31 July, 2010


Caretakers Of Deception - 'Cuttin' Grass'/'X+Y=13' (Sanctus SS-12) 1967

First of all, what a fucking GREAT name for a group!!! So it's fingers crossed that such a fantastically named combo had the sound to match and I'm pleased to say that our forgotten heroes certainly had that.

The Caretakers Of Deception are believed to come from the Los Angeles area (at least the record label Sanctus guides me to L.A.) 'Cuttin' Grass' is an awesome garage hymn with manic surging hallucinogenic organ, primitive guitar and pissed off vocals. These opening lines are spat out by the vexed singer:

"It's hard enough for me to see
When you've taken my eyes from me.
Thrown them in the filth on the street
You crush them on the floor"

The flip and cryptically named 'X+Y=13' calms things down slightly but it's still edgy 12 string folk garage of the highest order with lavish farfisa moodiness. I feel honoured to be able to listen to this greatness albeit via my bootleg from the 'garage greats' 45 series. The pic of the label is from an original 45 from the Bosshoss66 archives.



THE HARD TIMES - 'Fortune Teller'/'Goodbye' (World Pacific 77851) Nov 1966

Originally from San Diego, The Hard Times relocated in '66 to Laurel Canyon in the Hollywood Hills and took up residence in a house owned by Denny Doherty from The Mamas and the Papas.
They quickly established themselves on the Sunset Strip getting regular gigs at The Sea Witch eventually becoming the house band at The Whisky A Go-Go then at The Cinnamon Cinder.

The Hard times were also regulars on TV Show 'Where The Action Is' and there is currently a lip synched performance of 'Fortune Teller' from that show on You Tube as we speak.
'Fortune Teller' reached the Top 100 in the Billboard chart at the end of December 1966 but no further success followed despite a well received studio album in '67.


THE DOORS - 'Light My Fire'/'The Crystal Ship' (Elektra EK-45615) May 1967

Being led by someone as mysterious and enigmatic as lead singer and front man Jim Morrison meant that The Doors could never fail. 'Light My Fire' sold in millions making them a household name but were they any better as a unit than many of the other groups I've featured so far in this Los Angeles mix. The answer is no of course, The Doors were lucky to have Jim Morrison, he made the difference it's as simple as that.

The flip 'The Crystal Ship' has always had the knack to cast my mind adrift mainly because of the opening lyrics that set the tone for this strange and beguiling tune. 'The Crystal Ship' would be perfect for a funeral.

"Before you slip into unconsciousness
I'd like to have another kiss
Another flashing chance at bliss
Another kiss, another kiss"

30 July, 2010


THE LEAVES - 'Hey Joe'/'Girl From The East' (Mira Records 222) May 1966

Los Angeles group The Leaves hit the big time with their version of 'Hey Joe' which they recorded three times, each one distinctly different from the other - the promo single, the stock single and the Mira 222 release (also the same version on their hastily released studio album).

The first version was cut as far back as November 1965 but for me it's their 3rd attempt complete with a wild Bobby Arlin fuzztoned guitar break that is the winner. The flip is 'Girl From The East', a pleasant folk rock ballad written by Hollywood face Bobby Jameson. He also cut his own 'Girl From The East' and this choice original can be found on the Chris Lucey a.k.a Bobby Jameson album 'Songs Of Protest And Anti Protest'.

29 July, 2010


THE PALACE GUARD - 'All Night Long'/'Playgirl' (Orange Empire Records OE-331) Aug 1965

Now for my favourite musical genre (ie) folk rock/12 string janglers and none better than this gem by The Palace Guard who mixed merseybeat with folk rock to rather great effect on 'All Night Long' and achieved a deserved local hit in Los Angeles but remained unknown beyond southern California.

They were a big attraction in L.A, becoming the house band at the Hullabaloo Club in Hollywood despite wearing ridiculous Buckingham Palace style guard uniforms.


this picture of The Palace Guard appeared in the 5th February 1966 edition of KRLA Beat magazine.

28 July, 2010


SOMEBODY'S CHYLDREN - 'I'm Going Back To New York City'/'Shadows' (Uptown 727) April 1966

These teenagers from Los Angeles were originally known as The Offbeats and were led by whizz kid David Clark Allen. The band changed their name to the more happening Somebody's Chyldren sometime in '66 and released this fine 45 on Uptown.

'I'm Going Back To New York City' is a powerful garage pop mover with some neat lead guitar, heavy bass and excellent production. The flip 'Shadows' is a sweet psychedelic folk tune.

Somebody's Chyldren had two songs, 'I'm Up' and 'Marionettes' on the 'Hellcats' soundtrack released on Tower Records in 1967. They were also Mae West's backing band on her 'Way Out West' LP. I've not heard the latter but I'll be surprised if the resulting music is worthwhile.

