Sunday, February 14, 2016

Lou Reed - Live Not Authorised (1972) Bootleg

(U.S  1964–2013)
New York born, Lou Reed was leader of that city's seminal Velvet Underground until their disintegration amid apathy end of 1970. The Velvets had never achieved the attention their work warranted, and Reed was to claim that all the mistakes of his solo career were born out of this frustration, of a lust for some kind of success and for recognition of his former group's importance.
Either way, the Velvets split left Reed drifting in and out of music circles for a year - he worked for a spell with his father's accountancy firm in Freeport, Long Island - before RCA proffered a solo contract at the suggestion of New York writer and producer Richard Robinson. Interested in what was coming out of Britain, and with Reed having every reason to be disenchanted with New York, the pair traveled to London December 1971 to work on Reed's eponymous solo debut using an oddly mixed line-up which included Steve Howe, Rick Wake-man and Clem Cattini.
The result was less than satisfactory, but Reed persisted with British studios and players -though he did axe Robinson virtually at the point his producer was packing for return to London studios. This probably had less to do with Robinson as the fact that David Bowie, nascent androgynous hero of British rock, had shown interest in producing Reed himself; Bowie's work and attitudes owing a large debt to Reed and Velvets.
The result of this coupling was Transformer, which appeared late 1972 and spilled forth a whole closet-full of twilight zone characters on a public whose appetite for this "daring" new turn in rock had been whetted by the likes of Reed disciples Bowie and Roxy Music - It mattered not to them that the figures and scenarios of Reed's former (Velvets) work had been reduced to cartoon proportions, or that Reed was parodying Reed (as he would on each successive album) - this was what his new audience wanted to hear, and it had undeniable commercialism.
It even yielded a smash hit in Walk On The Wild Side, though how the single got played on BBC Radio 1 remains a mystery -presumably nobody there knew what "giving head" meant. Nonetheless, there was Reed in 1973 with the success he craved - a hit album and single in America and' Britain. [extract from The Illustrated New Musical Express Encyclopedia of Rock, by Nick Logan & Bob Woffinden, Salamander Books, 1977. p191-192]
This post features Lou Reed performing at Ultrasonic Recording Studios in Hempstead, NY on 26th December 1972 with his band - The Tots - recording live for radio. Recorded just a month after the release of Transformer, it is a great show, featuring great stereo quality, with the band really delivering driving versions of some Velvet Underground numbers and Lou’s early solo work, including "Walk On The Wild Side", "Vicious" and "Berlin" – the track that would title his next release six months later. This is the show that every Lou Reed fan would love to see. It’s got minimal attitude, lots of great songs (including a generous smattering of hits) and FM quality sound.  I really love the fact that ‘Walk on the Wild Side’ had only been out for a little over a month. the crowd loved the ‘giving head’ line!
The post itself consists of MP3's (320kps) ripped from my AMCOS CD along with associated artwork, including covers for equivalent bootleg releases such as 'Hero & Heroine' by Swingin' Pig, 'Streets of Berlin' and 'Sweet Jane'. Quality of the recording is damn good (9/10)  and this is one bootleg that you can't afford to miss.

Track Listing
01. Vicious
02. Waiting For The Man
03. Sweet Jane
04. Walk On the Wild Side
05. Walk And Talk It
06. Berlin
07. Rock 'N' Roll
08. Satellite Of Love
09. I'm So Free
10. Heroin
11. White Light/White Heat 

Lou Reed And The Tots:
Lou Reed - Vocal / Guitar
Vinny Laporta - Guitar
Eddie Reynolds - Guitar
Bobby Resigno - Bass
Scottie Clark - Drums

Lou Reed Link (138Mb)

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Peter Allen - Tenterfield Saddler (1978)

(Australian 1968–1992)
Peter Allen was born on Feb 10, 1942 in a little town in the hills of N.S.W. He learnt piano from an early age and was playing at the local pub by the time he was ten. Peter left school in his mid-teens and decided to further his career in Sydney. It was there that he met Chris Bell and they joined forces as the Allen Brothers.  After releasing several records and becoming TV regulars, they set out for the Orient where they met Judy Garland. Judy enticed the duo to the US where Peter met her daughter, Liza Minnelli. The couple subsequently became engaged late in 1964. They were married in 1967. However, the relationship became strained as Liza became a star and Peter's career seemed to stagnate.

Finally, in 1970, the couple broke up and so too did the Allen Brothers. From this point, Peter began to nurture his talent for song-writing. He moved to Greenwich Village where he gradually developed a cult for his bizarre stage antics in the small clubs in the area.
As his popularity in cabaret began to increase, Peter directed his songwriting talents to expatriate Australians, Olivia Newton-John and Helen Reddy.

It was for Olivia that he wrote the dual Grammy Award winning song, "I Honestly Love You" in 1974. He returned to Australia in September 1975 as the opening act for Helen's show in Sydney.
Meanwhile, in the US, Peter was beginning to attract bigger audiences and had moved into bigger clubs. In 1976, Dee Anthony (Peter Frampton's manager), took over his affairs and things began to happen. Peter teamed up with composer, Carol Bayer Sager. He also recorded "I Go To Rio".
Although the single eventually topped the Australian charts, it was not until that amazing film clip of the song was shown on the pop show Countdown, that it received any airplay. By the time Peter arrived back in Australia in September 1977, the record had made number one and he was met with a tumultuous reception right throughout his tour.

