Friday, December 19, 2014

Five years old today - 'Heavy Christmas' and a happy new year


Unlike most previous Christmas updates, there is some music to download in this one, keep reading...


TDATS is five years old today. It's been a great ride, and it will continue to get better. I have much more music to add next year, lots of new ideas, and a lot more interviews with acts that have never been spotlighted before. If you are an obscure rock digger you will surely continue to enjoy the fruits of these searches as much as I do. As usual, drop me advice and ideas to aftersabbath@live.co.uk if you feel so-inclined, or contribute at the fb group which now has almost 4000 members, wow! This year saw the creation of TDATS radio, which is still in early days and will hopefully get an upgrade in 2015 if it gets enough listeners.

Thanks to all who support, comment on, and encourage The Day After The Sabbath. Enjoy this year-end's festivities and see you again here soon!


Heavy Christmas 1971

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password:  tdats

"Heavy Christmas" is a christmas-themed krautrock sampler put out in 1971 on the Pilz label, the home at the time of bands such as Dies IraeVirusJoy Unlimited and Rufus Zuphall. Expecting such a thing to be possibly a little more than embarrassing, It really is a surprisingly excellent collection of German prog, most of which is exclusive to this record.

Tracks
A1 Libido - Evolution 3:14
A2 Marcel - God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen 2:35
A3 Joy Unlimited - All Heaven and All Earth are Silent 8:22
A4 Virus - Mary Meets Tarzan 1:05
A5 Dies Irae - Silent Night 5:38
B1 Libido - Come on Everybody 6:38
B2 Ardo Dombec - Heavenly Rose 3:52
B3 Dies Irae - Shepard's Song 0:22
B4 Ardo Dombec - Open Your Door, Open Your Mind 2:08
B5 Virus - X-mas Submarine 3:26
B6 Flute & Voice - Ecce Navicula 4:05

There's a couple of fun tracks from "Libido", a band seemingly created for this set that consisted of Achim Reichel (guitar, vocals) and Frank Dostal (vocals) who were the backbone of "A.R. & Machines" and earlier, The Rattles. You can hear a bit of their spacey guitars at the end of "Evolution" that is reminiscent of  A.R. & Machines.

Flute & Voice were the duo of Hans "Flute" Reffert (guitar, flute) and Hans Brandeis (sitar, guitar, vocals). Coincidentally, I have recently been speaking to Hans Brandeis, who was a guitarist in Night Sun Mournin', the earlier incarnation of Night Sun. I asked him about this record and he said:

Hans "Flute" Reffert (l)
and  Hans Brandeis (r)
Hans: How we got involved into the "Heavy Christmas" project? Well, our first album came out at the PILZ label, and at that time, PILZ obviously wanted to put out a kind of promotional recording on which all the groups of the PILZ label should be presented together. Therefore, our producer asked us if we were interested in contributing something. Of course, we were... However, I didn't want to make fun of Christmas songs, and I also did not want to follow the cliché of English song lyrics. So, I selected an old German Christmas song, which had preserved a lot of the character of Renaissance music. The only problem was that there were only German lyrics existing. But, as I said, I didn't want to have an English translation, but wanted to have them translated into Latin, instead. So, I went to see my old Latin teacher from school who translated the lyrics for me from German to Latin...

So what's the original German name of the "Ecce Navicule" song?

Hans: "Es kommt ein Schiff geladen..."  means "There comes a ship a-loaden..."
The Latin text "Ecce Navicula" means "Look there, the ship..."
For the music, we used the original arrangement for Renaissance lute, which, to make it sound a bit different, was played on a steel string guitar, but without changes. To make the piece sound a little bit weird, I added a parallel Sitar voice, and we inserted a part with voices and flutes. We tried to keep the dignity and solemnity in the song, while the other performances on the record did not do so, in my personal view. The text of the song probably comes from Johannes Tauler (1300-1361). Regarding the music, there is an interesting feature, a constant change between 6/4 and 4/4 rhythm. There are lots of different versions on YouTube, but hardly any of them really do this change. But we do...

Most of the versions on YouTube are arrangements for choir, and usually the performers try to "modernize" the song in weird ways...

"Ecce Navicula" is also used as a bonus track on Amber Soundroom's reissue of "Imaginations of Light", which was Flute & Voice's first album.


The rest is all of high quality and you can't go wrong with the likes of strong tracks from Joy Unlimited and the pipes of Joy Fleming, Marcel, Virus and Dies Irea's brutal version of "Silent Night" (yes you read that correctly).
Heavy Christmas indeed.

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Tuesday, December 16, 2014

TDATS 105: Coming Back Up

Click to go to Vol 105
I have added an extra track to Volume 105, the 'Going Down' covers special. This is another version of the song that Don Nix recorded, for radio. If you haven't listened to this volume yet, now would a great time to do so. In the clip, Don himself says that he wrote the song for Elvis Presley, who did not record it, and then says that Freddie King did. So, even Don does not acknowledge Moloch as being the first act to record it. Poor old Moloch! Well, this blog being a shrine to the Underdog, we salute you!
Read the update and download here: http://www.aftersabbath.com/2014/08/the-day-after-sabbath-105-goin-down.html
You can download the additional track on it's own here if you do not wish to download the whole thing again.

Cheers! Rich.

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Sunday, December 7, 2014

TDATS 111: Cobra profile and interview with Rob Vunderink

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Welcome to TDATS #111. Now and again I come across bands that sounded great, but only made some singles and no albums. The first thing I always wonder is, "How come this obviously-talented band were around long enough to make a string of singles and get on a major label, but did not make an album?". It seems to be a question that arises regarding Dutch bands as often as any other nationality, if not more so, and the band that we are interested in for this episode is Cobra. They had an instantly likable brand of hook-laden rock which encompassed hard rock, pop, glam and blues in such a way that Dutch bands seemed particularly adept.

The Netherlands had a great pop scene in the '60s and '70s, and The Hague was the place to be. Bands which started there like Golden Earring, Q65, Supersister and Shocking Blue are still respected the world-over. I'd say it was second only to Hamburg as a go-to European city for aspiring musicians. Often, English names can be found in Dutch bands, such as singer Christine Holmes (ex-Family Dogg, later known as 'Kristine Sparkle') in California License and guitarist Ray Fenwick (The Spencer Davis Group, Tee-Set) who was a founder of After Tea. (Incidentally, I used a ripping Ray Fenwick track back on Vol103). Cobra had a British singer called Winston Gawke. Before his time in mainland Europe he'd already tried his hand in the UK as Winston G and had various backing groups, culminating in The Winston G Set (later called Fox & The Whip). For fact-fans out  there, The Winston G Set was also an early band for Huw Lloyd-Langton of ├┤awkШind.

The Dutch quickly assimilated the popular hard rock sounds of the time, and one thing I like was their ability to mix these heavy sounds with a certain pop, almost glam sensibility, avoiding getting too cheesy, but remaining endearingly fun. Good examples of this were Blue Planet, Big Wheel, Panda, Inca Bullet Joe and many more. I hope to focus on some more of these names in later episodes...

Back to Cobra. They made five singles (including one under the name of Island), all of which are great. I have contacted the original guitarist of Cobra, who does an excellent job on all the singles, his name is Rob Vunderink. He still works successfully in music and has been a member of distinguished Dutch progsters Kayak since 2001. One of Rob's other notable successes was as a founding member the pop rock band Diesel, which had a number-one single in Canada from an album which was also popular in the US around 1980.

