Day two of 10 in our Battle of the Garage Bands from The South. We've crowned winners in New England, The Mid-Atlantic and New York. Now we let the Confederacy have their day in the sun.
And in so doing we turn our attention to sunny West Palm Beach, Florida where we have The Tasmanians with their debut single on Conda Records from 1966. As we tend to do here at On The Flip-Side, we are going to flip the record over and spin the Flip-Side first (that's how we got our name, after all).
Baby is a bit of an oddity in the garage world of the 60's. It's a foot stomping raver that is primarily acoustic based. Baby was written by singer and acoustic guitarist Robbin Thompson and lead guitarist and harmonica player, Mike "Gypsy" Carns. (As is pathetically so often the case, both of their names were misspelled on the label). We get the requisite garage stomper lyrics of 'girl done me wrong' sung with a menacing snarl by Thompson. Fine harmonies, well restrained fuzz guitar and some killer bass work fill out the musical landscape. We're particularly fond of the cacophonous breakdown of an ending to the song with bassist Woody Pollard leading the way and keyboardist Craig Davis running up and down the keyboard.
Love, Love, Love is the single's A-Side, and, as it seems must be for an A-Side, tells the exact opposite tale of the Flip-Side of the single. Here we have a girl who can do no wrong. And man oh man, does she inspire love. It's a much more pop approach and a very brief one clocking in at only 1:49. Love, Love, Love was also written by Thompson and Carns. It is certainly catchy as hell and radio friendly and the number particularly soars at the bridge. But in the end, it is Baby that makes this piece of vinyl one highly sought out single from The South.
The Tasmanians released one more single the following year, the A-side is good, but it doesn't measure up to their debut. The band played all over Florida where they played with the likes of the Beau Brummels. A little side note, the band was managed by a police detective who tried to keep the boys on the straight and narrow. I wonder how that worked out?
Both Thompson and Carns are still active in the music business and savvy internet sleuths can even find the two hep-cats still performing and fishing together. Sadly Pollard, Davis and drummer Greg Brundt have all passed away. All pics are taken with permission from Gypsy Carns' website. He has a ton more on there. Check it out.