Sunday, January 31, 2010

Tombstone Every Mile

Put the hammer down!

I've owned this record for several years, and i honestly don't remember when or where i got it, but i do know why. Because 1970's honky-tonk CB-radio culture, truck driver ballads are kind of the jam- That's why.
'My favorite track on this one is "Tombstone Every Mile."

Dick Curless' baritone during the refrain is soooo looow, the guy makes Howlin Wolf sound like Alvin and the Chipmunks.

As a former New Englander, i can appreciate that he's singing about driving through the snow in Maine. Proof that you don't have to be from the south to make a good country song. There are some serious rednecks up there. I've always thought Maine was like the 'south of the north' anyway, kinda like northern Michigan over here...

Dick Curless - Tombstone Every Mile



Thursday, January 28, 2010

The Girl Can't Help It

Here's another random B-side.
B J Thomas doing "The girl can't help it."

B J Thomas was the musical genius who gave us the country-pop hit "(Hey Won't You Play) Another Somebody Done Somebody Wrong Song." (That's the official title.) He also sang the light-rock favorites "Hooked on a feeling" and "Raindrops keep falling on my head." Serious cheese-ball AM Gold shit.

'The girl can't help it' is his interpretation of the Little Richard classic from 1966, with big horns and an updated arrangement. For what it is, it's actually not bad. I kinda like it.

I remember when i bought this one, along with a small stack of other 25 cent 45's. The snobby-ass record store geek saw the title and sarcastically said: "BJ Thomas doing Little Richard- That oughtta be interesting."

I wasn't able to find much about this one out on the interwebs. It's more what i didn't find that gave me the little bit of information i have. This was the non-LP flip side of the song "Walking Back," which was on his third album in 1966. Filler. A throw away track. As far as i can tell, it was probably only released in this form. The guys had a million 'Greatest Hits' packages and re-issues over the years, and none of them seem to contain this song.

Ladies and gentlemen, here's proof that just about anyone can rock when given the right material to perform.



Wednesday, January 27, 2010

The Birdman

Here's an odd B-side for you. The flip of the Strawberry Alarm Clock's 'Incense & Peppermints' single.
Everyone's heard I&P enough, and probably actually enjoyed it more times than they care to admit- But we don't need to hear it again anytime soon, do we..?. Here's what the kids also got in 1967 when they bought it. The Strange, yet catchy, "Birdman Of Alkatrash." It is what it is, but it's actually kind of a fun song, but i'm biased because i actually dig this hippy trippy goof ball psychedelic crap. I think it's a real hoot.

I don't know for sure, but i don't think this one has been issued on any of the Nuggets/Pebbles type compilations. But what do i know.. I've been wrong before.

After a little gooling, i learned that the song was recorded at the same time as, but not included on the band's debut album. It remained unissued in any other form (other than this) until 1990 when the 'Incense' album came out on CD.

Dig this far out B-side of the band's only hit, man.


"What kind of joint is this?"


Monday, January 25, 2010

Don't talk to strangers

Who doesn't love Mr.T?
I mean really- What's not to like about the guy?
Actor, wrestler, motivational speaker, cab driver, bodyguard, renegade, television personality, cancer survivor, and all around bad-ass. MISTER-T.
That's right people, motivational speaker... You betta recognize.

I bought this Mr.T record over a year ago at one of Chicago's fine and plentiful junk shops. I think it set me back 25 cents. I had never actually listened to it before converting it the other day. I was excited but not surprised at how corny this song is. My only bitch is that the record is the same on both sides... Come ON Lawrence, throw me a friggin bone over here..!
I picked it up because, well, it's a Mr.T record- that's why. Who gives a shit what it sounds like... It's T, in his prime, doing what he did best: Doing right by the kids. And as the wise one said himself: "I believe in the Golden Rule - The Man with the Gold... Rules."
You can't argue with logic.

This fine piece of mid-80's electro/funk/pop is called "Don't talk to strangers."
Ladies and gentlemen i give you... Chicago's own... Mr. T



Sunday, January 24, 2010

I Stopped For A Beer

I don't know much about Polka music, but i do know a choice album cover when i see one- and at 66 cents (three for a buck records, this one's a double) you can't go wrong.
Not only is it a great cover, suitable for framing if you ask me, but Frank Yankovic himself autographed the back! Yeah, that's right. I got Frank Y's personal autograph.
And the title track "I stopped for a beer" is actually pretty funny.
66 cents. You know you're jealous.


