The Ron Kane Files

Writing About Music

Monday, March 31, 2008

Yukihiro Takahashi


3-31-08 Yukihiro Takahashi

CD ...ONLY WHEN I LAUGH CANYON JPN D32A-0213

CD AHIRU NO UTA GA KIKOETE KURU YO (O.S.T.) CONSIPIO JPN COCD-9203

CD ALL STAR REMIXES (Remixes) CONSIPIO JPN COCD-9247

CD BLUE MOON BLUE TOSHIBA JPN TOCT-25939

LP BRAND NEW DAY (Collection) YEN/ALFA JPN YLR-28024

CD BROADCAST FROM HEAVEN EASTWORLD JPN TOCT-5647

CD DAY IN THE NEXT LIFE, A EASTWORLD JPN TOCT-6032

CD DEAREST FOOL, THE CONSIPIO JPN ACGA-10019

CD EGO EASTWORLD JPN CT32-5327

CD FOOL ON EARTH (Remixes) CONSIPIO JPN COCD-9237

CD HEART OF HURT EASTWORLD JPN TOCT-6896

CD I'M NOT IN LOVE (BEST OF '88 - '95) EASTWORLD JPN TOCT-8968

CD5 IN THE 90's (Remixes) ALFA JPN ALCA-164

CD IT'S A Y.T. WORLD (Collection) kami sleeve ALFA JPN ALCA-5077

CD LIFETIME, HAPPY TIME EASTWORLD JPN TOCT-6431

CD MR. Y.T. EASTWORLD JPN TOCT-8601

CD MURDERED BY THE MUSIC kami sleeve SEVEN SEAS JPN KICS 1141

CD NEUROMANTIC ALFA JPN 32XA-228

CD NIGHT IN THE NEXT LIFE, A EASTWORLD JPN TOCT-6246

CD ONCE A FOOL... CANYON JPN PCCA-00128

CD POISSON D'AVRIL (O.S.T.) kami sleeve ALFA JPN ALCA-5137

CD PORTRAIT WITH NO NAME EASTWORLD JPN TOCT-9695

12" PULSE REMIX (12" x 3) CONSIPIO JPN AGJA-70002

CD PULSE x PULSE CONSIPIO JPN AGCA-10008

CD SARAVAH kami sleeve SEVEN SEAS JPN KICS 1140

CD TIME AND PLACE kami sleeve ALFA JPN ALCA-5127

CD TOMORROW'S JUST ANOTHER DAY kami sleeve ALFA JPN ALCA-5085

CD WHAT, ME WORRY? kami sleeve ALFA JPN ALCA-5075

CD WILD & MOODY kami sleeve ALFA JPN ALCA-5134

With Steve Jansen

CD5 STAY CLOSE TENT JPN PCCA-00302

With Yohji Yamamoto

CD LA PENSEE CANYON JPN PCCA-00858

1/3 of Y.M.O.! From “Saravah” to “Blue Moon”, I have always tried to hear all of the new full-length titles by YMO’s drummer and vocalist, Mr. Yukihiro Takahashi. He has always used very interesting guest musicians – such as Iva Davies, Bill Nelson, Zaine Griff, Hajime Tachibana…on the above list, I tried to eliminate some duplications – LP / CD titles, but a few singles are 100% necessary – the remixes for “Pulse x Pulse” (as far as I know, only available as a triple 12” set) and the magnificent single YT made with Japan’s Steve Jansen, “Stay Close”. From the Toshiba years, the album “Ego” stands out – with it’s ultra-groovy guest spot by Icehouse’s Iva Davies on “Dance of Life”.

Some of Takahashi’s works are in English, and I heartily recommend his “What, Me Worry” album to you – absolutely wonderful techpop from ’82, a must for any fan of synthesizer music. This album has some of my favorite YT songs – “The Real You”, “Disposable Love”, “Flashback” etc. And he has always picked interesting cover versions.

So, drummers and fans of technopop, give some love to Mr. YT!

See you next month!

Friday, March 28, 2008

Holger Czukay


3-28-08 Holger Czukay

Holger Schuring (aka Holger Czukay) – the bassist of Can, and a formidable solo artist. I met Mr. Czukay in Germany, around the time of his 2nd solo album, “On The Way To The Peak of Normal”. In his studio, he played me “Hiss ‘n’ Listen”, which he was working on at the time.

