31 March, 2010


THE ROULETTES - 'The Long Cigarette' / 'Junk' (Parlophone R 5382) Oct 1965

The Roulettes were formed as a backing group for Adam Faith but released singles in their own right between 1962-1967. The beat ballad 'The Long Cigarette' was co written by Brian Parker who composed 'Concrete and Clay' recorded by Unit 4+2. Brian Parker had briefly played guitar in The Roulettes.

Far more exciting is the super cool instrumental on the flip. 'Junk' was most likely 'knocked' out in the studio on the spot but works really well with the electric piano interplaying with the stinging guitar leads. Like most English singles it was expertly produced (although there is no production credit on the label) The band also recorded at Abbey Road Studio 3, the one The Beatles used. 


28 March, 2010


THE ROLLING STONES - 'Not Fade Away'/'Little By Little' (Decca F11845) Feb 1964

Such was the fast moving and ever changing music industry in the 60s, the third Rolling Stones UK 45 was recorded and released in the very same month. An amazingly quick turnaround.

'Not Fade Away' was another cover version. This time the band raided the Buddy Holly vaults for this rather pulsating Bo Diddley style harmonica and maraca shakin' beat mover. According to the liners of 'The Rolling Stones - Singles Collection' wig totin' convicted murderer Phil Spector played maracas on both songs on this single. Gene Pitney played piano on the flip 'Little By Little'.

The single hit the Number 3 spot and a month later the debut LP was released but the Stones first tour of the States was months away and I hadn't even been born yet!


27 March, 2010


THE ROLLING STONES - 'I Wanna Be Your Man'/'Stoned' (Decca F.11764) Nov 1963

The follow up Rolling Stones single was a cover of 'I Wanna Be Your Man' by The Beatles. Legend has it that Andrew Loog Oldham bumped into John Lennon and Paul McCartney in London who were rehearsing in the next street to where the Stones were busy in Kingsway Studios. Thirty minutes later John and Paul were singing 'I Wanna Be Your Man' to The Stones, a song Paul McCartney had recently written for Ringo to sing.. The rest is history as they say.

The Stones recorded it for their next 45 and it did better than 'Come On', reaching Number 12.

The flip is a moody R&B quasi-instrumental where Jagger talks over the music. A very unusual recording for '63. The songwriting credit is 'Nanker, Phelge' - the nom de plume for Rolling Stones songs when all band members shared equal input.

26 March, 2010


THE ROLLING STONES - 'Come On'/'I Want To Be Loved' (Decca F.11675) June 1963

The very first Rolling Stones 45 coupled together a Chuck Berry song ('Come On') and a Willie Dixon effort ('I Want To Be Loved')...both sides were recorded in May '63 at Olympic Studios, London and produced by Impact Sound. The latter was Andrew Loog Oldham and Eric Easton's production Company.

The Stones had been together for about year before this studio date although Bill Wyman and Charlie Watts hadn't been part of the original line-up since the formation. At this stage I'm not sure if Jagger and Richards had any of their own songs, 'Tell Me' was their first and that had to wait until January 1964 to be recorded.

'Come On' was the A-Side and is standard R&B fair with some neat harmonica by Jagger or Jones? The harp playing on both songs on this 45 is great..

I dig the flip 'I Want To Be Loved' more than the top side.

From some sources I've read the single didn't get that big a push but sales were brisk and the record eventually reached number 21.


25 March, 2010


THE ROLLING STONES - 'Money' (Decca DFE 8560) Jan 1964

It's been a while since I posted anything about The Rolling Stones on my blog and seeing as though I've got some spare time on my hands while 'Er Indoors' makes my tea, I'm gonna write about Brian's band.

This was The Rolling Stones first ever EP, and was released in January 1964, although the music on offer was recorded in June and November 1963. At this point in their career the band were very much an unknown quantity outside England and Brian Jones still called the shots on the choice of material to record.

Every song on this disc is a cover version and the sounds are rough around the edges. The English beat kids lapped up the release of course sending it to the Number 1 spot, prompting Decca to unleash The Stones debut LP that followed in April 1964.

The back of the cover sleeve has some uncredited liners giving a brief description of the band, when they formed, influences etc.....

