The Savages – Live ‘n Wild

The Savages Duane LP Live 'N WildUpdated January 26, 2007

The Savages – four kids in Bermuda playing the hotel nightclubs for tourists wound up cutting one of the great live lps of the era. This is a solid garage album, with standout tracks being “Quiet Town”, “Nobody But You”, “The World Ain’t Round” and “No No No”.

Since first writing this post, I’ve corresponded with guitarist Paul Muggleton, attempted to interview producer Eddy DeMello with negligible results, and gathered information from as many other sources as I could, including Ed Nadorozy’s previous interviews with bassist Rob Zuill and Paul. Following is a revised and updated telling of their story that is as complete as I can make it. There are still some gaps to fill and mysteries to be explained, with luck some more information will turn up in the future.

Paul Muggleton: “The Savages started in 1965 in Bermuda. We used to watch another band in Bermuda rehearsing, they were the Gents. We were not sons of diplomats …my father was a printer…both Jimmy O’Connor and Bobby Zuill’s fathers were sea captains and Howie Rego’s father had a supermarket. Jimmy O’Connor and I started the band and recruited Bobby Zuill and [drummer] Howie Rego.

“We played teen functions periodically then got a job at the Hub [a nightclub at the Princess Hotel in Hamilton, Bermuda].The Savages Live & Wild Side 1 We worked pretty solidly, sometimes doing three gigs in a day. In the morning we played for two or three hours on Elbow Beach to thousands of American college kids, then from 7 to 9 in the clubhouse above the beach, then from 11 to 3 at the Hub.

“We played seven nights a week doing mostly covers until we were asked to make an album which Jimmy and I wrote in about 3 weeks which became the ‘Savages Live’ album. It was recorded straight to a four track machine, warts and all, live except for one track. ‘No No No’ was recorded after we recorded the album as a b-side to the first single ‘She’s Gone.’ I think it was a small audience, maybe 150 tops, set up to record the album.”

Rob Zuill: “We recorded that album live at the Hub [on February 6, 1966] and we were all so scared that we played everything way too fast. The songs should have been played much slower. In listening to the album later we were very disappointed with our performance. Anyhow it was way to late to do anything about it then. But I know that if we had recorded the album at a proper studio it would have turned out much better.”

Rob may not have been happy with the results, but listening to the album today is a pleasure. For one thing, most of the songs are originals, and the quality of the songwriting is amazing considering the inexperience of the band. Paul Muggleton wrote “Poor Man’s Son”, “Gone to the Moon”, “Nobody But You”, “No No No” and the fantastic “Quiet Town”. Jimmy O’Connor wrote “She’s Gone” and “Oh My Soul”, and he and Muggleton collaborated on “I Believe”. Howie Rego and Rob Zuill co-wrote the most famous song on the record, the dissonant “The World Ain’t Round, It’s Square.”

Of the three cover songs, two are predictable – a fine version of “We Gotta Get Out Of This Place”, and one that I would say is the least worthy track on the LP, “On Broadway”.

The third, however, is a very unusual choice – an English version of an Icelandic song, “Ertu Med” written and recorded by Thor’s Hammer in 1965. Paul Muggleton: “Our manager, Bev Welsh was Icelandic, he played us the song and I may have written the lyrics in English.” Confusion arises because Thor’s Hammer recorded their own English version of the song under the title ‘If You Knew,’ with totally different lyrics than the Savages’. In fact, Thor’s Hammer’s English version wasn’t recorded until May of 1966, several months after the Savages live session!

Also of note is that “No No No” came to be recorded by The Instincts, a band from Connecticut, most likely because someone brought the Savages 45 back home with them after vacationing in Bermuda.

The Savages Duane 45 The World Ain't Round It's Square

The Duane label was run by Eddy DeMello, a Bermudan of Portuguese descent. All the Duane releases recorded in Bermuda have a fine natural echo, leading me to believe they were recorded at the same location. Two other garage bands are also on Duane, the Weads and the Gents, along with a fantastic funk LP, Spacing Out by the Invaders. For more info on the Duane label, see the list of releases I’ve added to the site.

Paul Muggleton: “Eddy De Mello was the only promoter on the Island and I think initially he worked hard for us…putting us on tours of the West Indies and getting us to the States [summer, 1966] for gigs like the Scene and The Coney Island Pub and gigs on Long Island and Providence, Rhode Island. We went to New York to record ‘Roses Are Red.’ We also recorded two other songs at A&R studios with engineer and producer Chuck Irwin.” Released as their second 45, “Roses Are Red My Love” shows a tighter, more mature sound than the live recordings done just a few months previous. No one seems to remember the names of the other songs recorded in NY, and the tapes have disappeared.

While in NY, someone in the band made an insulting remark in Harlem which caused an irrepairable rift in the band. Paul: “The Savages broke up because of an incident in New York that nearly got us all killed through the stupidity of some of the members…and that’s all I can say on that one, even after all these years.”

Paul Muggleton: “The album is still to this day on sale [on CD, taken not from master tapes but from a scratched vinyl copy] and up to this moment no one has received any royalties for either the publishing or mechanicals. The record was only promoted in Bermuda but thousands were sold to college kids so there should be quite a few out there.”

