Thursday, February 19, 2015

Mid-West Spotlight: The Litter - Action Woman/Legal Matter

More Midwest mayhem today with our 2nd entry for the region's Battle of The Garage Bands competition. It's The Litter performing the garage classic, Action Woman.

Action Woman was released on Scotty Records in January 1967 (with a Flip-Side of The Who's Legal Matter) and after all these years, feels just as fresh today as it did the day it was released. The song is so epic that it led off the first Pebbles record even though their copy of Action Woman skipped!

The Minneapolis hipsters who comprised The Litter were Jim Kane on bass, Tom Murray on drums, Dan Rinaldi on guitar, Denny Waite on vocals and the very talented Bill Strandlof on lead guitar. That said, we need to talk a little about Warren Kendrick here. Kendrick was a local math teacher who formed his own label (Scotty) in 1965 in attempt to get on the rock-n-roll bandwagon after watching The Beatles light the world on fire on the Ed Sullivan Show. The math teacher began writing and producing and releasing numbers for the local Minneapolis kids to perform. Action Woman has Kendrick's signature all over the number. He wrote it, produced it and distributed it himself. Another of his band's, The Electras, released this number on the same label, just a month after The Litter. It's pretty damn awesome, but we'll go with The Litter's version as the definitive take on the song.

The fine, fine flip-side is Pete Townshend's Legal Matter. This is certainly one of the better covers of a song from the hard to cover The Who. Incidentally, Action Woman got re-released 8 months later on a different label, this time paired with The Small Faces' Whatcha Gonna Do About It. These guys knew their UK mod bands!

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

7 comments:

  1. A certifiable monster. Do you know which one is Kendrick? The lead at 1:30 is Jeff Beck inspired, if you know what I mean.

    A mad distraction woman?

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    1. I would guess the guy on the far left in the picture of this link

      http://expo67-cavestones.blogspot.com/2013/05/the-litter-distortions.html

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    2. Oh I get it. Not in band. If that's Kendrick, my mind is blown - that guy's like 68 years old. Kendrick also wrote Soul Searchin'.

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  2. Replies
    1. Better than the Xtreems' version of Substitute, that's for sure. Hey! That is a mid-west song, too.

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  3. Another fantastic post

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