Thursday, December 11, 2014

The South Spotlight: The Nomads - Thoughts Of A Madman/From Zero Down

Day four of our regional Battle of The Bands focusing on The South takes us to Mount Airy, North Carolina. The rural town is perhaps best known for being the home to one Mr. Andy Griffith. The town even claims that Mount Airy was the inspiration for Griffith's fictional town, Mayberry. That may be, but Aunt Bee and Floyd The Barber never rocked like the primal band we feature today. Otis couldn't even keep up with these moving maudlin marauders.

The Nomads recorded three singles in their brief day. We feature today, their last (and best) single. It was released on Tornado Records in April of 1967. Both sides are originals composed by members Bruce Evans and Larry Deatherage.

The A-Side is the wickedly cool Thoughts Of A Madman. It opens with an echo-chambered guitar that is reminiscent of the work on the 13th Floor Elevators' second album, Easter Everywhere. Bruce Evans pushes the microphone into the red ad he sings of suicide, death with peace of mind, insanity and "1000 graves dancing in my head". Not your typical A-Side material for rural North Carolina in 1967!

The Flip-Side is the raunchy raver with a quizzical title of From Zero Down. Gary Beeson shines on the organ as The Nomads sing about the timeless teen classic -- a party...tonight! But again, Evans adds in a bit of woe-is-me at the gospel like bridge.
I'm getting tired of being treated like dirt
I'm sick of being the only one who gets hurt
I'm tired of all those people always laughing at me
From now on baby, this is the way it's going to be
Despite that turn into the dark, rest assured, the boys are going to feel good at their party (tonight). Damn it!

Mike Badgett and Jerry Martin rounded out the rhythm section of the band. Not long after recording this farewell single, the boys scattered to the usual spots -- college and Vietnam.
Until next time, we'll see you On The Flip-Side!


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  2. Great summary. My Daddy, Bruce Evans, could belt and play for sure! His records are getting more attention now than they ever did back in the day. If he were alive to see some of the things written like this, he'd surely be smiling!! In the picture above, he's the one on the right. :)
    -Holly Evans Carver