Early copies of this 45 were released on red vinyl. The 'A' side, Walk, was a great dance number with fine fuzztone guitar and a great pulsating beat.
From Alamo City, San Antonio they were originally known as The Centurys and later became Giant Smiling Dog but did not record under that name.
From Milwaukee, Wisconsin, this late '60s early '70s band, issued at least one single and opened for a bunch of big acts who played the Milwaukee Arena at that time including The Association. They had a very First Edition / Association / Left Banke sound. Fantastic breezy paisley pop band full of harmonies!
Kerry Narf recalls that he sang on some sessions with Tony's Tigers.
(Jim Kasten / Max Waller/Gary Myers)
Themes for a syndicated TV kiddie show. The flip is a different largely instrumental version credited to 'The Males'. With great vocals and cool organ, this good-timey kids 45 was recorded in Chicago, musicians included a young Ted Nugent!
(Barry Margolis/Max Waller)
Obscure Stones-inspired teen-punk from Brecksville and Boston Heights, Ohio, two communities between Cleveland and Akron. Originally known as Panics, they had to change their name to The Panicks to avoid confusion with another act. Consequently their first 45 has a pasted on "Panicks" tag over their original monicker. They only cut the two 45s listed.
(George Gell/Mike McKay/Max Waller)
Richmond, Virginia was home to this particular Panics. Both sides were penned by Bill Lyell and Bill Larue and performed in a lively and enthusiastic British Invasion - beat style with Beatlesque harmonies.
Produced by Alan Lorber, Papa Nebo was formed by Brendan Harkin, who had previously recorded with Bamboo. Their only album went totally unnoticed but the musicians kept working together and, in 1975, Packer, Allen, Harkin and Mintzer formed Free Beer for three albums of mainstream rock on Southwind and RCA. In 1976, Harkin left them to front Starz, an awful hard rock group a la Kiss (1976/79) and Mintzer became a session man.
L.A. area harmony-pop with flower - power lyrics about caterpillars and butterflies, produced and arranged by Tandyn Almer and Eddie Hodges. Ultimately rather messy with constant interjections of various different instruments and the odd effects in an attempt to turn it into 'psych' - it doesn't really work. The flip, too, is left field harmony pop.
(Max Waller/Stephane Rebeschini)
NB: (1) reissued (Antar 3) 1986 in new sleeve. Later reissued in original sleeve 2002.
A varied album of Eastern-style psychedelia but with some jazz influence too. It's become a minor collectors' item and the reissue in 1986 is worth a listen. The group were from the New York area.
Compilation appearances include: I Hide on Pepperisms Around The Globe (LP & CD); and Man Do You on Electric Psychedelic Sitar Headswirlers Vol. 2 (CD).
(Vernon Joynson / Max Waller)
A quartet from Hollywood perform two mid-sixties harmony teen-pop numbers. The 45 comes enveloped in an orange-brown open-out cover that contains a pic and info on the boys. "Nice" pop and definitely not garage, despite being touted as such.
An intro and outro nicked off the Cosmic Sounds Zodiac sandwiches a heavy and fuzzy acid-rock belter by this unknown band. The flip is a tedious ballad about war, sacrifice and death.
This Los Angeles-based pop trio made the Top 20 with their debut recording Sunshine Girl, which had a light, summery feel which epitomised the Summer of peace and love. Comprised of aspiring actors for the most part rather than serious musicians they never got beyond the studio and this meant they never built up much of a following. The band was master-minded by Jerry Riopelle, who wrote, arranged and produced their music and recorded solo albums in the 1970s. The group recorded an album that was never released.
Jerry Riopelle also worked with The Black Sheep.
Actor Stuart Margolin (later "Angel" in the Rockford Files) was apparently also a member.
From Lowell, Massachusetts. Never is a late sixties rock - prog ballad that's melodic but doesn't quite gel. Watch Out is a heavyish rocker with some inventive and intense guitar effects that can be sampled on An Overdose Of Heavy Psych (CD).
A different outfit, reported to be from Michigan. This is very good anthemic pop - rock with a U.K. Nirvana feel thanks to some melodic piano runs and slightly drippy but phased vocals. However, it's not all soft 'n' sweetness - a superb guitar break erupts mid-song which reappears on the outro. This should appeal to fans of Rubble-type psych. The flip remains unheard as I've only managed to obtain the double 'A' side promo version of this 45.
HIP Records were a division of Stax Records aimed at the white "pop" market. They also released the Southwest F.O.B. album. Paris Pilot's sole album was produced, arranged and engineered in Memphis by Don Nix (ex-Mar-Kays), who also co-wrote most of the songs and took the photographs on the sleeve! The four other members are not credited.
