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.


Sunday, April 30, 2017

Record Store Day Haul


This was another year where I saw the first list and said I didn't need anything.  As more titles emerged, my want list expanded.  Unfortunately, Record Store Day happened on the weekend of my corporate retreat in New Orleans.

My daughter stepped in to save the day.  A few months ago, I gave her a Technics SL-D2 cobbled together from a few old ones that fell into disrepair.  I couldn't have a kid of mine get a Crossley.

She came down to housesit while my wife and I went to The Big Easy.   She took my list and compiled a list of her own.

So I ended up with this:


I went out shopping a bit in New Orleans and got a few more titles.  The Ramones box is for her as it's a title she couldn't snag in LA.  If she managed to snag it, I would hold onto this.

On Sunday, one store was still giving away the canvas bags - which were already selling on eBay for about $15



Friday, April 28, 2017

Have You Ever Dreamed of A Fat Elvis Impersonator in a Reggae Band Doing Led Zeppelin Covers?

Well, there actually was such a thing.

Dread Zeppelin - The Immigrant Song b/w Hey, Hey What Can I Do? (Birdcage 1989)

And they chose as their first single an A and B side combo that was one of the few singles Led Zeppelin ever released - and the only one to include a non-LP B side.


It came is a very DIY punk wrap around sleeve in plastic.




On red vinyl with a label that aped the Atlantic label at the time.




I saw them once at the dear departed Palomino club in North Hollywood.  It's a latino banquet hall now.  Book your next Quinciano there.

Monday, April 24, 2017

Not Quite a Holy Grail (but i've been looking for this 45 for quite a while in the stacks and stacks of 45's i go through on a regular basis)

In 1974, The Faces attempted to make a new album to follow 'Ooh La La.'    They booked some studio time and set off to work.  The sessions didn't go so well.  My personal speculation points to Rod Stewart's ego as the problem.

The sessions produced one final single for the band.  Billed as Faces/Rod Stewart.

Faces/Rod Stewart  - You Can Make Me Dance, Sing or Anything (even take the dog for a walk, mend a fuse, fold away the ironing board or any other domestic short comings)   b/w As Long as You Tell Him  (Warner Brothers 1974)

Yes, that title is a mouthful.


The A side is a slightly danceable groove number.  This single marks the only studio recorded appearance of Tetsu Yamauchi - the bass player who replaced Ronnie Lane as The Faces were Falling apart.

The B side is a slow burner soul number




Although I probably would have preferred a big hole American version, I haven't seen one in all the times I dig through the singles bin.  I snapped up this UK version when I saw it.  

I really hate the Warner Brothers 'trees' label during this period.



Thursday, April 20, 2017

Do the Slauson!

I came across this in my recent record store outing in Downtown Los Angeles (DTLA as the Downtown Renaissance people market it).  My office is currently in the area and a record store is just a subway stop away.

Anyway, I grew up in Whittier, CA.  Whittier is the east end of Slauson Avenue.  Slauson winds its way from Whittier to near the Los Angeles Airport (LAX).   It's most known for the 'Slauson Cutoff' as a shortcut to the airport from Hollywood and Downtown.

So how could I resist.....

The Romancers - Do The Slauson (Del-Fi 1963)


What I bought as a curio turned out to be a pretty bitchen instrumental album.  Lead guitar and dirty sax combo The Romancers were one of the first bands to emerge from the East Los Angeles Latino scene.



Released on Del-Fi.  A local label that tapped into the local car/surf scene.




Sunday, April 16, 2017

I Finally Found It - My Holy Grail - Fun and Care of a Gerbil

I purchased my original at long departed and sorely missed Pic'n Save.  Pic 'n Save was basically a store that took on products that wouldn't sell anywhere else.   Every so often they had records.

For 15 cents (I know because the others I have in the series still have the price tag) I picked up pet care records.




