29 September, 2013


THE UNCALLED FOR - 'Masters Of War' (Cicadelic CIC-980) 1986

This cut was included on the compilation "The Cicadelic 60s Volume 5 - 1966 Revisited", the compilers claimed that 'Masters Of War' and 'Since You've Been Gone' were previously unreleased demo takes by The Uncalled For. However, according to 'Teenbeat Mayhem' both sides were released as a 45 on Dynamic Sound by a group calling themselves The Un-Called For. It's got to be the same outfit?

'Masters Of War' is a folk-rock rendition of the Bob Dylan song about the Cold War. They keep it faithful to the original adding jangle and echo.

The Uncalled For hailed from the Manchester-Tullahoma area of TN and had a release on Laurie Records. Their 'Do Like Me' was compiled on Pebbles Volume 8.

26 September, 2013


THE SQUIRES - 'Going All The Way'/'Go Ahead' (Atco 45-6442) September 1966

I found a copy of this all time great 60s garage 45 last year, for a reasonable price too. From memory, I think I paid about $125 for it, which is probably the going rate, although it can sale away on Ebay (as usual).

I'm sure most people who visit my blog will know this record. Both sides featured on the early volumes of Pebbles from the late 1970s. And as I mentioned in my previous entry 'Going All The Way' was voted third best garage single of all time, behind 'It's A Cry'n Shame' by The Gentlemen and 'You're Gonna Miss Me' by The Thirteenth Floor Elevators.

23 September, 2013

THE SQUIRES - I CAN'T DO IT (unreleased in the 60s)

THE SQUIRES - 'I Can't Do It' (Crypt Records LP-008) 1986

I've already featured The Squires before when highlighting 'Rink Bash', another one of their demo recordings. Since then I've managed to find a copy of their all time great 45 'Going All The Way'/'Go Ahead' on Atco. I'll have to focus on that record another time. By the way, 'Going All The Way' was voted the third best garage song of all time in 'Teenbeat Mayhem'.

The folk jangling 'I Can't Do It' was recorded at the same session as the Atco songs but never released in the 60s. This tune is very similar to 'Go Ahead' and could easily have been selected as a single in it's own right. Maybe the band were hopeful of a follow up release, although the Crypt liners don't mention this.

Mike Bouyea: "We piled into the car on April 26th, 1966 early in the morning and drove off to the Big City from Bristol, CT. We walked into the Capitol studio in New York and set about re-recording 'It's The Same All Over The World' to see if we could improve on it.

We didn't go in thinking about putting out a 45. What happened is we finished the one song so fast and we'd paid for a few hours of recording so we decided to make up some more to fill in the time.We actually were pretty damn efficient , writing, practicing, and recording 7 more songs in the remaining time".
(from the liners of the Crypt Records release)


22 September, 2013

THE PARAMOUNTS - YOU'VE GOT WHAT I WANT (unreleased in the 60s)

THE PARAMOUNTS - 'You've Got What I Want' (Edsel ED-112) 1983

The Paramounts were an underrated beat combo from Southend who formed during the early days of the beat era in Britain and actually released their first record on Parlophone during December 1963.
'Poison Ivy'/'I Feel Good All Over' went top 40 and was the beginning and the end of chart success for The Paramounts.

The best place to hear the group's music is via the early 80s retrospective on Edsel Records called "The Paramounts - White Shades Of R'N'B" - all of their single sides plus three unreleased cuts are represented.

One of these previously unreleased cuts is their pounding version of The Sorrows classic 'You've Got What I Want', which really moves along at a blistering pace and has some cool vocals by Gary Brooker which he spits out in a savage way.

I don't know why The Paramounts decided not to do anything with 'You've Got What I Want' as it's clearly a killer version. Maybe the timing wasn't right or something. After The Paramounts last studio recording during July 1966 at Abbey Road Studios in London, they broke up, then reconvened with a new sound and name....Procol Harum...'A Whiter Shade Of Pale' was released during May 1967 on Deram Records.

21 September, 2013

THE SYSTEM - HE'S IN LOVE WITH HIMSELF (unreleased in the 60s)

THE SYSTEM - 'He's In Love With Himself' (Get Hip GHAS-5012) 1997

I'm really enjoying my focus on 'Flower Bomb Songs' at this present time bringing previously unreleased and possibly unknown (to many) recordings from the mid to late 60s. One of my all-time favourites is 'He's In Love With Himself' by The System.

