On a Washington D.C. label, this band is thought to have come from Virginia. The album, which had no catalogue number, is now rare and sought-after by collectors. It kicks off with the band's own individualistic cover version of Bob Dylan and Rick Danko's This Wheel's On Fire, which is probably their magnum opus. Like most of the album, the music is very keyboard driven - Sony Bono's Bang Bang and Ike Turner's I'm Blue get similar treatment. It also contains a couple of originals with Bill Manning and Tommy Dildy's Letter To Home the pick. It starts with some cool bluesy piano but then becomes very country-influenced.
On the album, the late Danny Gatton is credited as playing on at least two cuts. Many years later Billy Windsor was the singer in Gatton's band that gigged around Washington in the late '80s / early 90's. Terry Gorka was also in The Telstars.
(Vernon Joynson/Ed/Max Waller)
A teen garage quintet from the Bronx, New York. Their sole 45 became a sought-after item many years later after Magnet, a brooding punk-popper, was included on the 1983 compilation LP Ear-Piercing Punk (reissued on CD in 1996).
Larry Russell recalls: "Our original name was The Loose Ends but, when we recorded Magnet on 9/8/66, our manager decided to change our name (that night) because there had been another band with the same name that had a record deal before us."
"On that day we recorded 4 songs, the other two besides the single were (It's A) Dirty Shame, which was going to be our follow-up single, and Pride, written by our producer and which, in our opinion, sucked. I have copies of all of those recordings."
Larry Russell was 16 when the record was cut. He went on to tour with Billy Joel, Gary U.S. Bonds, Mary Travers, and Robert Gordon. In the late '90s he was the percussionist for wimp-rock superstar Bryan Adams.
(Max Waller/Mike Markesich/Jeff Lemlich/Larry Russell)
A California (Los Angeles) band whose Gotta Help Me is a Mersey-influenced record with a guitar riff very similar to one in The Searchers' When You Walk In The Room.
NB: (1) reissued in 2000 on Thorns S-12008.
The album sounds like a studio project. It's atmospheric, psychedelic mood music and includes some mellow instrumentals with Eastern moves, flute passages and dreamy arrangements. Ideal music to unwind by. At times it's reminiscent of The Electric Prunes Mass In F Minor period, especially on White Light, with its cathedral choir sound. On the down-side there's some brassy arrangements that creep in too often and concocted lyrics and vocals which are occasionally rather lame. The City Of Toys And Games is sorta swing-era melody pop update - the toilet flush at the end eloquently sums it up. Life's Light makes amends though. It commands pretty high prices but musically has limited appeal.
Recording on Lee Hazlewood's LHI label probably places this as a Los Angeles-based project.
A short-lived Californian group, Aim was formed by three members of Christopher Cloud : Overly, O'Connor and Pemberton plus Loren Newkirk, a good keyboard player who often worked with Chris Darrow. Their album rarely turns up.
Warren "Buggs" (or Bugs) Pemberton was English and had previously been with Jackie Lomax in the Undertakers and also played on several of his solo albums.
A privately pressed album of rural/hard rock recorded live on 31st October 1973. No date or local area is designated, but 1974 would be a best guess on the year of release.
On the same budget exploito label as the (Electric) Firebirds / 31st Flavors comes another anonymous assortment. Though the title might encourage hopes of more proto-grunge, 'heavy' this is NOT. The vocalist sounds like a gruffer version of CCR's John Fogerty, and the bulk of the material is in similar bluesy rock'n'boogie territory. The rest is country-rock and big ballads with piano to the fore. Heave, heave, heave!
A solo artist from Houston, Texas. The second 45 comes across like a pot-smokin' cowboy - trippy lyrics with a stoned folkie vibe over laid-back guitar rock. Very cool. It has subsequently resurfaced on the vinyl comp I'm Trippin' Alone, and also appears on Psychedelic Experience, Vol. 3 (CD).
NB: (1) reissued on CD (Black Rose BR 138).
Formed by four Memphis musicians, Alamo released a decent hard rock album. Larry Raspberry was previously in The Gentrys and would later form the Highsteppers. Richard Rosebrough went on to play with the Hot Dogs and Big Star, whilst Ken Woodley later played with Don Nix and would team up again with Rosebrough on the first solo albums by Alex Chilton.