Here's what the critics are saying:

Danny Boy

No reason for this one other than the fact that it's a great song that i hadn't listened to in a long time.

"Danny Boy"- Conway Twitty




Friday, January 22, 2010

High Heel Sneakers

It's crazy when stuff like this happens. Especially two days in a row.
Here's another one that i converted just the other night for no other reason than the fact that its a good song. I figured i'd just 'keep it in the reserves' until whenever i decided to use it here- if at all.
In fact didn't think that i would use Tommy Tucker's 'High Heel Sneakers' here at all. It isn't the most unusual thing you'll ever hear, but it is the original version of a song that's been covered to death. In it's original format- The 45 rpm single.
The reason i decided to share this righteous groove is because it was on this day January 22, 1987, Tommy Tucker died of carbon tetrachloride poisoning while refinishing floors in his home.
Not cool.
Popular music stars teach us so many valuable lessons, don't they:
Don't take heroin, don't play with loaded firearms when drinking, don't mess around with super models, don't ever fly in airplanes, or in Mr Tucker's case: Always open all windows to ensure adequate ventilation while using toxic chemicals during remodeling.
I always thought they were being a little dramatic on those warning labels too- "Vapors may be harmful or fatal" Feh- Stuff's not gonna kill me... Or is it....
Oh, how wrong we were...



Thursday, January 21, 2010

Who Loves Ya Baby?

January 21, 1925

Mr. Telly Savalas was born on this day.

Just by chance, a friend of mine asked me the other day if i still had that old Telly Savalas 45 that we used to get stoned and listen to when we were kids. He requested it for a post here. (I'm not making this up- I have always thought shit like this was funny. It's like i held onto this crap for years and years, just waiting for the internet to be invented.) So, per his request i actually dug it out and converted it to MP3 last night, not knowing when i would post it. I just figured it would be a cool thing to have in the reserves for when i needed it.

Well ladies and gents, i believe that time is now.

I present to you a fine Telly Savalas selection. The single, a cut from his full length LP, entitled "Rubber bands and Bits Of String."
It's a heart-wrenching tale of a love lost. Who knew ole Telly was such a sentimental fool. He's so gruff on the exterior, but inside he's just a lovable teddy bear.

This ones for you Helix!

Rubber bands and bits of string



Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Scary Movies & Vintage Skin Flicks

When i was a teenager, i went out and saw a lot more live music than i do these days... In the old days it seemed like every weekend there was a punk rock show to go to somewhere. The kids were recourceful, they rented any available space that would allow them have a few bands play for the night. In my youth i saw a million small time local bands (and quite a few decent nationwide acts) in just about every venue imaginable: Warehouses, VFW halls, Colleges, Garages, Churches, Basements, Pool Parties, Barns, Record Stores, Bowling Alleys, Pizza Joints, to name a few off the top of my head- And that's not to mention the bars and rock clubs we went to on more of a regular basis.

One such place (that i only remember going to the one time) was this run-down old movie theater. Supposedly it was a porno theater back in the 60s and 70s. True? Who knows...? But considering what i ended up finding there, i'd say that it was a safe bet that it was... I'm pretty sure that it was in Springfield, Ma. I'll be damned if i can remember the names of any of the bands, somebody i was friends with was probably playing that day. I remember it was an afternoon gig, and the music was kind of lame, so i started to wander around and scope the place out. It was a cool old theater with this big old open lobby Where there were a few people milling about smoking cigarettes and such while the band played inside the theater proper.

So here i am, 18 years old, bored and looking for kicks. I'm snoopin around in some old movie theater, and i spotted this closet under the stairs. There was some other dude who i didn't know, and we kind of discovered it together. In the closet there were these two (mabye more- i just remember that we each had our own) boxes of old movie promotional materials that distributors sent to theaters. It was mostly for skin flicks from the 60s with a few monster movies mixed in- but mostly smut. Some lobby posters, but the majority of it was the promo stuff that gets sent to local theaters with the write-ups of the movies, newspaper ads, etc... "Here's why your place should show our film" kinda stuff. Unique items that the general public normally doesn't have access to. Also, it was smut from the 60s! Is there anything that's NOT cool about that? Not much else was in that closet from what i remember, but it all went down pretty fast- and it was almost 20 years ago....

