45 Friday: JIMMY SATAN – Look At The Clock

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By ‘Bob The Record Guy’ Paxon

Today’s post is pretty minimal. Just a song! I have a feeling a few people might know what this is. Most won’t. But many would recognize Jimmy Satan by his real name, and have either heard his music or seen him play; or been customers of his, or at least seen his shop.

For now, I will keep his story – and his real identity –  as a mystery. One clue: it’s connected to something we’ve been talking about lately.

Enjoy the sound of the mid-Sixties, from Spring 1966. For historical perspective, this was released right around the same time as the Blonde on Blonde and Pet Sounds albums; in-between the Beatles We Can Work It Out and Paperback Writer singles; and while the #1 Billboard singles were These Boots Are Made For Walkin’ and The Ballad Of The Green Berets.

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45 Friday: THE TIGERMEN – Close That Door

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By ‘Bob The Record Guy’ Paxon

Here’s another record which was a mystery for years, though most of the story is know known. If you read my article last week on Rebel & The Jaguars you probably already know where this is going! If not you’ll have to wait until next week for “the rest of the story”, as Paul Harvey used to say.

  This is all collectors had to go on for years: two 45s turned up in the Buffalo area by The Tigermen on Buff Records (Buff #1005 and Buff #1006). Although few copies turned up, they DID turn up locally. Collectors assumed Buff was a local label and the group was a local group although – in a familiar story – no one could remember them.

When the book Fuzz Acid & Flowers (at the time, a semi-definitive guide to American 60s underground groups – Garage Rock and Psychedelic) came out, it contained an entry for The Tigermen but little info was revealed. It was stated that the group drove a distance to Buffalo to record, cut two singles worth of tracks (four ‘sides’), climbed back into their car and disappeared into the night. back to from whence they came.

No one seemed to KNOW from whence they came, and if the studio owners knew no one thought to ask them. It’s not even known at which studio they recorded though I’d guess it was Howell Studios in downtown Buffalo. Interestingly, unlike bands like Rebel & The Jaguars who recorded elsewhere and merely got a local company to make their tape into records the Tigermen definitely DID cut their tracks in a Buffalo studio.

Although the record labels gave no clues to the band’s origin or even an address for the label, there were other records on labels called Buff which seemed to be loosely from Western New York – though to be specific, those with addresses suggested the Rochester area and the Southern Tier. There were no similarities between the Tigermen’s Buff label and these others and in fact none of the Buff records looked the same as far as design, logo, label info or pressing plant info.

In 1985 one of the tracks made an appearance on a compilation when Close That Door appeared on “Back From The Grave #5”. The liner notes were lacking in much hard info though obviously someone had tracked down the band or someone who knew them. Although we were not told who they were or from where they came, the band was described as a high school project beginning in 1965 and ending in 1966 due to college and the draft, and the band was said to have played around New York State with The Invictas, Ollie & The Go-Gos and Peter & The Wolves. None of these were true Buffalo bands though Rochester’s Invictas recorded and played in Buffalo and the others were from the Southern Tier area.

Back From The Grave’s liner notes also mention the Tigermen’s recordings all being done in one night in October 1965. It’s now known that, although all recordings were done in one session they were issued months apart.

More coming next week when we’ll feature their great second single “Tiger Girl”, released on June 1966. But for today here’s their garage-rocking-est Close That Door, a January 1966 release.

45 Friday: THE SUBCONSCIOUS MIND – On The Way Home

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By ‘Bob The Record Guy’ Paxon

Last week we talked about the Tweeds, and how they won a contest in 1967. That was a Battle Of The Bands, part of WKBW’s annual Fun-A-Fair. Sponsors for the show included Wink (the soft drink) and the Battle was ‘presented’ by Fender Musical Instruments, with drums provided by Kubera’s, the much-loved local music store. The prize the Tweeds won was a recording session and release on Coral Records. I don’t know if the bill was footed by Coral, KB or some of the other sponsors but that was a big prize to win!

1968’s Battle Of The Bands included thirty bands. The Fun-A-Fair itself lasted eight days and there was constant Rock’n’Roll and Teen music with five to eight performances a day. Some of the Battle contestant bands also performed often (multiple times) as part of the entertainment. These included The Rogues, The Mellow Brick Rode (pre-The Road), Caesar & His Romans, The Twiggs, The Tweeds, The Union Gap (local, not the famous one), The Vibratos ‘with Miss Toni Castellani’, and Wilmer & The Dukes.

There were also some national acts performing, who were not currently chart toppers – like Roy Orbison, Josh White Jr, and Ray Stevens (‘backed by The Vibratos’). Delevan, New York’s The Free Design was given ten performance slots. I’m guessing they weren’t in competition, as they already had a contract. In fact by this time they were well into their career. Their hit ‘Kites Are Fun’ 45 and album had come out in 1967 and their second ‘You Could Be Born Again’ album was due out at this time. I don’t now if they were at this time (or ever) considered a local act by Buffalo-area people, but I’m curious to find out – did they ever play around town otherwise?

Info on the outcome of the 1968 Battle is sketchy. I’ve been told it could have been semi-unknown local band The New Breed. They did release a scarce 45 around that time but the label it’s on seems to be their own label. So if they did indeed win the prize must have been a recording SESSION only, and they used the tape from it to make their own record.

If another band won either they didn’t put out a record, or I just never realized a record I’m already aware of is the result of this process! Information, as always, is need and help is appreciated.

1969’s Fun-A-Fair took place at the Pepsi Center in Amherst – I THINK. Previous ones were at either the Aud or the Armory. The Battle Of The Bands that year was sponsored by Amherst Cable Vision, a fledgling and visionary attempt to get people to pay for something they were used to getting for free- Television! They needed all the help they could get and they worked this event for some name recognition here.

The Subconscious Mind were a six-man band from Cheektowaga. I regret to say that any info I found on them – names and instruments – currently is avoiding capture! What I do know is that they don’t seem to have been particularly active. Their name doesn’t appear in any local club ads I’ve ever seen, and other musicians never mention them as a band with a presence on the scene. Maybe most of their gigs were High School dances.

In any case they weren’t expected to win. I’ve heard two stories about that. One was that other bands were played better that night, but Subconscious Mind packed the place with their fans. The other is that the second place band was considered by local fans to be a better band, but on that night everything just clicked for Subconscious Mind. Voting was close, but they won.

The prize was a recording date and it took place at Audio Recording in Cleveland. Local music maven Richard Sargent produced it, Cleve technician Arnie Rosenberg engineered, and it came out on the Vintage Records label. As far as I know this was a one-shot ‘label’, with no other releases and no connection to any other labels. It was probably pressed at Rite or Queen City in Ohio as a custom job.

The band chose to record two cover versions for the single. “On The Way Home” is the Neil Young song which he recorded with Buffalo Springfield, while “No Fair At All” is by The Association. Both of these are very good folk/rock with a heavy vocal presence. I’m guessing two of the members were vocalists only, in the style of The Association – who were BIG in 1969. The Buffalo Springfield were of course always popular locally, with The Road doing two Springfield covers on their first album.

So here it is – Buffalo teens doing their take on Neil Young. Enjoy!