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.


  1. I should add, the Flip-Side of this single, while VERY different, is also excellent and worthy on it's own right. A folky, jangly thing with some nice harmonies. You'd never guess it was the same band.

  2. "Build yourself a slum, Or chew some bubble gum" He He, nice verse. The song is great, never new it goes like this. One more from classic ''What a way to die'' comp. ! dig it to the bone, Cheers!

    1. The What A Way To Die comp is one that I go back to over and over again. Almost as great as Back From The Grave Vol 3 and Pebbles Vol. 1.

      Keep coming back Eliminator. I was on your site today listening to the Aztex (speaking of Back From The Grave). Arghhh.

    2. Sounds to me like he asks for a fillet of fat

    3. I'm Neal's cousin Scott - it's "Give me filet of bat"

    4. Thanks Scott for the clarification. Drummer, Gene Lubin also weighed in by direct email, but he didn't clarify the lyrics.

  3. I always thought it says, "Give me filet of fat."

  4. What an EPIC guitar lick in that song!!! And the way the band comes back in each time after the lick is played indicates some real tightness.

    Dig that color picture. Looks unreal, or, more to the point, they look like a garage revival act from the '80s. What's that the singer is playing?

    1. Agree on all parts. The second picture doesn't look like a 60s garage band either. The trench coat and all has a 70s feel to it. I will guess that the guitar is a Framus based off of the coloring. But I don't really know.

  5. The Glenn release features different mixes of both songs. Leave Me Alone has less pronounced harmonica (than the Dunwich) which I greatly prefer, it's in the background where it belongs. On the other hand, The Girl I Threw Away has a pronounced cow bell which is masked under the reverb 'chiming' sound of the Dunwich mix making it the superior version.

    1. Forgot to say, I think "blue suede warrior" is actually "blue suited warrior".