When Get Hip Records released their stupendous double album set "Free Flight" (Unreleased Dove Recordings) they did not know the name of the combo from an acetate marked 'I Just Don't Know/'He's In love With Himself' and on the Get Hip label they were simply marked ?

Since the Dove Recordings were released the name of the band has been unmasked as The System, a five piece group from the Edina/Hopkins area of Minnesota. Both sides of the acetate were recorded at the Dove Recording Studio in Bloomington.

The killer fuzztoned garage psych cut 'He's In Love With Himself' was slated as the B-Side but sadly for whatever reason, no commercial release occurred, and The System would remain relatively unknown and unheard in the 60s. 

Excelent information about The System can be found here

20 September, 2013

THE BRIKS - HEART FULL OF SOUL (unreleased in the 60s)

THE BRIKS - 'Heart Full Of Soul' (Cicadelic LP 978) 1986

If you're a rock and roll fan, and man who isn't? you are sure to be turned on to this swingin' album on Cicadelic Records titled "Texas Punk: Volume 8" featuring The Basement Wall and The Briks.

The Briks were the stars of "Texas Punk: Volume 7" and are represented here by six songs recorded live at Northwood Country Club in 1967. It's clear from the material that The Briks had a British Invasion fixation covering hit songs by The Kinks, Cream and The Yardbirds.

'Heart Full Of Soul' is particulary impressive with some killer lead guitar by Jamie Herndon.


18 September, 2013

THE PASTELS - YEAH, I WANNA KNOW (unreleased in the 60s)

THE PASTELS - 'Yeah, I Wanna Know' (Texas Archive Recordings TAR-2) 1982

In the midst of the skyscrapers, humidity and urban sprawl of Houston during the mid to late 1960s an intense music scene developed which produced many of the great '60s era Texas rock grouos - from The Moving Sidewalks to The Fever Tree.

The local clubs, recording studios and the sheer size of the city made for a quality music scene that contained dozens of talented bands. 'Houston Hallucinations' is composed of unreleased material by some of the lesser known, though equally good groups.

The Pastels (or Charlie Romain and the Pastels as they were locally known) were not a well known combo but the previously unreleased rocker 'Yeah, I Wanna Know' showcases their style. This song has that distinctive Texas sound.

They released one 45 on the Push label, 'Weird Sounds'/'I Can Tell' in 1968.
'Weird Sounds' is based around the riff of 'Oh Yeah' and is included on 'Houston Hallucinations.

17 September, 2013

THE CHAPARRALS - ONE MORE TIME (unreleased in the 60s)

THE CHAPARRALS - 'One More Time' (Cicadelic LP-979) 1986

In late 1964, four freshmen at North Texas State University formed The Chaparrals. They had known each other previously in High School. Wayne Rossee and Steve Karnavas attended Richardson High School, Jamie Bassett, Bryan Adams and Chuck McKay - Highland Park. The band rehearsed for four months building a repertoire of 30 songs. By June of 1965, they hit the road and headed for Florida, stone cold, with no connections for any clubs.

Miami was The Chaparrals first stop, where they played a few small clubs for a short while. After Miami, they headed up the east coast of Florida and landed a good job in Orlando. The job was in the cocktail lounge of a bowling alley called "Southland Lanes"...They became the house band for six months, playing six days a week with an extra matinee on Sunday. Monday was an off day. The Chaparrals played four hours a night doing all covers.

At "Southland Lanes" The Chaparrals added a new member, Tommy Cashwell, who played keyboards. Tommy was instrumental in helping the band perfect their club act. After their stint at the bowling alley, the boys decided to hit the road again. Due to Tommy's connections with the Sizemore booking agency, the band was able to get gigs in Augusta and Macon (Georgia), Lexington (Kentucky), Knoxville (Tennessee), Southbend (Indiana) and Niles (Michigan).

It was in Niles that Tommy tried to get the group to start playing military bases and plunge further north, reaching as far away as Maine. The rest of the band wasn't too keen on this idea and opted to return to Texas. It was here that Tommy parted with the group.

In the winter of 1966, The Chaparrals arrived in Dallas, they added a new keyboard player, Vernon Womack from Waco, to replace Tommy. Having perfected their act, they became very popular locally. At various times they were the house band for places such as "Disc A Go-Go" (Cedar Springs and Oak Lawn), "The Pirates Nook" (Elm Street and Carroll) and "The Three Thieves" (Lovers Lane and Inwood) where the band opened for The Music Machine and The 13th Floor Elevators on separate occassions.

During 1966, The Chaparrals recorded the songs included on 'Texas Punk 1966: Volume 7'. Unfortunately the band was unable to attract the attention of any local or national record labels.

