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.
“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.
Not garage music today, but some rare tracks from my favorite soundtrack composer, Akira Ifukube (or to give the name in the proper order, Ifukube Akira).
He wrote the music for the original Godzilla film, and also for dozens of other films: horror, monster, sci-fi, samurai epics and serious dramas. I wish I had bought every one of these CD compilations when I was in Japan, but I was lucky enough to come away with a couple of them as they’re not available here in the U.S.
Great band from Brisbane who relocated to New Zealand.
They had many fine releases, including some that are more soul and pop than these I’m featuring here. I recommend seeking out the rest of their recordings. Their full story is at the New Zealand Music of the 60’s site.
In honor of the Chocolate Watchband playing the Underground Garage festival in NY this weekend, I’m featuring the original version of their most famous tune, “Let’s Talk about Girls”.
The Grodes and Tongues of Truth were two names for the same band – originally from Tucson, Arizona, but often recording in L.A. They were renamed Tongues of Truth without their knowledge by their manager and promoter, Dan Gates, dj at local KTKT in Tucson. Gates didn’t bother to tell the band about the rechristening until he announced the new single, Let’s Talk About Girls, over the airwaves. They stuck with it while the 45 had it’s time on the charts (#37 locally), then returned to being the Grodes. “Cry a Little Longer” is an earlier 45 on the Tri-M label, and one of their best.
His 45’s “You Stole My Love” and “That’s When Happiness Began” are famous, but some of his lesser know tracks are good too.
“Where Are You”, originally released on Kommotion KL 32030 in 1966. Available on the Festival CD “Mike Furber: Diddy Wah Diddy: A Tribute Anthology”, if you can find it.