Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Great Lakes Spotlight: The Aardvarks - I'm Higher Than I'm Down/That's Your Way

Our final day of the Battle of the Garage Bands for the Great Lakes Region has us at the top of the alphabet with The Aardvarks.

The Aardvarks of Grand Rapids, Michigan recorded 4 records between 1966 and 1968. Today we are going to spin their second release. I'm Higher Than I'm Down and That's Your Way were released on Vark Records in May of 1966. The band at this time was lead singer Darryl Dingler, Garey Walker, Terry Potts, Rick Kuerth, Jim Britton and Don Herald. Darryl Dingler composed both sides of today's submission to the competition. The Aardvarks recorded the numbers in Sparta, Michigan at a movie theater converted into a recording studio. This studio was owned by Dave Kalmbach who also served as the producer and engineer. Dave also was the owner of Fenton Records, which was responsible for releasing many a great local record, including yesterday's entry by The Chentelles

The A-Side today is a real amazing number. I'm Higher Than I'm Down is a true stand-out in the garage genre. But of course, that's why it's here today, right? From the wide-open drum-centric opening to the lyrics of overcoming obstacles and rising above the mundane, to the two and three-part harmonies. It all adds up to make this record one cut above your normal garage output. Then there are the bells! Best use of bells in a garage song since Richard and The Young Lions out of New Jersey used them in You Can Make It
If the sky should soon adorn my way of black
And it seems I have no way of turning back
The way that I am facing
Is not the way I am bound
Yes it is I am now higher than I am down
Yeah, Baby!

The Flip-Side isn't too shabby either. That's Your Way has a nice warbly guitar and that familiar snare-drum sound. But this one has a great harmonica riff doubled by the organ. Great stuff.

As I have done before, I have been given much of this information from the good work of the hep-cats at 60sgaragebands.com. I also lifted the photo from said site. Check out more about The Aardvarks at that site which can be found here.
That's it for the Great Lakes region. The Brain-Trust at On The Flip-Side will convene at a secret mountain top location to debate and vote on the winner. Stay tuned.

Until next time, we'll see you On The Flip-Side!

Monday, January 26, 2015

Great Lakes Spotlight: The Chentelles - Be My Queen/Time

Day 9 of our Great Lakes Spotlight has us digging on a great record on the famed Fenton Records label. Not too much out there about The Chentelles but it would appear they were a bunch of 13-16 year old kids from the Fennville, Michigan area in the West of the state. The band was Dale Atkins, Bruce Smiertka, Dennis Smiertka, Bill Dalton, Jr., Mark Adams and John Willerton. They released this one and only record in 1967. As usual, we'll flip the record over. Why? Because it's our blog and that is what we like to do. On The Flip-Side? get it?

The Flip-Side of the record, Be My Queen, is one of the all-time garage ravers, in this writer's opinion. Depraved vocals, wild organ, drums that sound as if they are being banged on by a group of wild baboons, tambourine leads, a hint of fuzz, and not one, but two restrained guitar solos. And the solos are done by a 13-year old junior high kid! The song was written by the bassist, Mark Adams, and the organ player, Bill Dalton. According to the cool folk at www60sgaragebands.com, Dalton does the lead vocals and Adams, the backup vocals. Adams also does the killer scream that pairs with the organ.

The A-Side, Time, is a slow, moody number that would make Wally Tax and his Outsiders stand up and take droopy-eyed notice. You may not dig it at first, but I urge you to stick with it. It's moodiness is really something to make this a better than average song. Plus, it's almost four minutes long! That doesn't happen much in the garage punk world. Bruce Smiertka and Bill Dalton Jr. share writing credit here.

Credit where credit is due. I've lifted the photo of Bill Dalton Jr. from the aforementioned 60sgarageband.com. More info on the band from that site, here.
Until next time, we'll see you On The Flip-Side!

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Great Lakes Spotlight: The Knaves - Leave Me Alone/The Girl I Threw Away

We'll hit the hot Great Lakes Region Battle of the Garage Bands on day 8 with a truly inspired number. This is the kind of thing that could only come from the demented minds of crazed male teenagers. Lucky for us, Bill Traut and his Dunwich cronies didn't try to tame them.

The demented band in question went by the name The Knaves and they hailed from the northern suburbs of Chicago. The band was made up of Howard Berkman, John Hulbert, Mark Feldman, Neil Pollack, and Gene Lubin. Singer and guitarist, Howard Berkman and guitarist and harmonica player, John Hulbert get writing credit for their maiden release, Leave Me Alone/The Girl I Threw Away. It was recorded in '66 and released in January, 1967.

