NB. (1) reissued as Eva 12012 (1984). Now available again as an exact legal reissue on Stanton Park (SRE-001) 1992 and on CD with their 1983 re-union (Arf! Arf! AA-034). Also relevant are:- Alive Again At Andover (Arf! Arf! 007) 1983, a limited edition of 1000, capturing their 1983 reunion; and Second Wind (Arf! Arf! AA-083) 2000, which gathers together new studio and live material.
NB: (1) is a double single set featuring two new songs, the Arthur Lee tune Signed D.C. and Trying To Fool, plus two bands doing covers of previous Rising Storm tracks.
Recorded whilst the aforementioned were attending Phillips Academy, Andover, Massachusetts, the Calm Before... album was an ultra rare collectors' item prior to its reissue. It's easy to see why. The album contains fine versions of hard-rockers Don't Look Back, In The Midnight Hour and Baby Please Don't Go, along side Arthur Lee's A Message To Pretty and a number of self-penned compositions, such as the driving I'm Comin Home and slow, sensitive numbers like Frozen Laughter and The Rain Falls Down. This is an album of variation and contrast and the recent Stanton Park/Arf! Arf! reissues are recommended.
Alive Again At Andover was a reunion concert recording and is surprisingly good. Brought back together for the 15th Reunion of Andovers' Class of '67 ten of their gymnasium gig numbers are captured plus a version of Baby Please Don't Go from their first reunion stint at the Flowermarket Cafe, Boston in October '81. The original line-up is intact bar Todd Cohen whose place is filled by the ubiquitous Andy Paley. Unlike other reunion LPs which cash in on past glories this one stands up well on its own and, although these guys had done nothing in the music sphere since graduation, the spirit and fun of those heady days is reincarnated.
In 1999, the original sextet again minus Todd Cohen, but with Aram Heller (Mr. Stanton Park) bounding into the bassist role, had the chance to appear on the same bill as Boston legends The Lost and The Remains. The latter were one of the 'Storm's inspirations of course, as their cover of Don't Look Back testifies. Naturally they grabbed the opportunity with aplomb, indeed they played for free.
Despite some pre-gig nerves they proved to be the perfect openers of this historic event on Saturday 20th March at the Paradise Club in Beantown and they set the tone for what turned out to be a magical and memorable evening. Opening with their own I'm Coming Home, the half-hour set comprised many of the upbeat numbers from their LP. The Rockin' Ramrods' Bright Lit Blue Skies, Signed T.T. and Baby Please Don't Go went down very well - another original She Loved Me with its Charlie Rockwell Hammond organ solo and great vocal arrangements was outstanding. It was a performance full of fun, vibrance and enthusiasm which quickly infected and was appreciated by the audience. Having played their part, the buoyant members joined the 600+ throng with as much eagerness to await the appearances of The Lost and The Remains.
The Second Wind CD gathers together new studio material (primarily from 1992 and 1998 sessions) with live renditions of Midnight Hour and Baby Please Don't Go. Other covers are Signed D.C. and John Lee Hooker's Don't Look Back. The remainder are originals, split between strong rockers and the Storm's trademark haunting, melancholy folk-rockers.
Compilation appearances have included: Frozen Laughter on The Magic Cube (Flexi); To R.S. - Who Won't Know on New England Teen Scene, Vol. 3 (LP); A Message To Pretty on Sixties Rebellion, Vol. 8 (LP & CD); She Loved Me on The Arf! Arf! Blitzkrieg 32 Track Sampler (Dble CD); Baby Please Don't Go, Message To Pretty and Don't Look Back on Endless Journey - Phase One (LP); and Message To Pretty on Endless Journey - Phase I & II (Dble CD).
(Max Waller / Vernon Joynson)
Came out of Morristown, New Jersey. They were heavily into the British R&B scene and their live act included lots of Stones' covers, Pretty Things and Kinks. They went up to New York to record an acetate containing Take The World As It Comes and a cover of The Animals' I'm Crying. It remained unreleased at the time but their competent original Take The World As It Comes, can now be found on Back From The Grave, Vol. 5 (LP).
A quintet whose members hailed from LaSalle, Peru, Oglesby and Tonica, Illinois. In 1968 they contributed two tracks, along with five other local acts, to the sampler LP A Psychedelic Six-Pack Of Sound (LP).
