What's All This Then

Why should I care what this guy has to say?

The correct answer is that you shouldn’t. We’re all entitled to our opinions. Develop your own. I try to be sane and rational, but that may change with the level of caffeine intake. I’m just telling my stories in the hopes they may amuse and/or inform others. And... I Confess... I'm showing off my bitchen collection a bit.

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving - Now Dance!

It's Thanksgiving.  This is as close as I can get to a Thanksgiving record.  

Little Eva was Carole King's babysitter who had a huge hit with The Locomotion.  This was an attempt to start another dance craze.  It never quite caught on.

I've had this record as long as I can remember.   I think it used to belong to my older sister.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Eno and REM Wimoweh

The Lion Sleeps Tonight.  

The song can be traced back as far as the 1920's.  It was based on a Zulu chant.  In the early sixties, it was covered by British doo-wop group The Tokens and became an international hit.

Not From My Collection

Subsequently it was covered a few times...

Whether you're a cutting edge experimental artist/musician or an early hipster college rock indie band - everybody wimoweh's.

REM issued is as a B-Side to The Sidewinder Sleeps Tonight

Brian Eno issued it as an A-Side.   

Eno was a little more generous in crediting the original South African composer.  

So there you have it.  Both artists covered this song and both artists appear frequently as answers in crossword puzzles.  Take that Asta and Fala.

Evidently there's a B-Side by NSYNC as well.  No plans to seek that one out.  Well maybe.  I would bet it's hilarious.

Wimoweh, Baby!

Sunday, November 23, 2014

I Read The News Today, Oh Boy

In the early 70's a few records came up with fake newspapers as their cover.  Here are some examples.

Jefferson Airplane - Volunteers.  (RCA 1969)

This is one of the earliest ones from 1969.   A mock conservative newspaper with drug references throughout.  

Included as an insert with more of the fake conservative newspaper.  

Then used the following day to wrap a sandwich.

John & Yoko - Sometime in New York City (Apple 1973)

Since the music on this album was topical, might as well make it appear as it's front page news

Jethro Tull - Thick as a Brick (Reprise 1972)

This parody cover from 1972 actually folds out to to a full size newspaper.  Its around 16 pages.  

Friday, November 21, 2014

Jack in the Box Vol 1 - Why A House Makes Noise

Volume 1 in the Jack in the Box comic/flexi series.  A little comic and record affair that was designed to make a kid not freak out at strange noises in the house at night.  It's mostly likely the gastro-intestinal function of those who dined at Jack in the Box during the day.  

Actually, the little song they sing to the greasy onion ring hiding under the covers (right on the sheets I might add) terrifies me even more.  

Rather than be afraid of ghosts or burglars, I'm now terrified of the house collapsing.  It doesn't help that the house depicted on the label appears to be a cross between the Addams Family house and the Psycho house. 

Sing this to your kids before bedtime

If sometimes you hear a noise at night
that makes you feel afraid
There's nothing to be frightened of
That's how a house is made
You think a house is standing there
As solid as a rock
But it's really changing all the time 
And ticking like a clock

Remember that a house must take
So many kinds of weather
Both hot and cold and wet and dry
They often go together
Now houses feel the temperature
The same as people do.
A house can shiver and perspire too.

When wood gets wet it swells up.
Iron shrinks when it gets cold
And bricks get twice as heavy
With the water they can hold
Hot tar gets soft and paint expands
Believe me girls and boys
It's all this pushing and pulling, swelling
Causing all the noise.

So picture all the changes
That go on in every way
When that big house cools down at night
After a sunny day
And now that I've explained it
I hope you see the light
And they you'll smile and not be scared
At noises in the night.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Bagels and Bongos

Not much I can say about this one.   I dig the beaded curtain made of day old bagels.   My only regret is that I don't have the first one.  

Monday, November 17, 2014

West Coast Punk - The Avengers

The Avengers.  Not the Marvel superheroes, but a punk band from San Francisco.  Fun band.  Opened for the Sex Pistols at their final gig at Winterland.   They never put out a full album.  San Francisco had a vibrant scene as did Los Angeles.  San Francisco bands came to Los Angeles quite often - and vice versa.  It was a very exciting time.

They released this single on Dangerhouse

The Avengers  - We Are the One/I Believe in Me b/w Car Crash

Typical Dangerhouse packaging.  A folded piece of paper inside a plastic bag.  In many cases, they used a letter size piece of paper that didn't even cover both sides of the single.  This is the second run.  The first run, which is much rarer, has a sleeve with singer Penelope on a cross.

Judging by the remains of the sticker on the back, I got this at a Music Plus.  That chain ended up merging with Blockbuster and then going out of business.

We Are not Jesus Christ
We Are not Fascist Pigs
We Are not Capitalist Industrialists
We Are not Communist.
We are the One

And the B-Side was a lengthy epic by punk standards clocking in at a whopping 4:15.

The Avengers play Los Angeles and Duke Dunton was there.  The opening band later had more success when they got slick and produced.  At this point they were punk and could hardly play.  The only thing I remember about The Flyboys was that they did a Monkees cover.

