Category Archives: Not garage

The Bacchantes & the Bacchanalia label of Kit Haaland

Bacchantes Bacchanalia 45 Child of the Morning Sun

The Bacchantes were a studio creation of producer Carsten “Kit” Haaland. Kit Haaland ran the Bacchanalia label and production company in Oak Ridge, Tennessee, with enough of a presence to get a listing in the Billboard Buyer’s Guide for five years running from 1968-1972, once with Tom McBryde and DanTaylor listed as Vice Presidents.

Beginning in 1967, Haaland registered a number of songs with the Library of Congress copyright office, including such intriguing titles as “Sun Machine Goddess”, “Bad Dream”, “Focus Your Love Lamp Baby”, “Get Off Your Rock” and “I Want You, Big Man”. I’d like to see the lyrics for these as Haaland seems to have had some message he was trying to deliver.

Bacchantes Bacchanalia 45 I'm Leaving YouThis single also appears to be from 1967. “Child of the Morning Sun (Bacchanalia #9)” was one of the first songs Haaland copyrighted. The production is upbeat baroque-psychedelic with female vocals. “I’m Leaving You (Bacchanalia #3)” has complicated shifts in tempo and melody.

Both songs were also released in a soul style with different arrangements and vocalists. This exists on a white label with blue print – if anyone has a scan of that 45 please let me know. As far as I can tell, these were the only releases on the Bacchanalia label.

If music was a dead-end for Haaland, he received much more attention for his next venture as an expert on UFO sightings. A 1975 profile in the Kingsport Times-News states “Dr. Kit Haaland is a physicist in the Oak Ridge National Laboratories, currently working on a study of how the nation might survive a hypothetical nuclear war. In his spare time, he directs a group of about 40 scientists who are establishing a tracking network for aerial phenomena [UFOs].”

I believe Carsten Haaland passed away in December 2010.

Josie Taylor “I’ll Love You For Awhile”

Josie Taylor Liberty 45 I'll Love You For Awhile

Josie Taylor was of the many women in the mid-’60s who had one or two fine solo singles then disappeared from the music scene and history books. A few others that come to mind include Karen Verros (two singles on Dot including the great “You Just Gotta Know My Mind”), Judy Hughes (“Fine, Fine, Fine” on Vault), and Marilyn Mattson who I covered ten years ago and still haven’t found any info about.

Josie Taylor’s single featured a rarely-performed Goffin – King song, “I’ll Love You For Awhile” given a dark, heavy-hitting arrangement by Leon Russell. Dusty Springfield originally did the song in a plainer arrangement on her LP Ooooooweeee!!!.

The flip is the instrumental “Tra La La” (written by Pell), that could be the Wrecking Crew doing a simple jam, but is very much worth a listen.

Snuff Garrett, produced both sides. It was released June, 1965 on Liberty Records F-55800.

Josie Taylor Liberty 45 Tra La La

Arboreal “Our Souls Would See Us Through”

Arboreal 45 Our Souls Would See Us ThroughThis single by Arboreal was a mystery to me, the only names on the label are Glen, Greg Allen, and no label name or address. Even the deadwax only repeats the 45-ST-101 A/B on the labels. When I first wrote this post in late October, 2016, there was no info on the ‘net, nothing.

Obviously it’s not ’60s garage but sounds like mid-late 70s rock, without much punk influence. The opening of “Our Souls Would See Us Through” reminds me a little of Wire, but that’s as far as it goes. “16 Years Old” gives more attitude, but both songs have an original sound that can’t be pegged to any movement or sound from the time. The songs are in stereo.

Arboreal – Our Souls Would See Us Through

Arboreal – 16 Years Old

As it turns out, Arboreal were two brothers, Greg Allen and Glen Allen, originally from Nutley, New Jersey but living in New York City when they went into a studio as early as 1968 and cut the songs on this single.

My friend Jason of Rip It Up R.I. and The Basement Walls did some excellent sleuthing and contacted Steve Simels of the Power Pop blog who had been in the Floor Models with Glen Robert Allen in the 1980s.. Glen wrote a long history of the band.

The entire post is worth a read, but the relevant paragraphs are:

Greg and I had a clunky but good sounding Telefunken tape recorder and, later, a Sony that had sound-on-sound,as it was called back then. We could overdub ourselves. Many Dada-esque tunes were recorded, and some attempts at “real” music as well.

But in ’68 I took up guitar, and we wrote and recorded more in earnest. By then our family had been in NYC for about a year. Greg and I decided to record in an actual studio.

