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: LYNN TERRY – Boy Crazy

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By ‘Bob The Record Guy’ Paxon

Today’s 45 is a Pop/Pock female vocal effort out of New York City. As it turns out ‘Lynn Terry’ is actually Kathy Lynn of Kathy Lynn & Playboys.

Kathy Keppen worked under many names, and so did the group, including The LaSalles and The Buena Vistas. Like most of their later recordings the actual recording session personnel is unknown but in most cases one must assume the core group of Nick Ameno/ Kathy Keppen/ Carl Cisco was involved on each, as they are credited as writers on each.

Interestingly, Kathy’s actual correct name should be Kathy Ameno as by this time she was married to Nick Ameno! For completeness’ sake we should maybe call this bunch or Kathy Lynn Terry Keppen Ameno & The Buena Vista Playboys.

We’ve previously covered Kathy Lynn & The Playboys and the Buena Vistas so I’ll leave their full story alone for the most part.

This record was a one-off for NYC’s Rust Records. Based on some of the label information (Shan-Todd Publishing, A Magi Production) we can speculate on the discographical place for this 1966 release among their other releases. It came AFTER their work as Kathy Lynn & The Playboys on Swan, at approximately the same time as their early (1966) efforts as the Buena Vistas on Swan, but before their 1967-68 Detroit recordings as the Buena Vistas and The Antiques.

Based on a real close listen to their recordings my personal guess is that their convoluted recording history goes like this: Kathy Lynn & The Playboys 1963-65, recorded in Western New York (or maybe some in NYC); The Buena Vistas recorded in early 1966 in NYC followed by this mid-1966 one, on Rust, also recorded in NYC.

I think it was only after this that they moved to Detroit along with Tommy Shannon, and made their ‘Motown’ single on V.I.P. Records as the LaSalles. based on this record they’re often referred to as “the first white group on Motown records” though I’m not sure that’s exactly accurate.

In any case, that would be late 1966. Following that their associates (including Carl Cisco, who was at some points their manager) created a record label named LaSalle and the group revived the Buena Vista name for a LaSalle release. Other Buena Vistas 45s also came out, on related (and apparently unrelated!) labels.

These records sound unlike the previous Buena Vistas records, which supports the idea that those were earlier ones were recorded in NYC and these later ones in Detroit.

Just to confuse matters they made a couple 45s for LaSalle under other names. For one, they were The Antiques. On the other Kathy Lynn revived the Lynn Terry name for a one-off release in in 1967 or 68. This particular record is rare with very few copies in circulation. On both of these, the writing credits are again Nick Ameno/ Kathy Keppen/ Carl Cisco.

The A-side of Rust R-5109 is a cover of Jackie DeShannon’s “When You Walk In The Room” (also done by The Searchers). But today we present the B-side, their self-penned “Boy Crazy”. It’s a mildly-soulful effort, sounding like a girl group backed by a garage band. Enjoy!

45 Friday: THE TIGERMEN – Tiger Girl

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By ‘Bob The Record Guy’ Paxon

Here’s the rest of the story on the Tigermen. Last week I talked about how local collectors were confounded by their two 45s by the Buff record, and the fact that no one knew anything about the band or the label. Until 1985, when their Close That Door appeared on a compilation of Sixties garage punk. The liner notes to “Back From The Grave #5″ described them as being a 1965-1966 New York State band and suggested they might have been from the Southern Tier area. It also verified that their two 45s were recorded in Buffalo, all in one night’s session.

Almost ten years later (1994) another Tigermen track turned up on a compilation. Tiger Girl appeared on Scum Of The Earth. The scanty liner notes to it revealed nothing and in fact those compilers seemed to not know the info previously revealed on Back From The Grave.

Close That Door carried a catalog number of Buff B-1005. Buff B-1006 was Tiger Girl. In retrospect we’ve learned that Close That Door (Buff B-1005) was released in January 1966 and Tiger Girl (Buff B-1006) in June 1966.

In this interent age Information is now a lot easier to obtain, and now the rest of the story has been revealed. As it turns out, there is no dramatic secret.  They were simply a band from the Olean area. They which actually started in 1964. They worked the local Southern Tier area, sometimes branching out into northern PA or Central NY, and came to Buffalo just to record their songs. I don’t believe they ever played the specific Buffalo area otherwise, though it’s possible.

Some of their gigs included a Battle Of The Bands at Olean High School and regular gigs in the Cuba Lake resort area. I’m guessing they probably played the teen club at Alleghany State Park. There was also a teen club in Olean  – like the Peppermint Stick clubs in Buffalo and North Tonawanda and the Sandsabarn in Perry – which partnered with WKBW in holding sock hops with KB deejays. I wouldn’t be surprised if it was there where they got in contact with a KB jock who got them into that Buffalo recording studio in October 1965.

Tom Consedine and John Farrell are the two members whose names appear in the writing credits. The other members were  Jeff Todd and Tim Stavish. Their short run ended in the summer of 1966 when the band was split up the conflicting demands of college and the draft.

Their records were produced by Art Detrick. Art and his brother Rusty Dedrick were jazz musicans and music educators and the Buff label was their creation. In fact a couple of the Buff releases are credited to the Dedricks as performing artists. The next generation of the Dedrick family was Art’s children, the siblings who comprised the hit-making group The Free Design. The Dedrick family was from Delevan NY – not TOO far from Olean.

