Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Your Tuesday Moment of Power Pop Heaven: Special Bubblegum Gets a Bad Rap! Edition

Okay, I admit it -- for some reason I'm obsessed with the great Graham Gouldman of late.

I bring this up because -- well, from 1970, please enjoy bubblegum legends The Ohio Express and their infernally addictive (and more substantial than the genre usually gets) "Sausalito."

Written by -- wait for it -- Graham Gouldman. Yes, him. (And I should add that the following is a rewritten version of something I originally posted in a different context in 2009.)

Anyway, the interesting (I know, you'll be the judge of that) thing is that the guys in the clip were NOT the guys who played and sang the record. The clip guys, who admittedly have the then contemporary rock star look down pretty good, were a Mansfield, Ohio band called Sir Timothy & The Royals, who were renamed the Ohio Express and hired by the Kasenetz/Katz bubblegum factory to represent, as the kids say.

So who played on the record? Well, given Gouldman's fingerprints on the thing, you might guess it was his future band 10cc, and you'd be right; "Sausalito" is, in fact, the work of the same pop geniuses behind records like "Rubber Bullets" and "I'm Not in Love." Gouldman and company spent a year basically toiling as Brill Building hacks for Kasenetz and Katz; they had their own recording studio which they were trying to turn into a viable commercial enterprise at the time, and grinding out bubblegum tracks for K&K paid the bills. For more on the whole history of the Ohio Express, you should probably go over here.

And just to show you what a nice guy I am, here's a link to a nice clean copy of the record itself. Love that twangy sitar!!!

You're welcome.


Anonymous said...

Thanks for song vid & links. These will give me something to do when I wake up. But first I have to go to bed.

I agree wholeheartedly with the sentiments expressed in the song.

Gouldman on lead vocals, right? This sucker barely charted and was the last song to do so for the Ohio Express.

Vickie Rock - Hooking up my anti-hangover IV.

FD13NYC said...

Very interesting, as Arte Johnson would say.

buzzbabyjesus said...

You're welcome. Here is Simon Turner Singing "Baby I Gotta Go" in 1973 which was written by Jonathan King, who first signed and named the backing band 10cc.


And here's the same song in 2011, with what sounds like the same backing track sung by Johnny Bambino, and also produced by Jonathan King.


Billy B said...

That's fascinating, Steve. Kasenetz and Katz were the Lou Pearlmans of the late 60s and 70s...

Anonymous said...

Lou Pearlman's doing time last I checked. Kasenetz - Katz may have been slave drivers, but they weren't total scum. Also the stuff they churned out and groups they 'manufactured" had some value as good pop music. IMHO Pearlman's artists, such as New Kids On the Block, all sucked.

Speaking of New Kids, here's a little story:

When my son was eight years old he wore a "New Kids Suck" button to school. Apparently, his grade school teacher was a big fan. She would always play their music when it was "fun" time in class.

She brought him to the principal's office and he was sent home for the day. I got a call from the office to pick him up. I was wondering what he did wrong as no one told me on the phone message.

When I got there I sat next to my son in front of the vice principal's desk. He opened his top drawer and pulled the button out and said in very serious tones, Ms. Rock, we caught your son wearing this button to school. I laughed when I saw it read "New Kids Suck."

Here I was thinking he had done some heinous thing, was fighting another kid, or being disrespectful and this was what they were sending him home for? They had to be kidding?!

"Well, they do suck, don't they?" I said to the Vice Principal who rolled his eyes with disapproval at what I was saying. I told them I didn't think my son should be punished for expressing himself.

Then the vice had a meeting with the Principal to discuss the situation. A few minutes later the principal emerged. He agreed, my son had a right to express himself. But they did not approve of the word "suck." Also they conjured up some cockamamie theory that new kids at the school would find it offensive.

My son and I had a good laugh when we got out of there. I took him to Disneyland where no one said anything about his button.

Vickie Rock

Anonymous said...

Yeah, I know New Kids were not a Pearlman act. But all of his acts came from their inspiration.

Hannes A. Jónsson said...

Oh dear. Who let JK near young boys again?

Anonymous said...

RE: Jonathan King

You can't keep a good buggerer down when he's Wilde About Boys. I'm sure he gave them a good 10cc's worth.

Vickie Rock