The other two main members of Cobra were Michiel Driessen (drums - later in Livin' Blues, Sun, Flair and Monte Carlo) and Paul Heppener (Bass - ex-Confrontation, later in CentaurDrama, Shocking Blue, Fontessa and Belgian band Otger Dice).

references and further reading
Obscure Bands Of The 50's & 60's > Further reading on The Winston G Set



Island - Move Over / Super Woman
Cobra discography



1971
(as Island) Move Over / Super Woman
Imperial 5C 006 24256



Cobra - The War Will Soon Be Over / Midnight Walker




The War Will Soon Be Over / Midnight Walker
Polydor 2050 078



Cobra - I'm in Love / I Feel Down




I'm in Love / I Feel Down
Polydor 2050 121

Cobra - Don't Do Like I Do / Schoolgirl Blues



1972
Don't Do Like I Do / Schoolgirl Blues
Polydor 2050196 (released in Germany & Netherlands)


Cobra - So Dissatisfied / What's Next




So Dissatisfied / What's Next
Polydor / 2050167





Rob Vunderink interview


Rob in Kayak (2014)
Rob in Kayak (2014)

Rob (left) in The Counts
Rob (left) in The Counts
Q01. Hi Rob, Thanks for your time! Firstly, can you tell us about your beginnings in music?
I was born in Nijmegen. The Van Halen brothers lived here, as did Nina Simone. I got my first guitar when I was sixteen, because I loved the Beatles. Why guitar? That's what they played. I never had lessons, I taught myself and I was in a school band. At a certain point I joined a local top band called The Counts [links: 12] and they had a manager, who became my personal manager also.


Q02. What happened after The Counts?
My manager called and said the singer of the Yardbirds was looking for a guitarist in Nijmegen. These had been a peculiar German version of The Yardbirds [a bogus, or 'tribute' version] without any real Yardbirds. The singer was Winston Gawke from the UK. I started a band with Winston which was first called Jasper Mule. At this point we also had Joop van Kesteren (bass, ex-Counts, who later went on to Grass) and John Lejeune (drums, ex-Corporation, later to Livin' Blues).


Q03. What music were you personally in to at the time?
I liked Led Zeppelin, Deep Purple and other hard rock bands.


Cobra
Cobra
Q04. Can you tell me about Island's "Move Over / Super Woman" Single? I know it had some connection to you and Winston. It is fantastic, Super Woman sounds like a lost Led Zep song! I have only heard this side as it was included in a comp at the time called "Hey June", I've not heard the flipside.
Winston attracted John van Setten as our manager. John had managed a band called Island previously, which had ceased to exist by this time. He arranged a recording session for us and the resulting songs, "Super Woman / Move Over", were released as an Island single. We had nothing to do with the old Island and it was a one-time occasion. 


1. Michiel Driessen 2. Rob Vunderink
3. Winston Gawke 4. Paul Heppener
I'm in Love single (1971)
Q05. How did Cobra come about?
We moved to the Hague in 1969, Michiel Driessen and Paul Heppener then took the roles of drums and bass respectively, and the Cobra lineup was made. At one time Cor van der Beek (Shocking Blue - drums) had one or two rehearsals but didn't join. We got ourselves a record deal with Polydor and after my suggestion for calling the band Grizzley, Winston came up with 'Cobra'.


Q06. How did Cobra get signed to the Polydor label?
We just went there and talked to Freddy Haayen, who was director and producer for Golden Earring. He produced us himself, including our first single, 'The War Will Soon Be Over (My Love)' which became a hit in Holland.


Q07. Was there a big rock scene in The Hague in the early '70s?
The Hague was called 'beat city'. Lots of big Dutch bands were from the Hague, like Golden Earring, The Motions, Q65, Supersister and more. Every Tuesday evening musicians would hang out in a place called De Maraton [inc. Q65 and Golden Earring - wiki]. So yes, a big rock scene and a fun place too.


Q08. Did Cobra play many gigs or festivals?
We played all over Holland, both clubs and festivals. We opened up for Ten Years After in Amsterdam in the early seventies. Alvin Lee was a star then because of Woodstock. 


Paul Heppener (bass)
Q09. Can you tell us about the four 45s that Cobra released on the Polydor label?
I think 'The War Will Soon Be Over' was recorded at the Phonogram studio in Hilversum. I remember it must have been early January 1970. Haayen produced us and Cees Schrama played keyboards [aka 'Crazy Casey', also of Golden EarringCasey & The Pressure Group - wiki, RYM]. The second single was called 'I'm In Love' and it was a Haayen production too, record at the Soundpush Studio in The Hague. The third single was called 'So Dissatisfied', written and produced by Craig Bolyn from the US [ex-Nazz, prod. Ash Tray], same studio as the first one. The fourth single 'Don't Do Like I Do' was produced by former Earring drummer Jaap Eggermont, who would peak at Billboard #1 in the band 'Stars On 45' in the '80s. It was recorded at Soundpush also.


Q10. Do you have any favourite Cobra songs? Can you remember anything about playing any of them, like ones which were hard to play?
I really like So Dissatisfied. I like the bass playing in I'm In Love. There was nothing hard about playing these songs.


Q11. I really like Cobra's music, and all the members put in a great performance. While it’s generally got an anthemic sing-along melodic style like 'The War Will Soon Be Over (My Love)', there's glam rock ('Don't Do Like I Do'), and couple of heavier rockers like 'Midnight Walker' and 'I'm in Love'. There's also some slow blues like 'Schoolgirl Blues'. Can you explain your thoughts on the band’s versatility and what influenced the sound of Cobra?
Winston was the one who got the band together and he wanted a blues/rock band like Led Zeppelin or Deep Purple. He introduced me to the guitar playing style of Rory Gallagher. The War Will Soon Be Over was the odd one out, actually, but the combination of acoustic and electric playing intrigued some people. Later Winston proposed a style more like Mother's Finest, but that never came off. For blues influence we listened to BB King.


Q12. Who were the creative leaders of the band, if there were some?
The song writing was done by Winston and me. No songs were written by Michiel and Paul. I think him and me were the creative leaders, if indeed there were any. 


Q13. There is some extra orchestration on the song 'So Dissatisfied', which sounds like a mellotron/keyboard. Is this correct, and can you remember who played it, or was it put in later?
Craig Bolyn experimented with the Moog synthesizer and he got it on board during the recording. He also added some low string guitar work during the guitar solo.


First Patricia Paay LP (1969)
First Patricia Paay LP (1969)
Q14. 'Don't Do Like I Do' has some female backing vocals. Who did these vocals and how did that come about?
It was Jaap Eggermont's idea. He hired Dutch singer Patricia Paay [radio host, glamour model and television personality - wiki]. We hated Eggermont's production, he fucked it up and didn't even put his name on the record, so he knew he fucked up. The single was a flop.


Q15. 'What Next' is a mini progressive epic. It talks about world war, racism, greed and other such issues. It's longer, more philosophical, and quite different to all your other songs. What's the story behind that? It also has a very nice emotive guitar solo at the end, is that you playing?
That was Winston's work, those words. It was the time of hippies, peace and grass, so Winston was just exploiting the mood of the time, really. And yes, it's me on guitar.


Q16. What equipment did you use for your guitar sound in Cobra?
At first I used a Fender Stratocaster, later a Gibson SG which I've still got and used when recording Diesel's 'Sausalito Summernight', which peaked at Billboard #25 and #1 in Canada in 1981. For amplification I used Marshall.


Q17. I've been told that it was particularly hard for Dutch rock bands to get label money/backing to record a whole album in their home country back then, and they were often encouraged to focus on writing radio-friendly pop singles, in search of a 'hit'. Because of this, many bands with great hard-rock potential like Cobra made singles which may have been aimed more at commercial acceptance than what the bands actually wanted to sound like, and unfortunately made no albums. What are your thoughts on this? Did these issues affect Cobra?
It's the same everywhere: mainstream radio plays music for the average audience. If you want publicity you have to appeal to a large audience. We were moderately good in getting attention. It all went wrong when Eggermont overdid it with his pop song approach. By that time the band had grown tired of struggling. Myself and bass player Paul Heppener were especially unhappy with the situation.


Q18. 'The War Will Soon Be Over (My Love)' reached number 33 in the Dutch charts for two weeks. later-on 'So Dissatisfied' spent three weeks at #31. Did this encourage Cobra to aim higher?
You must first score better with singles before a recording company will spend money on you to make an album, we never got that far.