But there was one in series that was a bit special.  It made the rounds at parties.  It was absolutely hilarious.  I no longer had it.  It must have been left at someone's house after another gut busting listen.   I still have two others in the series, but none were as good as this one.....



But today I found it at my local vinyl emporium.  It, of course, drew discussion from the friendly clerks.  I explained that I had a copy long ago and was thrilled to have a copy again.  We put it on in the store.  Comedy ensued and we were in agreement it was still comedy gold.



It's hard to think of a gerbil without thinking of Richard Gere.  This is one of the ironies that makes this record such a classic.  In actuality, a gerbil is a relative of the hamster that likes to burrow
and gnaw on wood.  They are illegal to own in California.

Have a listen









Thursday, April 13, 2017

Lennon/Ono Imagine/Fly

In the early post Beatle days, John Lennon and Yoko Ono released their albums in pairs.  I've already made reference to the two Plastic Ono Band albums which were two albums by the same artist (Plastic Ono Band).  One was called John Lennon and the other Yoko Ono.

Check out a post about that one here:

http://vinylstatistics.blogspot.com/2015/05/john-lennon-plastic-ono-band-vs-yoko.html

We all know (or at least should know) this one:

John Lennon - Imagine (Apple 1971)

Fewer folks are aware of Yoko Ono's companion album

Yoko Ono - Fly (Apple 1971)

Yoko's contribution is a mighty fine double album.     Similarities on the front cover include a slightly masked face and identical font.


The back features another glossy photo, same font, same logo and no credits.  Each includes a quote from the other...

Lennon's from Ono:  'Imagine the clouds dripping.  Dig a hole in your garden to put them in'  Yoko'63



Ono's quote from Lennon - an homage to the silly tag line for the film 'Love Story'

"Love means having to say you're sorry every five minutes"  John '71



Label wise, each comes with a white apple and photo of the artist.





I got my copy of Imagine when it came out.  It's still in great shape.   Played it once while a friend was over who commented 'I didn't know they released this on CD.'   I still have the poster, but the postcard has gone away.


The Ono album is a stunner.   The track Mind Train came on in rotation on my iPod while I was on the subway.  I had to play it twice.  It's like EDM prior to the genre even a gleam in some techie's garage.   Awesome relentless beat.  Have a listen.






Sunday, April 9, 2017

The Surfaris


The Surfaris were a bunch of high school kids from Glendora, CA.   Closer to the Inland Empire than the beach.  Nevertheless, they released arguably the most definitive surf instrumental  - Wipe Out.

The single starts out with a board break, a laugh and someone saying 'wipe out.'   To those of you unfamiliar with Southern California surf slang, a 'wipe out' is basically falling off your surfboard and becoming a victim of the waves.

I never knew much about these guys - or even what they looked like - until I came across this record.

The Surfaris Play Wipe Out, Point Panic, Waikiki Run, Surfer Joe  (Decca 1963)


They never really did much else.   Surf instrumentals became the domain of The Ventures and Dick Dale.

There was a bit of confusion on what this album is actually called.  The spine simply says The Surfaris.  The cover says The Surfaris Play Wipe Out, Point Panic, Waikiki Run, Surfer Joe.

The label calls the record simply Play by The Safaris.



Thursday, April 6, 2017

Swinging Blue Jeans


When The Beatles hit it big, just about any band from Liverpool got signed.  One of these was The Swinging Blue Jeans.

This is their only LP released in the USA

The Swinging Blue Jeans  - Hippy Hippy Shake (Imperial 1964)

Their biggest hit - Hippy Hippy Shake  - was a cover of Chan Romero's hit from 1959.   The Beatles had already included it in their early club sets and performed it on the BBC.   It's an irresistible rocker that's hard to screw up.  The song has that 'you can't sit down' feeling and the Swinging Blue Jeans do it justice.     

But let's talk about the cover.


There is a story (or two) here.

My first thought was that the guys got their pants wet, hung them up to dry and are hiding pants-less behind a pole.

Then I thought maybe they just decided to take their pants off and hide behind the pole for a lark.  Granny strolling through the park - surprise!

