28 February, 2010

ESB - Mushroom People

ESB - 'Mushroom People'/'Let Me Touch You' (In Arts Records 102) 1967

This group of hipsters from Hollywood went from having one of the longest names in pop (ie) The W.C. Fields Memorial Electric String Band to probably the shortest ESB.

The band were formed out of the ashes of two local acts that promised much but went to nowheresville. George Caldwell and Robert Zinner were in The Bees. Richard Fortunato and Steve Lagana were in The Preachers. Bass player Patrick Burke may have been in a later line up of The Preachers.

'Mushroom People' is in effect their third release but one of the first on the newly formed Hollywood label In Arts Records who also had The Good Time Singers and Smart & Cole Inc on their books. The song is pretty cool with the odd 'mary jane' lyrical reference indicating pot of course. It's a strange psychedelic affair, starting out all mellow and hip then suddenly bursting into a faster rhythm, culminating in a Who like wig out.

'Let Me Touch You' is a slow and brooding psych nugget.

ESB - Mushroom People

25 February, 2010


I found this article in a September 1967 edition of Billboard and I thought, hey I'm EXPO67.....only I pinched my internet moniker from The Chocolate Watch Band song 'Expo 2000' but with a slight change in the year!

24 February, 2010

THE BEATLES - Ticket To Ride

THE BEATLES - 'Ticket To Ride'/'Yes It Is' (Parlophone R 5265) April 1965

I thought it was time again to post some Beatles music so I flicked though my copy of 'The Beatles Recording Sessions' to check out details of songs they were busy recording in a February during the 60s. I stopped at the year 1965 and noticed that my four heroes were in Abbey Road Studios laying down one of my favourite songs 'Ticket To Ride' during mid February, 1965.

According to the notes the afternoon session lasted 5 hours and they didn't stop until the song was complete. 'Ticket To Ride' was written by John Lennon but there was a whole load of input by Paul McCartney. He played both bass and lead guitar, including the characteristic opening sequence. Ringo's outstanding drum pattern was also Paul's idea.

THE BEATLES - Ticket To Ride

Here's the Dutch pic sleeve for 'Ticket To Ride' sent in by resident Flower Bomb Songs contributor Jim Wynand.

21 February, 2010

THE SMOKE - Umbrella

THE SMOKE - 'The Smoke' (Sidewalk Records ST-5912) 1968

I've probably played this record hundreds of times, maybe as many times as 'The Notorious Byrd Brothers' and that's saying something. This studio based group consisted of Michael Lloyd (bass/keyboards/vocals/sundry items), Steve Baim (drums) and Stan Ayeroff (guitar). All three members also recorded as The Rubber Band.

The Smoke album is a very consistant effort with a strong Sgt Peppers influence and I could have chosen any song on the album to represent it on my blog but I've went for the pop psych delight of 'Umbrella'.

THE SMOKE - Umbrella

19 February, 2010


DAVID HOLLIS - "Sheri" /"Monkey Man" (Hip H-111) October 1967

Now here's a performer I don't know anything about. Just who is David Hollis? Several checks in various reference books and online sources reveal absolutely nothing. In fact my website is probably the first place this fantastic double sided psychedelic 45 has had it's brief moment of glory.

This release was one of the earliest on Hip Records (a short lived Stax subsidiary). Steve Cropper has been name checked on the label as a co producer with Natalie Rosenberg. Don't know anything about Natalie but Mr Cropper is probably the guitarist from Booker T and the MG's.

David Hollis has got it real bad for Sheri. He's totally tripped out by her but there's too many I'm Sorry's in the lyrics for my liking. David, you ain't gonna get your girl back by being all sappy......be a caveman like those guys from The Avengers.

The music backdrop for 'Sheri' is a baroque psych lovers dream. It's very trippy and the whispered vocals add to the the overall coolness.
The flip 'Monkey Man' is a slow paced groover.......'You better cool it while you can, Monkey Man'.....

This record is a real find for me. It's never been compiled before as far as I know.

18 February, 2010

THE NERVES - Hanging On The Telephone

THE NERVES - 'Hanging On The Telephone' (Penniman Records) re-issue

While I was looking around in a box of records marked '70s searching for The Knack 45 I grabbed this must have killer by The Nerves and gave it spin. The Penniman Records release is a 10 inch EP and came out on vinyl in 2001. It has six studio cuts from 1976 including the all time classic power pop record 'Hanging On The Telephone'....

I'm sure you all know that Blondie covered this song and had a massive worldwide hit with it. Too bad The Nerves release didn't sell millions and is still virtually unknown.

THE NERVES - Hanging On The Telephone

15 February, 2010

THE KNACK - My Sharona

THE KNACK - 'My Sharona'/'Let Me Out' (Capitol CL 16087) June 1979

Doug Fieger the lead singer of The Knack died of cancer today and as a tribute I'll post the all time classic power pop 45 'My Sharona' which more or less defined the 'skinny tie' new wave sound.

I used to hear this song every morning in June/July 1979 while getting ready for school and having some breakfast. Radio 1 DJ, Dave Lee Travis a.k.a. 'The Hairy Cornflake' had it on heavy rotation. So much so that it was a big hit in England, reaching number 6 in the charts.

Fieger co-wrote 'My Sharona' with guitarist Berton Averre. The song was about his then teenage girlfriend called Sharona (obviously) and that's her pictured on the sleeve in a tight white vest showing off her raspberry ripples.

