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 enjoyed release in the UK and Europe — first as a B-side, and later on compilation albums that showcase the daring and original music produced by UK’s renegade indie label, Immediate.  Even now, when you search YouTube, the song barely registers:  just one lonely audio clip, with a mere 1,707 listens to date.

Will you please tell us the song title already?!  “Just Like Anyone Would Do” — the B-side to “Bells of Rhymney” on the one and only single ever released by Fifth Avenue:

Fifth Avenue     “Just Like Anyone Would Do”     1965

From the flamenco-style guitar riff that propels the song, to the instrumental bridge with the majestic piano chording, to the ghostly backing vocals that linger after the rest of the mix has faded, there’s something fairly compelling about this song (ditto for another great Jimmy Page production from that same year that unfairly sank without a trace — Nico’s “I’m Not Sayin’“).

I first encountered this haunting track on a double-album anthology of Immediate singles (with album sides devoted to “The Most Obvious”; “The Rarest of the Rare”; “Happy to Be a Part of the Industry of British Blues”; and “Jimmy Page Productions/Sessions”) that was released, oddly enough, by Nashville-based Compleat Records in 1985.

Immediate Singles 2-LP AnthologySix years prior, the Led Zeppelin fan club Manchester/UK had gathered this B-side and 29 other tracks for a double album compilation entitled, James Patrick Page — Session Man.  In recent years, “Just Like Anyone Would Do” would be reissued on CD in 2000, both in the UK (here and also here) and Germany.  2007 would also find the song included on a European CD release, Your Time Is Gonna Come — The Roots of Led Zeppelin (1964-1968).

Led Zep Roots Anthology

The track listing in 2000’s 6-CD box set, The Immediate Singles Collection, provides this sparse bit of text about Fifth Avenue’s sole contribution to popular music history:

45 originally released as Immediate IM 002 — 1965.
Line-up:  Denver Gerrard (vcls, gtr), Kenny Rowe (vcls, bs).
Band origin:  London.

The original Immediate 45 (which was the second single issued by the label, following “Hang On Sloopy” by The McCoys) does respectable business, according to Popsike, at auction.

Bonus Track!   John Paul Jones’ First 45

Would you be startled to learn that John Paul Jones’s career as a solo artist goes as far back as 1964, with the release of his Andrew Loog Oldham-produced Pye 45 “Baja” (Lee Hazlewood‘s brilliant surf hit for The Astronauts) b/w “A Foggy Day in Vietnam“?  Sounds like Jones is wielding a 6-string bass on this lush production.

“Baja”     John Paul Jones     1964

In 2017, someone would pay $375 for a promo copy of Jones’s debut 45.

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 Dream. released in 1969.  Imagine your first album is coming out – on a major label – so you release your first 45 … under a completely different name!  It actually happened, but why — was it a bid to stir up controversy?

Mark Eric Malmborg

Mark Eric LP

Much more intriguing, however, is the flip side “That Bluebird of Summer,” a composition that embodies Brian Wilson’s distinctive ‘West Coast’ musical sensibility to an uncanny degree – as if it were some so well long lost track from Smile (actually, more like Friends).

True or False:  “That Bluebird of Summer” is a non-LP B-side.
Answer:  True

This Surf Symphony B-side is included on 2013’s Book a Trip 2:  More Psych Pop Sounds of Capitol Records — wish I had the liner notes to refer to.

45Cat identifies Mike Rubini & Vic Briggs as producers, with Jan Rubini & Viv Briggs tagged as arrangers.  Discogs.com, meanwhile, indicates Jan Rubini to be the conductor.

Impossible not to notice that A Midsummer’s Day Dream would be released on a different label, Revue.  As Rockasteria explains, “Eric and his collaborator/arranger, former Animals guitarist Vic Briggs, apparently wrote these twelve tracks intending to place them with other acts.  The sessions were apparently only intended to demo the material, but the results were so impressive that Revue decided to release it as a Marc Eric effort.”