7" COOL IN THE POOL / OH LORD GIVE US MORE MONEY HARVEST DE 1C 006-45674

LP DER OSTEN IST ROT VIRGIN UK V 2307

LP FULL CIRCLE TRIO JPN AW-25026

7" HOW MUCH ARE THEY? / PERSIAN LOVE TRIO JPN AW-714

12" LES VAMPYRETTES: BIOMUTANTEN EMI DE F 667.226

CD MOVIES EMI DE 794806.2

LP MOVIES EMI DE 1C 064-45754

CD MOVING PICTURES PURPLE PYR CLP 9915.2

7" ODE TO PERFUME (Edit) / PERSIAN LOVE EMI UK EMI 5280

CD ON THE WAY TO THE PEAK OF NORMAL SPOON DE SPOONCD 36

LP ON THE WAY TO THE PEAK OF NORMAL EMI DE 1C 064-46400

7" PERSIAN LOVE / COOL IN THE POOL BARCLAY FR 620.569

12" PHOTO SONG, THE / BIOMUTANTEN VIRGIN UK VS 671-12

7" PHOTO SONG, THE / DAS MASSEN MEDIUM VIRGIN UK VS 340

LP ROME REMAINS ROME VIRGIN DE 208.052

CD ROME REMAINS ROME / DER OSTEN IST ROT VIRGIN UK CDV 2408

As “Canaxis 5”

CD CANAXIS SPOON DE SPOONCD 15

LP TECHNICAL SPACE COMPOSER'S CREW SCHEISS GER SRS 002

With Jah Wobble

12" HOW MUCH ARE THEY? ISLAND UK 12WIP 6701

12" SNAKE CHARMER ISLAND UK IMA 1

Mr. Czukay was always very nice to me. I cold-called him from a telephone in the train station in Koln, and he agreed to see me. He even drove to the station in his Volkswagen, to collect me.

I think “Movies” is an absolutely huge and influential album, in the overall scheme of things – ’79 and this German guy was already sampling! Before the rap & hip-hop guys! And it’s easy to listen to – “Oh Lord Give Us More Money”, “Cool In The Pool” etc. I am pleased that the “Movies” album has bee made available once again on CD.

At the time, I was very good with both “Movies” and “On The Way To The Peak of Normal”. I recently found the CD that was albums #3 & #4 – his two albums for Virgin UK, “Der Osten Ist Rot” and “Rome Remains Rome” – it’s missing a song or so, but I always did like 2-on-1 CD’s!

When I met Mr. Czukay, we talked about Spike Jones – and I remember him musing over the phrase “Holy Craziness” or “Crazy Holiness”, when referring to Mr. Jones.

I haven’t kept up with Mr. Czukay’s works, but I am most pleased he’s still active. I thoroughly recommend “Movies” to you, no matter what your persuasion is!

Labels:

