31 July, 2009

TEENAGE FANCLUB - I NEED DIRECTION




42. TEENAGE FANCLUB - I Need Direction (Columbia XPCD1303) 2000

Time for a pure pop overdose by Scottish band Teenage Fanclub. 'I Need Direction' is a perfect mix of Byrdsian guitars and Beach Boys harmonies. I've never heard better 'bah bah bah's since the mid 60s.
An utter delight in every way.

TEENAGE FANCLUB - I Need Direction (single mix)

30 July, 2009

THE HYPNOMEN - SUNSTROKE DREAMER




43. THE HYPNOMEN - 'Trip With Satan' (Gearhead RPM 014) May 2000

Having a 'trip with satan' is one of the things I'd never want to do in my life but it's a good title and this mini album by The Hypnomen should have been highly recommended by myself but unfortunately the drum beats sound WAY too modern for my taste. The production is also clean and tidy, it's as if all of the life has been sucked out of the tunes for the modern mod set. 'Sunstroke Dreamer' a more laid back instro is not as annoying.

If you don't know about The Hypnomen, they're from Helsinki (I think) and their early 45s are cool surf garage style instros. By 2000 though it sounds like they're playing by numbers.
So this enters my list of 50 purely because I dig the cover, which rips off the poster for 60s flick 'Girl On A MotorCycle'....

THE FRED BISON FIVE - GIRL GUITAR





44. THE FRED BISON FIVE - Beat Roots (Woronzow WOO 19) 1992

An obscure and hard to find Nick Saloman release, The Fred Bison Five album 'Beat Roots' was his garage psych album recorded over a weekend. All instruments were played by himself and produced with a back to basics approach after his acid guitar psych exploits under the name Bevis Frond.

Incidentally, the name Fred Bison Five is an anagram of Bevis Frond (Fred Bison V).....Nick Saloman also gives himself three pseudonyms, Fred Bison, Ray Dean and Graham Mills-Wainwright and dresses up differently for each one for the photos used for the cover. Not sure who Candice Hostettler is, maybe she's Fred Bison's milk maid.

28 July, 2009

THE BOGEYMEN - YOU'VE GOT NO SCRUPLES



45. THE BOGEYMEN - 'You've Got No Scruples'/'Let Me Give You My Love'/'Gimme A Little Sign' (Detour Records DR 008) Nov 1993

I wrote about the very first Bogeymen 45 'You Are My Friend'/'Candy' on my blog ages ago and if you want to read about it and check out the cover just follow the labels below.

This three song single was their third 45 and it contains three excellent mod cuts with a reverential nod to The Small Faces. 'You've Got No Scruples' being the stand out.
Detour Records had the good grace to release this sought after disc in a period style cover. Full marks to the designer because it suits the band's style perfectly.
They pressed an initial 1000 copies with a second pressing of 500 shortly after.





27 July, 2009

THE JAMES TAYLOR QUARTET - THE MONEYSPYDER

 


46. JAMES TAYLOR QUARTET - The Moneyspyder (Re Elect The President Records) 1987

When The Prisoners disbanded in the mid 80s James Taylor (organ) and Alan Crockford (bass) formed instro au go go band The James Taylor Quartet with an emphasis on groovy 60s style spy music and hammond organ swingers.

After the initial two albums I lost track and I think the band moved more in a jazz funk direction which obviously filled me with horror. So I just stuck with the early stuff and 'The Moneyspyder' is a good place to start. By the way, their version of 'Blow Up' from the movie of the same name really smokes and is way better than the original.


26 July, 2009

THE THANES - WORLD OF STONE




47. THE THANES - 'World Of Stone' (Screaming Apple SCACD 147) 2002

I'm a long time fan of The Thanes and just could not believe my ears when I first played their album 'Downbeat and Folked Up' because it was simply the best jangle beat music since the mid 60s.

'World Of Stone' is an Angus McPake original from said album and I think you'll agree it's stunning. In a perfect world The Thanes would be superstars but they sadly remain unknown outside the garage beat alumni.