The stranger and myself looked through it for a couple minutes, and in the process attracted a few rubber-neckers wanting to see what it was exactly that we had found. I wasn't in the mood for getting busted being someplace that i didn't belong, so finally i was like 'Fuck this- I'm outta here.' I grabbed the box i was going through, and headed for the door. I always assumed that that other guy followed my lead, (i hope he did) but i don't remember seeing him again.
Even though the show was still going on, and my ride was inside, i took my treasure and went out to the car to wait. I had smokes, it was a nice summer day... I was no fool. My only regret is not going back inside to see if i could find more. But of course, at the time i didn't even know what it was that i had exactly. Picture a bundle of newspapers- That's about how much of this stuff i had. More even.

I don't remember if i discovered the record while i was still at the theater, or later when i got my booty home. Either way- There was a RECORD in with this stuff! An old 45 with two radio spots for two double features on it. How cool is that?!?!

Mind you, this was pre-internet era, so there was no way to access information about any of these movies, from the record or the promo stuff.
All this time later, we do infact live in the instant gratification internet era, so i did a little research: Here's a little information i found on these cinematic gems. I spun the record once or twice, but it is what it is. It's neat, but it's not like some great song that you need to hear over and over again. It's been at the bottom of the pile pretty much since the day i brought it home. I hung a few of the posters up in various places that i've lived over the years, and to this day i've only actually seen two of the movies that i have these ads for. They were as wonderfully shitty and forgettable as i'd imagined they'd be.

Mabye a year after i found this stuff, i was telling a tattoo artist friend about it and he offered to give me some free work in exchange for any duplicates i had. I'm no dummy, I went through the pile and came up with a stack roughly the size of a sunday newspaper- all doubles.
Bada-boom! bada-bing! Free ink.
I still got that tattoo too....
Other than that, i've been sitting on this stuff all these years. It's been just another box in the basement until i dug out this record to convert and post here.

Check out these ads. They're a real hoot.





Sunday, January 17, 2010


The Emperors, "Karate" was one in a long line of karate-themed dance tunes in 1966-67. You had Jerry-O's 'Karate Boogaloo', Chubby Checker's 'Karate Monkey', and 'Karate' by The Bedwells to name a few. And we're not even talking Kung-Fu here...

My personal favorite (and the only one i actually own on vinyl) is The Emperors take on the theme.

Hit up their page over at Funky 16 for the whole story.

Bonus points to the first person to identify the classic rock act who shamelessly ripped off this song in 1971.


Tuesday, January 12, 2010


One of the best albums you've never heard, i give you:
Bolder Damn 'Mourning'

Dig the first track from this album while you read:


I'm a huge fan of early 70's pre-metal heavy-rock.
For every Grand Funk, Black Sabbath, or Deep Purple, there were ten bands like Bolder Damn. They were the ones who opened the show when Cream or Ten Years After or whoever else came to town. They had fans, made records (usually in limited quantities) and maybe even hit the road once or twice, but for one reason or another never achieved the success of their well known contemporaries.
(Sounds a lot like the last two bands i was in... same story, different generation... I can't help but wonder- Am i gonna get a call 20 years from now from some young music lover wanting to re-release my band's old stuff..?)

Thanks to the internet, reissue labels, and other folks who are way more fanatical about this kind of music and history than i am, these records have come back from the dead. It seems like it's only been in the last 20 years or so that music like this has been re-discovered, and re-released. Before the digital age, finding an original copy of a record like this would be like winning the lottery. That is of course if you knew what you were searching for in the first place....
It seems to me that it's pretty easy to reissue music like this because it's been forgotten for so long that no one thinks about it anymore, and if there is a problem, well fuck it- just bootleg the damn thing. Who'll care, right!?.
I bought a CD by a band called White Lightning around the same time that i got this. Holy crap- what a great album. But who are White Lightning? Who the fuck knows? Some guys from Minneapolis who made a record in the early 70's. It doesn't matter, it's a great album by a band that never 'made it.'
Would i have ever found an original copy if the so-and-so label didn't reissue it?
Most certianly not.

