Saturday, June 9, 2018

TDATS 139: Busted In Georgia [Southern Rock #2]


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Six years and seventy four volumes ago I made an attempt at a southern rock special (Vol 65). While some of the names there were bona fide southern bands, some were not, and were included because their sound fitted in well. On this one I spent a long time looking for as many southern bands as I could, almost all of them are genuine 'southern rock' bands.

A few are from nearby places like Kentucky that I think still have a place here, although people will always argue about what true southern rock is. Is it a geographical thing, or is it an elite of deep south outlaws that sound like Skynyrd or the Allmans? Well, I just see it as amazing rock'n roll from and around the south & southeast corner of the US, with an honesty and feel of its own, and all these bands have it.

One or two of these artists are from label bands, the rest are private press LPs or demos, rare records that command a pretty penny but have been ripped and shared by generous people for all to hear. Two such bloggers I thank for this are Skydog's Elysium and ZosoPat for the southern rock they have shared. Wits End is ripped by myself from the original pressing, and is the only record here I own an original copy of.

This collection is a roaring set of brilliant life-affirming rock that is heavy in places, joyful and carefree in others, and packed with blazing soulful guitars, everything that's great about southern rock...

TRACKS
01. Latter Rain - Freedom (intro) (1976)
       from LP 'Latter Rain'
02. Too Smooth - Crippled Duck (1976)
       from LP 'Too Smooth'
03. Tennessee River Crooks - White Lightning (1976)
       from LP 'Tennessee River Crooks'
04. Southern Creed - Keep On Rockin' (1977)
       from LP 'Will The Real "Creed" Stand Up'
05. Beaverteeth - Dixie Fried (1977)
       from LP 'Beaverteeth'
06. Thunderhead - Busted In Georgia (1975)
       from LP 'Thunderhead '75'
07. Potliquor - Levee Blues (1970)
       from LP 'Levee Blues'
08. Wits End - Tribute (1979)
       from LP 'Rock And By God Roll'
09. Slyder - Move Along (1978)
       from LP 'Slyder'
10. South Paw - Bad Man (1980)
       from LP 'South Paw'
11. Ambrose - Breakout (1978)
       from LP 'Bust Your Nose'
12. Crossroads - Many Times (1979)
       from LP 'Southern Strutter'
13. Tempest - Long Way From Home (1979)
       from LP 'Tempest'
14. Kill Devil - Bye Bye Boogie (1977)
       from LP 'Kill Devil'
15. Raisin' Kane - I Don't Want To Take It (1978)
       from LP 'It's About Time'
16. Latter Rain - Freedom (reprise) (1976)
       from LP 'Latter Rain'

Latter Rain open here, with a mostly instrumental track that book-ends the volume. They were a christian band from Kentucky and play really well with some nimble guitar on the 2-3 heavier tracks of the self-titled LP they made in 1976.

Too Smooth
Too Smooth are next up. 'Crippled Duck' displays their fantastic guitar skills. They are from Austin TX and played between '73 - '81, with an active facebook page (link) showing that some reunion shows have happened since. A demo of theirs had a (presumably unauthorised) s/t release in 1976 by Tiger Lily, one of the most infamous tax-scam record labels. The Acid Archives [2nd ed.] states that this is one of the most sought-after Tiger Lily LPs and there were only two known copies at the time of publication.

It appears they never had an official album release, although the 2011 comps 'Live & Kickin' (link) and 'Still' (link) were officially released in time for a reunion. By the look of some of their posters, they must have been a big draw in Texas, headlining shows supported by other notable Texas names like Bubble Puppy, Sirius [ex-Bubble Puppy] and Shotgun [pre-Vizion] among others!

I found an interview with Tennessee River Crooks (link), which states that although there are two albums floating around, they are the same record, the latter one being a reprint of the self-titled with a new title, 'To A Brother', in tribute to founding member Ronny Waters soon after his death. 1000 of each were printed by a local studio / label called Sound Farm. The track I used here comes with this story from Jimmy Stewart (bass) and Ricky Stewart (drums): They remember cutting 'White Lightning' on a Friday night as a thunderstorm was approaching and they were trying to get the song cut before the storm hit.

Southern Creed (original name) are from Memphis, and were signed by Elektra/Asylum who got them on tours with Nugent, The Cars and Molly Hatchet. The track I used here is some electrifying rock n roll that wouldn't sound out of place on an AC/DC record. The band has voiced some dissatisfaction about their 1977 LP, saying that the thin production didn't convey the power of their true sound. Therefore, I have included a track from their demo here, and it does indeed sound better than the official LP! The demo was privately released on CD in recent years, which states that the original tapes were found and restored by Bob Bradley & Jeff Sawyer.

Creed released an EP in 1983 which went in a more AOR direction, but you'll find them on full power on the demo! A great band indeed, who still play occasional reunions (link).

Albany, Georgia's Beaverteeth were a mostly laid-back group that made two records on RCA Victor in the late seventies. 'Dixie Fried' is from their self-titled debut and is a funky little number with that every-day-life southern humour in some amusing lyrics.

Thunderhead with Johnny Winter
Following Beaverteeth is New Orleans' Thunderhead, another band that suffered the tax-scam label treatment, and some label indifference too unfortunately. Their first album sessions were produced by Johnny Winter, but reportedly ABC Records didn't like them so the band had to re-record with a new producer, with results that the band were not so happy with. The resulting self-titled record was released but then quickly sank with little further label support. A couple of years later another notorious tax-scam label, Guinness Records, released an LP combining some of the original sessions with later recordings, which some people say is a better listen as it has at least some of those early recordings.

The band rectified it all in 2010 with their own remasters of the first recordings, on the 'Thunderhead 75' CD, which 'Busted In Georgia' is taken from. They sure sound good and this band could have been up there with Blackfoot et al in hard southern rock. Read some more about it here.

Next up is Baton Rouge's Potliquor, who will  be known to frequenters of obscure rock blogs where their second album often appears. The title track of that LP is by far my favourite song from them, it has that slow grinding heaviness which is metered-out in that great, long riff.

Wits End from Garland, Texas are here with an absolute barnstormer of a track in 'Tribute'.  Mike Franklin (drums), Karl Lois (lead guitar, voc), Harvey Martin (bass, voc) and Michael 'Bitch' McSpadden (guitar, voc) make up the band and they put together a strong album recorded in Dallas called 'Rock and By God Roll'. The album has a lot of rocking tracks, and aside from a few ballad-like ones which were not so much their forte, they all have funky, tight and fast guitar with shared vocal duties. 'Tribute' is the stand-out which distils all their skills into four minutes of pure rock bliss. They were apparently a christian band but the lyrics don't particularly show it.

