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PREVIOUSLY ARCHIVED RECORD REVIEWS FROM MY OLD BLOG 'FLOWER BOMB SONGS'


Here are some of my random thoughts and words about obscure and in-demand ’60s garage and psychedelic singles over the years. All of the original blog posts on my old website have since been deleted so no label scans or picture sleeves are available. Instead, I’ve used images scanned from a 1967 Playboy magazine.

THE ROGUES – ’Say You Love Me’/’Secondary Man’ (Thunderbird Records 507) 1967

updated entry from March 2008

The Rogues hailed from Buffalo, New York and were the same Rogues that released the awesome folk punk jangler ’You Better Look Now’ on Audition in 1966. Check it out on Teenage Shutdown Volume 5. 

The R’n’B rave up ’Train Kept A Rollin’ can be heard on Teenage Shutdown Volume 14.

Back to this 45 on Thunderbird. Here The Rogues sound like a completely different band than on their earlier offering. The A-Side ’Say You Love Me’ is a straight 60s pop song in the style of The Association. Their song ’Windy’ comes to mind.

The excellent flip ’Secondary Man’ is a magical slice of Beatlesesque ’Revolver’ era psychedelia with stunning backwards tape effects.

The Rogues issued a further single ’Should You Care’/’The Rest Of The Way’ (Thunderbird Records 511) Thunderbird Records also released choice 45s by The Druids and William Penn Fyve.

comments:

* Just wanted to call your attention to the songwriterz ”Calandra/Mallaber” on The Rogues single. Tom Calandra waz the bass player in another Buffalo band RAVEN, who cut a couple of singlez and an album for Columbia Recordz.

A live album recorded at local club The Inferno also waz released on a small label Discovery Recordz by a former manager. Gary Mallaber waz the drummer in thiz same band and went on to major fame playing with Van Morrison (Moondance) and the Steve Miller Band among otherz.

Tom Calandra (now deceased) waz a very close friend of mine and I know Gary also.

Currently he iz drumming for the Chicago Bluez Reunion project with Harvey Mandel, etc. Thought I’d send you some trivia.

Best alwayz—-

* Heard The Rogues in their ’club’: Rogues Gallery. Think it was on or near Niagara Falls Blvd.

* The Rogues were the Best !!!
They could sound exactly like any of the bands whose songs they played, Beatles, Stones, R & B groups, etc.

When they did concerts back in the 1960’s girls would scream as if it was the Beatles.
They released 3 ”45’s” but it seemed like the B sides were always the best, like Secondary Man and You Better look Now.

Michael Spriggs, the lead guitarist has had the best post-Rogues career playing with CW bands in Nashville, and is still an A-list session player.
http://michaelspriggs.com/
Love them still !!

Does anyone have any tapes of any of their live performances???

* Also, you mentioned Raven aka the Rising Sons with Tommy Calandra and Gary Malabar. The lead singer was Tony Galla, who is still singing and playing blues in Los Angeles, California.

He is still awesome.
I saw him recently and he did a great imitation of a duet that James Brown and Luciano Pavarotti did of It’s a Man’s world. Tony Galla sang both parts to perfection.. now that’s talent. Check out him doing a 60’s hit “In Love”.

(28/08/10)

THE ROGUES – ’Train Kept A Rolling’/’You Better Look Now’ (Audition Recording 6110) July 1966

Over the past week I’ve been focussing my attention on Buffalo, NY group The Rogues. They made quite a name for themselves locally with their British Invasion sounds and wild gigs at their own Club called ’The Rogues Gallery’. The English sound was mixed into a potent brew with the addition of jangle guitar.

Their debut single was a rockin’ version of ’Train Kept A Rolling’, no doubt a live favourite. The Rogues probably heard this rhythm and beat from The Yardbirds who released it on their studio album ’Having A Rave Up’..

More interesting for me is the super cool flip and band original ’You Better Look Now’. I first heard this magical folk 12 string jangler via The Chesterfield Kings back in the early 80s, who I may add did a sterling job with it.

(27/08/10)

THE ENFIELDS – ’She Already Has Somebody’/’I’m For Things You Do’ (Richie RI-670) May 1966

One of the best garage punk compilations of all time is ’What A Way To Die’ and I remember getting this when it first came out and being blown away by the all time great melodic folk punker ’She Already Has Somebody’ by The Enfields.