This anti-authority number -- allegedly originally released on the Glen Label before being picked up by Dunwich -- has all the musical punch and drive to back up it's "piss-off" lyrics. I'm not 100% sure on all these, but here are the lyrics to Leave Me Alone. They say more about why this is a great song, than I ever could.

I was driving in my jaguar car, I had nothing much to do.
I had my woman with me, we were looking at the view
We were driving around searching, for a nice little place to stop
When up pulled that blue suede warrior, better known as a cop.
He said "Hey baby, do I know you? Can you call this town your home?"
So I rolled up my window I said "Leave Me Alone" 
Why Don't you Leave Me Alone
Can't you see I'm doing nothing
Well fight some crime, or something
Just, Leave Me Alone 
I was sittin' in a restaurant, trying to shake the flies outta my hair
I was lookin' at my woman, I was admiring the silverware
When up steps a waiter, he says, "Hey Babe you can't do that"
He said, "Why don't you order something?"
I said "give me filet of fat"
He said, "Look here, baby, we can't do that, it's un-American in tone"
So I put down my fork and I said, "Leave Me Alone"
Why Don't you Leave Me Alone
Well go wait on a table
Or go sweep out the stable
But Leave Me Alone 
I was sitting in my apartment, about 5 O'Clock at night
I was smoking and I was drinking, I was getting kinda tight
I was sitting on the ceiling, I was looking at the floor
When in walked my landlord, he walked right thru the door
He said "Hey baby, get out of here, don't you call this place your home"
Why, I said, "why don't you choke yourself and Leave Me Alone." 
Why Don't you Leave Me Alone
Build yourself a slum
Or chew some bubble gum
But Leave Me Alone
If you think you can figure out what it is he orders (I said "give me the last _____") please let us know. One website had "Give me a leg of fat" but I don't hear that.

Check comments for clarification on the lyrics.

The A-side gets all the love and all the comp action. But we present here the under-the-radar Flip-Side, The Girl I Threw Away. The boys aren't so mad on this side. They are a little reflective and a little sorrowful. Berkman and Hulbert get writing credit on this folky jangler.

Until next time, we'll see you On The Flip-Side.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Great Lakes Spotlight: The Choir - It's Cold Outside/I'm Going Home

More Great Lakes region Battle of the Garage Bands.

Day 7 has us back in Ohio just outside of Cleveland where four mods from Mentor High School kicked out two great original songs in October of 1966. The original release was on the Canadian-American Records label. A few months later the record was picked up for national release by Roulette Records in the Spring of 1967.

The Choir (named The Mods until the recording session) was fronted by Dan Klawon and featured Jim Bonfanti, Dave Burke and Wally Bryson. The members swapped instruments and singing duties. Shortly after recording the double sided pop-gem Dan Klawon would leave the band. Ultimately the remaining members would join forces with another local kid, Eric Carmen, and morph into The Raspberries. But that's a story for another blog.

It's Cold Outside got the A-Side treatment. And why not? It's a wonderful pop number that shows a great sense of craftsmanship with Dan Klawon singing his own composition about unrequited love and other meteorological depressions. It's Cold Outside is a gentle, approachable song with a real sense of ability to be a hit. Much more so than are most of the songs that get play here. Simple guitar, light harmonies, a key change and a soaring chorus make this song a real hum-along number.

The Klawon composed I'm Going Home gets the highly coveted Flip-Side and hints at a rougher side of the band. The number was covered by The Chesterfield Kings for their debut album (see more about that here). Still no guitar lead, but the harmonica gives it a real nice edge. I'm not sure if that is Klawon singing lead on this one. Sounds more nasally to me. I'm thinking not. Let us know if you know.

As with most things Ohio, we first turned to www.buckeyebeat.com to get info on the band. While they didn't have much info, they did have this groovy picture. Thanks Buckeye Beat.
Until next time, we'll see you On The Flip-Side!

Friday, January 16, 2015

Great Lakes Spotlight: The Pleasure Seekers - What A Way To Die/I Never Thought You'd Leave Me Baby

We're rolling through the Great Lakes Battle of the Garage Bands smoother than a 1964 Buick Wildcat on the rough and tumble streets in America's rust belt. And we've only just begun. 

Today's double sided gem is from Detroit Michigan's, The Pleasure Seekers. And it is our first female entry in the Battle of The Garage Bands! The hedonistic little Pleasure Seekers was comprised of sisters Suzi Quatro and Patti Quatro; sisters Nancy Ball and Mary Lou Ball; and, Diane Baker, who, not long after this recording, was replaced by Arlene Quatro. The band was managed by Dave Leone, who gets writing credit for both sides of this super-rare 1965 single released on the local Hideout Records label.
We've flipped the sides over because -- as usual -- we think the Flip-Side is better. What A Way To Die is, simply put, awesome. The song has a nice Jimmy Reed turnaround riff, bitchin' low-fi production, a perfectly placed spoken voice giving a retort to Suzi's banshee lyrics, reverb drenched over-dubs, growly little vocals, and of course some of the best lyrics ever committed to wax. Watch out boys, these girls are gonna walk all over you as they stagger to the fridge to get another beer.

