Monday, April 28, 2014

The Riddles - It's One Thing To Say

The Riddles are yet another Chicago area band getting a spin here at On The Flip-Side. Elmhurst to be exact. This is their one only output. Originally released on Quill Records in February of 1967, Mercury picked the record up for national distribution, releasing it two months later. The Riddles were Patrick Harper, Lee Adams, Weston Dobson, and Ronald Fricano. As is so often the case, we're spinning the Flip-Side, an original composition by the singer and guitarist, called It's One Thing To Say. The A-Side was an uninspired cover of The Searchers' Sweets For My Sweet.
Promo card of the band was lifted from the good folk at Garage Hangover.

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

Thursday, April 24, 2014

New Colony Six - At The River's Edge

We've posted about Chicago's New Colony Six before. It was a write-up on their debut single, I Confess/Dawn Is Breaking. You can read that here. Today we return with the Flip-Side of their second single, At The River's Edge. The single was released in April of 1966 on Centaur Records, a subsidiary of Cameo Parkway Records, and was composed by band member, Craig Wally Kemp. The band soon took a softer approach to their music, but this was a raver in the first order.
Until next time, we'll see you On The Flip-Side!

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Happy 91st Birthday to Bettie Page!

It's Bettie Page day at On The Flip-Side! No post has had more hits in the last 365 days than our birthday tribute to Bettie Page posted this day, one year ago. I can't figure out why a picture of Bettie Page may get more hits than a picture and audio file of Bob Dylan? Hmmm, go figure.

Bettie Page would have been 91 today. The queen of the pin-up had it all: style, charm, edge and unabashed joy.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Jet Harris - Main Title Theme from Man With The Golden Arm

[originally published 4/13/10]
Yeeha! From Nineteen Sixty fricken Two, we have Jet Harris performing this killer baritone guitar song, Main Title Theme (The Man With The Golden Arm). Yep, baby's got back. Jet Harris, as you may know, was the bassist for the formative instrumental band, The Shadows. In April of '62 he embarked on a solo career. This song, Main Title Theme (The Man With The Golden Arm), was his second single, released in August of '62 for Decca Records.

Car accidents and searching for the answer in the bottom of a bottle led to his immediate obscurity. But here we have Jet, his drumming companion and former ShadowTony Meehan, and a host of studio musicians laying down one groovy number. Enjoy.

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

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

The Lords - Don't Mince Matter/No One Knows

Don't Mince Matter
No One Knows
Guten Morgen. I first learned of the Berlin-bred, Düsseldorf-based band, The Lords, from a 1980s era Ugly Things article about the Germanic Hep-cats. I was a little taken aback by the pictures of them in silly outfits and dorky Prince Valiant haircuts. But publisher Mike Stax raved about their work. Or at least, that's how I recall it. Then I happened to run across this German pressed Columbia Records single in a record store on K Street in Sacramento, CA. WTF?!?!! How did it get there? I picked it up for about $2 and fell in love. Now I understood why Stax had his lederhosen in a bunch. It's fabulous. In a quirky cold war era West German way. The single was recorded at the Electrola Studios on August 3rd, 1966 in the town of Köln (aka Cologne) at 149 Maarweg Street. The band at the time was Ulli Günther on vocals, Bernd Zamulo on bass, Leo Leitz on guitar, Rainer Petry on guitar, and Max Donath on drums. I get excited just typing those names. Just imagine how excited I am to hear the record. 

Don't Mince Matter is the A-Side and it is fabulous. The number was written by lead guitarist and the blond heart-throb of North-Rhine Westphalia, Leo Leitz. Brilliant. Such a unique sound -  from the guitar running through the swirling Leslie Speaker to the thick as sauerbraten accent. To the highly compressed high hat pounding away to the unique Burns Bass roto-string sound. But, "Don't Mince Matter"? What the hell does that mean? What do any of these lyrics mean? Can anyone make out these lyrics? It's like they cut out a bunch of words from the Webster's English Dictionary, put them into a green felt alpine hat, shook it up, laid all the words down in random order and made a non-sensical song out of the words they found. 
And if the joke is good
but I can smile and would
Well I can dream of flying
must be that me this time
If you can be my girl
I wonder, what, what you mean girl
Tell me, my girl
Tell me, my girl
Baby crack a joke, but don't mince matter (x3)
Baby crack a joke, but I'm not sure.
No One Knows gets the Flip-Side of the single. Maybe the title of the song was a rejoinder to the quizzical lyrics of the A-Side. Could be! The number was written by some cats names Geitz and Michael. It still has the kick ass instrumentation - replete with their rented Leslie Speaker system --  but the lyrics make a little more sense. It's damn near as good as the A-Side. Enjoy both. Also enjoy the video below of them doing the traditional British folk song Greensleeves and the American blues song by John Lee Hooker, Boom Boom (irony, anyone?).
Until next time, we'll see you on das Flip-Side!

