NB. All of their material, including later albums, is now available on CD.
The central figure in this band was Iggy Pop whose real name was James Jewel Osterburg. He was born on 21 April 1947 at Muskegan, Ann Arbor in Michigan. His first band was The lguanas whom he drummed and sang for. They released a cover of Bo Diddley's Mona. He met Ron Asheton and James Williamson whilst he was with The Iguanas, whom he soon left to join the Prime Movers, who for a very short while also featured Ron Asheton on bass. It was around this time that he adopted the name Iggy Pop (Iggy after The Iguanas and Pop after Jim Popp, a local junkie). His stay with The Prime Movers was a brief one and he spent most of 1966 in Chicago before returning to Michigan to form The Psychedelic Stooges (line-up (A)) in 1967. At the end of the year bassist Dave Alexander joined the band. They gigged regularly around the Michigan area and having shortened their name to simply The Stooges caught the eye of an Elektra employee who was in Detroit to sign The MC5. The Stooges were snapped up too and advanced $25,000 to record their debut album which made No. 106 in the U.S. Album Charts. Produced by John Cale, it was recorded over four days and issued in a sleeve reminiscent of The Doors first album. The orange labelled original Elektra releases are the most sought-after. Full of banal, three chord rock'n'roll the album was classic punk-rock and in retrospect years ahead of its time. Their debut 45, taken from the album, is extremely rare. Rarer still is an Italian issue which coupled I Wanna Be Your Dog with another cut from the album Ann which appeared on Vendette (VRN 34101) in a full colour picture sleeve. Equally rare is a French picture sleeve release which coupled 1969 with Real Cool Time.
Early in 1970 Steve Mackay and Bill Cheatham joined the band and they set about recording Fun House, which was produced by Don Galluci (ex-Don and The Goodtimes) whose production credits had included The Kingsmen's Louie, Louie. Many regarded the album as superb but the month it was released Dave Alexander went missing and later the band quit in August 1971 after a freeway accident. They had been disintegrating anyway amid drug-related problems that plagued many bands in this era. Their second 45 is also extremely rare, consisting of two cuts from Fun House. Rarer still is a French release with a stage shot of Iggy but there was also a mega-rare Japanese picture sleeve issue of their 45. Down On The Street can also be found on an Elektra various artists sampler, Garden Of Delights, which came out in 1971. After the split Iggy moved down to Florida where he improved his golf and took a job cutting lawns and it was a chance meeting with David Bowie in a New York bar which led to the band's reformation, at Bowie's instigation, for a final fling. Line-up F was signed to his management company Mainman and flown over to England to record a two album deal with CBS. However, Tony De Fries (Bowie's manager) considered most of their initial output too violent to be associated with Bowie and most of it was scrapped at his insistence. Eventually the album was released but it was disappointing overall. It did however, make No. 182 in the Album Charts. Search And Destroy, one of the few surviving tracks from their first session, also found its way onto a very rare 45 with Shake Appeal (which was a modified version of Tight Pants also from the first session). The second projected album never materialised because of differences of opinion between management and the band. De Fries then proceeded to sack Williamson because of the latter's drug problem and after a U.S. tour which ended in violence at two gigs in Detroit The Stooges split from Mainman and later disbanded. One of the shows, recorded on cassette, was later issued as Metallic K 0. (Skydog SGl 5 008) in France in 1976. A live version of 1969 (a song from their first album), recorded at the 1970 Cincinatti Pop Festival, later appeared on the 1977 Michigan Rocks compilation, and two further tracks from this performance appeared on a bootleg single, TV Eye/I Feel Alright.
The Stooges were an important influence on the 'punk-rock' phenomena of the late sixties and in 1977 their first three albums were reissued in the U.K. and Metallic KO. got a U.S. release. The French label New Rose's Fan Club subsidiary released six tracks that Iggy and The Stooges had recorded as studio demos after the failure of Raw Power. 1977 also saw the release of Bomp (BLP 4001) in the U.S. and Radar (RAD 2) in the U.K. of the Kill City album, which had actually been recorded back in 1975 when journalist Bob Edwards and songwriter Jimmy Webb pooled their resources to bring lggy Pop, James Williamson and Scott Thurston together to record it. Also of note is Rubber Legs (Fan Club FC 037) issued in France in 1987 along with a free 45. The album was a collection of previously unreleased studio material.
