Category Archives: US

Mojo Men at the Retail Clerks Auditorium, 1965

Mo-Jo Men, Things, Stymees, Little Rascals Retail Clerks Auditorium

Mo Jo Men Retail Clerks AuditoriumGary Myers sent in this great poster of his band the Mojo Men playing the Retail Clerks Auditorium in a “Retail a Go Go” with the Things, the Stymees and the Little Rascals on October 1, 1965. A news clipping from Gary dated September 29 lists the Only Ones instead of the Little Rascals, and names the Things as winners of a recent Battle of the Bands.

These Mojo Men were not the San Francisco band that hit with “Dance With Me” and “She’s My Baby” on Autumn Records.

Gary and his group had some lineup changes, signed with Mike Curb in 1967 and became the Portraits. I don’t believe any of the other bands mentioned recorded – has anyone ever heard of these groups?

The Retail Clerks Auditorium in Buena Park, Los Angeles had been a famous venue for surf bands in the early ’60s. By 1965 this had changed, and beat groups such as the Heathens did shows there.

If anyone has more info or clippings about the Retail Clerks Auditorium, it would be appreciated!

Thanks again to Gary E. Myers for his help. For more on Gary’s career see his website www.music-gem.com.

The Barber Green


The Barber Green, circa 1968
Top left to right: Doug Collver, Don Harding, Mike McNeil, bottom left to right: Don Hurb and David Harding

The Barber Green came out of Brownsville, Oregon, about a half hour north of Eugene. Like the Moguls, the Dominions, and other acts in the area around that college town, the band recorded at Alan Graves studio. They released one excellent 45 in 1968 on the F-Empire label, which is most well-known for the Beauregarde LP.

One side of the Barber Green single is “Life”, a gentle musing on a search for love and family, with harmonies and nice guitar picking. The flip “Gliding Ride” is more energetic. The guitar plays some excellent repetitive riffs as well as a good, short solo and the bass and drums are clear and well-played.

The lyrics are worth quoting:

Do you want to take a rideBarber Green F-Empire 45 Life
A gliding ride, oh yeah, a gliding ride
We can see our city,
Yeah, our pretty city
We can see our city,
From a perch, it’s so pretty
We can see the lights all through the night
We’ll be in a daze until the break of day

Then tomorrow will come
We will go downtown
You’ll be wearing a frown
As you go downtown
The people will stare
As if they don’t care
Then you say, what is this (?)

Do you want to take a ride
A gliding ride, oh yeah, a gliding ride
We can see our city,
Yeah, our pretty city
We can see our city,
From a perch, it’s so pretty

Besides the polished songs on the single, there are four unreleased songs also cut at Graves which are much rougher. One is a cover of “Proud Mary”, but for me the other three are much more exciting, all single takes recorded live, with distorted guitar and Barber Green F-Empire 45 Lifevocals that peak in the red.

First comes “Destruction”, with a four-minute long repetitive section featuring guitar chords clipped by turns of the volume knob, a marching drum beat, and a long monologue. Halfway through the song, everything breaks loose for one of the wildest minutes of feedback since “Sister Ray”, then it’s back to the guitar motif and monologue for another three minutes to the close.

“(Thinking About The) Good Times” vaguely reminds me of the Pretty Things song of the same name in the way the lead guitar sustains distorted, wailing notes while the drummer cuts loose. Last is “Toe Jam (That Song)”, fourteen and a half minutes that build and extend into one of the more interesting jams I’ve heard from the time.

The band has plenty of attitude on these tracks, with even the vocalist willing to improvise with abandon for extended periods. Although it sounds excessive at times, I liked hearing this session because it shows a side of bands you don’t usually hear: creating music only for themselves without thinking of how it would come across to an audience, either live or listening to their record.

The Barber Green’s guitarists Mike McNeil and Doug Collver wrote the following history of the group:

We were a Pacific Northwest Rock and Roll band, playing in Oregon from 1966 until 1970. We played rock, pop, R&B and a few country & western tunes. We had a number of original songs and recorded a hit single 45 rpm record. The “A” side was the hit song “Gliding Ride”, the “B” side was a song simply called “Life”, recorded by Graves Recording Service in Eugene, Oregon, circa 1968.

The recording was not generally distributed, but was on the top ten list of a number of radio stations, and went to #1 on some West Coast stations, including KGO 810 AM, in Seattle, WA and KSFO 560 AM in San Francisco.

Band members included the late David Lee Harding, (lead singer), Donald Harding (bass guitar and vocals), Douglas Collver (lead guitar and vocals), Michael McNeil (rhythm guitar, harmonica and vocals) and Donald Herb (drums and other percussion). The band’s manager was the late Jack Richardson.

All the band members were students at Central Linn High School except for Doug Collver who attended Harrisburg Union High. We called Brownsville home and rehearsed in the old Brownsville Theater.

We played all over Oregon from Medford to Salem and from the Oregon coast to Oregon’s eastern border. In Eugene we were the opening act for the premier showing of the Beatles Yellow Submarine movie. Other memorable moments included more than one gig at the U of O student union which translated into frat parties. Crazy!

Our manager, Jack Richardson connected with country star Dottie West and she had us lined up for a USO tour in Viet Nam but the Tet offensive of 1968 prompted the cancellation of that tour.

40 years later The Barber Green reunited and that’s another story all together.

As well as our memories will allow this information was provided by:

Mike McNeil of Portland, OR and Doug Collver of Bend, OR

I followed up with some questions for Doug Collver:

Q. How did the band get that unusual name?

If you google “Barber Green” you will find a company that once manufactured a paving machine. Some one in the band came across one of these pavers one day and we became The Barber Green.

Q. How did the band break out of the Brownsville area to start playing shows around Oregon?

We were just kids who wanted to play our music. Jack Richardson was the one who did all the leg work and all the booking.

