27 June, 2010

30. BOBBY JAMESON - Vietnam

BOBBY JAMESON - 'Vietnam' (Tower DT-5083) 1967

Hollywood antagonist Bobby Jameson could have been a contender but his ability to piss the 'wrong' people off meant that he'd be left in the shadows of obscurity when his talent was far greater than many of those who succeeded in the music business during the Los Angeles folk rock and psych explosion.

'Vietnam' is a very powerful anti-war protest song with a great Bo Diddley beat and furious vocals by Jameson. He sounds so fucking angry I believe every word he's spitting out. 'Vietnam' was released as a single but probably only as a promo and in very limited numbers. The label was Mira Records 208.....and is virtually impossible to find. Infact several noted record collectors have never even seen a copy.

Fortunately the song was included on the soundtrack album of 'Mondo Hollywood', Carl Cohen's cult film from late 1967.


31. PETER FONDA - Catch The Wind

PETER FONDA - 'November Night'/'Catch The Wind' (Chisa CH 004) March 1967

Here's an obscure single by actor Peter Fonda on the equally obscure Chisa label set up by jazz trumpeter Hugh Masekela and Stewart Levine. Both had a hand in producing some Peter Fonda sessions and enough material was recorded for an album, although only these two songs were ever released.

'November Night' was written by Gram Parsons and can be found on 'Where The Action Is', the 4 CD release of Los Angeles nuggets on Rhino. The other side is a cover of Donovan's 'Catch The Wind'.

PETER FONDA - Catch The Wind

26 June, 2010


SONNY AND CHER - 'I've Got You Babe'/'It's Gonna Rain' (Atlantic AT 4035) July 1965

A Los Angeles retrospective would be laughed at without the inclusion of a Sonny & Cher song so flip over the mega hit 'I've Got You Babe' and spin the B-Side 'It's Gonna Rain'. The latter has a wonderfully incessant bass line that bursts through my JAMO dynamic d4e speakers and Bono's gruff folk punk vocals really shine.

Here's a picture of a nonchalant looking Sonny Bono from the cover of KRLA Beat May 1966. He's looking every inch the King of the Sunset Strip as he sits knowingly on his throne. Cher positions herself next to her master on the floor. He pats her head like he would a faithful companion. What a guy!

25 June, 2010


THE NO-NA-MEE'S - 'Gotta Hold On'/'Just Wanna Be Myself' (Era Records 3153) Nov 1965

Fantastic double sided garage mayhem from The No-Na-Mee's who are thought to hail from the Los Angeles area although that could be down to the label they were signed to. Era Records were a small indie label located in Hollywood and of course released genre defining moments by The Lyrics and Ty Wagner as well as lesser known delights by The Chocolate Tunnel and The Wizards.

information from a reader: My brother, Cliff Davis was in this band, he played rhythm guitar. Other members were Clayton Ice on keyboards, Rod Williams on drums, Doug Wareham on lead guitar, his brother Duane Wareham on bass. I hope I spelled everyone's name correctly after all these years.

Yes they were from Modesto California. I remember how excited they were when they got back from L.A. after this recording. A highlight of this trip was when they were eating lunch and in walked Sonny and Cher! They also did a recording around this time as backup players for a duo, Jerry and Jan. I have all these records.

23 June, 2010

34. STRAWBERRY ALARM CLOCK - Paxton's Back Street Carnival

STRAWBERRY ALARM CLOCK - 'Sea Shell'/'Paxton's Back Street Carnival' (UNI 55093) Nov 1968

By late '68 their turned on pop hits had all but dried up but Strawberry Alarm Clock continued to release records but with less fanfare than before and of course lower sales. That didn't mean the quality of their music had dipped. I really dig the smooth vocals and sunshine pop of 'Sea Shell' but this 45 is a must have for the flip 'Paxton's Back Street Carnival'.

'Paxton's' was recorded back in 1967 as part of the album sessions after the big hit 'Incense And Peppermints'. For some strange and lazy reason it was resurrected as the B-Side for this 1968 flop. I say strange because Strawberry Alarm Clock had moved on musically and their personnel had undergone some changes, so using old material was a tad regressive.

'Sea Shell' must have been a major none seller because it's probably the most difficult SAC 45 to find. But you gotta seek it out for the mono flip. Way better that the stereo cut on the debut album.
'Paxton's' is a pure celebration of a psychedelic street carnival, the lyrics describing the trippy atmosphere and spirit of the hippie mood and frame of mind.

"Your eyes are sparkling
Your mind is moving fast
No need to hurry
The world won't be floating past.
It will wait for you."

20 June, 2010

35. THE GIRLS - Chico's Girl

THE GIRLS - 'Chico's Girl'/'Dumb Song' (Capitol 5675) 1965

It's time for some girl garage action and none better than East Los Angeles combo The Girls who were teenage sisters 'discovered' by Capitol Records and sponsored by Fender guitars.
They caused quite a stir in and around Hollywood with their tuff rock sound and played several high profile birthday gigs for 'A' list celebs. The right contacts also enabled them to appear on TV Shows Hullabaloo and Hollywood A Go Go but sadly no tapes of these performances have surfaced on You Tube yet.