And a clip to go out on....

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Record Store Day Black Friday 11/28/2014

BF Logo

It's coming.  11/28/2014.    Check out the official list here.....

Record store day is an annual celebration of the independent record store.   It's since been expanded to include a Black Friday event.   The special limited releases aren't as plentiful as the regular annual event held every April.   Each time I say I'm not going.  Each time there's something on the list that makes me change my mind.  Each time I come home with more than I intended

This year I'm going in with the intention of getting only the Grateful Dead release.   OK.  Maybe the Little Richard release.  Or the Bowie.   We'll see how that ends up.

So check it out and support your local vinyl retailer.   Participating stores are listed here:

Record Store Day Official Website

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Daddy, Where do Records Come From?

This post is dedicated to the men and women who endured extreme heat and toxic fumes so that we may enjoy a good listen here and there.

Very interesting to watch.  I feel like a kid looking into a chocolate factory.


Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Frank Zappa - Today is Veteran's Day

In 1980, the draft was being reinstated in the USA.  This prompted Frank Zappa to rush record a new single, 'I Don't Wanna Get Drafted'

Having just come off a well publicized legal battle with Warner Brothers over (among other things) their refusal to release his four record set 'Lather,' Zappa set up shop with Mercury who distributed Zappa Records.  Evidently the parent still wielded some control as they refused to release this single.  

Zappa took matters into his own hands and released it independently.  This also was the last straw for him at Mercury.  He then went on to run the Barking Pumpkin label through Columbia.   Now all the recordings are owned by the Zappa Family Trust.  

I Don't Wanna Get Drafted b/w Ancient Armaments

It even came with a draft card.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Salvador Dali meets The Great One.

Jackie Gleason was a big deal in the 1950s and 1960s.    He starred in the honeymooners.   He had a very popular variety show from Miami.   Fred Flintstone was based on him.

And he made instrumental records.    Not sure what his capacity was.   It may have just been Gleason presents or something.    And for some reason I have a bunch of them.    Probably just picked up because my jaw dropped with every cover.   I'll probably post them all at some point, but this one stands out.

Jackie Gleason presents Lonesome Echo

This one sports a cover by Salvador Dali.  Gleason raised his baton and the magic happened.

 As the liner notes say:

This is the music that says relax .....  Close your eyes ... Remember ..... Listen to the lonesome echo.

Even more surreal to me is the picture on the back.  Dali and Gleason together again.   One track is called 'I wished on the Moon.'  Was he thinking of wishing Alice Kramden there?

This record once belonged to Lee Johnson   His name wasn't bold enough in ballpoint pen, so he wrote it again with a felt tip.  I got it at CD Trader in Tarzana.

Friday, November 7, 2014

A Very Gleason Evening as Told in Gleason Album Covers

Who doesn't think of romance when they think of Jackie Gleason.  Most likely everyone doesn't, but Jackie's ego wanted us to believe a different story.

Music, Martinis and Memories

There she is.  Sitting alone at the bar in evening dress.  It's almost closing time.   Many martinis consumed by both of you earlier in the evening.  How sweet it is!  Go on Tiger!  To the Moon! You can do this......

After all  - you've got your shirt unbuttoned.  What woman could possibly resist!  

Music for the Love Hours

And Awaaay we go.  It's now time for the Love Hours.  Just hope that nightie she had in her purse isn't flammable.  It sure looks like it to me.  Combine that with all the alcohol she must have had earlier to go home with Jackie and we may have a human torch on our hands.

After many cigarettes have been consumed and ground out in the heart shaped ash tray, Jackie drifts off to sleep or passes out from drink - one of the two.

Music to Remember Her

It's now the next morning.   He's got a wicked hangover. He's forgotten her name.  She's right there beside him   He's gotta come up with something quick.  Was it 'Mulva?'   This record may help.  First off, it offers some suggestions.  This will come in handy when she wakes up.  It also may come in handy when Jackie's  explaining to the police how she caught fire the night before.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Senator Bobby

At some point about ten years ago, I owned a small rundown shack in the middle of the Mojave Desert.  There were no doors or windows.  There was an outhouse up the hill (I always thought it was supposed to be down the hill).  There was no running water.  There was a joshua tree on the property.  It was near the world's largest free standing boulder.  

We called it the Hacienda which evoked images of a plush villa with landscaping and a pool or two.

It was a rundown shack.

I had visions of turning it into a desert hideaway, but it got weird.  Motor homes encircled it and sapped my electricity.  This was years before Breaking Bad.  I'm sure that's what was going on.  I called the sheriff.  They went out there and rousted the guys.  the county got after me for not having windows and insisted I board the place up.   I sold the place soon afterwards.  

When I first went out there, it was filled with trash.  The only thing I brought home that day were these two 45's.   An odd pair of records for someone to leave in the desert  - especially since these were the only records left there.

Senator Bobby  with Senator McKinley - Mellow Yellow b/w  Bobby the Poet - White Christmas (3:00 Weather Report)

The A Side features a Bobby Kennedy impersonator performing Donovan's Mellow Yellow.  The B Side is a Dylan impersonator reading the weather report while White Christmas plays in the background

Senator Bobby - Wild Thing b/w Senator McKinley - Wild Thing

Evidently the people doing the Kennedy/McKinley impersonations decided to keep going with it.  