"Their approach to their music is far closer to the brash, hard-driving Chicago style rhythm and blues than the majority of the groups currently riding the beat wagon, and it is probably this refusal to compromise their music to match the 'current sound' that has gained them their legions of fans"


This rare image of The Stones from 1965 is taken from TeenBeat annual 1966. Just look at the state of them. These lads looked pretty scarey for a pop group. Check out Bill Wyman, WOW!!!

24 March, 2010


ROBBI CURTICE - 'The Soul Of A Man'/'When Diana Paint's The Picture' (Sidewalk Records 942) Nov 1968

This outstanding 45 was the work of a group of English musicians who decided to make a record after drinking a few pints of beer in a London boozer (or so the story goes). I don't know if Robbi Curtice was the name of the studio group or if Robbi was actually a solo singer backed by a groovy Cockney mod outfit. Either way, 'The Soul Of A Man' is powerful stuff that sadly never get's mentioned anywhere.

It starts off with a menacing bass run which is loud and proud like those early bass bombs by John Entwistle, cue some perfect scattergun drum work and groovy brass and you're left with an instant mod classic and sure fire floorfiller for any 60s bash.

For reasons unknown to me the record never got released in England or Europe. Somehow it was picked up by Mike Curb's Sidewalk Records label and issued in USA. Pity then that the music on offer was way to hip for Americans in late 1968 to take any notice. Not that it would have been a hit in England had it got a release here. Men folk in Rule Britannia were too busy growing mustaches and wearing loons to be cool mods anymore.

Both sides were recorded at Regent Studios in London sometime in June 1968. 'The Soul Of A Man' was written by Ralph Murphy and Vic Smith. The latter would become known as Vic Coppersmith-Heaven who in the late 70s produced most of The Jam records. I wonder if he ever boasted to Paul Weller that he was partly responsible for an all out but sadly unknown classic 60s swinger.


stock copy scan of the Robbi Curtice 45 supplied by Jim Wynand.

A reply from Robbi Curtice:

..Just been reading your blog - glad you like Soul of a Man. You can find the whole story about the song and the session on my MySpace page - it was just me and a bunch of studio musicians, and a few swigs of whisky! Like your sites. Keep up your good work.

19 March, 2010

PAUL MESSIS - Lost And Found

Paul Messis is a young songwriter from Billingshurst, a small town in West Sussex, England. His vision is to re-create the jangle punk sounds of obscure American groups from 1966.
He writes angst ridden, loner type songs and uses vintage instruments. Fortunately for him and everyone who digs this type of music he's currently being guided by Marty and Mole from The Higher State. Paul's released songs have all been recorded at their Sandgate Sound Studios.
His (so far) two very authentic sounding 45s are opulent jewels in the stinking morass known as contemporary music.

PAUL MESSIS - Lost And Found

Paul read my review of his debut 45 on my site last year The World Is Square and we have been exchanging emails since then. Here's a recent interview I conducted with him earlier this month.

You're still only 24 years old so would have missed the 60s garage revival of the mid 80s. There are virtually NO bands playing your kind of music anymore. So how did you discover 60s garage and when did you decide to write your own songs in the garage style?

I discovered 60s garage music around the time I was 15 years old which would have been around 2001, prior to that as a kid I had a wide scope of influences hitting me from all directions, My grandfather was really into be-bop, blues and jazz, my uncle was really into bands like Kraftwerk, Tangerine Dream and the whole Krautrock thing and my parents were both into stuff which ranged from typical 70's rock and soul.

However during my school years I was a bit of an Outcast and like the Kinks song goes decided "I am not like everybody else".... during High School I listened to alot of 80s indie, stuff like Spacemen 3, Jesus and Mary Chain etc and found that these groups were quoting garage bands from the 60s as influences, which when you are a kid you just grab and research into instantly.

Since 15 years old I have always played some form of garage punk, but always leaned more to songs with melody.

You seem to write songs that fit perfectly in with the teenbeat folk janglers of mid '66. Is this type of garage your favourite genre?

Yeah the Garage Janglers are my favourite in the genre, comps like Class of 66', Shutdown 66, The Teenage Shutdown series and New England Teen Scene have had such a huge influence on me, not only cos the songs are all brilliant, but I also really relate very much to the lyrics and the general vibes of the tracks, many of those kids sing about things that actually have happened and still do happen to me. So yeah the moody folk-punk aspect to garage is my favourite indeed. I do have some fuzzed out punkers I'd like to record in the future, but it just depends how I feel when I go to Folkestone to record. I have about 40 odd garage songs I could record with Marty and Mole and continue to write songs all the time.

