Friday, May 31, 2019

Weekend Listomania: Let Us Now Praise Inexplicably Not Famous Men (and Women)

Okay kids -- in an attempt to distract us from the latest outrage perpetrated by President Mediocre Columbo Villain, here's a hopefully entertaining diversion:


No arbitrary rules, thank you very much, but if you cite some local band from your hometown, I will come to your house and slap you silly.

And now, here's my totally Top of My Head Top Eight:

8. The Rising Sons

Featuring Taj Mahal and Ry Cooder, before either of them got famous. They were apparently a shit-hot live band who couldn't really get it together recording-wise. This unplugged session track is spine-tingling, obviously.

7. Evie Sands

This gal had it all -- except, unfortunately, the hit records. She's still at it, BTW, and if you're ever in Los Angeles when she's gigging, don't miss her.

6. Autosalvage

Psychedelic folk/rock band from New York City; the bass player was the brother of The Lovin' Spoonful's Steve Boone. Stole a copy of their sole LP from my college radio station in 1968 and have played it obsessively (in its CD version) ever since. The concensus is that if they had moved to San Francisco they could have been huge.

5. The Poor

Future Poco and Eagles member Randy Meisner's first band; the song was written by either Brewer or Shipley. They were managed and produced by the guys who did Buffalo Springfield, and that song got a fair amount of airplay, at least in my neighborhood in the Tri-State Metropolitan Area. I actually owned the 45.

4. Bob Lind

Yeah, yeah, I know -- "Elusive Butterfly" is one of the goofiest artifacts of a goofy era, but the B-side, as you can hear, kicks genuine ass. So much so that The Blues Project, unquestionably one of the best American bands of the day, did a killer cover of it.

3. Chrysalis

Absolutely wonderful NYC folk/rock psych band with a girl singer to die for and, as you can hear, some really beautiful songs. One album and out, alas.

2. Lothar and the Hand People

Yeah, the band with the theremin. I saw them live, opening for The Byrds, and they were incredible; very charismatic (and snazzy dressers to boot), musicianship to burn and terrific tunes. This one has been a fave of mine for decades, and I find it almost painfully poignant (as well charmingly melodic).

And the number one shoulda-been-household-words act of the Sixties, it's not even close, obviously is...

1. The Nightcaps

Five kids from Dallas who were among the first white punks to get down to the heart of hep. Their sole album, released in 1960, is the kind of thing that The Rolling Stones and The Yardbirds would be doing three years later, and although nobody outside of Texas ever heard of them, they were remarkably influential; Jimmy Vaughan idolized them, and both his brother Stevie Ray and ZZ Top recorded their songs.

Alrighty then -- what would YOUR choices be?

And have a great weekend, everybody!!!!


Shriner said...

Can I just nominate every band on the first two Nuggets box sets that I had never heard prior to listening to them?

That would be easier. :-)

But if I have to pick one: The Merry Go Round

BG in Q said...

No Monks? :-)

cthulhu said...

Evie Sands - ghod, what a voice! “Take Me For a Little While” should have been a monster hit, but she got unfairly scooped on it - a test pressing of the single got stolen and Chess got a competing version out on the streets 48 hours later - but Evie’s original is one of the greatest blue-eyed soul songs ever.

MJConroy said...

The Remains

Billy B said...


Agreed. I have the first Nuggets album on vinyl I found in a cut-out bin for $1.99 back in 75.

The Seeds

edward said...

Drimble Wedge and The Vegetation ;>

Gummo said...

Billy B, that's just about when I bought it - played it to death!

pete said...

A big yes to Barry and the Remains, who once played a dance at my school (!), and to Bob Lind who I thought was a vastly underrated songwriter. Not having your extensive library my list leans more to mid-level underachievers like the Outsiders. And what about groups with writers in them? Wasn't Robert Palmer in Chrysalis? And didn't the Red Krayola (whose album I bought in a K Mart in Erie, PA the week it came out) have one of the Barthelmes in it?

steve simels said...

Yes, Red Krayola had a Barthelme on drums.

I actually interviewed him about it.

Anonymous said...


Since your suggestions were all one album wonders I'll throw the "United States of America" into the Mix!

Captain Al

Anonymous said...

Alright, I looked again. Some two album wonders also.

Captain Al

Mark said...

@Captain Al - The United States of America album is one great disc, and the band itself was the LOUDEST band I ever saw. And for me, Dorothy Moskovitz was to Grace Slick what Marcia Strassman was to Christie Brinkley, if you catch my drift.

Anonymous said...

Earth Opera


Both with Peter Rowan

Anonymous said...

Bob Palmer was in Insect Trust (2 albums). There are some amazing tracks on the second one, Hoboken Saturday Night.

The one and done 60's band that floored me was Keith Relf's version of Renaissance. that was the beginning of prog for me.