Sunday, October 15, 2006


Yeah, you're probably wondering what I was doing this weekend, eh? Well, it wasn't the usual thumb uppa ass weekend that many a lonesome blogger has to go through that's for sure! Y'see, Jillery invited me to go out with her and her hubby to see the above-highlighted show, and the lady said she'd even pay for the whole swingin' time'n all so I figured that between a free concert and a free meal how could I go wrong? So after downing some pretty good wop food and strolling the local environs (and believe me, for being a "small city" downtown Uniontown looks rather spiffy especially compared with such rundowns urban areas the likes of Youngstown Ohio and Sharon Pennsylvania...heck, I'll bet Uniontown looks like Disneyland next to Erie!), the three of us headed for the State Theater, a pretty nice and well-preserved moom pitcher emporium of old that now handles the likes of these outta-town package deals (coming up: doo-wop and the Smothers Brothers!) for an evening of Sonny Geraci (Outsiders, Climax), the Turtles "featuring Flo and Eddie" and the big kahuna for the evening, Peter Noone who I guess has legally appropriated the "Herman's Hermits" moniker for his own usage.

Kinda nice milling amidst all the cornballus grandpappies who made me feel like one happy spring chicken (there were a few youngsters splattered here there'n about who I guess felt that it was Saturday night'n they hadda do something!), and even with the bad premonitions (such as some gal handing out those glowing sticks you're supposed to wave to the music at hand, "appropriated" by Jillery for some future arts and crafts project no doubt) I sure had a swell time which is more'n I can say about a lotta concerts I've attended which had all the spark and zeal of a rectal probe. Rubber gloves aside, opening act Sonny Geraci went through the old hits and more (like a cover of the Righteous Brothers' "Rock & Roll Heaven" which I didn't know Geraci had originally recorded) and did a pretty good job of it for an oldster despite the use of pre-recorded backings and a load of turdly banter twixt him and his drummer.

Next up were Flo and Eddie, and you can bet that (at least) for me this was the highlight of the evening. Hey, these guys have been performing longer than most people have been alive on this earth and have made a pretty good slew of records either as leaders or as backups, and considering the Herculean task I had in the mid/late-seventies trying to order their two hopelessly o.p. Reprise albums you could bet your bottom buckskin I've been awaiting this moment for a much longer time'n any of you could imagine. And yeah, the two doing the same comedy routine sans the X-rated humor (no "Dildos of the Stars" for this aged audience!) that they've been doing for ages or at least since I saw 'em with Martin Mull on SOUNDSTAGE three whopping decades back sure was pretty snat, and naturally (or "of course"???) they didn't do such old-timey showstoppers as "Mud Shark," "Afterglow" or even "Out of Our Tree" (which they actually learned straight from the Wailers) but they managed to throw in a cover of Jan and Arnie's "Gas Money" amidst the big Turtles hits and their overall gab was funny enough without being condescending to the hicks. (Though Mark Volman seemed to be slightly irritated about something that evening...maybe no backstage buffet!) Naturally I was a little bummed by the omission of what is perhaps my fave-rave Turtles song (the folk-punkin' "Let Me Be") but I was sure having a ball watching the two cavortin' about seemingly having enough fun doin' something they probably can do in their sleep by this time.

Headliner Peter Noone certainly got the crowd throbbin' with an hour-long set lookin' pretty good for an old-timer himself who thankfully still has that showbiz energy and presence, cracking jokes about the local yokels, the Turtles and his own physique that seemed to come straight outta some English Holiday Camp. Now I gotta admit that I think Herman's Hermits were pretty good at what they did which might not be "cool" with some considering the fact that many English Invasion fans fancy them to be the wimpoids of the movement along with the likes of Freddy and the Dreamers and the Hullabaloos, but they always had solid hits that might not have been high energy rockers but were straight-ahead and enjoyable for what they were. (If you don't believe me, read Tim Ellison's snat English sixties rock post right here and see just how important even the so-called "expendables" were.) And for a guy who likes the Hermits for a myriad assortment of reasons (one being that they actually copped their original/proper name from Jay Ward creations "Peabody and Sherman") I thought that Noone certainly still knew how to wow an audience to heights of mid-sixties frenzy whether he was doing the old hits, the aforementioned veddy English humour or even his Johnny Cash and Mick Jagger impersonations. It sure was a whole lot better'n scouring the local clubs to catch the latest in cultured alternative sounds, mind you.