Slyder
Track 9 is a departure from the rest, a Floridian band with some power pop sensibilities but also plenty of that good time southern rock feeling. The band features Billy Livesay (link), who in recent years has played with Slow Ride, the band of founding Foghat member Tony Stevens. Slyder throws in some Thin Lizzy, and even some new wave on a couple of other tracks and this is a great record.

Slyder first gained popularity as a covers band, with two adept slide guitarists they added a southern twist to their rock'n roll covers. They made this album in 1978, which is mainly made up of original material but has a few covers, which no doubt went down very well at packed-out shows in the Hialeah and Lauderdale clubs such as "The Other Place", at Hialeah. Slyder also toured nationally with the likes of Mother's Finest, Cheap Trick, Joan Jett, Savoy Brown and The Fixx.

I contacted Billy Livesay briefly for more information on Slyder and he told me that the same band under a different name released another album in 1988, as The Big Bang. Album name: 'Broken Dreams' (link).

Slyder (1984) @ Sunrise Musical Theater Ft. Lauderdale, FL


South Paw (rear)
South Paw's 1980 debut was recorded in Texas and released on a Louisiana label which appears be the band's own label, so I can only guess they are from Louisiana.

Their debut is mainly a boogie rock outing with the heavy stand-out track being 'Bad Man', which stomps along and tells of a Bad Man gun for hire. The band was Robert Tubbs (guitars, voc), Jim Williams (guitars, voc), Gary Moore (bass) and Greg Craig (drums). There's a 1985 LP mentioned on Discogs too, which I have not heard.


Ambrose

According to the CD Baby page where you can download their LP (link), Ambrose were from Cookeville Tennessee and recorded 'Bust Your Nose' in 1978. The album is a straight-forward collection of hard rock and boogie, some of it is quite amateurish in composition but there's plenty of variety between tracks, and some work great, like the fuzzy-riffed 'Breakout' included here.

You can see more pictures etc at this Ambrose facebook page (link)

Crossroads was an Arkansas band with one of the most obviously Lynyrd Skynyrd-influenced sounds in this comp, the guitar harmonies and riffs are mostly good, and the production is impressive for a private press LP.

Tempest 2nd LP with
Barbara Pennington
Nearing the end now and moving on to Tempest from Texas. This 1979 debut album is a genuinely mixed bag with a couple of heavy hitters, one of which is here. It's hard to recommend as a whole due to its inconsistency, but amateurish song compositions are compensated for in some way by good individual performances and the band sounds best when they get down to dirty and direct riffing. They made another LP in 1982 as 'Barbara Pennington & Tempest' which may have improved on things but I have been unable to find that so far.


Kill Devil
Kill Devil provide track 14, a band that I cannot find much info for. The album lists members Stuart McArthur (vocals, keys, guitar, harmonica), Denis Desloge (guitars), Rod Cannon (drums), Jim Stafford (bass), Rob Whyte (vocals, guitars) and Ray Richardson (vocals, guitars). Their contact address is in Merrifield Virginia. The album is another laid back affair with some great guitars that crank it up on a couple of tracks.

Raisin' Kane
Closing on a high is a track from Raisin' Kane's LP.  'It's About Time' was recorded in Tennessee and is a solid set of tight, concise songs that zip along with a minimum of self indulgence and a maximum of rocking-out. Another gem of a private press southern album.

That's it for this one, I hope you enjoyed this volume and if anyone has any info on the more obscure bands I could update here please let me know




Related listening:
The Day After The Sabbath 91: Forced Landing [Heavy AOR & pomp special]
The Day After The Sabbath 126: Into The Pit [US Metal 1976 - 79]
The Day After The Sabbath 128: Birmingham, Alabama special


Saturday, May 12, 2018

TDATS 138: Get Out Of My Life, Woman [Covers Special #2]


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Pass: tdats



Better late than never! Yes this blog is not dead, it's just been on a break, and will be back with more frequency if time allows in the foreseeable future. I'm pretty sure I can, and would like, to reach 200 volumes one day. Thanks to all those that have continued to show interest in it and especially thanks to you guys who have continued to mod and join-in on the facebook group.

This volume has been in gestation for a while, just as the similarly-themed Vol.105 - Goin' Down (link) was, and like that one, this is a bit of fun going through a number of covers of a stone cold classic song. In this case it's Get Out Of My Life Woman.

This song was written by New Oeleans' writer/producer Allen Toussaint, and first released on record by Lee Dorsey in 1966. Like "Going Down", it was covered countless times by famous and obscure artists alike, and it's such a great song that it can fit any style from blues to funk to hard rock/psych or anything else....it's just one of those timeless compositions that grabs you from the first bar. (How many bars have you heard this in?)

TRACKS

01. Ginger Ale (1970)
       single and "Cosmarama 20 Top ProgPsych Behemoths"
02. Made in Sweden (1970)
       from LP "Live! at the Golden Circle"
03. Ant Trip Ceremony (1968)
       from LP "24 Hours"
04. The Five D (1967)
       single and "Ottawa Rocks, The Sir John A. Years"
05. Heather Black (1978)
       from "Heather Black Live"
06. The Love Exchange (1968)
       from LP "The Love Exchange"
07. Mountain (1974) [Live]
       from "King Biscuit Flower Hour"
08. The Blackburds [Instrumental] (1967)
       from EP "Play The Bugaloo"
09. The Conqueroo (1968)
       from LP "The Vulcan Gas Company"
10. Q65 (1966)
       from LP "Revolution"
11. Spirit [Live] (1972)
       from "The Original Potato Land"
12. South 40 (1968)
       from "Live At Someplace Else"
13. Mighty Joe Drake (1969)
       single
14. The Roadrunners (1970)
       single and from "How Is the Air Up There?"
15. The Lost Souls
       single

Ant Trip Ceremony - 24 Hours
Opening is Ginger Ale from Amsterdam, who made a bunch of funky singles (this is no exception) and had lots of connections to other bands such the Dean Alan Set.

Made In Sweden was a prog/jazz/blues supergroup from Stockholm who made five LPs. Their live rendition of this song is some blistering bluesrock that really shows off some instrumental skill!

Ohio's Ant Trip Ceremony will be familiar to obscure psych fans already, their 1968 LP "24 Hours" has gained notoriety, largely due to it's rarity and mind-melting cover art. Ottowa's The Five D has been comped in a few Canadian collections and made a few singles in the late sixties. They stand out in this collection by taking a less typical direction with this great driving acoustic pop version.

Track 5 is live from what appears to be a Southern Rock band called Heather Black. Details are a little unclear and info on Discogs may be incorrect, but if they are, this band made a self-titled studio LP in 1970, and a double live album was issued multiple times in 1970, 1972 and 1978 (some of which possible bootlegs?) on "American Playboy Records" (link). In this song DJ Buddy King is thanked, who a bit of googling indicates may have been of Louisiana's KVOL (link).