There is no-way these girls' moms thought this was appropriate. These lyrics are so great, we present every word here for your enjoyment.
Well I love you baby
I'm telling you right here
But please don’t make me decide babyBetween you and a bottle of beer 
And...baby come on overwell come on over to my side (come on baby, to my side)well I may not live past twenty-onebut -- WOO!What a way to die! 
Your lovin' fluctuates babyand everybody knowsbut the temperature always stays the sameon an ice cold bottle of Stroh's 
So...baby come on overwell come on over to my side (come on over, honey)well I may not live past twenty-onebut -- WOO!What a way to die! 
When I start my drinkingmy baby throws a fitSo I just blitz her outta my mindwith seventeen bottles of Schlitz 
And...baby come on overwell come on over to my side (come on...over)well I may not live past twenty-onebut -- WOO!What a way to die! 
You’ve got the kind of bodythat makes me come aliveBut I’d rather have my hands aroundA bottle of Colt 45 
And...baby come on over,come on over to my side (are you coming or not baby?)well I may not live past twenty-onebut WOO! What a way to die!
The A-Side of the single, I Never Thought You'd Leave Me Baby is a raver in it's own right. Groovy bass line and tight vocals. Yeah Baby!
Enjoy. Until next time, we'll see you On The Flip-Side!

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Great Lakes Spotlight: The Shadows of Knight - Bad Little Woman/Gospel Zone

You Bad Little Woman! Welcome back to day 5 of the Great Lakes-Region of the Battle of the Garage Bands. We've written extensively about The Shadows of Knight in the past. As any casual Flip-Side reader will know, this band is one of our favorites. 

The Shadows of Knight were formed in the hallways of an Arlington Heights, Illinois High School (the school nickname was...the Knights. Get it?). After a few early mutations and instrument swapping, the band settled into the line-up of Jim Sohns on vocals, Warren Rogers on Bass, Joe Kelly on lead guitar, Jerry McGeorge on rhythm guitar and Tom Schiffour on drums. In early 1966, The Shadows of Knight would release the first ever record for one of the all-time great garage labels, Dunwich Records. That record was their cleaned up cover of Them's Gloria

But today we feature the third single from The Shadows of Knight. And, believe it or not, it is also a cover of a record from Northern Ireland, this time a record by an obscure group called The Wheels. The Wheels covered Gloria for their debut in September of 1965. That was released only in the UK. For that band's second release they did two originals: Bad Little Woman with a flip-side of Roadblock. But here is the kicker. That single was released on a local US label called Aurora Records one month before it was released in the UK. The band name was unceremoniously changed to The Wheel-A-Ways, the flip-side was changed to a different song and the version of Bad Little Woman is an early demo version, not the same pounding one released in the UK a month later. Both versions of The Wheels' release can be heard here. 

It was likely the languid demo version mistakingly shipped to and released on Aurora in January of '66 that was presented to The Shadows of Knight for consideration. Regardless, The Shadows of Knight version of the song is dramatically different than either version by The Wheels. 

According to Jerry McGeorge, who has recently been in touch with us at Flip-Side:
The Wheels' Bad Little Woman was presented to us in demo form as a potential single. We came off the road to do the sessions for the second album and recorded it at that time, early Summer '66. We weren't nuts about it the way it sounded and someone got the idea of having Hawk [aka David Wolinski] add keyboards to fill it out, which worked splendidly.
We concur with McGeorge. The floating organ over the song creates a lush bed for the band to soar over the song. Joe Kelly, one of the most talented and under-appreciated lead guitarists in the US garage scene, paints a beautiful picture with his deep bends. McGeorge also informs us that Kelly plays a Gibson ES 335 (see pics) on the recording and you can really feel the power of the guitar as the band kicks into the glorious lead break at 1:15. But his guitar work is never better than right after the break when he responds so delicately to singer Jim Sohns' restrained vocals. 
He brought you home last night
Smelled like gypsy rose
Now I don't know just where you been
He only knows
He says he loves you baby
Just like I love you
He says he loves you baby
Just like I love you
Oh no, it's not true!
The band had a pattern in their releases. A non-band composed number on the A-Side, a fabulous original relegated to the Flip-Side. In this case it is one of The Shadows of Knight's best recordings, the drummer composed Gospel Zone. It opens with a rip-roaring dead-switching effect by Kelly or McGeorge that then catches fire and propels the song into an infectious groove. The bass work by Warren Rogers really stands out on this number. It sounds to this listener like he is playing a hollow body bass. We're guessing the same Framus Star Bass in the pics below. Oddly, Gospel Zone was released by Dunwich as a one-sided promo in severely edited down form, clocking in at a full minute less than the normal take. We've only ever seen one copy of that record.