 
THE THANES - World Of Stone
 

THE RUTLES - I MUST BE IN LOVE




48. THE RUTLES - 'I Must Be In Love' / 'Cheese And Onions'/'A Girl Like You' (Warner Bros. Records K 17125) March 1978

Debut single by the pre-fab four and when Dirk McQuickly, Ron Nasty, Stig O'Hara and Barry Wom get together they create that wonderful merseybeat music. They had the Nehru jackets, they had the teeth and hair, they had the loveable cheeky grins and cuff-links in their shirt sleeves but still, they weren't as big as The Beatles.



THE RUTLES - I Must Be In Love

HURRAH - The Sun Shines Here

49. HURRAH! - 'The Sun Shines Here' / 'I'll Be Your Surprise' (Kitchenware Records SK2) April 1982

In my mid teens I was quick off the blocks to get into the early indie guitar bands, mostly because almost everything else didn't thrill me and this was before I'd discovered 60s garage.
Anyway, Hurrah! came from my local City of Newcastle so I was clearly interested especially after reading a review of the record in one of the music weeklies (could have been either Sounds, NME or Melody Maker).

Even after all of these years 'The Sun Shines Here' still has a certain charm with it's edgy jangling guitar and sparse production. This of course became the template for most of the English indie guitar bands that followed. This record was released in April 1982 so it's one of the first of the genre.

I remember seeing them perform live at a local Night Club in Sunderland (probably 1983) and talked to singer/guitarist David Hughes about 60s stuff. At that time he sported a mental haircut with a fringe some two inches away from his eyebrows. It was one of those psychiatric hospital inmate cuts possibly fashioned by a blind and thumbless barber.

"Woke up to the smell of fresh cut grass,
The jangling guitars in my ears"....

HURRAH! - The Sun Shines Here

25 July, 2009

PLASTICLAND - COLOR APPRECIATION




50. PLASTICLAND - 'Color Appreciation' / 'Mushroom Hill' (Scadillac Records SC-1002) April 1982

This psychedelic band from Milwaukee were one of the few bands from the 80s to go with the English psych sound from '67 and I'm talking about the Carnaby Street flipped out and new progressive style of music by The Pretty Things, Tomorrow and Pink Floyd.
Plasticland brought those coloured sights and sounds back in '82

This 45 came out on their own label Scadillac Records, I'm not sure how many were pressed but it can't have been that many. This was Plasticland's third release.

line-up on this disc:

Glenn Rehse (vocals)
John Frankovic (bass)
Bob DuBlon (drums)
Brian Ritchie (guitar)

It was to become a short lived line-up as Brian Ritchie left in late 1982 to form The Violent Femmes.

UPDATES and ADDENDA

Here at "Flower Bomb Songs" HQ I mostly live in a timewarp and my psychedelic time machine is invariably destined for 1966 or 1967. However, I do listen to records that were NOT recorded in the 60s and over the next couple of months I'll be highlighting another 50 songs that have probably been ignored by most people or simply never discovered.

Early in 2008 I listed and reviewed 50 singles with a sixties influence worth checking out. This task barely raised a whisper. Maybe it's because I refuse to go down the avenue of uploading FULL albums in 320 kbps with artwork like so many fuck-tarded blogs. It might be worth pointing out that if you've landed on my blog "Flower Bomb Songs" looking for a free ride you may as well quickly depart and shut the door behind you.

However, I do occasionally add an MP3 to a posting but this will be in a listenable 128 kbps and not the 'loss-less' format that it appears so many losers from the 'entitled generation' demand.