Have you played in any bands before?

Yeah I have played in a few bands actually, During the first few years of moving to Sussex in 2002, I played in an Iggy and the Stooges type band called The Deviants we only played at peoples houses and did a few local gigs I never really got along with the rest of the band, plus didn't feel confident with my guitar playing back then and decided to leave.

Around 2006 I joined London Mod-Garage Punk band The Fallen Leaves on Bass and played with the guys for about a year, it was really fun, I am still friends with the band, but personal commitments mean't I left. I then briefly started playing in a group with Sterling Roswell, but we only did about 3 gigs together, I had to stop playing with him cos I was going through various trials in my life and I really had to stop playing music and find a job etc.

How did you connect with Mole and Marty from The Higher State?

This is a funny story actually, Marty liked my demos on Myspace and we had sorta got a friendship online. The Higher State were going to be doing a gig In Hastings which although is a bit of distance for me, I felt 'Hey it's still Sussex', and went and saw them.

Me and Marty hit it off fine and in-fact have become really good mates. I basically enquired with Marty about how much a 45 costs to make and if he knew anyone I can contact... a few days later he emailed me and said "fancy doing a 45 with us?" ... I of course said "Yeah!!"

Your first single 'Stuck In Society'/'The World Is Square' is a very strong debut 45. Both sides are killer and both sides are very different in the own unique sounding way. Were you satisfied with the results?

Yeah I was happy with both sides, although I guess because of my initial fear of playing in front of others after such a long time, I didn't get the same amount of energy on 'The World Is Square' recording as my original demo had.

The moment we all heard the mixed version of 'Stuck In Society' and knew instantly we had faithfully recreated a track which mixed a Surf Sound and Merseybeat sound together, Which is very similar to what the Minnesota garage sound is (check out any release on Soma) We all felt that no-body else is doing this kind of garage stuff in the contempory garage scene, so we all were really pleased with the results.

What instruments were used during the session?

For the 'Stuck in Society'/'World Is Square' session, we used Mole's Ludwig for Drums, Marty used our friend Gina's Fender Jaguar which is a beautiful piece of guitar, I used my Hagstrom Futurama Guitar and for Bass I used my Vox Cougar, the amps we used were Fender Twin Reverb and Marshall Bass Amp.

You told me earlier that almost all of the 500 records pressed have sold. Are you surprised by this?

Yeah most definitely, Marty and Mole have told me endlessly that they are not surpriced. BUT personally yeah I am surprised that the record has sold well. I am a lone musician from the middle of nowhere West Sussex, I don't have a band to promote it with live. The 45 just appeared to be a word of mouth thing, I know that the people that really dig the record, know where I am coming from, those who don't get it quite frankly can't be garage fans.

Your new single on 13 O'Clock Records is perhaps even better than your first. 'Lost And Found' is a perfect folk jangler. At times the guitar has a tripped out raga sound. Tell me about the recording session for this song.

Well The demo I did at home for this track, the guitar solo was more Byrds-esque, but I forgot how to play what was on my demo. The thing with 'Lost and Found' is I used a 12 string electric guitar on it which non of my previous tracks did. For me 'Lost and Found' is a very personal song.

When I record songs with Marty and Mole, we usually just knock them out in about an hour or two, there hasn't been too much time spent on them.'Lost and Found ' was an enjoyable session cos every thing just seemed to fit together, I was playing all the guitar parts very well, the bass part was a challenge but I eventually remembered how to play it and got it down ok... and I even allowed Marty to play one note on the record, which is the Fuzztone note at the end of the song (just so he can say he played on the track haha).

'I Gotta Go' is teen punk all the way. How did the recording go with this? Did Mole or Marty play anything and what instruments were utilized?

I Gotta Go was really easy to record, what happened with this track was this... I played the guitar and Mole played drums and we recorded it, I then recorded the Bass Part, I then added the 12 string electric, I then added Combo Organ which was funny, cos Marty and Mole laughed at the fact I played the whole song with one finger, It is pretty primitive my keyboard playing. I then did the lead vocals, and then asked Marty and Mole to add some backing vocals whilst I enjoyed a cup of coffee in the garden. 