The Chaparrals kept on playing in Dallas, throughout 1967, occassionally going on the road to Austin, Houston and Oklahoma. By 1968, though, they were hungry for a change of pace. The band decided to try their luck out in California, which of course was where the music scene was booming. Their first stop was Los Angeles, but they felt totally out of place with the psychedelic sounds in vogue at the time, besides they were unable to get any decent bookings at the major clubs such as "The Trip", "Ciros" or "Pandoras Box".

Next stop was San Francisco. It was here that the band finally split up, with Jamie, Chuck, Vernon and Wayne heading back to Texas. Steve stayed on and formed a new band called The Snakes with Cecil Cotton (former lead singer with The Briks).

Steve Karnavas (drums)
Wayne Rossee (lead guitar)
Vernon Womack (keyboards)
Jamie Bassett (bass, harmonica)
Chuck McKay (lead vocals, rhythm guitar)

******information taken from the liners of 'Texas Punk 1966: Volume 7'******

16 September, 2013


THE ARROWS - 'Apache '65' (Tower T 5002) 1965

They call themselves The Arrows and their exciting instrumental sound of 'Apache '65' started them on the path to hitsville. Here, in their first album, they prove that their first bull's eye was not just one lucky shot.

The style that's attracting all the admiration is built around the funky guitar of Davie Allan, a young but extremely successful Hollywood studio musician who decided he would rather make music with his own group. The writing, pulsing rhythm of The Arrows is supplied by Steve Pugh on electric bass, Larry Brown on drums and Paul Johnson on rhythm guitar - an expert combination as you can hear for yourself.

Their musical approach is that The Arrows play their own arrangements in their own distinctive way, whether they are doing a new tune like 'Twine Time' or an old favourite like 'Red Roses For A Blue Lady'.
And it sounds like their approach has turned out to be a sure formula for success!


15 September, 2013


THE BYRDS - 'Mr Tambourine Man' (CBS BPG 62571) August 1965

It's been almost two years since I wrote about The Byrds on 'Flower Bomb Songs' which is quite a long time not to mention my favourite group of all time. I recently remastered my original mono copy of their debut album on CBS. The sleeve is thick, folded and laminated. They just don't or can't manufacture record sleeves like they did in the 60s. Accept no substitute!

Leader McGuinn says: "What I'm doing now is a continuation of my love for music. Superficially, the form may have changed slightly, but the essence is the same. In other words, the harmonies-fourths, fifths-are the same, as well as the kinds of rhythms that are used and the chord changes.

The instrumentation is changing somewhat to meet the nuclear expansion and the jet age. I used to like folk music, just straight folk music without electric guitar, drums and bass. I think that although the folk instruments are changing, it's still folk music. Actually, you can call it whatever you like."

Besides 'Mr Tambourine Man', the other Dylan tunes they do are 'All I Really Want To Do', 'Chimes Of Freedom' and 'Spanish Harlem Incident'. Lately, when they do 'Chimes' in a club, McGuinn announces "We'd like to dedicate this next song to Donovan."

'We'll Meet Again' they dedicate to Peter Sellers, Slim Pickens and Stanley Kubrick. 'The Bells Of Rhymney' is dedicated to Pete Seeger. Initially, you get a great shock hearing this song about a Welsh mine disaster being sung this way, as you watch a few dozen people doing the twistfrugwatusijerk and the endless nameless variations. But as soon as you see how right it is you see the words become the thoughts of people who would never have heard those words from any other source.

Jackie De Shannon wrote 'Don't Doubt Yourself, Babe'. Tunes on the album written by Gene Clark: 'I'll Feel A Whole Lot Better', 'Here Without You', 'I Knew I'd Want You' and in collaboration with Jim McGuinn: 'You Won't Have To Cry' and 'It's No Use'.

(Billy James - The Byrds National Fan Club, 1965)  

14 September, 2013


THE PERILS - 'Hate'/'Baby, Do You Love Me?' (Velva Records V-7484) October 1966

A recent purchase was this obscure 45 by The Perils, from Hart in Texas. At $100, the record wasn't cheap, but it looked unplayed when I made the purchase and it sounds great. Not much information about The Perils exists online or within the reference books I've got so if anyone knows more about them get in touch!

'Hate' is a sinister sounding garage punker which is quite basic in it's construction. The singer ain't a happy bunny and he fucking hates his girlfriend for some reason.

"Hate you girl,
I don't want you girl
I don't need you girl,
I hate you girl."

