30 October, 2007

LARRY & The BLUE NOTES - Night Of The Phantom

As Halloween is upon us once again here's some aural garage action of my favourite 60s punk 'horror' tune. This is what the liners of 'Back From the Grave' - Volume 1 said about the song...

A truly cryptic song about an evil soul who cuts in on a teen couple's fun at the local lovers lane. these Fort Worth legends started off their recording careers in '63 but did not cut anything until '65, when they cut 'Night Of The Sadist'. This was to be revealed on TIRIS, but their producer freaked out and had them overdub 'Phantom', cuz 'Sadist' seemed a little too touchy for squares.

29 October, 2007


THE TROGGS - 'With A Girl Like You' / 'I Want You' (Fontana 278 128 YF) July 1966

This 45 was the follow up to 'Wild Thing' that was a worldwide hit. So it can be safely assumed that our heroes were at the height of their fame. So it's always puzzled me why the hell they chose to have a photo shoot wearing their 'Christmas' jumpers?!? That gear just ain't rock and roll....ha ha ha....Oh well, just as well that the Troggs out punked anyone on the planet back in '66.

'With A Girl Like You' written by Presley went to Number 1 in England and probably sold more copies on the strength of the previous hit. It's got the trademark Reg Presley half sung half spoken vocals with a simple yet effective melody. Sounds to me like they were just after a solid commercial follow up to 'Wild Thing'. Fortunately it worked, although I much prefer the punky flip.

'I Want You' starts with a menacing plodding beat with Reg saying he 'Wants You' and 'Needs You'. This guy really needs some girl action judging by the primitive sounds from his vocal chords. How could any girl resist Reg Presley in this mood? And colouring the plodding primal beat are some killer guitar breaks. This is such a cool punker. Made sense that their US counterparts MC5 covered it.

The picture sleeve is the Dutch release..

21 October, 2007


The CALLIOPE - a discography

'Ryan 5' / 'I'll Take It Back' (Epic 10372) 1968
'Friends Of Mrs Fisher' / 'We've Made It' (Shamley 44013) 1969
'Clear Mud' / 'Wiser' (Shamley 44020) 1969 also released in the UK on Uni 514 on 16/01/70.

I'm very much interested to know anything about this band that I virtually know nothing about. My understanding is that they hailed from California. The u-spaces group pin point their location to the Santa Barbara area. Don't know if this is correct though?

Calliope released three 45s and all sides are good to great psychedelic rock with male/female vocals. I'd place their overall sound with other cool psychedelic bands such as The Neighborhood Children and Yankee Dollar. If you dig those groups you'll also dig Calliope. By the way this band should not be confused with New Jersey's Calliope who released an LP on Buddah titled 'Steamed'.

All six sides of the groovy Calliope were written by A.J. Andron (that's all I've got to go on) and the Shamley records were produced by Brian Ross. I was most surprised to know that their final 45 was released in the UK in January 1970. The San Francisco hippie vibes of 'Clear Mud' and 'Wiser' were no doubt completely lost on the English. By 1970 the English music scene had moved onto heavy rock and prog. I very much doubt this 45 would ever have been played on the radio unless John Peel gave it a spin.
If anyone knows anything about Calliope get in touch.......

13 October, 2007


The MERRY-GO-ROUND - The Merry-Go-Round (A&M Records LP-132) Sept 1967

The Pop Gods shine brightly on The Merry-Go-Round's only album. If you don't have this LP or the Definitive collection put out by Rev-Ola Records a few years back you're missing out.
It should be noted that this record contained no outside material. Every song was a band original with Emitt Rhodes taking the bulk of the songwriting credit. This was uncommon for new bands in the mid 60s.

Rev-Ola elected to go with the stereo mixes for their collection. My LP is the mono mix.

ROYAL NONESUCH - Why Should I Care

THE ROYAL NONESUCH - 'Why Should I Care' / 'Two Can Play That Game' (Get Hip GH-121) 1990

I've finally decided it was time to give their second brilliant record some publicity and a chance for you to hear my favourite neo folk punker. 'Why Should I Care?' makes my mind hurt because it's so good.
I'm a sucker for jangle and a memorable tune and guess what?.... Yes, 'Why Should I Care?' is just perfect.

When i first heard it I thought of The Monkees, then the more I kept playing it I've thought that it sounds like one of those cool Texan folk janglers by The Briks or The Chessmen. But now I just think it's The Royal Nonesuch. Whatever, all I know is that Jon McKinney wrote a gem.

I dig the lines:

'Your love's a road that took me nowhere,
Your love's a mirror on the wall,
When I need you, you leave me lonely,
You make me sad and that's not all.'

The other side 'Two Can Play That Game' is more of a garage punk tune with incessant maracas, harmonica and a cool guitar break.
I don't think that many Royal Nonesuch 45s are around anymore. If you see any for sale my advice is to BUY!

Bez Petefish (lead guitar)
John Marshall (drums, vocals)
Walt Ressmeyer (bass)
'Mad' Jon McKinney (guitar)


THE ROYAL NONESUCH - 'Something Strange' / 'You Need Love' (Unlimited Productions UP-45-2) 1987

The Royal Nonesuch are without doubt one of my favourite neo garage bands. I'm pleased in a way that they only released two 45s because over those four single sides their greatness remains intact. They did not record any mediocrity.