You mentioned to me in Sept 2009 that a cover of 'Live And Die' originally recorded by Texas garage band The Barons would be released on a comp given away by perhaps Shindig magazine or Lost In Tyme. Will this release still happen?

No, unfortunately I doubt any magazines will feature this cover on their comp CDs, We will keep it in the vaults for something in the future I am sure?? What I'd mostly like is for the original members of The Barons to hear it, cos I reckon they would really dig it. It is a very faithful cover version.

What are your plans for the future?

Well I have a few new songs to record with the guys in Folkestone, one is called 'Time Will Tell', which in my head will be like a Byrds-esque or Nightcrawlers styled love song, it is a song I wrote from the heart and I know when completed with full band it will be a great great track.

The other new song is called 'I'm Leaving Town' which has a New England garage vibe and will have a 'fuzztone guitar throughout' I guess it is still folk-punk though. I also have a real Back From The Grave styled song I'd like to record called "I'm Sick' which I'd like to attempt to record, cos I believe I could really nail that BFTG sound. I also hope over the year I can manage to record some of my Myspace demos with the guys, songs like 'Escape', 'Alexandra' and 'Why' would really sound great with the State records touch..... I have loads of plans musically.

I would like to get a group together and play the odd gig live, more as a personal achievement moreso than anything else and If I managed to do an LP that would simply be killer.


Check out some more http://www.myspace.com/thepaulmessissound

Buy the 45s here.........http://13oclockrecords.com/home.html

17 March, 2010


THE PILGRIMAGE - 'Bad Apple'/'You Satisfy Me' (Mercury 72631) Nov 1967

Essential two sided 45 from an obscure act from Long Island, New York.
Mercury Records appear to have had some faith in The Pilgrimage with a full page colour advert for this release in a November '67 edition of Billboard. It's a shame that no one cared because the record bombed.

The red label stock copy doesn't exactly grow on trees either, most copies I've seen are the white label promos, surely an indication that the release was not widely distributed.

'Bad Apple' starts off with some pounding drum action, the kind of primitive beat that almost makes me wanna jump outta the window in search for some skulls to crack open. The singer handles lead vocals with assurance and the guitar and organ parts colour the garage noise.
The song was written by the songwriting team of Burton & Sawyer. Their most famous song is 'I Ain't Gonna Eat Out My Heart Anymore' recorded by The Young Rascals and numerous other 60s groups. Lori Burton also released her own records on Mercury. Also check out 'Nightmare' by The Whyte Boots.


14 March, 2010


THE GLASS FAMILY - 'Teenage Rebellion' (Sidewalk Records 920) 1967

I believe that The Glass Family were from Santa Cruz, CA and were a collection of three musicians, Ralph Parrett (guitar), David Capilouto (bass, keyboards) and Gary Green (drums). They were an active band and secured gigs with The Doors and The Grateful Dead. These influential gigs may have led them to get a deal to record music for Sidewalk Records.

This 1967 single was probably just used to promote the exploito teen flick 'Teenage Rebellion' because this song, written by Mike Curb and Harley Hatcher appears on the soundrack.

Glass Family also had one of their own songs 'I'm Losing It' released on the Sidewalk Records compilation 'Freak Out U.S.A.'

They went on to sign for Warner Bros and an album titled 'Electric Band' followed.

THE GLASS FAMILY - Teenage Rebellion

12 March, 2010


My blog 'FLOWER BOMB SONGS' is 3 years old this week! and it's been a real trip exchanging emails with musicians who played or sang on records I've reviewed.

So a big thanks to all those people who have sent me information, photos and other things about their old but not forgotten 60s groups.

The hits on this site are averaging 12,000 per month these days so I must be doing something right.
Keep it real folks and never trust a hippie.....

11 March, 2010

ROBERT & RANDY - I Won't Ask Why

ROBERT & RANDY - 'Good Company'/'I Won't Ask Why' (Holiday Inn Records 2209) Nov 1968

I bought this 45 recently not knowing who it was or what it sounded like, but like all good record collectors followed my hunch and took a chance.
Some research followed and I finally confirmed that Robert & Randy were Bob Simon and Randy Haspel from Memphis beat combo Randy and the Radiants of 'My Way Of Thinking' fame.