Monday, April 14, 2014

The Velvelettes - He Was Really Sayin' Somthin'

Happy Monday! We're back this week with The Velvelettes. We spun The Velvelettes wonderful 2nd single a few months back. You can hear that number here. Today we spin their third single, the delightful He Was Really Sayin' Somthin'. The single was released on the Motown subsidiary, V.I.P. Records on December 28, 1964. I'm not going to rehash the back story on the band. You can read that in the previous post on the band. Just enjoy.
Until next time, we'll see you On The Flip-Side!

Friday, April 11, 2014

The Zombies - Gotta Get A Hold On Myself

Following on yesterday's post about Dee Dee Warwick's 1965 number, Gotta Get A Hold Of Myself, we return with The Zombies' very different take on it from September 1966. The single was released in the UK on Decca but failed to get a US release. 

The Zombies change the opening and closing riffs, remove the lead guitar, speed the whole number up, reorganize some of the lyrics and bassist Chris White really steps up the bass work to propel the song to a new plateau. I'm particularly fond of his descending run following the line "late at night I hear footsteps sound down the hall" at 1:18. It's a nice musical play with the lyrics. As usual, Colin Blunstone's vocal performance is stellar. In addition, Rod Argent and Chris White really do a wonderful job with the harmonies. Play the two back to back. It's a nice comparison of how a song can be approached differently and come out perfect no matter which is on the turntable.
Until next time, we'll see you On The Flip-Side!

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Dee Dee Warwick - Gotta Get A Hold Of Myself

From October of 1965, we have Dee Dee Warwick doing Gotta Get A Hold Of Myself on the Blue Rock label, a subsidiary of Mercury Records. Dee Dee, the younger sister to Dionne and the cousin of Whitney Houston, never attained the fame of her relatives, but, as this recording shows, the young lady from New Jersey could belt it out with the best of them. We flipsters really dig that recurring guitar riff that creeps into the brain like a musical worm. 
Until next time, we'll see you On The Flip-Side!

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

The Creation - Hey Joe

Today's foray into the world of Hey Joe takes us across the pond for the first time.  Chas Chandler, bassist for The Animals, saw promise in this new song everyone was playing, and he took particular interest in a version by folk artist Tim Rose after seeing him perform in New York. Rose recorded a slower version that went out on the Columbia label in May, 1966, and Chas was looking for someone to take it further. As it happened stars were aligning for Chas when he met a virtually unknown R&B guitarist who had been gigging in the NY scene and they both hustled back to the UK on September 23, 1966. Apparently among the first acts Chas and his find, one Jimi Hendrix, saw was the pop-art band The Creation.

Now, at this point, its pure conjecture what transpired when Hendrix listened to the Creation that night, or whether he had any further interaction with the band, but in late 1966, he went into De Lane Lea studio - the same studio where The Animals House of The Rising Sun was recorded - and laid down his first single for Track Records, Hey Joe backed with Stone Free. This single saw release on December 16, 1966, quickly climbed the charts, and, in so doing, inscribed Hey Joe into the firmament of Rock. We wonder about Hendrix's exposure to The Creation because around this same time The Creation also laid down their exquisite version, today's Hey Joe, replete with the same intro and similar solo and lyrics. But note: Their version was released only on LP in September '67 in the Netherlands, Sweden, Germany and France.

Despite the later release, I'm of the mind that Hendrix took cues from The Creation and not the other way around. Why, for example, would The Creation copy a well-known version that soon hit the charts and would stay on for 11 weeks, peaking at number 6? Doesn't seem like them. Why would the innovative and brilliant Eddie Phillips simply copy a lead? (Although I suppose the opposite question should be posed: Why would Hendrix do the same?) Why also, if they were working off the Hendrix version, would The Creation insert the middle monologue section and create the very cool dramatic ending? Those additions seem to me the kind of thing that arise when you aren't even aware of another hit version of a song. One thing seems clear: Both versions are derivative of the Tim Rose Hey Joe with the slower tempo, similar lyrics ("I shot her!") and the moody choral back-up vocals.