So over the next couple of months my focus will move to forgotten or ignored releases mostly from the 80s and 90s. Stay tuned!
Just out of interest, the previous 50 non sixties nuggets 'unearthed' were:

01 STEMS - TEARS ME IN TWO
02 BARRACUDAS - I WISH IT COULD BE 1965 AGAIN
03 HEADLESS HORSEMEN - GOTTA BE COOL
04 FORTUNE AND MALTESE - LEAVE NO STONE UNTURNED
05 ROAD RUNNERS - I BELIEVE
06 MISANTHROPES - WHY DID YOU TREAT ME SO BAD?
07 TELL TALE HEARTS - CIRCUS MIND
08 FUZZTONES - NINE MONTHS LATER
09 EARLY HOURS - I'M DRAINED
10 RAIN PARADE - WHAT SHE'S DONE TO YOUR MIND
11 TYME SOCIETY - I GOTTA KNOW
12 CHESTERFIELD KINGS - I'M GOING HOME
13 STEPFORD HUSBANDS - WHY AREN'T YOU THERE?
14 OTHERS - CAN'T TELL YOU LIES
15 JAM - FUNERAL PYRE
16 HOODOO GURUS - LIKE WOW WIPE OUT
17 DM3 - T.V. SOUND
18 DUKES OF STRATOSPHERE - VANISHING GIRL
19 BERRY PICKERS - WHATCHA TRYIN' TO DO
20 FORTUNE AND MALTESE - YOU WATCH THE ROAD
21 CYNICS - NO WAY
22 MYSTIC EYES - MY TIME TO LEAVE
23 SICK ROSE - WHEN THE SUN REFUSES TO SHINE
24 CHARIOT - WHAT IF I RUN OUT OF MY PILLS?
25 TYRNAROUND - HELLO OR GOODBYE
26 NEGATIVOS - MOSCAS Y ARANAS
27 NEGATIVOS - PASANDO EL TIEMPO
28 FLECHAZOS - DREAM IN MY MIND
29 LAZY SUNDAYS - A SHADE IN THE LIGHT
30 FELT - PENELOPE TREE
31 TRYFLES - WHEN I SEE THAT GUY
32 VIBRASONIC - THE UNLOVED INSANE
33 INCAPABLES - JEZEBEL
34 INDIKATION - TU MANIPULE MA TETE
35 BACKDOOR MEN - GOING HER OWN WAY
36 ESCALATORS - THE MUNSTERS THEME
37 VELVET CRUSH - GENTLE BREEZE
38 STAIRS - WEED BUS
39 BREADMAKERS - SEARCHIN' FOR COOL
40 UNHEARD - I DON'T BELIEVE
41 POPPEES - JEALOUSY
42 ULTRA 5 - THE STREETS OF YOUR TOWN
43 PLIMSOULS - A MILLION MILES AWAY
44 MAKERS - NOBODY GONNA BREAK MY SOUL
45 LEATHER NUN - SON OF A GOOD FAMILY
46 MINDERS - RIGHT AS RAIN
47 REDD KROSS - MESS AROUND
48 REVOLVING PAIN DREAM - FLOWERS IN THE SKY
49 CLIENTELE - (I WANT YOU) MORE THAN EVER
50 KLIEK - SANDRA

The 50 disc reviews started here:
http://expo67-cavestones.blogspot.com/search?updated-max=2008-05-17T13%3A17%3A00%2B01%3A00&max-results=50

19 July, 2009

Final Part 11, THE HANGMEN - Round-Up


At the start of my research into the story of The Hangmen and the various off-shoot bands, I put together a compilation of all of their 45s including The Omegas. All tracks were mastered from my originals, meaning you'll be hard pressed to hear them in better sound unless of course you have your own mint records.

By the way all of these records can be found at a reasonable price but I have noticed that 'Faces' is commanding a higher price than previously. Anyway, I decided to send a copy of my Hangmen retrospective to Tom Guernsey and anyone who made a comment via my blog FREE of charge (I didn't even want the shipping costs). Sadly only two comments rec'd despite getting at least 400 hits per day.

According to Tom Guernsey, Monument Records was bought out by Sony in the 70s and the likelyhood of ever seeing a legit Hangmen CD are slim to say the least. Sundazed records have made some enquiries apparently, so you never know.

