Radio RPB #007 April 13, 2018
Leola & Lovejoys – He Ain’t No Angel
The Furors – Hey Joni
Rhythm Heritage – Treat A Dog (The Way You Treated Me)
Robert Gordon- Treat A Dog (The Way You Treated Me)
Chris Spedding – Hey Miss Betty
The Easybeats – See Saw
The Syndicats – Crawdaddy Simone
Wreckless Eric – They Don’t Mean No Harm
Pete Galub – Waiting
Chris Montez – One Note Samba
Is it a hit record if it hits #100 on the top 100? Certainly! The Ad-Libs (of Boy From New York City fame) had the hit, but I prefer this version Leola and The Lovejoys. Leola sings it with just the right amount of snarl, so you know she’s no angel either.
New Haven’s The Furors were way ahead of the curve on the guitar/drum duo thing, performing and self-releasing their own very unique records since the early ‘80s. By my count The Furors have released at least three versions of Hey Joni, but this is my favorite from their 1982 Little Numbers EP. I still haven’t found an affordable copy of my favorite Furors 45, A Thing For Blondes, but when I finally get a copy I’ll share, I promise.
Rhythm Heritage is a blanket name for the production team of Steve Barri and Michael Omartian. They scored huge success with TV themes (Baretta, Starsky & Hutch) but this track appeared as the b-side of their huge hit, Theme From S.W.A.T. I should have played a little more without talking all over it. It’s essentially a fully produced track that replaces the lead vocal with a lead Moog synth. Good song, vocal versions by Bobby “Blue” Bland, Johnny Rivers and even Cher. My favorite version is by Robert Gordon from his Live at The lone Star LP. Why is it my favorite? No doubt, it’s because of the guitar parts played by Chris Spedding and as I mention in the set, watch out for Spedding’s solo. In my excitement, I neglected to mention the rhythm section here – Tony Garnier on bass, and Anton Fig on drums.
Chris Spedding has a long and storied history as one of Britain’s most popular session guitarists and his stock rose in late 70s when he emerged as a presence during punk’s early prominence, thanks to production association with The Sex Pistols and a collaboration with The Vibrators. Hey Miss Betty is the b-side to Get Outa My Pagoda, his 1977 single on the RAK label. The same track was later included on Spedding’s Guitar Graffiti LP, with audience applause and sound effects added to give the impression of a live recording. I wouldn’t do that to you.
Australia’s Easybeats chime in next with See Saw from their 1968 LP Vigil. The Australian version of the LP featured a unique mixes and running order, and was recently reissued for Record Store Day. I normally stay far away from Record Stay Day releases but this one was too much fun to pass up. Kudos to Sal Maida (check out his weekly radio show Spin Cycle on Little Water Radio) for turning me on to this release.
Producer Joe Meek reportedly let the Syndicats alone to do their thing on Crawdaddy Simone, but Meek’s knob twiddling is apparent in the instrumental sections of this completely unhinged recording. Can the band get any louder? Yes? Can the recording get any louder? Can we get louder than that? Yes, we can.
Wreckless Eric once wrote a tribute song to Joe Meek, but They Don’t Mean No Harm comes from his brand new (as of this writing) LP entitled Destruction Time and Demolition. Eric Goulden came on the Stiff Records scene in 1978 and has never stopped making interesting records. That he’s still releasing records 40 years after starting is impressive, but I wouldn’t care if the records weren’t good. And they’re great.
Pete Galub is an NYC based performer and songwriter. He’s a frequent collaborator and guest musician on some of the best NYC artists, but his 2013 release caught my ears and never let go. The songs are often catchy, but Pete is not afraid to get noisy, complex and weird. I’d say it’s a neat trick, but it’s not a trick. It’s a great ear, great songs and performance.
More next week!