An older classmate of mine, Jon Fausty, was working in a studio that specialized in Latin music. The first day in the studio the equipment went south, wouldn’t work. I was actually relieved, for although Greg and I had performed in public and had recorded at home, this was A STUDIO! Where RECORDS WERE MADE!

The next day the gear was in working order, and I had shaken off the nerves. After all, I did have long wavy hair, a cool turquoise ring, a Superman-logo’d tee shirt, tie-dyed jeans, and, most of all, my ’68 Gold-Top Les Paul Standard on which I had mastered the three essential chords.

I also loved the name we’d devised: Arboreal. We always had a thing for chimps, and we both probably would’ve proposed to Jane Goodall.

Greg was a metronomic drummer, a better time-keeper than me (‘though I keep good time!). But who knew at the time that left handed drummers set up their drums differently than righties? Not us — we’d only seen righties ever play.

Nontheless, with Greg keeping time and me on guitar, bass and vocals(!), we cut “Our Souls Would See Us Through,” which Greg wrote the lyric for, and “Sixteen Years Old,” which I wrote.

The chorus on “Sixteen…” was originally “Things are pretty shitty when you’re sixteen years old..” But for the sake of mass appeal and radio play, I cleverly changed “shitty” to “sickening”. A move of rare genius, though I missed the sheer beauty of the “pretty/shitty” rhyme scheme.

Greg, in true mystical metaphoric mode, came up with “we gazed into each other’s eyestreams, until we met each other’s dreams.” And to think — “eyestreams” was hardly ever used back then!

We printed 100 45’s, sent them out to several record companies, and waited for the offers to roll in. Some of the rejection letters came on very nice stationery. Some with encouraging comments and actual signatures!

As I recall, Pickwick, a budget label, made an offer, but we held out for the big fish. That fish is still swimming merrily out there somewhere….

I’d like to hear some of the Allen brothers other early tapes, they obviously had a very original approach to rock music.

Arboreal 45 16 Years Old

Gun Shy

Gun Shy Musicol 45 Gun ShyI come across many singles out of the range of the ’60s garage I usually cover on this site. When something is very obscure, with little or no info on the ‘net, I post it to satisfy my own curiosity.

Such as this single by Gun Shy,  Ohio rock that sounds mid-70s but actually dates to 1981. It’s a Musicol press out of Columbus, with lots of EQ notes in the dead wax.

The A-side is “Gun Shy”, straight-up  rock with plenty of cowbell, and a professional sound. The flip “Rymes and Reasons” is a power ballad with a good solo. B. Whitlatch and J. Cremeans wrote both sides. No publishing info, but production was by L. Smith and W. Withrow.
Gun Shy Musicol 45 Rymes & Reasons

Karl Thaler

Karl Thaler 45 The StormKarl Thaler 45 Phoebe

Supreme obscurity here, though not garage at all. Karl Thaler plays acoustic guitar and sings doom-laden lyrics on the excellent composition “The Storm”, and plays guitar and harmonica on the instrumental “Phoebe”.

Karl Thaler – The Storm

I had no info other than what’s on the label, which includes the deadwax stamp “45 202 385” / “45 202 386”. A comment, below, informs me that this single was included with the University of Scranton, Pennsylvania’s literary magazine Esprit in 1969, when Karl Thaler was a student there. Any further info on about Mr. Thaler or the University of Scranton music scene this came from would be appreciated.

Kenneth Rexroth at the Black Hawk

Kenneth Rexroth, Fantasy LP 7008, Poetry and Jazz at the Black Hawk
Kenneth Rexroth Fantasy LP 7008, Poetry and Jazz at the Black Hawk, Side AI usually wouldn’t write about an album like this, but when I bought this copy of Kenneth Rexroth’s Fantasy LP “Jazz & Poetry at the Black Hawk”, I found hand-written notes inside the cover on copies of two of the poems recorded: “Nicholas Dog of Experience” and Rexroth’s translation of Francis Carco’s “The Shadow”.

Reading through these it’s obvious drummer Hank Uribe jotted these notes during the session to guide his playing. He also lists the musicians on the session, something I haven’t seen published elsewhere, even though they had an entire back cover to fill with notes. Musicians were: John Mosher, bass; Clair Willey, piano; Dickie Mills, trumpet; Brew Moore on tenor sax; and Hank Uribe on drums.