The Blackburds
LA's flower power The Love Exchange made one LP in 1968 and had a hit with single "Swallow the Sun". This may be the lightest track on here but it's the only one with a female lead so it's something a bit different, one of those times a girl sings lyrics written from a man's perspective without altering them.

France's The Blackburds appear to have played with pop star Johnny Hallyday, and they made an EP in 1967 called "Play the Bugaloo" which this groovy instrumental is taken from.

Austin TX's The Conqueroo played at The Vulcan venue alongside names such as Thirteenth Floor Elevators and Johnny Winter (link). A live record was posthumously released some time later, called  "From The Vulcan Gas Company".

Randy California
The Hague's Q65 are a Dutch rock classic and have been on the blog before, this track is from their "Revolution" LP, with their usual swagger.

The brilliant Spirit are famous and have been on here before too of course. This live track may have been originally recorded when guitarist Randy California was performing his own stuff but it has since been consolidated on "The Original Potato Land", a 'lost' Spirit LP. This is most definitely the sound that contemporary stoner rock bands such as Kyuss were channelling, that guitar sound!

South 40's rendition here is fast and cool, with a bit of keyboard action. The main reason for its inclusion is that South 40 was the original name of Minneapolis brass rockers Crow, who legendarily wrote Evil Woman, which Black Sabbath made their own soon after! This is from South 40's 1968 album "Live At Someplace Else".

The closing three tracks are all from obscure singles, and they all offer a fresh take on the song. Mighty Joe Drake's funking monster is just fun as hell, I love the speed, psych guitar and Joe's aggressive delivery, plus the funky breaks. The Roadrunners single is featured on many New Zealand comps and is a piece of rough'n ready freakbeat with raw guitar power, and The Lost Souls' closer is a hyperspeed wig-out propelled by pounding keys and frantic drums that enters and exits like a hurricane!


Thanks for listening, as ever.

Related listening:
The Day After The Sabbath 105: Goin' Down [covers special]

Monday, May 15, 2017

Heat Exchange & Squadran released at last!




This year, two bands that I have contacted for interviews on the blog in the past have released previously un-heard material. I'm very happy that the exposure they got here has contributed in some way and helped or encouraged them get their music out there! These bands are Heat Exchange from Toronto, and Squadran from New York.


Reminiscence
[Buy LP/CD/Digital HERE]
Heat Exchange worked on an album in 1972 which was recorded by a major Canadian label but, apart from a few resulting singles, was never released. You can read the extensive story that band-leader Craig Carmody wrote for Volume 96 in this blog (link). Their music is fresh, progressive, frequently heavy and always catchy, and the belated release of the LP "Reminiscence" by Out-Sider (distributed by Guerssen Records) is a very satisfying end to the Heat Exchange story. It pulls together all the original masters that were intended for the album, four of which have never been heard, and all the singles.
 

Squadran
[Buy: CD Baby, Amazon]
Squadran was featured in the US metal Volume 126 (link) and recorded an excellent single in 1979, on which "The Wall" was some of the fastest, most extreme metal I had ever heard from the 1970s. Drummer Mike Gandia has recently over-seen the release of their only recorded material from around the time of the single, on a new CD called "You Are Under Attack". This is four studio tracks and two live.

The music lives up to the promise shown by "The Wall", with obvious homage to Sabbath, but Mike also points out that Squadran were one of the first US bands to show appreciation for Judas Priest and were heavily influenced by them also.

Check out the previews below and support the bands at Heat Exchange Guerssen and Squadran Facebook. Cheers to Craig and Mike, and thanks for listening!

Further reading:
TDATS #96: Heat Exchange (with Craig Carmody)
TDATS #126: Into The Pit [US Metal 1976 - 79] (feat. Mike Gandia)

Previews
Heat Exchange

Squadran

Saturday, April 29, 2017

The Day After The Sabbath 137: Tierra del Fuego [Argentina 1]


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It's time to look at Latin American rock again, this is the fifth round after Brazil (84), Mexico (89), Peru (104) and the general collection in vol 43. If you want more of the same flavour, you could also add the "Chicano and Latin rock in the USA" of vol 118 to that list too.

Argentina has always been a prolific maker of music, along with specialities like its native folk and tango scenes, it has been prolific in rock'n roll since the '50s. The country prides itself in "Rock Nacional" and singing in the native tongue of Spanish - you'll notice none of the songs in this volume are in English, which is unusual compared to any of the other national comps I have done, however exotic their location.

Some explanation of Argentina's love of rock is expressed here: "...there was no freedom in Argentina at that time. It was a time of oppression – there was a dictatorship. The police used to arrest hippies and cut their hair, or arrest them and torture them. And when they were freed a lot of them took up their guitars and began writing songs. It was a way to protest their situation. Rock Nacional became a motive to exist." - Ezequiel Abalos, DJ and Rock historian (link)

There are many old bands to find from Argentina, of the South American countries it has probably the largest amount of hard rock I have come across so far and this hour of music will definitely have to be a "part 1" for the country, as there are lots more to include later in the blog, such as Vox Dei and Orion's Beethoven and many others. If anyone wants to suggest bands for a later volume please do!

In terms of hard rock and "Rock Nacional", Los Gatos are one of the bands to mention first. They were the first to make albums solely of their own compositions, and the first to sing only in Spanish. They were established in the Santa Fe city of Rosario in 1967, with two members coming from beat band Los Gatos Salvajes. Two prominent names that came from Los Gatos are original singer Litto Nebbia and Norberto Aníbal Napolitano (aka 'Pappo') who joined in 1969. Los Gatos' final LP in 1970 was one of Argentina's first LPs to include the "hard rock" combination of hammond organ with Pappo's distorted riffs, although most of its songs still bear the hallmarks of their beat/garage origins.

B.A. Rock I in 1970
Picture source: scielo.org.ar
Argentina's first big festival when it comes to hard rock and prog was the capital's "B.A. Rock" (Buenos Aires Rock), which initially had three annual installments from 1970 to 1972. It was organised by Pelo magazine editor Daniel Ripoll and the first two were staged at the Palermo Velodrome.

Los Gatos were there, as well as Vox Dei and names showing-up in this comp such as Miguel Abuelo, Contraluz, Piel De Pueblo and Pappo's Blues. Later the festival drew international names like the UK's Spirit Of John Morgan. In 1982 there was a revival with "B.A. Rock IV".