'Rio' was followed hotly by his best selling album, Taught By Experts, and another single, 'The More I See You'. The next release by Peter was a double live album recorded at clubs in both Los Angeles and New York, entitled 'It Is Time For Peter Allen', which hit the shops in October 1977. [extract from Noel McGrath's Australian Encyclopedia of Rock, Outback Press, 1978. p 12-13]

He was the only Australian to win an Oscar, a Grammy and a Golden Globe, and wrote some of our most iconic songs before dying in 1992 at 48-years-of-age. Born in Tenterfield, his song "Tenterfield Saddler" continues to be a classic song that thrust Tenterfield into the limelight after its release. The Tenterfield Saddlery was made famous by Peter Allen's tribute to his past, and grandfather George Woolnough in the 'Tenterfield Saddler'.

However it is much more than just a song. For 50 years (from 1908 - 1960), this quaint blue-granite saddlery on High Street was a key meeting place in town. Saddler George Woolnough plied his trade, listening, undisturbed by the chatter and opinions of those who wandered in. One famous customer was Banjo Patterson.

Since 1860, the building has been used as a bank, private residence, and saddlery. Classified by the National Trust and in original condition - the old ceilings wear 130 years of tobacco stains, wooden floors are patched in places with scraps of leather, and visitors can see the working conditions of 100 years ago first hand.

The Boy From Tenterfield
This Tenterfield is a wonderful spot,
Today it's freezing, tomorrow it's hot,
Today it's raw and rainy and gusty,
Tomorrow it's dry and dirty and dusty.
(A grumpy visitor, February, 1899)

More than ninety years after those words about Tenterfield were written, the first man ever to dance with New York's famed Rockettes found himself once again in Atlantic City, New Jersey. This time he was crouched inside a giant champagne glass prop waiting for the orchestra down beat to start his dinner show. The solo performance awaiting him would doubtless be demanding, but the man himself was intrepid, the man was a tank. But it was also true that the 1980s for Peter Allen had started in triumph then ended in calamity, testing him personally to the limit. He had buried in the past few years more friends, colleagues and lovers than he likely had the heart to dwell on. He had also seen his dream of a Peter Allen Broadway musical soar into a fantasy of goodwill and imminent triumph, then splatter into the reality of scornful reviews and a sniping, vengeful press. The worm had turned and now the song and dance man's most valuable resource, his energy, was beginning to ebb. The uninvited visitor illness was quietly creeping up on him.

Tenterfield Saddlery Today
The performer nonetheless had his vast experience and pronounced native cunning to fall back on. Once Peter's show was humming along he would pad it out by talking and telling gags instead of singing. He would tell the audience the same story he had always told them, the story of his childhood, 'Out in the bush, chasing kangaroos, eating koala bears for lunch.' This was Peter Allen's image, his show-business insurance and it made simple commonsense to maintain it. 'Never interfere with the legend, never correct it,' his former mother-in-law Judy Garland had decreed, and the bush bou-levardier was not about to. Not that he expected to be genuinely understood, not in his racket. Truth was far too complex a matter for legend and Peter Allen had too many incongruous and opposing qualities to be understood; it was one of his strengths that this gregarious, guarded, self-contained man had never expected to be understood. So Peter Allen would joke his way around the Broadway flop and tell them about the folksy Australian town he came from, Tenterfield.

The fact that Peter had never actually stayed on in Tenterfield would not be mentioned because it would only confuse the issue. Peter Allen, real name Peter Woolnough, had in fact grown up in Armidale. But Armidale had been almost (but not quite) sophisticated for an Australian country town, and what was the value of that to legend? Best to talk about this little kid dancing in the never-never land of the Tenterfield bush, hoofing and tapping and queening it up while his grandfather made saddles; destiny's tot rejecting the family business because he 'didn't want to work in leather,' as he put it. As for the other town, Armidale, it just wasn't funny, and didn't sound right in a lyric. More to the point, though, Armidale was cursed by memory and blighted by personal ruin. So Peter Alien was the boy from Tenterfield and that was that for the purpose of myth. [extract from Peter Allen The Boy From Oz by Stephen Maclean, Ranmsom House Aust, 1996. p3-4]
This post consists of FLACs and MP3's (320kps) ripped from my trusty vinyl that has had a spin or two on my turntable - especially after watching the recent T.V mini series 'Not The Boy Next Door' and reading Stephen Maclean's biography 'The Boy From Oz'.  One can't help but be in awe of what Allen achieved as an Australian artist and how talented a musicianand songwriter he was. This album should not be missed and you'll not hear one pop or click in this recording. Full album artwork and label scans are included as usual. Note that this album was originally released in 1972 by Metromedia in Italy & US, catalog number KMD 1056 with a different cover (see right)
Track Listing
01 - Tenterfield Saddler
02 - More Than I Like You
03 - The Same Way I Came In
04 - Good To See You Up There
05 - I Can Tell A Lie
06 - Just Ask Me I Been There
07 - Cocoon08 - Harbour
09 - Somebody Beautiful Just Undid Me
10 - The Other Side

Peter Allen FACs Link (212Mb)
Peter Allen MP3's Link (91Mb)

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Swanee - Ready For Action: Live In The Snow (1983)

(Australian 1979 - Present)
John Swan, more commonly known as Swanee, was born John Archibold Dixon Swan in 1952 in Glasgow, Scotland. He came to Australia with his family in 1961 and is the only one of his siblings to keep his natural fathers surname. He is the older brother of Jimmy Barnes (Cold Chisel) and the uncle of David Campbell.

