Saturday, June 13, 2015

Pacific Northwest Spotlight: The Daily Flash - Jack of Diamonds/Queen Jane Approximately

Back to our Pacific Northwest Spotlight as we determine, region by region, the greatest garage single ever.

Today we spin a band out of Seattle, Washington. The Daily Flash started in the folk clubs of the PNW town and eventually would make their way down to the hipster scene of LA and then San Francisco. The band was guitarist and lead singer, Steve Lalor, guitarist Doug Hastings, Don MacAllister on bass and Jon Keliehor on drums. 

The band recorded only two singles in their brief existence. Today we feature their debut single, and, as usual, we flip the record over to start on the superior flip-side. The record was released in July of 1966 on Parrot Records.

The flip-side is the brilliant Jack of Diamonds. It opens with a wall of feedback before it gives way to a rolling bass line and wailing harp. The hard charging arrangement is never better than at the ever so brief, incendiary guitar break led by Doug Hastings. Dig that bass work behind the lead. The song gets writing credit from the band. However, that is a bit suspect. The song dates back to at least 1926 when Blind Lemon Jefferson recorded the number in Texas. The Daily Flash give it a pretty wild reinvention, but let's be honest, they rearranged it, they didn't write it. 

The A-side is a great cover of Bob Dylan's Queen Jane Approximately. It showcases the band's folk roots brilliantly. Truly one of the best Dylan covers from the era. Another great guitar solo and some real fine harmonies. Now if Dylan just hadn't written that number with the awkward sentence that ends improperly in a preposition, I would have nothing about which to complain.

The band released one more single, on Uni Records, in January of 1967 and is well worth seeking out. We wrote about here back in 2013.

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

1 comment:

  1. What a great, great disc. I'm always surprised when something like Jack of Diamonds makes it to print. On a big label too. It's like one extended break, groove, jam, with insubstantial lyrics and a lot of noise. And pure greatness.

    Queen Jane is a riveting performance. Has an almost VU intro.