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Kate Bush



3-27-08 Kate Bush

7" ARMY DREAMERS / DELIUS / PASSING THROUGH AIR EMI UK EMI 5106

7" BABOOSHKA / RAN TAN WALTZ TOSHIBA JPN EMR-17047

7" BREATHING / EMPTY BULLRING, THE TOSHIBA JPN EMS-17007

7" DECEMBER WILL BE MAGIC AGAIN / WARM AND SOOTHING EMI UK EMI 5121

LP DREAMING, THE EMI AMERICA US ST-17084

7" HAMMER HORROR / COFFEE HOMEGROUND TOSHIBA JPN EMR-20530

12" KATE BUSH (EP) EMI AMERICA US MLP-19004

CD KICK INSIDE, THE EMI UK CDP 746012.2

LP KICK INSIDE, THE alt. cover TOSHIBA JPN EMS-81042

LP KICK INSIDE, THE pic disc EMI UK EMCP 3223

CD LIONHEART EMI UK CDP 746065.2

LP LIONHEART EMI UK EMA 787

7" MAN WITH THE CHILD IN HIS EYES / MOVING EMI DE 1C 006-06712

7" MOVING / WUTHERING HEIGHTS TOSHIBA JPN EMR-20417

7" NE T'ENFUIS PAS / UN BAISER D'ENFANT EMI PATHE FR 165152.7

CD NEVER FOR EVER EMI UK CDP 746360.2

12" ON STAGE TOSHIBA JPN EMS-10001

7" ROCKET MAN / CANDLE IN THE WIND MERCURY UK TRIBO 2

7" RUNNING UP THAT HILL / UNDER THE IVY TOSHIBA JPN EMS-17535

7" SAT IN YOUR LAP / LORD OF THE REEDY RIVER EMI UK EMI 5201

7" SYMPHONY IN BLUE / FULLHOUSE TOSHIBA JPN EMR-20567

7" THEM HEAVY PEOPLE / MAN WITH THE CHILD IN HIS EYES TOSHIBA JPN EMR-20490

CD WHOLE STORY, THE (Collection) EMI AMERICA US CDP 546414

7" WOW / FULL HOUSE EMI DE 1C 006-06949

7" WUTHERING HEIGHTS / KITE EMI DE 1C 006-06596

Somehow, me & my friends found out about Kate Bush all about the same time, right around the time of the first album, “The Kick Inside”. I collected her stuff in much the same way that I did many British artists of the day – buying picture sleeves, picture discs, foreign variant pressings etc. I went great guns up to and including her “Sat In Your Lap” 45. After that…I didn’t know what to make of her excessive use of a ‘gated vocal track’ – it sounded weird to me, and I liked the sound of her voice.

Of course, she played in the U.S. at Saturday Night Live – a friend of mine was who gave her the flowers that were on the piano top with her. But she never made it to L.A. for any shows. I got a Beta hi-fi video of all of her clips from Japan – and it seemed like I was done with her. Of course, she didn’t make very many records, after the 80’s – and I still haven’t found myself ready to listen to any of her 90’s (and after) records.

I really hope everyone reading this is familiar with her debut album, “The Kick Inside” – a very charming record. Some people have told me that they don’t care for her voice – but I urge you to listen to the entire package – Alan Parsons production, musicians from Pilot playing the backing etc. It was always interesting to see where she turned up, as a guest artist – on albums by Roy Harper and Zaine Griff. I remember seeing a copy of her British fanzine – and it seemed…odd to me. It was obvious that people were taking her music very personally and seriously. Perhaps too seriously?

So, face value – I still dig “The Kick Inside”, and I own the next several albums, but…never could go along with “Running Up That Hill”, “Cloudbusting” or anything thereafter – apart from her “Rocket Man” single from the Elton John Tribute album, “Two Rooms”.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