Most of the members of Somebody's Chyldren went on to form Marianne in the late 60s.

Somebody's Chyldren were:
David Clark Allen
Dennis Trerotola
Paul Dobies
Ricky Cameron
the girl in the picture is Angela Allen

 black label scan sent in by Jim W.

26 July, 2010


Welcome to the new and improved lookin' Flower Bomb Songs blog.
With my new computer came a wind of change and I decided to give my blog a new outasite look with easier to follow links to the archives.... Newcomers to my site will need to delve deeper into the posts that are younger than yesterday....


THEE MIDNITERS - 'Never Knew I Had It So Bad'/'The Walking Song' (Whittier Records 504) Jan 1967

East Los Angeles had a host of great 60s groups and perhaps the most well known were Thee Midniters. They had a command of a wide range of musical styles but it's their uptempo garage ravers that make the EXPO67 playlist.

'Never Knew I Had It So Bad' is classic garage rock medicine complete with a snarling fuzztone tirade. The song has sadly evaded compilers apart from an outing years ago on 'A Journey To Tyme Volume 2'

THEE MIDNITERS - Never Knew I Had It So Bad

25 July, 2010


Sean and the Brandywines - 'She Ain't No Good'/'Cod'ine' (Decca 31910) January 1966

Little is known about Sean and the Brandywines, indeed they only left this one Gary Usher produced 45 behind. According to 'Teenbeat Mayhem' they were from Tujunga, California.

'She Ain't No Good' is a choice cover version originally recorded by London mods The Knack. The latter group were signed to Decca records in England so it's not inconceivable that the song was given to their American associates for consideration.
Another London outfit The Clique also recorded 'She Ain't No Good' in 1965.

The other side (not sure which was the top side) is a fine folk rock rendition of 'Cod'ine'.

By the way, if you look at the picture of the 45 you'll see a price tag of 5 cents. I paid a lot more for it a couple of years ago!

Sean and the Brandywines - Cod'ine


Clear Light - 'Black Roses'/'She's Ready To Be Free' (Elektra EK-45622) Sept 1967

Los Angeles group Clear Light were previously called The Brain Train and under this moniker cut a rare 45, including a much rougher/garage version of 'Black Roses' on Titan Records.

Maybe they decided to change their name to the hipper Clear Light (after a potent brand of LSD) because they started wearing longer hair, weird beards and love beads. Whatever the reason, their manager Bud Mathis touted the groups sounds around L.A. record labels and Elektra signed them up.

During the recording sessions with Elektra founding member Robbie Robison departed. However, he did play on perhaps their finest moment 'She's Ready To Be Free' which was recorded during April 1967. He's also listed/credited on the back of the Clear Light album cover as Robbie Robison "guru".....

'She's Ready To Be Free' was given exposure in the movie 'The President's Analyst' where Clear Light have a cameo appearance.

CLEAR LIGHT - She's Ready To Be Free


Picture of The Brain Train taken from the official Clear Light website.....trip on over here:   Clear Light

16 July, 2010


After being battered with use for just over two years my computer has sadly passed on to the other side. Most of my files, pictures, music had been backed up onto an external hard drive. However, some things did die along with my computer, notably most of my earlier Cavestones and Gear! comps. These are now deleted because I just don't have the desire to re do them.

I no longer have internet access until I buy a new computer.... Consequently, there will be no updates for some time.

13 July, 2010


THE KNACK - 'I'm Aware'/'Time Waits For No One' (Capitol 5774) Feb 1967

Capitol Records had high hopes for Los Angeles group The Knack, even dubbing them the 'American Beatles' at one point and spending a fair bit of money promoting this debut single in trade magazines which came in a modtastic colour sleeve.

'Time Waits For No One' is a catchy pop tune with a strong hook and melody and seems to have been the plug side, although 'I'm Aware' was a hit in it's own right in several states.

THE KNACK - Time Waits For No One

12 July, 2010

THE PAPERHANGERS - a long lost Capitol group

I found this small picture of The Paperhangers in an edition of KRLA Beat magazine.

I was curious because I'd never heard of them before and I'm almost certain the proposed 1967 Capitol release 'Guess What I Can See'/'Time Will Tell' never saw the light of day.

I spent some time on the 'case' and found out that Brent Maglia released a solo album on Fantasy Records in 1977 called 'Down At The Hard Rock Cafe'. It seems that Vito Giovannelli also played on this album.

A Brent Maglia song titled 'We Can't Let Go Of Love' was recorded by the walrus of love a.k.a. Barry White.

