Linn County – Fever Shot (134 223 MCY) (1969)

From the Thrifty Vinyl 60s Archives

SAM_0388POLICE FALSELY ARREST SIXTH CALI ROCK BAND    Yet Another Group Of Long-Hairs Mistaken For Manson Family
          (San Fransisco, California) –  Little-known San Francisco blues-rock band, Linn County, were released without charge yesterday after their arrest on suspicion of being the notorious Manson Family. According to Police Chief Brian McGuffey, one member was “a dead ringer for Charles ‘Tex’ Watson, but it turned out to be the band’s drummer, Jerome McAndrew.”
          “All these goddam long-hairs look the same to me,” McGuffey continued. “Hirsute, unwashed and reeking of marihuana.”
          “Lord only knows how their fans tell them apart,” he added.
          The arrest follows similar incarcerations of the Grateful Dead, the Jefferson Airplane, Moby Grape, the Steve Miller Band, Big Brother and the Holding Company and Kak. SAM_0389Editor’s Note: Above average blues-rock from transplanted Midwest band. I bought this yesterday on a thrifting trip with Grampa Asbo. He’s something of a bibliophile–the apple don’t fall too far from the tree.
Published in: on May 23, 2014 at 10:46 am  Leave a Comment  

The Grateful Dead – Live/Dead (WS.1830) (1969)


(Heaven) — You would have thought, that having named his band The Grateful Dead, deceased guitarist Jerry Garcia would have been pleased as punch shuffling off this mortal coil.

But nothing could be further from the truth, and nearly two decades on from his demise the dead head Deadhead proclaimed himself, “bored to tears of the Afterlife” in a celestial interview yesterday.

“Frankly, I miss playing music with my friends,” he sighed. “And it’s just not the same in Heaven since all of the other dead Grateful Deads here only play keyboards.”

The self-styled Captain Trips added that he’s “very much” looking forward to the deaths of ex-bandmates Phil Lesh, Bob Weir, Mickey Hart and Bill Kreutzmann to “jazz things up a bit up here.”

“At least I don’t have to see Pigpen since he’s in Hell,” Garcia smiled.

SAM_0379Editor’s Note: Having been force fed Dead in my youth, I’ve been relatively slow coming round. I still think their singing is mediocre at best, but I’ve picked up a few GD pieces over the years, all of which I enjoy. I got Live/Dead a few weeks ago in trade at a second record store in Canterbury. Unfortunately, the second disc turned out to be warped beyond playability. When I returned the album, the shopkeeper just said, ‘Keep it’ and gave me store credit.SAM_0380I’m keeping it for the first record, which has a lovely version of ‘Dark Star’, and the cover.SAM_0381

Blind Faith (583 059) (1969)


(London, England) — An as-yet-un-named UK supergroup is today facing historic allegations of making and distributing indecent images. The supergroup, which can’t be named for legal reasons, was summoned to New Scotland Yard yesterday to answer questions in connection offensive photographs taken in the late 1960s or early 1970s.

While the band has not yet been identified, sources close to the investigation called the photographs “shocking and disturbing” and say there may be additional photographs in the United States.

Some have claimed the images are “artistic”, but the authorities are taking a different view: “It’s disgusting,” claimed a spokesperson for the Metropolitan Police. “In one photograph, four homely, lank-haired men in their late 20s or early 30s can be clearly seen gathered around musical equipment. All appear to be smoking.”

“Why anyone would choose to look like that, I simply don’t know,” he added.

Another image shows the men apparently laughing, seemingly unaware of their grubbiness.

“They really are a plain-looking bunch,” continued the source.

Perhaps most shocking, police believe one of gentlemen to be a ginger. However, since the images in question are printed in black and white, further forensic study is required before this can be confirmed.


Editor’s Note: This is a very good, surprisingly loose album. Only Ginger Baker’s drum solo lowers the tone, and even that doesn’t go on too long. Slightly under-rehearsed, Stevie W sound shrill at times, while EC contributes tasteful, interesting and seemingly not over-thought guitar throughout; overall, it’s a snapshot of an album by people at the top of their game. Picked up (along with a few others) at a second-hand place in exchange for several unwanted pieces from the Asbo libarry. 