Q. Who did the song writing for the group?

I’m sure that David come up with the lyrics for “Gliding Ride” and “Life”. The music and orchestration was a collaboration that involved all of us.

Q. How did you find Alan Graves and his studio?

We purchased all of our equipment from Graves Music (Vox Super Beatle amps & Gibson guitars). Again the credit for the connection must go to Jack Richardson. He did all that stuff.

Q. Can you tell me about the four unreleased songs the band recorded?

We only had one recording session that resulted in the two releases mentioned above. With the rest of the studio time that was paid for we jammed. David made up the lyrics as we played. When the band reunited in March of ’09 we all brought whatever memorabilia we had saved over the years including copies of the LP that was cut from that session. I was able play it one time – one take, scratches and all and capture it forever.

Q. Did you or any of the other members stay in music after the Barber Green?

Don Hurb still plays a little. I put it down after the band broke up then started to play again in 1996. For the last 11 years I’ve been in a band called Blues Quarter playing clubs, resorts & special events in and around Central Oregon.

The Pleasure Seekers – What a Way to Die (CD)

The Pleasure Seekers – What A Way To Die (2011 Cradle Rocks Music)
Review by Rebecca Jansen

Following an entertaining intro (by DJ The Lord, of Shangrlaradio.com), the Quatro sisters original composition “Gotta Get Away” comes on heavy with a wall of organ and guitar likes a snarly Detroit version of an Avalon ballroom mainstay! This is the first taste of seven previously unreleased ’60s recordings by Michigan’s Pleasure Seekers. It was long rumored the girls had laid down more in the studio than the three singles well known to serious rock & roll fanatics, but now the wait is over.

The first thing that becomes clear is how Arlene Quatro’s organ work is impeccable throughout, providing a solid foundation to the tracks she performed on. The second track “Never Thought You’d Leave Me” is of an earlier vintage however, when the Ball sisters, Nan and Mary Lou were in the group, and Arlene, the eldest Quatro had yet to join. Not yet out of their teens, Patti Quatro’s lead guitar and Suzi’s vocals are already solid on their 1966 debut on the Hideout record label, from the people who gave Detroit it’s Hideout club. Suzi’s bass is a real highlight here. On the title track from the same single you can hear how the Pleasure Seekers held their own on the same stages as The Rationals and Bob Seger & The Last Heard. In fact Suzi Q’s vocals are pretty much as strong they would be later at the height of her solo ’70s fame.

From the Mercury era the standout track here is “Light Of Love”, an upbeat rocker that equals the best sides by labelmates The New Colony Six. There is a cool chant aspect to the chorus here making me wonder why some glam group didn’t cover this in the ealry-mid ’70s, it would’ve outshone much of the repertoire from the period! Stax/Booker T style organ with soul harmonies tend to dominate the remaining cuts, but Patti’s guitar licks get elastic and really shine making possibly average material something more engaging. There is one great vocal performance, by drummer Darline Arnone apparently, on “Good Kind Of Hurt” also worth mentioning. The set closes with a slower experimental freak-out song called “Mr. Power” which comes over like Joe Meek, a great surprise and a cool note to end on definitely leaving me still wanting to hear more.

A pre-Hideout recording titled “White Line” for the Golden World label is missing or in that label’s archives. The CD also doesn’t include the song “Shame”, the b-side of one Mercury single. With the addition of Nancy Quatro The Pleasure Seekers evolved into the group Cradle, and there is an album’s worth of this material also available for the first time on CD.

Disc ordering info at: www.quatrorock.com.

Garage Hangover accepts recently-released LPs, CDs, books and DVDs for review. Please contact us for a mailing address.

Blue Mountain Eagle

Joey Newman (lead guitar, keyboards, vocals)
Bob ‘B.J’ Jones (lead guitar, vocals)
David Price (rhythm guitar, vocals)
Randy Fuller (bass, guitar, vocals)
Don Poncher (drums, vocals)

1968

September Price (b. September 23, 1944, Ballinger, Texas, US) and Poncher (b. July 29, 1947, Chicago, Illinois, US) are recruited by former Buffalo Springfield drummer/vocalist Dewey Martin for his new group named The New Buffalo Springfield, alongside horn player Jim Price, bass player Bob Apperson and lead guitarist Gary Rowles. Apperson, Poncher, Jim Price and Rowles have been playing together in a club in Arizona, which is where Martin spots them, while David Price has previously worked with Austin blues group, The Chelsea, done TV work with the Monkees and played one gig with the L.A based-band, Armadillo. The band rehearses at a diner in Boulder, Colorado and performs at the club with The Everly Brothers for a week.
November (16) The group makes its official public debut at the HIC, Honolulu, Hawaii with The Turtles. Shortly afterwards, the band returns to the mainland and performs a date at the Exhibit Hall, the Community Concourse in San Diego.
(23) Billed as The Buffalo Springfield, Martin’s group plays at the Sound Factory in Sacramento, California with Mad River and Sanpaku.
(30) Once again billed as The Buffalo Springfield, the band performs at the Terrace Ballroom, Salt Lake City, Utah with The Sir Douglas Quintet. The set list includes a song by Spirit.