Credit where credit is deserved: I've nicked almost all of the photographs from a Joe Kelly fan site which can be found here.

Until next time, we'll see you On The Flip-Side!

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Great Lakes Spotlight: The Del Vetts - Last Time Around/Everytime

Day 4 of our Great Lakes-Region Battle of the Garage Bands takes us back to the Chicago area. And back to Dunwich, Man. Today we spin both sides of the Del Vetts debut single from August, 1966. 
We'll I'm sitting here sinking on deeper down.
My head is a' spinning around and 'round.
I can't seem to shake this feeling.
Oh, My body is a rockin' and a-reelin'.
Oh' it's such a funny feeling
that I know this is the last time around for me, Oh yeah, 
Oh, I'm sinking on sinking on deeper down.
My eyes are blood and I can't hear a sound.
Fight it! help me fight it.
Because I know this is the last time around for me. 
The Del Vetts were Jim Lauer on vocals and lead guitar, Bob Good on rhythm, Jack Burchall on bass and Roger Deatherage on drums.

Their debut single was a raging original composed by their friend, Dennis Dahlquist who penned a kick ass Yardbirds inspired song called The Last Time Around. Production is perfect as is Lauer's vocal delivery and Better Man Than I inspired guitar break. Jeff Beck would have been proud. Special shout out to the bass work of Jack Burchall whose work on this song truly inspired me to learn every note of what he did with his fast running fingers. This single was released just days after the Things To Come released I'm Not Talkin' and just two months before The Banshees set Project Blue upon the record buying public and The Shadows of Knight released Bad Little Woman/Gospel Zone. You see why I love this label?

While Last Time Around was a true regional hit, the follow-up, I Call My Baby STP, which came with a nice pic sleeve and an STP Oil sticker as part of a quasi-ad campaign, was a flop. (but the flip is respectable) It turns out that was the last time around for the Del Vetts who went from one bad name to another as they inexplicably changed their name to the lame-ass Pride and Joy, whose lone Dunwich release, Girl/If You're Ready, was highlighted a few years ago. Jim Lauer allegedly went the way of Roky Erickson and Syd Barrett. Play it loud and enjoy.

The Flip-Side is solid as solid gets and thus we include it here. Also penned by Dahlquist, the number is the rather peppy, Everytime. Another kick-ass guitar solo from Lauer. I love how you can hear someone cue them back into the verse after the guitar solo. Low-fi, baby.
Until next time, we'll see you On The Flip-Side!

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Great Lakes Spotlight: The Turfits - Losin' One/If It's Love You Want

Day three of our Great Lakes Region of the Battle of the Garage Bands takes us to Ohio for the first time. That is where we find four Buckeye men wearing mini-skirts and frilly blouses. I don't know what more I can say about that.

The Turfits hailed from two small towns West of Cleveland, Fremont and Findlay, Ohio. The band was Whitey Gwinup, Gary Reddick, Kenny Turner and Roger Hilty. The members had been in various other bands and came together into one as The Other Ones. But, ironically, there was already another band called The Other Ones. So this other, Other Ones held a "name the band" contest at one of their shows. From that contest came the winning name of The Turfits. Okay. One has to wonder what the hell the other suggested names may have been for these hep-cats to choose The Turfits above the others? The Roadkill Kittens IV? The Pink Fluffies? The Mama's Boys?

Regardless, the curiously dressed, curiously named band recorded two songs written by Whitey Gwinup. Two songs he brought with him to the band. The A-Side is right out of garage songs 101. Losin' One has a  slow groove with a meandering Farfisa organ weaving it's way through the song. I particularly love the subtle fuzz guitar at 1:05 leading into the organ lead. The song was credited to the whole band per legal requirement. As is so often the case, the label misspelled a name. In this case, Gwinup's. The Flip-Side, If It's Love You Want, is a much more upbeat number. Again. Garage 101. Great back-up vocals, heavy organ, sweet guitar lead.

The record was recorded in Cleveland and released on Capitol Records in October of 1967.

As is the case with all things Ohio, we took a lot of info and pics from the great website, Buckeye Beat. They were given the pics from Whitey Gwinup and Wayne Van Doren.

Until next time, we'll see you On The Flip-Side!

