Saturday, August 20, 2016


I was looking through some boxes in my room and like well, I came across some long-stashed away tapes that I had pretty much neglected o'er these past years and thought hey, why not if only for a much needed change from the same old same old do nothing but reviews of old cassettes I ain't tetched in years! People have been complaining about the lack of originality in this blog anyway, and given my current mental straits this might just be the most original I can get until I can cook up yet another "Yum Yum Eat 'Em Up" so like, quit yer gripin' at least once in yer life. Anyway, listening to these tapes was sorta like re-connecting with old friends, and since I don't have any flesh and blood friends to get back in touch with these tapes will do me just fine!


Ninety minutes of practices plus the lunchtime gig at Fat Glen's on the campus of Cleveland State University during the summer of 1974.

Rehearsals got that beautifully distorted clatter probably due to some cheap cassette player/tape and deafening volume which actually gives these numbers a decidedly biting effect that is lacking from most recordings made by many of the so-called Velvets aficionados of the form. The Fat Glens show sounds like it was recorded in a concrete bunker which it was, and it has the infamous version of Captain Lockheed's "Ejection" as well as the Troggs' "Too Much of a Good Thing".  After that comes more rehearsal material sounding better 'n the original batch, complete with what sounds like a drummerless if five minute version of "Sweet Rocknroll" (with Marotta on electric piano---it barely sounds as if he's playing a violin on "Venus in Furs" but he might), "I Wanna Be Your Dog" and even more Velvets stuff, plus a tender original called "Why Must You Be All Alone" and the instrumental "Van Der Walls" which, with vocals, became the Electric Eels' "Flapping Jets".

Now if I were the crafty type I'd bootleg this 'un in a minute, but thankfully I am not. Still someone out there (like the guy I got this 'un from) should take the hint.

These tracks have probably been bootlegged on a variety of vinyl and disque formats before or even since this cassette was circulating back in the eighties. Whatever, MYSTERY DISC (or in this case, "cassette") is still a good slab of early Zappa material done up before and during the Mothers of Invention days, complete with some rather nifty surprises like those classic tracks from the Zappa/Beefheart radio broadcast without their at-times pithy voiceovers. The early version of "Plastic People" live at that show they did with Lenny Bruce from the Fillmore 1965 (not too sure about that date) features the original quintet with Elliot Ingber before he got kicked outta the band because his guitar prowess was showing Zappa up. And true all of the humor and satire comes off so staid and phony intellectual these jaded times, but just think about how funny this was when you were young and upsprouting and those early memories with just come RUSHING back!

Unlike the above two, an actual legit cassette and not a slap together done up for undoubtedly nefarious reasons. Overtracked guitars play a symphony of convoluted terror that really defied a whole lotta description amongst the young up 'n comers of the late-seventies (during y'know, the age of the "anti" guitar solo), but if you like the "angular" lines of say, Zappa not to mention WHITE LIGHT-period Reed you might just let this one sink into your being a little longer than you usually would. Yet another one from one of the better ax-grinders of the late-strata rock era before it all went down.
Room 101-O.P.D. SEPTEMBER 1984 (101 Records)

Mark Hanley's pre-/co-existent Sister Ray band really headed off into total energy levels making me wonder...why did the lumpen music listening popular ignore this fiery storm? (Of course you and I know why---STOOPIDITY!!!!!) Hanley's leads might not quite approach a say, John McLaughlinesque level but they sure fit the steady bass/drums drive swell, and overall you could call this music heavy metal in the old CREEM fashion given the snide slides into various Ron Ashetonesque maneuvers. But whatever, these tracks burst forth in their low-fidelity glory and if you were wondering what else was going on in Youngstown during the eighties other than dismal bar bands and shameless AOR worship well, you can't do any better than this!
Hawkwind-1999 PARTY 3-21-74

Dunno anything about the Cee-Dee this was taken from but man, it's another pretty hotcha Hawkwind show that really gets you up and moving especially with an extended version of "Brainstorm" that I swear has some additional stanzas added. Sound quality is almost legit release worthy, and the performance is high energy over-the-top which makes you wonder exactly just how did these guys garner such a large following in the US of Whoa considering just how down-homey laid back everybody seemed to be getting during those post-Vietnam times. To fill the cassette out a couple of Motorhead tracks were added including a rip-roaring version of "Train Kept a' Rollin'" which once again makes me wonder exactly why THOSE guys were so popular in an era which for the most part eschewed high energy jamz for low-voltage pap passing as metallic thunder!

