Saturday, November 29, 2014

Mid-Atlantic Spotlight: The Myddle Class - Don't Let Me Sleep Too Long / I Happen To Love You

The Myddle Class first came onto their local suburban New Jersey scene in 1964 as the King Bees but upgraded their name to avoid confusion with the King Bees releasing stuff on RCA Victor. Their first show under this new moniker was on December 11, 1965 in Summit, New Jersey. One of the opening acts for that show was a group playing its first live performance with its now core membership, The Velvet Underground. That's an auspicious start for our guys which consisted of Dave Palmer on vocals, Rick Philips on guitar, Danny Mansolino on Organ, Charles Larkey on bass and Michael Rosa on drums. Meanwhile, Al Aronowitz, New York Post columnist and band manager introduced the band to the songwriting team Jerry Goffin and Carole King who agree to write and produce for the Myddle Class. The bands first 45 was released on the short-lived Goffin-King label Tomorrow and features an excellent cover of Gates Of Eden as well as the brilliant folky original Free As The Wind.

Their next release on Tomorrow is our featured disc, released in June of '66. It opens on side A with the charging, barn-razing Don't Let Me Sleep Too Long. It's got screaming guitar work as well as some plain old screaming and gives the impression of the kind of raucous live performance for which they were known. The song is credited to the band, but it is well known that they copped it from The Blues Project's Wake Me, Shake Me while opening for them and even managed to get an earlier release than the original, itself taken from a traditional song. A later release on Buddha, while still crediting the band, gives arrangement credit to Al Kooper and The Blues Project. That's thoughtful.

The flip-side brings us to a Goffin-King song we flipsiders happen to really love, I Happen To Love You. The band was somewhat of a song tester for Goffin-King with some songs redirected to The Monkees, and one can easily imagine Micky Dolenz voice on this song. There are demos of Goin' Back and Pleasant Valley Sunday as well as others waiting for a well-deserved retrospective of The Myddle Class. The band only released one more single, also on Tomorrow. Charles Larkey married Carole King, Dave Palmer was an early vocalist for Steely Dan, and Rick Philips was senselessly murdered in 1969 by a jealous roommate.

You can also hear a version of I Happen To Love You by Them here.

See you on the Flip-Side!

1 comment:

  1. The band's manager mentioned above, Al Aronowitz, was the same guy that arranged for the Beatles and Bob Dylan to meet for the first time in August, 1964.