Last week’s photographic contribution from Tell-Tale Hearts guitarist Eric Bacher of the band and audience at Greenwich Village West, ca. 1984 — salvaged from a vintage contact sheet — omitted some great shots of the band, including a grainy image of keyboardist/harmonica player Bill Calhoun.
Posts Tagged ‘Mike Stax’
According to Eric, the Hearts played this underground lair only twice. The photos, lifted from an old contact sheet, of course include Eric as well as Tell-Tale Hearts vocalist Ray Brandes, drummer David Klowden and bassist Mike Stax. (Keyboardist Bill Calhoun was not captured by the lens that night.)
(Bart Mendoza invites the gang to watch Reelin’ in the Years’ new documentary and talk to panelists Mike Stax and David Peck.)
On Jan. 22, 2011, at 2 p.m., The Museum of Making Music in Carlsbad, Calif., will host a special exclusive advance look at Pretty Things: Midnight To Six 1965-1970, an upcoming film documentary from San Diego’s Reelin’ in the Years Productions, part of its British Invasion series. Admission to the museum includes the screening ($7; $5 for students, seniors and museum members).
(Rolf “Ray” Rieben of Feathered Apple Records describes how the San Diego underground reached Basel, Switzerland, and shares his cache of memorabilia from the Che Cafe and other points southwest. Stay tuned for much more of Ray’s trove from the Tell-Tale Hearts, Crawdaddys, Howling Men and more!)
I was working as a record salesman in Switzerland when the first Crawdaddys LP (“Crawdaddy Express”) on the German Line label had hit the market. Most of the Bomp! catalog was licensed to Line Records from Germany. Line Records had the best possible distribution, since because they were connected to a major label. They’ve helped to make The Crawdaddys and some of the other bands from Greg Shaw’s Bomp label famous over here in Europe.
“Crawdaddy Express” rates as the first modern ’60s garage LP ever made (after probably The Flamin’ Groovies). It was first advertised on the back cover of the July 1979 issue of Goldmine magazine. The sound was very British: wild raving rnb like the early Kinks, Downliners Sect, or the The Pretty Things, but undoubtedly influenced by Bo Diddley, Chuck Berry and the likes. There’s even a few cool northern soul ballads featured on both of their LPs, too. These four fine young lads from San Diego knew what they were doing, they had the right spirits, and they could deliver in authentic ca. ’64 – ’65 style, too. It was exactly the type of brand-new LP that I was hoping for.
Here are a few of the incredible musicians who have spent time behind a drum kit with Manual Scan or the Shambles over the past 30-plus years. Not pictured: Paul Brewin, Morgan Young, Terry Moore, Rob Wilson, Trace Smith, Brad Kiser. … There’s a future post there.
1) “I was a Shambles drummer” pin. People have sat in with the band for one song to obtain one of these.
In the late ’80s, Kevin Donaker-Ring co-produced Manual Scan’s “Days & Maybes” EP with Ray Brandes (side note: humorous liners by Mike Stax), and we were all part of a group of musicians that frequented Megalopolis on Fairmount Ave., often playing round-robin style — David Moye and Jon Kanis amongst the round-robiners who didn’t end up in the band (though we did back up Kanis on a compilation-album track).
In the cafés of Madrid, in the outdoor flea markets of Barcelona, and along the beaches of the southern coast of Spain, everyone is talking about “La Crisis.” The Spanish economy is now faltering badly, on the edge of a recession brought on by the collapse of a building boom; an average household debt 120 percent above the gross domestic product; and an unemployment rate of over 10 percent, the highest in Europe.
One company, however, which employs a curious and uniquely Spanish trade, has seen its business surge in this environment of unpaid bills. El Cobrador del Frac, the “debt collector in top hat and tails,” exists to humiliate debtors, playing on their sense of public shame. For a percentage of the collection, you can have your debtor’s footsteps dogged by a man conspicuously dressed like Fred Astaire and carrying a briefcase emblazoned with his trade. It is a shrewd and imaginative premise: that people are quick to repay the money they owe when their indebtedness is paraded in public.
(Editor’s note: When asked whether guest columnist Patrick Works could add this submission to the “This We Dug” franchise, series founder Dave Rinck wrote, “Of course! Anything Pat says is automatically cool.” And so it is.)
For some strange reason amidst the caca-phone of 60s/70s TV the Monkees begat all kinds of media attempts at duplicating pop super-stardom, and the rest is of course TV history.
Tom Goddard’s trove of flyers continues to bear dividends for Che Underground: The Blog. Today’s bequest from the Goddard Collection features show pieces from the Morlocks’ 1984 and 1985 performances in San Diego, Los Angeles and San Francisco, created by artists including Jerry Cornelius and Kristen Tobiason.
“For more information, call [Tell-Tale Hearts bassist] Mike [Stax],” reads the Tobiason flyer in the lead spot of this post. “If he ain’t home, call [Morlocks guitarist] Ted [Friedman] … If he ain’t home, call [Morlocks bassist] Jeff [Lucas] … ,” providing phone numbers for each. Now that’s customer service!
(Ray Brandes’ account of their Midwest tour, undertaken in January of 1985, originally appeared on the liner notes to the Tell-Tale Hearts’ “Live Volume II: Later That Same Night in Springfield” album, released with Volume I in 1997 on Corduroy Records, Australia.)
“Mad” Jon McKinney, tour promoter extraordinaire and proprietor of the Primitive A–Go-Go, Springfield, Missouri’s, first- and last-ever sixties garage-punk nightclub, had a dream: to turn Downtown Springfield into Swinging London. He called, and we answered.
Though I had long ago learned the secret of keeping my expectations low in order to always be pleasantly surprised, I must admit that my first real journey beyond the confines of California (which began ominously with the rear-view mirror vision of my sleeping bag flying away from the luggage rack somewhere near Gila Bend, Arizona), tested the limits of the depths to which those expectations could sink. In January of 1985, in the midst of one of the worst winter storms on record, a rented Dodge Caravan containing little more than two guitars, a Vox Continental organ, several harmonicas, a few broken maracas, a tambourine and five young travelers made its way east towards its destination: the mythical Midwestern city of Springfield, Missouri.