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Plain and Fancy

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Saturday, March 3, 2012

Various Artists - Revenge Of The Amphetamine Generation (1964-67 uk, mod, freakbeat, R'n'B gems, vinyl limited edition 230/800)


From the same archive that brought you the amazing Purple Heart Surgery series, this latest installment features upgraded packaging and equally righteous, never before released UK Beat/R&B acetates circa 1965-67. The set opens with "I Need You" and "View From The Circle", a couple of fuzz-scorched Mod R&B shakers, featuring soulful vocals and the kind of hard-drivin' drumbeats that instantly fill a dance floor: dynamite stuff by an unnamed band on a Phil Solomons-produced acetate.

Equally boggling to the mind is Thor's "Lindsay Davis", a moody freakbeat piece featuring eerie harmonies and great organ sounds suspended over a relentless charging jungle drum beat: breathtaking! The Birmingham-based Psychotic Reaction came up with some decidedly psychotic action on their two-sided acetate; both "Oh Misery" and "Be My Girl" are tough, rough-round-the-edges garage punkers - almost American-sounding, in fact. Of the "known" identities, listeners will no doubt be familiar with David John & The Mood, but not this previously unreleased version of "Diggin' For Gold", a Lee Dorseyesque, atmospheric R&B performance which pre-dates the vastly different version they cut with Joe Meek.

You'll also hear The Muleskinners, featuring future Small Face Ian MacLagen. "Need Your Lovin'" is an excellent R&B cut that was later re-recorded for release on Fontana. The Quakers' "She's Alright", a strong R&Beat shouter, actually saw a vinyl release circa `65, albeit on the tiny Studio 36 label (this track also crops up on English Freakbeat Vol 3), as did The Poison Ivy's crude, stompin' version of "Sure Know A Lot About Love", on Cambridge-based Granta. What else? Well, Teddy Wadmore's "Buzz With The Fuzz" easily outbuzzes Chris Farlowe's (later) version; there's more Punk R&B from the Blues Conqueroos and The Plebs, a great demo version of The Flies' "House Of Love", and... well, why go on? I honestly can't think of a single reason why anyone reading this shouldn't buy Revenge Of The Amphetamine Generation immediately.
by Mike Stax


Musicians - Tracks
1. Unknown - I Need You - 2:24
2. Unknown - View From The Circle - 2:37
3. Unknown - Tiger Girl - 2:05
4. Thor - Lindsay Davis - 2:59
5. Unknown - House Of Love - 3:13
6. Psychotic Reaction - Oh Misery - 2:58
7. Psychotic Reaction - Be My Girl - 3:50
8. The Quakers - She's Alright - 2:38
9. The Saxons - Right Throughly 1:53
10.David John & The Mood - Digging For Gold (Demo Version) - 2:47
11.The Poison Ivy - Sure Know A Lot About Love - 3:10
12.Blues Conqueroos - Pretty Polly - 3:00
13.The Plebs - I'm A Man - 2:21
14.Teddy Wadmore - Buzz With The Fuzz - 2:13
15.The Muleskinners - Need Your Lovin' - 2:02

Artists - Credits
Unknown #1
Regretably nothing is known about the group behind this double-sided slab of freakbeat from '66 except that they weren produced by Phil Solomons.

Unknown #2
Again the identity of the group behind this next gem - "Tiger Girl", a Mod Punk stomper - has been lost with time. Its flip contains an interesting cover of a Country Joe and The Fish number which dates this recording to '67.

Thor
Rather than the late sixties pop evident on their other acetate (compiled on "Syde Tryps Three"), this mysterious Berkshire group this time deliver a real psych-trip complete with pounding drums and generous helpings of organ.

Unknown #3
Written by Grainger/Jones, this recording possibly represents an earlier demo by THE FLIES - who went on to record this number as the A-side of their second single in early '67 (Decca, F.12594) - albeit in a much more polished form.

Psychotic Reaction
These deranged 1966 recordings from the Hollick & Taylor studios in Handsworth, Birmingham more than justifies this obscure groups moniker who surely were the amphetamine generation...

