Whiskey (Columbia)
Notorious Byrd Brothers Promo

Denny Doherty – To Claudia On Thursday (45 Mix) (Dunhill)
Dino Desi and Billy – She’s So Far Out She’s In (Reprise)
Family Affair – Let’s Get Together (Smash)
Terry Reid – Superlungs (Epic)
Terry Reid – Bang Bang (Epic)
Terry Reid – Stay With Me (Epic)
Small Faces – All Or Nothing (RCA)
Small Faces – Tin Soldier (Immediate)
There Are But Four Small Faces LP Promo

 

Listen/Download -Iron Leg Radio Show Episode 40 – 167MB/256kbps

 

Greetings all.

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

It’s funny how time flies when you’re having fun.

I can hardly believe that I’m forty episodes deep in this thing.

This month there are some groovy new arrivals, a couple of recently reconsidered b-sides and a set of the Byrds.

I think you’ll dig it.

See you next week.

Peace

Larry

 

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PS Head over to Funky16Corners

The Mindbenders – The Morning After

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The Mindbenders

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Listen/Download – The Mindbenders – The Morning After

Greetings all.

This week I have something very heavy and very groovy for you.

‘The Morning After’ by the Mindbenders is one of those records that fell into my ears via the Rubble comps back in the 80s and pretty much found a secure home in my mind ever since.

Though most people are familiar with the Wayne Fontana led Mindbenders, they had a decent amount of success following his departure from the band in 1965.

Guitarist Eric Stewart (later of 10CC) took over as lead vocalist, fronting the band on their big 1966 hit ‘Groovy Kind of Love’, as well as their fantastic, overlooked 45 of the two songs the band mimed to in ‘To Sir With Love’, ‘Off and Running’ b/w ‘It’s Getting Harder All the Time’, one of the finest bits of progressive beat sounds on the way to freakbeat.

Speaking of freakbeat, there is hardly a better example of the genre than ‘The Morning After’.

Released in December of 1966 on Fontana (I was surprised to discover that there is a US release of this single as well), ‘The Morning After’ b/w ‘I Want Here She Wants Me’ (written by Rod Argent but recorded prior to the Zombies version) is one of the most amazing 45s of the period.

‘The Morning After’ powered by a stomping rhythm guitar, and exploding into an anthemic (yet wordless) chorus, is the perfect bridge between the straight ahead rock of the beat era and the flights of fancy of the psychedelic years, thus the freakbeat.

Strangely, despite the fact that the Mindbenders were in the midst of a run of UK hits, neither side of this 45 charted.

I waited almost thirty years before I got my hands on this 45, and I was as excited to listen to it now as I was back in the day.

It is a certified killer, and I hope you dig it as much as I do.

See you next week.

Peace

Larry

 

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PS Head over to Funky16Corners for some soul.

Paul and Barry Ryan – Keep It Out of Sight

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The Brothers Ryan

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Listen/Download – Paul and Barry Ryan – Keep It Out of Sight

Greetings all.

Welcome to the new week, here at the leg of iron (not as delicious as leg of lamb, but it’ll do).

The track I bring you today is one of those numbers that dropped intoi my ears via a Mr Luther mixtape back in the olden days and lodged itself deep in my skull.

I kept my eyes peeled for a copy for many (many) years, until a few months ago one popped up on a sales list and I grabbed it forthwith.

The artists are Paul and Barry Ryan, who have appeared in this space before (more on them here) with a number of tracks from their excellent 1968 UK LP ‘The Ryans’, most especially ‘Hey Mister Wiseman’, quite the delicious slice of freakbeat.

On that particular tip, is the record I was referencing above, which is not coincidentally this week’s selection, ‘Keep It Out of Sight’.

Released in 1967 in the UK on Decca (where it made it into the Top 40) and on the US on MGM, ‘Keep It Out of Sight’ is also freakbeaty, big and bouncy, with plety of rock, but also enough Carnaby Street freakery on the fringes to keep the flower children pleased.

In a special bit of extra credit bonus-ery, it was also penned by none other than Cat Stevens, who was – at the time – working the same side of the stylistic street before stepping out of his brogues and into some bare feet for a successful run as a gentle soul.

‘Keep It Out of Sight’ has a very groovy arrangement (by library composer Alan Tew) mixing acoustic guitar, swirling strings, fuzz guitar, castanets, seagulls (yes, seagulls) and some particularly nice electric bass.

It really ought to have been a bigger hit, but it wasn’t, so you get to dig it now and lord it over the cool kids at the record hop (not really).

That said, I hope you dig it as much as I do, and I’ll see you next week.

Peace

Larry

 

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PS Head over to Funky16Corners for some soul.

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