Note use of “Future Shock” typeface for label name, Revue

Mark Eric LP-aMark Eric LP-b

One other 45 from that album would be released – “Where Do the Girls of the Summer Go” b/w “California Home” – however, it would be issued under the name ‘Mark Eric‘!

This one album and two 45s would be Mark Eric Malmborg’s entire recorded output.

Gaffe Alert!

Mark Eric, as it turns out, is not actually involved with the Surf Symphony — Zero to 180 missed the boat on this one, as the comment appended below attests.  Musician credits for this album reveal Mark Eric to have merely authored the album’s closing track.

Bass:  Lyle Ritz & Ray Pohlman
Cello:  Anne Goodman, Frederick Seykora, Jesse Ehrlich & Raymond Kelley
Drums:  Jim Gordon
French Horn:  Arthur Maebe, George Price, Henry Sigismonti, Richard Perissi, Vincent Da Rosa & William Hinshaw
Guitar:  Ben Benay, Mike Deasy & Vic Briggs
Harp:  Gail Laughton
Keyboards:  John Myles & Mike Rubini
Percussion:  Gary Coleman
Trombone:  Dick Hyde & Lou McCreary
Trumpet:  Olliver Mitchell & Virgil Evans
Viola:  Gareth Nuttycombe, Joseph Di Fiore, Louis Kievman & Samuel Boghossian
Violin:  Arnold Belnick, Assa Drori, Darrel Terwilliger, Herman Clebanoff, John De Voogdt, Leonard Malarsky, Lou Klass, Lou Raderman, Marshall Sosson, Michael Nutt & Nathan Ross
Woodwind:  Jim Horn & Jules Jacob

  • Concertmaster:  James Getzoff
  • Conductor:  Jan Rubini
  • Copyist:  Barbara Caton, Norman Bartold, Roy Caton & Virgil Evans
  • Engineer:  Jack E. Hunt
  • Producer:  Michel Rubini & Victor Briggs

Dieselbilly for the Long Hairs

Somebody [the Commander himself, I would later learn] went to considerable effort to stitch together all these images to tell the story behind Commander Cody and His Lost Planet Airmen‘s “Truck Stop Rock” from 1972’s Hot Licks, Cold Steel & Trucker Favorites album — the least you can do is watch:

“Truck Stop Rock”     Commander Cody & His Lost Planet Airmen     1972

Five of the band members – Billy C. Farlow, “BuffaloBruce Barlow, Andy Stein, Bill Kirchen, and the Commander himself – would get credit for penning this two-minute blast of truckabilly bop from their second album.

Front side                                                     Flip side

TOSHIBA Exif JPEGCommander Cody & LPA's 2nd album-b

Years later, an impressionable yours truly would find himself in the same metropolitan area as Kirchen, who helped inaugurate a series of free summertime public performances, “Silver Spring Swings” – along with Jack O’Dell & Johnny Castle i.e., Too Much Fun.   Kirchen and company would also tear the root off Silver Spring’s Half Moon BBQ [RIP], a shotgun shack of a venue with a teeny little stage and almost certainly the world’s smallest balcony (check out this shot of Dagmar & the Seductones photographed from same).  Kirchen would confer between sets with this young dieselbilly scholar and once even direct him/me to a fairly obscure (and gruesome) truckin’ tragedy by Johnny Bond, 1967’s “Gears” from Starday’s Man Behind the Wheel album.

Starday's 'Man Behind the Wheel' LPKirchen and his trusty Telecaster serve as the world’s ambassadors for the gloriously satisfying deep, twangin’ sound of truck driving country music.  Kirchen himself is to blame for the contagion that directly fueled Zero to 180’s obsession with the whole truckin’ musical subgenre.