After their split back in 1973 Iggy Pop enjoyed a reasonably successful solo career, Williamson became a recording engineer in LA and Ron Asheton formed a short-lived U.S. band called The New Order before joining Destroy All Monsters with various MC5 members.
From Oregon, a group of interest for 'B' side, an organ driven pop-garage song with a psych guitar break. The 'A' side is a slow pop version of the Everly Brothers track.
A rarely seen album by the former organist of The Vagrants.
Stories were formed after Michael Brown had left the Left Banke and Montage. After two album, he left Stories, who disbanded after one further album. Ian Lloyd then went solo, Bryan Madey would play with the Earl Slick Band and Stephen Love went on to join Rick Nelson and later the New Riders Of The Purple Sage.
At least one of their 45s charted with Brother Louie reaching No. 1 in the Billboard charts in September 1973.
(Stephane Rebeschini/Tesla Coil)
An obscure New Jersey outfit. Cry With Me is notable for it's soulful vocals, and 'flea-farting' fuzz guitar.
Chinnock got quite ill at age 19 and after being away from the band for nearly six months the band decided they needed a new guitar player. Chinnock's replacement was a guy named Bruce Springsteen.... the band became the "E Street Band".
Bill Chinnock later had a country solo career in the '70s. He now lives in Maine, producing films and still performs once or twice a year to sellout crowds at small (600 or so) venues.
(Max Waller / Stephane Rebeschini / Timothy Constantine)
A weird album mixing baroque psych and avant-garde styles. Still to attract the attention of collectors.
NB: (1) Reissued on CD (Collectables COL-CD-0607) 1995.
From Charlotte in North Carolina. Apart from their original Just A Toy we have more competent beat and Brit Invasion covers that don't quite take off. Slightly more inspiring than label-mates The Starliters, this outfit do engage in some charming garagey folk-rock with a decent version of The Byrds' It Won't Be Long. They tackle C.C. Rider with verve but they also dabble in soul and ballads where their vocal shortcomings are most revealed. This is still one of the better Justice offerings - just don't expect a goldpan of nuggets.
A Detroit, Michigan outfit.
NB: (1) reissued on Line (1966). There's also a CD I Want Candy: The Best Of The Strangeloves 1995.
NB: There are also for French EPs with PS on Barclay and Atlantic. With The McCoys, their records were used to dance "le monkiss", a short-lived craze.
From Brooklyn, New York. As recording artists they are best known for their pulsating versions of I Want Candy (which had been a hit for Brian Poole and The Tremeloes in the UK) and Night Time. Both are fine rockers.
The Strangeloves also recorded under the name The Merry Dragons and Sheep. Under the latter monicker they also enjoyed a No. 58 U.S. hit with Hide And Seek in 1966, whilst a later effort I Feel Good made No. 130. They're also rumoured to have recorded a 45 as The Beach-Nuts.
The band also recorded a version of Hang On Sloopy which they produced for one of their big discoveries - The McCoys. Other production credits by the trio included The Angels' My Boyfriend's Back (which had been a No. 1 for this New Jersey-based female pop trio back in 1963.
Richard Gottehrer later became a partner in Sire Records, which the band helped to form, producing The Go-Go's first two albums and Blondie's debut. Jerry Goldstein's production credits included The Druids Of Stonehenge, Eric Burdon and War and Tim Buckley's Greetings From L.A.. His Far Out Productions company were based in L.A. from 1969.
Later in 1974, basing themselves in New York. they issued an album as The Strange Brothers.
Compilation appearances have included: Night Time and I Want Candy on Nuggets Box (4-CD); I Want Candy on Nuggets From Nuggets (CD), Frat Rock! The Greatest Rock N Roll Party Tunes Of All Time and Wild Thing; Night Time on Nuggets - Original Artyfacts From The First Psychedelic Era 1965-1968 (Dble LP); I Want Candy and Hang On Sloopy (prev. unreleased) on Roots Of S.O.B. Vol. 2.
(Vernon Joynson/Stephane Rebeschini)
Out of Tulsa, in Oklahoma, they were the State's only all girl band to record a disc in the 1960s. The disc, a raw garage recording, actually details their full line-up.
Probably from the Los Angeles area, this 45 seems to have been their sole vinyl venture. Tell Me has resurfaced on the Everywhere Chainsaw Sound (LP) compilation, a decent cover of a Stones' ditty. The flip is eminently forgetable!
From Newton, Massachusetts. The B side, described as 'basic garage' in Aram Heller's 'Till The Stroke Of Dawn', appears on the The Essential Pebbles Collection, Vol. 1 (Dble CD) and Teenage Shutdown, Vol. 12 (LP & CD).
