News and Nuggets: EVIL / The Preflyte / Octopus Recordings / Unicorn / Zippy Caplan...
*According to John Doyle, "EVIL will be releasing its CD very shortly. It contains the two lost demo recordings that were found recently (one of which is 'From A Curbstone' - see the July 2000 issue of THE LANCE MONTHLY). We are doing it ourselves because if we're going to be ripped-off, we'd like to rip ourselves off this time. There will be various covers and a few surprises. We would put it out today except that we are now somewhat grown up and have a problem using the name EVIL at this time when so many people have suffered at the hands of true evil. We have thought of using the name The Pensionaires but we'll see." More information will be printed as it becomes available . . .
*Thanks to some nice sleuthing by Minnesota garage band expert Tony Texley, two of the tracks listed as "?" (unknown) on Arf Arf's 'Roof Garden Jamboree '66' CD have now been identified. Track #20, "I Want It Now" and track #21, "Good Lovin'," were performed by the Perfidians. According to Texley, the Perfidians were a later incarnation of Moss Lichen and the Algae. Texley has tracked down all the members of the band, and hopes to document their history sometime soon.
*Sundazed's next batch of garage reissues is as impressive as ever: the Zakary Thaks - "Form The Habit," a 15 track BeatRocket CD/180 gram gatefold LP with all their single sides plus a few extras; the Standells - "The Live Ones!" EP, a live set from '66 recorded at Michigan State University; and The Knaves - "Leave Me Alone!" EP, which collects all of their Dunwich recordings, including a few previously unissued tracks. Visit: http://www.sundazed.com
*Also on the Sundazed front comes this bit of information from ICE Magazine: "On November 20, the Sundazed label releases The Preflyte Sessions, a two-CD set which captures the group in its infancy, before they exploded on the scene in 1965 with the #1 hit, 'Mr. Tambourine Man.' The new set stands as the final word on the Byrds-Preflyte concept, which dates back to 1969. In addition to using newly discovered master tapes, some new re-mixing, loads of unpublished photos and the cooperation of original Byrds Roger McGuinn and Chris Hillman, the new set is also distinguished by its 15 previously unreleased performances. The Preflyte Sessions was produced by McGuinn and Sundazed president Bob Irwin, who has a long history of producing Byrds reissues for Sony Legacy, including their box set. The original recordings were produced by Jim Dickson at Los Angeles' World Pacific Studios in 1964, before the group moved on to Columbia Records the following year. 'As Jim Dickson says,' Irwin tells ICE, 'these recordings were meant primarily as a combination of publishing demos and recordings to secure the band a deal with a label.'"
*A local Chicago program titled CHICAGO STORIES will be airing a story in mid-November on classic Chi-Town bands from the sixties. Included will be interviews with Ray Graffia, Jr. and Ronnie Rice of the New Colony Six. Other bands featured apparently will include the Buckinghams, Cryan' Shames, Ides Of March, Shadows Of Knight, and Chicago (huh?).
*The latest Norton Records catalog promises more volumes in the El Paso Rock series, including "loads more never issued studio and boss live Bobby Fuller material." Norton now also owns the rights to the Yucca Records catalog, so future volumes are to include "obscure local killers from Yucca and other El Paso area labels." For updates, swing by http://www.nortonrecords.com
*Gear Fab's Fall/Winter schedule includes garage band releases by the Penthouse Five, Surprize, and--thanks to The Lance Monthly--Ernie Gammage's Sweetarts. Visit http://www.swiftsite.com/gearfab
*Octopus Recordings has released 'Unknown Mystery '60s Group Volume II', a companion CD to the first largely successful volume. According to the label's website, "Intrigued by (Volume One's) recordings, Octopus decided to try their hand at tracking down the combo responsible for such gems as 'Birdhouses,' 'Percival,' and 'Are You Mad at Me.' Requests for info about the unknown group were placed in the classified sections of various Philadelphia newspapers. To make a long story short, a number of respondents (fans, neighbors, and relatives) provided clues that led to the band's drummer and archivist, currently living in Spain, who generously supplied Octopus with missing details, photographs, and tapes that makes this second volume possible. Unfortunately one concession to the members had to be granted before the release of volume II: the identity of the band would have to remain anonymous." While the authenticity of the original recordings has been doubted by most listeners (most likely they were recorded in the '90s), there is no denying that fans of '60's garage pop/rock will find much pleasure in the recordings. If Volume II can live up to the promise of Volume I, it should be well worth seeking out. For more information, check out http://www.octupusrecordings.com
*According to an official press release, "A Los Angeles-area record company has announced the release of 'The Cosmic Storyteller' (Platform CD 4780), said to be 'the lost 1967 masterpiece concept album by the legendary L.A. rock band, Unicorn.' According to a spokesman for Platform Records, 13 never-before-heard tracks have been restored and mastered using digital technology, revealing a surprisingly timeless collection of songs. 'The Cosmic Storyteller' takes the listener on a journey through musical styles popular in 1967 to experience many moods and a succession of ideas that characterize the epoch, woven together around the theme of the transcendence of creativity. 'The original multi-track master tapes are complete with horns, strings, sitars, backwards guitars and sound effects,' says Higgs. 'We conceived `The Cosmic Storyteller' as the ultimate album, a mosaic of hits that would tap what we saw as the collective youth consciousness,' says bandleader Young. 'Unicorn was obsessed with time, alienation, the future and the journey of a generation. Today, our music sounds strangely predictive, ahead of its time.' The CD comes with the 1967 group publicity photo, psychedelic cover painting, and full-color label. The Web site also offers detailed liner notes, lyrics and illustrations." Visit the website at http://www.cosmicstoryteller.com for more information. [Editors' note: The master tapes were allegedly discovered by a fan in a storage garage auction; however, recent reports indicate that, most likely, this production wasn't recorded in 1967 but probably sometime in the '80's or even more recently. First the "Unknown '60's Band," then Thee Wytches, and now Unicorn. Seems like a trend is starting . . . or continuing, if Erik Lindgren's work is counted.]
*Wounded Birds Records has just released the self-titled '68 album by Earth Opera, as well as their second release from '69 ("Great American Eagle Tragedy") on CD. The band was one of the many Bosstown groups of the late '60's. The label's on-line catalog can be found at: http://www.woundedbird.com
*Arf Arf Records' web site lists a new instrumental CD by Zippy Caplan of the Litter. It's titled "Zip Capaln & Cast Of Thousands - Monsters And Heroes." Among the music contributors are Nokie Edwards (Ventures), Jim McCarty (Yardbirds), Joey Molland (Badfinger), and members from the Litter, Stillroven, and the Castaways. Sounds interesting.
*Jamie Guyden http://www.jamguy.com has released the 1967 album by Los Angeles' The David. Titled "Another Day, Another Lifetime," the album features a Plasmatar, an instrument invented by leader Warren Hansen. The band has been heavily comped in recent years, and has two tracks on the "Pebbles Volume 9" CD.
*AMT/Ertl Models has reissued plastic model cars of Paul Revere and the Raiders' Coach (minus the plastic figures of the band members . . . what were they thinking of by not including those?) and the Monkeemobile.
Check out this website. And Corgi Toys has also recently re-released their die-cast version of the Monkeemobile.
Visit: http://www.corgi.co.uk/us. Both sets of products, of course, were originally released in the '60's, and original versions are still in great demand. Finally, Playing Mantis has this month scheduled for dioramas of the Monkees with a '60s VW Bus and the Monkeemobile. Go to http://www.playingmantis.com for more information. SPECIAL THANKS to John Doyle, Tony Texley, and Efram Turchick.
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