Or maybe they spotted four guys at the swimmin' hole and are waiting for the right moment to steal their pants.



The remainder of the record consists of filler.  Some if it rocks, some of it just lies there like blue jeans in the laundry pile.

Have a listen to the Hippy Hippy Shake




Saturday, April 1, 2017

Company Sleeves

Many 45's did not come with picture sleeves.  Instead, most record labels had company sleeves.   On 45's that came with picture sleeves, these often replaced the sleeve when the initial run - and chart potential - was depleted.



Care and feeding of 45's among teenagers in the '60's was not common thing.  Sleeves were often tossed.   45's were stacked on record changers.  As a result, several were out of their sleeves at the same time.  This led to the records and sleeves being mismatched.  



I've tried my best to reunite them in my collection.  When buying a big box of 45's, the sleeves are more often than not mismatched - if they exist at all.




I use this site to get the most accurate era appropriate matches:

http://www.bigboppa.co.uk/45-sleeves/





Sunday, March 19, 2017

Chuck Berry. Long Live Rock and Roll


So sad to see the passing of Chuck Berry.   He lived to ripe old age of 90, but will live on in perpetuity as long as there is Rock and Roll.  

This is a guy who brought the electric guitar to the fore as the definitive instrument.  His songs could be mini epics with distinct story lines (Johnny B. Goode and it's sequel Bye Bye Johnny), or just celebrations of teenage life and love of Rock and Roll (Rock and Roll Music, Sweet Little Rock and Roller).

Oh Mommy Mommy
Please may I go?
It's such a sight to see
Somebody steal the show.
-------------------------------

Hail, hail rock and roll
Deliver me from the days of old
Long live rock and roll
The beat of the drums, loud and bold
Rock, rock, rock and roll
The feelin' is there, body and soul.


etcetera.

As far as records go, I have about four different compilations.  My wife has some before we were married.  I had a few as well.  We were always in search of them in glorious mono only to be greeted with 'enhanced for stereo' pressings.

I came across this one at a thrift store.  Perfect shape save for that stain on the left.  It's from a thrift store so I am not even allowing myself to be curious.  It's in glorious mono and sounds fantastic.   Five records and 71 songs.





If conspiracy theories hold, the powers that be tried to kill Rock and Roll.  They drafted Elvis, threw Chuck Berry in prison for being a black man with a white girl, and shot down Buddy Holly.

Glad to know they couldn't kill it.   Chuck's music has been blasted into space for alien races to discover.

After jail, Berry released a few more records.  Nadine is one of my favorites.  No guitar solo, but listen to the phrasing during the lines: Hey conductor you must slow down. I think I see her. Please let me off the bus.  You can almost hear the string bends as his voice mimics Berry's 'circle back' guitar style.




Thursday, March 16, 2017

Admiral Stereo


My parents bought this Admiral phonograph in the 60's.   As was the norm in those days, it came with a record.



All mixed to circumvent the shortcomings of the particular unit.  Remember RCA's Dynagroove?  That was an attempt to use noise cancelling technology to minimize the rumble from their console stereos.



The record itself is color coded by genre.....


The turntable came with instructions right on the platter.


And just for fun, here is the manual.




The stereo is long gone.  My sister and I used to lay claim on it and drag back and forth between our  rooms.


Monday, March 13, 2017

Mashed Potato Beach Party with The Ventures

So I'm rummaging through the bins at Rasputin's in Berkeley when I came across this Ventures album

The Ventures- Mashed Potatoes and Gravy (Dolton 1962)



I was under the impression that I already had their entire Dolton catalog.   I looked in my trusty database of the collection - which I sync to my smartphone - and saw I didn't have this one.


I was only half right.   The dance craze, do the 'whatever' series of records was dying as beach music began filtering into the mainstream in that brief window before The Beatles.

Gee  - so what's Dolton to do?   Reissue a mashed potato record as a beach record.