B.A. Rock II (1971)

TRACKS
01. Alejandro Medina y La Pesada - Algo Muy Profundo [intro edit] (1974)
       from album 'Alejandro Medina y La Pesada'
02. Contraluz - La Sarna Del Viento (1973)
       from album 'Americanos'
03. El Reloj - Vuelve El Día a Reinar (1973)
       single - also found on "Cronologia I" (BMG 1995)
04. Miguel Cantilo y Grupo 'Sur' - Algo Está Por Suceder (1975)
       from album 'Miguel Cantilo y Grupo Sur'
05. La Banda Del Paraiso - No Lo Veo (1973)
       from album 'La Banda Del Paraiso'
06. Ricardo Soulé - Muchos Caminos y Desafios (1977)
       from album 'Vuelta a Casa'
07. Miguel Abuelo & Nada - Octavo Sendero (1973)
       from album 'Miguel Abuelo & Nada'
08. Los Gatos - Invasion (1970)
       from album 'Rock De La Mujer Perdida'
09. Piel De Pueblo - Silencio Para Un Pueblo Dormido (1972)
       from album 'Rock De Las Heridas'
10. Caballo Vapor - Sembrare Tu Piel (1976)
       single
11. Pescado Rabioso - Sombra De La Noche Negra (1973)
       from album 'Pescado 2'
12. Plus - Apagón De Luces En La Curva (1978)
       from album 'Plus'
13. Aquelarre - Canto (1972)
       from album 'Aquelarre'
14. Luis Alberto Spinetta - Castillo De Piedra (1971)
       from album 'Almendra'
15. Pappo's Blues - Insoluble (1972)
       from album 'Pappo's Blues 2'
16. Alejandro Medina y La Pesada - Algo Muy Profundo [reprise edit] (1974)
       from album 'Alejandro Medina y La Pesada'

References
magicasruinas.com.ar | lahistoriadelrock.com.ar | rock.com.ar
ContraluzRock.blogspot.co.uk

Alejandro Medina y La Pesada
Starting (and ending) with edits of a track from Alejandro Medina y La Pesada's eponymously-titled LP, these book-end the comp with some haunting progressive folk rock. Bass player and song writer Alejandro Medina was in a bunch of bands including forming blues rockers Manal, as well as Pappo's Blues and Aeroblus with Pappo.

La Pesada del Rock and Roll (literally meaning "The Heavy Rock and Roll") was originally formed by producer Jorge Álvarez as a backing band for Billy Bond. Throughout its changing roster it included many of Argentina's top rock musicians and backed other records such as Raúl Porchetto's Cristo Rock, and made an LP proper in 1972 as La Pesada called "Buenos Aires Blus". La Pasada has its own Spanish Wiki page (link).

Contraluz - "Americanos"
Contraluz - "Americanos"
Contraluz opens firing on all cylinders with the next track, they made an album in 1973 called "Americanos" which has a diverse mix of plaintive folk-tinged prog with flutes and some heavy blasters with really fierce guitar credited to Carlos Barrios.

"La Sarna Del Viento" rages along with impassioned vocals from Alvaro Cañada, it's about as heavy and foreboding as anything from 1973. The break-down at the half way point is pure over-driven heavy metal and this whole track is an absolute delight that builds and builds. Contraluz has made occasional re-appearances and recorded a new album as recently as 2011.


El Reloj - Vuelve El Día a Reinar
El Reloj 45
b/w "Vuelve El Día a Reinar"
Rosario's El Reloj ("The Clock") started in 1971 and made their name as one of Argentina's original purveyors of heavy progressive rock. They are often compared to Deep Purple, and with their swirling hammond and fast, technical style that often verges on heavy metal, they certainly deserve that comparison.

Their early singles, of which "Vuelve El Día a Reinar" is one, have a more direct hard rock approach, their subsequent albums became more symphonic and experimental, while still frequently displaying metallic speed and precision. El Reloj has sporadically made new LPs into the 2000s but has unfortunately been hindered by the deaths of some original members.

Miguel Cantilo y Grupo 'Sur'
Miguel Cantilo y Grupo 'Sur'
The Miguel Cantilo y Grupo 'Sur' LP was released in 1975 (although it would appear to have been recorded in 1973) which brought together the talents of Miguel Cantilo who had previously been one half of the folk-rock duo Pedro y Pablo, and musicians from other acts such as Piel De Pueblo (guitarist Willy Pedemonte) and La Cofradía De La Flor Solar (writer Kubero Díaz - also of La Pesada Del Rock & Roll).

Similarly to Contraluz, and seemingly many other Argentine acts of the early '70s, the record uses a base of folk songs and incorporates some wild hard-rocking when the mood fits. "Algo Está Por Suceder" is a great example of this, and hits some frantic highs with great interplay of guitar and violin with Miguel's versatile vocals. Violinist Jorge Pinchevsky (also of La Pesada) later played on Gong's "Shamal" LP.

La Banda Del Paraiso
La Banda Del Paraiso
La Banda Del Paraiso's sole LP from 1973 is a boogie-blues affair which is played very competently and in the main is a fun laid-back set featuring a horn section. The band included past and future members of Pappo's Blues (Black Amaya - also of Pescado Rabioso) and Vox Dei (Raúl Fernández) among others.

It's not heavy but on the closing track "No Lo Veo" ("I do not see it") the band lets it all hang out with a thick stoner jam full of wah wah / fuzz pedal delights and looping solo motifs that repeat until burnt deeply into the synapses.

Ricardo Soulé - 'Vuelta a Casa'
Ricardo Soulé - 'Vuelta a Casa'
Next up is a track from the debut solo LP of a founding Vox Dei member, Ricardo Soulé. One gets the impression that Ricardo is a big fan of American rock and hard southern rock especially, as 'Vuelta a Casa' ('Back Home') is largely bereft of any Argentine influences and goes straight for a mid-paced solid chugging hard rock sound with some country twang.

There's not a lot of variation between the songs but what's there is a solid reliable set of grooving riffs and if you like Blackfoot you may enjoy this one. What it also has is a hint of '70s UK metal, so maybe Ricardo was listening to some Judas Priest or Thin Lizzy back then?

Miguel Abuelo & Nada
Miguel Abuelo & Nada
Bearing resembalance to Contraluz, Jethro Tull and the Italian school of '70s heavy prog, the Miguel Abuelo & Nada LP mixes varied styles that veer between accoustic folk, Beatles playfulness, Vox/Farfisa-assisted blues improv and doomy hard rock. It makes for an interesting journey.

Miguel Abuelo started Los Abuelos de la Nada in the sixties which appears to have been a hippie collective type band with a rotating line-up that didn't officially release any records until the '80s, passing through its ranks were many well-known names including the previously-mentioned Pappo & Kubero Diaz, and La Pesada/Manal guitarist Claudio Gabis.