You can find the following songs on these comps. Sound quality obviously varies from decent to poor:

The Hangmen - 'Faces' - '60s Choice Volume 1'
The Hangmen - 'What A Girl Can't Do' - 'Psychotic Moose & the Soul Searchers'
Graffiti - 'He's Got The Knack' - 'World Of Acid' and 'Turds On A Bum Ride Volume 3'
The Omegas - 'I Can't Believe' - 'I'm Trippin' Alone'

Part 10, GRAFFITI - He's Got The Knack

 
GRAFFITI - 'He's Got The Knack' / 'Love In Spite' (ABC 11123) 1968

The third band to form from the ashes of The Hangmen were Graffiti. The band had previously been called Button and contained ex Hangmen singer Tony Taylor and George Strunz who had replaced George Daly in The Hangmen in early '67 before they decided to split.
Button relocated to Greenwich Village from Washington D.C. and changed their name to Graffiti then signed to ABC Records. The only Graffiti music I've heard are the two cuts from their first 45. 'He's Got The Knack', a killer psych/prog cross-over appeared on the sought after compilation album 'World Of Acid'....
Graffiti released an album on ABC which is now becoming a collector's item. By all accounts it is a good album and well worth checking out. The band released a final 45 in 1969 'Do You Feel Sorry?'/ 'Girl On Fire'...

Part 9, DOLPHIN - Let's Get Together

 
DOLPHIN - 'Let's Get Together' / 'Grubb's Blues' (Phoenix PH 3) 1968

Paul Dowell (bass), Bob Berberich (drums) and George Daly (rhythm guitar) quit The Hangmen in mid '67 and attracted hot young lead guitarist Nils Lofgren from a local group and they called themselves Dolphin.

'Let's Get Together' is a fast and heavy version of the 'hippie' anthem recorded by several bands in the sixties. The song is notable for some fierce skin action by Bob Berberich.

The flip 'Grubb's Blues' is a Nils Lofgren original but the credits on the label display Nils Lothgrin (typo?) and it's another stripped down and basic late 60s rock and roll, heavy on the bass and brought to life with some great lead guitar by Lofgren.

Both sides were produced by Richard Gottehrer from The Strangeloves.
 

Here's the Dutch picture sleeve for 'Let's Get Together' / 'Grubb's Blues' by Dolphin. It's an appaling cover, maybe one of the worst I've seen. First off they couldn't even get the song title right, they have it as 'Let's Together' and even worse still, those things don't look like friggin' Dolphin's to me (if that's what the designer was trying to capture)



The band had a further 45 'It's Better To Know You' / 'Time I Saw You' released on Sire Records in 1969 but I've not heard it before. This release was with a slight change in band name to Paul Dowell and the Dolphin.

18 July, 2009

Part 8, THE OMEGAS - I CAN'T BELIEVE

 
THE OMEGAS - 'I Can't Believe' / 'Mr. Yates' (United Artists UA 50247) 1968

Following the demise of The Hangmen in mid 1967 the group more or less split into three factions, each one becoming a recording band. Tom Guernsey hooked up with former Reekers singer Joe Triplett and they called themselves The Omegas.

'I Can't Believe' is a catchy mod swinger that really lifts off with some killer fuzz leads and incisive female backing vocals fron The Jewels. The song appears to be relatively obscure but I'm certain it has all the right ingrediants for today's European mod DJs... It's certainly a record that will increase in value once it is 'discovered'.

The flip 'Mr Yates' is completely different and it's almost like listening to a different group. It's a piano based introspective song that has a late 60s English folk vibe.

I asked Tom about these recordings for United Artists. Here's his response.

'Mr. Yates' (and the "a" side "I Can't Believe") were recorded in Edgewood studios in Washington D.C. engineered by Ed Green, who later became very well known in L.A. for his sound work.

"I Can't Believe" was recorded on a 4 track machine (this was 1968!)....we recorded 3 tracks of rhythm, bounced those down to 1 track and then put the vocals on 2 of the now empty tracks and then double tracked the bass on the other empty track because we felt it did not cut through enough...Ed Green, the engineer at Edgewood said to me "Tom, someday I will get an 8 track machine and you will figure out a way to fill all 8 tracks!"