EThe Savages Duane 45 You're On My Mindddy De Mello currently runs a nightclub/music store called the Music Box. When I asked him about the band all he had to say was “it’s history.” Paul sums up De Mello: “I’m afraid he wouldn’t be interested because there was no money in it…that’s the way he is, someone who knows the price of everything but the value of nothing.”

After the Savages broke up, Paul Muggleton and Jimmy O’Connor joined with Andy Newmark and Glenn Mello of the Gents to make the Bermuda Jam album for the Dynovoice label, which includes the incredible psychedelic patische “Good Trip Lollipop”. Part of this band including Muggleton became the house band at Steve Paul’s “The Scene” in New York in June and July of 1967.

Since that time, Paul Muggleton has been active in music. Recently I heard one fine single he recorded for Columbia in Spain in 1970 under his own name: “Billy Snow, Jim Black” / “Where Time Flies”.

Rob Zuill: “We were a very big group in Bermuda in the late 60s. We really thought we were hot shit. And maybe we were.”

45s:
Duane 1043 – The Savages – No No No / She’s Gone
Duane 1049 – The Savages – Roses Are Red My Love / Quiet Town
Duane 1054 – The Savages – The World Ain’t Round, It’s Square / You’re On My Mind

Paul Muggleton Columbia 45 Billy Snow, Jim Black - Where Time Flies
Thanks to Borja for info on “Billy Snow, Jim Black”.

18 thoughts on “The Savages – Live ‘n Wild”

  1. Bermuda Jam is solid mod/soul lp. There are many covers, and some interesting psych/comedy sort of things interspersed. Never knew they were related to Savages, but it figures. Great post! Absolutely deadly lp! Thanks for sharing! You’re the best!

  2. I love this record, I bought it around 7-8 yrs ago in Glasgow, Scotland, sure it’s a bootleg reissue but what a cool album it turned out much better than I thought, besides I seem to remember it cost me something like 2 quid ($4-5 approx) but hey! I never realized that crazy THOR’S HAMMER connection…that’s probably why “Ertu Med / If you knew” sounded familiar!
    I love these totally unexpected stories!
    This blog is FAB!
    All the best from Chilean Patagonia, that’s right!

  3. I was born and grew up in Bermuda and went to many a dance where the Savages played. I remember Paul and Howie (I think he lived down the street from us in Paget). They were an awesome band. Thanks for sharing the music and history. I think I even had the album – but that was a long long time ago.

  4. At the same time as the Savages,I was in a band called The Castaways,it was me(drums),Winston Cabral,Corky Fishbeck(guitars) and sometimes a guy called ‘Mutt’ Mutzke (sax).The Savages were big time,we were just small parties and the odd gig at The Castle Harbour Hotel where Corky’s father was manager!I don’t recall Winston ever composing a song,but he could have.If anybody knows where he is now I would like to hear.

  5. Duane 1002 Roses are Red My Love and Quiet Town – I just found this one and it is ROCKIN’ – I’ve never heard of another copy around anywhere and learned from this site that the A -Side is only available on the 45 – I have saved it in my files and am letting the 45 go right now on EBAY – Anyone else own a copy?

    1. Hello…I read that you played with a guitar player named Corky Fishbeck. I knew a Corky Fishbeck many years ago when I lived in Italy and Spain. Corky went out with my sister Mimi. He said he had lived in Bermuda.

      If you are still in contact with this Corky and think t might be the same guy. Please pass on my e-mail. Thank you

      1. Hi,
        I just stumbled across this info about the savages. They were great players and we use to check them up stairs at the hog penny pub I think on burnaby hill Bermuda. Wow a long time ago! Those were good times
        Pre Beatles . I would love to say hello to Lou Lou Steiner.

  6. Duane 1002 – Yes, I own a mint minus copy, and have had 4 or 5 in the past 10 years or so to sell / trade off.

    There was a quantity find of this title, and it used to sell for $40-50 until recently.

    The 3rd Savages single is extremely tough to find.

  7. Those were the days! College Weeks in Bermuda, The Savages playing, sun, sea and eternal youth. I went to school with Paul Muggleton and knew the other band members as well. Those were wonderful days, years. Great album, made greater by the passage of time. Eddy of Edmar just passed away.

  8. So, maybe i’m an idiot but i thought i would be able to download the live’n’wild album from your excellent page. but i can’t see any download links. I really want to listen to this record. instead of finding af few of the songs on youtube in horrible quality.

    How do i get this record?

  9. Are these the same Savages who played at Cheetah in midtown Manhattan NYC for at least 3 weeks in August 1966? The dates seem to match Paul’s comments. Billboard 2/11/67 page 54 mentions The Young Savages will play Coney Island Pub; is this a different group? I am doing some research on Cheetah and would like to contact Paul if he played at Cheetah in August 1966. And as an update, Eddy DeMello died 3/6/13: http://bernews.com/2013/03/beloved-impresario-eddy-demello-dies-at-75/

    1. The Young Savages mentioned in Billboard 2/11/67 are a different group from the Bermuda Savages.
      The Young Savages recorded two 45rpm singles on Roulette records in 1967 and 1968.

  10. I’ve got a question about the song “The World Ain’t Round”. I get the feeling that I’ve heard the melody which starts at 1:08 in another song… any idea what song it could be?

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