Check out a very cool live recording of Tim Rose doing his Hey Joe:

Enjoy and until next time, see you on the Flip-side!

Monday, April 7, 2014

The Shadows of Knight - Hey Joe

I'm probably milking the Hey Joe thing a little too much, but I couldn't overlook one of my favorite versions of the song. Recorded in 1966 by Chicago band, The Shadows of Knight, it's a unique version with Joe Kelly's lead guitar work creating a great raga feel to the extended jam. This appeared on the band's second and final album, Back Door Men, for the famed Dunwich label.
Until next time, we'll see you On The Flip-Side!

Friday, April 4, 2014

The Music Machine - Hey Joe

Damn near verything that Sean Bonniwell and his Music Machine touched was brilliant. It should be no surprise then that The Music Machine did a great and unique version of Hey Joe. The band, led by Sean Bonniwell with Ron Edgar, Mark Landon, Keith Olsen and Doug Rhodes, recorded their brooding version of Hey Joe in 1966 for their debut album, Turn On The Music Machine. It was released as a single in 1968 on Original Sound Records after the band lineup had transmogrified and signed to Warner Brothers Records where they were billed as The Bonniwell Music Machine. It was Original Sound Records' last attempt to get blood from a stone.

The Flip-Side of this lovely single, with it's lovely picture sleeve, was the equally lovely original number, Wrong, also recorded in 1966.
Until next time, we'll see you On The Flip-Side!

Thursday, April 3, 2014

The Tangents - Hey Joe, Where You Gonna Go?

There is something I love about this version of Hey Joe, Where You Gonna Go? It's so very aggressive, so very straightforward, so very Los Angeles. And for good reason, The Tangents hailed from the city of angels and played the clubs on and off of The Strip often. Terry Topolski, Bob Shelton, Warren Brodie and Jim Janesick recorded their version of Hey Joe, Where You Gonna Go? for the Hollywood based Impression label in the Spring of 1966, about the same time The Leaves put out their third version. I see that Dino Valenti was still getting writing credit despite him not really writing the song.

Impression Records put out some kick ass stuff like The Sloths and The Dirty Shames.

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

The Pied Pipers - Hey Joe

From Youngstown, Ohio, we have The Pied Pipers with their 1966 release of Hey Joe on the not-so-infamous WAM Records. As with most things Ohio garage rock, the good people at Buckeye Beat have done a nice write up on The Pied Pipers. Check it out if you can.

The Pied Pipers hailed from Cardinal Mooney High School and were founded by Les Moro, Pete Pompura, Lenny Krispinsky, and singer Dennis Sesonsky. Not sure why he gets "vocal" billing where the writer credits should go on this disc. The Pied Pipers' version, like the Hazards' version yesterday, clearly owes a lot to The Leaves seminal third recording of the number.

Check out the pics of Sesonsky on stage. Seems to be of a different time and place than anyone else in those pictures. All photos were lifted from the Buckeye Beat site. It would seem these photos were taken in '68 with a slightly modified line-up.

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

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

The Stillroven - Hey Joe

Rolling out a ton more of Hey Joe in the next couple of days so we are doubling, even tripling up on our daily posts. How cool is that?

The Stillroven hailed from the Minneapolis suburb of Robbinsdale, Minnesota where they all attended Robbinsdale High School. The teen band was Phil Berdahl, Rock Peterson, John Howarth, Dave Dean and Danny Kane. They released their version of Hey Joe on local label, Falcon Records in May of 1967. It was subsequently picked up for national distribution by Roulette Records a month later.

The Hazards - Hey Joe

From Richmond, Virginia, home to Nitro-Retro Blog, comes The Hazards with their take on Hey Joe. This version is clearly inspired by The Leaves' third version of Hey Joe, right down to the bridge and the misattribution of writing credit for the song. 

According to the music site, Garage Hangover, The Hazards were Andy Hrabovsky, Sonny Salisbury, Alan, Sidenburg and Greg Ellerson of John Randolph Tucker High School. As well as Stanley Bernstein and David Moore of Thomas Jefferson High School.

The kids released their take on Hey Joe in 1967 for the local label, Groove Records.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

The Swamp Rats - Hey Joe!

More Hey Joe today. This time from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania where the meanest, nastiest, dirtiest, loudest garage band to ever walk the Earth released their take on Hey Joe in 1966 on the local label, St. Clair Records.

By the way, the Flip-Side of this single was featured in our Louie Louie love fest back in 2012. Check it out here.