New Buffalo Springfield, late 1968, from left: Dave Price, Jim Price, Dewey Martin, Bob Apperson and Gary Rowles.
Front: Don Poncher. Photo from Gary Rowles
December (6) They play at the Swing Auditorium, San Bernardino, California with Eric Burdon & The Animals.
(7) Martin’s new version of The Buffalo Springfield appears at the Earl Warren Showgrounds, Santa Barbara, California with Three Dog Night.
(14) The band travels to Texas for a show at the Midwestern State University in Wichita Falls.
(20) Billed as The Buffalo Springfield they play at the Civic Center in Bakersfield, California with Gary Lewis & The Playboys.
(21) Travelling up to the Northwest, they appear at the Pacific Coliseum in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada with The Chambers Brothers and The Buddy Miles Express.
(22) Billed as The Buffalo Springfield, they play at the Memorial Coliseum in Portland, Oregon with The Chambers Brothers and The Buddy Miles Express.
(23) Martin’s band is supported by White Hearts at the Evergreen Ballroom in Olympia, Washington, where it is billed as The Buffalo Springfield.
(26) Billed as New Buffalo Springfield, Martin’s band makes its Bay area debut at the Holiday Rock Festival, Cow Palace, San Francisco alongside Canned Heat, Steppenwolf, The Electric Prunes and others.
(27) Martin’s band appears at San Joaquin County Fairgrounds in Stockton, California. Gary Lewis & The Playboys cancel due to illness.

Buffalo Springfield, Portland, Dec. 22, 1968
Poster image thanks to Jerry Fuentes

Listing in Billboard for the Buffalo Springfield, November 1968

Now listed in Billboard as the New Buffalo Springfield, December 1968
1969

January (11) Martin’s band appears at the San Diego Sports Arena, San Diego, California billed as The Buffalo Springfield.
(31) Billed again as The Buffalo Springfield, the band appears at the Mother Duck in Chicago with Hot Fudge in support.
February (8) Martin’s version of The Buffalo Springfield plays at the Civic Auditorium in Albuquerque, New Mexico with Iron Butterfly and Lincoln Street Exit.
(22) Billboard announces that an album is imminent on Atco but nothing transpires. Rowles leaves soon afterwards and takes some time out of playing before later in the year replacing Jay Donellan in Love, a position he was originally offered in September 1968. Apperson also departs for session work and is replaced by former Bobby Fuller Four member and solo artist Randy Fuller (b. January 29, 1944, Hobbs, New Mexico, US), while Jim Price quits to join Delaney & Bonnie. Don Poncher joins the exodus to do session work and Dewey Martin takes over the drum stool. Martin brings in lead guitarist Bob “B J” Jones (b. November 9, 1942, Woodbury, New Jersey) who has previously worked with Little Richard and the band Danny & The Saints.
March The new line up records some tentative tracks in a Hollywood studio down the hall from Neil Young who is working with Crazy Horse, but they are never released. Producer Tom Dowd oversees one session.
(31)April (2) Martin returns with The New Buffalo Springfield name, and a line up now comprising Randy Fuller, Dave Price and Bob “B J” Jones is one of the headliners at the Teen Expo, Santa Clare Fairgrounds, San Jose with Santana, Iron Butterfly and others. The group then changes name briefly to Blue Buffalo.
April (31) Martin’s group, billed as New Buffalo Springfield, plays at the Eureka Municipal Auditorium in Eureka, California with Mixed Company Coffee and Devine Madness.
June The band is expanded with the addition of lead guitarist Joey Newman (b. Vern Kjellberg, August 29, 1947, Seattle, Washington), formerly a member of Don & The Goodtimes, The Liberty Party and Touch.
(7) Billed as The Buffalo Springfield, they play at the Dunes in Westport in Washington.
(21) Again billed as The Buffalo Springfield, the band appears at Chehalis Civic Auditorium, Chehalis, Washington with Slugg.
(28) Billed as New Buffalo Springfield, they perform at Casey’s in Lewiston, Idaho.
July (3) Billed as The Buffalo Springfield, they perform at the Armory in Astoria, Oregon.
(5) Martin’s outfit appears at the Evergeen Ballroom, Olympia, Washington.
(8-9) New Buffalo Springfield appear at the Seattle Center Arena with Paul Revere & The Raiders.
(11) The band plays at the Breakthru, Tacoma, Washington.
(19) The New Buffalo Springfield appear at the Happening, Seattle, Washington. While on the Northwest tour, the group drives along Highway 395 and comes across a town in Grant County, Oregon with a newspaper called The Blue Mountain Eagle. The band fires Dewey Martin and returns to Los Angeles to sign a deal with Atlantic Records subsidiary label, Atco Records. Ahmet Ertegun signs the band personally.


Buffalo Springfield show at Mother Duck in Chicago, January 31, 1969
Thanks to Dean Guy


Buffalo Springfield with Iron Butterfly
Albuquerque Civic Auditorium, February 8, 1969
Poster image thanks to Jerry Fuentes

Buffalo Springfield at the Dunes
Westport, Washington, June 7, 1969
Poster image thanks to Jerry Fuentes

Spring 1969 lineup, clockwise from top: Dewey Martin, Bob Jones, Dave Price and Randy Fuller
Buffalo Springfield at the Astoria Armory, July 3, 1969
Poster image thanks to Jerry Fuentes

Blue Mountain Eagle, late 1969, from left: Dave Price, Randy Fuller, Bob Jones, Joey Newman and Don Poncher
August Back in Los Angeles, the group adds Don Poncher from the original New Buffalo Springfield line up on drums in place of Martin and takes on the name Blue Mountain Eagle after the newspaper the group has seen on the road.
(24) Studio session logs suggest they record some demo tracks at Wally Heider’s studio in Los Angeles. The tracks include “Trivial Sum” (which the band will complete at a later date) and songs which may have been completed and later released under a different name. The tracks are: “Rock & Roll Please”, “Fourth Time Around”, “Road’s End”, “David’s Song”, “B.J. #1”, “¾ Thing” and “Joey’s Song”.
September (13) Having debuted at the HIC in Honolulu (where it is billed by manager Mike Zalk as New Buffalo Springfield), Blue Mountain Eagle support Santana at the Memorial Auditorium in Sacramento, California.
December (1) Blue Mountain Eagle record their debut album in one day at Wally Heider’s studio in Los Angeles.
(27-29) The band appears at the Pozo, San Luis Obispo on a bill featuring The Byrds, Eric Mercury, Spirit, Vanilla Fudge and others.

