Saturday, September 29, 2018

W.O.C.K On Vinyl: Peter McKenna - 2 Singles (1970 / 1971)

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.

In recognition of the 2018 AFL Grand Final,  played today between Collingwood and the premiers West Coast, I thought it relevant to post another footy magic moment that took place behind the microphone rather than on the field, back in the 70's.

Peter McKenna, a mop-topped Collingwood spearhead who became a TV star and singer on the back of his cult-hero status with the AFL Magpie masses, caused a sensation when he decided to join despised rival team Carlton in 1977.

In an interview with AFL media rep 'Howard Kotton', McKenna (now 71), was quick to point out the club he played for before joining Carlton was the Devonport Magpies in 1976 when he moved to the Apple Isle to accept a teaching appointment.  

"The way people made out over the years was that I walked out on Collingwood to go to Carlton and it wasn't like that at all," he said.

McKenna had retired from League football in 1975 after losing part of a kidney playing for Collingwood reserves.   After a season in Tasmania, the star full-forward returned to Victoria determined to have one last crack at the big time. 

He completed the pre-season under new Collingwood coach Tom Hafey and was in supreme physical condition.  Despite performing well in the practice matches, the Magpies' offer to the spearhead was far from adequate and reluctantly forced him to look elsewhere. 

"I really don't think Collingwood wanted me," he recalled. "They offered me a pittance to play – it was $300 a game and if I got dropped to the seconds I would get $100 a game.   "I said: 'How about making it $300 a game regardless?' and they said no. I just thought that was unfair." 

McKenna fielded offers from several clubs including Fitzroy and South Melbourne before deciding to join the Blues, a club he respected immensely [extract from the AFL website]

In relation to Peter McKenna producing a pop record, his first single was released just before the 1970 Grand Final (coincidentally Collingwood were the runners up in that Grand Final as well) and was titled "Things to Remember". McKenna release another single in the following year entitled "Smile All The While" which was written by Johnny Young. 

L-R: Tony Shaw, Joffa Corfe,
Peter McKenna & Eddie McGuire
McKenna's voice is OK, and he carries a tune just fine, with no flats or sharps, and for 1970 it wasn't that bad. That said, it ain't that great either! He didn't really push his range or vocal ability, and to be honest, the song is an American sounding stinker. Neither of these releases were a success and only stalwart Collingwood supporters probably picked up these recordings making them somewhat of a rarity. 

One thing that McKenna will be remembered for (and not his singing) is his kicking style that revolutionized football. He was the first player to adopt and perfect the drop punt on a full time basis and his accuracy was astounding. This led to other players gradually taking it up and the game became faster and more precise as the drop kick and torpedo (which were notoriously hit and miss and took longer to execute) were phased out. 

He was a true pioneer and champion of the game, in fact he took on Beatles like cult status among the Collingwood supporters as he was the first player to grow long hair, young girls behind the goals would shriek and squeal with delight whenever he went near the ball and every game was like a pop concert, there will never be a time like it again.
So this month's WOCK on Vinyl post is a mixed bag, the O is definitely for Obscure (thanks to Ozzie Musicman for providing these rarites) but the W&C are for West Coast who stole the match from Collingwood today!    Post consists of MP3's (320kps) ripped from vinyl and includes label scans from both 45's

1970 Single
A  - Things To Remember (Buckley McKinnon)
B  - Lady Oh Lady (Buckley McKinnon)

1971 Single
A - Smile All The While (Johnny Young)
B - It Takes Time (Elkhard)

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Tony Banks - The Fugitive (1983) + Bonus Tracks

(U.K 1967 - Present)
This 2nd album by Genesis's keyboard player 'Tony Banks' hit the shops in June 1983, a few months before the eponymous Genesis album, and  some hints of what was to come can be heard here. It was the first album that Tony provided all the vocals for, cruelly he places his voice in a register between Neil Tennant (Pet Shop Boys) and Louis Armstrong, I would say that overall his voice is closer to Al Stewart / Stephen Bishop with a hint of Julian Lennon, so in reality, not that bad at all. In fact, if you didn't know better, you'd swear you were listening to an Al Stewart album if you only listened to the last track "Moving Under",  which by the way is my favourite track on this album.

Cover image based on this photo
The opening track "This is Love" has some quite heavy moments indicating to me at least that perhaps some of the heavier Genesis riffs may not be the domain of Mike Rutherford. It is labelled as ‘Rock’, and with those elements of guitars, bass, and drums, not being dependent on the Banksian keyboards it does deserve to be placed in that musical genre.

It has its moments too, the instrumentals Thirty Three’s and Charm clearly demonstrating Tony’s flair for composition. Thirty Three’s is more structured and traditional, Charm is quirky and experimental. Charm for me was the piece of choice for filling up the space on mix tapes, perhaps also showing why he was in demand for a few soundtracks around that time, sadly it’s a case of nice tunes but the wrong films. In a moment of daydreams it would have been nice to see what he would have done with Ladyhawke; nice film, very cheesy soundtrack.

It was the eighties though, and instruments of the acoustic variety are noticeable by their absence which is a shame given their use by Genesis in the early days. Guitars and bass are the constants, provided by Daryl Stuermer and Mo Foster respectively; drumming comes from three sources dependant on the sound Tony was trying to achieve; Tony Beard, Steve Gadd and Andy Duncan, all renowned drummers in their own right.

