Sunday, November 24, 2013

Sorry it took me a longer time to get this weekend post out than it took John Holmes to pee, but the usual problems did arise. Boy, that real life thing can really get to you sometimes...sure wish they'd come up with a cure for it other'n the patented bullet to the brain! Still, at least it keeps me off the streets and out of trouble, so maybe I shouldn't squawk so much about doctors appointments, work (ugh!) and those other things that keep me from my true calling in life. Mainly plopping on a nice soft comfy chair and reading old MAD, HELP! and TV GUIDE magazines while albums and other pre-recorded forms of entertainment spin on whatever piece of by-now outdated technology I deem appropriate. It sure does ease those pangs over getting over the fact that it's not 1979 anymore (not that I'd ever want to go back to that dreadful year but sheesh, if I only had the money to buy all of those records I missed out on the first time...).

Well, I see you made your way through the Kennedy assassination anniversary intact too. Thankfully I just managed to stay away from both the tee-vee and the radio in order to spare myself from all of the brow-beating and clothes rendering that I just knew was gonna transpire this past Friday, and stayed on the computer where I could at least control what was going into my skull in a way that I'm sure then-prez Kennedy sure wish he coulda that fateful day!

Fortunately Don Fellman decided to give me a ring-a-ding which also kept me busy for a good part of the evening (little did I know as a turdler that when I'd be a well grizzled adult a man with that name would be talking to me via long distance and helping me make it through a solid prime time of retrospective misery!). During our conversation I was racking his brain for any assassination jokes or riddles that may have been going through his playground at the time, but the only one he could muster up was "What is Caroline Kennedy getting for Christmas? A jack-in-the-box!"...didn't say that any of these jokes were good, but at least they served that sick purpose that thankfully still remain meaningful to us lo these many years later.

Kinda skimpy in the reviews dept. this week. Like I said the free time to put one of these jambus packtus posts out just wasn't there this week and besides, the inspiration not to mention cash flow has been rather dribble-like to the point where I've been spending my by-now long and dark evening hours sacked out in the comfy chair in my room staring out the window while listening to Albert Ayler blow his sanity out through his alto. And with a little gumption and assertiveness maybe you can do it too!

But soldier on I must, and considering that national holiday coming up in a few days maybe we should be thankful I was able to crank this much rock fandom of a questionable caliber out!

Fabian-HOLD THAT TIGER! LP (Rumble, Europe)

We all remember the great line Eddie Haskell once spewed to Beaver, "If it can happen to Fabian, it can happen to anyone!" And yeah, during a time when a&r men from a wide variety of record labels were scouring the neighborhoods of South Philadelphia looking for wop-a-dago boys with a modicum of talent, how could a guy like Fabian escape the scrutiny of Chancellor Records, the same label that brought Frankie Avalon to national fame 'n fortune at a time when late-fifties wildcat sounds were starting to mutate into a thing that was just a little...different...

I won't go out on a limb and say that the early-sixties musical scene was all "wimp rock" as many pundits out there have been drilling it into our heads these past fortysome years. I can rattle off a whole slew of acts both national and local that made the 1960-1963 airwaves and/or dancefloors a real pleasure (and yeah you may get up on your high soap horse box and complain about all of the Singing Nun folkies and Frank Ifield types who were raking in the raves back then, but I'll only counteract ya'n mention the tons of instrumental surf groups, "Louie Louie", "Surfin' Bird" and wild raves that 1963 closed out on in a "so there!" that'll have your head spinning from here to Coraopolis and back!)---oh yeah, as I was sayin', with a good half-century of hindsight at hand I gotta admit that the early-sixties teenage music scene was a whole lot hotcha-er'n most hippoid world saver types'll want you to believe, and hey, even the likes of Fabian and Bobby Vee, two of the most loathed icons of early-sixties teenybopdom, sound fine and dandy to me a good fifty-plus years down the line. Of course next to the glop being spewed today even my gassiest farts sound pretty melodic, but that just might say more about my sphincter than it does the talents of Justin Timberlake.

But despite what the naysayers, whether they be aging classic rock armchair revolutionaries or amerindie aficionados with all of the depth of a Chuck Eddy review may want you to believe, Fabian was more of a rock 'n roll role model'n the likes of Jim Morrison ever could be! Yeah the guy coulda used a bit of a punk up in his image and even material, but the tracks on HOLD THAT TIGER have proven him to be a whole lot more of a balls out performer than many would care to admit. Yeah he's a little weak in the vocal range, timbre and drive department (at least sometimes), but when he goes all out the man does not hold back. Just one listen to the hit "Turn Me Loose " (last track on side two) shows that he could equal any down home deep south ranter who Fabian had supposedly "disposed" of after "the day the music died" and we all went cardigan sweaters, crew cuts and nasal voices.

The rest ain't bad either even if Fabian's tonsils just weren't suited for him romping through the old timey chestnut "Cuddle Up a Little Closer" which sounds more like a ploy to grab the teenage gals and their curmudgeon dads in one felt swoop! But HOLD THAT TIGER is still ample proof that those cigar chewing managers and teen idol crafters of the day could get it right at least once in awhile, and if you liked the old ploy of mixing crass commercialism with a product that didn't blow turd and in fact uplifted your spirits more'n Penelope Playtex ever could then you just might go for Fabian the same way you did for Sigue Sigue Sputnik!