Q19. Do you think Cobra had the potential be more successful?
The band could have been bigger with some guidance and a better management.


Q20. How did the band end?
Paul Heppener and I made the decision to leave. We didn't like the lack of development, we disliked the manager who was filling his own pockets. Then Pim van der Linden joined on bass simultaneously with Ben de Bruin on guitar. Cobra lasted for a couple more years without success.


Q21. Is there anything notable you can tell me about what happened to any of the other guys after Cobra was finished?
Michiel Driessen made a living from having a duo with a keyboard player at parties. He bought his own apartment in the city of 's-Hertogenbosch so he must have been doing well. Winston went into business, he said. He must be a pensioner now, being 71 or 72 years old. Paul Heppener played in a group called Drama, and then later was in Shocking Blue, until singer Mariska Veres died. Ben de Bruin played with Rob Hoeke [and Herman Brood's Flash & Dance Band].

Q22. Do you have any final Cobra memories to share?
No, except that we had a lot of fun and I would not like to have missed the experience.

So there you have an explanation for how an original band with some initial success and lots of potential could lose momentum and fade away in the harsh pop world. I will be getting some stories on equally good bands from the same period later, so keep TDATS book-marked.


I asked Rob some further questions regarding his career after Cobra.

Q23. What did you do after Cobra? Can you tell us a little about how you came to play for Maywood (Dutch pop duo)?
After Cobra and an unsuccessful band called Centaur [also with Paul Heppener] I met guitarist Mark Boon who played in Smyle. Smyle's singer Bas Muijs sounded just like John Lennon and did the Beatles stuff for Eggermont's Stars on 45 later. Boon and me formed a band called The Hammer. Take a look here:



I play that red Gibson SG, as you can see. This was on a famous Dutch TV show around Sjef van Oekel. The Hammer had the same manager as Kayak. Pim Koopman was Kayak's drummer who later started producing artists like Maywood and Pussycat, for which Mark and myself were often hired as studio musicians.



Q24. It seems the band you started called Diesel had some great success, #1 in Canada! Can you tell me some more about them?
Later Pim joined Mark and me to form Diesel. Diesel had two hits in the Netherlands and Belgium with Goin' back to China and Down in the Silvermine. We recorded an album, Watts In A Tank. The opening song is Sausalito Summernight, written by Mark Boon and myself. [Sausalito Summernight on youtube] Both the album and the single got charted in the USA and Canada. In 1981 we toured the States and Canada for seven weeks, about forty gigs. Already before the American hit guitarist/singer/composer Mark Boon and bass player Frank Papendrecht had left. Later drummer/producer/composer Pim Koopman left to. Before the tour Mark rejoined. After the tour we recorded another album, without Pim, which flopped. I left. In 1987 Pim and me got together again, singer Jeroen Engelbert joined (he's the singer on the live version of Sausalito Summernight with Kayak in 2010 [below]). In 1987 we had another hit with the song Samantha. Diesel disbanded again in 1989. In 2000 Pim, me and some other guys recorded an album of covers with three original songs. The album was called Diesel on the rocks, You can find it on iTunes.

Q25. How did you come join Kayak late in its career?
Much later in 2001, when Kayak got together again, Pim asked me to join for one gig because guitarist Rob Winter had to play elsewhere. I never left. Here you can see Kayak playing Diesel's Sausalito Summernight during the Pim Koopman Tribute Concert at the Amsterdam Paradiso in 2010, one year after Pim's death:




Thanks for your time Rob, and thanks for the music!


As well as his musical career, Rob currently writes a weekly column for De Gelderlander newspaper, based in the Gelderland region of Holland. He gives special attention to healthcare, education, employment issues, and social absurdities. You can read his related blog here.

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And thanks for reading! Rich

If you liked this one, you may like:
Vol96: Interview with Craig Carmody of Heat Exchange.
Vols 35, 63, 64, and 86: All Dutch-themed specials.

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Monday, December 1, 2014

The Day After The Sabbath 110: Heavy Psychs, Man! [Mik Kay interview]


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Unzip password:  tdats





Welcome to episode 110 of The Day After The Sabbath. This instalment has been made in collaboration with a guy who was an influence when I started this site, so it's about time he received some recognition from me! He lives in Sweden and his name is Mik Kay, he's been running a blog called Heavypsychman for over five years. 


heavypsychmanblog.blogspot.com
Many of you will have come across his blog before as he's made quite a name for himself among all the heavy-hunters out there. His mission is the same as mine, but whereas my interest developed from a pre-internet age love of '90s grunge and alternative rock, now covering a wide period of styles up to 1980, Mik comes from a early-black/death metal background and specialises mainly in the rawest, loudest and loosest heavy psych he can find, usually within the years of 1968 to 1973. The sweet spot where heavy psych was convergent with the newly emerging hard rock sound. He has kindly agreed to curate this compilation, which complements an interview I have done with him.

The resulting comp has instantly become one of the rawest, loudest and fuzziest sets you'll ever hear on TDATS, and you are gonna love it! All the tracks are new to TDATS, as are six of the artists: Bulbous CreationSmack, Jarvis Street Revue, Negative Space, Bent Wind and Smokin' Willie. The great thing is all 12 of these are album cuts, and they are backed-up equally by the quality of their respective albums, so if you look further into any of them you will most certainly be rewarded.

TRACKS (with Mik's description)
01. Dragonfly - Blue Monday (1968)
       from album 'Dragonfly' 
       "Garage rock with wild fuzz meets H U G E amps"
02. Smack - Sunshine Of Your Love (1968)
       from album 'Smack'
       "An underground Cream plugs into Blue Cheers amps"
03. Sainte Anthony's Fyre - Lone Soul Road (1970)
       from album 'Sainte Anthony's Fyre'
       "Crushing riff of crude raw Heavy distorted Fuzz"
04. Fire - Flames (1973)
       from album 'Could You Understand Me'
       "Monster raw Heavy Fuzz-gasm"
05. Stone Garden - Assembly Line (1969)
       from album 'Stone Garden'
       "Monster HEAVY dynamic crusher"
06. The Jarvis Street Revue - Mr. Oil Man (1970)
       from album 'Mr. Oil Man'
       "Megalithic meglo heavy fuzzsound with equal vocals"
07. Negative Space - Forbidden Fruit (1970)
       from album 'Hard, Heavy, Mean & Evil' 
       "Heavy raw mean and in your face crude blast"
08. Joshua - No Country (1969)
       from album 'Opens Your Mind'
       "Lead Sled of Heavinesss in your face with crude raw edge"
09. Bent Wind - Sacred Cows (1969)
       from album 'Sussex'
       "Heavy Earthquake-evoking rhythm with wasted leads galore"
10. Bulbous Creation - Let's Go to the Sea (1970)
       from album 'You Won't Remember Dying'
       "Heavy basement trip with eerie dark undercurrent"
11. Smokin' Willie - Get Ready (1970)
       from album 'Smokin' Willie'
       "pulverized Rare Earth cover with Most extreme FUZZ leads in existence"
12. Josefus - Dead Man (1970)
       from album 'Dead Man'
       "Monster Heavy doomed Blues based audioal freight train"



Mik's Heavypsychmanblog reveals vinyl rips of lost albums, re-issues of such things from labels like Rockadrome, and his own hand-picked comps, resulting from his searches. He has a great ear for it all. He succeeds in catching the mood and atmosphere of the late '60s/early '70s heavy underground which worshiped the fuzz box, beer and weed with reckless punk attitude. His honest, no-nonsense writing style gets you amped-up just by reading about what delights are in store and you can be confident to hear only the most fuzzy, heavy and wildest cuts conceivable. He's made two series' of comps so far, Heavy Psych Explosion 1-8, Monster Garage Rock, and the most recent, Stack Attack, which is up to Vol5.


Interview with Mik Kay


Mik Kay Heavypsychman
Mik Kay
aka Heavypsychman
We begin with Mik's personal viewpoint on the more recent music that shaped his tastes and led to his appreciation of older sounds. Take it away Mik!