Kenneth Rexroth wrote an essay called “Jazz Poetry” for The Nation magazine in 1958 discussing how he was working with a quintet that included three musicians who would appear on the Black Hawk album: Brew Moore, Dickie Mills and Clair Willey; plus Frank Esposito on trombone, Ron Crotty on bass and Gus Gustafson on drums.

For kicks I’m also including a scan of a legal release to allow photos to be taken in the Black Hawk club in San Francisco. All this may be minor history, but I know someone else besides me will be interested in it.

The collaboration of beat poets with jazz musicians is a strange and funny genre, and Rexroth’s delivery is one of the oddest:

Rexroth passed away in 1982; Hank Uribe in February 2011. Brew Moore was probably the most famous musician on this session, which would have taken place just before he dropped out of the jazz scene until relocating to Europe. Fantasy released an LP under his leadership in 1956, featuring a band that included Dickie Mills. Moore died in 1973.

Kenneth Rexroth, Fantasy LP 7008, Poetry and Jazz at the Black Hawk - back cover

Francis Carco - The Shadow, Kenneth Rexroth at the Black Hawk
Francis Carco – The Shadow, translated by Kenneth Rexroth

Francis Carco - The Shadow page 2, Kenneth Rexroth at the Black Hawk
Francis Carco - The Shadow page 3, Kenneth Rexroth at the Black Hawk
Francis Carco – The Shadow page 3, Kenneth Rexroth at the Black Hawk, with handwritten notes by Hank Uribe

Kenneth Rexroth - Nicholas Dog of Experience, with notes by Hank Uribe
Kenneth Rexroth – Nicholas Dog of Experience, with notes by Hank Uribe

Kenneth Rexroth at the Black Hawk, notes by Hank Uribe
Kenneth Rexroth at the Black Hawk, notes by Hank Uribe. June 1960. This page lists John Mosher, bass; Clair Willey, piano; Dickie Mills, trumpet; Brew Moore on tenor sax; and Hank Uribe on drums.

Fantasy Records Photo Release for the Blackhawk
Fantasy Records Photo Release for the Blackhawk

Drits & Dravy

Drits & Dravy Another 45 Talk That Talk Part 1Just a few days after I added Nick’s article on former Daily Flash guitarist Doug Hastings’ time with Dr. John’s band in 1969, I picked up this single on the Another label by Drits & Dravy, one of Mac Rebennack’s many early releases before he moved to Los Angeles and assumed the Dr. John persona. It features Mac and Ronnie Barron putting down a long stream of quick rhymes and puns, many of which I can’t make out through the echo.

I’ve seen this as being from 1960, but I think 1962 is probably more likely, given that Dr. John mentions having the Drits and Dravy act at the same time he was cutting an unreleased LP for AFO.

Besides Mac and Ronnie, either of whom could be playing organ, I’m not sure who was on this session. It could have included some of his regular band at the time, such as Paul Staehle (drums) and Charlie Maduell (sax).

Another collaboration between these two which sounds very different is Ronnie Barron’s single “It’s All in the Past” written by Dauenhauer-Rebennack b/w “The Hip Parade”by Rebennack-O’Neil, from about 1963.

Drits & Dravy Another 45 Talk That Talk Part 2

Found photos – Moondog, and music on the streets of NY in the 1960’s

More of the photo negatives – these are various musicians on the streets of New York. If anyone can help identify any of the musicians in the photos below, I’d appreciate it. Please do not reproduce any of these without permission.

Other photos from the collection include acts at the Apollo Theater and Bud Powell’s funeral procession.

Moondog in front of the Underwriters Trust Company, 1340 - Sixth Ave?
Moondog in front of the Underwriters Trust Company, 1340 – Sixth Ave?

Moondog in front of the Underwriters Trust Company, 1340 - Sixth Ave?
Moondog in front of the Underwriters Trust Company, 1340 – Sixth Ave?

 Jimmy Nottingham on trumpet in Harlem, late 1960's
Jimmy Nottingham on trumpet in Harlem, late 1960’s

 Unidentified group in front of Chock Full o' Nuts - 125th St?
Unidentified group in front of Chock Full o’ Nuts – 125th St?

 Unidentified guitarist
Unidentified guitarist

 Unidentified guitarist in Central Park
Unidentified guitarist in Central Park

 Unidentified guitarist in Central Park
Unidentified guitarist in Central Park

 Unidentified musician in (I believe) Washington Square Park
Unidentified musician in (I believe) Washington Square Park

 Unidentified musician in (I believe) Washington Square Park
Unidentified musician in (I believe) Washington Square Park

Many thanks to all who have helped with IDs.