As soon as the needle hits the vinyl you know you're in for a treat with 'Something Strange'. The backwards tape intro is cool and unlike anything the mid 80s garage bands were doing. After the slow intro, the song blasts off into 60s style punk attitude with fuzz and a massive guitar break lasting about 5 seconds (and that prog rock lovers is all you need!!).

According to guitarist Jon McKinney this song was recorded in August 1985 at Ralph Plank's studio in Springfield, MO. Four versions of 'Something Strange' were recorded and they plumped for the third take as the single. One of the takes featured a farfisa organ and it would be interesting to hear this version if the tape still exists.

The flip 'You Need Love' is a cover of the classic Danny and the Counts no hit wonder. It's a classy version and note perfect with throbbing fuzz and garage guitar leads. This version was recorded by The Royal Nonesuch on the 2nd September 1986 at Max Evan's Rainbow Studio in Kansas City, MO. According to Jon, it was recorded in one take with no over dubs.

This record is one of the best 80s garage punk 45s to own but these days it's a rare item and you may have trouble tracking it down. The Royal Nonesuch RULE!

11 October, 2007



Jon McKinney kindly sent me this picture of himself and Walt. This was taken at The Royal Nonesuch gig at NYC Tramps 1986.

Here's a demo cassette of 'Something Strange'. This song was aired on a couple of local Springfield radio stations. This was sent out before the 45 vinyl release.

From this playlist I was interested in The Royal Nonesuch song 'Just Can't Stay'. As far as I know this song was never recorded unless it's in circulation in demo form. Does anyone have any live tapes of The Royal Nonesuch? Did anyone see them perform live and wish to comment on their prowess? I'd be interested to know....

07 October, 2007

LARRY and the PAPER PROPHETS - Can't Sit Around

LARRY and the PAPER PROPHETS - 'Can't Sit Around' / 'The Only Thing' (Epic 5-10186) 1967

This 45 has been one of my favourite garage rockers for years but who were Larry and the Paper Prophets? Were they a real band or a bunch of studio musicians crankin' out a couple of tunes with some free studio time? If you know the details let me know...thanks

'Can't Sit Around' is a fast paced mover with fuzzy punk leads. This song was co written by Al Lawrence who was the singer with Teddy and the Pandas. He also produced both sides of the disc.

'Well I can't sit around all day and wait for you,
There's too many livin' things I gotta do.
Now I want you to come along, you know it's true.
But I can't sit around all day and wait for you.

The flip 'The Only Thing' is a little more subdued and folk rockish. This song was written by M.Barton.

I'm wondering if the Hugh McCracken who arranged both songs was the same guy who was the in demand New York session guitarist who later worked with John Lennon, Paul McCartney, Paul Simon and Steely Dan (among many others)?

'Can't Sit Around' was compiled on Glimpses Volume 3. If you don't have that check both sides of the 45 out on Cavestones Volume 2.

06 October, 2007

The TELSTARS - Love For A Lady In Grey

The TELSTARS - 'Love For A Lady In Grey' / 'David's Mood' (3B'S Records) 1967

Here's a obscure 45 by a band called The Telstars. That name must have been so dated by 1967 and it appears that this record is their only offering. I'm pretty certain both sides remain uncompiled.
'Love For A Lady In Grey' is the most appealing. The vocals sound flanged and trippy. Very much of the time. I also dig the organ sound on this record. Infact the organ is very much the dominant instrument on both sides of the disc.
The flip is a frat instrumental called 'David's Mood'. The writer credit is Dave Lewis so I'm assuming it was this Dave who was in a mood.

3B'S Records were based (I think) in Boston, Mass. The 3B'S Records name may have been derived because three of the band members surname began with a B.... or the label may have been named after the Vox Continental organ B-3.... Wow, at this rate Columbo is gonna be out of a job. If anyone knows the low down please get in touch.


Dennis Burdick (drums)
Gardner Berry (organ)
Frank Smith (bass)
William Blaine (guitar)

Dennis Burdick from The Telstars emailed me recently with the following information. Thanks Dennis......

The Telstars were from New Hampshire: Dennis, Derry; Bill and Frank,
Hampstead and Gardner, Kingston. Formed in 1963 and final lineup
was June of 1964 until May of 1969. 3B'S label name was tricky and
to date has not been figured out. The 3 B(s) were Berry, Blaine and
Burdick while the S was Smith. David's move was our theme song
which we opened and closed with and was written by David Lewis of
the "Louie, Louie" Kingsmen and was released by Jack Ely and the
Courtsmen. The record was produced by Ron Paul a disc jockey on
WMEX in Boston. The Band played throughout NH, Maine, Vermont and
Massachusetts. A very successful reunion concert happened in Derry,
NH on Aug 6th, 1991.