Mik: Hello Rich, first thanks for the honour of being interviewed.

Q1. You are from Stockholm and you have spent some time living in Australia. Can you tell us some of the major events and influences in your life that lead you to start HeavyPsychMan blog? Did living in Australia have any influence in what you are in to, or the blog?

Yes I live in one of the shittest bluecollar suburbs of Stockholm and lived in a similar suburb in Sydney AUS so yes when you have a heavy environment it affects you. For my part the earliest Raw heavy sounds that attracted me were like pre-84 M O T Ö R H E A D, Bon Scott-era AC/DC, Venom and bands like Sodom, Hellhammer, Bathory. Those were the rawest n' heaviest bands of the time I knew about. Well in the early '90s that pseudo death metal thing started by disillusioned ex Metallica and Slayer fans and the objectionable (in my opinion) character of Öystein Arseth of Mayhem who invited all manner of people into the black death metal scene destroyed everything and I lost interest in that scene. The stuff after 91/92 is awful at best IMO.

Dave Chandler
of St Vitus
What was I going to listen to now? Well I loved doom metal like Candlemass, Mercy and Vitus and I think it was Dave Chandler who said he was influenced by Blue Cheer for his leads. Vitus V or five, was a major influence that got me interested in the Heavy '70s scene. It had the hippy bias thing going on BUT the music was HEAVY I mean Heavier than the stuff I had listened to previously. The easiest to find here in SWE was Purple, Sabbath, Led Zeppelin and Mountain on LP. I got them and the CD reissue boom came around then also. I began to exclusively listen to '70s heavy music, but the raw edge of the stuff I'd previously liked lingered on and I discovered Blue Cheer and that was a major introduction into heavy psychedelic sounds with a heavier and wilder style than all the rest so I started to explore more and gradually discovered more and rarer bands.

To make a long story somewhat graspable, 1990s tape trading and the '70s music reissue boom in the '90s laid the musical foundation for Heavypsychman as the blog was originally called. I wanted to share this wealth of great raw HEAVY music with like-minded people and blogspot was a great medium and a super tape trading platform. Also that Sabbath is the only really heavy band talked-about pissed me off so I showed people MORE bands were heavy and even Heavier hehe.


Q2. Have you ever been a musician yourself? If so, what do you play and are you in a band?
I played guitar and in the early '90s and wanted to start a trio into demo-era Sodom/Hellhammer kind of music but guys here in Sweden didn't get it, (so much for a death metal boom here) so nothing happened, I still play but now raw southern Bluesy Kinks meets Zeppelin/Cheer stuff. Now I don't have time to play in a band but you never know...


Q3. You have used a lot of different bands and styles on your blog. Could you tell us what your favourite styles in old rock are, and why?
The rawer and the heavier the better, provided the music is good 1965 - 1975. I also love long jam psych from SWE and SF USA and AUS rock. The warm heavy tone of that era combined with super songwriting and talent is a winning combination. I use the term Heavy psych which I actually snatched from a comp called Heavydose of Heavypsych by Arf Arf records. I love fuzz psych and monster heavy bass/drums and raw sounds. Motörhead/Venom had that sound which originally influenced me and has never left me.

Mecki Mark Men poster
1969

Q4. Who are some of your favourite artists from those times, famous or not?
Rare bands: Stone GardenJosefusJoshua (Ca), Bulbous CreationSainte Anthony's FyreBolder Damn, Jarvis Street RevueBent WindSmackFirebirds (Crown band) and Mecki Mark Men. I also like original loner-folk and good original underground psychedelia.

Known bands; Zeppelin (specially 2 & 4, Levee Breaks kills) MountainBlue Cheer 1 & 2, Cream, Hendrix, The Who (Live stuff), Grand Funk Railroad 69-70, Sabbath 1 to 4, Cactus 1st, Purple 'In rock'.



Q5. Personally, I think the short period between the late '60s and early '70s was the best and most creatively interesting time in rock history. What are your opinions on why there was such a creative explosion during those times and what other periods and genres interest you most up until the current day?

The zeitgeist of that era was progressive optimism and everything was possible. The future was bright and the postwar era prosperity made a renaissance of the regular man's music which, rock and blues is. A unique time in history from which we now enjoy the fruits. Progressively since the 1973 oil crisis things in the west have gone down hill. In the 90's rock really died and lost it's momentum. There's still good stuff out there like Mount Carmel and Endless Boogie but not in the spotlight like in previous eras. Stoner rock is bland and boring. I liked Fu Manchu's 'In search of' but the other bands sucked IMO, Just no good songwriting anymore or noticeable talent, or even real effort. I saw Vitus live a year ago and the opening act was beyond awful, people walked out and waited for Vitus to take the stage instead, that kind of says it all.


Q6. How are the bands chosen or found for your blog? Do you chose them all yourself, do you get suggestions and recommendations?
I choose the stuff myself and it must fulfill the originality and musical quality demands I have. If an album has one killer tune I save that for a compilation instead of posting a whole bland album. I learnt my trade from record lists and labels like Rockadelic, The Void. Subliminal Sounds and great fanzine and tape-trading friends like Ray Dorsey etc etc in the 90's. Great folks I am greatly indebted to. Cheers to you all you unsung heroes of the underground.


Captain Foam's wall of amps
Q7. Could you tell us three Heavypsychman discoveries or comps that are particular favourites of yours, and why?
The music I share is known by hardcore collectors but they are not always willing to share it. Captain Foam is a killer discovery (we need live tapes). Ceptic Frog is another (the tape owner is 'difficult' I'm told). Mecki Mark Men Live, It took me years of asking before they got posted on Youtube. I like everything I post and actively listen to it all before sharing. If it seems iffy it's not posted.


Q8. Have you ever got in contact with any of the artists?
Our mutual friend Klem [Breznikar of It's Psychedelic Baby - See Vol94] is great at this and his webzine is a dream come true. I have met and talked with members of Mecki Mark Men and Träd Gräs Och Stenar, great folks. They don't understand the big deal with their modern day fame. I would like to hear from members of Bulbous Creation or The Firebirds (LA band) as would most of us.


Bolder Damn
Q9. What is the future for Heavypsychman blog? Do you have any further plans regarding your love of rock music?
I'm happy just to post stuff once a month and searching for rare Heavy raw psych n heavy rock music like you yourself, I must say you and your friends are great at finding new stuff, Big thanks for your efforts you guys. That's what the underground is about. I saw that Bolder Damn was reissued by Guerssen, I still remember when Rockadelic and The Void reissued it years back. My Heavypsych Explosion series was inspired by all those garage psych compilation LPs of the '80s and '90s, I have No LP/CD ambitions, there's too much money and plastic hoarding involved. I'm a music fan not a plastic & cardboard fan. I hate the mainstream labels for all the money sucking they did before the mp3 revolution. I burn a CDR or DVDr to archive my stuff. I dream that a Spotify for rare underground music would come along, so computer nerds, get cracking, we know the music you know the tech...


Q10. Can you tell us something about being a psychedelic rock fan in Stockholm? Do you get much opportunity to watch old bands live, or old-styled/retro bands? I know Sweden has a lot of great stoner/psych bands and it's a relatively big thing over there.
Hehe we have Träd Gräs och Stenar here, I actually prefer Gothenburg bands Centralstödet and Ett Rop på Hjälp över these Stockholm retro 70's bands. Not a fan of them, not authentic to my ears but surely nice guys, doing something they are passionate about.

Centralstödet are raw long jam-psych from Gothenburg (album out on Cassette!) and Ett Rop på Hjälp are heavy rock from Gothenburg. There's a lot of pop bands here with psych influences but that's not my bag.
[Mik reviewed Ett Rop på Hjälp's 2012 album here]


Q11. Are there any bars, venues or record shops etc that would be good to check out for anyone who finds themselves in Stockholm or near-by?
One shop that I can recommend in Stockholm is Got To Hurry records (they had Rockadelics in their boxes when I was there last, Stone Garden!) Subliminal sounds is a must and the Guru as we call him (Stefan Kery) is a psych specialist and great super wired dude. His shop was legendary but Stockholm didn't get it (I did!).