If you dig Jethro Tull or maybe the cello/viola-driven heavy prog of Darryl Way's Wolf you should find tracks here to like.

Los Gatos - 'Rock De La Mujer Perdida'
Los Gatos
'Rock De La Mujer Perdida'
Before we start, the story goes that Los Gatos intended to picture a plus-sized girl in a presumably provocative pose on the cover of their final album, and entitle it "Rock of the Rotten Woman", but were stopped on both counts by the label, so they went with the band's keyboard player Ciro Fogliatta dressed in drag and the toned-down name of "Rock of the Lost Woman" (link).

Pappo joined for the previous Gatos LP, and on this one his bluesy guitar, heavier than before, combined with Fogliatta's prominent hammond organ, makes for some of Argentina's earliest hard rock on the tracks "Requiem Para Un Hombre Feliz", "No Fui Hecho Para Esta Tierra" and most-noticeably the instrumental appearing here, "Invasion".

Piel De Pueblo - 'Rock De Las Heridas'
Piel De Pueblo
'Rock De Las Heridas'
Piel De Pueblo were a short-lived act that there is not a lot of info out there for but their sole album "Rock De Las Heridas" is one of the best LPs I have included here, I clearly like it as it's popped up twice before in the blog.

The whole thing has a druggy, loose feel which is somewhere dead in the middle of hard rock and heavy psych; tempos shift, pedals wah and guitar leads wail in the glorious fug of swaggering riffs, sometimes complemented by violin that's played with the same attitude.

The guitar glory of this record can be partly attributed to there being two lead players battling it out; Nacho Smilari (later of Cuero) and Pajarito Zaguri, who were presumably already in sync from playing together previously in La Barra de Chocolate.

Caballo Vapor "Sembrare Tu Piel"
Caballo Vapor
"Sembrare Tu Piel"
Caballo Vapor (which amusingly translates as "Steam Horse" or "Horse Vapour") started out as a brass rock band that incorporated some hard rock, quite a unique proposition in Argentina at the time, and made a decent LP as such in 1973.

It seems they dropped the brass section and although they did not record another album, continued in a funky, commercial direction on various singles until 1977.

Admittedly I have not heard all these singles but it seems that one of them had a B-side which was one of the heaviest things they did and that's what's included here. "Sembrare Tu Piel" hits a mean groove and thuds along in a satisfyingly Status Quo-like manner, with excellent bluesy guitar licks ricocheting off the main riff.

Pescado Rabioso 2
Pescado Rabioso 2
Pescado Rabioso was the second prominent band of  Luis Alberto Spinetta after his first, Almendra, had split and he had been travelling for a while. Spinetta is regarded as one of the most important figures in Argentine rock and he appears to have been a very talented and diverse writer; the many acts he started, or was associated with, cover many types of rock from psych-pop to hard rock to fusion.

Pescado Rabioso's three LPs (which was only really two as band-efforts, as the third is a Spinetta solo record in all but name) were very diverse but had some great rocking tracks and Sombra De La Noche Negra ("Black Night Shadow") is one of them.

Plus (1978)
Plus (1978)
Plus was started around 1975 by two previous members of Escarcha; Hugo Racca (bass, vocals) and Julio Sáez (guitar, vocals).

The first LP "No Pisar el Infinito" is my favourite but as I have mined it for the blog before, here is a track from their second, which was called just "Plus" originally.

It's not quite as brooding or heavy as the great debut LP but it still has their excellent playing and good hard rock tracks, albeit in a slightly more upbeat, commercial vein. Singer Saul Blanch was later in heavy metal band Rata Blanca.

Aquelarre 1972
Aquelarre 1972
Here's a track from an off-shoot of Spinetta's Almendra, called Aquelarre (menaing 'Coven' or Witches' Sabbath). Rodolfo García (drums) and Emilio del Guercio (bass and vocals) formed it after Almendra split.

They were not a heavy rock band and certainly less-so than some of Spinetta's later bands, but the debut s/t album is where to find some nice rocking riffs with clavinet used to make them sound a bit more funky and distinctive. Héctor Starc's brilliant guitar is a joy to hear. 'Canto' (included here), 'Jugador' and 'Movimiento' are the groovy tracks but it's a good album all the way through, while their second album is more mellow.

Luis Alberto Spinetta - Almendra
Luis Alberto Spinetta - Almendra
(1971)
The penultimate track is from Luis Alberto Spinetta himself, from his first solo record after Almendra. I had some confusion with this as I first heard these songs on various re-issues that have come over the years that had different names, but it appears that the original release of the record was in 1971 and called 'Almendra', which is confusing; the cover of that issue even shows the band Almendra but in fact the music was played after Almendra split, by Spinetta with guests Pappo and drummer Héctor "Pomo" Lorenzo also of Pappo's Blues, as a three-piece. Various sources infer that the record label cashed-in on the defunct Almendra's status by using their image and giving the LP that name.

So on to the music. There's some of Pappo's heavy fuzz guitar but compared to the compact, efficient blues rockers of Papo's Blues, it's balanced by Spinetta's more ambitious song-writing and some people have compared its mixture of folk and rock to Led Zeppelin. This is especially apt as Spinetta's vocals do remind of Robert Plant's vocal stylings in places.

The mellower folk-inspired tracks outnumber the heavy ones but there's two absolute nuggets of heaviness on this LP: 'Castillo De Piedra' which is included here and features Pappo's fuzzy guitar grunt, and 'Era De Tontos' (which I included on Vol43) that is slower but menacing, in a 'No Quarter'-type way if I'm going to continue with Zep comparisons.

Pappo's Blues 2
Pappo's Blues 2
On to the final band in this comp and it's the one and only Pappo's Blues. In terms of heaviness and the kind of music this blog mainly exists for, Pappo's Blues is the go-to Argentine band in this particular volume, and their first three records in particular. I have used tracks from the first and third already in TDATS so here is a track from "Pappo's Blues 2" called "Insoluble", which displays his band's chugging blues-based rock.

Pappo started his band with some guys he met while they were all in an early formation of La Pesada del Rock and Roll; Black Amaya (drums) and Vitico Bericiartua (bass - soon replaced by David Lebón). By the third LP Amaya and Lebón had left to join Pescado Rabioso, so in came Héctor 'Pomo' Lorenzo on drums and Carlos Alberto 'Machi' Rufino on bass.

On February 25th, 2005, Pappo died in an accident on his motorcycle, leaving a legacy of excellent rock and blues in Argentine history. Since Pappo's Blues he had started bands such as Aeroblus and Riff, as well as continuing a solo and collaborative career, and is sorely-missed by the rock and metal scenes that he had a huge influence on.