Swanee started his musical career as a drummer in the band Happiness before moving on to other bands such as Fraternity, Feather and Cold Chisel. He branched out on his own, under the name Swanee, in 1979, releasing the album “Into The Night”. His first commercial hit was in 1981 with his version of “If I Were A Carpenter” off the album “This Time Is Different” which featured two other hits, “Temporary Heartache” and “Lady What’s Your Name”

In 1983 he released a live album, recorded at the Thredbow Ski Resort in the Snowy Mountains of New South Wales, Australia and is the feature of this post.

In 1987 he replaced angry Anderson as lead singer in Paul Christie’s “Party Boys” where he had another hit with “He’s Gonna Step on You Again” and then “Hold Your Head Up”. He left the band around 1989 to again pursue a solo career that still persists today.

Since 1990 Swan's recording career has been less than prolific, producing only two singles that year and an album, Heart and Soul in 1997, although he still maintained a constant live presence.

In 2007 Swan released the album Have a Little Faith (Liberation Records). The project was recorded with Nashville's best, and produced by leading expatriate producer /guitarist Mark Moffatt, now resident in Tennessee. Musician credits feature players who have been session men for Garth Brooks, John Fogerty, Billy Joel, Dolly Parton and Shania Twain among others.

In July 2014, Swanee released the album One Day at a Time (MGM Distribution), which is entirely his work in collaboration with Darren Mullan of Adelaide Recording Studio fame, and Tony Minniecon on 'Rescue Me'. Swanee was also named Senior South Australian of the year [extract from]

This post consists of FLACs and MP3's (320kps) ripped from my 'Specially Priced' vinyl which I purchased back in the early 80's. I think the one thing that really caught my attention when I saw this album in the shops for the first time was the inclusion of the Led Zeppelin Medleys - especially featuring Black Dog and Whole Lotta Love. But there are some other great covers on this album, including Stevie Wright's "Evie" which really tears down the house along with Tin Soldier (Small Faces) and Born To Run (Bruce Springsteen)
Full album artwork for CD (thanks to Deutros) and LP are included along with label scans. Thanks to Greg Noakes for the publicity photos of Swanee.
Track Listing
01 - Talk To Ya Later

 02 - Tin Soldier
03 - Lady What's Your Name

04 - Born To Run
05 - Led Zeppelin Medley 1

       (Rock N Roll, Stairway To Heaven, Whole Lotta Love)
06 - Led Zeppelin Medley 2

     (Black Dog, Rock N Roll)
07 - Mathew
08 - Evie Parts 1,2 and 3
09 - Motor Down

Swanee were:John Swan (Lead Vocals)
Dennis Wilson (Guitar, Vocals)
Phil Screen (Drums)
Coz Russo (Keyboards)

John Srango (Bass)
Mark Tinson (Guitar, Vocals)
Taya (Backing Vocals & Keyboards)


Swanee FLAC Link (288Mb)
Swanee MP3 Link (116Mb)

Sunday, January 31, 2016

W.O.C.K On Vinyl - Peter Sellers: Sellers Sings The Beatles (1981)

Before things get too serious here at Rock On Vinyl, I thought it might be fun to post a song / album at the end of each month, that could be categorized as being either Weird, Obscure, Crazy or just plain Korny.

The late Peter Sellers was one of Britain’s major screen comedy stars, his most memorable character being the bungling Inspector Clouseau in the ‘Pink Panther’ films. As a young boy, I just loved watching the Pink Panther and seeing Inspector Clouseau bungle his way through all of the Pink Panther Movies.

Sellers, born on 8 September 1925, first rose to fame in Britain as a member of the Goons, who created an anarchic radio series which ran until 1960. The Goons comprised Peter, along with Spike Milligan, Harry Seacombe and Michael Bentine.

John Lennon was twelve years old when he first heard the Goons and listened avidly to their radio shows until he was sixteen. Their influence was evident in his books 'In His Own Write' and 'A Spaniard In The Works' and in 1973 the New York Times commissioned John to write a review of the recently published book ‘The Goon Show Scripts.’
The Goons were also the stars of ‘The Running, Jumping and Standing Still Film’, directed by Dick Lester, who went on to direct the Beatles movies.

George Martin originally recorded Sellers, producing an album called ‘Songs For Swinging Sellers,’ which proved to be a talking point between George Martin and the Beatles when he first began recording them.

Martin also produced the singles ‘Goodness Gracious Me’ and ‘Bangers And Mash’, duets between Sellers and Sophia Loren, both of which entered the British charts.

It was Peter who presented the Beatles with their Grammy Award at Twickenham Studios on Wednesday 28 April 1965. The National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences had given the award for ‘A Hard Days’ Night’ as the ‘Best Performance of a Vocal Group’ for the year 1964. When presenting the Grammy, Sellers referred to it as the ‘Grandma Award.’ The presentation was filmed and a clip appeared on the NBC Grammy Awards programme ‘The Best of Record’ on Tuesday 18 May 1965.