Q12. Could you tell us about some of your favourite current or new artists from anywhere around the world?
Mount Carmel and Endless Boogie are great and underexposed as f**k, Hear them or be square! 

[Mount Carmel's label: link. Endless Boogie's label: link.]

I agree, wholeheartedly about Mount Carmel, I loved their 2012 album 'Real Women'. I will check out Endless Boogie too!


Q13. Is it correct you were editor of Golden Void Fanzine? If so, can you tell us a little about that?
Yes, it was a simple xeroxed zine typed/handwritten and used even computers for reviews. It had hand-drawn psych art by myself. It featured basically the same bands as in my blog, which is a kinda continuation of it. I have no copies left or even originals, but if ya like the blog, you'd have liked the zine. I did it 98 - 99 with 4 issues.


Q14. What have you learnt from your experiences of making the HeavyPsychMan blog? Do you have any useful advice for rock fanatics who are considering starting a blog or similar project themselves?
Be YOURSELF and share YOUR passion, Have quality control in mind because YOU influence the scene, YOU make it or destroy it. Don't post like a manic fool, take your time. For me once a month is good. I remember that dude "Chris Goes Rock" who posted 4 - 6 albums a day? Did he ever hear the music he posted? That's crazy. Get to know your underground friends and link each other. I wish you the best. Yes avoid major label artists or you get deleted links and "friendly" lawyer emails... Yes that's why I don't post Led Zeppelin 4 despite me loving it. Don't post new reissues until the small labels have a chance to sell their copies. I usually wait a year.

Yes, I remember Chris Goes Rock, he is still around in the blogosphere - I used to get a lot of music from him in the days before blogs, when his uploads where listed on torrent sites like Suprnova. He is how I first heard a lot of the music that helped me start TDATS. I do think he is genuinely knowledgeable and had been listening to this stuff for a long time before the internet enabled him to push it all...


Q15. Finally, do you have anything further to say to TDATS and Heavypsychman blog readers out there?
Rich, T H A N K Y O U and the rest of the guys in our scene for finding and sharing Great rare Heavy music. Your Biker rock compilation [Vol 109] was a Blast, Keep that level up n' you will rule. Special Thanks also to everyone who has visited and heard music from Heavypsychmanblog, hope you had a blast. It's great to see how many of the featured bands now actually are known by folks who can appreciate them. Great 2015 to everyone Rock On! Mik.

And thanks to you too Mik!


The Bands



Here's a more in-depth rundown of all the bands appearing on this volume. I must say many thanks to Klemen Breznikar and It's Psychedelic Baby for some of the images I used here, collected by Klemen for the many exclusive interviews he has made with members of these bands.

references

Dragonfly (1970) & The Legend (1968)
Dragonfly (1970) & The Legend (1968)
Durango, Colorado's Dragonfly made on album in 1970. They were actually the band The Legend without Ernie McElwaine. [tymeshifter at RYM: "Note that this is actually the band The Legend without Ernie McElwaine. The group never performed under the name Dragonfly, supposedly just the album title here only. Somehow, well after the band had broken up and on subsequent reissues, Dragonfly has stuck as an alias for the band."] The rest of the band was Jack Duncan (bass), Barry Davis (drums, backing vocals), Gerry Jimerfield (guitar, lead vocals) and Randy Russ [Randy Russell] (guitar, backing vocals). The album has been reissued by labels including SunbeamGuerssenGear Fab, Progressive Line and Eva.

Smack LP (1968)
Smack LP (1968)
Smack's album was recorded in Aug, 1968, at the Midwestern Band and Art Camp, held in Lawrence, Kansas. The original issue was pressed in a quantity of 100~150 copies, and sold to other attendees at the camp. It contains nine fuzz-drenched covers; four Hendrix covers, three Cream covers, a Buffalo Springfield cover, and an interesting reinvention of a Kinks track. The band personel are listed on the cover as Phil Brown (vocals?), Alvin Haywood (bass), Jim Uhl (guitar) and Lee Overstreet (drums).

The LP has been re-issued by Shadoks, this is what they have to say: "Recorded in late July early August 1968 In Lawrence, Kansas USA. The four Smack members were all summer scholarship music and arts students attending Kansas University (KU) in Lawrence, Kansas. All music tracks were cut 'Live' - only over-dubed lead vocals and background vocals. That year there were some 2800 summer students attending a 6 week summer arts scholarship session - 1800 females and 900 males. Smack was born and played a gig several weeks later and the next thing you know they were all 'stars' of the campus. Someone from the university arranged for them to go in and record an album. An original Smack LP is rare as gold dust. We have only seen 2 copies for sale the past 15 years for massive money. The music is great cover versions played with extra heavy fuzz guitar, vocals, bass & drums. Those versions of Cream and Hendrix songs are killer. The whole album (very well produced) has a one of a kind Psychedelic feel. There are not many cover albums which give you another perspective on those known songs. This album does for sure."

Sainte Anthony's Fyre were a power-trio from Trenton, New Jersey who's rough recordings still convey their hard rocking intentions perfectly. There is an interview with their drummer Bob Sharples here at Psychedelic Baby webzine. The rest of the band was Gregory Onushko [Greg Ohm] (guitar, vocals) and Tomm Nardi (bass, vocals). They made one s/t album in 1970 which has been re-issued by labels such as Breeder, Void and Rockadrome.

Fire
Unusually, Fire was a Croatian band, made up of Jura Havidić (guitar, vocals), Miljenko Balić (bass) and Emil Vugrinec (drums, vocals). They made one album in 1973 which has been re-issued by labels like Estrella Rockera and Skyf Zol. A story goes that they were hand-picked by Captain Beefheart to be his opening band, but the drummer fell ill and was hospitalized for 3 months, so it never happened. Klemen Beznikar travelled all the way to interview Jura Havidič in person, which you can read here.

Stone Garden
Stone Garden
promo shot
Stone Garden hailed from Lewiston, Idaho. They only released a single at the time, and their mind-blowing other material made between '69 and '72 was first posthumously issued by Rockadelic in 1998. This music is well-written and damn heavy, you can't go wrong with this band, which could have been far more successful. There is an interview with guitarist Paul Speer here at Psychedelic Baby. Their material has since been re-issued by Gear FabShadow Kingdom and out·sider.

One band here which is new to me is The Jarvis Street Revue, from Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada. They appear to have had a strongly pro-environmental, anti-big business stance in their songs.  They made one album in 1970 and it's a good one, with a strong concept, quality production and playing that you'd expect from a much bigger name. The track here, 'Mr. Oilman', is a progressive psych monster. The gatefold cover folds out to show a striking image of Christ holding the earth in outstretched arms, while it dies from a covering of toxic sludge. The band was Tom Cruickshank (drums), Wayne Faulconer (guitar), Tom "Tommy" Horricks (vocals) and George Stevenson (bass). Their only album has been re-issued by Pacemaker and Void.

The Jarvis Street Revue LP (1970) - Full Cover
The Jarvis Street Revue LP (1970) - Full Cover

Negative Space is another new entry to TDATS. Like Sainte Anthony's Fyre, they were from Trenton, New Jersey. They were built around the talents of guitarist Jimmy Moy, drummer Lou Nunziatta, bassist Bob Rittner and singer/rhythm guitarist Rob Russen. They only pressed a few hundred copies of their sole s/t album, for promotional purposes. The album has been re-issued by Monster and Rocakdrome. In 2000 Monster produced a re-issue with many extra tracks and unheard material called 'The Living Dead Years'.