Monday, January 12, 2015

Great Lakes Spotlight: The Banshees - Project Blue/Free

Great Lakes Spotlight resumes. Day 2! Today we feature perhaps the most crazed garage record ever put to wax! Man, that is saying a ton. Especially when we have songs like that by Australia's The Elois and Texas' The Outcasts. But I stand by it. Here we present Chicago's The Banshees doing their own composition, Project Blue. It was released in August of 1966. Any garage-O-file worth their salt has heard this song 1001 times (last week alone), but we can't let that stop us from giving them more love. This one is front and center on the Mt. Garagemore monument we have mythically built in our own depraved flippy heads. 

The Banshees were made up of singer Frank Bucaro, lead guitarist Ron Rouse, Rick Notolini on bass, John Smead on rhythm, and Tom Leetzow on drums. Lead guitarist, Ron Rouse gets writing credit for this. However, in the world's briefest interview over on 60sgaragebands.com, Frank Bucaro lays claim to co-writer credit. He wrote the Flip-Side of this single, the rather tame, Free

Musically speaking, this is -- and I use a technical musicologist term here -- fucking amazing. The lead guitar riff is a relentless, menacing, stabbing piece of testosterone that Angus Young could only dream of playing. You will never, ever, hear a better garage punk guitar riff. Ever. Ron Rouse, you are my hero for coming up with that and performing it so damn perfectly. Singer Frank Bucaro sounds nothing like he does on the rather tepid flip-side. (Yep, even us at Flip-Side HQ sometimes have to love the A-Side more.) On the rather cryptically named Project Blue, Bucaro screams so much and so loud you can damn near hear the blue veins popping out of his neck as he spits out "Come On Now!". There's not much to these lyrics, but man oh man, Bucaro delivers.
Oh Noooo!
I need your love baby, and I need it so bad, Yeah
'Cause your's is the only love that I ever had, babe 
I need your love baby, and only you know.
I need your love baby, and I need it more 
Your love, baby, I need your love, baby
Yeah love, oh! 
I need your love baby, and only you know. Yeah!
I need your love baby, and I need it more, love 
I need your love baby, and I need it so bad. Yeah
'Cause your's is the only love that I ever had, babe

Your love baby, I need your love, your love, baby
Come on Now!!!!!!!!!!!!
oh, come on
Let's be very clear. I would not let this man date my daughter.

Check out the picture of these cats. This is one of those things I love about 60s Garage Bands. They look so nice and clean cut. And then you get this out of them. Rouse is in the middle, Bucaro, second from left.

Like so many bands of their day, High School ended (yep, they were in high school when they did this number) and they disbanded. Some went to college, others to the military. The Banshees would scream their siren song no more. One depraved single is all we have of their existence.
Until next time, we'll see you On The Flip-Side!

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Great Lakes Spotlight: The Unrelated Segments - Where You Gonna Go?/It's Gonna Rain

After a little holiday merriment we return today to start our next regional Battle of the Garage Bands. We just crowned The Bad Roads as the winner of the hotly contested South Region. The Enfields took a close battle in The Mid-Atlantic Region, The Blues Magoos took New York and The Squires took New England. Now we turn to The Great Lakes, a real hot-bed of Garage rock in the 60s, so we expect the next 10 days to be chock-full-O-crispy good rock.

We start the two-week run at the Great Lakes with Michigan's The Unreleated Segments!

The Unrelated Segments made three singles and they all kick some serious booty. They sound a little different than the work of other garage bands of their day, a little more ambitious, a little more polished, a little more accomplished, a little more serious.

The band was formed in Taylor, Michigan, a suburb of Detroit, in late 1966. The band was Ron Stults on vocals, Rory Mack on lead guitar, Barry Van Engelen on bass, John Torok on rhythm guitar and Andy Angellotti on drums. Before they had even a single concert, only two weeks after their first jam session, the High School boys went into the studio to record their first record in early 1967, Story Of My Life/It's Not Fair, released on Hannah-Barbera Records. Both numbers written by Rory Mack and Ron Stults. 

Today, we're going to listen to their second single, Where You Gonna Go?/It's Gonna Rain as released on Liberty Records in September of 1967. Both numbers, again, written by Mack and Stults.

Where You Gonna Go? opens with a crazy cool guitar riff that sounds like it might be run through a Leslie speaker. Van Engelen then joins the fray with some brilliant bass work before the creaking sound of a flexi mic stand gives way to Stults who sings of the bleak reality of working all day for another man, smoking cigarettes just for something to do and falling further and further behind the American Dream. The ever so brief bridge at 1:30 is an unexpected gem that really lifts the song at just the right time. The relentless guitar riff now gives way to a swinging romp:
And you know you're selling out
And as anybody knows
They'll know it by your face
And know it by your clothes
It's Gonna Rain is even more bleak. A slow, somber number that, again, features a nice chord progression and stellar bass work. Without question, the pairing of the upbeat A-Side and the somber Flip-Side make this one top notch garage record. 