Incidentally, the presentation was made on the studio set of ‘Help!’ and, interestingly, Sellers had originally been offered the script of ‘Help!’ (Obviously under a different title) but turned it down.
Sellers appeared as a guest of the Beatles on the Granada television special ‘The Music of Lennon & McCartney’ in which he dressed as Richard III and performed a cod Shakespearian rendition of ‘A Hard Day’s Night.’ His single of the number was issued on Parlophone R 5393 and reached No. 14 in the British charts in December 1965.   [extract from]

And as the Beatles had paid tribute to Sellers’ comedy, he would return the favor, covering three of their most popular songs as only he could. At the top of the post, see Sellers do a spoken word version of “A Hard Day’s Night” as Lawrence Olivier’s Richard III. And above and below, he gives us several renditions of “She Loves You,” in several different accents, “in the voice of Dr. Strangelove, again with cockney and upper-crusty accents, and finally with an Irish twist. The recordings were all released posthumously between 1981 and 1983 on albums no longer in circulation.”

Peter Sellers & Ringo Starr
There are many more Beatles/Sellers connections. Before taping his “Hard Day’s Night” skit for Granada television special “The Music of Lennon & McCartney,” Sellers had presented the band with a Grammy for the song, which won “Best Performance of a Vocal Group” in 1965. “Incidentally,” writes Mersey Beat’s Bill Harry, “the [Grammy] presentation was made on the studio set of ‘Help!’ and, interestingly, Sellers had originally been offered the script of ‘Help!’ (Obviously under a different title) but turned it down.” Sellers and the Goon Show cast had previously worked with Richard Lester, director of the Beatles films and the John Lennon-starring How I Won the War.

Completists out there may have also heard the recorded conversation between Sellers and the Beatles that appears at the end of a bootleg version of the White Album, which circulated for years under the title The Peter Sellers Tape. That the band and the comedian got along so famously is no great surprise, nor that Sellers had so much fun reworking the rather silly, and infectiously catchy, pop songs of the Beatles’ early career, bringing to them his battery of characters and voices. We’ve saved what may be Sellers’ best Beatles cover for last. Below, hear him—in the voice of a lecturing vicar and with a backing choir—deliver “Help!” as a 45 RPM sermon. [by Josh Jones at]

This Month's WOCK On Vinyl is pretty straight forward - Peter Seller's renditions of these Beatles hits are some of the funniest satirical works that I've heard - especially his ''Third Reight'  interpretation of "She Loves You", portrayed as Dr. Strangelove and his Shakespearian rendition of ‘A Hard Day’s Night.’ portrayed as Richard III.  Now the W definitely standards for Weird, as does the C for Crazy; but I really think the O this month should stand for Outstanding, as this satirical material is simply brilliant.
I do hope you enjoy it too.
Track Listing
01 - A Hard Day's Night
02 - Can't Buy Me Love
03 - Help
04 - She Loves You (Dr. Strangelove - Single Version)
05 - She Loves You (
Dr. Strangelove - LP Version)
06 - She Loves You (Cockney)
07 - She Loves You (Irish)
08 - She Loves You (Chinless Wonder Version)
09 - She Loves You (Twits Version)
10 - Yellow Submarine
11 - Yes It Is
12 - Peter Sellers Talks With The Beatles
13 - Spike Milligan - Yellow Submarine 

Peter Sellers Link (54Mb)

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

The Small Faces - Rarities (1984) plus Tin Soldier (E.P)

