- 28 Sep 18
Garage Groover Still Growls, Fifty-One Years Later...
How’s this for a proper rock n’ roll story? Inspired by the invading English horde, New Jersey lads start a band, then get discovered in a pizzeria. Their 1966 fuzzy first single, ‘Open Up Your Door’, complete with ‘Twist & Shout’ “Ahh, Ahh!” scrapes the top 100. Another two singles follow, but they die on their arse, and it’s all over. Only it isn’t.
1998: The Rhino reissue label decide to expand the Nuggets: Original Artyfacts From The First Psychedlic Era compilation, originally put together by Patti Smith man Lenny Kaye in 1972 as a celebration of 60s garage one-hit (or no-hit) wonders. ‘Open Up Your Door’ is added in. The call goes out, naturally enough, to get the band back together, and Springsteen aide-de-camp Little Steven, a long time fan, turns up at a Hoboken gig, insisting on helping to make that album-that-never-was a reality. Sadly, the rock n’ roll gods weren’t finished playing dice yet though, singer Richard Tepp tragically succumbed to leukemia just as recording finished, but, dans l'esprit du temps, the band are already planning a contest to find a carry-on-in-his-honour replacement. You couldn’t make it up.
A good story and, thankfully, a good record too. That single, in re-recorded form, loses a bit of biff, bang, and pow, but it still rocks. Those inexplicably unsuccessful second and third records, ‘Nasty’ and ‘You Can Make It’ are also here, in their original form as nature intended. The rest is toe-tapping garage rock of a high standard, with Van Zandt’s ‘Don’t Waste My Time’ and the Them-like ‘Hurt By Love’ standing out. There’s another volume on the way apparently, which, like this, will be worth hearing. They should really consider hawking the movie rights along side it.