Thank you desert shack for yielding this bounty.

I don't know who these people were or if they ever put out any more records.   I did manage to find a TV clip of them performing it on a show hosted by Kate Smith.

Monday, November 3, 2014

Tomorrow is Election Day Here in California

Jerry Brown is running for re-election.  Coincidentally, he was governor during the first punk era.  

San Francisco punk band, The Dead Kennedys, had visions of Jerry Brown becoming an evil new-age Hitler type.  

I take this Election Day to post.....

California Uber Alles b/w Man With the Dogs

Released in 1979 on what looks like the Optional Music label. This was packaged in typical folded paper in plastic bag.  

I am Governor Jerry Brown
My aura smiles
And never frowns
Soon I will be president...

Carter Power will soon go away
I will be Fuhrer one day
I will command all of you
Your kids will meditate in school
Your kids will meditate in school!

California Uber Alles
California Uber Alles
Uber Alles California
Uber Alles California

Zen fascists will control you
100% natural
You will jog for the master race
And always wear the happy face

Close your eyes, can't happen here
Big Bro' on white horse is near
The hippies won't come back you say
Mellow out or you will pay
Mellow out or you will pay!


Now it is 1984
Knock-knock at your front door
It's the suede/denim secret police
They have come for your uncool niece

Come quietly to the camp
You'd look nice as a drawstring lamp
Don't you worry, it's only a shower
For your clothes here's a pretty flower.

DIE on organic poison gas
Serpent's egg's already hatched
You will croak, you little clown
When you mess with President Brown
When you mess with President Brown


The B-Side, Man With the Dogs, features an Airedale.  How vicious!

I saw The Dead Kennedy's a few times.  One time at The Other Masque - an empty warehouse type space near the corner of Vine and Melrose in Hollywood. It was a dump.  When the crowd started jumping around during a band's set, a cloud of dust would rise.  You could hear sneezing.  

I have a memory of singer Jello Biafra attempting a stage dive hoping to be caught by the audience.  Nobody was really interested in catching him.  The crowd stood aside and made a clearing.   He went thump on the hard concrete floor. We the audience were not his Alles! 

Jello Biafra recently showed up on 'Portlandia' playing a punk who came out of a coma 30 years later.  Like Rip Van Winkle, he was appalled at the state of society.  His chant of 'die yuppie scum' was met with 'we're not yuppies, we're foodies'

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Grateful Dead on 45

The Grateful Dead.  One of the most successful touring bands ever.  The subject can be a bit divisive amongst record collector types and music fans.  You're either on the bus or not.

I was on the bus as was my wife, Winnie Margate.  We saw tons of shows.

Their records had a hard time capturing the magic of their shows.  Not to say there aren't some gems (American Beauty, Workingman's Dead).  As they rose to prominence as a touring band, the records became less and less important.  The hit single proved to be elusive until 1987.

I'll present a few 45's in my collection.

Here Comes Sunshine b/w Let Me Sing Your Blues Away

After starting their recording career with Warner Brothers, the band decided to go it alone.  They launched Grateful Dead Records for band projects and Round Records for solo projects.  This was different from the labels set up by the Jefferson Airplane (Grunt), The Beatles (Apple) or the Rolling Stones (Rolling Stones) as those labels were still under the supervision of their parent labels.  There were still hassles from the parents even though to the outside world it appeared the labels were autonomous.  

The Grateful Dead controlled the whole thing from top to bottom - from recording to getting the product on the shelves.

  'Wake of the Flood' was the first album on the label.  This was the first single pulled from that album.  It carries the catalog number GDS-01.    Nice label by Rick Griffin.

The Music Never Stopped b/w Help on the Way

After a few years of trying to run their own label, the band ran into problems with distribution, quality control, counterfeiting, warehouse flooding (ironically destroying copies of 'Wake of the Flood' on green vinyl), and the stress of running the company.    At this point they looked to one of the majors to distribute their product.   All Grateful Dead Records catalog were now pressed and distributed by United Artists.  

This single was from the 'Blues for Allah' album.  It was not a hit single.   Both sides have a different mix from the album.

Touch of Gray b/w My Brother Esau

Now the band gave up on even running a distributed label.  They signed with Arista.  

Finally, there was a  hit single for the Grateful Dead.  Pulled from the 'In the Dark' album.  The band had been playing most of these songs for about 5 years before they went into the studio with them.  The single, 'Touch of Gray' put them in the top 10.  I heard Casey Kasem say the name of the band once.  

The single was pressed on grey vinyl

And contained a B-Side that was not included on the album

And came wrapped in a poster sleeve

Extra Bonus - Record Store Day Mystery Release

Record Store Day 2013.  Release of a mystery disc.  One side features a live recording of 'Iko Iko' by the Grateful Dead.  The other side features two versions of the same song done by Dr. John and the Dixie Cups.  Pressed on what they were calling 'tie dye vinyl'