(U.K 1965 - 1969, 1977 - 1978)
If  'The Who' were the mid-'60s heroes of West London's Mods, then The Small Faces sprang from their East London equivalent. In 1965 they broke into British charts with single "Whatcha Gonna Do About It?" and the whole country picked up on this physically small and sharply-dressed group, led by a former child actor Steve Marriott who was later to admit that he could barely play guitar in early days.
Original group contained Jimmy Winston on keyboards, but he was replaced by MacLagan immediately after first success and above was best-known line-up of band which continued to dominate U.K. singles charts over next three years. "Sha La La La Lee" was a second smash, followed by "Hey Girl", "All Or Nothing" (their first No. 1), and "My Mind's Eye" in 1966; "Here Comes The Nice", "Itchycoo Park", "Tin Soldier" (1967); and "Lazy Sunday" and "The Universal" in 1968.
As time went by, group and Marriott in particular grew frustrated by label of Top 10 singles band. They tried hard with albums, but the results were never satisfying - not until the Ogden's Nut Gone Flake collection which charted at No. 1 in 1968. With its revolutionary circular cover, this has since been accorded quasi-classic status.
In 1969, Marriott left to form Humble Pie. Lane, Jones and MacLagan survived this near-fatal blow, eventually re-grouping as Faces with Ron Wood and Rod Stewart and going on to surpass Marriott's Pie in success and acclaim. Eventually both bands went sour.
Eight years later in March 1977, with Rick Wills in place of Ronnie Lane, Small Faces reconvened to make a fresh start. [extract from The Illustrated New Musical Express Encyclopedia Of Rock, Salander Press, 1977. p212-213]
.Rarities - Linear Notes
Here come the nice... - fourteen rare tracks recorded by the great Small Faces between 1967 and 1969.
Sources: The songs featured on side one were all previously released on the 'From The Beginning' LP (Decca LK4879; identical German edition: 'Musik fur alle', Teldec ND153), both of them being non-original albums then, and deleted for many years now. Later on some of the gems appeared strewn around on other compilations here and there.
The eight takes on side two are sort of a mystery. Track one to seven were released for the first time in 1975 on a US low-budget album, falsely credited to "Rod Stewart & The Faces" (Springboard SP-4030, deleted as well), though there was neither Roddie nor The Faces on those tracks. Furthermore nearly all of them had been given wrong
The Small Faces Discography
titles,like "Anything" or "Sparkey Rides", to name but two. It was obviously the Small Faces playing somewhat obscure versions of their well-known compositions that did not appear anywhere else on record up to now. If's mostly longer alternative cuts, varied mixes and even a rough instrumental take of 'Tin Soldier". Track No. 8 was found on an Italian cheapo album credited to Rod Stewart again ("Ridin' High", Joker SM 3985), though if's the Small Faces with a different, prolonged version of "Wide-Eyed Girl On The Wall".
Nobody seems to know where the songs hail from but it's a fact that they are available again. And that's what counts [Linear Notes written by Bemd Matheja]
This post consists of two parts: the first is a German only 14-track compilation LP of obscure and hard to find Small Faces rarities recorded between 1967 & 1969 with picture sleeve, featuring an instrumental take of their hit "Tin Soldier". The files are in MP3 (320kps) format, ripped from my "mint vinyl copy" which was still sealed in it's shrink wrap when I found it at a flea market some weeks ago, and full album artwork is included. 
The second part consists of FLACs ripped from my 'well worn copy' of their 1967 E.P entitled 'Tin Soldier' and again features full album artwork and label scans.
Track Listing
01. Come Back & Take this Hurt Off Me
02. Yesterday Today & Tomorrow
03. That Man
04. Baby Don't You Do It
05. Plum Nellie
06. You've Really Got A Hold On Me
07. Wham Bam Thank You Mam
08. Collibosher
09. Donkey Rides A Penny A Glass
10. The Hungry Intruder
11. Red Balloon
12. Tin Soldier (Instrumental)

13. The Autumn Stone
14. Wide-Eyed Girl On The Wall

The Small Faces:
Steve Marriott - vocals, guitar
Ronnie Lane - bass
lan MacLagan - organ
Kenny Jones - drums


Track Listing
01. Tin Soldier
02. Talk To You
03. Here Come The Nice 
04. Itchycoo Park

Friday, January 22, 2016

Mother Goose - Stuffed (1977) plus Bonus Tracks

(Australian 1975 - 1984)
In late 1975, six New Zealand rock musicians wanted to play rock music well, but found that modem music was made up of pomposity and pretentiousness. They decided to break down the artifice by mocking themselves, so they came up with a name they considered low-brow - "Mother Goose" - and took to wearing humiliating costumes. Each member of the band dressed as a distinctive character;

Craig Johnston was a sailor,
Marcel Rodeka was a pixie,
Denis Gibbins dressed as Minnie Mouse,
Peter Dickson a baby (complete with nappy),
Steve Young was a ballerina and
Kevin Collings was a Bumble Bee.

Moving to Australia, the band started playing at Cloudland in Brisbane and at the Playroom on the Gold Coast in Queensland in late 1976. They eventually came to the attention of Mushroom Records who signed them. Their debut album, Stuffed (1977), became Mushroom's fastest selling album, and the first single, Baked Beans was a hit across Australia.

By June 1978, the six original members of Mother Goose and Garry Spry their personal manager had moved to the USA and were living in Hollywood, with their own recording studio and signed to the hugely influential Scotti Brothers Records. After five months of writing and recording demo's they performed a Grand Showcase for the Scotti Brothers to the whole West Coast music industry and blew everyone away. But by staying true to their early Dunedin vision, the band refused to bow to the pressure to conform to the American pop rock culture so they left the Scotti Brothers and moved to New York.

There they signed with entertainment agents "Mecca Artists" and with help of the former The Beatles American manager, Sid Bernstein they quickly became the biggest rock club draw-card in the city, playing residencies at "The Other End", "Trax" and at "The Great Gildersleeves" where members of Kiss and Devo became fans of theirs amongst other well known bands. Contractual battles with the Scotti Brothers, coupled with Mother Goose's refusal to become a Pop rock or Disco Band prevented the band securing a major recording contract on their terms, but they and their audiences had a good time anyway in their six months in New York.