2001’s Tied to the Wheel

Bill Kirchen & Too Much FunKirchen would relocate to Austin, Texas in 2011 but return to Montgomery County, Maryland at the end of that year to perform at Germantown’s Black Rock Center for the Arts — shortly after Zero to 180’s third all-truck driving radio show at WKHS (with host, Martin Q. Blank, son of the late, great Charlie Coleman).  After the show, the ‘Dieselbilly Kid’ would get a chance to tell Kirchen directly that his guitar work had graced three of the 50+ songs that were broadcast on WKHS’s airwaves to the good folks in the Chesapeake Bay area on November 11, 2011 (11/11/11, for real):  (1) “Truck Stop Rock” by Commander Cody and his Lost Planet Airmen; (2) “Semi Truck” (recording from 1996 trucker tribute album Rig Rock Deluxe that features Kirchen’s Telecaster paired with a 6-string bass), and (3) this harrowing bit of science fiction from 2001 album Tied to the Wheel, that was written by Cody and Kirchen (backed by Johnny Castle and Jack O’Dell on this track):

“Truck Stop at the End of the World”     Bill Kirchen & Too Much Fun     2001

Good news:  Bill Kirchen is on tour!  Even better news for DC people. Commander Cody will join Kirchen for a set this Saturday – tonight! – at The Birchmere in Alexandria, VA.

Link to previous piece about the performance art troupe – The Galactic Twist Queens – who accompanied Commander Cody and His Lost Planet Airmen during their earliest years in Ann Arbor.

Dagmar & the Seductones @ Silver Spring’s Half Moon BBQ

Sasha Caro’s B-Side of Irony

Yesterday’s piece about London’s Chalk Farm Studios omitted the fact that this recording facility had actually begun life as Rayrik Sound – established in 1964 by Bruce “Ray” Rae and Caro “Rick” Minas.  And although Eric Clapton & Cream’s debut album had been recorded at Rayrik two years later, the studio would be close its doors in 1968, only to re-open that same year as Chalk Farm.

Rick Minas, who had begun his musical career as part of a songwriting partnership with Mike Banwell, would strike out in the mid-60s for a solo career.  Minas – using the alias, Sasha Caro – would release a pair of singles in 1967 and 1968 that found none other than Cat (“I’m Gonna Get Me a Gun“) Stevens sitting in the producer’s chair.  In a cheeky move, Caro would select (ironically perhaps) “Never Play a B-Side” for the second single’s B-Side — summon the courage to play it, if you dare:

Rick ‘Sasha Caro’ Minas     “Never Play a B-Side”     1968

Cream’s Inaugural Single:  Doo-Doo

American audiences are largely unaware that Cream’s UK debut single – recorded at the Chalk Farm sessions – would be excluded from their 1st album (except in Sweden, oddly). “Wrapping Paper” would be the A-side of their first 45 released in the UK, Germany, and Australia.  Ginger Baker, in a 2007 interview, would denounce “Wrapping Paper” as “the most appalling piece of [poo] I’ve ever heard in my life!” and express more than a little frustration that the song was merely a vehicle to generate publishing royalties for the emerging songwriting “club” of Jack Bruce and Pete Brown.

Rare [mimed] Performance of “Wrapping Paper”     1966 French TV

[Is Jack Bruce playing a 6-string bass during this televised performance?]

45Cat contributor, BiffBamPow, would hilariously describe “Wrapping Paper” as “the most ridiculous debut single by anybody” and point out that B-side “Cat’s Squirrel” is much more representative of the band’s sound.

The Shadows: World’s Tiniest Rockers

Vintage Guitar Magazine’s well-researched history of the Vox musical equipment company contains a particularly delightful side story about “wee” instruments that were designed and manufactured strictly for marionettes!  Peter Stuart Kohman has the scoop:

“One of the most oddball Vox orders was for a set of miniature equipment for singing puppets, specifically, a set of toy-sized Phantom guitars and AC30 amps.  These were supplied for ‘The Beakles’ from The Pinky and Perky Show, a popular children’s program starring marionettes.  The Beakles’ gear was built to look like the real thing by prototype designer Mick Bennett and showed JMI [i.e., Vox]’s commitment to having beat groups on TV – even fictional ones – properly equipped.”