17 July, 2009

Part 7, THE HANGMEN - Misc Items

 Billboard magazine advertising the release of 'Bittersweet' album.



The Hangmen pictured performing on TV programme 'The Jerry Blavat Show' out of Philadelphia.

16 July, 2009

Part 6, The Hangmen - Bittersweet LP

 
THE HANGMEN - 'Bittersweet' LP (Monument Records MLP 8077) 1967

Clearly an underated album but with mixed reviews. It's too pop for the garage heads and I've been put off buying it for years when I read that the re-recordings of 'Faces' and 'What A Girl Can't Do' were deemed to be not as good as the single versions.

I was tempted a few times to buy the bootleg on Radioactive but I've never been a fan of their CD masterings. Tom Guernsey sent me a copy of the album on CD recently and I was suitably impressed by the music to go out and seek an original copy on vinyl.
Some prices were in the region of $100-$130 but I managed to locate one (not on ebay) for $50 and it was in mint condition, aswell as being the important MONO release.

By the way, here's some trivia for you. The trippy picture of The Hangmen on the cover of the album was taken in the bedroom of Tom Guernsey's apartment in 1967. Tom is hiding behind the self portrait.


The psychedelic influence for graphics was evident with the logo for the 'Bittersweet' album. This colouful lettering brightened up the back cover.


Side One of 'Bittersweet' opens with 'Dream Baby' (also selected from the album as a single). I really dig this sitar and fuzz imbued psychedelic 'Dream Baby' and it clearly was the strongest song/performance on the album IMO.

'Guess What' is another slow ballad. The Hangmen seemed to like this style.

'Crazy Man' ups the pace somewhat and the lead vocals are performed by bass player Paul Dowell.

'Let It Be Me' was the flip of 'Dream Baby'.

'Terrible Tonight' is another song about a girlfriend problem. She has a 'plastic heart'....

'Faces' is a re-recording of the second single and is much different. It's a lot slower with fuzz but this fuzz is not as killer and is sadly burried in the mix. The back-up vocals make up for this though.


Side Two of 'Bittersweet' kicks off with 'I Wanna Get To Know You', a slow paced song with more than a nod to the Lovin' Spoonful. It's a song that Tom Guernsey is happy with from the Nashville recording sessions and he would have liked it to have been the band's third single instead of 'Dream Baby'.

'Everytime I Fall In Love' is a cover of a song by fellow Washington D.C. band The Fallen Angels. It's a slow heartfelt ballad of 'love gone wrong', a theme so common with mid 60s bands.

'What A Girl Can't Do' is a re-recording of the classic single. I'm not quite sure why The Hangmen wanted to try this one again, maybe it was to give new lead singer Tony Taylor his chance to stamp his authority on the song, or perhaps the band were rushed in the studio and didn't have anymore material?

'Isn't That Liz' is a band original with some fuzz and a neat harmonica break mid way through the song. It's a grower and the tune will stick in your head.

'Gloria' is the famous Van Morrison song originally recorded by his band Them. Many mid 60s American bands either played this song live at gigs or recorded their own version. I've never heard a better version than the original by Them.
The Hangmen performance is a slowed down and extended take with a good vocal performance by Tony Taylor.

I asked Tom Guernsey how he felt about the album and if he was satisfied with it.

"Some of the songs on the album stand up better than others...for example i really l like "I wanna Get To Know You" (particularly the harmonies and the instrumental intro/ ending) and "Crazy Man" has some pretty good lyrics and an excellent bridge.
Although everything we wrote at the time was put under Guernsey/Daly, the two songs I mentioned are largely the work of my song writing partner George Daly. We were following the lead of Lennon & McCartney, who as I think you probably know, put all their songs under both writers names even if only one of them wrote it...such as "Yesterday"



This group shot of The Hangmen adorned the back cover of 'Bittersweet'....it was taken in a park in Washington D.C. 1967

15 July, 2009

MOORPARK INTERSECTION - I Think I'll Just Go And Find Me A Flower

 
MOORPARK INTERSECTION - 'I Think I'll Just Go And Find Me A Flower' / 'Yesterday Holds On' (Capitol P 2115) Feb 1968

Does anyone know if Moorpark Intersection were a performing band or another one of the long list of studio creations?