During that time lead guitarist Peter Dickson left the band in February 1979 and returned to Australia and was replaced by New York Guitarist Justin McCarthy who adopted the costume of a toy soldier. McCarthy stayed with the band until they broke up in 1984.
The original Mother Goose line-up reunited for a one-off gig in Dunedin, New Zealand, on 23 March 2007.
RAM Mag 30th June, 1978
(Article By Andrew McMillan, RAM Magazine 30th June, 1978. p32)
A couple of weeks ago. Mother Goose and her manager Gary Spry, boarded a Jumbo and flew north-east for the winter. And as they winged their way across the Pacific bound for America, the Geese knew they had a lot of problems to sort out. The biggest of them was that although they pulled crowds to most of their live shows they couldn't sell records. And the Geese realised it wasn't a problem confined to Australia. If they were to do anything in the States, Mother Goose would have to sell records. But that would be difficult - as their eighteen months in Australia had shown.
Mother Goose arrived in Australia in November 1976 witH $28 in the bank and a primitive P.A system. Their first date was at Brisbane's Cloudland Ballroom, a prestige venue of old, where State receptions for dignitaries like Prince Charles are held in the midst of refined surroundings and tiaras. Mother Goose's first gig was at Cloudland— supporting The Saints.
After six weeks work around Brisbane and the Sunshine Coast, Mother Goose moved onto Adelaide, then Perth and, when they felt the time was right, they hit Melbourne and scored a recording contract with Mushroom. During their first five months in Australia, the New Zealand band gained fast acceptance because of the live shows which took on the zany effects of the theater, quite divorced from the roots of rock 'n' roll. And people came back for more because - it was - fresh entertainment under the guise of rock 'n' roll? But, as their record sales later showed; few people took the music as any thing, except background wallpaper. And who could blame them? It seemed to take a poor second place to the visual show, ended up as a piece meal collection of styles ranging from hard rock to Glen Miller toons with flashes of disjointed disco in between. Disjointed was the operative word. And basically, the only thing holding it together in any tangible way was the theatrical, visual side of it.

Mother Goose Countdown Promo
So, very soon. Mother Goose became known as a great live band to see, "That's not our fault though," says sailor-capped vocalist Craig Johnston. "We never put more emphasis on our theatrics than our music. But the public do. That's our problem. The result of that problem is that you don't sell as many records as straight bands, so being known as a visual band does cause a lot of problems. It's something we have to live with." And in the next breath, Johnston says. "No matter how many people try to talk us into it, we can't cut out the visuals, because that's what Mother Goose is!"
But the Geese will admit that the visuals make "people very suspicious of the music." Keyboards player Steve Young sums it up like this: "It's like you're selling soap. Because it's very visual, you shouldn't really buy it, it's all a big sham. They think you're tricking them because it's visual."

And that's the problem Mother Goose are up against wherever they go. People like what they see, but often go away thinking it's a cover up for poor music. Which in Mother Goose's case, just ain't true, because as a band they can cut it — or five or ten minutes in every show. The rest of the time? It does seem disjointed mood music for the let's-all-make-idiots-of-ourselves-and-make-the-folks-laugh theatrics.

But even the once entertaining visual side of it gets a bit been-there&een-that after a couple of performances.
Or after just one! As one guest at a press reception held for the band at Chequers in Sydney said, "Well, that was okay. But how many times can a singer jump off-stage and run around the tables like a goon with a rag turtle in his hand?" That was last September, and when I mentioned it to Johnston a couple of days before the band's last performance in Sydney in late May, where he did exactly the same thing, he wasn't impressed. "That's the rationalisation. If we'd just stood there, they probably would've gone away happy. But by the same token, you could say 'well there's only so many times Daryl Brithwaite, can pull his microphone stand out and have it - like that. Or only so many times Status Quo can get down and go. . .' but that's quite acceptable. Why? Why is that more acceptable? You can also say there's only so many times Gene Simmons can poke out his tongue and bite blood capsules, but he does it all the time."
But somehow, people seem to find those stage mannerisms to be a little less blatant than some dude charging up and down the aisle beating people with a rag turtle three or four times every night.
But, for both Kiss and Mother Goose, the punters come back for more the next time the band hits town. And they rolled up to the Regent Theatre in Sydney to see Mother Goose's farewell performance in late May. But, as noted in last week's Gigging column, the enthusiasm for the show seemed to plummet after the first twenty minutes, because people realised that although the repertoire had changed - and numbers like In The Mood had been dropped, they'd seen the whole damn thing before — last time the Geese hit town.
Earlier this year, the Geese's manager Gary Spry spent some time O/S and negotiated a recording contract with a new company called Atlantic Scotti. When they sign the contract. Mother Goose will become the first band on the label, a side-runner to the Warner Kerb label that sports Debbie Boone and Shaun Cassidy and was set up by Tony Scotti's brother.