Art Dedrick studied music at Fredonia State and, after working as player and arranger with lots of the big bands and serving as staff arranger forWGR and WBEN in Buffalo, returned to teach in the music department there. In 1954 he started his own publishing company, Kendor Music, to issue his big band charts for school groups (he was initiators of the school jazz ensemble movement). I believe he started Buff Records originally to release instructional big band records. Clearly, no one would mistake the Tigermen records for one of THOSE.

That’s the story. And here’s their GREAT second record, Tiger Girl. By the way, the only photo I’ve seen shows them in regular suits. But rumor has it they has special tiger-striped suits too. I’d LOVE to see a photo of that!

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Some of this info comes from Chris Bishop’s article in the great blog Garage Hangover – check it out at http://www.garagehangover.com/tigermen/

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: CAESAR & THE ROMANS – Baby Love

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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!

45 Friday: THE ROOSTERS – I Wanna Do It

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By ‘Bob The Record Guy’ Paxon

In tracking down information on The Road, especially their ‘Cognition’ album, several mysteries were solved while some remained unanswered. One interesting thing is that five members are pictured on the cover and listed as the actual band personnel but a good portion of the songs were written by other people. In fact the songs that seems to be the most significant – a suite of related songs whose lyrics are printed on the back cover, which give the album the feeling of a ‘concept album’ – are written by people who weren’t members but associates.

One writer is Ken Kaufman. He’s not listed as a band member but is credited for playing piano, while member Don “Jake” Jakubowski is credited with organ.

Although the group did exist as a two-keyboard band for awhile, it seems that Jakubowski was on his way out and Kaufman on his way in. He would remain in the band and in their circle for a time, taking a leading role.

Another writer is Ron Lombardo who had been a member of Baggs. Following one of several Road breakups Lombardo would join with former Road members to form Waves in 1973.

The last ‘outside’ writer on Cognition was John Lotz. All three of these men would end up involved in the Waves project, writing the two songs on their 45, but only Kaufman and Lombardo were actual members of Waves.

The question remained- who was John Lotz, and what did he do, besides help write songs for these local groups?

The answer was surprising and completely unexpected.

John Lotz and his brother Trey Lotz were from Amherst and attended Amherst High School. Trey went on to study Philosophy & Religion at Hamilton College in Clinton, NY (in the Upstate area). While at Hamilton guitarist Trey met bass player Peter Brohl. John Lotz was convinced to move to the area and registered with a College in nearby Utica. With the vocalist question settled (John also played a bit of guitar and keyboards) only a drummer was lacking. Western NY friend and drummer Ralph Guastaferro was soon a student at Mohawk Valley Community College and the band was complete.

The band played the local gig circuit in the Utica / Oneida area, ranging to Syracuse; but specialized in frat parties at all the wide-ranging Upstate NY institutions of higher learning. During their core period (1965-67)

Many of the Upstate NY bands recorded for a series of labels based in Utica with unexpected Eastern-sounding, vaguely-religious names: Krishna, Kama and Buddha. Note that this isn’t the famous NYC-based Kama Sutra Records or it’s affiliate Buddah. In fact, I wonder if the different (‘incorrect’) spelling of the famous Buddah label was due to the correct spelling having already been copyrighted by the Upstate people?

In any case these labels also seem to be associated with Hamilton College, with the Roosters record on Buddha carrying a Hamilton College address.

The Roosters first (probably!) 45 was a version of “I Wanna Do It”. This Feldman/ Goldstein/ Gottehrer (aka The Strangeloves) song was first recorded by The Avons in 1964 and eventually by the The Strangeloves themselves in 1968. In between that time it was recorded by others – Upstate and Western New Yorkers probably know it best by local guy Bobby Comstock – but it was especially popular played by garage bands for wild frat parties. It had mildly risque lyrics which may have been altered for live performance. And a rollicking rhythm which probably broke them up at the keggers!

This 45 appears on Buddha. The flip was a cover of the Zombies’ “You Don’t Need Any Reason”. Next for them was the The Rooster Song on Krishna Records. The label reads “In album ‘The Roosters Live At The Appollo’ (sic)” but no such album ever existed. In a nod to the changing sounds of the day there’s a Yardbirds-sounding guitar riff from Trey Lotz.  John Lotz apparently played piano on this track (promo photos also show him playing rhythm guitar in the band).

Last came “Midnight Green” b/w “Hurry Sundown”, again on Krishna. Following that the band broke up.

John Lotz made his way back to WNY. There’s a lot of info missing but he must have stayed in the music scene and was known to the guys in The Road to the point that he wrote songs for them. I have a feeling he may have PLAYED music here too, in some capacity, but no one seems to know. Eventually John and Trey Lotz seetled in the L.A. area and I have no further info on them.

Ex-Rooster Ralph Guastaferro returned to Buffalo and played with a commercial band, and I have no further info on him.

So, three Buffalo musicians made good records in Upstate NY in the mid-Sixties with no apparent impact on the WNY music consciousness. And one of them has song writing credits on an album by a legendary local band (issued – coincidentally? – on Kama Sutra/ Buudah ‎records). Yet there seems to be almost no info on him or them!

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Thanks to Rich Sargent for leading me down the Roosters trail, and to Chris Bishop’s excellent blog at http://www.garagehangover.com/roosters/ for providing much of the info.