Originating from San Diego, these Strangers were formed by Joel Scott Hill and were mainly a club band. The first line-up featured a horn player and gigged extensively in San Diego, Los Angeles, Palm Springs and Arizona. They did some sessions in 1963 for Monogram which were shelved due to the beginning of the British Invasion. In 1964 they played in San Diego on the same bill as The Rolling Stones and the Outcasts (lead by a young Bob Mosley). But their next recording session was shelved too. In 1965, wearing black leather suits, they became the Invaders. That didn't last long and, as a trio (Scott Hill, Kellogg, Kirby), they returned to Los Angeles where they became the resident group of a new club, The Action, sharing the stage with the Mothers Of Invention. For a while they also worked with P.J. Proby and Jim Ford to record demos used by the publishing department of Liberty to sell their songs to other artists, notably Elvis Presley.
In 1966, Kellogg left and was briefly replaced by a young Eddie Hoh (from Chicago, pre Modern Folk Quartet). Their next drummer was John Barbata, from San Luis, and soon after that Kirby was replaced by Bob Mosley. The group was now known as the Joel Scott Hill Trio and often played with Joni Lyman, a L.A singer who had cut some singles produced by Jack Nitzsche.
They then moved to San Francisco and reinforced their line-up with Lee Michaels, a school friend of Barbata, on organ.
When they returned to Los Angeles in 1967 to play at The Action again, Scott Hill fell ill with pneumonia and the group disbanded. Barbata joined The Turtles, Michaels went solo, Joni Lyman joined the Nooney Rickett Band and Mosley formed Moby Grape.
In 1968, Scott Hill joined TLC (Tender Loving Care) with Tommy Poole on bass, Buddy Deal on sax and Bob Newkirk, the drummer of the first Moby Grape line-up. After playing at a San Francisco topless club, TLC returned to Los Angeles, back in the club circuit (The Trip, the Haunted House), and cut five tracks with the famous producer Nick Venet, but, once again, the session was shelved. The group broke up and Scott Hill formed The Friendly Grin, another club band but unfortunately broke his hand. In February 1969, he created a new trio, Jerome, with Barbata, who had left The Turtles, and Tony De La Barreda, (Canned Heat), who was soon replaced by Chris Ethridge who had just left the Flying Burrito Brothers. Jerome played live with Delaney and Bonnie and soon became L.A. Getaway.
(Stephane Rebeschini/Ed Worcester)
A female hippie singer, her single was co-written and produced by Jerry Goldstein. The Flower Children has been compiled on the Hippie Goddesses CD.
Marcia Strassman later pursued a career as a TV actress.
NB: (1) reissued on CD in Japan (Universal MVCE 22007). (2) reissued on CD in Japan (Universal MVCE 22008). (3) reissued on CD in Japan (Universal MVCE 22009). (4) reissued on CD in Japan (Universal MVCE 22010). There's also a CD compilation on One Way, Anthology (22083) and another: Strawberries Mean Love (Big Beat WIK 56) 1987. The later CD version featuring eight additional tracks.
NB: (8) 'A' side from the musical 'Hair'.
This Glendale, California-based band was originally known as the Irridescents, a surf combo with one 45 in 1963, and later as Thee Sixpence who issued several 45s under this name. The name change came with the release of the 45 Incense And Peppermints because of other similarly-named groups. This was picked up by UNI and the rest is history as they say. Strawberry Alarm Clock were very much a product of their era and their commercial brand of psychedelia was more acceptable to the general public than that of the more interesting underground bands. Like The Seeds they were very much geared to the flower power scene, and both bands were featured in a cult movie of that era, Psych-Out. One advantage they possessed over The Seeds was their catchy name, although later with the demise of flower power, this would prove to be more of a disadvantage. Efforts the band made to tailor themselves a 'psychedelic' image are evident from the apparel they wore on the front cover of their best album Incense and Peppermints, which was released on Pye (28106) in the UK. Aside from the ultra-commercial title track, this contained a number of prominently instrumental quasi-psychedelic jams, with Mark Weitz's organ usually to the fore.