Clockwise from top left: Bob Jones, Dave Johnson, Dave Price, Don Poncher and Joey Newman
Photo courtesy Henry Diltz
1970

February The group supports Love and Eric Burdon & War at the Ice Palace, Las Vegas.
(3-8) Blue Mountain Eagle play at the Brass Ring, Sherman Oaks, California with Blue Rose.
(10-15) They return to the Brass Ring for a second set of shows with Blue Rose.
March (21) The band performs at the Salem Armory Auditorium, Salem, Oregon.
(26-28) The group participates in the Southwest ’70 Peace Festival near Lubbock, Texas, with Vanilla Fudge, Muddy Waters, Canned Heat, The Flock, Truth, Joe Kelley’s Blues Band, Johnny Winter and many others.


with the Blue Rose Band at the Brass Ring in Sherman Oaks
Los Angeles Free Press, February 1970

At the Salem Armory with Everyday Hudson (formerly the New Yorkers) and Fatt Twice Together

Left to right: Joey Newman, Bob Jones, Don Poncher, Dave Johnson and Dave Price
Photo dated March 4, 1970, but it might be later

with Manfred Mann at the Whisky a Go Go, April, 1970
April (8-12) Blue Mountain Eagle support Manfred Mann Chapter 3 at West Hollywood’s Whisky A Go Go. Randy Fuller leaves and joins Dewey Martin & Medicine Ball, appearing on its lone album. He is replaced by Dave Johnson (b. October 21, 1945, Burbank, California, US), who has previously worked with Dr John and Alice & The Wonderland Band alongside singer Joanne Vent and future Redbone guitarist Tony Bellamy. The group write and arrange material for a second album over the next few months but none of the tracks are recorded.
(24) The new line up plays at the Pusi-Kat, San Antonio, Texas.
(26) Blue Mountain Eagle support Jimi Hendrix and The Buddy Miles Express at the ‘Cal Expo’, Sacramento, California.


at the Beach House in Santa Monica, May 1970

(28)May (3) Blue Mountain Eagle plays at the Beach House, Cheetah Pier, Santa Monica.
May Their eponymous debut album is released, highlighting a mixture of acoustic and hard rock styles that is reminiscent of The Buffalo Springfield.
(2) Blue Mountain Eagle support Country Joe & The Fish and Spirit at San Diego Sports Arena, San Diego.
(9) The band opens for Pink Floyd at the Terrace Ballroom, Salt Lake City, Utah.
(15) Blue Mountain Eagle appear at Fresno Convention Hall, California with Canned Heat and Sweetwater.
June (2-7) The group appears at the Beach House, Cheetah Pier, Santa Monica.
(5) Billboard magazine reports that the band appears at the Olympic Auditorium in Los Angeles.
(8) Blue Mountain Eagle record a lone track, a cover of Stephen Stills’s “Marianne”.


Atco ad in the LA Free Press, April 1970
July (11) The band appears at Bullock’s Department Store in downtown L.A. with Poco, Blues Image and Southwind.
(18) The group replaces Blue Cheer at Terrace Ballroom, Salt Lake City, Utah on a bill that also features Love and Fever Tree.
August The band releases the double A-side single “Marianne”, which is given favourable reviews. Studio logs also suggest the group records a track called “Rest” but it is never released.
October Blue Mountain Eagle’s final gig is at a ballroom in Dave Price’s hometown, San Antonio, Texas.
NovemberPoncher leaves to join Love for live work and the band splinters. Johnson briefly works with Lee Michaels before reuniting with Jones in Sweathog, while Price does sessions for ex-Sir Douglas Quintet keyboard player Augie Meyer.

1972

January Sweathog’s eponymous debut album is released, but is not a success. Having appeared on sessions for a Love album that is eventually released in the 2000s by Sundazed as Love Lost, Poncher stays with Arthur Lee and his next project, Band Aid, helping him record the Vindicator album. Poncher then joins Blue Rose with Terry Furlong (who wrote songs for Blue Mountain Eagle) and ex-Illinois Speed Press member John Uribe.
June Blue Rose’s sole eponymous album appears on Epic Records. Poncher continues to do session work throughout the ‘70s and ‘80s, working with people like Augie Meyer, Joe Cocker, Jim Price, Genya Raven and Chris Jagger. He currently plays with Balonius Bunk in the San Fernando Valley.

1975

September Newman emerges with new outfit, Bandit, who release an album for ABC Records. Having recorded a second album with Sweathog without Jones, Johnson puts together a new band with radio legend Jimmy Rabbit called Rabbit and Renegade, which records an album for Capitol Records, produced by Waylon Jennings.

1977

Newman forms Stepson, who release an album for ABC Records, before later recording two gospel albums. Newman later works with Michael Lloyd, the Osmonds, Bryan MacLean, Shaune Cassidy and with Jimmy Johnson on his Sheena Easton tour. Jones meanwhile, surfaces with The Demons, who issue an eponymous album on Mercury.

Sources:

Einarson, John and Furay, Richie. For What It’s Worth – The Story Of Buffalo Springfield, Quarry Press Inc, 1997, pages 279-280.
Hounsome, Terry. Rock Record #6, Record Researchers Publications, 1994.
Housden, David Peter. The Castle – Love #9, 1995, page86.
Housden, David Peter. The Castle – Love #10, 1996, page 27.
Joynson, Vernon. Fuzz, Acid & Flowers, Supplement, September 1997, page 419.
Povey, Glen and Russell, Ian. Pink Floyd In The Flesh – A Complete Performance History, Bloomsbury, 1997, page 94.
Ruppli, Michel. Atlantic Records – A Discgraphy, volume 2, Greenwood Press, 1979, pages 320 and 366 and volume 3, page 53.
Shapiro, Harry and Glebbeek, Caesar. Electric Gypsy, Mandarin, 1995, page 738.
Billboard, November 16, 1968, page 67; December 28, 1968, page 43; February 22, 1969, page 3 and August 15, 1970, page 28.
Los Angeles Free Press, February 6, 1970; May 1, 1970; May 27, 1970 and June 5, 1970.
Variety, August 19, 1970, page 46.