What we have here today for your listening enjoyment, is one of those forgotten gems.
There's not a whole lot written on Bolder Damn the band. Their story is somewhat mysterious. What i did manage to find on the webernets were the same few reviews. "Heavy, Loud, Raw, Riffage, Sounds like Grand Funk.. etc..."
There's more information on the photocopied insert included with the record (shown below) than out on the interwebs.


Supposedly they were kind of the link between Arthur Brown and Alice Cooper in that they had an outrageous stage show complete with a full sized coffin, smoke, fire, blood+guts, and other cool scary shit like that. Then they were forced to call it quits because two of the members were drafted into military service and went to Vietnam. I don't know for sure because it doesn't say, but one or both of them probably never made it home.
They never got the band back together...

The five songs on side one are exactly what you'd expect them to be...loud rock songs with typical lyrical content. The first song on side two is an anti war number with gun and explosion sound effects. The second song on side two is a 16 minute epic that's so heavy it makes Black Sabbath sound like Pat Boone. You can tell by listening that this (and the rest of the album) was a well rehearsed part of the band's act, and was recorded live with a very minimal amount of overdubbing. Nobody knows for a fact, but judging by the sound and 'liveness' of this record, i'd say that all seven songs were probably recorded and mixed in one session.

What we do know is that the band pressed this record when they broke up (their only release- and out of their own pockets) so they could give them to fans and friends.
Allegedly only 200 copies were made, and were self distributed. Considering that there were only 200 copies, and there were four band members- That equals 50 records each, give or take. They were probably all given away. So an original copy is impossibly rare at this point.

What i have is a re-press that was made in the 90's. I tried to narrow down the year a little more than that, but it's the best i could do. I'm guessing early 90's..? The sleeve on mine is in surprisingly good shape, but there is a minor skip in the last song about two minutes in, but it's not too bad...
I bought my copy in 2004. It was released on a label called Void Records, which i always assumed was a phony one-off "label" created just for this release. But after a little interwebbing i discovered that it is infact a legit label, with a ton of releases to it's credit... Who knew. I've just never seen any other Void releases. I have also learned in my research that it has been re-re-released on CD. On what label(s) i have no idea.

Here's the fourth track 'Rock On.'
I love the off-time riff in the bridge. It's so weird that it works.


The way i ended up buying this record is kind of a fun story.
I went into my local used record store, and this was the current selection playing. As soon as i walked through the door, my ears perked up and took notice. This is what i love to hear: Obscure, forgotten early 70s riff-rock that i've never heard before.
I went right up to the counter and asked the old pony-tailed record store geek what it was that we were listening to exactly. He showed me the sleeve. We were both kinda like: 'I dunno... Never heard of em before.' It was just him and me in the place and as we both dug on the music, he told me that it had just come in, and it was the first time he had put it on. Blah, blah... We chatted for about it for another songs-worth or so. Finally i decided that i needed to own it. That was that. The best part was when he took the vinyl of the platter, and it was on this cool marbled yellow vinyl. Score.
I don't care what any record collector tells you, if they say that they don't think colored vinyl is fun, they are lying to you. Does it matter? No. Does it make the music sound any better? Nope. Is it a fun bonus, when you weren't expecting it, and you pull the record from the sleeve and it's some bright color that's not boring old black? Yes. The guy put the record back into it's sleeve, bagged it up, took my money, and sent me on my way.
I don't remember paying a whole lot, but i do remember thinking that it was just a little bit steep for what it was...(To me anyway.) I probably paid like 12 bucks for it.

For the next several months, i listened to this album constantly. I still know every single groove, even the spaces between the songs themselves (You know- like when you listen to Zep II.) At the time, i could play my bass along with the entire album.
I still spin this one pretty regularly, just not every day anymore. It was fun writing this bit because i haven't listened to it in a while and it was good to hear it again.

The front cover pictured here is not my actual album, but the back cover is. My scanner isn't big enough to copy 12" records, so i had to scan it in four parts and piece them together. It was a pain in the ass to do, but no images of the back were available anywhere online. (not that i could track down anyway.) So there ya go.
It looks like shit, but it gets the point across.
The record's labels (Side 1 + 2) are my record as well.