'Good Company' appears to have been the plug side of this 45 and it's a strong hippie rock tune with hammond organ and subtle wah wah guitar flourishes. This song has not been compiled before and did not appear on the recent Big Beat CD 'Randy and the Radiants - Memphis Beat'.

The gentle folk rock ballad 'I Won't Ask Why' is on the 'Memphis Beat' CD but this Holiday Inn 45 is a slightly different mix with some brass. It's got some real nice jangle....a total winner.

ROBERT & RANDY - I Won't Ask Why

I contacted Randy Haspel last month and here are some of his thoughts about this record:

"Thanks for your enquiry. There aren't too many copies of that record around. The quick background:

"Firstly, here's a promo photo we did for that record. I'm the driver. Must be '67 if I'm driving the '65 Pontiac LeMans. Life was good"

After our band, Randy & the Radiants, had broken up, it was common knowledge that Sam Phillips was looking to sell Sun Records and its catalogue.

Sam had a long standing agreement with businessman Kemmons Wilson, who founded the first Holiday Inn in Memphis, that when the hotel chain grew large enough, they could bypass the usual distribution business by selling records in the lobby, cutting out the middleman. It was a good idea, but only halfheartedly attempted.

My partner, Bob Simon, was kept on as a staff songwriter for Sun in its last days, ostensibly to record a solo album with Knox Phillips producing, and these two songs are from those sessions, which were in 1967, I think.

"Good Company" is all Bob, trying his hand at a psychedelic composition. I loved this song. The lead guitarist is Teddy Paige, from the group on Sun, The Jesters, and he is playing through one of the first wah-wah pedals that came on the market. Teddy was great, but I don't think he'd seen a wah-wah until the day of his solo.

He went to England in the 70s and is currently institutionalized for some vague craziness.

Knox booked the ace house band from Chips Momans' American Studio, although the musicians often worked for both studios before Chips made them sign with him exclusively. At American, they were the "Memphis Sound" with players like Reggie Young, Tommy Cogbill, Gene Chrisman, and Bobby Woods. When work dried up in Memphis in the 70s, they packed up as a unit and moved 200 miles down the road, and became "The Nashville Sound." Flutes and horns are from Charles Chalmers, later of the back-up singing group extroadanaire Rhodes, Chalmers, and Rhodes.

"I Won't Ask Why" was a tune from the Radiant days that Bob felt he didn't get to record properly. Since I already knew the song, Bob asked me to come on the record to harmonize with him. That's probably why it was released as Robert & Randy instead of just Bob Simon, although he might have gotten cold feet about releasing his songs on a brand new label and wanted someone with which he could share the blame.

Holiday Inn only released a handful of records before stopping production and Sam Phillips sold Sun the next year. I understand that the tapes of these sessions are still intact, and there is the outside chance that Bob's unreleased solo album may one day see the light.

I'm going to check out your blog. I also, surprise, write one as well that you might enjoy, although it's mostly politics.


Best Regards,
Randy Haspel

Memphis, TN

07 March, 2010


THE KOLLEKTION - 'Savage Lost'/'My World Is Empty Without You' (Heads-Up Records W101) Aug 1967

As I continue my excavation of psychedelic 45s, I'll give some 'Flower Bomb Songs' time to an obscure Miami, Florida group called The Kollektion, who only released one record during their brief existence.
'Savage Lost' is a pounding heavy psych number that was a surprise local hit in their home region, reaching the Top 10 on WQAM. This could be one of the earliest heavy psych records released and was very progressive for an America band.

The Kollektion were regulars at the local hang out 'The World' and saw their popularity rise not only with a hit record but by the fact they were busted by the cops for 'mary jane' possession.

The flip 'My World Is Empty Without You' is a Fudge heavy arrangement of The Supremes song composed by the Holland, Dozer, Holland team.

I briefly checked out The Kollektion singer Angel Rissoff's website and in his biography he didn't even mention his days in one of Florida's most important psychedelic rock bands. I find this very strange indeed. 'Savage Lost' is probably the best thing he ever wrote.

This rare picture (click to enlarge) of The Kollektion was taken from the excelent Jeff Lemlich site limestonerecords