Thanks to Dave Price, Joey Newman, Bob Jones, Randy Fuller, Don Poncher and Dave Johnson for contributing to the band’s story. Thanks to Jerry Fuentes and Neil Skok for help with some of the New Buffalo Springfield dates. Huge thanks to Steve Finger at the LA Free Press for help with concert posters.

I have tried to ensure that this article is as accurate as possible, but some data is difficult to verify. If anyone is able to supply any additional information or correct any errors, please contact me at Warchive@aol.com

Copyright © Nick Warburton, 2010. No part of this article may be reproduced or transmitted in any from or by any means, without prior permission from the author.

The Sloths


Early photo of the Sloths, from left: Hank Daniels, Michael Rummans, Jeff Briskin, Steve Dibner and Sam Kamarass
Hank Daniels – vocals
Michael Rummans – rhythm guitar
Jeff Briskin – lead guitar
Don Silverman – lead guitar
Steve Dibner – bass
Mick Galper – bass
Sam Kamarass – drums

Recorded by actual Neanderthals in their cave studio. OK, I’m exaggerating, but that’s the image the Sloths’ “Makin’ Love” brings to mind. The sliding guitar rhythm doesn’t really mesh with the other guitar part. The production is so muddled the drummer’s Bo Diddley beat on the toms produces a constant hum that drowns out most of the bass notes. The sound is a turgid, dense r&b, like the Stones’ take on “Not Fade Away” turned inside-out. Hank Daniels shouts his lyrics in a hoarse, slobbering voice: “I wanna be with you all night, makin’ love, good good good lovin’ baby, makin’ love”!

This was not commercial music, but Impression’s owners actually had another group re-record “Makin’ Love” in the hopes of a hit the second time around. Long before I’d heard the Sloths, I knew this song from the version by the Dirty Shames, cut a year later, also for Impression. The Shames’ singer doesn’t have Hank Daniels’ wild incoherence, but the band actually plays together and in tune. Both releases credit Hank with song writing, and publishing listed with Vendo (BMI) on the Sloths and Vendo-Ramhorn (BMI) on the Dirty Shames.

Marty Wons of the Dirty Shames told me there was no connection between his band and the Sloths, and Michael Rummans of the Sloths confirmed this: “I was the rhythm guitarist for the Sloths. Your information is correct – no shared members between Sloths and Dirty Shames.”

The flip, “You Mean Everything to Me” is much tamer but also very good, with twelve string guitar, accomplished playing and clear production. (Thank you to Mike D. and Freddy Fortune for sending clips of this in). It’s another original by Hank Daniels.

This was the first rock release on Al and Sonny Jones’ Impression label, just before they relaunched it with a new design (there had been two or three soul singles before the Sloths). It’s a rare 45 now, with one copy recently selling for over $2,200, and that was without the even rarer picture sleeve!



Sloths logo on drumhead hand painted by Hank Daniels

Mick Galper on Gibson EB3 bass

Sleeve to their Impression single, with original lineup of the Sloths
From left: Michael Rummans, Hank Daniels, Steve Dibner, Sam Kamarass and Jeff Briskin
Michael Rummans wrote the following account of the band, aided by Steve Dibner’s recollections:

This was my first band and, like many other firsts, has its orgins among my high school friends & associates. I attended Beverly Hills High School, ’62 to ’66. During that time, there were many creative individuals including Richard Dreyfuss, Albert Brooks and Michael Lloyd who contributed to an atmosphere of artistic creativity. I first started practicing with Jeff Briskin, a surfer and guitarist. Fun for awhile, but I wanted more – a full band.

I saw my chance when I met Hank Daniels, a transfer student who was attracting a lot of attention. Hair too long, often barefoot with a 12 string Gibson acoustic strapped on his back, he was drawing a lot of attention, both good & bad (there were a lot of preppie types). We started hangin’ out, both of us now hiding from the boy’s Vice Principal and sharing a common interest in music. Soon we decided to start a band, and it wasn’t long before we found Steve Dibner to play bass and Sam Kamarass for drums. We found our name in an American history textbook from a 19th century political cartoon (as did another BHHS band, The Mugwumps).

Once the band was formed, the next step was to learn songs and find somewhere to perform them. Even though the Sloths were by all definitions a garage band, we avoided that actual type of structure when one of Dibner’s parents foolishly agreed to let us rehearse in their living room. We also rehearsed in Hank’s pool house, grudgingly tolerated by his parents. Joking aside I must point out that the band was able to gain invaluble early momentum because most of our families supported and contributed to our effort (most, not all).


Michael Rummans with his first Gibson, Hank Daniels with Electro Voice microphone


Sam Kamarass on drums
Smaller b&w photos originally taken by Julie Olen


Early photo of the Sloths, from left: Hank Daniels, Jeff Briskin, Steve Dibner, Michael Rummans and Sam Kamarass
What we needed next was material. Hank had some backround in acoustic folk music; me and Jeff with surf music but, just like most of the kids of that time, we were all enamored with the music of the British invasion. One of the things that distinguished our group from many others was a realization that we had to develop originality to have success.

This was largely because of a chance meeting I had had with James Brown backstage at the TAMI show. I was with my dad, and when we met JB, he told him I was getting in to music & wanted to know if he had any advice. James said, “Don’t take any lessons, develop your own style – otherwise you’ll never be more than second rate”. That has stayed with me my whole life. So, instead of learning a set of cover songs, we would go to Wallach’s Music City on Sunset & Vine and spend hours in the listening booths looking for songs to cover that no one else was doing, and arrange them in our own style. One of my favorites was “Messin’ With The Kid” by Junior Wells (just stumbled on to it).