Joshua played a spritely and somewhat heavy set of California psych from the same scene as Blue Cheer. Another posthumous release from Rockadelic, the "Opens Your Mind" album liner notes say "Fronted by singer Mick Martin, Joshua were at the center of a scene that, for the most part, ignored the flower power shenanigans going on up north and worshipped at the altar of heavy Rock & Roll." The rest of the band was Wayne Smith (lead guitar, vocals), Ray Halverson (lead guitar), Larry Sherwood (bass, backing vocals) and Rick Yarrision (drums).

Bent Wind are the second Canadian band in this comp, from Toronto. The album "Sussex" is named after the street they used to jam on. Read some more here. Guitarist Marty Roth reformed the band two decades after the first album and made two more, in 1989 and 1996. 

I was sure that I had used Bulbous Creation on TDATS before, but looking back it seems I did not, so thanks Mik for the reminder about this brilliant album! Here is another find from the vaults of obscurity by Rockadelic. Nicely, the tapes were found at the same Cavern Sound studio in Missouri that Rockadelic found the Crank tapes, a favourite of mine. The whole album has a dark, almost gothic feel to it, but it is most certainly top, heavy fuzz-psych all the way. The track Mik has recommended here, 'Let's Go To The Sea', is a long and explorative piece with some truly trippy delay madness around the half-way mark, worthy of the best in prog and krautrock of the times.This band was not just another bunch of bonehead crunchers and it's a shame we will never get to see what they might have become if they hadn't disappeared...



Like Smack before, Smokin' Willie's album is made up entirely of heavy fuzz covers. The track that Mick wanted to use here is the Temptations cover "Get Ready", and it shows how well old R&B songs can be adapted to heavy psych. The entire album was recorded live, and the less than stella recording quality can be a little off-putting at first, but you soon realise that this gives it some extra ambiance that would be lacking in a studio. This was re-issued by Radioactive in 2004.


Unlike all the other bands in this volume, Houston's Josefus managed to hang around long enough in their first incarnation to record two albums' worth of material, but broke up not long after that. Their first album (pressed 3000 times) had good local success but they were rushed by the Mainstream label to produce the second. The pressure was increased by some internal friction in the band. They were not so happy with the resulting LP and the label dropped them soon after. Two members joined Stone Axe (Pete Bailey - vocals, Ray Turner - bass), who made a phenomenal single that I have used both sides of previously in TDATS (Slave of Fear / Snakebite). Incidentally, a special thanks must go to Robin Wills of Purepop blog for revealing that single a few years ago.

This closing Josefus track is a blues epic lasting over 17 minutes, at first you might think this is quite an ambitious prospect for a debut album from a band like this. They pull it off and even get a bit progressive along the way. The ambition of Joseufus's remaining members has been proved by the fact they have reunited many times over the years and released more material, old and new, the most recent being 'Not Dead Yet'.


That about wraps-up this volume of TDATS, Thanks to Mik for the time and inspiration, and thanks for reading. Cheers, Rich

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Friday, November 21, 2014

The Day After The Sabbath 109: Savage Angels Ride With The Devil [biker movie rock]


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It's time to strap on the leathers, fire up the hog, and hit the road. TDATS #109 is a compendium of biker movie rock, a long time in the making. It's a varied mix, with tracks from obscure bands that were on soundtracks but never made their own album, some that did, some established acts, and some film score writers. I have made this particular volume differently, in that most of the tracks mix into each other, and I have inserted dialogue and other segues from the movies and trailers, I hope you dig it!

The original cheap, trashy exploitational biker movies that started the short-lived genre were Russ Meyer's Motorpsycho (1965) and American International Pictures' The Wild Angels (1966). Right from the get-go they were associated with fuzzy psychedelic rock, with Davie Allan's uniquely new fuzzy sound on The Wild Angel's soundtrack. 

The comp was partly inspired by a couple of movies - Angels Die Hard, and Bury Me An Angel. Both these movies included great tracks by a band going under the name East-West Pipeline at the time they were made.  Bury Me An Angel was from director Barbara Peeters, who was script supervisor on Angels Die Hard. She was the first woman to direct a biker film. The movie is about a girl who's brother is shot dead at his front door, for reasons that are not known. Of course, she gets on her bike, buys a gun, and goes on a mission for revenge. She embarks on a journey with her biker compatriots which can only end one way...

TRACKS
01. East-West Pipeline - Unlocked (1972)
       from album Bury Me An Angel OST
02. Bury Me An Angel trailer - Howling Hellcat (1969)
       from Bury Me An Angel trailer
03. Jeff Simmons - Naked Angels Theme (1969)
       from album Naked Angels OST
04. Simon Stokes & The Nighthawks - Big City Blues (1970)
       from album 'Simon Stokes & The Nighthawks' (1970) & Outlaw Riders OST (1972)
05. Bury Me An Angel trailer - Hellfire Burned (1972)
       from album Bury Me An Angel trailer
06. The New Life - Ha Lese (Le Di Khanna) (1968)
       from album The Sidehackers OST
07. East-West Pipeline - You Could Be (1970)
       from album Angels Die Hard OST
08. Bury Me An Angel OST - I Love You (1972)
       from Bury Me An Angel OST
09. Mad Dog - The Fast Song / Military Disgust (1969)
       from archival album Mad Dog, &amp The Black Angels OST
10. East-West Pipeline - Let It Free (1972) from
       Bury Me An Angel OST
11. Orphan Egg - Falling (1969)
       from album The Cycle Savages OST
12. John Cameron - Motorcycle Mayhem (1971)
       from album Psychomania OST
13. Lenny Stack - The Duel (Parts 1 and 2) (1970)
       from album C.C. and Company OST
14. East-West Pipeline - What The Preacher Said (1972)
       from Bury Me An Angel OST
15. Billy Green - Gravediggers (1974)
       from album Stone OST
16. Marvin Gaye - I've Been Looking (1971)
       from Chrome and Hot Leather OST
17. Iron Butterfly - Iron Butterfly Theme (1968)
       from albums Ball, & The Savage Seven OST
18. Davie Allan & The Arrows - Blues' Theme & The Devil's Rumble
       from albums The Wild Angels OST (1966), & Devil's Angels OST (1967)
19. Bury Me An Angel OST - Incest (1972)
       from Bury Me An Angel OST
20. Rabbit Mackay - Tendency To Be Free (1969)
       from album Passing Through (1969) & Angels Die Hard OST

NB. I have inserted a couple extra clips through the mix from Bury Me An Angel, which never had a soundtrack release. These are the segues: 08. I Love You & 19. Incest

references

Bury Me An Angel (1972) promo shot
Bury Me An Angel (1972) promo shot
In my searches for good rock in biker movies, I came across East-West Pipeline on two soundtracks. They made some great songs and I was intrigued as to whether they were a real band or just something made up for the sake of the film scores, as is sometimes the case. The movies were Angels Die Hard (1971), and it's much lesser-known and lower budget spin-off, Bury Me An Angel (1972). In fact, East-West Pipeline are credited with the entire score of Bury Me An Angel (BMAA), whilst their name is on about half the songs in Angels Die Hard (ADH). The two best songs I have found from them are "You Could Be" in ADH, and the untitled intro song in BMAA, which I will call "Unlocked" for now, and it's the opening track in this comp. They are both grungy, heavy and just plain great tracks, with lots of attitude and character. The kind of thing that comes out of the blue and makes your ears twitch, and wonder what happened to the obvious talent that made them. Although there are not many complete 'songs' on the BMAA soundtrack, all the music in the movie is really good and hints at enough having been recorded to make a great album, which never apparently happened. 

This got me looking for any possibility of contacting the band members, to find out more. By luck I found a minor entry in an old website about Colorado bands, Colorado Music Page. In there it says that their original name was Magic Myce: "The original members were me, Walt Rawlins, Bill Cone, Gordy Peterson and Ray Styes. We played at the Exodus, Family Dog, Tulagis, Kelker Junction and many other places around Colorado from 1967 until we left for California in '69. We had a local single that was played a lot on the radio, Angel Baby, which was a remake of the old '50s song. Once we got to California we played a lot around local clubs there and recorded some movie soundtracks, Angels Die Hard and Bury Me an Angel. Angels Die Hard had a soundtrack album released but they didn't do that for the other one. The name of the band was changed to the "East-West Pipeline" when we did those. Later we changed the name of the band again in California to "Bedlam" which lasted until we broke up out there in about 1974.Walt Rawlins---guitar, Bill Cone------guitar, Gordy Peterson--?,  Ray Styes---?"