(Stephane Rebeschini/Max Waller)
NB: line-ups 'B' and 'C' as The Purple Haze, line-up 'D' as The Looking Glass
In 1983 Tim Warren unleashed Back From The Grave, Vol. 1 on a moribund world and awoke both a new and an older generation to some of the rawest, crudest sonic assaults from the mid '60s. Amongst his first selection was both sides of a killer garage-punk 45 with superbly snotty Jaggeresque vocals, by this little known group from Ohio. Cover verions by '80s garage bands followed: Yeah by Thee Fourgiven (on the Battle Of The Garages Vol. III comp, 1984) and Italy's Sick Rose (The Exploding Underground comp, 1988); No Reason To Complain by The Lyres (Lyres Lyres LP, 1986) and Mystic Eyes (Our Time To Leave LP, 1988). With further comp appearances of No Reason To Complain on the Acid Dreams Epitaph CD and Acid Dreams - The Complete 3 LP Set, and both tracks also appearing on Garage Kings (Dble LP), this rare 45 became a holy grail for garage collectors.
So who were these guys? A brief synopsis of the comprehensive history unveiled on the Norton release: - Parma, a suburb of Cleveland, Ohio, in 1964; Bruce Boehm got bitten by the Beatle bug, picked up a guitar and formed The Perceptions with drummer Tim Douglas and bassist Jeff Suveges. In 1965 he left for a steady gig with another Parma group, The Night People. Nearby neighbour Mike Pierce persuaded him to start a group revelling in the wilder sounds of the Stones, Kinks, Who and Animals. With Bill Schwark on drums, the moptop trio called themselves The Alarm Clocks. Once they began to get local gigs Boehm quit The Night People. In spring 1966 they recorded their 45 at a small Cleveland studio, SIR - 200 or so copies of the 45 eventually arrived on their personally chosen label in August 1966. They returned to SIR soon after to record gig-gettin' demos featuring raw'n'savage covers of Louie Louie, Money, It's All Over Now, Bald-Headed Woman, I'm Alright, She's About A Mover, and Route 66. When vocalist Frank Recsik joined in the summer of '67 they became known as The Purple Haze. At the end of the year Boehm quit and was replaced again by Bob Kalamasz (his successor in The Perceptions). Rick Caon (later of The Choir) joined for the last incarnation, as The Looking Glass. Subsequently Schwark and Kalamasz would team up with Bill Constable in the embryonic Damnation Of Adam Blessing.
Norton's fine twelve-track retrospective Yeah! gathers the original 45 and the aforementioned 1966 demos, plus three basement recordings from 1965 by The Perceptions - Wipe Out, I'm A Fool and Tree Stump Theme. The latter was a tribute to local heroes The Tree Stumps whose rendition of the Kinks' All Day And All Of The Night at a local shindig in February 1965 was the inspiration for Boehm, transforming his musical aspirations and setting him on the route that wound up as The Alarm Clocks (oof!).
From Kentucky, a hippy folk duo with tracks like Who's That Smokin.
Housed in a strange sleeve with a perforated silhouette of an albino gorilla, comes this album of psych soul, with various covers: Going To A Go Go, Blues Project's Wake Me Shake Me, and at least two tracks from their main influence, the Temptations: Psychedelic Shack and Cloud Nine.
An excellent fuzz garage-punker from Los Angeles' East Side, that can be appreciated at last on the Rampart Records EP along with Cannibal & The Headhunters and the Atlantics (Dionysus/Bacchus BA05, 1995). Originally compiled on the 1969 double-LP East Side Revue (Rampart 3303), the track was written by Chick Carlton, who had performed as Chick Carlton & The Majestics before turning to writing for other local acts including the Sunday Funnies and the Enchantments.
A Californian singer whose sole album was produced by Curt Boettcher and released at the same time as the Millenium Begin album. It contains the wonderfully titled A Bunch Of Us Were Sitting Around A Candle In San Francisco Getting Stoned And I Hope You're There Next Time plus Windy Wednesday, Thinking In Indian or Topanga. Some dealers compare it to Skip Spence's Oar but we haven't heard it yet.
