“Dick Clark”: Well-Engineered 45

Memory is a funny thing.  I can still picture myself standing at the checkout counter at School Kids Records in Columbus, Ohio having a chuckle with Curt Schieber over something – but was it a Great Plains 45 that had just been recorded?  Or was it over the delicious roasted Japanese-style peanuts* that I could only find at School Kids and would nourish me through college, where spending money was always in such limited supply?

Mark Wyatt of Great Plains rightly takes Zero to 180 to task for concocting a fanciful tale and then selling it as fact.  Yes, there was a Dutch benefactor – but hardly a wealthy one.  As Wyatt points out:

“Maarten Schiethart and Fred and Hans from the (now defunct I believe) Waaghals record store would be surprised to learn they were wealthy, let alone the producers of the one GPs single they put out, “Dick Clark”, the mix of which is identical with what’s on Naked at the Buy, Sell, and Trade.  Shadowline was a short-lived label that kicked the bucket for the same reasons many indie labels did…they got boned by their distributors.  Anyway, that ‘unplayable’ single sounds plenty fine to me, but then again I’m pretty happy with the way we molested the two cover tunes on the B side.”

Manufactured in the Netherlands but recorded in Columbus, you know

Great Plains 45Yikes, I really botched that one!  Not surprisingly, my blogging license is under suspension, although I was able to get the suspension lifted on the condition that I hire a fact checker.  Wyatt, in fact, is my probation officer, and I couldn’t have found a more patient and forgiving one.  Zero to 180 looks forward to buying Wyatt and the boys a beer or three when they venture east to place a show in the Nation’s Capital – another town noted worldwide for its homegrown punk and harDCore scene.

Great Plains might not consider themselves a “singles band,” but you could’ve fooled me with this cracking 45 that is also rather well-engineered, one cannot help noticing:

“Dick Clark”     Great Plains     1987

Paul Nini:  Bass
Dave Green:  Drums
Matt Wyatt:  Guitar & Backing Vocals
Mark Wyatt:  Keyboards & Backing Vocals
Ron House:  Vocals & Guitar
Doug Edwards:  Engineer
Great Plains:  Producer

Wyatt would also point out to a clueless Zero to 180 that the engineer on this 45 is none other than Doug Edwards, who would also spin the dials for Boys from Nowhere!  Boys’ Bassist Ted Nagel and I would hail from the same Cincinnati high school — the world just keeps getting smaller.  But wait, an actual Boy from Nowhere – Mick Divvens – would engineer (as “Donovan’s Brain“) Great Plains’ final 45, as Officer Wyatt observes with quiet exasperation in the comments below.

Of course, it wouldn’t be Great Plains without a healthy dose of humor, as evidenced by the double B-side (as noted by Wyatt above) — spirited covers of Pomus & Shuman’s “This Magic Moment,” as well as Grand Funk Railroad’s “Bad Time.”

Released on Homestead Records – home of Big Black, Naked Raygun, et al

Digital StillCamera

How wonderful to see my original Great Plains piece, if Facebook “likes” are a reliable indicator, starting to gain some traction.  Hopefully my nephew Jake in Minnesota – another music enthusiast with wide-ranging tastes – will continue to spread the word in the Heartland about these musical innovators who are ripe for rediscovery.

Breaking News!   Great Plains’ Facebook page reveals that the mighty Great Plains will reunite (first time since 2008) for “Sick Weekend” — March 24-26, 2016 — at Columbus music venue, Ace of Cups, who wants it be known:

“The only way to guarantee entry is to buy the weekend wristband.  We’re selling 250 of those and once they’re gone, they’re gone.  Each night of the fest we will release approximately 50 tickets at the door for $15 that are first come, first served. We will not be selling single night tickets in advance.”

Jake, forget your studies and grab your buddies – sounds like a road trip is in the cards.

Findlay, Ohio’s Wolfies Nuts:  they want your money

Wolfies Nuts* “Kakawateez” roasted nuts, I want to say, came in tall thin packages with some kind of totem pole-themed art and could only be purchased at School Kids Records due to the owner’s family business connection.  But the stupid internet cannot validate these claims, and I can feel my probation officer breathing down my neck, so let me have Wolfie’s Nuts take the story from here via their Facebook page.

Hey Mark, did I botch the above postscript by relying on my memory’s jazz impressions?