Bury Me An Angel VHS cover
Bury Me An Angel VHS cover
I am not sure who the "me" referred to in the above is. It may be Walt Rawlins or Bill Cone. On further investigation I found this: "The Angels Die Hard soundtrack on UNI contains the only commercially released East-West Pipeline recordings. They also did the soundtrack for another biker flick (Bury Me An Angel) but no album was released. The band was originally from Denver, then moved to California in 1969. Changed their name from Magic Myce/Majic when they moved out west, later changing it again in the early '70s to Bedlam. Their guitarist Bill Cone was previously in The Moonrakers, who have been discussed here recently. Later on, he acted in the horror movie classic Phantasm."

My searches came to an end, with some evidence that Walt Rawlins unfortunately passed away in 2010. The final lead is that Walt and Ray were both once involved in a Colorado band called Willie & the Po' Boys, although I don't think that Ray still is. They have a facebook group here where I have not had luck in contacting Ray Styes as yet.

Jeff Simmons was a member in Frank Zappa's Mothers Of Invention for a while in the early '70s. Before this he made two albums on Frank's Straight record label, one of them was a biker movie soundtrack, the other was a solo record called "Lucille Has Messed My Mind Up". Frank Zappa wrote two songs on Lucille, and was a producer, all under the pseudonym "La Marr Bruister". The story is that Zappa discovered Jeff and his band Easy Chair when they opened a Mothers show in 1968. He was immediately taken with Jeff's equal skills in playing both jazz and rock, and by Easy Chair's lyrical sense of humour, all things which had direct parallels with The Mothers. So, Jeff appears here because of his 1969 soundtrack to the hell's angels flick, Naked Angels. This was a Roger Corman production, a guy famous for b-movie/exploitation cinema and cult movies like The Trip and Death Race 2000.  I have used the opening track from the record, called Naked Angels Theme, which is a gloriously groovy fuzz-fest. This was re-issued recently by World In Sound records.


Track four in this comp is from Simon Stokes & The Nighthawks. Stokes is something of an enigma, having made some good music in the '70s and possessing a great earthy, aggressive voice, he's stayed under the radar. His gruff, bar-room blues sound immediately ingratiated him with bikers, on his first record was a track called 'Ride On Angel'. There is not much substantial information about him documented online. At heart he is a bluesman with lots of country sound in there also, although he did make some harder-rocking tunes too. I have found some evidence that he has been playing as recently as last year, and there's some performance photos from 2010 here. Stokes made three albums in the '70s, one with "The Nighthawks" (1970), one with "The Black Whip Thrill Band" (1973) and solo LP "The Buzzard Of Love" (1977). There is a mini-biography of Stokes on Allmusic, which states; "Beginning in 1965, Stokes recorded a number of 45s under names such as the Flower Children and Heathen Angels. At the same time, Stokes became a staff writer at Elektra Records. Forming a band called the Nighthawks, Stokes and MC5 signed to Elektra on the same day."

If you are looking for his heavy cuts, The 1970 Nighthawks album is the best, with tunes like 'Big City Blues', 'Southern Girl', 'Cajun Lil' and 'Down in Mexico'. The Black Whip Thrill Band LP has a couple too, but is more notable for its bizarre cover art showing scenes of sadomasochism, not something that seems to have much to do with the music, maybe Simon Stokes is into that stuff? The album was allegedly banned in the US because of this, making it more desirable to cult music fans. The only common musician apart from Stokes on his '70s LPs was guitarist Donald "Butch" Senneville, who played on the first two. Stokes reappeared in the '90s, after a 20 year hiatus. He has made some more records since, in 1996 he made a collaboration with LSD guru Timothy Leary, for which his '70s guitarists Chris Pinnick and Randall Keith returned. Stokes' most recent LP was "Simon Stokes & The Heathen Angels" in 2010. I have used 'Big City Blues', which appeared on the Outlaw Riders (1971) soundtrack, and first appeared in it's original version as a 1966 single.


Track 6 is from a 1969 movie called The Sidehackers, which is about motorcycle sidehack racing, also known as 'sidecars' in the UK. I haven't seen the movie, but it's now on youtube, having been given the Mystery Science Theater 3000 treatment. By all accounts it's not very good, hopefully it's in the "so bad it's good" category! A soundtrack LP was released, which  apparently consisted mostly of songs from an obscure band called The New Life, who had only made a few singles previously. The LP isn't any great shakes, apart from the track included here; "Ha Lese (Le Di Khanna)". The New Life were California-based, but this great piece of freakbeat is sung in a language I can't confirm. Thanks to Dmitri Mavra in the tdats fb group for pointing out that it appears to be an interpretation of Afro-Jazz trumpeter Hugh Masekela's original, first appearing on his 1966 album, "The Emancipation of Hugh Masekela", which was sung in the South African Sotho language.

There's an interview here with Sam Sinipoli, who was in The Cinderman and The New Life; "14. How did the deal to record music for the movie 'Sidehackers' come about? 
We signed with Ameret records about a year after we started at the Cinnamon Cinder [Long Beach venue]. We recorded a couple of singles and then Ameret hooked us up with Jerry Steiner and Mike Curb (eventual Lt. Governor of California) who were scoring the movie soundtrack. So we placed a few of songs on the soundtrack of this movie. The premier of "The Side Hackers" was a lot of fun. The producer, Jon Hall (of Tarzan fame) rented a 707 and flew the cast and ourselves to Phoenix, AZ for the premier. At the time our record "Ha Lese" was number 1 in Phoenix so we got quite a reception at the movie theater. We also had a few songs on another movie soundtrack. The movie was called "Black Water Gold" and starred Ricardo Montoban. I think that came about because of the first movie deal."


On to track 7. This is another one from East-West Pipeline, equally as cool as the first one, but with a different feel. It's from 'Angels Die Hard', the movie that came before Bury Me An Angel. Both movies had a tall, Amazonian actress called 'Dixie Peabody'. While she had the lead roll in  BMAA, her first roll in ADH was very minor, not even credited. ADH was the first film distributed by Roger Corman's New World Pictures and half the budget was provided by Corman.

It's plot has a twist in that the usual rough and tough biker gang have a chance to redeem themselves by helping with a disastrous small-town mine cave-in, although the townsfolk are not as thankful as maybe they should be. Amongst biker movies, the soundtrack is definitely one of the better ones out there. With East-West Pipeline responsible for most of it, it even has a song from Houston psych act Fever Tree, who had a 1968 hit "San Francisco Girls". It was re-issued on CD in 2012 by Reel Time.



The Black Angels has a story involving conflict between black and white gangs, certainly putting a different spin on the typical biker movie story lines. some of the music was made by a band that was previously called The Zoo. The striking intro to the movie plays out to the track 'The Fast Song', which I used here, along with 'Military Disgust'. The Zoo's album from 1968, "Chocolate Moose", featured some decent psychedelic blueserock, and after becoming Mad Dog they took on a more hard rock sound. The existence of Mad Dog was revealed after Shadoks un-earthed and issued the only thing they recorded, a demo from 1969, on which you can find these songs. It was later issued again by RD Records with some bonus tracks in a package called 'Dawn of the Seventh Sun'.


