All posts by Chris Bishop

Little Bob

Some r&b for a change. Little Bob (Camille “Li’l” Bob) got this song from Peppermint Harris, apparently making enough of a change to give himself writing credit on the label. Since his version in 1966, it’s been covered several times.

La Louisianne is still in business, and is releasing a CD of Lil Bob and the Lollipops’ recordings. La Louisianne had one great garage 45, the Rogues “I Don’t Need You” / “Tonight” on La Louisianne 8094 from April 1967.

The Pink Fairies

The Pink Fairies – they have plenty of mediocre stuff, but “The Snake” / “Do It”, their first 45 is their best – pure grunge & very heavy for 1971.

“Kakkoi” my friend Ryoma said when I played him “The Snake” for the first time.

Red vinyl from the Italian issue.

The Pleasure Seekers

The Pleasure Seekers gave Suzi Quatro her start, for all you bubble-glam fans.An ode to teenage drinking!

Well I love you baby
I’m telling you right here
But please don’t make me decide baby
Between you and a bottle of beer.

Baby come on over,
come on over to my side
well I may not live past twenty-one
but WOO!
what a way to die!

Your lovin’ fluctuates baby
and everybody knows
but the temperature always stays the same
on an ice cold bottle of Stroh’s

When I start my drinking
my baby throws a fit
So I just blitz him outta my mind
with seventeen bottles of Schlitz

You’ve got the kind of body
that makes me come alive
But I’d rather have my hands around
A bottle of Colt 45

Baby come on over,
come on over to my side
well I may not live past twenty-one
but WOO!
what a way to die

The Action (NZ)

An early photo of the band before vocalist Evan Silva joined.
From left: Brian Harris drums, Danny Stradwick guitar, John Bisset organ and Jack Stradwick bass.

The Action I’m posting today isn’t the UK group of the same name but a New Zealand group from Auckland. Seems like they didn’t mind being confused with their more famous namesake, as they recorded the UK Action’s “Never Ever” for their second 45. Not an unusual practice at the time, there’s also an Australian group calling itself the Birds who covered two of the UK Bird’s 45s, “No Good Without You” and “Say Those Magic Words”.

This Action cover the Vagrants “I Can’t Make a Friend” on the flip side of their first 45, “Romeo and Juliet”, doing an excellent job of it too. This was recorded in April of 1967. Though you wouldn’t think it from this song, they were actually known as more of a soul and r&b band than pop or garage.

Evan Silva wrote to me about “I Can’t Make a Friend”:

That was the first song I recorded with the Action at Stebbings studio in Eldred Stebbing’s basement. I sing on all but Romeo & Juliet. The A sides were Stebbing’s suggestion for the pop market and we selected the B sides. We never played the A sides live as we did not like them, except for Try A Little Tenderness we played that regular especially in Oz! Brett [Neilsen] our drummer was the La De Da’s drummer prior to us and did not want to go back to Oz, then joined the Action and off we went to Oz!

Brian Harris then took Brett’s place in the La De Da’s!

Eldred Stebbing was the owner of the Zodiac label. Many of the great New Zealand bands recorded at his studio, and the Action, the Pleazers and the La De Da’s all played residencies at his nightclub, the Galaxie.

A detailed history of the band is available here

The Chants R&B

The Chants R&B are maybe the greatest of all the New Zealand groups – and that’s saying something considering the competition (Bluestars, La De Das, Pleazers and more).

They came out of Christchurch and put out two 45s in 1966. Band members were Mike Rudd guitar and vocals, Jim Tomlin guitar, Martin Forrer bass and Trevor Courtney drums.

After the first 45, the insane “I Want Her”, Jim Tomlin left the band and was replaced by Max Kelly. Tomlin came back, however, to produce their next and last 45, the solid “I’m Your Witchdoctor” / “Neighbor Neighbor”, both sides of which feature non-stop fills and razor sharp soloing behind the vocals. An amazing record.

Their live shows were legendary with episodes like Mike Rudd nailing his guitar to the floor while still plugged in, generating wailing feedback! A glimpse of their live sound is available on The Stage Door Tapes.

Rare tracks by Dave Davies, Ray Davies and the Kinks

“I Believed You” is one of the demo tracks recorded by the Ravens, an early version of the Kinks led by Dave Davies, in 1963.

“Time Will Tell” is an excellent Kinks track that for some reason wasn’t released at the time.

Next come three Ray Davies songwriting demos, never recorded by the full band, all from 1965. “All Night Stand” was given to the Thoughts, a UK band also produced by Shel Talmy, but I prefer Ray’s demo.

“Creeping Jean” is a fairly obscure song by Davie Davies and the Kinks. After hitting big with his solo 45, “Death of a Clown”, it looked like Dave might start a full solo career. An album was planned and more 45’s released under his name. None of those did very well, so the lp was canceled. This song was only available on the b-side to “Hold My Hand” from early 1969, until Pye issued “Dave Davies – The Album that Never Was” in 1988.