INXS



3-26-08 INXS

7" BURN FOR YOU / JOHNSON'S AEROPLANE ATCO US 7-99703

12" DEKADANCE ATCO US 90115.1

7" DISAPPEAR / MIDDLE BEAST ATLANTIC US 87784-7

CD ELEGANTLY WASTED MERCURY JPN PHCR-1505

CD FULL MOON, DIRTY HEARTS EAST WEST JPN AMCE-635

CD GREATEST HITS, THE EAST WEST AU 4509-98388.2

12" HEAVEN SENT picture disc MERCURY UK INXSP 19

7" I SEND A MESSAGE / BURN FOR YOU (Remix) MERCURY FR 880243.7

7" I SEND A MESSAGE / MECHANICAL ATCO US 7-99731

CD KICK [Special Edition] WEA JPN 22P2-2399

7" KISS THE DIRT / (Same) ATLANTIC US 7-89418

CD LISTEN LIKE THIEVES ATLANTIC US 81277.2

CD LIVE BABY LIVE ATLANTIC US 82294.2

CD5 MYSTIFY MERCURY DE INXCD 13

CD5 NEED YOU TONIGHT MERCURY DE INXCD 8

7" NEW SENSATION / GUNS IN THE SKY (Remix) ATLANTIC US 7-89080

7" ONE THING, THE / PHANTIM OF THE OPERA ATCO US 7-99905

7" ORIGINAL SIN / JAN'S SONG / TO LOOK AT YOU MERCURY FR 818132.7

CD SHABOOH SHOOBAH ATCO US 90072.2

7" SHINING STAR MERCURY UK 866028.7

CD5 SUICIDE BLONDE ATLANTIC US 86139.2

CD SWING, THE ATCO US 90160.2

LP UNDERNEATH THE COLOURS DELUXE AUS VPL1-6601

CD WELCOME TO WHEREVER YOU ARE re RHINO US R2 78206

7" WHAT YOU NEED / I'M OVER YOU WEA AUS 7-258971

7" WHAT YOU NEED / SWEET AS SIN ATLANTIC US 7-89460

CD X re RHINO US R2 78205

INXS with Jimmy Barnes

7" GOOD TIMES / LAYING DOWN THE LAW MUSHROOM AUS K 202

INXS with Max Q

LP MAX Q ATLANTIC US 82014.1

CD5 SOMETIMES promo ATLANTIC US PR 3086.2

I wasn’t big on INXS during the 80’s – I was more of a ‘New Zealand artists’ type guy – one friend in NZ referred to INXS as “slick Aussie crap”! But I came around with the release of “Kick” – some of that it quite good rock music. I worked in record stores during the times of the next few INXS titles – notably “X” and “Welcome To Wherever You Are” – so I was a bit more disposed to them. I liked what I had heard from “Elegantly Wasted” – at the time of Michael Hutchence’s death. Really too bad about his death, a talented guy. When Michael passed away, my friend in Australia sent me the episode of Rage where they showed about 40 INXS clips.

I watched the U.S. TV show where INXS auditioned a new lead singer – though I didn’t care at all for who they picked. It really did show them as ‘regular guys’. Good TV!

And recently, I found re-mastered editions of “X” and “Welcome To Wherever You Are” on Rhino. For some reason, INXS CD’s do not seem to have a high trade-in value, so I gave my old CD editions of those albums to someone who would listen to them.

Boy, they really seemed to rack up the B-sides! I also really liked the “Max Q” album – an INXS roadie. So, three cheers for Aussie rock music!

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Soft Cell

3-25-08 Soft Cell

LP ART OF FALLING APART, THE SIRE US 23769.1

12" BEDSITTER SOME BIZARRE UK BZS 612

12" DOWN IN THE SUBWAY (REMIX) SOME BIZARRE UK BZSR 2212

LP NON-STOP EROTIC CABARET SIRE US SRK 3647

CD NON-STOP EROTIC CABARET re MERCURY US 586719.2

12" NUMBERS SOME BIZARRE UK BZS 1712

12" SAY HELLO WAVE GOODBYE SOME BIZARRE UK BZS 712

12" SOUL INSIDE VERTIGO DE 814249.1

12" TAINTED LOVE SIRE US DSRE 40856

12" TAINTED LOVE SOME BIZARRE UK BZS 212

CD5 TAINTED LOVE VERTIGO DE 888647.2

7" TAINTED LOVE / MEMORABILIA SIRE US SRE 49855

CD5 TAINTED LOVE re-issue MERCURY DE SOFCD 2 (GH vers.)

LP THIS LAST NIGHT IN SODOM SOME BIZARRE UK SOD 1

12" TORCH SOME BIZARRE UK BZS 912

CD5 TORCH VERTIGO DE 875397.2

12" WHAT! SOME BIZARRE UK BZS 1112

12" WHERE THE HEART IS SOME BIZARRE UK BZS 1612

Soft Cell + Marc Almond

CD MEMORABILIA - THE SINGLES MERCURY US 510178.2

Marc Almond

CD SINGLES 1984 - 1987 VIRGIN JPN VJD-32032

I knew about Soft Cell right from the beginning – I was working at an music record importer / exporter when they hit. I remember importing and selling a boatload of “Tainted Love” 12” singles from England – long before Sire Records picked ‘em up.

I couldn’t hear it then, but I like Soft Cell fine right now, especially their 12” singles (I’ve got all the important ones, apart from their debut “Memorabilia”). My favorite is the 12” extended version of “Bedsitter” – when longer / extended meant another verse or a key change – and not merely a few beats. I’d love to find a CD single of the extended version of “Bedsitter” (long out –of-print, I suspect).