Unfortunately, the only good image of The Beakles that can be found online shows the avian instrumentalists merely playing acoustic guitars – definitely not the modernist, asymmetrical Vox Phantom:

The (unnamed) Beakles depicted on 45 picture sleeve for Pinky & Perky EP

Pinky & Perky's Beat Party

Beakles Spoof LPBeatles Debut LP

Kohman also points out that UK’s preeminent instrumental band, The Shadows, would be the recipients of similarly exquisite custom miniature gear in conjunction with their first full-length motion picture: “The Shadows also appeared in marionette form in the 1966 film Thunderbirds Are Go with miniature AC30s but ‘playing’ their signature Burns guitars.”

The (mini) Shadows can be seen backing Cliff Richard in this charming performance of “Shooting Star” from their big-screen debut:

“Shooting Star”     Cliff Richard & The Shadows     1966

According to Thunderbirds Wiki, “The real-life Hank Marvin loved his puppet so much, he tried so hard to buy it, but it was later reused for another character.”

Hank Marvin & FriendHey, Wikipedia tells me that that sound you hear at the beginning of “Thunderbirds Theme” is Hank Marvin himself (not bassist, Jet Harris) playing a Fender VI six-string bass!


Andy Tielman’s 10-String Guitar

Victor Uwaifo‘s double-neck “magic guitar” with 18 strings immediately brings to mind Andy Tielman and his 10-string guitar.  I suspect that many if not most Americans are unfamiliar (as I was) with The Tielman Brothers, a band of siblings from the Netherlands by way of Indonesia.  But check out this live performance of the band in flight, and you too might be floored by the realization that some of the most compelling rockabilly sounds came from a group of Indo-Dutch youngsters (many thanks to Tom Hutton for the tip!):

Check out the drummer’s guitar work on “Rollin’ Rock” by The Tielman Brothers

Andy Tielman and his brothers Reggy, Ponthon, and Loulou emigrated to the Netherlands in 1957 and got their first big gig at the 1958 Brussels World’s Fair in the “Hawaiian Village” of the Dutch pavilion, where they stole the show (see live performance clip above) with their exuberant stage antics, according to Indo-Rock-Gallery.

Indo-Rock-Gallery‘s story of the Indonesian expatriate music scene in the Netherlands also details how Andy Tielman and his brothers pushed the “new rock music” forward in a number of ways.  How fascinating, for example, to discover that —

  • Andy Tielman’s famous 10-string Fender Jazzmaster was a result of having switched from his original Gibson Les Paul (due to its weight) and finding the Fender sound too thin.  Tielman, therefore, doubled each string (except the highest and lowest ones) and tuned every string pair in octaves to enlarge the sound.  At the time, Tielman tried to conceal his instrument’s headstock with a towel, but other bands would copy his invention.  Even still, I can find no photos of Andy’s 10-string invention on the web.

Cees Bakker’s attempt to replicate Andy Tielman’s 10-String Fender Jazzmaster

Fender headstock

  • Cees Bakker reports that “another Tielman first” was their innovative use of dual Fender VI six-string basses, one with lighter gauge strings (Reggy) and the other (Robby) with heavier ones — furthermore, “thanks to their amp settings Reggy sounded like an octave below guitar and Robby like a real bass guitar, which is unique for a Fender VI.”
  • Bakker also points out how the output from bassist, Robby Latuperisa, was “plugged through Andy’s guitar signal” on the way to “all other Fender Bassman and Showman” amplifiers, in addition to the PA sound system.

Tielman Brothers 45-aTielman Brothers 45-bTielman Brothers 45-cTielman Brothers 45-dTielman Brothers 45-eTielman Brothers 45-fTielman Brothers 45-gTielman Brothers 45-h

Rock-It-Chain has band member lineups over the years, as well as a detailed discography.