It's definitely time for a Fabian revival that's for sure, and maybe this reissue can spearhead the movement! DEMAND Fabian on your local "oldies" station! DEMAND that your local big city rock critic speak of him as an artist of worth 'stead of a creepy footnote, or footstep between the Buddy Holly and Beatles era as they're most likely going to do. Best of all call up your local television station and PLEAD with 'em to run HOUND DOG MAN as soon as they can...maybe it's not to late to save the youth of this world from the evils of Lady Caga and who knows, maybe the new knockout game'll be one where the kids get knocked out by Fabian's singing. Wouldn't that be something positive and heartwarming to look forward to???
Various Artists-AS TIME DRIVES US AWAY W/O BRAKES CD-r burn (contributed by Bill Shute)

An even more pleasing 'n usual Bill Shute disque, this 'un featuring everything from lounge schmooze to free jazz and even reggae music along with the expected garage band and country and western standbys. The inclusion of a couple of Jamaican rarities from Nora Dean and Dennis Alcapone was definitely a surprise, and considering that I enjoyed both of these low-fidelity rompers despite not being whatcha'd call a reggae aficionado was a surprise in itself! Also appearing are the infamous Titfield Thunderbolt  b-side "In The Can" (Gunter Hampel meets the MC5?) as well as this weirdoid free jazz thingie called "All Scars-Airwaves of Terror" of which I could not find a single dad-blasted thing about onna web! Other entries include two sides of a fairly good self-produced single by some guys calling themselves "the Mechanics" circa 1978, the Blitz Boys '"Eddy's New Shoes" (more "amerindie" that slipped under the wire) and of course "IDENTIFY THE MYSTERY VOICE" which was some English supermarket tie-in contest giveaway platter which urges housewives to do just that and win a whole passel of wondrous goodies. I personally couldn't make out who the mystery limey was myself, though for some reason I keep thinking it just may be John Inman? Well, as Archie Bunker used to say, "the English are a bunch of fags..." 'n they all sound the same no matter how faggy they may be to these Amerigan ears I'll tell ya!
Various Artists-IDEA CALDONIA FREE SOUTH JONES CD-r (sent in by Bill Shute)

Yeah, I'm (once again) breaking my own rule not to review more'n one of these Bill Shute comps per post but hey, things are getting mighty starvation rations around here so maybe I'd BETTER lest this blog lose whatever shard of meaninfulness and relevancy it once might have had! This platter's a nice selection of asst. sputum as well. not only with some under-the-counter cover versions of the hits ("Along Came Jones," "Caldonia") but a Wilbert Harrison rarity, a hardcore punk demo tape ("Mental Subject" 1996...which sounds like the kind of blur that  Imants Krumins used to devote his time and energy to whilst under the influence of MAXIMUM ROCK 'N ROLL) and "Ideas of South," a modern composition by Roger Mills which sounds more to me like 1950s avant garde filmscapading with some early free jazz spurts tossed in for good measure!

Speaking of jazz, Bill thankfully thought it worth his while to include nine snippets of that "free jazz" session that noted composer Edgard Varese held with the likes of Art Pepper and Charles Mingus back inna late fifties, and not so surprisingly its pretty good, educational listening even if these recordings are about as uneven as one might expect. These are not what you would call entire songs, but fragments of ideas being fleshed out. Heck, I was still able to sit back and enjoy 'em and they sure left me wanting for more! Never was too familiar with these Varese experiments, but if you'd like to hear a more Euro classical take on the early avant garde of jazz conducted by an actual longhair composer, here's your chance!
The Zippers-"He's a Rebel"/"You're So Strange" 45 rpm single (Back Door Man)

A classic finally in the palm of my hands. While the Zippers' 12-inch EP on Rhino is now all but impossible to obtain w/o paying collector scum prices, at least I was able to cop their debut single from '77 on the infamous Back Door Man label (spawn of the infamous fanzine of that same name which launched a thousand more fanzines, or so I would wish) at a fairly decent sum. BACK DOOR MAN (the mag) was 1000% behind pushing this home town aggregation for obvious reasons, most of which included the group's close alliance with the BDM staff (bassist/vocalist D.D. Faye being the twin sister of BDM regular Danielle Faye) and the fact that they were just a hot, driving, good group that deserved some publicity and if Robert Hillburn wasn't quite up to it then I guess the folks at BDM knew just what was their duty, and dutied they did!

"Heavy metal pop" was a term often used to describe the band, and if you're one who spent the seventies following the Cleveland rock scene of the Raspberries and Circus and sorta believed in Greg Shaw's "It's All Coming Back!!!" hype even though you kinda thought he was off by a long shot this might be the one for you. The Crystals cover is done up proper late-seventies El Lay style kinda like you woulda hoped the Runaways woulda done it...with more emphasis on the hard crunch and less on the tits and underage ass. "You're So Strange" is a hot original that reminds me of power pop with a whole gallon of testosterone pumped into it 'stead of that "My Sharona" jiz that had local cubes thinking they had discovered the truth and beauty of new wave. Two powerful tracks that, true, may not have been commercial enough for the tuinol and low-acumen listening audience of the day, but they sure sound great enough to be included in the upper reaches of any seventies top singles list extant next to a whole load of basement singles that flew by us back then but when they did hit boy, did we feel like the Titanic!