I should be getting some hot photos from the show that Jillery managed to snap hopefully more sooner'n later. Might even post a few if she ever emails 'em my way!

OTHER WONDERS TO HAVE TAKEN HOLD OF MY LIFE: given that nobody out there inna family has picked up on my hints re. giving me a new turntable and stereo system (I wouldn't mind buying them myself, but I figure that if I purchased a system that I don't particularly care for I only have myself to blame...if someone gets me one for a gift and I don't like it, I can always blame them!), I'm starting to scarf up more and more Cee-Dees in order to reacquaint myself with old vinyl faves I haven't had the chance to hear in quite some time. And, in a magic stroke of luck (considering their contributions to the compost heap we now call heavy metal), I managed to get hold of both Black Sabbath's PARANOID and the Stooges' RAW POWER in one order, a feat which wouldn't've have gone unnoticed by the likes of Lester Bangs or Jymn Parrett thirty-three whopping years ago. PARANOID as you might have guessed continues to hold up with a good-enough metallic thud (which seems to have been surpassed by the true heirs of early-seventies HM soundscapading, mainly the mid-eighties "metalcore"/"speedmetal" groups who also seemed to burn themselves into oblivion but what else is new) and blabbing more about it especially after having reviewed the thing in both issues #2 and #25 (!) would only be a waste of space if you ask me. However, before I convienently switch subjects let me just add the time PARANOID was speaking for long-haired pimplefarms torn between a future in Southeast Asia or the local Foodmart, heavy metal "proper" was still the sound of sixties punk revved up and downed out simultaneously and it's not that hard to see how pundits the likes of Metal Mike Saunders thought that Sabbath were the logical extension of such late-sixties punk forebearers as the Stooges. (Why do you think Sabbath producer Rodger Bain tried his skills with the Troggs anyway???) And speaking of the Stooges, this "remixed" take of RAW POWER finally reaches my earlobes after a good nine years of on/off interest, and although I think it sounds just as eerily muddy as the original I still gotta say I love this one to death all the more. After having heard all of those still-vital '73/'74 Stooges live and outtake platters both legal and not for the past umpteen years it's nice to refresh yourself at the well of RAW POWER, and its cooling waters of pure adrenaline rush still manage to eternally shut up all of those latterday heavy metal pretenders who were raking in the cold cash while the Stooges were having trouble scratching up enough moolah to pay off Kim Fowley after he caught them hitting hard on Rodney's latest kindergarten find. It's too bad that the true-strain heavy metal of the early-seventies...bands like the Stooges, MC-5, Hawkwind, Pink Fairies etc. hadda take the back seat to a load of instant burn-out "Classic Rock" fodder, though it's really great that these same bands managed to give us something even better...mainly punk rock.

While we're on the subject of the Stooges, here's one that's been in the collection for quite some time yet I haven't had the time to listen to TELLURIC CHAOS alla way through until recently, but now that I have I can safely say that it's probably one of the tippy-top-est items I've heard by a relatively-well known band all this year. Skydog, the same label that gave us a whole simperin' batch of rare items both legal and not, is still in the business as you know and thankfully they've had the uncontested SMARTS to have released this fantab live disc of the reunited Stooges for all of us starving mongrels. Recorded way back in the dark days of '04, TELLURIC CHAOS features what else but Iggy and crew delighting a Japanese audience with a load of numbers old and new that PROVE these guys have BUCKED THE TREND to give us a reunion that ain't pure pedestrian pablum like a load of the ones we've had to experience over the past thirtysome years. (I mean, I like Moby Grape, but everybody tells me that all those reunion attempts of theirs since the early seventies have been total wastes-of-time, and given the scarcity of money why should I take a gamble'n find out for myself????) The audience is eating it all up and's perhaps as fine as any Japanese audience since UFO's LANDED JAPAN or even Deep Purple's double effort, and for being an oldster Iggy is still fit as a fiddle which I'm sure is something that would have surprised even the Iggiest of fans back in 1975! The rest of the band (even with Mike Watt, who is to these Stooges what Joe DeRita was to the Moe and Larry variety} is as violent as ever which certainly helps matters out. Really, I didn't think Iggy still "had it" with all those bad solo career moves and general rockstar lethargy, but this disque is a total winner from front-to-back and you just gotta love Skydog for keeping the spirit of the seventies alive while everyone else out there seems to be thinking eighties, nineties and TODAY for that matter which really bugs the turds outta me as it should you!