The Quakers
Billed as "Almost Legendary Quakers" - this Melton, Leicestershire group's first vinyl excursion more than justifies the self congratulation. Recorded privately in August '64 at Northampton's Studio 36, both sides perfectly captures their wild R and B sound - which is somewhat lacking in their Oriole debut from 29th January 1965.
Personnel:
Dave Dene - vocals, Terry Muse - bass guitar,
Howard Perks - drums, Mick White - lead guitar

The Saxons
Not the five man group who recorded a Joe Meek produced single for Decca in '65 - but an entirely different group from Exeter, whose only recording is this privately recorded E.P. from '64. Described as "a song of heartbreak and despair a lament of love's labours lost" the poetic sleeve notes give little warning of the distorted punk track to come!
Personnel:
Chris Cooper - lead guitar, Chet Devlin - vocals,
Brian Ellery - rhythm guitar, John Townsend - drums

David John And The Mood
This highly reknown R and B group from Preston managed to record 3 now much sought after singles between '64-'65, that last two of which were produced by Joe Meek. David John was none other than W.C. Charnley - who wrote the A-side of their first and B-sides of their subsequent singles. The sound evident on this more melodic demo was never quite captured on the released single which was otherwise swamped in a typical RGM production.

The Poison Ivy
The Granta label from Cambridge has previously been linked with members of the early Pink Foyd who in 1964 were students in the city - though this is likely to be the only connection between the two groups. The four tracks contained on the E.P. feature spirited cover versions marred only by the primitive nature of the recording facilities.

Blues Conqueroos
Apart from it being recorded at a small studio in Soho, London, there are few other details available concerning this group - though one member may have been Dave Manvell.

The Plebs
Judging from the crude sound evident on this L.P. from '65, it would seem unlikely this is the same group whi delivered a rather accomplished performance as their Decca debut from October '64 - Bad Blood c/w Babe I'm Gonna Leave You (F. 12006). Their interpretation of "I'm A Man" is a rather deranged version of this old standard and is the strongest track on the L.P.
Personnel includes:
Dandy Horn - drums, Edward Lond - ?, Neal Steeper - bass guitar, (plus two others)

Teddy Wadmore
Suitably, this demonstration acetate from June '64 was initially sent to the headquarters of the satirical "Private Eye" magazine - predating the version by Chris Farlowe And The Thunderbirds (Columbia, DB 7614) from July '65 which was itself hastily withdrawn as a consequence of pressure from the establishment for fear of ridiculing the police force. Teddy Wadmore never officially recorded (and is presumably still doing time).

The Muleskinners
We close the L.P. with a track from the legendary private E.P. by cult Hounslow R and B group The Muleskinners - most memorable for including in their line-up Ian McLagen prior to him joining The Small Faces. The group penned "Need Your Lovin'" - was recorded in a much more restrained form as the B-side of their sole reel-to-reel tape demo of "Muleskinner Blues" and later went on to record "I Am The Giver Of All Things" as a flexidisc for "OZ" magazine in '66 though all copied were destroyed the group splitting soon after.
Personnel:
Terry Brennan - vocals, Peter Brown - bass guitar, Mick Carpenter - drums, Ian McLagen - rhythm guitar and organ, Dave Pether - lead guitar, Nick Twedell - harmonica

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Grand Theft - Hiking Into Eternity (1972-73 us, hard raw blues rock)



The Northwest has always been a fertile environment for popular music. From Bing Crosby to Pearl Jam, many bonafide superstars have emerged from the area and countless talented bands of the rock era left their mark locally. By most accounts, Tacoma's Wailers were the first teens to bash it out. They hit in 1959 nationally, and spawned literally hundreds of other groups in their wake.

Looked upon locally as the "Beatles of the Northwest," their sound and influence cannot be overestimated. Others went on to achieve success – some more than the Wailers - and much of this cultural richness is well documented in the annals of Northwest music. Stars from our area are many: The Sonics, Paul Revere and the Raiders, Jimi Hendrix, the Kingsmen, Heart, and Nirvana are but a few. But bands like the Crystal Sect. Easy Chair, the Henchmen, the Army and the Bluefield Doughboys left their mark with only a few fondly remembered performances or obscure recordings The Northwest is interesting geographically.

