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, March 31, 2016

PR&R Alias Pink Puzz

Paul Revere and the Raiders couldn't shake their teeny-bopper clean cut image for the life of them.  To get some airplay on the hipper FM stations, the band shipped their latest single, Let Me, under the alias 'Pink Puzz.'    The station happily played it, thought it was cool, etc until.....  they realized who it was and dropped it like a hot potato.

The subsequent album, which included the single was released as

Alias Pink Puzz  (Columbia 1968)

The cover shot was by Jim Marshall, legendary photographer of the San Francisco scene.

Depite the band's attempt to ditch the Revolutionary War costumes and dress more hip, it was not a hit.

And songs such as Down in Amsterdam which deals with the horrors of missing your limo ride to the airport didn't really resonate withe the hippie crowd.  After Mark missed his limo he jumped into his rental car.  Did he not return it?  Was he going to leave it on the street and flee the country?

And what of The Original Handyman?

A woman's like a race car
She's a fine machine
But when the gears get rusty
The plugs need to be cleaned
I do major overhauls
Any minor tune-ups too
A-just bring your woman 'round to me
I'll have her running like new.

The band must have been proud of the lyrics.  This is the only time they printed them on the sleeve.

Monday, March 28, 2016

PIL Commercial Zone

In 1983, Public Image LTD found itself 'between labels.'    Internal turmoil followed amidst the recording of their next album.    John Lydon decided to scrap the sessions and redo the tracks with studio musicians.  Keith Levene, decided to mix the tracks and present them as the next PIL record.

So he took the tracks and pressed them up at his own expense.  10,000 copies were pressed in the first round and released as 'Commercial Zone.'   Almost looking like a bootleg with a slightly altered PIL logo on one side.

It came in a plain wrapper.

My pressing is from the first run.  I'm pretty sure I got it at Middle Earth Records in Downey, CA.

PIL followed up with an official release of the redone material on 'This is What You Want....This is What You Get' on Elektra the following year.  Levine repressed this record with a run of 30,000 before it got buried by lawyers.

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Someone's Near the Turntable with Dyna

I have no idea what DynaGroove is other than 'the magnificent new sound developed by RCA Victor.'  

RCA wasn't shy about touting their quality of recording.  This is the company behind 'Living Stereo.'

RCA carried the 'Dyna' tag a step further with the introduction of DynaFlex in the '70's.  These were ultra thin record that you could flex like a musical saw blade.  I'm not knocking them.  The pressings I bought in that era still hold up nicely.  I'll probably post on that topic later.

As a side note on this type of thing, when I was in Hong Kong at Paul's Record Shop/Apartment, I asked him what type of record he sold to the locals.  Stereo demonstration records and records like the one above were top sellers that commanded top dollar.  Evidently in Hong Kong, space is at a premium and there's lots of money floating around.  People who had fancy stereos didn't have space for vinyl.  They bought these types of records to show off their systems.

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Songs Stories and Pictures of the Fabulous Beatles

Since Capitol passed on first dibs to the Beatles, other labels were free to pick them up and threw a few singles at the wall to see if they stuck.

Vee-Jay, an R&B label out of Chicago, picked up an option on their first album material and released 'Introducing the Beatles.'

In 1964, Capital picked up the option on subsequent material and released 'Meet the Beatles.'   The band appeared on Ed Sullivan and it was all over in America.

Since Vee-Jay had rights to the early masters, they were going to milk it for all that it was worth.

One of the most glaring money grabs was Songs, Pictures and Stories of the Fabulous Beatles

On the back, you could paste your picture next to your favorite Beatle and tell the world he loved you.  Fellows were out of luck.

The album came in a 3/4 gatefold sleeve which revealed the stories and pictures.  You also get to know know the Fab's favorite food, movie star, etc.   Ringo's favorite cartoon is Donald Duck.  George doesn't like having his hair cut.

And here's the money grab part.  The record inside is Introducing The Beatles, previously released with a different cover.  They didn't even bother to change the name on the label.  The hope was to snag unsuspecting record buyers into thinking this was a new record.  

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Pearl Jam and Neil Young

In 1995, Neil Young and Pearl Jam set out to make a record together.  Evidently, the lawyers got involved and the true collaboration album was not to be.   Neil Young put out his portion of the project as Mirror Ball, with the artwork changed to NY/NY from NY/PJ.  Great record, but it's basically a Neil Young album with Pearl Jam as the backing band rather than a true collaboration.

