Another TV Neats track I found on YouTube, this one is written and sung by Ric Orlando (then known as Ricky Rondo) who is now a pretty well-known chef and restauranteur near Woodstock, NY. He also won on that show "Chopped" a couple times. Buy TV Neats musics on CD Baby.
This is pretty cool. Someone made a fan video for a song I wrote and sang with the band TV Neats back in 1980 or thereabouts. This has been cited as one of the earliest examples of use of an English accent by a US born Punk Rocker. TV Neats @ CDBaby
It is far and few that I strongly recommend a Pop record achievement from my own country but, here is one of those rare instances when I strongly do; it is nothing short of a mini-masterpiece, the one time collaboration between famous Tarantino "Death Proof" movie soundtrack recording star, April March (in her world known cover of Swingin' Mademoiselle Ye Ye queen France Gall's Serge Gainsbourg-penned "Laisse Tomber les Filles" : "Chick Habit" that was even used later for a national Renault French car advertising campaign)... and French Indie Avant-rock band, Aquaserge, from the southern provincial town of Toulouse, up to here an excellent Robert Wyatt-era Soft Machine influenced combo. Excellent... which in itself is a rare instance among the French indie rock and pop scene enough to mention!
Hey all, I'm back! I spent the month of October wrapping up my Daily 45 site with a massive 'best of", and was just too wrapped up in that to write here. what used to be the Daily 45 is now the Occasional 45, but the URL has stayed the same.
One of the fun things about collecting 45's is hunting down rarities from bands that are far better known as album acts. Needless to say, these records were usually pressed in VERY limited quantities, and can be very difficult to find! When it comes to a seminal band such as The Stooges, lots of folks are looking for them; it took me a while to track down these discs!
I'll assume that most Bedazzled! readers know most of The Stooges story, so I'll keep the biographical info at a minimum here.
The Stooges debut LP was released in August 1969, and for the most part critics panned it, and it was a slow seller. Of course the primitive grooves found within snowballed over the years and through word of mouth and discovery from every other possible angle over the years, the band became far more famous after the fact. However, Elektra released "I Wanna Be Your Dog" as a 45, and it *did* bubble under the Hot 100 , clocking in at 106 in Billboard Magazine (so it did sell a bit and get some radio play in some markets). The 45 chops off the dramtic intro and launches right into Ron Ashton's classic riff, and the mono mix is VERy powerful stuff. If there's an "anthem" from the group, then it's undoubtedly "I Wanna Be Your Dog"; as I worked for the group for several years, I witnessed firsthand that no matter where in the world this song was performed, pure pandemonium ensued. It took a few years, but this song is a bona fide WORLDWIDE smash!
The French have been enamored of all things Iggy seemingly since the beginning of his career, and this amazingly cool French issue picture sleeve is lovely stuff indeed. The graphic design is spectacular, and it kinda shows that the French branch of Elektra Records "got" the group early on. It's all their; the Stooges (badass) logo, a nice little bio on the back, an alternate group photo from the shoot that yielded the first album cover, and a super cool font for the a-side, "1969". I have many French picture sleeves from the '60's in my collection, and many songs are labelled as "jerk". No, it's not an insult, but shows how popular it was to dance the jerk in France, and the mental picture of a French teenybopper dancing the jerk to her "1969" 45 is quite the mental picture, right? "1969" seems to be a fold down mono mix (stereo turned into "fake" mono), but "Real Cool Time sounds like a dedicated mono mix to my ears. Over course "1969" also became a smash hit when it was used in a widely seen commercial a few years back.
In a fateful move, Elektra records chief Jac Holzman enlisted Don Galluci to produce the Stooges second LP, the immortal Funhouse. Galluci was no stranger to primitive rock n roll, as he played keyboards for The Kingsmen, whose recording of richard Berry's "Louie Louie" was not only a stepping stone sound-wise that led to The Stooges blueprint, but also a track that was infamously covered by the group. Galluci stripped away the baffles and isolation of the studio and created an atmosphere that was more like a live gig. It's normal procedure to seperate instruments and vocals in the studio to get a "clean" sound, which in some cases neuters the (raw) power; Funhouse thumbs its nose to this technique and as a result is one of the greatest sounding, energetic, and downright most ass kicking LP's ever cut to wax. Too bad more rock n roll isn't cut this way. Whoever mastered the (dedicated mono mixes) of "Down On The Street" and "1970" (here re-titled "I Feel Alright (1970)") REALLY got it; this 45 is one of the most incredible sounding records I've ever heard. The volume and clarity are penetrating, and the low end is unbelievable. "Down On The Street" fades out at a snappy 3:10; perhaps I'm biased, but this song has always seemed to me to have hit potential that could have been achieved in 1970; it's catchy, has a driving Motown-like beat, and has lyrics that the kids could relate to. Unfortunately, the album and single tanked commercially, but of course today Funhouse is regarded as an undisputed masterpiece and highly influential. "1970" has no commercial potential whatsoever, but this pummeling, primitive, and downright sexually deviant groove is another one that whips modern day crowds into a frenzy.