Hank also wrote originals, as exemplified by the record. Having an artistic backround, he designed the logo as well (you can see it on Sam’s bass drum).


Wallach’s Music City

Michael Rummans at Pandora’s Box, 16 years old!

Bandmaster amp stood on side, Vox style

The Clubs

Don’t misunderstand me, playing for our friend’s pool parties was fun, but we wanted more. There was the Teenage Fair at the Palladium and all those cool clubs on the Sunset Strip. To this day it amazes me that we got hired – not that we wern’t entertaining, but we were all so obviously underage. The thing is, nobody had told us how impossible it would be, so we were undeterred.

One of the first venues we performed at was called Stratford on Sunset (now the House of Blues). The owner was Jerry Lambert and his nephew’s group, The East Side Kids, was the house band. At that time, they had another name, the Sound of the Seventh Son, I think (no wonder they changed it). They were older, very professional and served as mentors to us. Despite our lack of experience, I think Jerry must of liked our youthful enthusiasm and originality. Anyway, Stratford was great while it lasted (I also got picked up for the first time there). And it was Jerry Lambert again who got me the audition for the Yellow Payges a year later – small world.

Other Strip clubs we played at: The Sea Witch, Pandora’s Box, Hullabaloo – but more about that later …


Michael Rummans, Hank Daniels and Don Silverman
Michael will be adding more about the band at a later date. He left the Sloths and joined the Yellow Payges for a time in 1968. In the ’70s he played with the Hollywood Stars and then the King Bees, among other groups.Michael kindly responded to some of my questions about the Sloths and their record:

Q. How did the record on Impression happen? Did the label sign the band?

We were approached by the brothers at one of our shows. At first I thought they were kidding. I don’t remember signing an official recording contract, but I’m pretty sure we signed an agreement. I do remember them bringing in a copyist to write down lyrics and melody.

Q. Do you remember specifics of the recording session?

Regarding the actual session, I remember the studio quite well. It was an old-fashioned large room, similar to the one used in “The Buddy Holly Story”. It was located on E. Sunset Blvd near Western. The brothers let us do pretty much what they heard on stage, with one exception. One of them suggested the repeating high E on the guitar near the end of the song. I asked why, and he refered to it as a “sensation note”. He was right – it works.


Hank Daniels with Don Silverman (?) to his left

October Country with Sloths graffiti in the background – is this CBS studios at Columbia Square?
Q. I was watching a film on October Country in a studio in ’67, and noticed graffiti: “Sloths” and “Jeff”. The studio may have belonged to CBS Records at Sunset and Gower in Hollywood, California.

I see my name below Jeff’s as well. It may well be the one we recorded the single in.

Q. Did the label do any promotion for the record?

I don’t remember much promotion, other than what we did ourselves. One thing we accomplished was getting it played on KRLA and KFWB, just by having our friends call the station a lot. Some of us even went to KFWB on Argyle & Selma and banged on the door!

As for the record, I only know of three copies; mine, Steve Dibner’s (original bass player) and my sister’s (which she gave to Hank’s son). Jeff Briskin had a box of 100 records in his garage and threw them out a few years ago. However, he’s going to check and see if he can find any other memorabilia-pics, articles, etc. I must have given away most of mine for promotional purposes, which is what they were intended for. We’re going to collaborate and finish the story I started, so I’ll be able to give you more info on Impression and the recording.

Q. Any chance of a Kingbees reunion?

The Kingbees still get together and perform from time to time, but Jamie doesn’t want to hustle gigs any more. Maybe we can find an agent in the future, because the band still sounds great. Unlike the Sloths, I still have a large supply of Kingbees memorabilia.


Don Silverman on Gretsch Country Gentleman, Mick Galper on bass

Friends of the Sloths, the East Side Kids
from left: Joe Madrid, Jimmy Greenspoon, Dennis Lambert, Dave Doud,
Mike Doud and Danny Belsky

Below, photos of the Sloths playing Hollywood au Go Go, October 28, 2011
This was their 3rd show since reuniting.




Photos taken by Angel Jason Peralta. Thanks to Elva for sending the photos in.

93/KHJ Big Boss Battle

KHJ Big Boss Battle with Limey & the Yanks

Starting in February, 1966, KHJ radio (930 AM) in Los Angeles hosted a battle-of-the-bands called the Big Boss Battle, sponsored by Pepsi. According to their program, over 100 bands competed, with semi-finals at the club It’s Boss, and the finals at the Hollywood Palladium on May 10. After I saw the front cover to the program on Ray Randolph’s excellent blog 93/KHJ Boss Radio: a Look Back, Ray sent me the inside of the program at my request.

Judges included Charlie Green and Brian Stone of York-Pala just before the started managing the Buffalo Springfield, Len Waronker and Russ Regan from Warner-Reprise, Fred Rice and Jack Schnyder from Capitol, along with Danny Hutton and Dick and Dee Dee. The DJs included Gary Mack, Johnny Mitchell, the Real Don Steele and Johnny Williams.

Prizes were substantial and included money plus Fender guitars and amps and St. George drums, not to mention being presented the trophy by either Sonny & Cher, Bob Lind or the Blossoms. Unfortunately, recording time was not included, so I’m not sure how many of these groups cut records.

Are any of these bands familiar?

The competing bands were:

Randy Pitzer – St. Monica’s High
The Young Men – Lathrop Junior High
Ron and and the Jumping Beans – Loyola High
Bobby and the SenSaShuns – El Monte High
Los Reyes del Ritmo – Bishop Montgomery High
The What – Stevenson Junior High
Sheilagh and the Trio – Mater Dei High
The Spydres – Eagle Rock High
The Donnybrooks – Bakersfield High
The Teen Turbans – Los Angeles High

plus the Generations, who won the San Diego Pepsi Boss Battle.