The producer for The Knack was Mike Chapman who served his time in the early 70s producing the Glam Rock hits for The Sweet, Suzi Quatro, Mud and others. He also provided instant commercial appeal for Blondie.

THE KNACK - My Sharona

14 February, 2010


THE PAINTED FACES - 'Anxious Color'/'Things We See' (Manhattan 808) June 1967

One of the classic psych singles to come out of Florida was 'Anxious Color' by The Painted Faces. They were short lived but left behind some fine singles. Their first 45 was released locally on Qualicon. This coupled the moody folk rock lament 'Things We See' with 'I Want You'... The former turning up again as the flip to the Manhattan release.

'Anxious Color' is where it's at though with raga sounding guitar leads giving the song a psychedelic sound. According to the liners of the Distortion compilation this 45 was a big hit in South West Florida, hitting number 1 on some stations. It even got extensive airplay on Los Angeles stations making the Top 10. This was probably due to their Mike Curb connections.


red label stock copy of 'Anxious Color' supplied by Jim Wynand

10 February, 2010

ROCKIT - Amblin'

ROCKIT - '(Blame It) On The Pony Express'/'Amblin' (Verve VK10654) 1971

This is a rather obscure and needless to say marvelous record by a genius called Michael Lloyd. He was of course highly influential as a member of The West Coast Pop Art Experimental Band then demonstrated his pop psych brilliance with The Smoke.

According to several WCPAEB articles I've read (special mention must be given to the exhaustive piece by Shindig magazine) Rockit were in effect a mini reunion of my 'Transparent Day' GODS. Michael Lloyd was aided in this project by Shawn and Dan Harris.

I did some research on this disc because the information about the Rockit record has been scant to say the least. The Shindig article only briefly mentioned it but no label scans were provided. According to a book called 'MGM Labels - A Discography' the A-Side '(Blame It) On The Pony Express' was recorded on the 15th of December, 1970 at the MGM studios in Los Angeles.

Two songs were recorded at this session....'Pony Express' and 'Don't Make Me Into Something I'm Not'...maybe the latter recording is still unreleased to this day? The entry states that both songs were destined to be released as a 45 on MGM K14222 but for some reason this was cancelled and transferred to Verve Records.

'(Blame It) On The Pony Express' is bouncy and uplifting soul pop and should have sold millions but didn't and so languishes in obscurity. The flip is the ethereal 'Amblin'.....a pop song so perfect it makes my head hurt. It's wondrous soundscape reminds me of the previously mentioned Smoke music.

07 February, 2010


BOBBY FULLER FOUR - 'The Magic Touch'/'My True Love' (Mustang M 3018) June 1966

Los Angeles based band The Bobby Fuller Four are well documented elsewhere and have a somewhat tragic history. Thankfully their GREAT music lives on and the strident mod soul attack of 'The Magic Touch'  may just be my favourite Bobby Fuller Four song. It's quite a sought after disc now that the European mod DJs have been hipped to it's dance floor appeal.

'The Magic Touch' was written by Ted Daryll who was a member of The Town And Country Brothers....

"You got the Magic Touch
And I'm caught in your spell"

06 February, 2010

TREV GORDON - Floating

TREV GORDON - 'Floating'/'Everyone Knows' (Mod M-1006) Dec 1966

Here's a curious piece of ephemera that is a bit of a mystery. Trev Gordon released two singles on Pye Records in England during the mid 60s. 'Floating' was the second, put out for consumption in September 1966. I don't think it got past the demo stage though, probably just shipped out to local radio stations.

'Floating' was comped on my series of Gear! comps and you'll find it on Volume 3. The flip 'Everyone Knows' appeared in the late 90s on Ripples Volume 2. I've read their liners and no information was known about Trev Gordon.

This two sided oddity was released in the USA on Mod Records during December 1966 and even got a spotlight pick in Billboard. I'm sure it's the same Mod label that released 'I'm Gonna Change The World' by Commons Ltd (Mod M-1005)

To add to the mystery a recording artist and Bee Gees associate called Trevor Gordon was in the line up of UK group The Marbles, then in 1970 released a solo LP called 'Alphabet'. I'm sure this is not the same person though because this particular Trevor Gordon (according to the book 'The Bee Gees - Tales Of The Brothers Gibb written by Hector Cook) only arrived in England from Australia in late '67 to team up with his cousin Graham Bonnet to form The Marbles. The two PYE 45s had been and gone a good year earlier.

A reader has informed me that both Trev Gordon 45s were released in Australia on Astor Records. And after a little bit of research:

'Love Comes And Goes'/'You're An E Type' (Astor AP-1243) 1966
'Floating'/'Everyone Knows' (Astor AP-1298) 1966

TREV GORDON - Floating

04 February, 2010


THE DOORS - 'People Are Strange'/'Unhappy Girl' (Elektra EK-45621) Sept 1967

According to Doors drummer John Densmore, his band started out in a Venice garage and just over a year later were playing 'Light My Fire' on The Ed Sullivan Show. Such are the breaks I suppose and Jim Morrison's wild antics and tight leather jeans must have helped along the way.

The Doors managed to successfully attract a pop crowd and an intellectual one and 'People Are Strange' is a song that would appeal to both crowds. It was quite a big hit both in USA and Europe with some copies coming in a trippy picture cover.

The song deals with being and outsider and was written by Robbie Krieger and the Lizard King after walking to Laurel Canyon and encountering strange freaks on the way. A full page Billboard advert was taken out by Elektra to promote the release of the latest Doors record in September 1967.