Pearl Jam was reduced to releasing a companion 45 entitled Merkin Ball.

Features Neil Young on guitar.

Saturday, March 12, 2016

Record Store Day 2016 - The List is Out!

Wake up early.  Stand in line.  It's Record Store Day on April 16th, 2016.

Here's a link to the list of this year's exclusive releases.

pdf version

Web Version

2016 marks the ninth Record Store Day.  When it first started in 2008, there were about five releases.  There was no hysteria and one could pick up the exclusives throughout the day.   I got the REM single on that day.

This year there are hundreds of releases ranging from the 'sucker pack' to honest to god rarities.  Hipsters come out of the woodwork for this.  The line at Amoeba Hollywood can stretch around the block late into the afternoon.  Mainstream local news covers it.

I go to a quaint store near my house and usually get everything I want.   I'll then hit up a Silver Lake store or two.  Unable to resist the lure of Amoeba, I'll usually swing by there after.  The last few years, the sight of a line a mile long just to get into the store caused me to just keep on driving.  When will this bubble burst?

I tend to avoid the 'sucker pack' releases.  These would be releases with any of the following attributes:

  1. reissue of popular titles on colored vinyl.
  2. limited vinyl edition of something with 'special' packaging.
  3. picture discs.  (this year there's a Justin Beiber one)

The visual is more important than the sound on these releases.  I'll leave those to the people that line up for hours in front of Amoeba.

What I go for are the following:

  1. reissues of 45's with the original B-Sides and/or picture sleeves
  2. First time issues of live sets (Grateful Dead has been doing this each year)
  3. reissues of rare LP's I've never been able to acquire.
  4. Indie or world music compilations
  5. Releases making their debut for the first time
  6. New 45's with non LP B-Sides.
So get up and enjoy.  Just don't be in front of me with my wish list items on your wish list. 

Personally, I think every day is Record Store Day.

Monday, March 7, 2016

Beach Blvd - Why Let a Perfectly Good Test Pressing Run Go to Waste?

In 1979, the compilation Beach Blvd was released.   Named after the portion of California Highway 39 which stretched from Whittier Blvd to Huntington Beach.  

A few months before the release, these test pressings began showing up at Zed Records in Long Beach.  Not sure if they released these to fund the actual covers or what.  Each one was numbered with individually hand written covers.

I pounced on it because I loved the Simpletones.  Saw them live a few times and had their debut single California b/w I Like Drugs.   They had very California sound with three surfer guy vocalists. Kind of pop/punk/surf. 

I never really got past The Simpletones tracks and still play them often.  Great lyrics.

It's not the way you dance.
It's not your Wrangler pants
That makes me feel the way I do about you

I'll be your lumberjack
I'll rip the shirt off your back
Just meet me at The Starwood

I go to discoteques
I like the Bee Gees
Everybody get on your feet and dance
We're doing the Tiger Beat Twist.

Although this looks like a bootleg with a paper insert and a blank label, these were quality pressings.

When it as finally released, it looked like this:

Image result for Beach boulevard lp

Thursday, March 3, 2016


Set your wayback machine to Swingin' London in 1967.   Popular  music was changing rapidly.  As with any scene, rapid style changes bled over to fashion, art and FILM.    Below is the soundtrack to one of those Swingin' London movies.

Original Soundtrack Album - Privilege   (UNI 1967)

The film concerns a mild mannered pop star who's manipulated into being the spokesmodel for a Nazi-style Christian regime.  In my humble opinion, it's not very good.  It certainly was 'of an era.'
As with George Harrison's Wonderwall, the soundtrack held up better than the movie.

The lead guy in this is Paul Jones who is better known as the lead singer for Manfred Mann.  Do Wah Diddy is probably their best known hit with him on vocals.  The female lead is London model Jean Shrimpton whose sister, Chrissy, was dating Mick Jagger.  It's said that one of them is the inspiration for The Rolling Stones' Stupid Girl.

The album features a rocked up version of Onward Christian Soldiers that must be heard to be believed.

The Patti Smith Group performed Free Me from this record beginning with the pre-Horses early club shows.  It was finally recorded as the opening track on Side 2 of her third album Easter under the title Privilege (Set Me Free).   That's the reason I picked this one up when I saw it in the used bin.

Here's an attempt at showing the record being played.  I may have screwed this up.