One of the first things on Mother Goose's American itinerary is a long discussion with the Atlantic Scotti execs about the problem of not-being-able-to-sell-records-because-people-are-suspicious-of-the-music-because-of-the-visuals-bla-bla. Then, Mother Goose will do some recording and release a single. After that, it's back to the studio to record an album with an American producer interspersed with a few promotional nights in Los Angeles. No doubt we'll be hearing all about that in the future.
But right now, Steve Young is looking for a slogan to sell the band. Their live performances have already sold the band in Oz, but Steve wants more than that. He wants a slogan that will capture the band in one sentence. "It's like a new brand of toothpaste," he says. "You can't just put it out and expect it to sell. You've got to sum it up in a slogan and then, when people truly believe it's a different toothpaste, even though it's the same as the others/then they'll buy it."
Obviously the slogan for their first album didn't do the trick. Mother Goose's Album is "Stuffed" So be silly and buy it.     Obviously too many punters took it seriously.
This post consists of FLACs and MP3's (320kps) ripped from my prized Vinyl copy which I purchased the first day it became available in the shops.  I had seen Mother Goose perform multiple times at La Trobe University in 1977 and immediately fell in love with their stage act and music. Even though the boys played complete fools while on stage, it was obvious from the quality of their music and overall performance that they were all highly accomplished musicians and as such, acquiring their records was a high priority.  So, in a way, I somewhat disagree with Andrew McMillian's conclusion about their poor record sales and their live shows not translating back onto vinyl. For me, hearing studio renditions of their song repertoire was icing on the cake, and would encourage anyone who hasn't heard these guys to give them a listen.
Full album artwork and label scans are included as usual, along with a copy of the RAM article and select band photos.
As a bonus, I have chosen to include a non-album single which they released not long after Stuffed was released. The B-Side "Ol' Blue" was a  regular  included in their stage act and when it finally became available on record, it was a no brainer.
Track Listing
01 - Moonshine Lady
02 - Somebody Broke My Heart
03 - Last Of The Fools
04 - (One day, you'll be sorry) Ann-Marie
05 - Land-Ho!
06 - See If I Care
07 - Only You
08 - Only A Phonecall Away
09 - Baked Beans
10 - I Think It's You (Bonus Single)
11 - Ol' Blue (Bonus Single)

The Band:

Steve Young - Keyboards
Craig Johnston - Vocals
Pete Dickson - Guitars And Vocals
Kevin 'Dwarf' Collings - Guitars
Denis Gibbins - Bass
Marcel Rodeka - Drums  

Mother Goose FLAC Link (310Mb)
Mother Goose MP3 Link (133Mb)

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Mike McClellan - Until The Song Is Done (1976)

(Australian 1966 - Current)
Mike McClellan: Strong Roots, new reflection  (Rolling Stone Magazine Feature Article)
A year ago I reviewed Graham Lowndes' excellent album 'Survival's A Song' and in the course of the review I attributed the song "Suzi Get Off This Train" to Graham. I was most embarrassed a couple of days later to hear that Suzi was written, not by Graham but by his friend Mike McClellan. What's more, I was informed, Mike was furious and intended to write and tell me of my error in no uncertain terms. I waited in trepidation.
Many months later much of the force of Mike's anger had dissipated - so much so that he laughed at the mention of the incident, though I did take the chance to apologise and offer a brief defense: how was I to have known that Australia had two brilliant songwriters secreted away in its coffee lounges, struggling to earn $15 a gig?

Well, at last it looks like things are changing for Mike. His current album 'Ask Any Dancer' has been released in the UK, its release looks imminent in the United States and towards the end of June this year he plans to go to England where he will record his next album "Until The Song Is Done". But he is taking it all in his stride: "The reaction from England and America has been very pleasing but I'm trying not to get to optimistic. If it happens,it's great, if it doesn't, I'll just keep going and continue to work at it."

My first encounter with Mike was at a crowded jostling EMI reception where conversation was limited to my shouted apology and Mike's rejoining laughter so it was with some relief that we met a day later in the quiet of the afternoon. Mike, a resident of Sydney, was in the midst of 'doing' Melbourne, from radio station to radio station, but he still acted like a man with time to spare and sat back, relaxed and easy, as our kitten played on his knee and he talked about his past and present, his influences and his future.
"My favourite single of all time came out in the early 60's: "You Can Have Her, I Don't Want Her' by George Hamilton. It was a magnificent single. It flattened me when I first heard it and I flogged it and flogged it"

On balance, however, rock music was a minor influence on the young McClellan. Coming from what he describes as a "very conventional family background" his love of music during his high school years was channeled away from rock and roll into the church choir, school concert productions and musical comedy. If fact during these years he turned his attention to straight drama, winning a scholarship to NIDA in '62. His family however, prevailed on him to postpone his acting career in favour of the relative security of a teachers' training course and in 1963 he wound up at Armidale Teacher's College for what he feels were the two most important years of his life.

"It was my first opportunity to get involved with music away from my home environment. I started playing guitar when I was even playing drums in the college band. I was a shithouse drummer - I had a good sense of rhythm but no technique at all. About that time Peter, Paul and Mary were making an impact and I was really keen on their guitar arrangements. I was also listening avidly to Doc Watson and an incredible 12 string acoustic guitarist and banjo player who was backing the Chad Mitchell Trio then, who turned out to be Jim (roger) McGuinn of the Byrds."

On vacations to Melbourne and Sydney, Mike extended his interest from folk and rock to blues. Those were the days of Trevor Lucas, Martin Wyndam-Reid, Brian Mooney, and most importantly for Mike, Paul Marks. "Paul was a fine guitarist", he says, "the best of his kind in Australia then and he was singing and playing the blues - he was using jazz arrangements and doing his own material as well as songs by Broonzey and others. It was Paul who was responsible for getting me into the blues."

By 1966 after a year's teaching in the country Mike was back in Sydney doing some fancy blues and country picking around the folk clubs. It was about this time that he came together with Graham Lowndes and with a third member, Derek Robinson, they formed the Currency Blues Co, a band they still remember with affection.
"Graham introduced himself one night in Sydney and asked if he could sing with me, he said he sang a bit of blues. Thin little weedy Graham. So I thought of yeah, and said alright, come and have a sing. I started to play and out comes this magnificent voice - I nearly fell off the floor, it was incredible."
Mike continued playing around the clubs and teaching until the end of '69 when he joined the chorus of Barry Crocker's TV Show, Sound Of Music. This rather amazing turn of fortune came about through New Faces.  My wife used to say go New Faces, you can do better than those mugs and I'd say oh no, so she sent my application form and I wound up winning about 1800 bucks which I didn't complain about. The show was a load of rubbish though and I go on to the Sound Of Music because they had to make it
look as if New Faces lead somewhere. When the show folded I went back to teaching."