04 July, 2010


IT'S BOSS - Los Angeles Sound Capsule 1965-1968 - Part 2 CDR

The songs on this compilation are those from numbers 25 to 50 in my countdown of Los Angeles folk rock, garage and psych winners listed on my blog over the past couple of months. I will continue down to number 1 over the course of the Summer, uploading label scans, rare pics, group information and MP3s to listen to. These are usually always in mono and in 320kBit.

I will send out copies of my It's Boss CDR comp free of charge to "The Bomber", "Transoniq" and "Jingle Jangle Mourning" because despite getting at least 15,000 hits on my blog every month on a regular basis only these three followers have bothered themselves to make any decent contributions and comments. A rather disappointing situation after all of my time and effort piecing this Los Angeles expose together. I thought many more garage and psych collectors would have joined in with info, advice and/or encouragement.

"Transoniq" if you're reading this rant get in touch with your address and I'll forward you a copy of It's Boss

Oh well, it's on with the show in due course. Next up Sunset Strip regulars The Knack.


THE RUMORS - 'Hold Me Now'/'Without Her' (Gemcor 5002) July 1965

IMO the best release on the short lived Gemcor label and it proved to be The Rumors only release which is a shame because they had obvious talent and a special garage pop sound. The mix of vox organ and surf tinged guitar are a heady brew but sadly nobody else thought so and the single went un-rewarded.  

'Hold Me Now' can be heard on the Nuggets box set from the 90s, the flip 'Without Her' sounds even better. I found this picture of The Rumors on the net years ago but can't remember the site to give a credit!

THE RUMORS - Without Her

26. THE EAST SIDE KIDS - Close Your Mind

THE EAST SIDE KIDS - 'Take A Look In The Mirror'/'Close Your Mind' (Orange Empire Records OE-500) 1967

Popular Los Angeles group The East Side Kids played all of the major clubs on the Sunset Strip yet despite a clutch of 45s and an album on UNI they remain relatively unknown. Perhaps this double sided winner on the obscure Orange Empire label was their best release. It's certainly their most psychedelic.

'Take A Look In The Mirror' and 'Close Your Mind' were co written by future Comfortable Chair member Bernie Schwartz. The East Side Kids (or at least most of the band) recorded a 45 as The Sound Of The 7th Son.

THE EAST SIDE KIDS - Close Your Mind

03 July, 2010

27. THE ASHES - Is There Anything I Can Do

THE ASHES - 'Is There Anything I Can Do'/'Every Little Prayer' (Vault V-924) 1966

Los Angeles folk rock group The Ashes formed in 1965 and polished their sound with a residency at a club called The Waleback in Santa Monica. By early 1966 they were signed to Vault Records, a small label owned by Jack Lewerke.

The Ashes cut several songs at Gold Star Studios, Hollywood all of which were produced by Richard Delvy from The Challengers. From these sessions 'Is There Anything I Can Do' was selected as their debut 45. The full production sound with it's Phil Spector meets The Byrds arrangement should have been a big hit but it didn't sell and The Ashes had drifted apart by mid '66, eventually morphing into The Peanut Butter Conspiracy.

THE ASHES - Is There Anything I Can Do

02 July, 2010

28. THE ROOSTERS - One Of These Days

THE ROOSTERS - 'One Of These Days'/'You Gotta Run' (Progressive Sounds Of America PSA 1151) April 1966

Flower Bomb Songs favourites The Roosters hailed from Westchester, a suburb of Los Angeles. According to lead singer Ray Mangigian, this group of teenagers were hugely influenced by The Byrds and The Hollies in equal measure.
It's not hard to hear how that influence created some fantastic folk jangle with beautiful harmonies. 'One Of These Days' is the perfect embodiment of the Sunset Strip sound. The flip 'You Gotta Run' is more 12 string jangle but this time is a mournful ballad of sorts. Both sides are KILLER all the way!

When I exchanged emails with Ray last year he claimed that their best moment as a group was performing as the backing band for Sonny & Cher in '66 at Reb Foster's Revelaire Club. Such was this Hollywood couple's fame, they arrived at the Club's parking lot by helicopter.

Read my interview with Ray Mangigian here

01 July, 2010

29. THE DAVID - I'm Not Alone

THE DAVID - 'I'm Not Alone'/'Sweet December' (VMC V716) 1967

The David were a very talented group of teenagers based in the Los Angeles area led by singer/songwriter Warren Hansen. They had earlier 45 releases on 20th Century Fox before their manager Steven Vail created his own label VMC.

By all accounts The David album 'Another Day, Another Lifetime' was a very costly affair with a big budget and songs that included elaborate string arrangements and eastern style orchestration. Favourable comparisons with The Left Banke have ensured that The David have enjoyed a cult following since the 60s.

Both cuts on this 45 were taken from the studio album and both feature their more garagey sides, in particular the driving fuzz and farfisa led 'I'm Not Alone'.

THE DAVID - I'm Not Alone