I know that some of the ex-staff of BACK DOOR MAN regularly careen this blog so here's a SPECIAL MESSAGE for you all. How about releasing a Zippers album/Cee Dee or whatnot with these tracks and a whole lot more just so's we can get some rock jollies here in the beyond hopeless teens? Yeah, you can do a major history of 'em with a collection of tracks from the group's original incarnation as Atomic Kid all the way up until the end, and maybe interview the bandmembers in question for some long-lost and heretofore unknown facts we all could use. C'mon...if you're gonna lose money might as well do it this way 'stead of dump it in some shaky investment that won't benefit anyone 'cept for some phony prince in Nigeria!
Steve Treatment-25 "A" SIDES + YOUR FRIENDS ARE IN THE NEWS 2-CD set (hyped2death)

Whazza word for it..."serendipity"? "Luck"? "Kismet"? Whaddeva the word is, it sure hit me nice 'n hard with the arrival of this Cee-Dee set via Brad Kohler, a loaner which the man actually had burned a copy for me about seven or so years back only I couldn't play it on my boom box nohow. Well, now I get to hear it and y'know what---I think I coulda gone another seven years without hearing it but at least I got to give it a listen and it's

Treatment was, like a few thou of his countrybrood, one of those late-sixties kiddies who just happened to luckily morph into a late-seventies punk rocker when the time was right. However, unlike many of his compats the guy was a proud member of the Marc Bolan inner circle which is probably why these two platters of unreleased (whether they were meant to be or not) tracks have a rather DIY Tyrannosaurus Rex feel. Talking maybe BEARD OF STARS or "King of the Rumbling Spires" right when Marc was getting back into the electric groove. All these need are background vocals by Flo and Eddie and the connection would really hit home!

Platter "a" is more honed studio strut which was created with public consumption in mind. The other's mostly rough demos that were recorded redline and have that trashoid appeal I like. Cheapo Dylan splurge that'll have you wanting to kick David Bromberg inna balls. Take it in small do-see-doses though, because it might just overpower (or grate on) you.
For all of my Amerigan readers this Thursday...I hope you all choke on a wishbone!


Anonymous said...


There's a musician named CHUCK BETTIS (hailing fom DC) who has a band called ALL SCARS. It could be one of his musical project you can hear on your cd compilation.Who knows ?

Christopher Stigliano said...

WHAT CD compilation???

Nick said...

I had Zippers mini lp in Rhino back then and exchanged it for the Nervous Eaters debut one...What a pity because it was great aggressive power pop with a hint of la punk in!If i had only the chance to get these extremely rare 45's of Twisters,Ravers,Furys and Low Numbers at he same label,i'd be happy enough to throw away every Dr Demento compilationi own or these irritating barnes and barnes novelty stuff.Chris,you're great as always.

Anonymous said...

Sorry for the misunderstanding. When i say cd compilation , i mean the one bill shute sent you " as time drives us..."

Christopher Stigliano said...


Anonymous said...

D.D. and Danielle are sisters, but not twins. I've transferred a Zippers demo that Sandy Pearlman produced from a ?-generation cassette to CD. Zippers drummer Bill Willett was previously in the Imperial Dogs and he shuffled off this mortal coil about two weeks after the I-Dogs DVD was released in 2009. I'm in touch via email with Danielle and Zippers lead guitarist Lewis Cammarata (who now lives in Arizona). I'm not sure what either of them have in the way of vintage Zippers material (the band did a lot of recording at their practice space and there were other demos recorded with other producers.) But I don't own any rights to this material and Zippers main man Bob Willingham ain't that easy of a guy to deal with. So unless Danielle & Lewis can work something out with Bob, I dunno what we can do. I'm not a big fan of the Rhino EP ('cause Bill left in the middle of the recording), but there are some good tracks ("I'm In Love," "Some Pay The Price (Some Never Will)," "Falling Off The Edge," and "Someday," the last two of which are co-written by yours truly. Bob & Danielle also co-wrote "All Right You Guys," which the Runaways recorded on their live in Japan LP. -- Don Waller

Anonymous said...

Yeah... we did a tremendous amount of home recording using Bob's 4trk. Most of the stuff we did was much better (performance wise) than anything we did in the myriad of pro studios with supposedly pro engineers and producers. I personally don't have access to much more than Don or Danielle have. And like Don said, Bob is not easy to deal with. My only issue with what Don said was that, personally, I think the Pearlman session was the worst piece of shit I've I've been involved with. I'd love to put together a catalogue of everything we ever recorded, but like I said.... since Bob owns the rights and has the masters, and is not a particularly cooperative guy, it just ain't gonna happen. Too bad... it was a very good band, and I always felt (like most of us did at the time) that we were underappreciated by the 'industry'. Lewis Ray Cammarata