Line-up 'A' above includes two bass players, of which Gary Lovetro was the original, being in both Thee Sixpence and Strawberry Alarm Clock. In mid-1967 after Incense had started to climb, their manager Bill Holmes and UNI decided to make an album. George Bunnell was drafted in to the sessions because of his song writing abilities, along with his best friend Steve Bartek (later in Oingo Boingo). George was friends with Randy Seol and that is how he was introduced into the band (they were both in Waterfyrd Traene prior to the Strawberry Alarm Clock). George joined the group and more than half of the first album's songs were Bunnell/Bartek compositions. Steve couldn't however join the band as he was still in high school and his parents wouldn't let him travel. Because George was a great song writer and a great bass player by the end of 1967 Gary Lovetro was fired.
Further albums and more hits followed before The Strawberry Alarm Clock became a victim of the changing times. Ed King later played with Lynryd Skynyrd. A 1981 line-up was reported gigging around California. A good introduction to the band is the 1987 compilation Strawberries Mean Love.
After the World In A Sea Shell album was released a fellow by the name of Marty Katin came aboard on drums for about four months. He was never on any recordings but was an "official" member of the band and toured nationally with them. At the same time as Marty joined, Jimmy Pitman (ex-The Nightcrawlers) was recruited on guitar with Ed King movin temporarily onto bass. Marty was replaced shortly before recording commenced on the Good Morning Starshine LP by former Sixpence/Strawberry Alarm Clock member, Gene Gunnels (who had previously drummed on the Incense And Peppermints 45 A-Side only!).
Original Beauchemins songwriter/lead vocalist Paul Marshall later joined The Strawberry Alarm Clock, circa '69, around the time of their final UNI album, Good Morning Starshine. He also appeared during a party scene in Russ Meyers' 'Beyond The Valley Of The Dolls' singing his self-penned Girl From The City, later issued on the Beyond The Valley Of The Dolls soundtrack LP.
We asked Paul, what working on this cult film was like:- "It was a lot like working on any movie set as an actor or sideline musician. We had ridiculously early call times. I seem to remember having to be on the Fox lot at 6:00 A.M. We had our own trailer into which we'd pile our belongings and head for the breakfast buffet or the makeup trailer or the wardrobe department. That whole process took several hours. After we were ready for our big scene, we'd wait around in the trailer or on the set. If we were in the trailer, at least two of us were getting semi-obliterated on one of a number of popular mind altering substances. It's amazing I don't look more wiped out in my close-up. If we were on the set, we were often standing on the stage for hours while they'd do lights and blocking and then shoot our main scenes and our background scenes."
"The set was the party at the mansion, so all the actors and extras that were in that scene were around all the time. It was a pretty nutty collection of characters, so much so that the party in the movie is not an inaccurate portrayal of the assemblage. The stars were pretty nice to us too, as was Russ Meyer. The sweetest of all was Dolly Read, who I'd love to see again sometime. Lee had better social skills than I did, and he shmoozed up Dolly and everybody else. I tried to do a good job, whatever that meant, and just focused on being where I was supposed to be. I probably gained 5 lbs that week just from the food. On movie shoots, there is always food. And then you go to lunch in the commissary. I remember seeing Charles Nelson Reilly in the commissary every day. So basically it was: eat, get high, and wait around. Not very thrilling. I guess it was different from most movies at that time in that there were more scantily clad, large busted starlets than usual, but except for the extra who dances through the party in a flesh colored body suit, I was not presented with any truly X-rated sights."
"Around 6:00 p.m. they'd call it a wrap and we'd make our way back home and try to get our lives in order and get some sleep and do it again the next day. We got an invitation to Russ Meyer's wedding after the movie was over. We attended and were seated at a table with Hugh Hefner and Barbi Benton. That was fun."
Compilaton coverage has so far included: Incense And Peppermints on Best Of '60s Psychedelic Rock (CD), Nuggets, Vol. 9 (LP), Nuggets Box (4-CD), Nuggets From Nuggets (CD), Psychedelic Visions (CD), Even More Nuggets (CD) and Excerpts From Nuggets (CD; Tomorrow on Nuggets Vol. 5 (LP); Nightmare Of Percussion on Baubles - Down To Middle Earth; Girl From The City and I'm Comin' Home on Beyond The Valley Of The Dolls (LP); In Relation (as by 'Strawberry Sac') on Mindblowing Encounters Of The Purple Kind (LP); a '70s re-recording of Incense.. appears on Psychotic Reactions (a compilation LP on U.K. budget label Topline, not the Planet X comp); and Black Butter on Electic Psychedelic Sitar Headshrinkers Vol. 3 CD.
(Max Waller/Vernon Joynson/Jeff Ziemer w/thanks to Paul Marshall)