Tuesday, June 06, 2023

Who Let the Dogs Out?

Long time readers may recall that in the mid-70s I was a member of an enterprising New York City underground band, who released a highly regarded (by us) D.I.Y single. And that we were called The Hounds.

A name, I should add, that we agonized over and ultimately decided on thanks to the suggestion of a friend (hi, Kerri!) who thought the phrase "the hounds of spring," from "Atalanta in Calydon" (1865) by Victorian era English poet Algernon Charles Swinburne, kinda had a ring to it.

Anyway, I bring this up because, over the weekend, friend of PowerPop Steve Schwartz sent me this ad (probably from the old Village Voice) which he'd just found at somebody's Facebook page, and wondered if The Hounds being sold was us.

And so did I, at first glance. Yes, we played CBGBs on a couple of occasions, and we were still gigging -- if memory serves -- in 1977. And for some reason the Lawrence Talbot Band rang a bell (although perhaps just because their name was a reference to Lon Chaney Jr.'s character in The Wolfman).

The reason I wasn't completely sure, however, is a little more complicated than merely the failing faculties of an aging rock-and-roll wannabe.

The fact is, we broke up a year or two after the single above was released, and almost immediately we learned that a Chicago glam-rock bunch had not only stolen our name but actually gotten signed to a deal with Columbia Records. Even more infuriating, we heard third hand from somebody at CBS that the pretender Hounds had gotten their contract on the basis of somebody in A&R thinking that our song was the work of those other guys.

I have no idea if that's true or not, but I can guarantee that we all stewed about it at various low dives while consuming adult beverages at three in the morning on numerous occasions. In any event, here's THEIR single, which failed to set the world on fire to any significant degree more than ours.

Meanwhile, after having wracked what's left of my brain for a while, I have reluctantly concluded that the Hounds in the ad are the other guys. Although, given the other luminaries being hyped -- The Feelies? Alex Chilton? Wow! -- wouldn't it be pretty to think it was us?

A couple of postscripts:

Although I was unaware of it until this century, before either of the previously mentioned Hounds, there were...The Hounds. From Sweden, and apparently world famous in their homeland between 1966-68.

And speaking of obscure rock history, here's my fellow NYC canines -- featuring yours truly on inadequate rhythm guitar -- at Max's Kansas City around the time in question.

And finally, if you're extremely tolerant and have a little discretionary coin available, I should point out that the Hounds album pictured at the top of this lengthy exercise in self-indulgence --- which is actually quite good, if I may pretend to be objective for a moment -- can be streamed or purchased over at Amazon HERE. Also, I have a box of CDs of the thing lying around somewhere, and if you want a physical copy I could probably be successfuly importuned to send you one.

You're welcome.


Anonymous said...


It was you guys. If I’m remembering correctly Lawrence Talbot played his keyboard and sang from his wheelchair. They were very good.

I believe that was the gig Hilly recorded the band and we didn’t have the money to pay for mixing the recording and then liberating it. The band was good that night.

Then again I could be totally fantasizing this.

Captain Al

Anonymous said...

You Beat Ne to the Punch was my favorite song, for a while, when I was six or seven. You Don't Own Me was later. Then Shirley Muldowney, Betty Cantor and Vicki Vinyl, among others. I never had a Joni Mitchell phase.

I like your treatment of YBMTTP. Your Chuck Berry guitar solo is meh:). Yeah, I watched the whole fuckin' thing. I'll sleep when I'm dead. Most likely after I get worked over by my personal trainer. Normally that relentless oppressor comes at eleven, but today he has something going on with his daughter. Hope your day goes well .... better than mine :)


P.S. The other two Hounds (meaning not yours) suck big dirt-draggin donkey dicks.

Alzo said...

As a Chicagoan, I wash my hands of the far-suburban Hounds (though they did a credible cover of Doo Was Diddy Diddy on a CBS sampler). They're typical of a Midwestern strain of uncoolness that stretches from Ted Nugent to REO Speedwagon to Styx. At least we had Cheap Trick.

Allan Rosenberg said...

I think I'm going to take back what I said above.

The more I think about it the timeline doesn't work out. I believe the gig I'm remembering happened 6 months to a year earlier. By March 1977 the 6 piece Hounds had come into existence.

Or whatever...