This band were based in New Jersey from somewhere near Trenton, New Jersey, and their most popular live song was a version of the Spanish classic Malaguainia. Their album has been sadly neglected and is an excellent melodic psych/progressive cross-over item, with some similarities to Gandalf. Recorded in New York's Associated Recording Studios, the album was co-produced by Irving Spice and Max Ellen (the eccentric Jerry Samuels (aka Napoleon XIV) engineering). In spite of the goofy title, the collection of original material (a rote cover of Otis Redding's I've Been Loving You Too Long being the one exception), was diverse and surprisingly engaging. While the extended title track bogged down in Procol Harum-meets-Tolken art-rock mysticism (not a pretty combination), elsewhere the band displayed considerable versatility, capably polishing off nifty rockers (the scorching Goin' Down), Association-styled ballads (My Woman) and decent pop-rock (Faraway Man). While it wasn't the year's most consistent release, the fact it was so diverse was part of its charm. Well worth looking for and you can still find the LP at a decent price. Curiously, while Cashbox's Fred Holman's pompous and fawning liner notes credited the material to B. Bradbury, C.J. Brodowicz, L. Demski and C. Holmes, there were no performance credits.
Their guitar player later went on to form Duke Williams And The Extremes together with drummer Hank Ransom, from the Philadephia group Elizabeth. They also recorded at least one album.
(Vernon Joynson/Frederick Hoey/Scott Blackerby)
NB: (1) also released on Uni (55044) 1967. They probably released other 45s.
A bluesy outfit with some psychedelic influence. Charles Lamont also released a solo LP in 1969, A Legend In His Own Time (Uni 73076), which consists of melodic psyche/pop with orchestrations. All the songs were written by Lamont and it features a version of Love So Strong which can also be found on the Alexander's Timeless Bloozband For Sale album. Both albums were produced by Tony Cary, but Lamont's solo effort cannot be recommanded.
The second 45 was a cover of the Buddy Holly/Norman Petty classic.
(Clark Faville / Stephane Rebeschini)
Thought to be from New England, this flower-pop 45 may be of interest. Seen described as 'trippy pop-psych' - Sunshine is uplifting harmonious pop, with maybe just a psychy tinge. The flip is also pleasant pop with interesting time changes and warbling keyboards. Produced by Dody Sinclair, both sides were composed by Mike Christy and arranged by Tony Mazza, Dave Rossi and Mike Christy.
A hippy folk group with good vocals.
An octet from Norfolk, Virginia who were strongly influenced by the "San Francisco sound", especially Jefferson Airplane. Love Someone, an uptempo pop-rocker with Airplane-style vocals and heavy acidic guitar, is featured on Aliens, Psychos And Wild Things (CD).
The first 45 Come Fly With Me was a local hit. Their arrangement of Donovan's Season of The Witch adds a nightmarish atmosphere and more heavily fuzzed guitar - it lies in wait on A Fistful Of Fuzz.
(Brent Hosier/Dr.Simon Trent D.S.U./Max Waller)
From Illinois, a psych rock group with songs like Rockefeller's Blues and Uppers And Downers. After this album they met John Jeremiah and became the imaginately named Aliotta Haynes Jeremiah.
Mitch Aliotta previously played with Rotary Connection.
Their occasional drummer, Denny Seiwell, went on to play with Paul McCartney in the Wings and became a session man. In 1970, John Jeremiah also played organ on Message To The Young, one of the "psychedelized" albums by Howlin' Wolf.
As a New York City based sextet, Alive 'n Kickin' started their careers playing the city's club circuit. Their initial break came when they attracted the attention of Tommy James of Shondells fame. Impressed by the band he offered to help them record a song he'd recently written. In true indian giver form, before they could record Crystal Blue Persuasion James withdrew the offer (James and the Shondells releasing it themselves). Redeeming himself, in its place James offered the band another track titled Tighter And Tighter.
Feeling that the song was overly commercial, the band was initially reluctant to record the track. They ultimately relented recording it as a single for Roulette (James' label). With the song generating considerable attention, Roulette Records rushed the band into the studio to record a supporting album. Produced by James and Bob King, the Alive 'n Kickin' proved a minor surprise. Anyone hearing Tighter And Tighter (let along looking at the fun-in-the-sun album cover), would have justifiably concluded these guys were little more than a top-40 pop band. Wrong conclusion. Powered by Todler's tough voice (her bluesy delivery occasionally bore a startling resemblance to Joplin - check out Kentucky Fire), the set of largely original material rocked with impressive energy. While it may not have made for the year's most original set, tracks such as Junction Creek and Mississippi Mud saw the group displaying a penchant for above average blues-rock.
In 1976 Cardona, Albano and Wilson briefly reformed the band and began playing New York clubs doing top 40 covers. Sudano reappeared as a member of Brooklyn Dreams and married disco diva Donna Summers.