'Hate' was compiled back in the 80s on 'Texas Flashbacks Volume 4' but as far as I know the flip, 'Baby, Do You Love Me?' remains unknown. This one is a fratty number with a fast tempo but sadly without any guitar break that would have made it much better..... but it's worth a listen.

13 September, 2013


THE CENTURYS - 'And I Cried'/'Catch Me Fast' (BB Records B-4002) 1967

This record is quite sought after amongst 60s garage collectors and it was a recent purchase for me. I don't know how many were pressed in 1967 but my copy looks like new, so was pleased to add it to my archives.

The Centurys were a mid 60s combo from Lebanon, PA and this was their last 45. According to details online here they broke up due to the draft and lack of success. Previous singles on Renco and Swan were equally good albeit with a primitive lo-fi production especially on the Renco releases.

Back in the mid 80s Bona Fide released a four song EP titled "The Renco Demos" in a rather cool picture cover. The Centurys certainly look the part in their tight jeans and slicked back hair.

'And I Cried' is a classy fuzz punker with organ which was compiled decades ago on 'Return Of The Young Pennsylvanians'. The flip 'Catch Me Fast' is a pleasant Beatlesesque rocker with harmonies and remains uncompiled.

12 September, 2013


THE NEWBEATS - 'Top Secret'/'So Fine' (Hickory 1436) February 1967

The Newbeats were a three piece pop combo based in Nashville and were arguably Hickory's most successful act. They released numerous 45s during the 60s but this is the only one I own. I would never have known about it had the record not been highlighted in 'Teenbeat Mayhem' as possessing the 'garage sound'.

'Top Secret' is a memorable rocker with coolsville fuzz guitar and falsetto lead vocals. The back-up vocals sound great also. The Newbeats probably had other tunes that would fit the bill on 'Flower Bomb Songs' but until I suss out the the diamonds from the diamoniques the fuzztoned belter that is 'Top Secret' will have to do for now!

11 September, 2013


THE EPICS - 'Louie Come Home'/'Give Me A Chance' (Zen Records 202) April 1965

The Epics possibly came from the Bakersfield area of California, although that is my educated guess concluded because producer Leo Bowden had a recording studio in Bakersfield. This was their only release.

'Louie Come Home' is a frat style version of Richard Berry's 'Louie, Louie' with a combination of gruff style vocals mixed with falsetto. At first I didn't like this song that much but over time it's grown on me. I first heard this one on the 80s compilation 'Highs In The Mid Sixties - Volume 1'.

I actually bought this 45 for the flip 'Give Me A Chance' which as far as I know remains uncompiled. The song is a crude mersey beat influenced number. The label provides a credit of four surnames: Dumble, Ward, Concelez and Iger. Maybe they were the guys in The Epics?


10 September, 2013


THE AMERICAN FOUR - 'Stay Away'/'You I'll Be Following' (Norton 7N7) 2006

This single released by Norton Records collects a couple of pre Love demos from 1965 and is an essential nugget for fans of that superb group. I don't know how many copies were pressed but I'm sure they'll still be around.

Both songs are Arthur Lee originals with an interesting run through an earlier take of 'You I'll Be Following' when the group were billed as The Grass Roots. Of major interest to 60s garage fans will be the rather crude demo of 'Stay Away' recorded under the moniker of The American Four.

According to Johnny Echols, the name The American Four was proposed because of the influx of British bands during 1964/65. Arthur Lee wanted it to be known that his band were American which of course went against the then current trend of US combos calling themselves after something English/British.

'Stay Away' was recorded in Buck Ram's living room. He was the Manager of The Platters and had a studio set up at his home in North Hollywood. It's certainly a primitive demo recording and sounds like it was a one take job, especially the guitar break, which is all over the place.

***bonus points to Norton Records for giving this release number 7N7***


09 September, 2013


THE FANTASTIC DEE-JAYS - 'Love Is Tuff'/'Just A Boy' (Stone Records 44) 1968

This is the second time out for The Fantastic Dee-Jays on Flower Bomb Songs, read about their 'Get Away Girl'/'Fight Fire' here. According to 'Teenbeat Mayhem' 'Love Is Tuff' was released by their former Manager Terry Lee sometime in 1968, although both sides date from 1965.

Two great folk-rock sides are on offer with the mournful jangler 'Love Is Tuff' just edging out the Beatlesesque ballad 'Just A Boy' on the flip. I really dig both songs though and I'm pleased to give the single some exposure despite it's 'bootleg' status.