Published in: on May 1, 2014 at 10:51 am  Leave a Comment  

Traffic – The Low Spark of High-Heeled Boys (ILPS-9180) (1971)

Seth: We used to have a bus.                                             Munchie: In a way, the sixties ended the day we sold it. December thirty-first, 1969.

SAM_0233If this record is anything to go by, the early 70s were more 60s than the 60s. Marijuana can be the only explanation why you would let anyone else sing if you had Steve Winwood in your band; despite that, this is still a very good Brit stoner jazz-rock Lp.
SAM_1735First UK press heavy card inner sleeve above and original label below.SAM_1736Another treasure from last week’s Island Records trove.

Published in: on December 27, 2013 at 1:43 pm  Leave a Comment  

Paul Kossoff – “Tuesday Morning” (Jam) – Apple Corps Ltd. Custom Recordings acetate (1973)

SAM_0229Perhaps the most interesting collectible among my Christmas-came-early, pound-a-pop haul was this rare, possibly even unique, heavyweight test pressing for side one of Kossoff’s first post-Free solo album, Back Street Crawler, which was released on Island. There are at least six other versions of “Tuesday Morning” extant, all of which featured on the 2008 deluxe cd re-issue. It may be, as was often the case, that this represents an early mix of the 17 minute Lp version, but I’m not expert enough to tell; it certainly takes up the whole of the side.

Published in: on December 23, 2013 at 2:33 pm  Comments (1)  

Led Zeppelin – Physical Graffiti (1975)


by Robert Plant

by Robert Plant

The makers of the 1982 cult bildungsroman film Fast Times at Ridgemont High might as well have taken a big, steaming shit in the middle of the room and called that their movie. There, I’ve said it.

Normally, I’m pretty forgiving, especially when it comes to movies–as you know, I’m more a music guy–but there are times when a continuity error so completely ruins a movie, so completely shatters a filmmaker’s carefully constructed illusion, so completely disrupts one’s suspension of disbelief that I have to snap the thing off in disgust. So it was when I watched a DVD of Fast Times At Ridgemont High Saturday night.

Allow me to explain: “When it comes down to makin’ out, whenever possible, put on side one of Led Zeppelin IV.” So says the smooth moving ladies man Mike Damone (Robert Romanus) to his nebbish chum, Mark “Rat” Ratner (Brian Backer). Now, this is one piece of advice that I can personally vouch for–ha, ha!  Anyway, the scene immediately cuts to “Rat” and the girl he’s trying to nail cruising in his sister’s car and sure enough, they’re rockin’ to the heavy blues sounds of Led Zeppelin.

Except that he’s playing side two.

Of Physical Graffiti!

I almost threw up.

Right there, I thought, “These people don’t know what the fuck they’re doing!” I turned off the DVD and watched highlights of the West Brom match I’d recorded on BT Vision. I simply couldn’t take seriously a movie with such a grievous mistake. It fair ruined my night, I can tell you–that and our loss to Southampton!

But could this error be excused somehow? “Rat” was playing the music on the car’s cassette deck and the particular song he was playing, “Kashmir”, is the penultimate track on the first side of the cassette issue; this might constitute the “side one” of Damone’s directive. But that still doesn’t alter the fact that it would be side one of the sixth Zep album and not the fourth!

Okay, maybe I’m being unfair. Perhaps, in having the character play a song from an Lp two along from the one he was specifically asked to do, the writers are demonstrating “Rat”‘s cack-handedness, his lack of knowledge and “cool”. Certainly, he’s totally oblivious to the heavy sexual hints he’s getting from Stacy Hamilton (Jennifer Jason Leigh). Or maybe it’s because they weren’t actually “makin’ out” yet and he was saving Zoso for then.

Well, maybe.

But you know what, if either were true, that would be awfully subtle writing and, frankly, gives director Amy Heckerling, et al. a little too much credit. No, I was right to switch Fast Times off; it’s a badly made film and they should feel bad for having made it.

Robert Plant is a singer/songwriter and regular contributor to Thrifty Vinyl.