Check out this page on Ray’s site to see the front cover of the program and a ticket to the show. Does anyone have flyers or posters for the semi-finals at It’s Boss, or photos from any of the shows?

Update January 2015: check out photos of the Teen Turbans performing at the contest.

Since Limey & the Yanks were the featured act, I’ll include below two photos of the group from a 1966 yearbook sent to me by Barry Kazmer.

 Limey and the Yanks, 1966
Limey and the Yanks, 1966
 Limey and the Yanks, 1966
Limey and the Yanks, 1966

The Heathens

The Heathens, circa 1966
The Heathens, circa 1966. From left: Dirk Acree, unidentified bassist, Don Adey and unidentified drummer Photo courtesy Don Adey Any help in identifying people in this and the other photos would be much appreciated!

The John English III & the Heathens 45 on Sabra, “I Need You Near” is one of the rarest and most highly rated of any mid-60s rock releases. I’ve covered John English in some detail on my site, but now I’d like to give the Heathens their own page, as most of their history comes after English left the group.

Original members of the band seem to be Dirk Acree (aka Vern Acree, Jr., former guitarist for the Blazers of “Beaver Patrol” and “Bangalore” fame), his sister Char Acree (Sharon Acree?) and drummer Johnny Rogers. Vocalist John English joined them while he as a student at San Fernando Valley State College (now California State University, Northridge).

John English told me the Heathens performed at Pandora’s Box, around Orange County and at the legendary Retail Clerks Union Auditorium (8550 Stanton at Crescent in Buena Park) with the Crossfires.

English wasn’t with the band for long, as he doesn’t seem to appear in any photos of the group, at least not that I can tell.

Retail Clerks Auditorium, Buena Park
The Retail Clerks Auditorium, Buena Park Can anyone provide a better photo?
The Heathens at the Pussy-Kat a Go Go
The Heathens at the Pussy-Kat a Go Go, circa 1966. From left: Johnny Rogers (drummer), Don Adey, Colin Adey (with tambourine), unidentified girl in front, Dirk Acree, Char Acree.

The first mention they receive in the press is from the May 13, 1965 edition of the Valley News of Van Nuys, California:

Dance, Show Event at College

NORTHRIDGE — Zeta Beta Tau Fraternity will hold a dance and show, “A Go Go Continental,” on Saturday, May 22, from 8 p.m. to midnight in the college gymnasium at San Fernando Valley State College, 18111 Nordhoff St.

The entertainment will highlight nationally famous recording artists, including The Parlays, formerly with Round Robin who made the Slauson popular. Their records include “Dance to the Slauson” and “Kick Your Little Foot, Sally Ann.”

Also on the program will be Bobby Day who made “Little Bitty, Pretty One” and “Rockin’ Robin” which was once No. 1 all over the world.

Direct from England and the first time in Los Angeles, John English and the Heathens will perform and sing a number of songs soon to be released. Finally, a surprise group will be featured doing many of its million sellers, it was stated.

The dress is school dress and tennis shoes …

The Heathens with Don Adey
From left: Dirk Acree (?), Don Adey, unidentified keyboardist and unidentified bassist

John English III Sabra 45 Some PeopleAs John related the story, someone named Brian who had done PR work for the Beatles brought Lelan Rogers to see the Heathens show at Pandora’s Box. According to John, Lelan had them record three or four sides, but only two were ever issued.

“I Need You Near” has a slashing rhythm from Acree, who takes an excellent solo early in the song. John’s singing is gravelly and cutting, and he has a great shouted bit, something like “alright Vern now step for me, c’mon give me that stroke (?) now!” “Some People” is much different, with a ringing acoustic guitar and an almost whispered vocal.

John’s singing on this record and his later ones shows not a trace of an English accent. I don’t believe the Heathens recorded anything besides this 45 and Don Adey does not recollect them doing any recording while he was with the group.

Both songs are English originals with “Some People” co-written with Vern Acree, publishing by Rattan Music, BMI. The record was produced by Lelan Rogers and arranged by Glen Spreen. Sabra released it in May, 1965, just after another disc produced by Rogers: “I Want My Woman” / “And Then” by the Emperors.

It’s hard to say why the single of “I Need You Near” is so rare now (literally only 4 or 5 copies are known!). Other 45s on the Sabra label, like the Emperors are not as difficult to find. The Heathens single (master numbers S-5009 and S-5010) was actually ready to release before the Emperor’s (S-5011 and S-5012) but was given the next catalog number (5556 compared to the Emperors 5555). I would guess Sabra thought the Emperors disc was stronger, and once it started making an impact, Lelan and Sabra put all their promotional efforts into that record and let the John English & the Heathens record wither on the vine. Another reason could be Lelan soon left Sabra and then returned to Texas.

John English told me the Sabra record received some good reviews, and the band was offered a deal to tour, but some of the Heathens were still in high school. John went out on a 1965 Shindig summer tour as a solo artist.

The Heathens with friends
From left at top: Brian Wilson (?), unidentified woman, Dirk Acree, unidentified woman and Don Adey at bottom: Johnny Rogers, Char Acree and Colin Adey
The Heathens with Dirk Acree
From left: Don Adey, unidentified bassist, unidentified drummer, Dirk Acree and unidentified keyboardist
The Heathens, circa 1967
The Heathens, circa 1967, from left: Don Adey, Johnny Rogers, Dirk Acree and Char Acree Photo courtesy Don Adey

KRLA Beat, September 18, 1965
The September 18, 1965 issue of KRLA’s Beat paper has an interesting “personals” letter from one Chris Jones asking: “To John H. English of the used-to-be Heathen’s: What happened to the group? Will we never heard your beautiful London accent again?”Well, they would hear John again, and the Heathens too. John English joined the Preachers in the fall of 1965: see this page where I’ve written about his career in more detail. The Heathens would continue, adding guitarist Donald Adey, who Dirk knew from Buena Park High School. In addition, the band featured other members I don’t have the names of. Though Colin Adey is in some of their photos, Don told me Colin wasn’t in the group: “my brother was fresh over from the UK just hanging with me.”

