Monday, March 30, 2015

Southern California Spotlight: The Dirty Shames - I Don't Care/Makin' Love

Today we start the next region for our Battle of the Garage Bands. For the first time we are going to cut a state in half. We just have to do it because California was such a power house for garage bands. Texas too, but we couldn't figure out where to cut that state. For our purposes, California will be cut along the parallel the bifurcates the state at San Luis Obispo running East to Bakersfield out above the Mojave National Preserve. Everything below that will be in the Southern California region, everything above it will be in the Northern California region.

So without further ado...

Today's song escaped from Los Angeles in September, 1966. The double sided gem comes from a band called The Dirty Shames who recorded one single for the kick-ass Impression Label run by Al and Sonny Jones. This is the same label that put out records by LA garage legends, The Sloths and The Tangents. In fact, the flip-side of this single, Makin' Love is a song by none other than...the Sloths. That cut was originally released in 1965 on the Impression Label. The Dirty Shames recorded the song at the request of the Jones brothers who had hopes of the song being a regional hit. Hmmm, not sure about a hit, but man-alive, it is a kick ass song. The Dirty Shames version is much more polished and in-sync than is the incredibly crude screamer of an original. The Dirty Shames even managed a guitar solo in their more restrained take on the song.

The A-Side of The Dirty Shames single is an original named I Don't Care penned by band members Marty Wons and Bob Larson. For my money, it is the superior song. The song has a nice two chord main riff that is more than a little reminiscent of The Kinks' instrumental number, Revenge. One thing is certain about this number, The Dirty Shames just don't care.
Until next time, we'll see you On The Flip-Side!


  1. I got a repro of this two weeks ago. Is this repro or original?

  2. This is definitely an original. Not so shiny anymore. Kinda like me. But it's still in great shape, as the label shows. Thanks for stopping by (again). See you soon

  3. This (side A) sounds like beat stuff coming out of Australia or Europe - not L.A.! I'm fond of the extended pounding during the (hardly audible) harmonica part. It's like it's on automatic.

  4. I agree. This does not sound very LA at all. No ringing suspended chords, no harmony vocals. I'm with you, I would have guessed them to be Aussie in a blind listen test. Notice the little break between the (hardly audible) guitar solo and the (hardly audible) harmonica solo? Kinda like Bad Girl by Zakary Thaks.