The LP was great but the liners were terrible, especially the entry for The Enfields which seemed to be just made up nonsense.

Thankfully all of The Enfields music was made available on CD in the 90s but it’s a release that I never got around to buying. So I decided to research The Enfields in various sources at hand and found an interview with leader Ted Munda in Misty Lane – Issue 14.

This interview was conducted in 1995 when Munda was 44 years old (this is what he said) and the main thing I got from the interview was that the singer/songwriter from The Enfields (as well as the rest of the band) was still at High School in Wilmington, Delaware when they recorded their classic minor key folk rock.

I’m not a Zen Priest. I wrote a book called ”Zen Munchkins” (Little Wisdoms) and ”The Fizits” published by Charles E. Tuttle Co.

I’ve done a lot of music since the Enfields and would like a Record Company to release it all. I am working on a very advanced Healing Center, Capstone Vortex and have the architectural design copyright and Trademark to the design. Music, Light and Sound. Peace, TED MUNDA bizingo33@gmail.com

07/08/10

PRIMROSE CIRCUS – ’P.S. Call Me Lulu’/’In My Mind’ (President PT-314) 1970

Primrose Circus hailed from Rice in Houston, Texas and got together in 1965 but at that initial time frame they were calling themselves The Bedbugs.

They soon became established on the local scene playing colleges and teen dances just like the thousands of garage bands that seemed to infiltrate America after the so called British Invasion.

In late ’65 The Bedbugs got an offer of work in San Francisco and relocated to Sunnyvale where they became the house band at the Jamaica Inn for a month playing six nights per week.

The band decided to change their name at this point and they became known as The Sandmen and started getting gigs in the heart of the City playing larger venues and strip joints eventually becoming resident band at the Pierce Street Annex.

During 1966 The Sandmen recorded some demos at a studio in San Francisco and on their return to Rice, Houston started shopping these demos around various labels in order to get their music released.

It was during this activity that they met up with a local singer/songwriter called John Casbarian who gave them some of his songs to record. These songs turned out to be both sides of this disc under review.

The band recorded Casbarian’s songs at Andrus Studio in Houston but with Casbarian’s vocals over the backing track that they had laid down.

The demo tapes made there way to Los Angeles and eventually to label boss Lou Adler who offered them a deal with Mira Records but with a further name change to Primrose Circus.

’P.S. Call Me Lulu’ is a pop psych delight and is pure 1967 greatness with jangle, tambourine and turned on harmonies.

The flip ’In My Mind’ sounds like something Simon & Garfunkel could have recorded if someone had given them a tab of clear light.

It has been suggested that Primrose Circus came from Los Angeles or even being just a studio combo messing about with free time. Maybe the Mira Records label added to this confusion.

In Erik Tanner’s article he suggested that the Mira 45 was released in May 1967, however according to other sources it was 1968.

Amazingly, the record was picked up by President Records and released in England sometime in 1970. I doubt Primrose Circus would have been aware of this at the time having officially disbanded in December 1967.

line-up on recording:
Harry Guffee (bass)
Mike Groves (guitar)
Bob Tanner (guitar)
Jerry Lawson (drums)
John Casbarian (vocals)

(07/08/10)

I found this small picture of The Paperhangers in an edition of KRLA Beat magazine.

I was curious because I’d never heard of them before and I’m almost certain the proposed 1967 Capitol release ’Guess What I Can See’/’Time Will Tell’ never saw the light of day.

I spent some time on the ’case’ and found out that Brent Maglia released a solo album on Fantasy Records in 1977 called ’Down At The Hard Rock Cafe’. It seems that Vito Giovannelli also played on this album.

A Brent Maglia song titled ’We Can’t Let Go Of Love’ was recorded by the walrus of love a.k.a. Barry White.

Reader comments:
Brent is still recording. Lives in Granada Hills and has a law degree. Vito owns a restaurant in Granada Hills, Casa de Pizza, Pete living in Thousand Oaks. Ron is married and working a regular job

That’s my dad Vito there…..I wish I could hear this recording….I know he would love to hear it again also….thanks for the pic…

(12/07/10)

GREGORY DEE & The AVANTIES – ’The Slide’/’When Will I Be Loved’ (Bangar BA 00658) Nov 1964

Bangar was a short lived record label operating out of Minneapolis releasing 45s by the local talent between 1964/65. One such talent was vocalist and hammond organist Gregory Dee Maland who, with his band of outsiders, The Avanties became one of the top draws in Minneapolis, MN.