The liners note that the band formed in 1965 and appeared at the Illinois State Fair in 1967, placing 9th out of 90. Certainly they provide some of the best moments on this LP, thanks to the songwriting skills of Phil Clark, although psychedelic they are not.
Little Girls is a fine '66-sounding pop-punker with a short fuzzy solo, and a solid swingin' beat that brings to mind early Creedence. The Girl Made Good is a classy minor-mooder reminiscent of The Cyrkle or The Critters.
Phil Clark remembers: "It was a stark recording setting. On a cold winter evening we set up in a 'storage room studio' located in the back of a meager storefront musical instrument shop in the town of Streator, IL. Our two songs were recorded in single takes after a ten minute warm-up using three microphones and a single track. We were in and out in less than an hour, as was the other band that was leaving as we came in. John Prey had electronics training and built what was at the time a very advanced flourescent strobe light system for our performances. We wore flourescent capes and did covers of popular psychedelic songs, Kinks and Yardbirds etc. After taking a few decades off to raise a family and teach in the public schools, I'm now writing songs again."
As you can guess, Side one is a side-long note for note cover of Arlo Guthrie's song. Why would somebody buy such a record is questionable. Side two contains some decent folk-rock tracks. Design was an exploito label, also responsible of the awful Rasput and The Sepoy Mutiny.
See Richie's Renegades.
A pop-psych 45 worthy of your attention. Things is an uptempo outing with some neat backwards guitar whilst Hour Girl is a mellow folk-psych ballad. Both sides, were written by Peter Kerezman and Things can also be heard on Fuzz Flaykes & Shakes, Vol. 1 (LP & CD). The band had come together in NYC. Pete Feller lived in Rockland County, a northern suburb; Tom Fitzpatrick was from the Boston area, attending Columbia University; Jimmy Cahn was in New Rochelle NY in Westchester County, another northern suburb; Bob Azzarello was from Northport, Long Island, suburb east of NYC, attending New York University; Peter Kerezman grew up on 161 St. and Broadway in Upper Manhattan, a few blocks from the George Washington bridge.
Peter Kerezman recalls:- "We played a lotta frat parties and some dances around Columbia University, some bars and clubs in the suburbs, and rich kid private parties. Our biggest gig was the Clairol Caravan, summer of 1967. A total of thirty-three, I think it was, free concerts w/fashion show in various parks of the five boroughs, sponsored by Clairol, Inc. If you look at a fiche (or a copy if you got one) of Time magazine for June 30, 1967, you can see a Clairol Caravan photo on page 21. Jimmy Cahn's on the right, dancing with amateur fashion model Patsy Sabline. I'm the guy with the eyepatch (car wreck) all the way on the left, bangin' on a D-21. Still got that guitar but I lost the eyepatch."
"The Decca-supplied producer was Milt Gabler, and our former manager Bob Prescott brought in his own guy, Steve Hammer to 'help out'. The record did not do very well for us, to put it mildly (less than 1,000 copies sold). I did quite a few demo sessions on bass for other folks, but nothing else was released. Me, Jimmy and Bob stuck together for quite a while but didn't achieve much due to lack of focus. I'm now the owner of a small bicycle shop in a rural community deep in southernmost Texas, still playing bass and guitar in the clubs occasionally".
NB: A further MOR harmony-pop 45, If You Let Me Make Love To You Then Why Can't I Touch You / Gettin' Into A Good Thing (Generation 113) 1969, is probably by a different act.
This pop outfit's second 45 may be of interest. Although Why is a very melodic folk ditty with music box chimes, the flip, Comin' On Back To Me is a stomping fuzz-popper with neat hooks and excellent guitar. Produced by Terry Knight, you can also hear it on Turds On A Bum Ride Vol. 5 (CD).
(Max Waller/Jeff Lemlich)
NB: (2) as River City.
This obscure Memphis group released two albums on Enterprise, the subsidiary rock label of Stax. Their sound was rather specific, with the nice guitar solos of Fuzz Foster, a gritty lead singer, a dynamic rhythm section and a prominent horn section (very irritating on some tracks). The result is a mixture of good rock, R&B, hard rock and big band sounds (!), somewhere between The Rugbys and the Memphis sound and may interest some readers.
Produced by Tim Riley and recorded at the famous Ardent Recording Studios, their first album contains some good tracks, notably Some Other Man, So Many Things, If You Can and the nine minutes of Lamp Of Love.
