What an weekend I’ve just had for wasting my money! And this song came into my head because buying a replacement iPad cable is anything but fucking easy. I’ve just wasted around £30 buying two cables that either don’t fit the inputs (thought I needed a USB-C for my iPad Pro second generation, but the one I just bought doesn’t fit) so that was a complete and utter waste of my fucking time hot footing it up to Asda on a Sunday morning . . . . bunch of twats!
On Saturday I was shopping or at least having a browse in “Dobbies Garden Centre” and they were selling odd bits of tech gear including iPhone / iPad USB cables, so I took a chance and sadly that fucker doesn’t work either, so slow and obviously not compatible.
Oh well, there are worse things that can happen I suppose. Anyway, enough of my rant . . . I’m playing this mid ’60s flower folk-rock record by The Underground to cheer myself up!
They’re a band that lives up to it’s name (ie) they’re so underground, they’re unknown and forgotten. If they were indeed remembered at all.
As for the ‘sound’ on offer. Well both sides have that L.A folk rock backbeat with male/female vocals and harmonies. Think of typical bands of the era like The Peanut Butter Conspiracy and Yankee Dollar and you’ll form the pictures and hear the sounds in your minds of The Underground.
This 45 on Mainstream Records was sandwiched between releases on the label by The Wildflower ‘Baby Dear’ (Mainstream 659) and Fever Tree ‘I Can Beat Your Drum’ (Mainstream 661).
It also charted in some local areas reaching number 18 in Gary, Indiana in December 1966 and Top 20 in Akron, Ohio the following month.
A follow up single on Mainstream 667 titled ‘Get Him Out Of Your Mind’ / ‘Take Me Back’ sank without trace and The Underground were no more.
CD of choice today while idling my time away home-working, where I was as bored as a eunuch at an orgy, but with the freedom to listen to music . . . . . and it doesn’t come much more wig-lifting than The Standells first album “Dirty Water”.
From start to the finish it’s one of those albums I can listen and enjoy every number, they’re all here, including “Dirty Water”, “Little Sally Tease” “Medication” and an extended version of “Rari”.
This CD reissue on Sundazed from decades ago, I’m talking 1994! includes a previously unheard instrumental version of “Medication” which shows off Tony Valentino’s incredible guitar tone coaxed from his tasteful Vox AC-30 amp and tremelo pedal.
Ah, The Undertones! I spent a couple of days this week playing “True Confessions”, a CD retrospective of their singles , A and B sides. Thirty two numbers spread over two CDs from the first single “Teenage Kicks to their last, “Chain Of Love” from 1983.
The early Undertones singles are all legendary, even the B-Sides, how about their take of “Let’s Talk About Girls” which they copied from The Chocolate Watch Band via the famous Nuggets compilation of ’60s garage and psychedelic tunes.
Long forgotten vintage Undertones burst out from my player with their hard edged R&B pub rock attack on “I Told You So” and I had no idea that the guitar riff on “One Way Love” had been stolen from “The Last Train To Clarksville” by The Monkees.
Their later period is a bit patchy and I’m not convinced by their soul-tinged numbers with girl backing singers. Not my scene at all.
We all had a favourite band when we were teenagers and still at school right? Well, my fan worship was aimed at The Jam. I bought their records, I bought their merchandise, I had Jam posters on my bedroom wall and I went to their gigs whenever they came to Newcastle.
My support for them waned from around the time they released the trumpet noise of “Absolute Begginers”, I was never much into anything they released after that one either although, like most fans, probably still bought their records out loyalty. But it got to the point where I even stopped wasting my pocket money on their records. I never got around to buying “The Gift” when it was released during March 1982.
I heard a few tracks on the radio and of course “a Town Called Malice” was on “The Gift” but . . . . no, not my scene. I didn’t want to listen to all of the funky gibberish like “Precious”, “Trans-Global Express” or that crappy calypso bollocks “The Planner’s Dream Goes Wrong”.
Almost forty years later I decided to shell-out £3 for the CD. What had I missed? I knew that “Carnation” was created with the familiar Jam sound (similar to the soundscapes “Sound Affects”) and reminded me of another Weller love song “English Rose” from “All Mod Cons”.
There’s nothing else to gain my admiration on this. Sounds like Level 42 meets the Fun Boy Three or some other tedious crap like that. I’m even horrified that Bruce Foxton appears to sound like he’s ‘slapping’ his bass strings on a few numbers. Rick Buckler’s drum action is still magnificent.
But “Carnation” is a stupendous song so the £2 outlay is worth it for that song alone.
Sunday is usually the day when I have time to remaster some 45s, create FLACs, scan record labels and upload a video or two to my YouTube Channel “Opulent Conceptions“. https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCBjwvEaPb3CtYFcKLz1sWbw
The Vistas were in for the EXPO67 treatment this morning, both sides of their rare disc on Tuff Records, operating out of Rochester, NY. I believe that the record was released sometime during 1963/64.
Both sides are surf instrumentals with the flip “Moon Relay” being the more inspired cut with a much tougher sound, edgy surf twang and reverb, clattering drum action and loud bass bombing.
The Whatt Four were an obscure psychedelic group from San Bernadino on the West Coast of America. They were no long haired hippie types though, preferring to play in a much more Anglophile style.
“You’re Wishin’ I Was Someone Else” has lashings of fuzz, attitude, searing guitar and just about everything else not associated with the in vogue post Sgt Pepper period of late 1967.
“Fields Of Peppermint” (Whiz Records) June 1970
the flip side is the backing track of “Fields Of Peppermint”
In an earlier life Willow Green were The Nomads of “Thoughts Of A Madman” fame.
Larry Deatherage: “The Nomads later released a record nationally on Double Shot/Whiz Records in 1970. The title of the A side was “Fields Of Peppermint” and the record company changed the name of the group to “Willowgreen”. The song got favorable write-ups in both Cashbox and Billboard magazines. The song climbed to about 120 on the Billboard charts and was one of the top ten most requested airplays on a number of radio stations across the country.”
To the best of my memory “Thoughts—” was recorded in Gibsonville, N.C. and I guess the studio was affiliated with the Tornado label. “Willowgreen” b/w “Plastic Year” was recorded in 1969. King James was the name we chose for the label because our manager was James H. Johnson. I guess he got in touch with Whiz records and they paid for us to go back in the studio and up-tempo the song which we did with the same personnel and they released the song nationally. Bruce Evans, Larry Deatherage, Mike Badgett, Gerry Martin and Mike Beason were the band members. Whiz changed the song name to “Fields Of Peppermint” and the band name to “Willowgreen”