There are photos of this group playing live at Pandora’s Box and the Pussy Kat a Go Go, sometimes sharing the stage with the Lady Birds, which also featured Char Acree.

Don’s myspace page lists some of the venues they played:

The Pasadena Civic Auditorium and the Hollywood Pallaidium opening up for The Dave Clark 5 and Donovan, up and down the coast of California and Count Down 65 (battle of the bands), at the Sea Witch, the Galaxy, the Olympic Auditorium, the Ascot Raceway and the Johnson Theater in Palm Springs.

Don Adey left the Heathens to join a group called Posse. In 1967, Adey and Dirk Acree formed the Churchill Downs with Gary Dalton Stovall, Mick Newton and first Al Stigler, then Fred Darling on drums. The Churchill Downs recorded an album’s worth of fine material produced by Gary Paxton that was finally released on Shadoks in 2011.

Adey was also in Jamme who had an LP on Dunhill in 1970.

All photos from hollywoodagogo.com except those labeled as courtesy Don Adey.

Special thanks to Mark Taylor for scans and transfers of the Sabra 45.

The Heathens, circa 1967
The Heathens, circa 1967. Clockwise from bottom left: Dirk Acree, Char Acree, Don Adey, unidentified person, and Johnny Rogers Photo courtesy Don Adey
The Heathens, circa 1968
The Heathens, circa 1968. From left: unidentified musician, Don Adey, Dirk Acree, Char Acree, unidentified musician with drum sticks
Heathens ad for Pussy Kat a Go Go
The Heathens ad for Pussy Kat a Go Go performances

The Ground Floor People

The Ground Floor People Parfait 45 Walkin' on EggsThe Ground Floor People cut two fine singles, first “Walking on Eggs” / “It’s All Right Now”, produced by Ronnie Eden and Joe Simmons on Parfait 101, from September, 1966, then “Treat Me Better” and “Workaday World”, produced by Morty Croft and Ronnie Eden, and released on Mercury 72719 in mid-late 1967.

Tom Ciulla wrote to me and answered my questions about the group:

The Ground Floor People was my group and I played drums and wrote songs. My brother Don Ciulla originally put the group together. He played rhythm guitar and lead vocals. Lead guitar, Tommy Morrow and Freddie Davidson on bass and background vocals. I played drums and sang lead, background vocals and did the screaming (“Treat Me Better”). I came up with the name “Ground Floor People”. We usually rehearsed in a ground floor apartment or basement. Everyone was from Brooklyn.

We were playing in a club called Freddie’s. The owners were trying to sell the place. The group became very popular and after a few months there was a line down the block. The owners decided not to sell and we played there for over nine months. I am pretty sure that was where we met Ronnie Eden (Edelstein).

The Ground Floor People Parfait 45 It's All Right NowJoe Simmons was a real sweetheart. I wrote “It’s All Right Now” with Joe and collaborated on another song that I wrote and he did the arrangement on. It was called “My Man’s a PHD”. Ronnie Eden produced the session and discovered a young “Aretha type” singer to record the song. I remember Ronnie saying that he got a drummer, Perdie Persaval [Bernard Purdie?], who he said played for James Brown, and Perdie got the other musicians to sit in on the session.

Q. I haven’t heard of a Perdie Persaval, but Bernard Purdie played on tons of NY sessions, including one with James Brown.

That was probably the guy. How many drummers named Purdie could there be?

Ronnie claimed he operated on a tight budget. We never had a chance to correct anything in the studio. Like Don Krantz [of Yesterday’s Children, also produced by Eden] said about the bad note on his recording. We all thought the songs “Wanna Be With You” and “Feelings” were really hit tunes. I never met anyone from Yesterdays Children.

I realized later on Ronnie was more interested in having the publishing and recordings of the artists than the quality and promotion of the production. He told me on several occasions he had publishing on several hit songs and recordings that he produced before they were successful. Unfortunately, I made several recordings but was unable to hold on to any of the demos.

The Ground Floor People Mercury 45 Treat Me BetterMy brother was drafted and the group broke up. I played with a few different bands for a while and eventually put together the second Ground Floor People. Sammy Sicalo, lead guitar, George Mandel on keyboard, and Tony Radicello on bass and lead vocals. I played drums and sang lead, background vocals as well. I wrote “Treat Me Better” and “Work A Day World” with Tony. When Ronnie got a recording contract form Mercury records, Tony and I wrote two more songs, “Wanted To Be With You” and “Make A Little Room”. All four songs were recorded at the Mercury session. I always felt “PHD” and the last two tunes at Mercury were my best efforts.

Tom Ciulla

“I Wanted to Be With You Girl” / “Make a Little Room” would show up on a 45 by the One Way Street on the Boutique label, both songs credited to Anthony Radicello, Jr., Tom Ciulla and Ronnie Eden for Impeccable Music, BMI, with production by Ronnie Eden.

Ronnie Eden’s name only comes up in Billboard in conjunction with Ted Black. Together they sold masters by John Gary to Cameo/Parkway and were sued for it by RCA (Billboard, November 13, 1965).

Tom also tipped me to this article about Ronnie becoming New Orleans record shop legend, Record Ron, who passed away in 1996. I used to go to Record Ron’s shop during the two times I lived in New Orleans in the ’80s and ’90s, but I had no idea of his previous career as a producer.

Thanks to Christian for the Parfait 45 scans.