The engineers were all active members of the Memphis scene: John Fry (the Ardent Studios owner), Richard Rosebrough (later in Alamon and Big Star) and Terry Manning (also playing moog, ex-Avengers and Lawson and Four More).
Their second album, released under a shortened monicker, contains The Pimp Song and Roll Another Joint-Fuzz.
This one spans quite a bit of territory, musically speaking. It starts off in the garage zone with some of their tracks from 1967, but most will be standing in line for the long psych freak-out of Let Them All Excite You, that's easily on par with any of those West Coast jam bands of the time. The album features tracks (most of them previously unreleased) from 1967-1971 by this Trenton, New Jersey band. Overall, this record leans more to the later sixties stylings, some of the material like Understanding Is Hard To Come By is quite bluesy.
Four of the cuts on this album - Let Them All Excite You, Understanding Is Hard To Come By, Dolly Nighttime and Lo - were previously recorded on a Hagens studio one-sided acetate album. Two others - Holding For Me and Now were from a 1967 Capitol New York City Studios acetate.
They also went under the name of River Styx Blues Emporium.
(Vernon Joynson / Max Waller)
NB: (7) reissue.
From Buffalo, New York. There's an unconfirmed suggestion that they were previously The Mellow Brick Rode, also from Buffalo, who released one 45 in 1968 - Don't Put All Your Eggs In One Basket / Other Side Of This Life (United Artists UA 50333).
On their 1970 LP they come across as a club/covers band with occasional Vanilla Fudge mannerisms in their heavyish treatments. They tackle the Zombies' She's Not There (one of their better offerings and a minor hit), Buffalo Springfield's Mr.Soul and Rock'n'Roll Woman (credit points for good taste if not the results), Sly Stone's Dance To The Music, Love-itis (tough Rnb pop also done by The Sonics). Despite occasional heavy or fuzz guitar noises it's a patchy album - on the down side they deliver a funky brassed-up version of garageband fave I Can Only Give You Everything and an uptempo lounge-style Taste Of Honey.
(Vernon Joynson/Max Waller)
NB: (1) reissued on CD.
After Fat Mattress, Noel Redding returned to the power trio scheme he had practiced with Jimi Hendrix. This time the guitarist was Rod Richards from Rare Earth and the result is obviously not as inventive as the Experience.
Natural Resources was a subsidiary label of Tamla Motown.
Recorded by a group of students from Akron, Ohio, You Rub Me The Wrong Way is a good example of the influence of the British beat movement on mid-sixties American bands. They were previously known as the Hard Road and the Lemon-Line 45 may have been released under that name.
(Vernon Joynson / Max Waller)
Produced by Dennis Lambert and arranged by Jimmy Haskell, an obscure Californian album with male/female vocals.
This band hailed from Fresno, California. Their debut 45 is a catchy beat-folk-rocker notable for crisp upfront percussion, backed with a melodic beat ballad with some barely audible fuzz.
Beat Rocket's retrospective album contains one side of (7) studio tracks (3 unreleased) plus 7 live tracks preserved by the band's #1 fan Neil Hopper. The studio material is predominantly Invasion-inspired folk-rock, with a strong Searchers/Beau Brummels influence, occasionally topped off with fuzz. The live material includes their own Goodbye and I'll Make It Up To You, and shows off the band in meaner and rockier mood - especially on a great version of the Animals' Don't Bring Me Down, a rockin' Train Kept A Rollin', and a bluesy take of Baby Please Don't Go.
Samuelian's story and Hoppers' photos, tied up neatly by Jud Cost's notes, round off a fine package.
Compilation appearances have included: I'll Make It Up To You on Prisoners Of The Beat (LP); Goodbye, an average folk-punk effort, on 60's Punk E.P., Vol. 3 (7") and Highs In The Mid Sixties Vol. 1 (LP).
(Max Waller/Alec Palao)
A Jackson, Michigan band whose raw version of Roadrunner Baby can also be heard on Highs In The Mid-Sixties, Vol. 5 (LP). The song was made famous by Bo Diddley and also recorded by The Pretty Things. This is a very basic and raw cover version.
(Vernon Joynson / Max Waller)
From New York, this band described their music as a cross between "the Rascals, Vagrants, and Animals... a real bluesy sound". Strangely the 'A' side to their 45 is a slow smoochy affair, whilst the flip contains harmonious garage pop with guitars buried in the mix. The Brahma label was owned by George Tobin, the bands manager.
(Max Waller/Mike Dugo)