'I Think I'll Just Go And Find Me A Flower' is a simply gorgeous psychedelic pop song, so typical of West Coast America. David Axelrod produced and of course he had experience working with psych kings The Electric Prunes. He also produced a favourite album of mine by Hardwater and both sides of this 45 would have perfectly fit the flower folk rock vibes displayed on that long player.
The song was written by Jerry Keller who also had another cool pop tune called 'Turn Down Day' recorded by The Cyrkle. 'Flower' was also recorded by Twinn Connexion.

The flip 'Yesterday Holds On' is another flower psych winner with a 'heavy' production and was co-written by David Axelrod.


 


A kindly soul emailed me today with some excelent information about Moorpark Intersection. Thank you so much...

I have more details for you on personnel:

Matt Hyde (guitar, vocals)
Jim (James) Kehn (drums, vocals)
Terry Johnson (bass)
Michael Wesley Dean (vocals, flute) sings lead on 'Flower'
Jay Lewis (guitar, vocals)

Matt Hyde, Jim Kehn and Terry Johnson were original members of The Coachmen, a San Fernando Valley group formed around 1960. Jay Lewis (real name James Donnellan) joined The Coachmen soon after its inception replacing keyboard player Jim Hobson who left to join The Du Vals.

During the 1960s, the band members also played with other groups in the area; in Johnson and Lewis' case, Bobby Bond & The Agents where they met Barry Brown (later a founding member of Morning). Kehn meanwhile worked with Richie Podolor doing session work for the likes of Iron Butterfly, Blues Image and Duanne Eddy.

The above line up got together during 1967 and through jazz guitarist Howard Roberts got signed to Capitol Records, working with Axelrod as producer.
Kehn did session work on Donovan's "Barabajagal" album while Lewis worked in a bar band with Snoopy Pfisterer from Love. When the "Forever Changes" line up imploded, Snoopy recommended Lewis to Arthur Lee as a replacement for John Echols and he joined Love, reverting to his real name James Donnellan.

Matt Hyde meanwhile began building recording consoles around town with former Coachmen Jim Hobson who was also doing session work on the side. They ended up building their own studio called The Recording Studio in Tarzana, California with financial partner, Joe Long. Kehn attended one of Love's sessions and suggested to Lewis that he take Love to record there, which they did with Hobson guesting on piano.

When Donnellan (now reverting back to Jay Lewis) was dropped by Love in late 1969, he reunited with Barry Brown from Bobby Bond & The Agents in the deathroes of his latest group, East Lynne and the pair began talking about forming a new group. Hobson was approached and the trio formed the core of Morning. Kehn and Johnson were also recruited as side musicians and Hyde worked as an engineer on the group's albums.
 
Moorpark Intersection unreleased and unheard song 'Sure Is Good' was recorded in Nov 1967 but only reached acetate stage.

James Kehn updated Nick Warburton with the following information...
'I found and scanned another tune Moorpark Intersection recorded at Capitol records, called "Sure Is Good". It's an old acetate (this format gets worse with each playing). You can see it says RUF on it which stood for a rough take. So it was just for us to listen to and decide what to do with it later. I can't remember who wrote or who sang it.'

(James Kehn/Nick Warburton)

comments:
1. November 28, 1967 - Moorpark Intersection (lineup unlisted) records the tracks "Yesterday Holds On (What Is The Nature Of The Business You're In)" and "I Think I'll Go Out And Find Me A Flower" in Los Angeles, California with producer David Axelrod. Capitol Records will issue both tracks together as a single (Capitol 2115).If anyone knows who was in the band, please leave a comment.On This Day In Capitol Records Historyhttp://popculturefanboy.blogspot.com

2. This group had connections with the band Morning. Group members included future Morning players Jay Lewis (aka Jay Donnellan from Love's "Four Sail" line up), Jim Kehn and Terry Johnson.