’The Slide’ was their final record on the Bangar label (they also released records on Twin Town) and is a song probably about a style of dancing. So, the lyrics are pretty lame then, but the music rocks with some cool organ and a killsville guitar break.

The flip ’When Will I Be Loved’ is an OK version of a Phil Everly ballad.

line-up:
Greg Maland (vocals/organ)
Dave Metzold (guitar)
Frank Prout (bass) – he joined The High Spirits in late ’66
Doug Nelson (drums)

Reader comments:
Sad to announce that I just read in the Mpls Star Tribune that Gregory Dee (Maland) passed away Sept 2012 age 68 in Mount Vernon, Wash. The life of the late Gregory Dee, a mainstay on the Twin Cities rock scene in the 1960s, will be celebrated with performances by many of his contemporaries — the Trashmen, the Castaways, the Underbeats, the Del Counts, the Gestures and the singer/organist’s own Avantis, known for the 1964 regional hits ”The Grind” (an organ-fueled instrumental) and ”Olds-Mo-William.”

Gregory Dee Maland, 68, died in September after a series of strokes over the past six years in Mount Vernon, Wash., where he’d lived for many years. Proceeds go to the non profit Guitars for Vets. (6 p.m. Sun Dec.2 Famous Dave’s Uptown, $5.) Jon Bream

Sooo sweet. Need my fix of this song every so often. Thanks for fixing the link! I grew up in Minneapolis, and saw this band several times.

In about ’68 or so, I screwed up my courage and walked up to Greg at the end of a gig, and asked why they no longer played The Grind. He was distracted by untangling some cables to be packed up, and shrugged. ”Nobody wants to hear that stuff any more,” he replied. Fortunately, by the end of his life, he knew otherwise.

WOW – this song popped into my mind this morning! Brings back great memories of Bel Rae Ballroom Tuesday nights in the 1960s.

(23/05/10)

BOBBY COMSTOCK – ’I’m A Man’/’I’ll Make You Glad’ (Ascot 2175) 1966

Here’s a first for ’Flower Bomb Songs’. Your author and International Playboy EXPO67 has been drinking Jack Daniel’s all evening and I’m nearly as pissed as Keith Moon was back in 1974 when Mr Moon and his best mate Ringo were indulging in the odd tipple at ’Ringo Towers’

Trouble is that when I’ve had a few too many I get even more opinionated than I normally am or at least that’s what ’Er Indoors says..

Anyway, here’s a red hot double sider by Bobby Comstock (surely in need of a ’Best Of’ on Sundazed)…

Bobby hailed from Ithaca, New York and with his band The Counts, had been releasing 45s since the late 50s.

Then The Beatles and The Stones killed everything in America pre 1964 so Mr Comstock wanted some of that invasion action.

’I’m A Man’ is a killer rendition by a group of musicians clearly at home in the studio. It was also part of the neglected ”Out Of Sight” album released in 1966.

The flip ’I’ll Make You Glad’ is also pretty neat and is non LP and non comp. Checking the label credits it was written and produced by the collection of whizz kids who recorded as The Strangeloves.

(21/05/10)

WAYNE PAV & The ORPHUNS – ’Oh Mona’/’Bring It On Home’ (Pav Records 650) 1967

According to FA&F and confirmed in issue 3 of ’Lost and Found’ this outfit hailed from Chicago and cut this record sometime in 1967. Both sides are GREAT but show just how much they were out of touch with what was happening in ’67. The music on offer harks back to the Invasion sounds of 1964/65.

The Bo Diddley stomper ’Mona’ titled on this disc ’Oh Mona’ is given the teen garage treatment with an edgy mix, gruff vocals and some inept but killer guitar.

The other side ’Bring It On Home’ is a faithful rendition of the Sam Cooke hit but The Orphuns are clearly more influenced by the version by The Animals.

This was the group’s second and last 45.

Good to see this 45 still out there. The band started as a college band and went from there. I love ”Bring It On Home” the best, but then, my brother sang it with such heart.

