The Fabulous Depressions formed in New Ulm, Minnesota, a small town southwest of Minneapolis, in 1964. It took them until 1967 to release their only and excellent 45.
The band went through several lineup changes. By the time it came to record, it included original members Phil Groebner on lead guitar, Peter Kitzberger on organ and Jim Dauer on bass, plus third drummer John Ginkel and vocalist Randy Evans.
Tom Lindsay had been their vocalist, but he left to join the Royal Emperors of Owatonna. Original drummer John Tretault left in 1966, and was replaced for a short time by Greg DeBerry before John Ginkel joined. Ginkel had been in the Shags with his brother Tom, releasing one 45 on the Concert label “Louis Louis” / “Summertime News” (Summertime Blues).
“Can’t Tell You” is a very catchy original by Phil Groebner and Jim Dauer, and features a short but devastating solo by Groebner. The flip is a good version of one of the Blues Magoos’ lesser songs, “One By One”. It was recorded at Lynn Studios in Rochester, Minn.
Kal sent in the great band lineup card from George’s Ballroom in New Ulm, Minnesota, probably from 1966, though ’67 is a possibility as well. Acts include the great T.C. Atlantic, Night Crawlers, He-Toos (never heard of this group before), the Poore Boys, the Jokers Wild, The More-Tishans, Prince & the Paupers, the Epicureans, and Marcia & the Lynchmen.
The photo of the ballroom below is a recent one; after years of disuse, it will be back to hosting polka dances and other entertainment this summer.
Photo of the ballroom courtesy of Rubey Kay
Another band about which I know nothing, other than the fact that they were on the LeJac label of Minneapolis, Minnesota. I don’t believe there’s a connection to a band called the Motifs in Idaho, and they sound nothing like the New Jersey group with that name.
“Someday” is excellent upbeat garage pop with nice drum breaks and guitar solo. “Telling Lies” is more conventional but worth a listen if you like “Someday”. Both songs credit the band as songwriters.
One member was John Rusinyak, according to Jay, who had played with John in another group in the 1980s and 90s. He reports John passed away at the age of 58.
Ron Gjerde owned the LeJac and Agar labels of Minneapolis, Minnesota, using his basement as the studio.
Partial LeJac discography (any help would be appreciated):
3002: Denny Dale – Mr Moon / Why Did You Leave Me (9/1965)
3003: Denny & Jack – One More For The Road / Love You Everyday (9/1965)
3004: Motifs – Someday / Telling Lies
3005: The Peers – Once Upon a Time / Palisades Park
3006: The Bedlam Four – Watch It Baby (Dick Pogue) / Blue Blue Feeling
JK-1942/3: The Transplant – Broken Engagement / With Her Head Tucked Underneath Her Arm (1968)
1001: The Starliners – Live at Papa Joe’s Northern a Go Go (1966)
The first two LeJac releases are by Fendermen bassist Denny Dale (Dennis Gudim), with the second featuring Jack Kollodge of the Starliners.
I haven’t yet heard the Bedlam Four on LeJac. Originally known as the Echomen with one 45 “Long Green” / “Chocolate Chip” on Fox, the Bedlam Four recorded ten or more songs at LeJac over the course of a year, most of them cover songs. They had a later release “Hydrogen Atom” on Armada and two later songs “No One Left to Love” / “Psychedelic Mantra” that were finally released by Caped Crusader Records in the ’80s.