There was a time when the “Non Stop Erotic Video Show” home video was difficult to find – we first had a PAL VHS of it, followed by a censored Japanese laser disc. Now I have a U.S. NTSC DVD of it! And it still makes me laugh!

I felt bad when Marc Almond had his motorcycle accident (at least I think that’s what it was). Seems like he’s OK again – so, Bravo, Marc! Whatever happened to Dave Ball? Didn’t he have a solo record that few people cared about? I can’t even recall it’s title.

I recently made a mix-MD that placed the 45 version of “Tainted Love” chronologically with a bunch of other similar material (The Buggles, M, Ian Dury et al) – and it sounded good. But I do hear it a tad too much peripherally – on the FM radio. Not so the rest of their entire recorded output!

Thanks for the music, guys!


Monday, March 24, 2008

Emerson, Lake & Palmer


3-24-08 Emerson, Lake & Palmer

Recently, while writing an index for 6 years of blogs, I realized that I have never (that I can remember) had a specific, dedicated blog to ELP! I think I once wrote about how nobody seemed to like “Love Beach”:, but now…the glory of ELP!!!

LP BEST OF (Collection) ATLANTIC US SD 19283

LP BRAIN SALAD SURGERY MANTICORE US MC 66669

7" BRAIN SALAD SURGERY (Excerpts, flexidisc) MANTICORE UK LYN 2762

CD BRAIN SALAD SURGERY kami sleeve JVC JPN VICP-62118

LP EMERSON, LAKE & PALMER ISLAND FR 6339 026

LP EMERSON, LAKE & PALMER ISLAND UK ILPS 9123

CD EMERSON, LAKE & PALMER kami sleeve JVC JPN VICP-63171

LP EMERSON, LAKE & PALMER re-issue MANTICORE UK K 43503

7" FROM THE BEGINNING / LIVING SIN COTILLION US 45-44158

LP IN CONCERT (Live album) ATLANTIC US SD 19255

CD ISLE OF WIGHT 1970 (Live album) EAGLE US EV30135-9

7" JERUSALEM / WHEN THE APPLE BLOSSOMS IN THE... MANTICORE UK K 13503

LP LOVE BEACH ATLANTIC US SD 19211

7" LUCKY MAN / KNIFE-EDGE ISLAND NL 6014 041

LP PICTURES AT AN EXHIBITION ISLAND DE 85804 XT

LP PICTURES AT AN EXHIBITION ISLAND UK HELP 1

CD PICTURES AT AN EXHIBITION kami sleeve JVC JPN VICP-62116

CD TARKUS MANTICORE DE 258.171

LP TARKUS ISLAND DE 85 527 IT

LP TARKUS ISLAND UK ILPS 9155

CD TARKUS kami sleeve JVC JPN VICP-5443

LP TRILOGY MANTICORE DE 87 227 XOT

CD TRILOGY kami sleeve JVC JPN VICP-63174

LPx3 WELCOME BACK MY FRIENDS…(Live album) MANTICORE UK K 63500

LPx2 WORKS, Vol. 1 ATLANTIC US SD 2-7000

LP WORKS, Vol. 2 (Collection) ATLANTIC US SD 19147

Keith Emerson, solo

7" HONKY TONK TRAIN BLUES MANTICORE UK K 13513

CD INFERNO (O.S.T.) CINEVOX IT CD-CIA 5022

LP NIGHTHAWKS (O.S.T.) BACKSTREET US BSR-5196

Greg Lake, solo

7" I BELIEVE IN FATHER CHRISTMAS / HUMBUG ATLANTIC US 45-3305

LP MANOEUVRES CHRYSALIS US FV 41392

Carl Palmer, solo (?)

LP 1PM ARIOLA UK ARL 5048

1970 was a fun time for me, and a good time for new music. Keith Emerson comes from The Nice, Greg Lake from King Crimson and Carl Palmer from Atomic Rooster.

The Immediate label records by The Nice are good late 60’s UK keyboard fun. I really like the two final albums by The Nice, “Five Bridges” and “Elegy” (both on Charisma). Greg Lake sang on the first two King Crimson albums – “In The Court of The Crimson King” and “In The Wake of Poseidon”. Sadly, Carl Palmer is not on the great album by Atomic Rooster, “Death Walks Behind You”.