Mighta mentioned this one in these "pages" before, but then again I mighta NOT! Archie Patterson of EUROCK fame once had some sorta college type of class (no credits as far as I can tell) where he lectured those smart enough to take his course about the birth and growth of European underground/"progressive" rock. These classes were taped and briefly made available though Patterson's Eurock distribution services and me, being ever so curious about this kinda music, decided to snatch up the first and first only volume up because hey, why not! Of course nothing that is mentioned here's heretofore unknown knowledge that'll flip your mind but it's nice being re-educated so-to-speak, plus the musical excerpts from Amon Duul II, Can and Embryo sound perfectly fine especially in this context. If only your college class cassette recordings sounded this exciting!
THIRD WORLD WAR/THIRD WORLD WAR 2 (tapes of recordings originally released on Fly Records)

Often touted as being every bit the hard-gunch rockers that the MC5 and Pink Fairies were, I never felt Third World War to have been any great shakes especially in the company of those high energy monsters. Re-listening to their albums have reinforced my belief in this. Doug Sheppard's review of a reissue of the debut platter in the pages of the latest UGLY THINGS pretty much said it all about this act that had a hard rock approach and hip radical attitude but just didn't go as far as anyone with a sense of rockism would have wished. More lost potential but you might be able to find a few moments of innovation here if you strain your ears hard enough.

Human Arts Ensemble-LIVE Vols. 1 & 2 (originally on Circle Records, Holland)

Jazz fest trio settings with Charlie "Bobo" Shaw the only constant. On the first one Luther Thomas blows Ayleresque while John Linberg manages  to play even freer'n Shaw, while on the second Joseph Bowie's trombone manages to cop some strangely trumpet-esque moves while guitarist James Emery manages to not only reach Sharrockesque levels but sound strangely like a moog in spots! Each set also contains a version of  the lilting "Concere Natashiah" which I would assume is the ensemble's theme song. From what I can tell all of these Circle releases (recorded at the same series of gigs from what I can tell) are worth latching onto, and maybe someday they will be made available again to a public just begging for such entertaining music. But then again maybe someday I'll win a bazillion dollars so who am I kidding?

This Robert Forward offering begins with the contents of a one-sided LP featuring some guy called Timmy Vulgar who plays synths and other funzie noisemakers. He sings like a grizzled midaged malcontent (which should appeal to me for some unknown reason) doing a one-man band Hawkwind sorta thing, or is that one-man band Metal Urbain? Whaddeva the results are strange enough to get my curiosity up if just a tad, but not enough to get me googlin' this guy because hey, I am a lazy fanabla. Filling out the tape's some James Brown bound to get me hopped up even if my animated corpse might want to be otherwise snoozed out.
Jr. Grenadier-WHAT IS A KISS

A few reviews above I tackled one of MX-80 Sound member Bruce Anderson's solo tapes. Here's one from MX-80 frontman Rich Stim a.k.a. Jr. Grenadier doing a decidedly eighties new wave thing that for once doesn't conjure up retch-filled memories of that rather hairy decade. Assisted by Anderson, MX-80 drummer Dave Mahoney and Stim's own wife Angel Ross, Jr. shows that his musical might can be directed towards melodic pop rock as much as it was the heavy rock of MX-80, and dang it if most of these numbers are the kinda toe-tappers I sure wish eighties radio was filled with 'stead of the Madonna gunk that it was. While we're on the subject, does anyone out there have tapes of Poetraphonics (another Stim/Ross/Mahoney side project) they're willing to burn for me? Never could latch onto any of those despite at least one request directly to the source.
Milk/Andy Gerome Band

Short 'n sweet collection of  under-the-counter Cleveland pop, losers in a scene where the Raspberries and Circus were the winners. Well, "losers" ain't exactly the word since these tracks are pure winners as far as fans of the form should be concerned. The Milk tracks are unique as they represent the group's only studio recordings AND the fact that group leader Brian Kinchey/Sands does not sing lead...on the "Getting To Know You"/"Whistle a Happy Tune" medley he actually mimed to the song in the studio as he did live and hey, listening to this again after all these years I sure wish I included this 'un on the Cee-Dee that appeared with BLACK TO COMM #22 because it sure sounds like a great glam pop killer deserving of more exposure. (And you can hear it if you get the Denny Carleton collection available as a download from CD Baby!) "Alice" does appear on the BTC Cee-Dee as well as the Carleton collection, and any way you can get it is fine with me because it's another wild Clepop stomper with Move moves that you kinda get the feeling Anastasia Pantsios woulda trampled over to get to the latest Journey. Too bad it didn't get out then, but what else is new?