(Stephane Rebeschini/Scott Blackerby)
NB: (1) reissued on CD (Hidden Vision ).
A mix of gospel, Christian rock, heavy blues and psych folk with female vocals. Their albums are sought-after by some collectors now. Glenn Schwartz was previously in Pacific, Gas and Electric.
NB: (1) and (2) as Bo Allen. (3) as Bo and The Weevils
A Vidalia, Georgia artist who recorded as Beau Allen, Bo Allen and Bo And The Weevils. A borderline inclusion - his material covers a wide variety of styles taking in early '60s sounding ballads, cabaret/club sounds, teen-beat, through straight pop and rock. His choice and most relevant cuts have been compiled - I Hope You're Proud on on Psychedelic States: Georgia Vol. 1 (CD) and Kicks & Chicks (which mentions that he also put out a "best of, 8 track") and Give Me Your Love - a good garagey-pop number which sounds more like 1966 than 1970 - on The Garage Zone Vol. 1 and The Garage Zone Box Set. Of possible interest is Georgia Ground, a fine pop-rocker with flowing lead, use of wah-wah, and a tinge of country.
(Max Waller/Stephane Rebeschini)
NB: Davie Allan has confirmed that Paul Johnson wasn't really in the band but was grabbed to fill out a publicity shot. Both he and Steve Pugh did play on two released tracks however: Dance The Freddie (the flip to Moondawg '65)and I'm Looking Over A Four Leaf Clover" (the flip to Baby Ruth).
NB: (2) reissued on CD.
NB: (1), (2), (14), (15), (18) & (20) as Davie Allan. (16), (17), (19) as The Arrows. (10) unreleased. There are also two rare French EPs with picture sleeves: Apache '65/Blue Guitar/Red Roses For A Blue Lady/Indian River (Capitol EAP 60000) 1965 and Theme From The Wild Angels/Rockin' Angel/Blues Theme/Bongo Party (Capitol EAP 405043) 1967.
A mid to late sixties instrumental band from Hollywood, California. They specialised in doing a lot of soundtracks and there may have been a connection with Max Frost and The Troopers. In September 1967, Blues Theme, taken from the The Wild Angels film soundtrack reached No 37 in the U.S. charts.
Larry Brown later played with The Moon and Tony Allwine (aka Wayne Allwine) took up the long-standing role as the third official voice for "Mickey Mouse"!
In the '90s Davie Allan made at least two further albums: Fuzz Fest (Total Energy NER 3016) 1998, and Loud Loose And Savage (Dionysus ID123368), 1999. Still an amazing guitar player, with his trademark, a rich sustaining fuzz tone sound. He was inspired particularly by Duane Eddy, The Ventures' Nokie Edwards and Henry Mancini, whose songs are nearly the only covers he includes in his recent live and recorded work.
Compilation appearances have so far included: Blues Theme, Cycle-Delic and Mind Transferral on Angel Dust - Music For Movie Bikers (LP); Moonfire on Mondo Hollywood (LP); Blues Theme on Battle Of The Bands (CD), Nuggets Box (4-CD) and Songs We Taught The Fuzztones (Dble LP & Dble CD); and Glory Stompers on The Glory Stompers (LP).
For more information on Davie Allan check his website: http://www.davieallan.com/
(Max Waller / Craig Morrison / Vernon Joynson / Janine Ridgeway / Stephane Rebeschini)
Possibly two different outfits - the Verna 45 bunch called Houston home. They also recorded as the Terrible Teens, London Teens and Bad Habits - their bad habit being that they couldn't stick with one name.
Produced and written/co-written by Ted Varnick, this 45 is swingin' beat-pop with a hint of country and plenty of attitude and swagger. Ted was also in The Descendents and came from the Bronx, NY.
(Max Waller / Mike Markesich)
A cool fuzzy cover of Boyce and Hart's, Steppin' Stone and a competent stab at Simon & Garfunkel's classic on the other side. From Ruston, Louisiana, both tracks have also resurfaced on Sixties Rebellion, Vol. 14 (LP & CD).
A Los Angeles area outfit. I'll Sell My Soul is a superb moody folk-punker, whilst the flip, Burning Flask is very Byrdsy with delightful harmonies and a swaying beat. Recommended for Byrds-spotters and Dovers fans everywhere. It has yet to be established whether the Reprise 45 is by the same group.