Hear the twin 6-string basses and see Andy’s 10-string (briefly) in this live clip


“Surf Finger”: Lost Surf Classic

Surf Finger,” such an obvious candidate for the A-side of a 45, alas, was never issued on wax and seems only to have surfaced with the release of Ace’s 2006 CD anthology, Hard Workin’ Man – The Jack Nitzsche Story Volume 2:

“Surf Finger”     Jack Nitzsche     1966

Video features “Surf Finger” paired with vintage footage of Sunset Strip in its 60s heyday.

Spectropop‘s detailed Jack Nitzsche discography affirms that this track was recorded in 1966, thus forty years consigned to the can.  Thanks to Scene of Screen 13 cinema blog, I learned that this instrumental served as part of the soundtrack for “documentary” film, Mondo Bizarro —– to hear the “Surf Finger” segment in the documentary, click on the triangle (media player) below.

Could this possibly be Jack Nitzsche’s abstract response to the classic Bar Kays near-instrumental, “Soul Finger,” I wondered.  Highly unlikely, I had to conclude, since that Stax/Volt 45 did not come into being until the following year, 1967.

Jack Nitzsche, T.A.M.I. Show Arranger & conductor, with Jan berry – 1964

Jack Nitzsche on the TAMI Show

“Pink Velvet Swing”: Six Degrees of Roy Clark

In 1962 Capitol Records released a Roy Clark instrumental LP entitled, The Lightning Fingers of Roy ClarkGiven the year of release, Roy shows amazing restraint by limiting to three the number of songs whose titles end with the word “Twist.”

One obvious album highlight is Roy’s version of Hank Penny‘s “Pink Velvet Swing“:

“Pink Velvet Swing”     Roy Clark     1962

Capitol issued one single from this album — “Texas Twist” b/w “Wildwood Twist” — in the US, Canada, Italy, and Germany, although in the UK, “In the Mood” rather than “Wildwood Twist” served as the B-side.

Rear cover

The Cincinnati-Kingston Connection II

Speaking of Hank Penny, Wikipedia’s bio spotlights his hit song “Bloodshot Eyes” and shows a curious chain of connections that illustrate the direct cultural impact of the sounds coming out of Cincinnati’s King Records studio on people in far-flung places that yet were within reach of radio during its peak period of influence – places such as Kingston, Jamaica and legendary session guitarist, Ernest Ranglin:

Penny’s “Bloodshot Eyes” was also recorded in 1951 by rock and roll singer, Wynonie Harris, who turned it into a major rock hit (King 4461).  Harris was a big influence on Elvis Presley, who did go to see him play and met him in his formative years and recorded Roy Brown’s Good Rocking Tonight after hearing Wynonie Harris’ hit version.  Appreciated by white country music fans and black rock and roll followers alike, “Bloodshot Eyes” became an early landmark in racial integration.  It was much appreciated in the Caribbean, where Wynonie Harris had a large following.  Along with other Wynonie Harris records, it was being played on Jamaican dancehalls as early as 1951.  In 1958 Jamaican mento group, Denzil Laing and the Wrigglers recorded a fine version of it for their Arawak Hotel album featuring jazz guitar great, Ernest Ranglin.

Arawak Hotel LP

Lee Hazlewood: Lesser-Known Legend of Surf & Twang Guitar

Even if only for his pioneering production work with one of my guitar heroes, Duane Eddy (e.g., using a gigantic grain tank as an echo chamber), let it be known that Lee Hazlewood, while himself not a hotshot guitarist, co-wrote some of Eddy’s best tunes (including half of his excellent 1965 album, Duane-a-Go-Go), as well as penned a fair number of surf classics for other artists:  “Baja“; “Movin’” and “Batman” for The Astronauts, plus all of Al Casey‘s best instrumentals – “Surfs You Right“; “The Hearse“; “Surfin’ Hootenanny“; and “Guitars, Guitars, Guitars.”

HazlewoodIs Hazlewood’s 1961 instrumental – five years before Neil Hefti’s “Batman Theme” – the first musical tribute to the Caped Crusader?  Still trying to determine that the guitarist is using a 6-string bass (or baritone guitar) to carry out the melody line.

“Batman”     Lee Hazlewood     1961