Up next is California's Orphan Egg, with 'Falling'. This appeared on the soundtrack to 'The Cycle Savages' (1969). Orphan Egg's drummer, George Brix, is a character who was involved with many acts in his career as a session player and staff writer for Sony. During his middle-teens he claims to have had already sold some songs to Capitol records, having to do business through his parents due to his age. His band won a Battle Of The Bands contest and that gained them a recording contract and a couple of movie offers including 'The Young Animals' (1968). Later-on George filled-in for bands such as Cream and Blue Cheer, as well as writing songs that were used by The Hollies and The Yard Birds, and playing for Moby Grape, Quicksilver, Santana and others. He claims to have written and played on more than 50 top ten hits, sometimes under the name Paul Waylie. George claims the offer to write some music for Cycle Savages came from a guy from America International Pictures, the production company that Roger Corman originally worked for before he started New World, and responsible for exploitation movies and biker movies like 'The Wild Angels'. The AIP guy saw them play live at Forest Hills Stadium in New York, opening for The Doors.

Cycle Savages had Bruce Dern in one of his earliest staring-roles as Keeg, the vicious and unhinged gang leader who takes revenge on an artist who happens to absent-mindedly sketch the gang in passing, while they are up to no good.


Track 12 is some incidental music from an English movie called 'Psychomania'. Hilariously bad, it's about a gang of bikers who comit suicide in a pact with the devil, in order to return as the invincible undead. The movie stars notable names like Beryl Reid, the Séance-obsessed mother of the gang's leader, played by Nicky Henson. The great soundtrack was penned by John Cameron, a prolific and well-known library/score writer who also wrote a few hits for the likes of Donovan and Cilla Black. Another of his works was the awesome orchestral version of Whole Lotta Love, which was recorded by the Collective Consciousness Society and used as the theme tune to Top of the Pops for about 15 years in all. The Psychomania OST was released on CD by Trunk records.


With some more cool instrumental music, comes Lenny Stack and his work on the movie "C.C. and Company" (1970). The lead role was acted (in the loosest sense of the word) by the then-New York Jets quarterback Joe Namath, and the leading lady was producer Roger Smith's wife, Ann-Margret. One commenter's opinion on IMDB is that the movie was Smith's attempt to revive his singer/actress wife's ailing career, while also capitalising on Joe Namath's huge popularity at the time. The story is about Joe's character, gang member C.C. Ryder, and his conflict with gang leader 'Moon'. CC takes pity on a girl who his gang start hassling on the side of the road after a car breakdown, and saves her. He falls for the girl, alienating himself from the gang, who eventually attempt to kidnap her.

The movie includes some amusing scenes of chopper bikes attempting to disrupt a dirt bike race, and failing miserably to deal with the terrain.
Lenny Stack is a Big Band composer and musical director for TV, working mostly on music industry award shows. He has written songs for Diana Ross and Dionne Warwick, and composed TV movie scores. I was a little disappointed that he hasn't done any other movies with as high a profile as C.C. and Company (if it can be described as such) because he did a great job on it.



Stone is a cult classic Australian biker movie, about a cop who's job is to go under-cover to discover why the members of biker gang 'The Gravediggers' are being murdered one by one. The movie's notoriety has been boosted by Quentin Tarantino's frequently expressed admiration for it, and a documentary was made in 1999, called Stone Forever.

The soundtrack was made by Billy Green. Born in The Netherlands, Green (aka Wil Greenstreet) was living in Australia at the time and had been guitarist in Aussie bands including The Questions, Doug Parkinson In Focus, King Harvest, Friends and 'Gerry & the Joy Band'. It is stated that he played the music for Stone with members of a band called Sanctuary. In recent years he's lived in the US and had a stint as the house musician for the Empire State Building’s 86th-floor observation deck. Discogs has this to say: "In 1975 he began transforming himself into a world-class jazz alto sax player and composer. He led a number of original jazz funk, acid jazz, and free jazz bands in Austin, Texas, for 10 years. Since 2001 he has lived in Rockland County, New York, where he teaches, composes, and currently plays solo sax."


Chrome and Hot Leather provides track 16, a movie produced in 1971. It's inclusion here is a bit of fun, and I am pretty sure the vocals are sung by Marvin Gaye, yes - not a frequent name you'll see here so please don't disown TDATS... C&HT has a ludicrous plot involving a Green Beret sergeant Mitch, who's girlfriend has been mortally injured in a road accident. Just before her death she divulges that a motorcycle gang called "The Devils" were responsible for running her off the road.

Mitch and his sergeant buddies (including Marvin Gaye in the role of Jim) take military leave and prepare themselves to track down the evildoers. As best as they can, they take on the appearance of a motorcycle gang: bikes, clothes and all, and reek revenge on The Devils. This results in some humorous moments, not least because the clothes they wear make them look more like the Village People than a tough biker gang. The movie has a very early role for Cheryl Ladd (then Cherie Moor) of Charlie's Angels fame, and it was Marvin's second acting performance after TV movie 'The Ballad of Andy Crocker'.



Time for one of my favourite tracks here, from Iron Butterfly. 'The Iron Butterfly Theme' is a quality song from their first album, 'Heavy'. Although they were a patchy band, you can't deny how important and seminal their good tracks were, such as this and In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida. I had to include this when I discovered it was used on the soundtrack to "The Savage Seven" (AIP 1968).

This movie was another to put an ethnic spin on things by pitting a biker gang against a group of Native Americans. The two sides alternate between enemies and accomplices, for it to be later revealed that the real bad guys are local businessman who have orchestrated the entire thing for their own gain. Duane Eddy has a small role in the movie, as does Penny Marshall, who would go on to direct films such as Big and A League of Their Own. Director Richard Rush also directed the cult psychsploitaion film Psych-Out (Dean Stockwell, Jack Nicholson, Bruce Dern) and his most respected, The Stunt Man (Peter O'Toole - 1980).


Davie Allan is a guitarist best known for his work on soundtracks to various teen and biker movies in the 1960s. Allan's backing band is almost always the Arrows (i.e., Davie Allan & the Arrows), although the Arrows have never been a stable lineup. I have used two tracks of his here, one from 'The Wild Angels' (1966), and one from 'Devil's Angels' (1967). I'd say his sound is akin to Link Wray, but with lots of fuzz, in fact he is regarded as one of the main originators of the fuzz guitar sound. There's an interview with Davie over at the ever-great Psychedelic Baby webzine, here. The Davie Allan site says: "In the late sixties, Davie Allan & The Arrows carved their niche in the musical history books with an array of classic instrumentals and two dozen motion picture soundtracks. The most notable of the movies was Roger Corman's cult classic The Wild Angels plus Devil's Angels, The Glory Stompers (Dennis Hopper) and Born Losers (the film that introduced the character Billy Jack). Some of the other 60's "B" films were Riot On Sunset Strip, Thunder Alley, The Angry Breed, Mary Jane, Teenage Rebellion, Hellcats, Mondo Hollywood, The Wild Racers, Wild in The Streets, The Golden Breed, Skaterdater and The Hard Ride."


Rabbit Mackay & The Somis Rhythm Band - Passing Through LP
Rabbit Mackay & The Somis Rhythm Band
Passing Through LP (1969)
The final artist to appear is Rabbit Mackay & The Somis Rhythm Band, who had one great track on the end of the Angels Die Hard LP (along with those of East-West Pipeline, also here). The track 'Tendency to be Free' is found on his second album, Passing Through (1969). The other members on the LP were: David Sueyres (Keys, vocals), Bob Jones (guitar, vocals), Mike Burns (drums), Mike DeTemple (guitar, banjo), Richard Adamson (bass, guitar) and Reji Pekar (lead guitar). Their music is a pretty good mix of blues, psych and garage rock, but I think Tendency To Be Free' is the best they did. Here's some extra info I found online: "Rabbit released a couple of albums on UNI, and his son Manzanio Bay is on Arlo Guthries Durango album. His second UNI album is entitled 'Passing Through'. [The first was called Bug Cloth] He, MIchael DeTemple and Andy Douglas began work on a third album and also were sidemen on the flower power "Vision of Sunshine" LP by Wings Hauser."

Closing this track, and the comp, I have added a speech from a classic scene of Jack Nicholson's and Dennis Hopper's characters in Easy Rider...

Stay free! Rich

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