The Stooges disintigrated not long after the release of Funhouse, in a haze of drug abuse and lack of commercial success. Before the band imploded, though, Iggy recruited a guitarist into the fold named James Williamson that had developed his own style of guitar playing that was akin to either a machine gun (for his rhythm work) or a razor blade against the strings for his blazing lead guitar work. for a brief period, both Ron Asheton and James Williamson played dual lead guitar for a short tour in 1971. This band was ill fated, but in 1972 (at the insistence of David Bowie), Iggy was on his way to england to be made into a star by Bowie's management team, and Iggy, who is on record as saying that no one understands his music as well as James williamson, insisted that the guitarist was part of the package. Pop-Williamson collaborated on the songs that made up the highly influential and ahead-of-its-time Raw Power LP, and left behind dozens of other songs in various stages of completion in their wake. After numerous auditions, it was decided that the Asheton brothers needed to be their as well, and Scott was back behind the drum kit, and Ron was now on bass. The Asheton brothers were a virtual bulldozer of a rhythm section, but unfortunately, the recording of Raw Power buries the rhythm section, but the fold-down mono mix on the 'Search & Destroy' 45 somehow brings bass and drums a little closer to the surface. Of course, "Search" has also gone on to hit status, and literally became the bluepring for bands such as The Damned, inspiring a whole musical revolution.
'I Got A Right" was one of the songs left behind in the wake of the Raw Power sessions, and the band had even played it at those '71 gigs before the (first) split. Just as punk rock was in its earliest stages of world domination, James Williamson dusted off the tapes and partnered with French fan Phillipe Mogane released this punk masterpiece as a white hot 45, creating a legendary epitaph for The Stooges. Of course the phoenix rose again....
First off, I apologize for the lack of posting last week- it was a very busy one for me, and I just couldn't make the time to write. However, today's post should make up for it, as I was planning on spreading this over two weeks anyhow!
I'll spare the biographical details of the legendary Roky Erickson; Roky made an indelible stamp as a very young man as frontman/ vocalist extraordinnaire of The 13th Floor Elevators (easily one of the 10 best American rock n roll groups of ANY era, in my opinion). Roky was busted on a trumped up pot charge in the late 60's, and he was forever changed after a stay at the Rusk Hospital For The Criminally Insane, where the sensitive, poetic Roky was given shock treatment and lived among murderers and rapists. All for enjoying a joint on a hilltop in Texas...(I won't even begin to state the obvious injustice in this charge and its repercussions.)
Roky was granted his freedom in 1972, and a revamped version of the Elevators began taking the clubs of Austin by storm again. Recorded evidence show that the group was fantastic again and they were writing some killer songs that, sadly, never got properly recorded. For whatever reasons, the group fell apart again and by 1975 Roky was in a bad way, financially, and was unable to get booked for any gigs. Fellow Texan Doug Sahm (a legend and genius in his own right) always felt a strong brotherhood with Roky and The Elevators, and through his generosity offered to record and release a solo 45 from Roky (although his last name was unfortunately mis-spelled on the release). Reports of the sessions (from the recording engineer John Ingle) were that Doug wanted, more than anything, to help get Roky some gigs and get him on the right track again. In a cloud of pot smoke, the band recorded two songs that are staples in roky's cache, including one of the freakiest numbers ever cut to tape, "Red Temple Prayer (Two Headed Dog)". In my opinion, this lo-fi, bordering-on-psychotic take is the definitive one. Roky's vocal performance is hair raising (and includes one of his patented "You're Gonna Miss Me" yowls) and the guitar work captures the vibe
of the lyrics in a way that was never captured again in future versions of the song. The flip side, "Starry Eyes", is another that Roky has recorded several times, and shows his more tender, Buddy Holly influenced side; roky recorded a beautiful, heartfelt vocal, and the band grooves along in a way that can only be done by Texas musicians.
Roky began perrforming and touring sporadically with his Blieb Alien band during this era, and in 1977 cut a one-off 45 for record store turned record label Rhino. They issued it with a cool picture sleeve, and 'Bermuda" is another track that shows off Roky's brilliant songwriting. There's a nice little nod to the Elevators electric jug sound in the production (probably Bill Miller's electric jug, I'm guessing). For some strange
reason, the back cover says this is Roky's first commercial release in ten years. Not true! Why they chose to ignore the Mars Records 45 is anyone's guess. All in all, this was a very important record; released at the dawn of the punk era, it exposed Roky to a whole new audience that could DEFINITELY dig the man and his music.
A well recieved album at the dawn of the '80s (with his band- whose lineup was constantly in flux- renamed The Aliens) brought about a large cult following for Roky, and even while battling schizophrenia he was able to succesfully tour clubs throughout the US. In 1984, Roky released an ASS kicking 45 in "Don't Slander Me", one of his best works. The backing band is his strongest since the original Elevators (they really *get* Roky and play symapthetically), and Roky is in EXCELLENT voice. There's no hint of quasi- heavy metal here! "Starry Eyes" returns, in a charming version that explores the Buddy Holly influence in a big way. This record is a career highlight, and one of the best singles of the 1980's, hands down.