Seattle is pretty much the hub and is sandwiched between Puget Sound on one side and Lake Washington on the other In the middle of the lake is the city of Mercer Island. With a population of 25,000. "poverty rock" (as Mercer Island is fondly called) is one of the more exclusive suburbs. With the rock explosion of the sixties and seventies, Mercer Island had plenty of local teen bands. Some of these were: Spring Fever, the Bassics. the Thymes, Bluebird. Goldrush. English Rib, Great Whale, the Twelfth of Never, the Bandits. Blue Light, Double Image and Beautiful Joe. But the most legendary of these Mercer Islanders has to be Grand Theft. Emerging out of a dark practice basement, they were originally called Grand Theft Auto.

It was early 1972 and these musicians were enamored with the heavier sounds of the day. Led Zeppelin. Grand Funk, the Who and Black Sabbath were all influences. There is still some mystery about the group but several facts have been pieced together. Grand Theft was led by the guitar and vocal genius of Crowbar Mahoon, who also did most of the writing. The melodic rocksoiid bass was played by Riley Sedgemont Hi and their drummer was the phenomenal PK. Skins.

Like the best power trios, Grand Theft's crack rhythm section was essential to the complete sound - Sedgemont's innovative bass runs and Skins' thunderous percussion skills were second to none. Others who were involved with the Grand Theft sound include producer D B Fader's occasional writing piano ard vocals and roadie Cheese Toasters immortal opening on 'Scream (It's Eating Me Alive)" And who is Heff T. Berger, the writer of 'Closer to Herty's?" A second guitarist, Loudus Volumous, was added later and some say he was the most mysterious of the bunch Loosely affiliated with the "hip" AM/FM radio station KOL, Grand Theft was able to enjoy some advantageous promotional opportunities Their only 45 ("Closer to Herty's/Scream") was a "Pick Hit of the Week." and the station ran a "Win a Dream Date with Grand Theft" contest.

They played live only twee, at nearby Bellevue’s Olde Town Tavern and Woodinville's Gold Creek Dome, location of the 1969 Seattle Pop Festival. Apparently tour offers were tendered but Mahoon felt their sound was too intricate to replicate live so they continued to woodshed in their basement lair. Presumably Volumous was deputized to heip augment Grand Thefts legendary sound. But it was not to be.

With their high creative standards and unrelenting musical quality control, they could rot bring themselves to deliver less to their rabid fans than perfection. So Grand Theft was content to play only with themselves as their own harshest critics. Thankfully, they had the foresight to roll tape during some of these infamous sessions Produced by the enigmatic D B Fader, their self-titled album was released In mid 1972, and has become one of the most coveted recordings in Northwest history. Earlier embryonic rehearsal material survives and is heard here in ail its genius for the first time. We've also included their complete album, making its compact disc debut.

The band's demise is puzzling, as other recording projects are logged in the tape archives Sadly, the album "It Doesn't Take Talent" has never been located, but we're proud to present (also for the first time) selections from the aborted "Grand Theft II.." Grand Theft has long been a mystery. Four obviously talented musicians passed through these hallowed ranks in the early seventies, yet nothing has been heard from them since With their instrumental brilliance, lyrical philosophies and son-c mastery, it's one of music’s injustices they never became famous Maybe with “Hiking Into Eternity" Grand Theft will finally gain some of the critical and commercial success they've waited twenty-plus years to receive,
by W. Bismark O’Halleran



Tracks
1. Leavin' This Town - 6:54
2. Chain Driven Baby - 5:56
3. Damn the Nation - 10:13
4. Anxiety - 6:12
5. Scream (It's Eating Me Alive) - 4:39
6. Closer to Herfy's - 10:14
7. Log Rhythms / Meat Midgets - 7:28
8. Depression City RFD / Ohms - 8:16
9. Return of the Meat Midgets - 5:37
10.Ben the Rat Meets Led Zeppelin - 8:08
Tracks 1-4 early basement tapes 2/1972
Tracks 5-8 entire 1st album 5-6/1972
Tracks 9-10 unreleased 2nd album 4/1973


Grand Theft
*Crowbar Mahoon (David Baroh) - Guitar, Vocals
*Loudus Volumous - Guitar
*Riley Sedgemont III (Kevin Marin) - Bass
*P.K. Skins (Phil Klitgaard) - Drums
*D.B. Fader - Keyboards, Vocals

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