Musically interesting, it's a kind of lightweight Vanilla Fudge with a cover of The Beat Goes On, lots of heavy organ, guitar and drums and good vocals. Don't Let It was cowritten by Nix and Delaney Bramlett, and Shades Of Doubt by Don Preston and Joe Cooper, two members of Leon Russell's "Oklahoma Maffia".
Don Nix would later become a solo artist, a friend of Leon Russell and George Harrison and a successful producer (Beck, Bogart & Appice, Lonnie Mack, Albert King, Variations...).
Now read Ron Hall's guide to the Memphis scene, 'Playing For A Piece Of The Door' (publ. 2001 by Shangri-La Projects, ISBN 0-9668575-1-8). Briefly, a Memphis group called Load Of Mischief was trying to make an LP, when Don Nix was brought in and took over (no, he hijacked) the project. He didn't like the band's name... so he changed it; he didn't like the material so he told them to learn HIS songs; he put himself on vocals on some tracks; as mentioned above he took pics and didn't bother to credit any of the real band members. Umm, excuse me, why did Nix not just put it out as his first solo LP called "My Big Ego Trip", huh? Well, the album didn't sell and the band had disassociated themselves from it (no surprises there); they never played as Paris Pilot and lasted just one more year.
(Stephane Rebeschini/Max Waller/Ron Hall)
NB: (1) issued in the U.K. on Liberty (LBS 83374) 1970 and in France on America (30 AM 6041). Reissued on CD and LP by Akarma (AK 037) 1999.
This is an excellent, underrated local Bay Area hard rock/blues rock power trio. Their album is recently beginning to gain the recognition of some collectors in Europe. It's likely that Gary Wagner was connected to the Chosen Few, as he is credited as songwriter on their North Beach (1003) 45.
(Clark Faville / Max Waller)
A late sixties Lansing, Illinois act. The Trip, a classic piece of punk dementia with driving organ, lots of fuzz, swirling sound effects and psychedelic lyrics like: 'You Say There's No Beginning/I Say You're Wrong/This Trip Is Never-Ending/It Won't Be Long', can now be heard on Beyond The Calico Wall (LP & CD).
George Eder recalls:- "The band arose from the ashes of my first band, The U.S. Males (Lansing, IL '65-'67). Because we had gone through some personnel changes, we needed a new name. I lived on Park Ave in Lansing IL. and one of the playgrounds of the local grade school was on my block. We'd always meet on the Park Ave. playground, so that's how I got the name."
"In the year and a half we were together ('67 - '69), we went through several bass players, but none stuck so I'd play bass live and in the studio as well a rhythm guitar the on recordings."
"We recorded The Trip in Lansing, MI in an old theatre that a lot of bands were using in those days. The Rotary Connection had just wrapped their recording so the vibe was in the room. There was a Hammond B3 for Mike so we put it on the record. The majority of the psychedelic sounds were added after the fact by our manager and the studio engineer."
Mike Jones wrote the 'A' side, I Know whilst I wrote The Trip. After the session, Paul Kovak had to leave the band due to parental pressure, and another ex-U.S. Males member Doug Maxeiner was rehired. Most of the 45s were used by their manager, who took them to radio stations on the mid-west and east coast, the remainder being distributed between the band members.
The U.S. Males also recorded an earlier 45, She Cried with to quote George: "a truly bad original on the B side, we had about 100 copies made and gave them to all our friends."
George:- "My name is now George Michael. I was born George Eder but changed my name legally in '79 for professional reasons. What a mistake that turned out to be... That kid from the UK has ruined my name (at least in CA)!"
(Vernon Joynson w/thanks to George Michael)
NB: plus "Authentic Folk Choir", strings, woodwinds, accordion, brass, balalaikas...
NB: (1) a mono pressing also exists (W 1727).
Arranger, songwriter, pianist, singer, producer, Van Dyke Parks was a central figure on the L.A. scene between 1965 and 1975. His song High Coin was covered by The Charlatans and The West Coast Pop Art Experimental Band. He is credited on records by The Beau Brummels, Harper's Bizarre, Randy Newman, Gentle Soul, Phil Ochs and Ry Cooder. He also spent eight months working with Brian Wilson on the successor to Pet Sounds.
Produced by Lenny Waronker, his first solo album, Song Cycle, was releasd in 1967 and is a landmark in pop experiment. It was a also a total financial disaster. Both music and lyrics are bristled with musical puns that allude to everything, from Debussy to the Beatles. You may like it if you appreciate the Neon Philarmonic, the Beach Boys and Left Banke. You may also find it pretentious and boring!
Apart from his studio work and his music for commercials, Van Dyke Parks has kept on recording solo albums from time to time. He is still active and released a live album in 1998.