Until next time, we'll see you On The Flip-Side!

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

And the winner of the South Region Battle of The Bands is...

The executive committee of On The Flip-Side finally drew a quorum in this busy holiday season and voted on the winners of the Battle Of The Garage Bands for the South Region. The top three were a unanimous decision with The Bad Roads of Louisiana taking the coveted top prize. The Tasmanians of Florida and the Swinging Machine of Virginia stand on the podium on either side with their medals in hand. Just off the podium were The Clockwork Orange of Kentucky and The Nomads of North Carolina.

The Bad Roads will now represent The South and join The Squires from the New England region, The Blues Magoos from New York and the Mid-Atlantic region champions, The Enfields, as they all wait in the green room for the next region's winner.

And what region is that, you ask? Well, look at the map below at that horrific green color. We are traveling to The Great Lakes region next. For our purposes that will include Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan and Wisconsin. This is sure to be a region chock-full-O-wonderfulness.
Until next time, we'll see you On The Flip-Side!

Monday, December 22, 2014

The South Spotlight: Dr. Spec's Optical Illusion - Tryin' To Mess My Mind/She's The One

The final day of our regional Battle of the Garage Bands for the South Region. Today we are in New Orleans, Louisiana where we get the unique-named band, Dr. Spec's Optical Illusion. This very rare record was released on the not infamous Flambeau Records in the Summer of 1967. The band had gone by the name of the Illusions but when it came time to make a record the label owner's wife and business partner changed the name on the pressing to make it sound more psychedelic. The singer, Kris Sherman, his brother, drummer Scott Sherman, guitarist Marshall Clyburn, bassist Bryce "pinky" Hatchett and organ player Rick Stelma had no idea this name change had gone down. And, apparently, their parents weren't too hip on how things went down and didn't trust the manager, James Miglaccio. Being that not all in the band were old enough to sign, some parents refused to sign the contract. That means the record never got a release beyond it's initial pressing from the plant and never made it's way into stores. Very few of these records are thought to exist today. 

Both songs, Tryin' To Mess My Mind and She's The One, were written by the Kris and Scott Sherman as well as Marshall Clyburn. Somehow they spelled Clyburn's name two different ways on either side of the record. 

Both sides are ravers in the first order. The A-side, Tryin' To Mess My Mind, is ultimately a soul number hidden under a Psych-Rock coat. I dig Pinky's bass work on this number. She's The One starts with a nice bass line and warbly guitar that hint at a slightly earlier era in garage rock. The reverb drenched organ and Kris Sherman's raging vocals put the number right back in 1967.

Until next time, we'll see you On The Flip-Side!

Thursday, December 18, 2014

The South Spotlight: The Swinging Machine - Do You Have To Ask?/Comin' On Back Home

Day 9 of our South Region Battle of the Garage Bands gives us The Swinging Machine from the Portsmouth/Norfolk area of Virginia.

The band was Gary Richardson, Lee Caraway, Billy Stallings, Bob Fisher, Evan Pierce and Dick Bocock. We are, of course, going to feature the Flip-Side prominently. That song is the swinging number, Do You Have To Ask? written by the singer, Gary Richardson, and the organ player, Billy Stallings and recorded in the Fall of 1965. Some cat named Anderson gets co-credit as does the band manager, Frank Guida. We're doubting the manager had anything to do with the writing of it but instead stuck his name on the record as managers like to do. Frank Guida, by the way, owned the record label, SPQR Records, which released The Swinging Machine's only single in 1966.

The A-Side, Comin' On Back Home, is a number I don't have, so here is a You Tube video for it. It's a solid number but simply a patch on the Flip-Side. That number was written by band members, Bob Fisher, Billy Stallings and Evan Pierce.
According to the website, Garage Hangover, Gary Richardson (far right in the picture below) died of a drug overdose in 1968. We swiped the photo from that same site which has a lot of info on the band. Click here to read much more about the band and check out some great photos.
Until next time, we'll see you On The Flip-Side!

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

The South Spotlight: Clock Work Orange - Your Golden Touch/Do Me Right Now

Clock Work Orange hailed from Paducah, Kentucky and recorded only one single in their brief life. The recording session took place in Birmingham, Alabama and the boys - Terry Frazier on guitar, Barry Yancey on bass, Steve Rudolph on keyboards, Danny Powley on vocals and Bill Ashley on drums -- kicked out two wonderful songs that day. As usual we are flipping over their 1967 release on Creole Records and starting with the Flip-Side.