3. From Michael Wesley Dean
I was pleasantly surprised when I came across your page on Moorpark Intersection.
Please allow me to offer some updates on this subject.

Following Jay Lewis I became a member of The Coachmen as vocalist, sax player and later, organist

Besides singing lead and playing flute on “Flower”, I also played piano on the flip, “Yesterday Holds On”

During the time frame you are referencing I had a band called Michael Wesley Group (my stage name) with Terry Johnson and drummer, Bruce Walters and also worked as a trio with Jim Kehn and Matt Hyde (name slips my mind)

In the late 60’s I was arranging and producing sessions for Audio Physics/ Reflection Records (all done at The Recording Studio) and later in the 70’s, composed string arrangements for Jay Lewis’ “In A Better Frame Of Mind” from the second Morning album.

more updates:
From: Michael Wesley Dean

Another bit of information concerning Moorpark Intersection: There were four other unreleased recordings from the 1967 Capitol sessions.
Master # 58456 Session # 14623 - 'Young Man'
Have no memory of this one

Master # 58457 Session # 14623 - 'Young Married Blues'
M W Dean: Writer and lead vocal

Master # 58458 Session # 14623 – 'Walk With Me'
M W Dean: Writer and lead vocal

Master # 59417 Session # 14937 – 'She’s About A Mover'
Sir Douglas Quintet cover – Matt Hyde lead vocal

'Sure Is Good' had two listings:
Master # 58518 Session # 14665 Session date: Oct 30, 1967
Master # 58640 Session # 14682 Session date: Nov 9, 1967
_____________________________________
This is information I received last year from Ferdinand Louis Gonzalez who wrote 'Disco File' (group history from 50's and 60's).


Michael Wesley Dean died in January 2013. Here's his obituary..

14 July, 2009

Part 5, THE HANGMEN - Dream Baby

 
THE HANGMEN - 'Dream Baby' / 'Let It Be Me' (Monument 45-983) Nov 1966

In late 1966 The Hangmen travelled to Nashville to record their album for Monument Records. This album was of course 'Bittersweet'. The band had the chance to work with musician and talented producer Buzz Cason, who was a member of The Crickets.

The Hangmen had recently changed lead singer because Dave Ottley had returned to England so replacement Tony Taylor had the chance to shine.

Before the album was released Monument Records released a single in November 1966. Both of which were recorded in Nashville with new singer Tony Taylor. Both songs would also be part of the long player released in 1967.

'Dream Baby' is a psychedelicalized version of the Roy Orbison hit. The musicianship and production are exceptional and it's a sound that I feel The Hangmen should have explored more. 'Dream Baby' was written by Cindy Walker who visitors to my site may know also wrote 'Blue Canadian Rockies', a song recorded by The Byrds and released on their seminal country rock album 'Sweetheart Of The Rodeo'.

The flip 'Let It Be Me' is another cover version, written by Allie Wrubel/Mort Dixon and is a slow paced ballad.

11 July, 2009

Part 4, THE HANGMEN - In Person

A rare clipping of The Hangmen advertising their appearance at 3 stores on the 29th April, 1966.

08 July, 2009

Part 3, THE HANGMEN - Play Mosrite Guitars


Following on from the success of 'What A Girl Can't Do' The Hangmen were signed up by guitar makers Mosrite to promote their new Mosrite Ventures Model guitars and amps.

George Daly plays a custom Mosrite Mark 1 guitar
Tom Guernsey plays a custom Mark 12 string
Paul Dowell plays a custom Mark X bass

06 July, 2009

Part 2, THE HANGMEN - Faces



THE HANGMEN - 'Faces' / 'Bad Goodbye' (Monument 951) June 1966

The Hangmen had been basking in the limelight for several months following the big local hit 'What A Girl Can't Do'. It must have been weird though for the band members who didn't play on this record, apart from Tom Guernsey of course, who wrote their first hit 45 and played lead guitar on the platter.

The Hangmen were pop stars in Washington D.C. and even performed for the Kennedy's at some posh gig and appeared at the 'Giant Record Shop' in Falls Church, Virginia attracting thousands of teens hoping for a piece of The Hangmen action.