'Chico's Girl' has got a full production, it could be said that it's a garage 'wall of sound'. The subtle use of fuzz is a great touch. The song was written by New York songwriting couple Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil.

THE GIRLS - Chico's Girl

19 June, 2010

36. THE AVENGERS - I Told You So

THE AVENGERS - 'I Told You So'/'Shipwrecked' (Star-burst Records 128) March 1966
(see update 24/05/15)

15 June, 2010

37. THE FLOWER CHILDREN - Mini-Skirt Blues

THE FLOWER CHILDREN - 'Mini-Skirt Blues'/'Marching Lovers' (Castil Records 101) March 1967

With a group name like The Flower Children one would expect 'Mini-Skirt Blues' to be soft flower pop with perhaps male/female harmonies. WRONG; these Flower Children, led by Simon Stokes have a punked up protest anthem on their hands, heavy on the organ, making the whole sonic concoction sound very Seeds like.

Mr Stokes has got his mini-skirt blues real bad. He's almost spitting out the words in this rant. The flip 'Marching Lovers' is more Sunset Strip groove with dumb lyrics and spooky organ.

The 45 also got a release on Allied Records. My copy on Castil Records shows 6 March 1967 stamped on the label. March '67 may not have been the release date but it shows the record was clearly doing the rounds as early as this.


12 June, 2010

38. THE PURPLE GANG - One Of The Bunch

THE PURPLE GANG - 'Bring Your Own Self Down'/'One Of The Bunch' (MGM K13607) Oct 1966

Some groups take their name then base their whole image around that name. Take North Hollywood's Purple Gang for instance. Someone decided that it would be cool or different or way out for all of the band members to wear purple shirts with puffy sleeves. Bass player Marty Tryon even came up with the concept of wearing a purple glove on one hand for added purpleness. So the image is corny, what of the music?

Both sides on this disc are real growers, the strange rythmns and fuzztones will slowly absorb into your mind. Sadly, The Purple Gang only released two singles before the players drifted off to other projects. 
The first to go was rythmn guitarist Mark Landon. He joined The Music Machine and took the single glove idea with him.
Bass player Marty Tryon joined The Lamp Of Childhood and also worked with W.C. Fields Memorial Electric String Band. Alan Wisdom (lead guitar) and Harry Garfield (farfisa) eventually moved on to a later line-up of The Music Machine whilst singer Bob Corff stayed with MGM Records and released a single under the name of The Ark.

THE PURPLE GANG - One Of The Bunch

10 June, 2010

39. GYPSY TRIPS - Ain't It Hard

GYPSY TRIPS - 'Ain't It Hard'/'Rock 'N Roll Gypsies' (World Pacific 77809) Nov 1965

The Gypsy Trips were a folk rock duo comprising singer songwriter Roger Tillison and his vocal partner and sunset strip babe Terrye Newkirk. They both relocated from dullsville Oklahoma to the bright lights of L.A. and soon after cut the classic psych tinged folk rock winner 'Ain't It Hard' featuring the tripped out lyric:

"And your brother's in the bathroom with acid in his head,
And there's no place to go cos the town's all dead."

(I've read elsewhere that the lyric is 'acid in his hand' but that's not what Roger is singing in my mind)

'Ain't It Hard' was recorded by The Electric Prunes and released as their first 45 in May 1966.

07 June, 2010

40. OPUS 1 - Back Seat '38 Dodge

OPUS 1 - 'Back Seat '38 Dodge'/'In My Mind' (Mustang 3017) May 1966

The cryptically named Opus 1 were a short lived, one single shot group outta Long Beach. Their star shone briefly over Los Angeles and their management even took out a full page advert announcing the release of 'Back Seat '38 Dodge' in a May 1966 edition of KRLA Beat.
This advert describes the new 45 on Mustang as "Bewitching" and I can see why. It's a swirling surf and garage punk mix with maximum echo in the production.

The flip 'In My Mind' is just as good but this psychedelic medication is not as immediate. In the end though it didn't matter because the single failed to sell in large quantities and today remains a sought after disc by 60s garage archivists.

OPUS 1 - Back Seat '38 Dodge

06 June, 2010

41. THE SMOKE RINGS - Love's The Thing

THE SMOKE RINGS - 'Love's The Thing'/'She Gives Me Love' (Prospect 101) 1966

The Romancers were a very popular East Los Angeles group playing mostly soul and pop music. From the material I've heard by them they didn't really 'pound' too much, apart from this garage rocker titled 'Love's The Thing' written by the Uballez brothers.

The Romancers disc was released on Linda Records during September 1965 but curiously it was re-released on Prospect Records with a name change to The Smoke Rings. The disc also got distributed on Dot.
The flip 'She Gives Me Love' has their usual soul pop overtones.
But it's the killer 'Love's The Thing' that gets in my L.A. Sounds, Select 50 and quite rightly so.