So, Emerson and Palmer were attracted to Lake’s label, Island Records (UK), as opposed to Emerson suggesting Charisma Records (UK) for this new group. I’ve never read how it went down – is there such a thing as autobiographies for any member of ELP?

In the US, while A&M Records were licensing a lot of great stuff from Island UK (Free, Cat Stevens etc.), ELP somehow ended up on an Atco / Atlantic subsidiary, Cotillion Records (same label that had the O.S.T. for “Woodstock”!) Time would bear out the knowledge that any imported pressing of the debut ELP album sounded better than a Cotillion copy (hence my having several vinyl variants). Great album, and a great debut. “The Barbarian” (cut 1, side 1) is monstrous, and very, very cool. In fact, I can defend everything on the debut album – great stuff.

I initially had an 8-track tape of “Tarkus”, the 2nd ELP album! It took ages for me to get an LP of it, and I now have several neat variant pressings. I was very impressed with this album at the time, and it’s still my favorite. On a visit to Singapore, I found a CD version of this album actually on the Manticore label (via Ariola Germany). And I luxuriate in a kami sleeve (little paper album sleeve) CD from Japan of “Tarkus”.

Hot on the tails of “Tarkus”, I found an inexpensive original Island UK LP of “Pictures At An Exhibition” – a record that took some time to come out in the US. I played this LP to death! I loved the cover version of “Nutrocker”! It was neat to consider that there were elements of King Crimson in the work of ELP (a fact that would solidify when KC’s Pete Sinfield wrote the lyrics for ELP’s “Brain Salad Surgery”).

I missed “Trilogy” at the time – no idea why, as I now type. I didn’t even hear it until the 80’s, 90’s…uh, much later! But I snapped back to it, for “Brain Salad Surgery”! Snappy cover, even more like King Crimson etc. Great poster / lyrics sheet etc.

I made the effort to see King Crimson in 1973 – but – I somehow completely missed the ELP concert experience. Never went to see them, never even heard their triple live album until 20+ years later. Much better to watch a DVD of them, I suspect. Good friends of mine saw ELP (Ken and Warren), but…I finished with even King Crimson after “Red” – so no hope of me rekindling my interest in ELP – until 30+ years later.

So is it “Rock of the 70’s”, “Wanky Progressive Rock”, “Indulgent” or…? I am still good with the first 5 studio ELP albums. I don’t play them a lot – but the new Japanese CD’s of them sound pretty good. I have original LP’s of everything ELP that matters to me, and I love to find their singles. If push came to shove, I’d stick with just the first two albums. I will continue to buy variant pressings of the debut album, just to see if I can discover even better ‘sound’ for it.

Maybe it’s because they got rather popular – even for a UK progressive rock band – but I couldn’t sustain my fandom after “BSS”. No way. Like many people, I turned off from the commercial prog rock bands – like Jethro Tull, Yes, ELP – in favor of (new, interesting) French and German bands, Dutch artists etc. And new wave music.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Al Kooper


There is a new 2008 edition of the Al Kooper book - what I consider to be the most amusing rock music autobiography.

Friday, March 21, 2008

The Pharmaceuticals - "Joe's Gass House"

3-21-08 The Pharmeceuticals “Joe’s Gass House”

I am now 49 years old, and have been a record collector for nearly 40 years. That’s right, I started as a little kid, obtaining records whenever, however possible. I ‘absorbed’ my parents’ records, I inherited stuff from my brother and sisters…I traded 45’s with my neighborhood friends…I rode my bike to places that had records, even if they weren’t record stores: Cal Store, The Treasury, White Front, Zody’s, May Company, J.C. Penney, Singer Sewing Machine Store, Dooley’s Hardware, Sears…you name it! The big destination in my ‘pre-hippie record store’ life was Wallach’s Music City, at the corner of Candlewood and Lakewood Blvd. (Lakewood, CA 90712).

Towards the end of the 60’s, even if it wasn’t my stated intention, I was beginning to have “a lot of records” – more than 2 boxes of 45’s (approx. 100 45’s per box), more than one ‘crate’ of albums etc. It was a time when quality and quantity were pretty much the same thing – in some cases, it didn’t really matter what the record was. At times, I was super lucky, and my 45 purchases were things like The Coasters “Run Red Run” (10 cents) or a British 45 by The Rolling Stones “Come On” ($1.75).