Your Golden Touch was written by the guitarist for the band and features some beautifully restrained vocals over a nice tremelo based guitar. The bass work from Barry Yancey is superb. Frazier brings out the fuzz pedal in full force for the very brief guitar lead, but luckily it doesn't overwhelm the song.

Do Me Right Now was written by Dough Kershaw, the fiddle player who went on to great fame in the 70s. It's a fast, rhythm guitar based song that fits the mold of the Flip-Side. The organ pokes it's head out for a few seconds for a "lead" before fading back into the background. Kershaw also produced both sides.

Until next time, we'll see you On The Flip-Side!

[ed. note - A music player we were using has apparently gone under taking much of our music files with it. We are experimenting with new music players and lots of bugs and failures are at hand. This music player, Mixcloud, does not appear to support a download function. Rest assured, whatever service we land on, we will have downloads available.]

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

The South Spotlight: The Barracudas - Baby Get Lost

Day seven of our Battle of the Garage Bands from The South has us spinning a rare little gem from some little kids in the heart of nowhere, Bunkie, Louisiana. Not too much known about The Barracudas other than they are in a hurry to tell that little middle school girl to get lost. They only gave her 1:43 to listen to their high pitched ultimatum:
Well why should I be a raving fool
I'm the boss so I make the rules
Well do me a favor
Well, baby get lost (get lost! get lost!)
I don't care, I don't care
Well, baby get lost (get lost! get lost!)
And then they fit in a drum solo! Awesome. The pre-teens released this on Zundak Records in April of 1965.

Until next time, we'll see you On The Flip-Side!

Monday, December 15, 2014

The South Spotlight: Little Phil and the Night Shadows - Sixty Second Swinger/In The Air

Day 6 of our 10-part Battle of the Garage Bands for The South Region takes us to Georgia where we spin a record from Little Phil and the Night Shadows. The Night Shadows have roots dating back to 1957. It wasn't until 1964, when The Beatles hit in the US, that the band transmogrified into a mod rock combo. As they did they added a high school kid to take over on vocals and hip the band up. That kid was the 14 year old Phil Rosenberg. Two years later, in 1966, the band would record two singles. The first for Dot Records and this one, for Gaye Records.

Sixty Second Swinger is a great rollicking number that is more than 60 seconds. But not much more as it clocks in at a very brief 2:16. We're not totally sure exactly what is a Sixty Second Swinger. It has something to do with being a way out mod girl who does what she wants. You know, like going to school during the day and making love all night. How these actions of our swinger/hero get distilled into Sixty Seconds is still a mystery to us. The song was written by Aleck Janoulis, the bassist (standing second from left on the picture sleeve). Maybe he can tell us.

The Flip-Side is the Janoulis co-composed number, In The Air. It's a nice folky, Byrds-influenced number with a serious tone to it. The humorously bespectacled Jimmy Callaway gives us a real nice guitar solo in between Little Phil's waxing away on the fragile state of the world.

Other members of the band include Bobby Newell and Charles Spinks. The band ultimately were unable to tour outside of Atlanta as Phil was still in High School and the others had to focus on their college studies to avoid the draft.
 Until next time, we'll see you On The Flip-Side!

Friday, December 12, 2014

The South Spotlight: The Guilloteens - I Don't Believe (Call On Me)/Hey You

Our Battle of the Garage Bands in The South has taken us from Louisiana to Florida to North Carolina. Now we move over to Tennessee. 

The Guilloteens not only had a real clever name, but they also had real solid talent. The band hailed from Memphis and they made some pretty good friends and fans in that town. From the cool cats at Stax Records to a local star named Elvis Presley. It was Elvis who, after catching the band perform in Memphis, brought the trio -- Louis Paul Jr., Laddie Hutcherson and Joe Davis -- out to LA to get a residency at a hotspot called the Red Velvet Cloud. In walked Phil Spector who started working with the band. Everything was going great as they started recording I Don't Believe, a Louis Paul Jr. composition. But Spector may have treated the band as an afterthought and an over-eager manager signed the band to the newly formed Hanna-Barbera Records label without the Guilloteens knowledge. So The Guilloteens severed their relationship with Spector and started recording their first single with a new producer working for HBR.

That first single, released July 1965 on Hanna-Barbera Records is a double sided gem that shows great maturity. I Don't Believe features the incredibly strong vocals of it's composer, Louis Paul Jr. The song is like a kudzu vine, it grows on you quickly. The chimey guitar work creates an incredibly strong bed for the echo chamber harmonies and Louis Paul's baritone vocals. Paul really takes flight on his vocals towards the end of the song. At 2:14 we really get to see how strong a vocalist this Guilloteen was. The song almost feels like it has been slowed down, but nope, that's how it is. 

