Zero to 180 – Three Minute Magic

Discoveries of a Pop Music Archaeologist

Category: Guitar innovations

"Spooky"
Zeroto180

George Barnes’ Halloween Guitar

George Barnes recorded a boss guitar instrumental – “Spooky” – that should be part of everyone’s Halloween soundtrack: “Spooky” by George Barnes (1962) Billboard conferred three stars (“moderate sales potential) upon this B-side, as well as its A-side “Trainsville,” in their June 23, 1962 edition.  Exactly fifty years later, in 2012, someone would

Read More »
"Now We're Thru'"
Zeroto180

The Poets: Not Actual 12-Strings

The ringing, echo-drenched electric 12-string guitars on the debut single by Scottish rockers, The Poets, are such a striking sound for 1964 and yet a strangely familiar one:  might it be possible that the band later reincarnated as Brian Jonestown Massacre? “Now We’re Thru’” by The Poets (1964) play at

Read More »
"Baja"
Zeroto180

Rare 1965 Jimmy Page B-Side

No doubt about it:  Jimmy Page, given his role as composer, arranger, and producer, dominates this B-side by a group you’ve never heard of (i.e., recording career = exactly one 45).  This song, I am now discovering, is virtually unknown to American fans of Page’s work, as it has mainly

Read More »
"Boppin' to Grandfather's Clock"
Zeroto180

Hardrock Gunter on (indie) Island Records

This recording of Hardrock Gunter‘s mesmerizing voice, with its offbeat hiccup-y rhythms bathed in slapback echo, never fails to enchant: “Boppin’ to Grandfather’s Clock“ Hardrock (“Sidney Jo Lewis”) Gunter (1958) Birmingham, Alabama’s Sidney Louis Gunter, Jr.  would record under two other names:  Buddy Durham (as noted in the previous piece

Read More »
"Mama Was a Honky Tonk Woman"
Zeroto180

Mama = A Honky Tonk Woman

Just when you thought the “Honky Tonk Woman” carcass had been picked completely clean, one more interesting thing would somehow turn up — this moving and quaintly rocking tale of a British working-class family: “Mama Was a Honky Tonk Woman” by Hurricane (1973) One-time Rolling Stone percussionist, Carlo Little, would

Read More »
"Tulsa Trot"
Zeroto180

(Son of) Plays Guitar Like a Piano

I finally got around to learning how to convert VHS into DVD so that I could preserve a rare piece of Ameri-music-ana:  a live performance of “Tulsa Trot” by noted western swing outfit, Tex Williams and His Western Caravan, that offers a second startling peek at the unorthodox technique of

Read More »
"The Fuzz"
Zeroto180

“The Fuzz”: Strictly B-Side

I’m guessing that Grady Martin‘s 1961 B-side “The Fuzz” influenced Les Paul to soup up his 1963 album track “Ham ‘N Grits” with a little “fuzz bass”: “The Fuzz” Grady Martin (1961) The historical consensus is that Grady Martin himself accidentally invented “fuzz bass” during a 1960 recording session for

Read More »
"Ham 'N Grits"
Zeroto180

“Ham ‘N Grits”: LP Track Only

Check out the opening “fuzz bass” lines on this tasty album selection – “Ham ‘N Grits” – that never got singled out for release on a Les Paul 45: “Ham ‘n Grits” Les Paul & Mary Ford (1963) Issued on 1963 Columbia album, Swingin’ South – and nowhere else.  Recorded

Read More »
"Tunin' Up for the Blues"
Zeroto180

Now I Wanna Mosrite 45 Record

I love the Mosrite ‘guitarslinger’ tradition that links Joe Maphis, Larry Collins, The Ventures, Johnny Ramone, and Kurt Cobain. Zero to 180 recently stumbled upon the fact that Mosrite had a short-lived record label — Mosrite Records – for which Joe & Rose Lee Maphis would record a couple singles,

Read More »

The Surf Symphony’s Sole 7-Inch

Who are/were The Surf Symphony — and why just the one Capitol 45? “Night of the Lions”     The Surf Symphony     1969 Wait!  As it turns out, the joke’s on us:   This is a “supercharged” instrumental version of the song “Night of the Lions” from Mark Eric‘s A Midsummer’s Day

Read More »
All Categories
Archives