Monday, February 9, 2015

Texas Spotlight: The Outcasts - 1523 Blair/Smokestack Lightning

Back for out regional Battle of the Garage Bands competition. As we assumed, week one of Texas has been a lovely experience.

Today we turn our attention back to San Antonio. This is where we find a band that competed with The Stoics for coolest band on the river.

The band was the poorly clothed, The Outcasts. There were so many bands in the 60s named The Outcasts that we can affirmatively say that one would be part of the in-crowd if they were an outcast. That's called Irony, kiddos. These particular Outcasts put out no less than six singles between the vaunted rock years of '65 and '67. Their 5th single, I'm In Pittsburgh And It's Raining, was comped on the original Pebbles. It's killer. But nothing like this gem from January of 1967 on the not-so-legendary Gallant Records label.

The A-Side of the single is the demonically paced 1523 Blair, and, to be frank, it scares me. The break neck speed, the obtuse lyrics, the blazingly fast guitar runs. Wow!

The Flip-Side is a cover of Howlin' Wolf's number, Smokestack Lightning. Meh.

The band broke up in 1968 as Buddy Carson (co-writer of this gem) died from Hepatitis that year. The other members were Jim Ryan (the other co-writer), Jim Carsten, Ricky Wright and Galen Niles.


  1. They were a bunch of good guys. Buddy is sorely missed. Thanks for sharing this with us. I haven't heard this in a very long time.

    1. Rick, any stories to tell? It sounds like you knew or saw them?

  2. "I'm In Pittsburgh" is a classic, but "1523 blair" is the most furious 60's garage tune that live up to it's title. It's kinda recorded by witchcraft spells, gives a goosebumps everytime you hear it. A perfect soundtrack for "Evil Dead" movie.