28 June, 2007


THE STEMS - 'Let Your Head Rest' /'Don't Let Me' / 'Tears Me In Two' (Zero Hour 001) 1990

The Stems are and always will be in my top 5 bands of all time. They join The Byrds, The Beatles, The Electric Prunes and Love. Wow, they'll probably be embarrassed being in that company but there you go.

Back in the mid 80s they kicked every neo garage bands arse and delivered classic punker after classic punker. Also in leader Dom Mariani they were blessed with a talented songwriter and someone with the best mushroomed head of hair this side of 1966.

I loved them and they were MY band. In my little corner of England, The Stems spread their Australian sunshine and I lapped up every sunray. Those days I was a young teenage long hair with a turtle neck, black Levis and Chelsea boots and these Aussies looked just like me!!!

This record came with a Stems Illustrated Biography and contained rare tunes unavailable elsewhere. 'Let Your Head Rest' is killer garage punk with fuzz, tremolo, caveman drums and punk attitude. I find it amazing that this track was left in the vaults and never released until they had disbanded. It was recorded during their first sessions in 1985. Even to this date 'Let Your Head Rest' has never surfaced on CD.

The flip are demo versions of songs that were released. These were recorded in 85/86. 


MISTY WIZARDS - 'It's Love' /'Blue Law Sunday' (Reprise 0616) July 1967

It's classic double psych 45 sider time!!!
The Misty Wizards were formed by Ted Lucas and Dick Keelan after their previous band The Spike Drivers disbanded. The latter also released a killer psychedelic 45 'High Time' / 'Baby Won't You Let Me Tell You How I Lost My Mind' on Om Records, then it got picked up by Reprise in 1966. As you can see from the pic of The Spike Drivers the guys in the band were scared of razor blades, but don't let those goaty beards put you off discovering their music cos it has the Expo seal of approval.

Back to The Misty Wizards...The song 'It's Love' is a classic flower psych tune with sitar (Ted Lucas got some coaching from Ravi Shankar on a visit to Los Angeles), finger symbols, clattering tambourine and just about anything else that made music in 1967 cool as fuck. There is a line in the song 'Colored sights and sounds' and it was that line that gave the world (or rather about 20 people from the garage punk forum my free CDR compilations 'Coloured Sights And Sounds' that ran to 4 volumes.
The uncompiled 'Blue Law Sunday' is also a personal favourite psychedelic raver. Surprisingly Fuzz, Acid and Flowers labeled this track dull??? What a bunch of losers because it is certainly not dull. It reminds me of perfect Sunset Strip garage psych music from 1967 with cool male/female vocals. It's got a magical guitar break over a one note bass line and primitive drums.
It also contains a great lyric,
'Sometimes I think it's better bustin' rocks,
At least you know where you stand.'
I guess Ted had some girl problems back then (ha ha ha)
'Blue Law Sunday' will be compiled on Gear! 5
'It's Love' can be heard on Rhino's 'Hallucinations' and 'A Heavy Doze Of Light Psych'. It was also compiled on one of those Electric Psychedelic Sitar Headswirlers.


GRUMP - 'Heartbreak Hotel' (Magic Carpet 45-901) 1969

Here's an interesting remake of the Elvis Presley classic. I'm pondering over a release in 1969 or possibly 1970. If you know for sure please let me know

What the 'King' would have made of this cover is anyone's guess. Perhaps he would have shot the record with one of his revolvers. I very much doubt the biker fuzz interpretation would have seen favour in Gracelands.

I dig it very much indeed. It's a big wall of heavy psych fuzz and wah wah with screaming vocals. It would have fit nicely on one of those 'A Fistful Of Fuzz' comps.
My copy of the 45 has "Heartbreak Hotel" on both sides. I'm led to believe that some releases came with the song "I'll Give You Love" as the flip. Has anyone heard this cut?