Further related listening:
The Day After The Sabbath 43: Transfusión de Luz [Latin rock pt.1]
The Day After The Sabbath 84: Liberdade Espacial [Brazil pt.1]
The Day After The Sabbath 89: Pipa de la Paz [Mexico pt. 1]
The Day After The Sabbath 104: Onsta la Yerbita [Peru pt. 1]
The Day After The Sabbath 118: La Fuente del Ritmo [Latin and Chicano rock in the US]

Saturday, April 8, 2017

James Rutledge [of Bloodrock] - Hooray For Good Times [1976 Hard Rock Texas]

Download from [mf] or [yd]
Unzip password:  tdats

Here's a really good LP from one-time drummer/singer of Texas hard rock band, Bloodrock. There's plenty of upbeat, melodic good-time tracks and heavy rockin' tracks too. Jim Rutledge should have made some more solo records! His departure from Bloodrock before album "Passage" marked what many people view as a decline in Bloodrock's quality, and Lee Pickens who plays on this record, left around the same time. Rumour has it that Rutledge originally left to strike out with a solo record collaboration with John Nitzinger, which was made but never released.



The title track is an especially nice track, a thoughful one almost sounding like Here I Go Again by Whitesnake in the first part, and the harder tracks like Soul Survivor, Drivin' You Insane and On My Way Up are some of the best, funkiest hard southern rock you may ever hear. Other players on this record include touring / session guitarist Doug Rhone (Gladstone / Neil Diamond), Michael Rabon (The Five Americans / Choctaw / solo), Jim Grant (Michael Rabon, The Five Americans), Thom Caccetta (Michael Rabon, Doc Severinsen), Dahrell Norris (Sonny & Cher, Freddy Fender, Dr. John) and Kenneth Whitfield (Texas Muzic Machine - With Jim Rutledge).

Credits
Guitars - Michael Rabon, Doug Rhone, Lee Pickens, Tommy Savanna
Bass - Jim Grant, Thom Caccetta
Drums - Dahrell Norris
Keyboards - Kenneth Whitfield

Produced by Rutledge, Rabon And Smith
Engineered by Don Smith, Thom Caccetta

Tracklist
A1    Brown Paper Bag
A2    Laughin' And Cryin'
A3    One Step Ahead Of The Law
A4    Drivin' You Insane
A5    Sole Survivor
B1    Hooray For Good Times
B2    Star Trackin'
B3    On My Way Up
B4    I Can Fly
B5    New York City

Release infos
RYM
Discogs

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Bang Interview with Frank Ferrara, courtesy of Lucille over at Controradio Firenze



Bang in 1972 (l-r) Frank Ferrara, Tony Diorio, Frank Gilcken
(picture from Bang's facebook page)
Download from: [mf] or [yd]

Hi again! Last year the Philadelphia band Bang, who I presume most of you will know by now (appearing on Vol 1 after all!), made a concerted effort to play frequently and see parts of the world that had eluded them during their three-album tenure with Capitol Records in the early seventies. Previous to that, they had played a few reunion shows since the 2000's, and Rise Above's 2010 box set remaster of their records.

Just prior to their 2016 tour of Europe, Lucille aka Lucyfer of Controradio Firenze in Italy (podcast archive here) interviewed Bang's frontman Frank Ferrara and they talked about the band's past and present career, as well as their rekindled enthusiasm to play again more regularly. At the time, Lucille offered to contribute the interview to TDATS, but unfortunately that was around the time I was taking a hiatus from doing the blog. So, here it is now, transcribed by myself. Better late than never!

Listen here and read my transcription following



Interview

Lucille: It’s a great honour to introduce a very special guest, Frank Ferrara from Bang is with us tonight. Hi Frank!

Frank at a show this year
(2017
)
Frank: Thank you so much, hello everybody.

Lucille: Bang is a band that is familiar to the listeners of this show, as I often play Bang songs here, and Frank is the bassist and singer from the original line up. So Frank, first I would like you to tell us something about the roots of Bang, going back to the starting point of your career, and that would be the show in Orlando in 1971 when you played on the same stage as Rod Stewart and Deep Purple. Would you tell us about that crucial show?

Frank: Three days before the Rod Stewart / Deep Purple show [and before we knew anything about it] we had left Philadelphia in a station wagon with a trailer, and were heading to Florida [with the intention of finding places to play there]. We really had no particular place to go, we had our equipment, we had gotten some marijuana, and we stopped to buy some rolling papers.

We were at Daytona Beach which was maybe two or three hours from Orlando and we went into a record store to buy some rolling papers, there was a poster on the wall that said ‘Battle of the Bands’, so we asked the guy behind the counter where that was because we wanted to play the show. He said it was an old poster and that show was last week. “If you guys have a band, Deep Purple and Rod Stewart are playing in Orlando, why don’t you go there? Maybe they’ll let you play.”

So, we spent that night in a tent, drinking some beer and just talking and talking, and we decided “yeah what the hell, why don’t we see if we can go play the show?” We got up the next day, drove to Orlando and pulled behind the venue where the show was. We knocked on the door, this guy came out and we introduced ourselves as Bang from Philadelphia, “We’re the best fuckin' band in the world and we want to play tonight”. He let us in to set up our stuff. So, we had talked our way in to opening up for Deep Purple and Small Faces!

Everything in life is about timing, seventy two hours earlier we were just driving to Florida with a U-Haul with no idea what would happen. So we took a chance and, y’know, it was amazing. Opening up with Faces and Deep Purple, around the time that Purple’s Machine Head had just come out.

Lucille: You said it was a question of timing, but I think it was a mixture of fate and boldness, because you were really bold to force that hand of fate, so to say.

Frank: We had to. Here’s the thing, because we rehearsed every night for eighteen months, I mean every night, we’re talking seven days a week. We were always together, we learnt how to write and we became very tight, we were three people as one basically. When we went to Florida we were ready, we really believed in each other, and it’s funny you say that because the promotor guy who answered the door said, “Hey man, you guys’ got balls like this, and you sound good.”

If you don’t believe in yourself Lucille, nobody else is going to believe in you. That’s the kind of attitude you have to project from the stage, I think you can tell that with most bands, if they really like each other or if they’re just going through the motions. Our music was good (thank you God) but I think the promotor saw our determination and our desire, which was just as much why we got the show as the music itself.

Lucille: What happened then? A short time after playing that gig you got a contract with Capitol Records.

Frank: We played while the people were coming in, the lights were still on, and we had about two feet of stage left to use, it was a very small thing. The promoter of the show Rick Bowen said “You guys did really well. Listen, you’re going to Florida, down to Fort Lauderdale where I’m doing a show with Steppenwolf next week, if you guys wanna open up the show.”