The Flip-Side, Hey You!, features the vocals of it's composer, Laddie Hutcherson. Hey You! is pure garage joy. A strong guitar riff and tons of teen bravado. Hutcherson isn't as strong a singer as Louis Paul Jr., but the pairing with the A-side makes this double sided gem one of the stronger singles HBR ever put out.

Louis Paul Jr. quit the band after their second single and returned to Memphis. The band soldiered on with other musicians, making another strong single for HBR before signing with Columbia when HBR got the axe. They even supported Paul Revere and The Raiders on tour, but like so many others, the band faded into obscurity without ever really getting the recognition they needed to succeed.
Until next time, we'll see you On The Flip-Side!

Thursday, December 11, 2014

The South Spotlight: The Nomads - Thoughts Of A Madman/From Zero Down

Day four of our regional Battle of The Bands focusing on The South takes us to Mount Airy, North Carolina. The rural town is perhaps best known for being the home to one Mr. Andy Griffith. The town even claims that Mount Airy was the inspiration for Griffith's fictional town, Mayberry. That may be, but Aunt Bee and Floyd The Barber never rocked like the primal band we feature today. Otis couldn't even keep up with these moving maudlin marauders.

The Nomads recorded three singles in their brief day. We feature today, their last (and best) single. It was released on Tornado Records in April of 1967. Both sides are originals composed by members Bruce Evans and Larry Deatherage.

The A-Side is the wickedly cool Thoughts Of A Madman. It opens with an echo-chambered guitar that is reminiscent of the work on the 13th Floor Elevators' second album, Easter Everywhere. Bruce Evans pushes the microphone into the red ad he sings of suicide, death with peace of mind, insanity and "1000 graves dancing in my head". Not your typical A-Side material for rural North Carolina in 1967!

The Flip-Side is the raunchy raver with a quizzical title of From Zero Down. Gary Beeson shines on the organ as The Nomads sing about the timeless teen classic -- a party...tonight! But again, Evans adds in a bit of woe-is-me at the gospel like bridge.
I'm getting tired of being treated like dirt
I'm sick of being the only one who gets hurt
I'm tired of all those people always laughing at me
From now on baby, this is the way it's going to be
Despite that turn into the dark, rest assured, the boys are going to feel good at their party (tonight). Damn it!

Mike Badgett and Jerry Martin rounded out the rhythm section of the band. Not long after recording this farewell single, the boys scattered to the usual spots -- college and Vietnam.
Until next time, we'll see you On The Flip-Side!

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

The South Spotlight: We The People - When I Arrive/Ain't Gonna Find Nobody (Better Than You)

Day three of our Battle of the Garage Bands in The South region gives us We The People from Orlando, Florida. This is the third time we've written about the band! It's beginning to be kinda a thing with us. Last time we wrote about In The Past and that prompted a great conversation with songwriter, Wayne Proctor, over at our Facebook page. Prior to that we wrote about their scorcher in the first degree, You Burn Me Up And Down.

But today we turn to the band's final single. Released in April of 1968 on RCA Records, the band's farewell release finds the Orlando combo down from a five piece band to a four piece band. Wayne Proctor had left the band to go to college and avoid the draft and drummer Lee Ferguson had been replaced by Tommy Cox.

As usual we're going to flip the record around and spotlight the Flip-Side first. When I Arrive was written and sung by Tommy Talton, perhaps the band's most prolific songwriter. A psych-rager, When I Arrive features some blistering guitar work, defiant lyrics and great, great production. To this listener you could put this in with any UK Freakbeat compilation and it would fit right in with Wimple Winch, John's Children and the likes. The extended guitar break in the middle is nothing less than epic. The song goes into a lulling backing vocal run through a Leslie Speaker before reigniting into Talton's aggressive vocals for the finalé.

The A-Side was written and sung by guitarist David Duff who presents us with a soulful number in the vain of The Young Rascals. In an interview I recently read over at It's Psychedelic Baby, Wayne Proctor went on record that Ain't Gonna Find Nobody (Better Than You) remains his favorite We The People song of all time. We won't go that far (heck, we much prefer the Flip-Side), but we agree, it's damn good and it goes to show just how deep the talent pool was in this band, even after Proctor had departed. In reading up on this band, I must say it's also nice to hear from musicians who genuinely liked each other and walked away from their experience unified and happy with it.

Shortly after this double sided gem was released, Tommy Talton left the band. In a nice little dovetail with the last post on The Tasmanians, we can report that Tommy Talton was replaced by one Mr. Mike "Gypsy" Carns after his band dismantled about the same time.

I've lifted a few photos with permission from the aforementioned website, It's Psychedelic Baby.

Until next time, we'll see you On The Flip-Side!