Monday, April 6, 2015

Southern California Spotlight: The Satans - Makin' Deals/Lines and Squares

Back to So Cal with our regional Battle of the Garage Bands. Today we embrace The Satans. Nothing is known about The Satans. Nothing. Some claim they are from Fullerton, California. Some have thought they hailed from New Orleans. But me? I think this is not really a band. I think this was a studio creation. Let me explain. 

Bob Summers, the gentleman who arranged and produced the number was an independent record producer who worked with Mike Curb and his business, Sidewalk Productions. At the time of this release, in May of 1966, Mike Curb was spearheading a number of Biker exploitation films that played up all things taboo: drugs, rape, murder hell and motorcycle gangs that went by the names of The Devil's Angels, The Born Losers and, of course, The Satans. 

Posit this release, the inaugural release for Manhattan Records, into that paradigm and strong signs point to this song being a studio creation perhaps intended to be used in one of the soundtracks of a Russ Meyers directed film produced by Mike Curb. Bob Summers wrote, produced, arranged for a variety of labels and released a few numbers under his own name. He would go on to write a number of TV theme songs, including the theme for Grizzly Adams. 

Now to the record. Makin' Deals was composed by "The Satans". In it's brief 2:08 of eternal life, our singer poses as the devil and offers up all sorts of deals to the listener. He also poses the question, "can you guess my name?" This has led many to wonder if The Rolling Stones may have got ahold of this record when they were touring California at the time that this record was released. That is because the Rolling Stones asked the very same question in their very similarly themed recording, Sympathy For The Devil, which was recorded on the 4th of June, 1968. 

The flip-side is a straightforward jangly number called Lines And Squares. This one also gets writing credit from "The Satans". But the reality is that the lyrics are taken from a poem of the same name written by A.A. Milne. How satanic is it to steal from the author of Winnie The Pooh? 

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


  1. Great research Morgan! I had no idea about the A.A. Milne/Lines & Squares poem!!!!! How did u find that out?
    And it totally makes sense about The Satans being a studio band for a possible bike movie flick. Love it!
    Always loved the HELL out of that song. Pun intended!

    1. Thanks señor Nitro Retro. I don't recall how I learned about the A.A. Milne poem. It was so many years ago that I made that connection.

      Re: Makin' Deals. It's just a theory, but I do think it has some validity. I would like to hear some of Bob Summers' singing. It would be interesting to compare.

      By the way, Summers is related to Mary Ford of Les Paul and Mary Ford fame. I think he is her brother, if I recall correctly.

  2. Yes ... and not only "all of the above" Brain Jones was a former owner of A.A. Milne's 16th century house. Talk about connections