(19/05/10)

THE ETHICS – ‘(A Whole Lot Of) Confusion’/'(I Can’t Get You) Out Of My Mind’ (Dynamic 2001) 1966

The Ethics came from Milwaukee, Wisconsin and this 45 demonstrates their lo-fi garage approach. ’Confusion’ is a tough R’n’B workout but to my ears doesn’t rise above the mediocre. I prefer the uncompiled pop of ‘(I Can’t Get You) Out Of My Mind’ on the flip.

The group would change their name to The Invasion and release a couple more 45s on Dynamic Sound.

For further reading head on over to Garage Hangover.

(17/05/10)

THE BRITISH WALKERS – ’The Girl Can’t Help It’/’Lonely Lover’s Poem’ (Charger CRG-108) June 1965

One of the most popular groups from Washington D.C were Invasion obsessed The British Walkers. During their time as an active combo releasing 45s on various labels (Try, Cameo, Manchester, Charger) they also had a kind of ’revolving door’ where members were concerned.

I checked out a British Walkers myspace page and they appear to have had as many members as the London Philharmonic Orchestra.

’The Girl Can’t Help It’ written by Bobby Troup and a big hit for Little Richard in 1957 provides an insight into the sound they created on record.

By all accounts they really rocked live with their English styled garage beat and built up a strong following at their local hang out, ”The Roundtable”

The flip ’Lonely Lover’s Poem’ is a rather forgettable beat ballad lament with corny spoken parts where the singer tries his best English accent but believe me I’m English and no one talks like this in these parts. A bad move gents but in 1965 and on a B-Side I suppose it was worth a gamble.

(11/05/10)

GRANT HIGGINS – ’The Way I Feel’/’Shame Shame’ (Limelight Y-3036) Oct 1964

I don’t know anything about Grant Higgins so any information will be welcome. I’ve checked some reference guides and this 45 was also released on Karen Records.

The flip side, ’The Way I Feel’ is a Grant Higgins original and is an early attempt at Invasion beat. The Jimmy Reed cover, ’Shame Shame’ is a harmonica heavy R’n’B swinger more akin to early Rolling Stones than The Beatles..

DJ/Producer Ollie McLaughlin is credited on the label. He was based in Ann Arbour, Michigan. So perhaps Grant Higgins is from this region.

Grant Higgins was from Adrian, Michigan. The 1st label for this release was Karen #320. Limelight re-released both songs in October, 1964.Grant had at least one other 45, on the Twirl label. MopTopMike

Grant Higgins is a family member by marriage. A book about his career was recently published including all of his recordings on (1) CD. If you are still interested let me know, I will be happy to provide you any information.

(09/05/10)

THE GLASS FAMILY – ’Teenage Rebellion’ (Sidewalk Records 920) 1967

I believe that The Glass Family were from Santa Cruz, CA and were a collection of three musicians, Ralph Parrett (guitar), David Capilouto (bass, keyboards) and Gary Green (drums). They were an active band and secured gigs with The Doors and The Grateful Dead. These influential gigs may have led them to get a deal to record music for Sidewalk Records.

This 1967 single was probably just used to promote the exploito teen flick ’Teenage Rebellion’ because this song, written by Mike Curb and Harley Hatcher appears on the soundtrack.

Glass Family also had one of their own songs ’I’m Losing It’ released on the Sidewalk Records compilation ’Freak Out U.S.A.’

They went on to sign for Warner Bros and an album titled ’Electric Band’ followed.

(14/03/10)

THE KOLLEKTION – ’Savage Lost’/’My World Is Empty Without You’ (Heads-Up Records W101) Aug 1967

As I continue my excavation of psychedelic 45s, I’ll give some ’Flower Bomb Songs’ time to an obscure Miami, Florida group called The Kollektion, who only released one record during their brief existence.
’Savage Lost’ is a pounding heavy psych number that was a surprise local hit in their home region, reaching the Top 10 on WQAM.

This could be one of the earliest heavy psych records released and was very progressive for an America band.

The Kollektion were regulars at the local hang out ’The World’ and saw their popularity rise not only with a hit record but by the fact they were busted by the cops for ’mary jane’ possession.

The flip ’My World Is Empty Without You’ is a Fudge heavy arrangement of The Supremes song composed by the Holland, Dozer, Holland team.