I am fairly certain that no later than 1970, I was made aware of a 45 rpm sale at either Sears or Dooley's Hardware – 45’s were something like 10 for $1. Well, do I spend my only dollar on comic books and candy bars or do I buy a small stack of 45’s? The older I got, the more those kinds of youthful decisions leaned towards the phonograph records. Being a young dumb-bell, many of those odd “I want more records!” purchases had some wonderful oddball garbage contained therein. The ravages of time put paid to the 45 that I found called “Magic Fly” with the lyrics: “There is a magic fly, his name is up to you…” (as written and sung by somebody with an amateur Bob Dylan fixation) – anybody know what this is?

One record that was a little luckier than the ‘magic fly’ was “Joe’s Gass House” by The Pharmaceuticals. I still have it, and it’s play-able. A quick Google search will return absolutely nothing about this amazing C-grade 60’s U.S. 45 on the “Newhall” label (#66-11011) b/w “I Don’t Need You”. We can time-line this masterpiece to after “The Slauson, The Dog, The Mashed Potato” – somewhat famous dances of the era – as they’re mentioned in the lyrics. Was the “Gass House” a bar somewhere where this garage band actually set up and played? Was it Skip & Flip on acid? Who was “The Gass House Louse”? It sounds like something out of a Frankie (Avalon) & Annette (Funicello) movie!

It is almost like I dreamed this strange and wonderful record…but there it sits, filed in
“ Misc. ‘P’ “ – do you know anything at all about The Pharmaceuticals? Joe’s Gass House? The Gass House Louse? Newhall Records? Have you heard this record? Do you know what I am talking about? “Wop bop bop, ooo doo doo doo doo”.

And, no. It isn’t some undiscovered “Cool” record. It isn’t worth anything. There’s no jackass in Sweden willing to pay $500 for it. It’s just some cheezy 60’s US indie 45 that almost no-one ever heard. Except for me. And my friend Darrell.

= = =

I wrote the above for my previous blog, “20th Century Music”. It’s been posted there since March, 2005. Believe it or not, I’ve had a few replies to my “Joe’s Gass House” quandary:

“Kenneth Ancell was my brother and Angelo Spezze was my uncle. They are both deceased. Joe's Gass House was one of their songs. They wrote and recorded dozens of songs which my family is in the process of compiling.”

And…

“I am also a brother of Kenny Ancell and a nephew of Angelo Spezze. My brother John Ancell, said it well. We are in the process of compiling as much music of theirs as we can find. Our family is participating well. We are getting recordings (and old photos) that family members are finding in a closet or shoebox, what have you. Nobody has ever made a complete package of all of their work.”

Followed by…

“I'll send you some MPs as we get them together. My brother and I along with my aunt are in the process of gathering up all of the music that we have from them and digitizing them for distribution to the rest of the family.

My brother and uncle were very active in the music industry when they were young. They started in Colorado in the early 60's, cut some records, got some radio airplay, played clubs, traveled a bit, etc... They moved to LA soon after and tried to make it out here. They never quite made it big but they had a good run with it, several bands, lots of clubs, etc... I was very young back then (my brother was 20 years older than me), so I've only heard stories about it. My brother once told me they had struck a deal with Sam Cooke and had been celebrating with him at Martoni's in Hollywood the very night that Sam was killed. My uncle passed away in ‘81 and my brother in ‘93. We were always very proud of their music and love listening to it. It's nice to hear stories that other people enjoy it as well.”

= = =

So, The Pharmaceuticals live on! I cannot post audio clips to my blog, but I’d love for everybody that I know to groove to “Joe’s Gass House”! It’s 1966 garage rockin’ at it’s very finest. I love shedding light on things previously thought to be unknown.

Thanks for the info, Ancell brothers! Please let me know if there’s ever any more Pharmaceuticals material available. I’ve kept my “Joe’s Gass House” 45 for over 40 years…and I love it.

Hey, guys – was “Joe’s Gass House” the A-Side or B-Side? Is a link available to more songs by The Pharmaceuticals? How many more singles did they make?