Confused Captain Al

Anonymous said...

Wow, in my weird,, Ray Babbitt mind I think I actually have heard of the Hounds.
That name rings familiar - I'm a guy who can almost name you every band member

Anonymous said...

VR - favorite poster...
Jonie Mitchell, Tom Rush, Jesse Winchester. Taj Mahal...you need to re-examine your
music encyclopedia.
This coming from a Mott, Rex fan /:ear


Allan Rosenberg said...

Rob, which of the Hounds are you speaking of?

Captain Al

danny1959 said...

Wasn't there also a band called The Laughing Dogs that played CBGBs?

Anonymous said...


Love Taj. Have every album from Rising Sons onward, including the Groucho Records bootleg from 1978 pictured here. This preceded its official release by 14 years. Albeit with fudged titles and credits. For me it only adds to the charm.


Saw Taj a bunch when he had Indian Ed, Chuck and Gary backing him. Even a couple of early times with Ry. (That reunion album Taj & Ry did last year is so fine.) Taj also opened for Cream, Big Brother (with Janis) and the Dead, on separate dates I saw. His first three albums hooked me for life.

One of the times I saw him with Cooder in his band was at the Hullabaloo (later The Kaleidoscope, still later, the Aquarius Theatre). He was billed with the Steve Miller Band, Kaleidoscope and Iron Butterfly. At that time, only Kaleidoscope had an album out. Tix were cheap because of that. Great way to spend a Saturday night. Me and Sandy, who had a major crush on Butterfly guitarist, Danny Weiss (who soon left for Rhinoceros), doubled up with our current guys. Actually, we spent the whole weekend in Hollywood and shared a room with double-queens. Since we were going to shows each night that weekend, it woulda been stupid to drive back and forth to Berdoo each night. Being the precocious lasses that we were, we told our parents that we were spending the weekend at our friend Audrey’s house : )

The afternoon of the next day was the typical Sunday free show, or Love-In, if you will, at Griffith Park by the Carousel. Chuck Berry, Steve Miller Band and the, sub-standard pussies, Thorinshield. That evening we saw Jackie Wilson at the Whisky. Terrific!

To give you an idea of how bitchen this weekend was, we began it by seeing Van Morrison at the Hullabaloo. We drove up in my boyfriend’s 1950 root-beer brown Ford panel truck. We had some of the Light’s gear with us because Sandy was dating a guy in the band. They were third bill to Van Morrison, one of their biggest heroes. The shitty-ass Yellow Payges got second bill. The Light had just released the Back Up/Music Box single and it was already Number 5 in Berdoo (where it shortly hit Number One). Sadly, it never hit anywhere except regionally in the Inland Empire. It deserved better. I don't think Morrison ever imtrodued the band, but he had four, I know, female back-up singers for certain number. Majority of the set was Them stuff plus 3 or 4 from Blowin' Your Mind.

When Morrison finished we drove down Sunset and caught the late show of Captain Beefheart at a converted pizza turne club by the name Genesis IX. Of course, Cooder had quit a few months back so the guitarist was Jeff

But back to Taj.

More recently, but still in the last century, I was at the “Shoutin’ In Key” shows at The Mint in West L.A. I taped all three nights with my Sony D-8 DAT. I’m glad I did. 1) It took them almost two years to release it. 2) They didn’t necessarily choose the best performances. 3) He played more songs than released. If you don’t know, The Mint holds around 100 people. It’s a great place to catch a show and has great sound. They also have a professional recording booth behind the stage. Good food and friendly service. Tell them Bathsheba sent you.

Got pretty much everything Jesse Winchester too. Tom Rush ... from Prestige to Columbia. But I’m not crazy about his man sauce. Too white for me. I prefer Tim Hardin, or John Hammond or Dave Van Ronk, communists and junkies though they be. My record library is vast. Note that I said library, not collection.

I was referring to the "Joni phase" as a state of being. You know the "serious" bitches who thought they were deep. Lighting candles and drinking wine with the "Three J's" (Joan, Judy & Joni - the fuckin' holy trinity). Of the three I'd say Joni is the most legit. And I have her records. I take her in small doses when I’m in the mood. Seldom.

Oh, and Rob, are you into Bobby Charles? Or Ron Nagle? Doug Sahm?