Right away he took an interest in us. He said he had a hotel in Fort Lauderdale where we could stay. We waited a week and we drove to Richmond to do the Steppenwolf show. After that he asked if we wanted to do another show with The Guess Who, and at that point, when we stayed at the hotel in Fort Lauderdale, there was a studio there, Criteria Studios, which went on to be one of the bigger studios at that time. We went in and did our demo, of Death of a Country, which is what we’d been working on for eighteen months in the basement. So after the Faces-Purple concert we did two or three more shows, we did the demo and then Capitol and Atlantic Records were both interested in the band, and we were waiting to see which one of those to go with.

Lucille: We know you decided to go with Capitol, it doesn’t sound like you had an idyllic partnership with them, in fact Capitol decided not to release Death of a Country. What were the reasons behind that decision?

Frank: Capitol Records at the time was very middle-of-the-road. Atlantic had all the hard rock groups, Zeppelin etc, everyone that was heavy, and Capitol was more of a contemporary label. They were just getting ready to lose Grand Funk Railroad. They came back to us and said they didn’t think a debut concept album would be commercial enough to put out. Now, the only reason we went with Capitol was because The Beatles were on there, they were our heroes. We were kids, we were 18 years old, we trusted everybody at that age. We thought Capitol Records would do right by the band.

What was happening was they didn’t believe in Death of a Country so they gave us two weeks to write another album. They sent a producer down, he said they don’t want to release DoaC, they think it will go over everyone’s head. So we were disillusioned, but what did we know? We were the musicians, we trusted them. It’s your record company, you sign with them, you trust them because as a musician, you never know the business side of music, which is nothing like the real side of music.

Lucille: In fact you were kind of forced to change a lot, because Death of a Country is more of a spiritual, eco-friendly, psychedelic concept album with some hard rock, while your self-titled debut is more hard rock, more Black Sabbath-style, so you had to change a lot?

Frank: Back in the seventies, bands did two albums a year, so you only had six months in between recordings before you recorded another record. We had two weeks to write the Bang album which in my mind wasn’t a whole lot of time. But we did it, because we knew we could write songs. Still, at the time Capitol was trying to make us more commercial, more commercial, more commercial, so after we did DoaC in the studio they rejected it and we had to write a whole different style of music.

They used to call us the Grand Black Zeppelin and say we sounded like Grand Funk, Black Sabbath and Led Zeppelin all rolled in to one. To me it was like “Wow, if we’re that good we should be bigger than The Beatles ya’know. We were writing all kinds of music and Capitol wanted top-40 hits. They kept giving us the pressure, “We need a hit record, we need a hit record”.

We weren’t a top-40 band, we were a concert band. We were a band you watched to see a show, we didn’t have hooks, we weren’t Helen Reddy, we weren’t The Raspberries, but Capitol kept sending us stuff and we were like “Why did we even sign with these guys?” If they didn’t believe in our music and were trying to change it why did they even sign us?

Lucille: It doesn’t make any sense

Frank: It doesn’t make any sense. That was where we learned that “the music business” is the business of music, like selling shoes, it’s not about heart. When you write a song it’s about heart, it’s about your spirit, but you gotta sell records, how many are you going to sell? It’s like selling shoes. We learned right away that this is not good. It was disillusioning, it was like an oxymoron.

We went to Woodstock, it’s like a happy feeling, you think everybody’s your friend and then you find out that it’s not really like that at all. It’s about making money. It broke our hearts because we really believed in Death of a Country. I’ve always thought “Wow, maybe if they did release DoaC we might never have made the Bang album.” You don’t know why things happen in life, maybe if we had released DoaC it wouldn’t have done anything.

Lucille: But in some way the commercial ideas of Capitol succeeded, there was a time when Bang were quite famous because you were in the charts.

Frank: Yes, our first single “Questions” was in the forties on the charts and it went to #2 in Hong Kong, it was like #2 on the moon or something. Again, the business took over and they stopped working that record. Long story short, I think what happened with the band was, six months after Bang was signed with the label, Capitol records got a new president and our producer went to Epic records. Everybody at Capitol tower in Hollywood that was behind our band was gone. So at that point other producers and other bands were coming in and all the producers pushed their bands, they don’t care about some other producer’s band. They move to something else, “We work them for a couple of months then let’s move to something else.”

It never mattered to us, sure it was frustrating but we knew we could write songs and we knew we were good and we just tried to keep the faith. That’s what you gotta do, you gotta face adversity and plough ahead because like I was saying before, if you don’t believe it, nobody else will believe it. You have to do that in anything in life really.

Lucille: What about your last record with Capitol, it was 1973 and it was called simply “Music”. It was more pop-melodic, somehow almost Beatles-esque. What inspired that change?

Humble from Mother/Bow to the King


Frank: Even on DoaC we always did a lot of harmony. I think harmony in vocals is just as important as the instruments and we liked the two-part and three-part harmonies. The thing with “Music”, that was our final thing with Capitol. After the Bang album they basically made us change drummers right before the Mother album which was our second album. So we ended up recording the Mother album and Music with a different drummer. The continuity was getting worse and worse, we did “No Sugar Tonight” by The Guess Who just because Capitol was pushing us to get a hit record and by the time we did the Music album we changed our sound, we changed our style because we were trying to do what the label wanted us to do. We got more commercial, that’s why the Music album is so different.
Hey ya’know what? Bang was always Tony Diorio’s lyrics, Frank Gilcken’s guitar and my melodies and vocals. Even though the album is not heavy and in your face, I think we have some great songs on that record.

Lucille: I like that album very much, it’s a very good album. 

Frank Gilcken (guitar)
at a show this year
Frank: The people that liked the Bang album which was much heavier thought we had sold-out by the Music album, we didn’t sound hard & heavy and Frankie’s guitar wasn’t in your face, it was more of a pop record but hey, for us, I think if you try to sound the same on every record you get stale. We were young, I think as musicians you follow your talent where it takes you. I don’t want to make the same record over and over again, that would be boring and back then it was fun to write some different kinds of songs, to use the Mellotron, to do all those things back then. It was fun changing and we evolved. Not that we couldn’t write anything heavy, that’s just not the mood we were in that day ya’know? That’s what music is, it’s a mood and you’re in a different mood every half hour.

Lucille: After many years, Death of a Country finally saw the light when it was re-issued by Rise Above records. How did the collaboration with Rise Above start?

Rise Above's Bang box set
"Bullets"
Frank: Lee Dorian approached us, he was a long-time Bang fan, and he said he’d love to do a box set of our records. By then we’d just started playing again, it was a great idea and we were very flattered that somebody wanted to do a “box set”. Lee and Rise Above did a great job and we were very happy with it. It came from Lee getting a hold of us, getting a hold of our drummer/lyricist Tony Diorio and we just struck a deal for them to put the box set together. 