Since then Mike has been singing and playing solo and he has finally given up teaching, this time for good. In the past few years his songwriting has gone from strength to strength. "My early songs were desperately self-conscious and terrible naive. In the 60's I depended mainly on other material."
He enjoys playing solo, primarily because his first love is the acoustic guitar which would tend to get lost in most electric bands. At present on stage Mike alternates between his sixteen year old Gibson Hummingbird and his two Martins, a D35 and a 1938 017. "I also rather like to be totally in control of a performance. I'm not a very strong singer and my songs work best in live performance with a limited accompaniment."  On record however these difficulties are easily overcome and both Mike's albums make use of accompaniment and orchestrations to further develop his songs.

His first album 'Mike McClellan'  was released in June 1972 and though it received some excellent reviews, nothing much came of it. "The record company ATA did nothing to promote it, although they did manage to get out a poster three months after it had been released but it received no airplay to speak of."  His second album, Ask Any Dancer was released by EMI in September 1974.

Unlike so many musicians, Mike's love of music extends beyond his own work and much of his free timer is spent in listening to and enjoying others, Two Australian musicians who sprang readily to mind as favourites of Mike's were Graham Lowndes: "he's the most electrifying singer I have ever heard" and Jean Lewis: "a fine fine singer". McClellan's name has long been associated in the public's mind with these two musicians as well as others like Margaret Roadknight and Bob Hudson, and I asked him what those musicians had in common.

"Apart from the shows that we have done together, I tend to think of us as survivors of an era that is long past. I think our main bond is that most of us started out in the folk era and through determination and a strong belief in what we are doing, we are still around.  It has been difficult for us all - survival would have been impossible for me if I hadn't had teaching as well as music to support my family. In that way I guess I'm different to the rest: I've got a family, a couple of Kids, a mortgage, I drive a car - I enjoy and in a way - need all the middle class trappings.

The list of overseas favourites could be endless but it includes Dobie Gray, "Drive Away" was the first single I bought in years", David Ackles, Paul and Mentor Williams, Joni Mitchell. Jerry Jeff Walker, Steely Dan (particularly Katy Lied), Randy Newman and most recently Martha Reeves and keyboards player and singer/songwriter Michael O'Martian.

As far as Mike is concerned, things are looking up for the Australian Musician. "No longer do you have to make excuses for Australian records. Our recording facilities are equal to those overseas and so are the cream of our musicians. If we spend the right amount of time and energy we can make a musical product that is as musically polished and valid as anything they can produce in America. I tend to think that the material that we send overseas has got to be not as good but just a little better than the overseas product, since the record company who will make or break it has got to be able to say obviously there is something here and we will spend a lot of money to get an unknown artist off the ground.

To add to his chance of success, Mike signed in February with a new manager Robin Britten, whose management of the Hollies has already proved his value. But if for any reason Mike's assault on the big time fails this time around, after almost 10 years in the business he is not likely to give up now. As he says in "One Man Band " (from his latest album), "...somethin' inside keeps pushin' me on/so I shuffle my blues through a worn out tune/and I carry on".   (Article written by Margaret MacIntryre, Rolling Stone Magazine, May 8, 1975. p43)
This post consists of FLACS and MP3's (320kps) ripped from my vinyl (ex condition) and includes full album artwork and label scans as per usual. This is a great album and if you liked his first album, then you're gonna love this one. My only criticism  is that the last track "Sail Tonight" wears a little thin after awhile, with the chorus being repeated over and over again for the last 3mins of the song. Although a catchy tune, this repetition spoils what could have been a great single, if he had shortened the chorus by several minutes..

Track Listing:
01 - Carry Me (Until The Song Is Done)             
02 - The Gamble             
03 - Love Survives             
04 - Midnight Flight             
05 - Room Service             
06 - Now The Rodeos Are Gone             
07 - Takin' The Tide             
08 - Lovers Never Wind Up Friends

09 - My Old Guitar And Me             
10 - I Had An Old Dog             
11 - Sail Tonight

The Band:
Bass - Greg Lyons, Tim Partridge, Darcy Wright, Len Barnard
Drums - Doug Gallacher, Russell Dunlop, Len Barnard
Guitar - Mike McClellan, Jim Kelly, Peter Walker

Keyboards - Ian Mason, Judy Bailey
Percussion - John Sangster, Sunil da Silva

Pedal Steel - Ken Kitching
Harmonica - Richard Brooks
Banjo - Paul Trenwith
Mandolin - Graham Lovejoy
Trombone - Ken Herron
Backing Vocals - Brendan Kristen, Julie Amiet, Kristi Lane, Janice Slater, Barry Leef, Pate Aulton & Mike
String & Brass Arrangements - Graham Lyall

Mike McClellan FLAC Link (290Mb)
Mike McClellan MP3 Link (119Mb)