NEXT TIME: more goodies (of the aural and printed variety) will be up for review, plus maybe I'll post some hot Peter Noone pix while I'm at it. Stay tuned or stay cube!


Anonymous said...

For years I dismissed the Hermits as a band that only had one good song ("I'm Into Something Good") until I heard their "Blaze" album, which is actually a pretty good slab of borderline psych influenced pop (think Evolution era Hollies, early Status Quo, early Bee Gees, or even "Pisces Aquarius Capricorn & Jones Ltd.") This has led me to think that the Hermits did unfairly get a bad rap. While I don't think that they were as good as the Hollies, Monkees, 67-68 Status Quo, or 67-68 Bee Gees, they were far better than the official version of rock history credits them as being.

The show that I went to which I was certainly the youngest person at was when I saw Ian Hunter last year - there were a few younger people when I saw P.F. Sloan last month and when I saw the Stones about 10 years ago, and I was surprised how many young people there were both times that I saw the reunited Zombies (the second time I saw them there was a pretty substantial number of teenagers in the audience, which must have shocked Colin Blunstone, Rod Argent and Jim Rodford) - but when I saw Ian I felt like a teenybopper in comparison with the rest of the audience.

BTW, if the reunited Moby Grape played Uniontown, Sharon, Erie or Youngstown would you see them?

- Michael Snider

hipster said...

flo & eddie came to out county fair 2 years ago. traditionally they have had gary puckett, the grassroots, etc(you catch the drift?)flo & ediie immediately hopped in their car to avoid any fan contact and just sat there,staring straight ahead without acknowleding the fans. fans were pissed since all other acts do a meet and were howling insults at them while they stupidly sat in a car that was stuck and couldn't move.what a pair of douce bags!

Christopher said...

Flo and Eddie didn't do any autograph sessions at this 'un either! In one way I am glad, mostly because I had forgotten to drag my MOTHERS LIVE AT THE FILLMORE EAST album outta the mothballs (I figure that their autographs woulda looked great on that cover!) and when I found out they weren't gonna be in the vestible I was relieved that I didn't search that platter out and drag it all the way to Uniontown for nada!

As for Moby Grape, I guess I would go see 'em in Erie, or Youngstown or even Fredonia for that matter. It all depends who's gonna treat me!

hipster said...

thought you might like to know: your buddy hinman has a new blog called-detailed twang.

Christopher said...

Hipster, any chance you can wing an address for "Detailed Wang" my way? I always can use a good college-nerd radio guffaw now and then.

hipster said...

it is the way i found it was i read a beer blog and discovered it was his too-you can make fun of it

Christopher said...

Thanks for the scoop. And as far as HEDONIST BEER JIVE (sheesh!) goes, let me just state that from here on in I am ON THE WAGON, for purely aesthetic reasons mind you!

Anonymous said...

In July I attended an event in Denver, Colorado. The Turtles, Eddie and Flo, Peter Noone from Herman's Hermits and other rock legends of the 50s and 60s performed. Autographed guitars were given as prizes for between set sponsored games. Not only did Eddie and Flo sign the guitar but there is a photo of them signing it. Check it out on ebay, search for "Autographed Guitar - Rock Legends of the 50' and 60's”

Anonymous said...

In July '07 I attended a concert with The Turtles. They along with other artists, including Peter Noone, autographed a guitar. There is a photo of them signing it. Check it out on ebay, search for "Autographed Guitar - Rock Legends of the 50' and 60's”