After Milk, guitarist Al Globekar was in Circus during their final days of gasp (which produced a single I'm gonna have to dig outta the collection again) then in Bon Voyage with ex-Milk drummer Dave Alexy and Circus guitarist Mick Sabol before all three were in the Andy Gerome Band. Yet another Cleveland power pop act who didn't get anywhere near the notoriety they should have, at least a single (as well as WMMS-FM broadcast and the outtakes that pop up here) survive and all are worth looking into. With a decidedly commercial tinge, the music isn't sickeningly overtly macho like most of the big local band of the day were, and one could only wish that "Radio" (pretty much in the same thematic vein as Elvis Costello's "Radio Radio" yet attuned to the early-seventies Clepop set of ears) and "Tell Me You Love Me" have that slow drive pop sound that sounds like the logical extension of early Beatles through a baroque Raspberries. Unfortunately it was 1980 and like, only Cheap Trick could get away with it so bye bye Andy Gerome Band. Hopefully more will surface but I wouldn't hold my bladder until it does lest there be a mess.
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Rocket From the Tombs/Paragon/Left End-AGORA 5/7/73

That ain't the correct date...the guy who dubbed this for me shoulda put 1975 on the cassette shell 'stead of the erroneous year stated above. But whatever...I guess this is a selection of the actual broadcast from that fateful evening containing not only those Rocket tracks we've heard for years (sound quality being quite so-so heavy on the bass guitar!) but the rest of the bill including the long-lived Paragon who do clunky Hendrix guitar lines but manage to create a few interesting moves when you're not noticing. However the guy who sings lead does the worst Hendrix impression I've ever had the displeasure of hearing...he sounds more like Rollo from SANFORD AND SON than the choked up one thus reducing the effect to mere posture. Let's just say that with Hendrix imitators such as these Randy Hanson has nothing to worry about. As for Left End, they sound good enough in this particular company even with the overt boogie though no great shakes since none of the carnage and violence they were noted for translates to pure sound. Still better'n nothing, but you shoulda been there when they let out the rats! I guess it was a "Night of Heavy Music" as the ads said, though frankly what was that horrid bitta pop prog that the guy who taped this stuck at the end?!?!?!?

No cover for this 'un because there just ain't any, but the music which is included is sure fine by me! The original Friction with Peter Laughner on guitar, vocals and harmonica, Anton Fier on drums and Tony Maimone on bass guitar (and some gal doing special guest vocals on "Summertime") live at a restaurant called Earth By April during October of cyster ate there once and said it was a nice li'l ethnic Greek-y kinda spot, and it would be strange for such a place as this to host a band such as Friction but I think it was a party so I can see why at least this time.

Unfortunately too many covers appear in these sets which I guess proved all of those stories about Laughner's queasiness regarding the performance of his originals. That's too bad because hey, he had plenty which would have fit in with Friction's overall underground-y vision. The choice of covers is good though with loads of Velvet Underground as you would guess, Television's "Prove It" and a myriad assortment of sixties faves that are given that seventies deca-rock feeling that still lingers on in choice recordings and forgotten fanzines.

One perhaps unintentionally funny part on the recording is the part where Laughner dedicates "What Goes On" to Jamie Klimek or "George Money" in this case because you know just how much Jamie and a whole buncha the Mirrors/Styrenes contingent hated the Prospect Ave. Plaza crowd. And with the brouhaha about Craig Bell joining Rocket From the Tombs and Laughner writing Klimek that note about how it was unfair to act like Bell was going over to the enemy and all well, it does show you that Laughner had a side to him that was perhaps more conciliatory that I ever would be!

Closing out side one is a version of "Thirty Seconds Over Tokyo" that really surprises me since it sounds somewhere between the Rocket and Ubu versions, and not only that but it is arrange quite differently. No synth that I can discern yet the arrangement is sparse compared with the take we all know. Maybe it's an embryonic workout version? Who knows...

Last up for today're these airchecks from '58 and '59 respectively featuring Pete Myers, the "Mad Daddy" who was so freaked out that his horror show on WJW was cancelled mid-program due to outraged delinquents and pornographers phoning in to complain about Myers' unsettling nature. On these late-fifties programs Myers proves just why he was such a talent with his verbal jive flippin' and boppin' all over the place complete with reverb effects guaranteed to flip out even the most jaded listener. The selection of sounds to be heard are handy as well giving us an idea of just what the top tunes of the day were like, and given just how much Andre Williams has been praised to the hilt ever since his comeback in the nineties it's quite a surprise to hear his "Greasy Chicken" getting airplay considering just how obscure I thought the guy woulda been even back in them days. And Myers is such a talent doing his hip horror routine that he could even make the 1968 Top Forty sounds come off grand...I'd even listen to Donovan just to get to a sample of Myers' boppin' routine, and hardly anything else would be able to make me do that!

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