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The Knights Of Fuzz, The Garage And Psychedelic Music Explosion 1980-2000
Timothy Gassen, Purple Cactus Media Productions
By Beverly Paterson, The Lance Monthly
(more articles from this author)
2001-11-25
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Title: The Knights Of Fuzz (The Garage And Psychedelic Music Explosion 1980-2000)
Author: Timothy Gassen
Produced By: Purple Cactus Media Productions (www.purple-cactus.tv)
Format: Multimedia CD-ROM

If there's anyone qualified to spew opinions and sentiments regarding the celebrated sixties garage rock and paisley pop revival that initially reared its shaggy head in the early eighties, it's Timothy Gassen. Not only has he tirelessly supported the bands by spinning their records on his radio show and covering their antics in various publications he writes for, but for the past fifteen years he has also fronted Marshmallow Overcoat, a wild and wonderful combo from Tucson, Arizona that has pulled favorable comparisons to the Seeds and the Doors. Save for a handful of fanzines and fine folks like Timothy, little attention has been lavished on righteously retroactive bands that have spent hours studying dusty old albums by the Standells, the Electric Prunes and the Gants, while in turn, spawning a decidedly exciting sound that is fresh and new to many ears.

Because these bands tend to press records in very limited quantities on tiny independent labels, they sadly never receive the widespread recognition they so greatly deserve. What's even more disturbing is that the majority of people who run the biz are apt to view these bands as silly nostalgia acts, void of originality with nothing to say. Thankfully, there's a loyal club of us out there that know better and will continue to cheer these tambourine beaters, Farfisa thumpers and janglemeisters on as long as they keep doing their thing! Of course, Timothy realizes contemporary garage rock and psychedelia lack proper promotion, which is why he is such a staunch flag-waver of the stone gas stuff.

Aside from his previously mentioned activities, he has also authored a pair of encyclopedias, "Echoes In Time" and "The Knights Of Fuzz," that features practically every single band that falls within the genres. Oh sure, stacks of books have been written on the music of the sixties, but nobody except Timothy has taken it upon themselves to thoroughly document the revival bands that are just as worthy and divine as their ancestors. Timothy's last tome, "The Knights Of Fuzz," arrived in 1995, and a lot has gone down since then. To begin with, more bands have cropped up on the scene. And then there's the Internet, which has drastically altered the way we listen to music and glean information. That said, Timothy has wisely released an updated version of "The Knights Of Fuzz."

Available on CD-ROM, the disc includes a generous five hundred pages of text, music videos and songs by our revered bands. The Chesterfield Kings, the Lyres, the Cynics, Manual Scan, the Shambles, the Vipers, the Fuzztones, the Others, Mystic Eyes, Creatures of the Golden Dawn, Optic Nerve, the Swinging Neckbreakers, the Kliek, Sick Rose, the Tell-Tale Hearts, the Crawdaddys, the Pandoras, the Miracle Workers, the Fleshtones, Yard Trauma, the Lears, the Stems and naturally, MarshmallowOvercoat are all but a mere glimpse of perennial favorites that appear in "The Knights Of Fuzz," plus kaboodles of impossibly obscure bands. And dig those stunning photos!

But what especially makes "The Knights Of Fuzz" an essential purchase ($20 US and $25 for our foreign friends) is how well written, insightful and entertaining the profiles on the bands are. Timothy supplies the history of each band, lists their discographies and describes their records. If you're not already acquainted with the bands here, you're bound to start searching for their discs after reading "The Knights Of Fuzz." An encyclopedia that's both fun and educational!


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