Published in: on August 19, 2013 at 4:20 pm  Leave a Comment  

Charlie Daniels – Honey In the Rock (KSRS2071) (1973)

SAM_1608Proper shit-kickin’, good ol’ boy, a-pickin’ an’ a-grinnin’ Southern fried rock. And if I could think of a hunnert more corn pone, gerund-utilising-apostrophes descriptions, I would add them, too.

With a tip o’ the Stetson to the Allman Bros. (two drummers, a couple side-ending extended, jazzy jams), things get funky with more than a little help from an excellent bass guitarist. Daniels’ affected vocals resemble Dr. John’s, if not quite as rich in personality. This original Kama Sutra issue includes the shaggy dog novelty, “Uneasy Rider”, which gave the 1976 Epic re-release its title. I got Honey from Demelza in Hythe today for but a quid.

Some vandal has spray painted the word "fuck" on the side of the caboose. Appreciating the maturity level of musicians as I do, I expect this was the reason for its selection.

If you enlarge the picture above, you will see that some vandal has spray painted the word “fuck” on the side of the caboose ‘pon which the CDB stand. Appreciating the maturity level of musicians as I do, I expect this was the main reason for the photograph’s locus.


Published in: on August 16, 2013 at 7:14 pm  Comments (2)  

David Bowie – The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders From Mars (30th Anniversary 2CD Edition) (539 8262) (2002) Moonage Daydream – The Life and Times of Ziggy Stardust (Cassell Illustrated) (2005)

SAM_1604A David Bowie CD drought existed in the late 80s after RCA let them go out of print and before Ryko had re-issued them.  I was working at Readmor (sic) Books in downtown Columbus at the time and daily I would see Starman comics. With Pavlovian predictability, I would sing (to myself) the “Somewhere Over the Rainbow”-style octave-straddling hook from the like-titled Bowie hit and fruitlessly resolve to buy it. But it was an itch I couldn’t scratch and Ziggy’s unavailability made him all the more desirable. A commercially shrewd move, for when Ryko did eventually re-release them (with bonus tracks!), I bought the lot in a pent-up consumerist frenzy.

I still have those editions and while their then state-of-the-art packaging, a major selling point 20+ years ago, is no great shakes, they still sound good to me and several of the bonus tracks are available nowhere else. Nonetheless, when this especially nice version of Ziggy presented itself a year or so ago at a tabletop sale in the local Methodist Church I leapt.

SAM_1605Included in the 30th Anniversary copy was ephemera plugging the deluxe edition of Bowie’s and Mick Rock’s quite wonderful Moonage Daydream, a photographic recapitulation of the Ziggy era. I tend to hang on to such googahs, especially if they don’t take up too much room. When I pull a record (or CD) off the shelf, often one of these things will fall out to enrich and personalise the experience–as likely as not I’d forgotten it was there. SAM_1606“There was a distinct feeling that ‘nothing was true’ anymore and that the future was not as clear-cut as it had seemed. Nor, for that matter, was the past. Therefore, everything was up for grabs. If we needed any truths we could construct them ourselves. The main platform would be, other that shoes, ‘We are the future , now.’ And the one way celebrating that was to create it by the only means at our disposal. With, of course, a rock’n’roll band.” — DAVID BOWIESAM_1603Alas, I did not find the limited, signed Genesis copy of Moonage Daydream for £2 at a boot fair in Newquay, but I did get this regular version there. The Psueds Corner-baiting epigram on the back of the book (cited above) sets a tone of heavy pretension and self-seriousness that permeates the tiresome, ersatz music criticism most often heard these days on lightweight radio and TV shows examining works in the official canon of best-albums-in-the-history-of-the-world-ever. I certainly don’t need anyone from Spandau Ballet telling me how seeing Bowie fellate Mick Ronson on TOTP changed his life. Nonetheless, Moonage Daydream demonstrates the thought and effort that went into creating Ziggy. With hindsight, it was a watershed and a model in this regard.

Ultimately though, it’s the music which sells the character, not the other way around, and late last night, as Mrs Asbo and I, merry and slightly weary, tidied up after a pleasant but extended dinner party, the noise of the Spiders From Mars, played at “Maximum Volume” as rich, glorious and catchy as ever it had been, inspired me.