The late 1980's was the beginning of another bad stretch for poor Roky (who wasn't receiving proper health care to combat his mental illness). An obsession with the mail led to his arrest for mail theft (the charges were dropped, as he never opened any of the mail he stole). A 1987 show that has been described as "disastrous" in New York put the brakes on any touring, and it seemed that Roky was finished with music. A one off single for indie label Sympathy For The Record Industry was a re-recording of a GREAT song, "You Don't Love Me Yet". I'm not that crazy about the band here (they verge a little too far into heavy metal territory for my liking), the beautiful lyrics and a typically great vocal from Roky shine through the din. Plus, the picture sleeve is VERY groovy.
Just when it seemed impossible, a new LP arrived from roky in 1994, the fantastic All That May Do My Rhyme. While it was cobbled together (by Butthole Surfers' drummer King Coffey) it is a surprisingly coherent album that presents some superb songs from Roky in a very flattering light. The production and performances are great! A cool 45 was released to coincide with the LP coupling "We Are Never Talking" with a touching acoustic version of "Please Judge" (a song that could easily be read as his own story from 25 years previously). Filmed and recorded evidence of Roky shows his strengths as a solo acoustic performer; whether its performing his own songs or one of his excellent Bob Dylan interpretations, once Roky has a guitar around his neck all of his other problems seem to melt away. In one of the happiest stories of all music (and with the help of his loving brother Sumner), Roky is back in great form and has been touring all over and blowing roofs off of venues worldwide. I saw his performance at Ponderosa Stomp in new Orleans a few years ago, and within the stellar set he sang a version of "You're Gonna Miss Me" with that SCREAM that sounded like nothing else I've ever heard in person. All hail Roky Erickson!!!!
Here's the original take of the Elevators 'Tried To Hide', which was the flip side to "You're Gonna Miss Me". This song was recut for the first LP in a slower version; while that version is excellent, I *really* love this faster take that showcases how tight and rocking this band was. Special props to the amazing drumming of John Ike Walton.
The SF bay area is home Hot Lunch; purveyors of one of the finest brands of HEAVY-osity currently in operation. Taking cues from the likes of Lemmy-era Hawkwind, Blue Cheer, Crushed Butler, The Groundhogs, skateboarding and Black Sabbath (at 78RPM), Hot Lunch plays the type of music that can easily cross over to those in which heavy isn't quite their cup of sludge. Specifically, the unstoppable GROOVE and song composition sets them apart from the pack.
Once again, my instructions are to BUY this groups' amazing debut LP NOW. I don't think you'll regret it one bit, as it has "modern classic" stamped all over it.
Luckily for us 7" fanatics, HL has released two; their debut slab from 2010 contains "She Wants More", a track that was re-recorded for their debut LP (slightly slower, but just as good- personally I'm stoked that there are two versions of this jam). Sure, the riff has a little bit in common with Sabbath's 'Paranoid", but if that doesn't put a smile on your face, I'm sorry for ya. The band states their intention IMMEDIATELY on this record; it's the musical equivalent of getting buckled into a '68 SS 396 Chevelle with your deranged uncle behind the wheel driving way too fucking fast on some country road, where you kinda fear for your life, but on the same hand don't really want it to stop.
"Killer Smile" is one of the HIGHlights of HL's debut LP, and it was also released as a 45 as an advance appetizer for the LP. Guitarist Aaron Nudelman gets to show off all his amazing abilities and taste here; I especially love his use of heavy reverb which lends excellent shade and vibe to the playing. Vocalist (and heavy duty skateboarder) Eric Shea shows off his melodic scream to perfection, not to mention the rhythm section devastation offered by Rob Alper on double kick drum and flailing arms.Charlie Karr keeps it rooted on bass, and the band can change time and tempo in a way that doesn't seem odd or forced. The flip side is non LP; a version of the track "You're Alright", a poppy track from the 1980 film Skateboard Madness that gets sticky and full of resin after bubbling through the Hot Lunch machine. You can buy a copy of your very own here.
"Here's MC5 filmed live on the campus of Wayne State University in Michigan and aired on hometown TV show "Detroit Tubeworks" in 1970 doing their biggest hit "Kick Out The Jams." We found the master tapes of over 11 hours from this legendary show which had been stored in a basement in Michigan. Other great guests we found on this underground show from 1968-1973 include MC5, Ted Nugent, Phil Ochs, Commander Cody, Captain Beefheart, Earth, Wind & Fire, Humble Pie, Fleetwood Mac featuring Peter Green and Joe Cocker. Also part of this archive is a 45-minute unseen concert of the Rolling Stones filmed at Olympia Stadium in Detroit on their 1969 tour."