If you dug those tunes, here's a .zip file of
The entire record including all the artwork seen here

If you like this, and you end up finding a copy, buy it.
In the off chance that any of the band members might actually get a cut of the sale, they could probably use the bread.


Monday, January 11, 2010

I wasn't going to post tonight but when i saw this picture, the first song i thought of was Foghat's "Drivin' Wheel." I thought i'd share.
That. is. sexy.! (The girls not bad looking either.)

Man, i was born like 25 years too late.



Saturday, January 9, 2010

White Summer

January 9, 1944

The most solid sloppy guitarist in rock and roll celebrates a birthday today- Ladies and gents, give it up for Mr tight-but-loose, the one and only, Jimmy Page.

First- press the play button, then continue reading the words.
If you have them, use headphones. You will not be disapointed.

(Pictured here with the Danelectro guitar he used to play this song)

I know that some of you might be familiar Jimmy Page's work- He played in a band called Led Zeppelin. Or as i like to refer to them: The Mighty Led Zeppelin.

We've all seen Zep videos on You Tube... I figured, if i was going to honor the man with the respect that he deserves, i'd dig out a seldom-heard selection from the vaults, and write a few words on it. So here goes.

As we all know, Jimmy Page was a member of The Yardbirds in his pre-Zep days. And we also know that he carried over a few Yardbirds numbers to fill out Led Zeppelin's early repitoire. No crime in that. It's just how it's done. Hell, i've done it myself in bands i've been in...

The selection you are listening to, "White Summer", comes from a double LP compilation of hits featuring all three of The Yardbirds star guitarists. It's from my personal collection. This one is almost like the companion LP to the 'Live Yardbirds' album featuring Page. The one that has an amazing version of 'Dazed and confused' in which Keith Relf sings totally different lyrics, but the musical arrangement is almost note-for-note to the Zep version. It's pretty wild... I oughtta post that one some time.... The great part about this album is, when i was searching the interwebs for an image of the cover (because my scanner aint big enough to do LPs), i found a copy on Ebay, going for over a C-note! And to think, i bought my copy in the mid 90's for the outrageous sum of 20 bucks!
I love it when stuff like that happens.

The track "White Summer" appeared on the Yardbirds' final album "Little Games" which came out in 1968, and also appeared on this compilation that i have, which came out in 1971 (?- Not exactly sure on the year. I do know that the unnamed comp, and the live lp are long out of print.)
A live performance of the song was recorded in 1969 with Led Zeppelin, but was officially unreleased until the box set came out in 1990, and issued again on a CD release of 'Coda' in 1993. In the Zep performance Mr. Page plays it into 'Black Mountain Side' which is on Led Zeppelin's self titled debut, and then back again.

The Box Set was where i first heard it, because i still don't have 'Coda' on CD. It was around 1995-96 that i picked up that Yardbirds album, i must have discovered both versions around the same time. I remember because at that time i palled around with a guy who was a guitar genius and actually learned how to play it. (A passable version anyway.) It blew my mind hearing it coming from a dude sitting in my kitchen with an acoustic guitar.

Here's the Led Zeppelin version. It clocks in at over 8:00 long, but well worth every second. It's not the usual overplayed 'Fool in the rain' or 'All of my love' crap that you hear on your crummy rock station in your car every day.
This is Jimmy Page singing- Not with his voice, but the only way he knows how, with his fingers.
Giver a listen. You'll be glad you did.

And because it's easy, you can see this exact same post over at MY OTHER BLOG
Because that's how i roll.


Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Viva Knievel!

Here are some words, pictures, and music about the late-great motorcycle daredevil, Mr. Evel Knievel.

Here's how it works:
You press the play button, and dig on the first tune while you read the text.
Do that now.
...Go ahead...I can wait...

There you go. Good. It only gets better from here....

My buddy Chris gave me this record a while back, because he knows that i'm probably the only person he's friends with who actually appreciates weird shit like this.
He's right. I love this crap, I don't know why, I just do. I mean who wouldn't want a random-ass Evel Knievel LP ? Will i ever listen to it again..? I can honestly say that there's a 99.9% chance that i will not. But it exists, and i appreciate the fact that i have it, and that's what matters. Maybe it's just because i'm a guy, but i've always thought that Evel Knievel was one of the baddest sons-a-bitches to ever walk the face of god's green earth...
The pride of Butte, Montana....