THE SMOKE RINGS - Love's The Thing

05 June, 2010

42. HIS MAJESTY'S COACHMEN - I Don't Want To See You

HIS MAJESTY'S COACHMEN - 'I Don't Want To See You'/'Where Are You Bound' (Gemini G-1004) Aug 1966

This combo, reportedly from Los Angeles, are a complete mystery to me. They've rarely had anything written about them and Fuzz, Acid And Flowers even failed to mention His Majesty's Coachmen.

'I Don't Want To See You' is a jangle pop delight and brings to my mind The Dovers. The flip 'Where Are You Bound' is more jangle sweetness but this time with organ and vocal harmonies. According to Teenbeat Mayhem this 45 was released August 1967 but the record is highlighted as 'a hit bound sound' on this radio sheet from August 1966.

Both sides were written by Dennis Tracy and produced by Dick Shepp at Columbia Studio in L.A.


04 June, 2010

43. THE ASSOCIATION - Pandora's Golden Heebie Jeebies

THE ASSOCIATION - 'Pandora's Golden Heebie Jeebies'/'Standing Still' (Valiant V-755) Nov 1966

The Association were virtually unknown in England during the 60s only denting the charts once with 'Time For Living' (it reached number 23) and that was in May 1968. In other words none of their American sunshine pop hits such as 'Windy' or 'Cherish' got noticed.

The ethereal, eastern tinged 'Pandora's Golden Heebie Jeebies' was a risky choice for a 45 to follow 'Cherish', being about as far out as The Association ever got. I happen to love this song as well as The Association so would never do an 'L.A. selected 50' without them being in it.

Pandora's was recorded at Western Recorders, Hollywood but the flip 'Standing Still' (and the more likely tune with hit potential) was taken from the album 'And Then...Along Comes Mary' from July 1966.

According to the liners from the Warners/Rhino double Anthology CD set, writer and singer Gary Alexander is quoted:

"Contrary to previous reports, Pandora's Golden Heebie Jeebies was not about the Sunset Strip night club Pandora's Box, but rather about Eastern spirituality that fascinated me at the time."

Shortly after the single flopped Gary Alexander quit The Association and went to India to meditate and smoke banana skins. He returned with a new name...Jules Alexander Heavy. ha ha ha....it could only happen in the 60s!!!

Also, take a look at the rather odd picture sleeve. So what's going on with Jim Yester pictured centre? He wasn't that tiny in real life surely. 


THE ASSOCIATION - Pandora's Golden Heebie Jeebies

02 June, 2010

44. THE SIN SAY SHUNS - All My Lonely Waiting

THE SIN SAY SHUNS - 'All My Lonely Waiting'/'Rain Drops, Tear Drops' (Venett Records V-108) 1966

According to the liners on the back of their album 'I'll Be There - Live! at P.J's in Hollywood', The Sin Say Shuns formed in late 1965 and quickly made waves as the resident band at P.J's holding down a record six month stand.

The energetic and overlooked garage beat of 'All My Lonely Waiting' was their second 45 on Venett Records, a small label from Hollywood. This is a fantastic tune with it's driving rhythm and some pretty wild stick action from Bobby Cottle. This is the work of a very tight and efficient outfit.

The flip 'Rain Drops, Tear Drops' is a slow ballad.

Bill Eidson (guitar/vocals)
Bobby Cottle (drums)
Tony Visco (organ)
Paul Idelicato (bass)

THE SIN SAY SHUNS - All My Lonely Waiting

45. THE BECKETT QUINTET - (It's All Over Now) Baby Blue

THE BECKETT QUINTET - '(It's All Over Now) Baby Blue'/'No Correspondence' (Gemcor 5003) Oct 1965
This combo were previously known as The Epics and gigged extensively in New Mexico (where they all came from). They even recorded some demos at the famous Norman Petty studios and sometime in early 1965, armed with these demos decided to seek the big time in Hollywood and look for a record deal.

Now calling themselves The Beckett Quintet they got a deal with a new Hollywood label called Gemcor and released this double sided winner in late '65. The single must have gained airplay and shifted units because they were interviewed in KRLA Beat and picked up for national release by A&M. Strangely, the major label disc is very hard to find.

According to ARSA radio survey archive, the 45 managed to hit the top 30 on WLOF Orlando, Florida during October 1965.

The flip 'No Correspondence' has been compiled several times (Pebbles, Garagelands, Journey To Tyme) and is a rudimentary garage classic. The top side and 'hit' is a cover of 'Baby Blue' and has that classic Los Angeles folk rock sound.

01 June, 2010


THE L.A. TEENS - 'All I Really Want To Do'/'Saturday's Child' (Decca 31813) July 1965

The L.A. Teens only released two singles, this one under review being the last. However, a Gary Usher website reveals that the band recorded these songs during May/June 1965 as well as three others that remain unreleased.

The titles of which are 'So Glad', 'On The Road Again' and 'Ann Marie'. It's a shame that The L.A. Teens seemingly recorded material then broke up before the Sunset Strip action really took off because judging by the quality of songs I've heard they could have been contenders.

 'All I Really Want To Do', made more famous by The Byrds (they recorded their version in March 1965) is a pleasant enough folk rock version with jangly guitar (probably a 12 string) but I dig the moody punk protest of 'Saturday's Child' on the flip more.