This week’s five pack are all from the sixties which isn’t my usual area of interest. I started collecting garage records around the time of the original Nuggets (’72) and the Sonics’ Explosive (Buck Shot) re-issue, but over the years as I listened to the garage stuff less and less, and the fifties rockabilly and R&B 45’s got harder and harder to find, I traded away quite a few great garage originals. A few I truly regret trading away (Ritual by the Mods comes to mind first and foremost). In the post-Pebbles world however the music is all readily available, if not the original discs, in fact these days some of the coolest early comps– Off The Wall, Hipsville B.C., Scum Of The Earth, et al are rarities themselves. Here’s some of the records I’ve never considered trading and still play all the time.
Baby Ray & the Ferns is of course Frank Zappa and the Mothers circa 1964. I think this is his/their best record, you can really here the Johnny Guitar Watson influence on the guitar solos. This is what they must’ve sounded like playing greaser bars in Cucamonga. The A-side– World’s Greatest Sinner is of course the theme song for the incredible Tim Carey movie, the flip– How’s Your Bird comes from a line that Frank Sinatra and his pals used as a sort of an in joke. Both sides are classic greaseball rock’n’roll, the kind they don’t make no more.
The Devils’ Devil Dance on the Devlet label seems to come from Western Pennsylvania judging by the towns mentioned in the shout outs during the spoken part. It’s a frat garage rocker that many know from the A-Bones version. My favorite thing about the label is that is says “7 ” disc” , as if somebody was going to measure it to check up, but there’s no address or label info. I bet these guys played a lot of frat parties.
Speaking of Frat party bands, how the Trashmen ended up on Chess subsidiary Argo is anybody’s guess but they were not kidding when the put the words “Audio Odessey” on the label. A-side is the third version of their ’63 monster hit Surfin’ Bird– this time titled Bird’ 65 while the flip is a pretty straight forward run through of the Warren Smith Sun classic Ubangi Stomp. The Trashmen never made a bad record, but I’d put this one as their third best (second best: New Generation which gets extra points for the sound of a a-bomb exploding).
Mark Markam & the Jesters’ were from Florida and this frat rocker takes the Louie Louie riff
and adds some truly bizarre lyrics. Goin’ Back To Marlboro Country was a bit of a local hit in the Miami area around ’66, I remember hearing it on the radio at least once. Markam was a cousin of South Florida rocker Charlie Pickett who would cut a version of this in the 80’s. I’m not sure if he cut any other discs but this will do as a claim to immortality.
Last up is the original Fleetwood Mac line-up– Peter Green, John McVie, Mick Fleetwood and writer/singer and star of this b-side Jermey Spencer. This teddy boy send up– Somebody’s Gonna Get Their Head Kicked In Tonight was issued as the b-side of Mac’s Man Of The World under the nome’du disc Earl Vince & the Valiants. Within a year, Spencer, who had previously been obsessed with Elmore James and fifties rock’n’roll would disappear into the Children Of God cult, one of the creepiest ‘Jesus meets kiddie porn’ cults around, only emerging recently. He did a whole LP in this style for Immediate (U.K. only), his second LP– Jeremy Spencer and the Children (Warner Bros) wasn’t even him but fellow cult members using his name to spread their ugly message. Doesn’t it seem that everyone who ever played guitar in Fleetwood Mac would go crazy at some point in their career (ever see the video of Linsay Buckingham kicking Stevie Nicks in the ass onstage)? I used to have a great tape of Spencer doing a BBC radio show (backed mostly by F.M. members) doing all rockabilly type stuff including a great version of Cliff Richards’ Move It (but I can’t find it), and there’s plenty of fifties style rockers on the Fleetwood Mac BBC double CD, if he’d of stuck with the Teddy Boys and Elmore James he’d be in better shape today no doubt. There’s great book in the Jeremy Spencer story, I’m sure will see one some day.