I briefly checked out The Kollektion singer Angel Rissoff’s website and in his biography he didn’t even mention his days in one of Florida’s most important psychedelic rock bands. I find this very strange indeed. ’Savage Lost’ is probably the best thing he ever wrote.

(07/03/10)

THE PILGRIMAGE – ’Bad Apple’/’You Satisfy Me’ (Mercury 72631) Nov 1967

Essential two sided 45 from an obscure act from Long Island, New York.

Mercury Records appear to have had some faith in The Pilgrimage with a full page colour advert for this release in a November ’67 edition of Billboard. It’s a shame that no one cared because the record bombed.

The red label stock copy doesn’t exactly grow on trees either, most copies I’ve seen are the white label promos, surely an indication that the release was not widely distributed.

’Bad Apple’ starts off with some pounding drum action, the kind of primitive beat that almost makes me wanna jump outta the window in search for some skulls to crack open. The singer handles lead vocals with assurance and the guitar and organ parts colour the garage noise.

The song was written by the song writing team of Burton & Sawyer.

Their most famous song is ’I Ain’t Gonna Eat Out My Heart Anymore’ recorded by The Young Rascals and numerous other 60s groups. Lori Burton also released her own records on Mercury. Also check out ’Nightmare’ by The Whyte Boots.

Reader comments:
The band was from New Jersey and was the inspiration for a bunch of imitators… Like the Vanilla Fudge who ripped them off and their arrangements. The fudge would come and watch their act as they all knew each other.

Some of the members are still active musicians like Tom Pergola and his band called Burn out in Los Angeles. Originally called The Pilgrims until Mercury ran into some copyright hassles and changed their name. Great live act with perfect timing and stage presence.

After RICK MARTIN and the SHOWMEN broke up, 2 very distinct bands formed, the PIDGEONS, and the BOSS-MEN. Tom Pergola was in the BOSS-MEN with Pat Portfolio (organ), Alan Hecht (sax), Jimmy Principe (sax), Dick Watson (bass and lead vocal)and an unknown drummer. the BOSS-MEN broke up right before the RASCALS hit big. Tom Pergola was amazed by the RASCALS and formed the PILGRIMS to copy the RASCALS, and the PIDGEONS copied the PILGRIMS. the PIDGEONS became VANILLA FUDGE

(17/03/10)

ESB – ’Mushroom People’/’Let Me Touch You’ (In Arts Records 102) 1967

This group of hipsters from Hollywood went from having one of the longest names in pop (ie) The W.C. Fields Memorial Electric String Band to probably the shortest ESB.

The band were formed out of the ashes of two local acts that promised much but went to nowheresville. George Caldwell and Robert Zinner were in The Bees. Richard Fortunato and Steve Lagana were in The Preachers. Bass player Patrick Burke may have been in a later line up of The Preachers.

’Mushroom People’ is in effect their third release but one of the first on the newly formed Hollywood label In Arts Records who also had The Good Time Singers and Smart & Cole Inc on their books.

The song is pretty cool with the odd ’mary jane’ lyrical reference indicating pot of course. It’s a strange psychedelic affair, starting out all mellow and hip then suddenly bursting into a faster rhythm, culminating in a Who like wig out.

’Let Me Touch You’ is a slow and brooding acid raga psych nugget. It’s such a beautiful sound in my mind. Like a mix of ”Younger Than Yesterday” era Byrds and Buffalo Springfield. Dig that trippy ”In Arts” record label. A feast for your eyes and mind. 

”I can make you feel like raindrops falling to the ground.”

(28/02/10)

THE SMOKE – ’The Smoke’ (Sidewalk Records ST-5912) 1968

I’ve probably played this record hundreds of times, maybe as many times as ’The Notorious Byrd Brothers’ and that’s saying something.

This studio based group consisted of Michael Lloyd (bass/keyboards/vocals/sundry items), Steve Baim (drums) and Stan Ayeroff (guitar). All three members also recorded as The Rubber Band.

The Smoke album is a very consistent effort with a strong Sgt Peppers influence and I could have chosen any song on the album to represent it on my blog but I’ve went for the pop psych delight of ’Umbrella’.