Lucille: And it’s a deluxe remastered CD set with everything you made right?

Frank: Yes, it was our entire Capitol catalogue.

Cover sticker from the "Bullets" box set: "Limited Edition Four CD Mini LP Box set containing three classic full-length albums released between 1971 and 1973. Also includes the "unreleased at the time" debut album Death of a Country. Plus forty-page collectors booklet and Exclusive sticker. Black Sabbath heaviness meets Grand Funk Groove & catchy as hell"

Lucille: You are from Philadelphia, a place that was more into sweet soul music than hard rock at that time, so how was it to play hard rock there in the seventies?

Frank: It was the same as it was in New York, as it was in Florida. If you liked hard rock that’s the kind of music that you wrote, as kids we loved Black Sabbath, there were a lot of bands that we loved, and you’d play those songs and a little bit of influence comes off. That’s why we were compared to Sabbath a little bit because we had that kind of style. That just comes from what you grow up with, Philadelphia was known as a big Soul town but we were hard rockers ‘cuz we loved The Cream and Jimi Hendrix, that’s the kind of music that we wrote, learned a lot of different music and we started writing music with bits and pieces of everybody we loved.

You say it sounds like The Beatles too, that was because we loved The Beatles and there’s a little bit of something in each song that reflects what your influences are. That’s what we’re finding out today with these Bang shows, we’re playing in front of 20-30 year olds that weren’t even born when we wrote this music and for them to say “Hey, you inspired us to write music”, it reminds me that we were inspired by somebody when we started. So that aspiration turned into being part of our song-writing. We didn’t have a Philadelphia style because we liked hard rock, we were a hard rock band.

Lucille: You are widely considered as forerunners of the doom metal genre, how is it to be considered as a seminal band in that sense?

Frank: You know what? Whatever sense, our Bang album went to the heavy metal hall of fame six months ago. To me, whatever genre or whatever mode it goes into we’re grateful for it. I never thought of us as a doom band because I thought we were always more of a rock ‘n’ roll band. Doom is sludge kinda stuff, we were more about having a groove, there was a difference in our music, but hey, if it’s stoner rock, if it’s acid rock, if it’s hip hop, whoever loves us we’re grateful for it but to me I don’t see us as that kind of band because every album we did was different. We didn’t stay in that vein, coz we were being pushed by Capitol to be commercial and do something else. They expected the Bang record to take off and sell a million copies, and when it didn’t they were trying to push us to be more commercial and so we lost that vein.

Back in ’71-’72 hard rock was really obscure, it wasn’t radio-friendly, they didn’t even have FM radio back then, everything was AM so it was just the beginning of everything and we kinda got lost in the shuffle. But we’re very happy to be attached to stoner & doom rock. We did a tour with Pentagram and our music fitted right in with theirs and people loved it and that’s good with us.

Lucille: So after many years of silence, Bang are back and touring again. Why have you decided to bring the band back again?

Frank: I think we were so young the first time around, we’ve had forty years of really nothing going on. We all went our separate ways and when we reformed and put a website up we started getting fan letters. It made us realise the music was still valid and we still had an audience out there. Time went around and the stars aligned for Tony, Frank and me. Our legacy is not done, we hadn’t seen each other in 25 years and within a week we had written 15 songs.

Once you have magic with somebody it never goes away, and I think when we got back together again, we realised that we still had a lot to offer so we decided to go back and do what we love, we’re musicians, we love to play. At that point the buzz got out that we were back and we were lucky enough to get the Pentagram tour and get back out there. That was our first tour in 42 years and to be out there playing again and realising “Wow, people love our music”, that’s what brought us back. The fact that the music is still strong and it’s still original and I think what goes around comes around, our music was just as good as anybody’s and it was time to go play it and have fun.

Frank had the time and the enthusiasm to do it again. That one hour you play on stage, that’s the reward for putting up with a lot of trials and tribulations along the way, that’s really when a band has the most fun, when you’re on stage playing for that hour. That’s what makes everything worth it. We just want to finish what we started, add on to our legacy, hopefully do a couple more records and see where it goes, before we’re in the rock’n’roll heaven with David and Lemmy, coz we’re at that age.

Lucille: It’s terrible, [the recent rock’n’roll deaths are] getting really depressing 
      
Frank: When I tell you we had 30 year-olds coming out, I think now old music is out-selling new music, I think the young people don’t have what we had and they appreciate it now because they don’t have it. I think it’s a great thing because to me the sixties and seventies was the best era in music. Everybody had their brand, The Who was The Who, Zeppelin was Zeppelin, there was nobody sounding like anybody else. Now you got a billion bands you couldn’t tell one from the other because they all sound the same and I think the golden age of music is really over with. I don’t think we’ll ever have the phenomenon of The Eagles, or The Beatles, Bowie, who was just tremendous. I don’t think that will ever happen again actually, which is a shame.

Starting in April 2016, Bang did their first European tour, which visited the UK, Germany, France, The Netherlands, Denmark, Sweden, Spain and Portugal. During the interview Frank described his anticipation for that tour:

We’re like children at Christmas time. I really appreciate the fact that we’re able to go to Europe. If I was a young man it might not be a big deal. “Oh big deal I’m going to Europe” ya’know, but at this point in our lives we’re just very thankful that our music stayed strong enough to be able to get somebody to bring us to Europe. We broke up right before we were scheduled to go to there, to go to the UK and do a tour with Rod Stewart because we played with him right when Maggie May was a hit, we broke up right before that and we were never able to go to Europe. At 62 years old I’m now getting the chance to do what I should have done when I was 20. European fans are the most loyal of any fan, it’s quite different in America coz there’s so much going on here. Europeans still have the old values, the old virtues.

Lucille: Some of them yeah haha

Frank: It’s the thrill of playing to people that I wouldn’t normally see, in places I’ve always dreamed of going to. If I can be on stage playing and doing what I love, I could die right then and I’d be the happiest man in the world because to me success isn’t about money, it’s about doing what you love and you have a passion for. A lot of people take opportunities for granted, but I think the older you get, the more you appreciate when something happens, you have to enjoy the moment. To me there’s a special saying of Shakespeare’s: “Expectation is the root of all heartache” so in my mind, do what you love and don’t expect anything, if you think too big then you’re just going to be heart-broken.

--------------------------------------------------------- 

And that concluded the interview. This year, Bang has so-far played a few shows in the US and has chalked-up some more Europen shows for the summer. Check them out in the touring section of Bang's facebook here: https://www.facebook.com/Bangtheband/app/123966167614127/
So far they have mentioned dates in Germany, Belgium, Sweden and Denmark!

Finally, thanks to Lucille for allowing me to post this interview!

Still Bangin' away in 2017!

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