Published in: on August 16, 2013 at 9:03 am  Comments (4)  

Creedence Clearwater Revival – Cosmo’s Factory (LBS 83388) (1970)

CCRCFThings have not been well in Asbo Towers. The capitulation of my turntable’s left channel a metaphor for a communication disconnect so apt as to seem calculated. And yet, it’s true. With increasing self-flagellation the only sensible option in the face of irrelevance, hopelessness and crushed dreams, I sit down, drink(s) in hand, to cue up Creedence Clearwater Revival’s fifth long-player. A warm sense of ease (and relief) washes over me. What a fantastic record: people creating something worthwhile. Would that we were all so lucky. This is why, say, “Hi Ho Silver Lining” is such an abomination: You get to make records and come up with something like that? You should be ashamed. But Cosmo’s Factory is another matter.

The other day some slavering BBC radio music critic ventured, on the death of R. Manzarek, that the Doors were the best American band of the 60s. Now I really like the Doors, but really. As if. At the time, my mind immediately sprung to the Byrds and the Velvet Underground, both of whom exude more elegance than Morrison’s group. After listening to CCR, so generous of spirit and dynamically balanced, I am tempted to revise my list. True, the drummer can be a little stiff backed at times (particularly on the 2/4 sections), but when they’re in the groove, there’s no-one on AM radio to touch them.

In an article about Otis Redding, Jon Landau wrote: “Musicians see themselves in different ways. Some, the rarest, are artists prepared to make any sacrifice to preserve the integrity of their art. Others are poseurs who adopt the artist’s stance without the art, who therefore appeal to the segment of the audience that likes to think of itself as being serious but isn’t. And then there are those performers who see themselves as entertainers: they make no pretense of aiming at any particular artistic standard, but are openly and honestly concerned with pleasing crowds and being successful.” While Landau suggested Redding belonged in the latter camp, I would argue Creedence (at least at their peak) should join him; and, incidentally, without being particularly pejorative, VU and the Doors fitting snugly in the first and second groups respectively.

In conclusion, I recommend all Thrifty Vinyl readers* buy Cosmo’s Factory immediately. And isn’t that cover image perfectly banal?

*Disappointingly and inexplicably, readership is less than half of what it was in January of this year, if WordPress stats are to be believed. Indeed, following a precipitous drop in February, despite best efforts to regain ground, at least initially, you’d have to go back to December 2010 to see such low numbers. All of which, along with the summary abandon-ship of one of the founder writers, has left your correspondent a trifle deflated.

Published in: on May 27, 2013 at 6:29 am  Comments (10)  

The Doors – Weird Scenes Inside the Gold Mine (8E-6001) (1972)

WeirdRIP Ray Manzarek

Fans who’ve moved on to more “mature” forms of music have a tendency to sneer at the Doors’ musical pretensions and its lead singer’s delusions of poetry. However, I have no such qualms, embracing the band’s over-reaching as demonstrative of the anything-goes spirit of the times. Weird Scenes Inside the Gold Mine* was the Doors’ second best of, the first to be released after Jim Morrison died. An artful curation, it cherry picks lesser-known works, such as “Peace Frog/Blue Sunday” and “Horse Latitudes” in favour of more obvious choices like “Touch Me” and “Hello, I Love You”. The latter having appeared two years before on the (mostly singles) anthology 13, one assumes Weird Scenes was designed, in contrast, to make the case for the Doors as rock innovators, not pop stars. The inclusion of L.A. Woman outtake “(You Need Meat) Don’t Go No Further”, previously available as the b-side of “Love Her Madly”, and “Who Scared You”, which was “Wishful, Sinful”‘s flip makes the present compilation that much more collectable; however, I don’t think Morrison is the singer on the Willie Dixon track and neither are masterpieces.

Thrifted years ago in the States.

* the title is a lyric from the band’s Oedipal drama, “The End”; it’s probably no accident that it sounds like an EA Poe short story to me.

Published in: on May 21, 2013 at 7:40 am  Comments (5)