When he gave me the record, i was all like: "Awesome! I'm gonna put this in a frame and hang it on the wall."
And i did.
Well, i put it in a frame anyway. I never did get around to hanging it up anywhere. It ended up sitting in a closet for the better part of a year in it's frame with a ton of other shit that i haven't gotten around to dealing with...
When i started doing this blog i thought to myself, i thought: "Self- I oughtta take that Evel Knievel record out of that frame that i never hung on the wall, and actually listen to it."
And i did.
And since i did, i am now sharing a few selections from it with you.
Here's the cover to this masterpiece. (Now you know why i put it in a picture frame- even if i didn't bother to hang it up someplace.)

After a little interwebbing, i learned that this was actually Evel's Second LP which was released in 1974 as a promotional tool to generate hype for his Snake River Canyon jump. It consists of press conference recordings, a Q&A with some kids, an original song sung by someone else, (The one you're listening to) and even a poem, recited by Evel himself. I have never seen another copy of it, but i doubt it's valued as a collectible record. I bet it turns up in thrift store two-for-a-buck bins on a pretty regular basis. But who the hell knows- I aint no record collector, i'm just a collector of records. My copy is in great shape- almost like it's never been played (Gee, i wonder why?) The best part is that it still has the "Autographed" 8x10 photo included inside the sleeve.
Now this would be suitable for framing...

On my wide world of web quest to find more info on this record, i found a site where some bored-ass motherfucker took the time to find, and write about, every single Evel Knievel related music release ever. I'm not even making this up. The list is a lot longer and more varied than one would think (if one did decide to think about something so random.) It's yet another reason why i love the internet.
Here's a link to that site In case there's possibly one other person in this world who might find such a thing the least bit interesting.
And because i figured that if i was going to do this, i was going to do this right- Here's the link to the official Evel Knievel website.

I was'nt going to post a You Tube video, but i figured why the hell not- This clip is only 21 seconds long.
According to Knievel's official biography, half of all TV viewers on Oct 25, 1975 tuned in to watch him jump over 14 buses at Kings Island in Ohio. HALF of ALL the televisions in America were watching this. Amazing.
...It was a diffrent time....

Here are some more tunes

This is the dramatic intro to the record which leads into a short snippet of the 20+ minute press conference (which i faded out.) This whole bit is like 4:00 long.
It's worth a listen.

Here, Evel reveals his sensitive side with a reading of his poem entitled "Why?" Written in response to his most commonly-asked question. Evel explains, "Just like you, I've gotta be me."

And here it is for you to read along.


It seems that wherever in this world that i go,
No matter who nor what i know,
People will look, some of them stare,
I wonder if they really care?

They see this cane with it's golden crown,
Some of them smile, but most of them frown.
I hear them laugh, and see them cry,
No matter what,
They all ask why?

Well, i'm just like you, and you,
and you, and your wife,
We have a special purpose in life.
This way of life, i'm glad that i found,
For like you, i too, make the world go round.

We're all alike,
Oh yes we are,
We all have a dream on some faraway star

For when it is over and done at the end of the day,
Some can relax, but i go to pray.
For i know that tomorrow in some other place,
I'll have that fear again to face.

Could it be the quest for money and fame,
Oh no,
To play with my life is not much of a game.

It's a want- a want that's so dear,
It's given me faith,
I can face the fear

Oh yes, I do think about a day
in life when fate came along and struck my way.
Each time it happened they've all said,
The guy is lucky that he's not dead.

They were right.
But i wanted to get up to try it again,
I kept telling myself that i knew i could win,
So i'd close my eyes, and to the lord i'd pray,
Oh, help me god, let me walk some day

He did.
And every stitch on every scar
has just brought me closer to my dream afar.

To be a man,
To do my best,
To stand alone is my only quest.

Success is a term that has broad use,
For having none in life there is no excuse.

For you, what i do is not right-
But, for me, it's not wrong
What i have been trying to tell you all along
is that it's got to be.
You ask why?
Well, just like you, i've got to be me.

--Evel Knievel. 1938-2007

After all this Evel Knievel, i think i'm going to put this record back into it's frame. And who knows, i might actually hang it up on the wall this time....


Saturday, January 2, 2010

Happy New Year

Happy New Year from Lightnin Hopkins


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