Parliament was in fact another moniker for George Clinton and the musicians of Funkadelic. They played a powerful mix of psych and funk, maybe a bit more soulish than Funkadelic. After their first album, which is now rare and sought after, Clinton reused this name after 1974 for a long series of funk albums on Casablanca.
NB: (1) reissued on vinyl and CD (Akarma ).
Paul Parrish's album was recorded at Tera Shirma Studios in Detroit and features slight 'loner' vibes. The very simple - but effective- drums and vocals are the most interesting aspects of the album, with English Sparrows, Walking In The Forest (Of My Mind), Dialogue Of Wind and Lover being the most interesting tracks on side one, which also concludes with a laid back, melodic cover version of the Beatles' You've Got To Hide Your Love Away. The other three songs are filled with fragile vocals and folky guitars backed with nice, psych orchestrations. Most of side two is not of the same quality but on Flowers In The Park a sparkling magic atmosphere can be heard. Not bad!
The 45, which is taken from the album features orchestrated folk-pop on the 'A' side, with lots of phasing and fuzzy effects, like a psychedelic pop version of Bob Lind. Pure confection but enjoyable. The flip is more melodic Lind-esque folk-pop with harpsichord. Arranged and conducted by Mike Theodore and Dennis Coffey (aka Theo-Coff Invasion).
(Jeroen Tenkink / Max Waller)
They hailed from San Francisco. The flip can also be heard on Mindrocker, Vol. 12 (LP).
An interesting mix of acoustic folk and fuzz guitar psych with tracks like Groovy & Linda.
The above 45 was the sole vinyl offering from this obscure outfit thought to have come from Florida. The 'A' side was a sort of psychedelic/garage grinder which can also be heard on Psychedelic Unknowns, Vol. 4 (LP & CD). The same year it was redone with melodic harmonies by San Jose's E-Types who achieved a minor hit with the song in Northern California.
Produced by Dick Glasser for a small californian label, this rare and little known album contains eleven short cuts with keyboards-driven tracks like Dr. Bernstein's Dream and Clock Upon The Sky. Their material, rather jazzy in places, was inspired by the Chinese I Ching and written by Ross and Fineman. Competently arranged and with some thrilling time/measure changes plus great vocal parts, Touch And Go arguably dominates the record. The title track too, is in the same excellent vein and shows considerable musical wit and feeling. At times The Association come to mind, but unfortunately there's just a shade too much filler. Still there's room for another outstanding feature: the very cool atmosphere of I'd Be Lying and the heavy fuzz on At The Head Of The List. Uneven but a nice listen nonetheless.
The front sleeve shows a picture of the group bare chested with a dove (it was probably to dangerous to picture an hawk too!).
Herschel Freeman also played with the Sir Douglas Quintet on their 1+1+1=4 album.
(Stephane Rebeschini/Marcel Koopman)
From Sherman, Texas, this 45 was a Huey P. Meaux production. The 'A' side, Lively One, is a real stomper with sneering vocals and good harmonica.
Compilation appearances have included: Lively One on Sixties Archive Vol. 2 (CD), Texas Punk From The '60s (LP) and Teenage Shutdown, Vol. 4 (LP & CD); and You've Got Me Hurtin' on Ho-Dad Hootenanny (LP).
NB: (2) as Charlie Romans.
Also known as Charlie Romans and The Pastels this band released two 45s on local Houston labels and recorded two tracks - Yeah I Wanna Know and Weird Sounds (their best effort), both of which have subsequently appeared on Houston Hallucinations (LP).
An outfit called Charlie Romans 7th Plane who released one 45, There's A Place/? on Spar (305) may have been related to this project.
An Anglophile-influenced outfit from Pasco, Washington. Two members later went on to The Rock-N-Souls. Why Don't You Love Me? features a vocalist with a fake British accent, a practice which was not uncommon in the British invasion era. A pretty ordinary song, though.
(Max Waller / George Gell)
This was the work of a different and unknown Michigan group, whose label was based in Portage Michigan.
A Southern California outfit. Both sides of their 45 can also be heard on Mindrocker, Vol. 13 (LP). This duo would team up with Original Sound's engineer and Music Machine technical whizzo Brian Ross to produce a rather odd 45 under the name Mad Andy's Twist Combo.
Produced by Gilligan and Hutch Davie (who co-wrote both songs with R. Alfred), a rather interesting single of folk rock with funny lyrics and a "wall of sound" production including harmonica, harpsichord, guitar, horns, male and female vocals...
RSVP was a small label from New York, which also released Faine Jade's classic Introspection LP.
A New York City outfit on the same label that brought us The Household Sponge. The 'A' side is a pleasant midlempo Beatlesque pop effort whilst the flip is an insistent minor-mood ballad. Not for yer fuzz'n'snarl brigade - this will appeal to those who dig Zombies, Choir, etc.