This is a comment from early 2011 made by a spokesman from Sundazed Records vis their Facebook page: We’ve talked about this here before, some place… Here’s the deal, once again… It’ll NEVER happen from us. We had an agreement in place for the project many years ago, had mastered the project from the original analogs, had all the artwork done – and then the licensor wanted to hold it back.

We waited for them, got set to go again with their complete blessings – spent more time and money on it, solicited it to our distributors, and then the licensor wanted it held back… AGAIN. Honestly, it can TOTALLY be someone else’s nightmare project from here forward – we’re on to bigger and better things, for sure…

(21/02/10)

DAVID HOLLIS – ”Sheri” /”Monkey Man” (Hip H-111) October 1967

Now here’s a performer I don’t know anything about. Just who is David Hollis? Several checks in various reference books and online sources reveal absolutely nothing.

In fact my website is probably the first place this fantastic double sided psychedelic 45 has had it’s brief moment of glory.

This release was one of the earliest on Hip Records (a short lived Stax subsidiary). Steve Cropper has been name checked on the label as a co producer with Natalie Rosenberg. Don’t know anything about Natalie but Mr Cropper is probably the guitarist from Booker T and the MG’s.

David Hollis has got it real bad for Sheri. He’s totally tripped out by her but there’s too many I’m Sorry’s in the lyrics for my liking. David, you ain’t gonna get your girl back by being all sappy……be a caveman like those guys from The Avengers.

The music backdrop for ’Sheri’ is a baroque psych lovers dream. It’s very trippy and the whispered vocals add to the the overall coolness.

The flip ’Monkey Man’ is a slow paced groover…….’You better cool it while you can, Monkey Man’…..

This record is a real find for me. It’s never been compiled before as far as I know.

Hey, thank you for posting the ”Sheri” song. I have not heard that since 1968/9? David Hollis is an artist based in German Town, TN. This tune was very popular on the Memphis stations upon release. eclectic ear!

(19/02/10)

THE PAINTED FACES – ’Anxious Color’/’Things We See’ (Manhattan 808) June 1967 

One of the classic psych singles to come out of Florida was ’Anxious Color’ by The Painted Faces. They were short lived but left behind some fine singles.

Their first 45 was released locally on Qualicon. This coupled the moody folk rock lament ’Things We See’ with ’I Want You’… The former turning up again as the flip to the Manhattan release.

’Anxious Color’ is where it’s at though with raga sounding guitar leads giving the song a psychedelic sound. According to the liners of the Distortion compilation this 45 was a big hit in South West Florida, hitting number 1 on some stations. It even got extensive airplay on Los Angeles stations making the Top 10. This was probably due to their Mike Curb connections.

(14/02/10)

ROCKIT – ‘(Blame It) On The Pony Express’/’Amblin’ (Verve VK10654) 1971

This is a rather obscure and needless to say marvellous record by a genius called Michael Lloyd. He was of course highly influential as a member of The West Coast Pop Art Experimental Band then demonstrated his pop psych brilliance with The Smoke.

According to several WCPAEB articles I’ve read (special mention must be given to the exhaustive piece by Shindig magazine) Rockit were in effect a mini reunion of my ’Transparent Day’ GODS. Michael Lloyd was aided in this project by Shawn and Dan Harris.

I did some research on this disc because the information about the Rockit record has been scant to say the least. The Shindig article only briefly mentioned it but no label scans were provided. According to a book called ’MGM Labels – A Discography’ the A-Side ‘(Blame It) On The Pony Express’ was recorded on the 15th of December, 1970 at the MGM studios in Los Angeles.

Two songs were recorded at this session….’Pony Express’ and ’Don’t Make Me Into Something I’m Not’…maybe the latter recording is still unreleased to this day?

The entry states that both songs were destined to be released as a 45 on MGM K14222 but for some reason this was cancelled and transferred to Verve Records.

‘(Blame It) On The Pony Express’ is bouncy and uplifting soul pop and should have sold millions but didn’t and so languishes in obscurity. The flip is the ethereal ’Amblin’…..a pop song so perfect it makes my head hurt. It’s wondrous soundscape reminds me of the previously mentioned Smoke music.

‘Amblin’ actually predates Blame it on the Pony Express, it was used for the soundtrack of the 1968 Steven Spielberg short movie of the same title. Strangely enough it was credited to October Country in the film credits, which makes me wonder if the Harris bros actually appear on this recording.

(10/02/10)

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