But the heat was on for the current line-up to come up with a follow-up record to maintain their popularity. That new recording was a George Daly/Tom Guernsey original called 'Faces'.
'Faces' is a tuff fuzztoned rocker and the combination of incessant fuzz and tambourine makes for THEE classic '66 punk sound.


The flip 'Bad Goodbye' is also a band original, again written by the Daly/Guernsey partnership. This time though the pace is slowed right down to reveal a mournful folk rock tune similar in style and sound to those great Val Stoecklein compositions with The Blue Things.
There is a slight Dylanesque vocal delivery from Dave Ottley and a mellow harmonica break.

Monument Records decided to promote the record and a full page advert appeared in trade magazine Billboard signalling it's release.
Over the years this 45 has become a highly sought after disc by the garage aficionado.


"Faces" was compiled in 1987 on '60s Choice - Volume 1' coming out on a French label called GMG. I bought this LP when it first came out and it was on this compilation that I first ever heard 'Faces'.
"Bad Goodbye" remains uncompiled.

The picture at the top of this post was printed in the Maryland News on the 16th June, 1966 and shows band members rubbing shoulders with Newton I Steers Jr, a Republican candidate wearing unfeasibly high waisted pants.... Back in '66 such was the elevated position of a rock band that mixing with them could win more votes. Now of course candidates just kiss a baby's head.

04 July, 2009

Part 1, THE HANGMEN - What A Girl Can't Do

 
THE HANGMEN - 'What A Girl Can't Do' / 'The Girl Who Faded Away' (Monument 910) November 1965

The Hangmen are now well represented on some garage websites with detailed information about the band aswell as rare photos. So head on over to "Garage Hangover" and "60s Garagebands" but have my site your port of call for a more in depth look at their 45s and sole album on Monument Records.
I've also got some vintage pics from the archives of The Hangmen's lead guitarist and songwriter Tom Guernsey, that as far as I know are unique to my "Flower Bomb Songs" (outta)site.

The Hangmen formed when Washington D.C. band The Reekers drifted apart sometime in mid 1965 when various members went to other colleges outside the Washington area. The Reekers were a popular draw and had a wild surf sound. Just check out the classic 'Don't Call Me Flyface' from 1964.

Tom Guernsey soon got active in putting together another combo by seeking out the 'long hairs' at Montgomery Jr College in Washington D.C. where he was attending. The new band was given the name of The Hangmen (which I think is a super cool name for a band)....


Around about the same time Monument Records, based in Nashville got passed tapes of recordings by The Reekers. The songs were 'What A Girl Can't Do' and 'The Girl Who Faded Away' both written by Tom Guernsey.

Monument were impressed and decided that they wanted some of the teenbeat sound on their roster (the label was primarily a vehicle for rock and roll, country and western and R'n'B. At this period in time Roy Orbison was the label's biggest star) and signed the band but because The Reekers were no more, Monument released the songs under the moniker of The Hangmen simply because of the Tom Guernsey connection.

So what of the music? 'What A Girl Can't Do' is classic mid 60s rock with an echo laden backbeat, pulsating bass runs and a Ventures style guitar attack giving the song instant teen appeal. The sound was new and dangerous with a potent mix of merseybeat and sneering 'put-down' lyrics. Thankfully Monument Records got their distribution right in and around the 'Tri-States' and the 45 was a big hit locally. Sadly the non existent promotion elsewhere meant that the band would not make it on to the National scene.

The flip 'The Girl Who Faded Away' is a gentle ballad in a Paul McCartney style. Tom confirms that it was influenced by the minor key kings The Zombies.


Both songs were compiled back in 1984 on the Satan label release 'Signed D.C.'

The picture of The Hangmen at the top of this post was printed in the Montgomery County Sentinel on June 16th 1966. It shows the band at Walt Whitman college with an added throng of students as The Hangmen looked over their setup for a forthcoming gig at the venue next day.
Remember to click the pic to
enlarge...