The band opened for The Music Explosion in York, Me at the York
Beach Casino in 67. The band appeared with Boston's WBZ jocks Dave
Maynard and Ron Landry at Canobie Lake Park and Boston's Where It's
At respectfully. We were a cover band covering a lot of soul along
with good top 40 rock 'n roll but did more Rascals tunes than anyone
else. We played mostly teen dances at summer venues, schools and
various youth organizations; frat parties at Dartmouth, UNH, New
England College, NH College and others.

The name was outdated quickly but with a strong following it was hard to change. We are
best remembered for being the feature act at the annual Labor Day
festival in Derry, five years running. We performed on a flat bed
truck in the huge parade which became our stage at the outdoor
festival where we played throughout the day and we were the last act
before the fireworks finale.

Thanks for including us.

Dennis Burdick


GEOFFREY STEVENS - 'Grape Jelly Love' / 'Do That Again' (York Records 407) July 1967

When I bought this 45 I was expecting bubblegum. With a title like 'Grape Jelly Love' that was a safe bet right? WRONG!
Geoffrey Stevens offers up two self penned pop psych classics.
'Grape Jelly Love' has since turned up on Fading Yellow Volume 6. I've checked their liners and Geoffrey Stevens is a complete mystery.

A search on the cool Searchin' For Shakes database suggested a UK origin. I reckon this is completely wrong, but I'm open for jelly love, advice and information. Also when was the record released?

'Grape Jelly Love' sounds like Paul Parrish songs from his 'The Forest Of My Mind' LP on Music Factory. It's a pop psych delight with trippy whispered vocals near the end. I really dig this tune. Very catchy and memorable.

The other side 'Do That Again' is also very good with a similar sound and pop psych reverie. Delightful arrangement from Harold Battiste who had also worked with Cher. This track remains uncompiled.

03 October, 2007


The KITCHEN CINQ - Everything But ... LP mono mix (LHI Records 12000) 1967

Someone recently asked me for MP3s by The Kitchen Cinq. Now I can't really be arsed to download MP3s then upload then onto my blog or send them out via email. I only do MP3s when I've got bags of time to spare. At the moment I don't have much spare time.

The solution was to send this fellow a CDR of the mono mix of the still unre-issued Kitchen Cinq LP plus four of their 45s I've managed to acquire over the years. The CDR sounds far superior than any MP3 could and because all tracks are in mono the sound is killer!!!

If you dig folk rock ala Blue Things or Beau Brummels with a touch of fuzz action you're bound to flip to The Kitchen Cinq. These boys had a real tough folk rock sound. The later 45s are pop psych coolness.

So on this CDR are the following tracks:

01 You'll Be Sorry Some Day
02 Solitary Man
03 Determination
04 Please Come Back To Me
05 Codine
06 Young Boy
07 Last Chance To Turn Around
08 Still In Love With You Baby
09 If You Think
10 I Can't Let Go
11 Need All The Help I Can Get


12 Determination (LHI Records 17000) 1967
13 You'll Be Sorry Some Day (LHI Records 17000) 1967
14 Still In Love With You Baby (LHI Records 17010) 1967
15 (Ellen's Fancies) Ride The Wind (LHI Records 17010) 1967
16 The Street Song (LHI Records 17015) 1967
17 When The Rainbow Disappears (LHI Records 17015) 1967
18 The Minstrel (Decca 32374) 1968
19 She's So Fine (Decca 32374) 1968

* I'm missing their first 45 on Decca 'Good Lovin' / 'For Never We Meet' (Decca 32262) 1968
And also the 45 by the previous incarnation The Y'alls titled 'Run For Your Life' / 'Please Come Back' (Ruff 1016) 1966.

I'm surprised no re-issue label has compiled their sides onto a CD. The strong material would make a welcome 'official' compilation.
Until then I'm offering my Kitchen Cinq CDR for FREE. You pay £3 postage, packing, artwork and paypal charge for a copy in the UK. £4 European countries or £5 to USA.
Get in touch if interested.

01 October, 2007

GARY WALKER and the RAIN - Spooky

GARY WALKER and the RAIN - 'Spooky' / 'I Can't Stand To Lose You' (Polydor 56267) January 1968

Californian, Gary Leeds was an early member of The Standells but left in 1963 before their debut LP for Liberty. He then teamed up with John Maus and Scott Engel who were gigging as a duo called The Walker Brothers. Fame and fortune followed of course before Gary Leeds formed his own band in the Autumn of 1967 called Gary Walker and the Rain.

A cover version of The Classics IV song 'Spooky' was their first 45. This was released in England in January 1968 but never did much chart action. However in Japan it was a different story. Gary Walker and the Rain were huge!!!

'Spooky' is a very laid back tune with throbbing bass runs and soul mod vocals. It would have been better had it not been for those occasional weird sound effects. Don't dig those at all. But I do dig the meandering lead guitar flourishes.

'I Can't Stand To Lose You' written by Gary Walker and Paul Crane is a mod rocker with soulful vocals sounding similar in sound and song structure to mod combos like The Smoke or The Action.
Both songs on this 45 were produced by Scott Walker.

Paul Crane (rhythm guitar and lead vocals)
John Lawson (bass)
Joey Molland (lead guitar)
Gary Leeds (drums)