45 Friday: CAESAR & THE ROMANS – Baby Love

45-Friday_4

By ‘Bob The Record Guy’ Paxon

Many local people are familiar with Big Wheelie & The Hubcaps, the long-standing local 50s revival band. For all I know, there is still a version of this band in action.

Some will remember their precursor band. lounge lizards The Friendship Train.

Chuck Vicario’s career goes back farther than that. But the few who remember Caesar & The Romans (or Caesar & HIS Romans, per earlier releases) are either locals who were on the scene in the Sixties, or far-flung collectors of Garage Rock and Sixties Rock 45s.

I’m saving the story of this group until a later time – when I have more time, and maybe can get more info. For now, it should suffice to say they made their first two records in a Garage / Psychedelic style and finished with one in a kind of generic rock style.

In-between they made the one we’re focusing on today, the third of their four releases.

“Baby Love” is of course a cover of The Supremes song. Here it is done heavy psychedelic rock style. Somewhat like Iron Butterfly or the Rascals, but most exactly like Vanilla Fudge who had recently done a similarly charged-up version of the Supremes’ “You Keep Me Hangin’ On”.

Many of the same elements are here – the heavy organ, the fuzz guitar and histrionic vocal style.

Locals Jerry Meyers and Rich Sargent produced it. The record got local play and sold some copies but failed to hit. Apparently it did well enough though, because Scepter brought them back for one more 45.

Stay tuned- more to come!

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