The Ventures - Beach Party (Dolton 1963)

Since it's instrumental music, it worked.


So yeah, same songs to be played on a portable phonograph at the beach.  I personally would never take a record to the beach.  Sand, sun and Coppertone do not mix well with vinyl.



To further the confusion.  The record inside the Beach Party cover was Mashed Potatoes and Gravy.  This could have been switched after birth, but Dolton may have just made new covers for old records that didn't sell.



Wednesday, March 8, 2017

From Political Circus to the Real Circus - RIP


So much talk these days about the political circus.  Nobody is talking about the demise of the real circus.   Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus is shutting down.  We can thank the do-gooders who took issue with using whips and cattle prods on animals.

The circus tried to hobble along using only human performers, but it didn't quite catch on.  That's the domain of the designer circus shows currently playing in Las Vegas.

I managed to find a soundtrack album in a stack that used to belong to a friend's father.   



With no animals in the mix, we're left with creepy clowns.


The record came with a booklet.  Does that elephant look unhappy?  You decide.  I'm more concerned with the dressage horses.



Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Political Circus


We have a new president and the world hasn't blown up yet.  Well, maybe it has by now. I'm writing this post a good two months before it's scheduled post date.

Political turmoil between The Right and The Left is as old as  - well - The Right and The Left.

In the 60's it rose to a head and the establishment had to take notice.  The voting age was dropped to 18.  The war in Vietnam had to go and even the war hawks agreed.   

In 1969, renown exploitation studio American International Pictures cashed in.  They produced 'Wild in the Streets' which gave a 'what if' scenario of a radical young rock star becoming president.


In the film we are treated to such things as Shelly Winters trying to become a hippie and congress being dosed with LSD.


It produced a bitchen soundtrack album as well

Original Motion Picture Soundtrack - Wild in the Streets  (Tower 1968)



Great songs on this as well.  'Fourteen or Fight,' 'Fifty Two Percent' and the Classic 'The Shape of Things to Come.'    Songs by Brill Building tunesmiths Weil/Mann



Awesome cast featuring the film debut of Richard Pryor.


So see it if you can.  Everyone over 30 gets dosed and thrown into a concentration camp.  




Thursday, February 23, 2017

Hey, It's February 23rd!

And she's a my birthday too.

Here I present

Steppenwolf At Your Birthday Party  (Dunhill 1969)

Probably not your 5 year old's birthday party either.



And for the kiddies - at least we get some Mickey Mouse


Monday, February 20, 2017

The Rolling Stones - Early UK EP's

They never really caught on in the USA.   In the UK, 7 inch EP's were actually a thing.   The Rolling Stones released three in the early days of their career.  Each offering up tracks that were neither on an album nor previous single release.

First Up

You Better Move On/Poison Ivy/Bye Bye Johnny/Money  (Decca 1964)

All cover versions of original songs by Chuck Berry, Arthur Alexander, The Coasters and Barrett Strong.   Money is one of the few covers recorded by both The Beatles and The Rolling Stones.  Bye Bye Johnny was a regular part of the set lists for the landmark 1972 tour.



Next we get.

Five By Five (Decca 1964)

Culled from sessions at Chess Studios in Chicago.  All covers save for the instrumental track 2120 South Michigan Avenue  - which coincidently is the address of Chess Studios in Chicago.




And then we get the live one.

Got LIVE If You Want It!  (Decca 1965)

Probably the best representation of an early Rolling Stones live performance.  Supposedly it was recorded by suspending a microphone from the balcony.  Recorded by Glyn Johns who later went on to produce The Who and The Faces (among others).  I have my doubts about it's authenticity as a live recording, but it really IS exciting.

Only five tracks (I'm not counting the 'We Want The Stones' track which is nothing more than the audience chanting in anticipation).  Notes say it was recorded at three venues.  Probably just so more of the UK record buying public could say 'I was there.'   Live recordings at the time had not yet come into their own as the techniques currently employed were not yet used.