Mike Condello: Musical Satire Can Also Be Good Pop

Outside of Phoenix and Los Angeles, most people have never heard of Mike Condello – and that’s a shame.  Although best known as musical director of children’s TV show, The Wallace and Ladmo Show, Condello is also notable for beating The Monkees to the punch by creating a Beatles knock-off group,  Hub Kapp & the Wheels, that also wrote some fun and original songs – like “Little Volks,” a wry retort to the hot rod and muscle car songs that were in vogue in the early 1960s.  Even Hub Kapp’s cover of the Beatles’ “What You’re Doing” – the flip side of “Little Volks” – features a fresh arrangement and sound:

What You’re Doing – Hub Kapp & the Wheels

[Pssst:  Click on the triangle to hear ”What You’re Doing” by Hub Kapp & the Wheels.]

                     Hub Kapp & the Wheels Live – note auto tire as Kick Drum

Hub Kapp & the Wheels - live

Thanks to Scram Magazine’s piece on Hub Kapp & the Wheels, I learned that their second 45 was produced by David Axelrod and released on Capitol, having been recorded in Hollywood at the label’s legendary studios.

Condello released his first proper solo album – Phase One – in 1968 on the Scepter label.  His next major release, No Bathing in Pond was released in 1982, interestingly, on Takoma Records – however, three years after visionary founder, John Fahey, had sold the label to Chrysalis.

Hub Kapp Joins Steve Allen