Tony Banks - Early Genesis
In the pecking order of Genesis solo albums, Tony comes last. Unjustly, but last nonetheless. With compositions on a par with erstwhile members Anthony Phillips and Steve Hackett, he deserves more recognition. Taken out of the band, had he been the leaver rather than any other member, the sound that was/is Genesis would have been lacking. Mike Rutherford and Phil Collins have produced some great pop singles and albums, but that sound, the central core is Tony, and this album really does reveal that.

Soppy and sentimental? Probably, but he can rock when he wants, and with a significant edge; when pop-like the tunes have enough complication or depth to raise them above chart material, and perhaps that is the problem. They are tunes that require a listen rather than being 3-minute background noise, the hooks are there but are not in your face. Tony’s Al Stewart/Julian Lennon voice is fine, likeable even, but like Julian, Tony’s output is lost in the beast that is Genesis (John being Julian’s shadow caster).

The video of "This is Love" is a fun if historic item, it is okay and contains the ubiquitous iguana that appeared in so many video’s of the era; the iguana is believed to have retired to the Galapagos Islands with a hefty pension. Warning: it also contains that rare sighting of a laughing Tony Banks. Rumours of grumpiness may be overstated.

Tony Banks 1983
There are a number of guest musicians on the album. Daryl Stuermer, (live) guitarist with Genesis and Phil Collins, plays the guitar. Other musicians involved are Mo Foster (E-bass) and Tony Beard, Steve Gadd and Andy Duncan who all play the drums on different songs. Tony produced the album himself, with Stephen Short as a co-producer. Short had previously been involved with the production of Wind & Wuthering. The Fugitive is a pop / soft-rock album almost throughout.

I like this album, but some of that is down to nostalgia. It deserved better, though of Tony’s solo output I prefer A Curious Feeling.

Tony Banks Today
Like his later solo albums, The Fugitive was not a huge success, though it definitely had potential. Neither the album nor the singles entered the charts. As with many of Tony's solo projects the problem is that they are too cramped. He should have written music for the old Genesis fans and pay some attention to the taste of the masses... Most songs have not aged very well. Though the reviewer likes Tony's voice, he does not think it always fits the songs. The album is still worthwhile listening to, and along with his more recent 1991 album Still, it is a good point at which to start exploring  the solo oeuvre of Tony Banks.
This post consists of FLACs ripped from my pristine vinyl, purchased in amongst a collection of Genesis albums at the Geelong Bazaar. Thankfully the price tag on this wasn't anything like the Genesis albums. I suspect the seller didn't have a clue and I already had the Genesis LP's.  It is interesting to note that Banks recorded on Atlantic and not with Genesis's Charisma label.
This is an enjoyable album to listen to and as already mentioned, one would be forgiven thinking they were listening to an Al Stewart album, rather than a key member of Genesis.
Full album artwork and label scans are included, along with two bonus tracks, sourced from the CD release.
Track Listing
01. This is Love (5:17)
02. Man of Spells (3:48)
03. And The Wheels Keep Turning (4:48)
04. Say You’ll Never Leave Me (4:35)
05. Thirty Three’s (4:43)
06. By You (4:33)
07. At The Edge Of The Night (6:02)
08. Charm (5:27)
09. Moving Under (6:04)
10. K2 (4:02) Bonus Track
11. Sometime Never (3:42)  Bonus Track

Tony Banks – Keyboards & Vocals
Daryl Stuermer – Guitars
Mo Foster – Bass
Tony Beard – Drums
Steve Gadd – Drums
Andy Duncan – Drums
New Link 02/01/2024

Saturday, September 22, 2018

Zoot - Zoot Out (1971) + Rare BonusTrack

(Australian 1966 - 1971)
The Zoot was a four piece power pop/hard rock band formed in Adelaide, South Australia in 1966. Darryl Cotton (Aust), Gerard Bertelkamp (Dutch aka. Beeb Birtles) and John Darcy (U.K) came together in 1966, with drummer Teddy Higgins, to form Down The Line - later renamed as Strings Unlimited (with not a violin to be seen!) and then eventually changing their name to Zoot. Each Sunday morning the group would tape the ABC radio replay of British T.V's 'Top Of The Pops' and knock out passable stage versions of unreleased-in-Australia hits by the Move, Small Faces and The Hollies. It was then that they recorded their cover of The Moves hit single "I Can Hear The Grass Grow" in 1967, at the Nationwide Studios in Adelaide.

They played  many clubs and discos around Adelaide, gradually gathering a strong following. As a group, they relocated to Melbourne, Victoria, Australia and performed in several Australian cities under a variety of names. In 1967 they fully adopted the name Zoot. Amongst the more notable members of Zoot were founder Beeb Birtles, Darryl Cotton, and Rick Springfield.

In mid-1968, their management promoted them under the slogan "Think Pink – Think Zoot" – all band members wore pink costumes; Darryl Cotton's car was repainted pink; his pet dog, Monty, had its fur dyed pink; and their main performing venue, Birties Disco, was pink-themed throughout.

Zoot were voted Top Australian Group in teen pop Go-Set magazine's reader poll published in June 1969. Unfortunately they were subject to homophobic ridicule for their use of pink outfits, and on tour in Brisbane, Cotton was injured in an assault by street toughs. Early in 1970 Zoot finally discarded their pink outfits and attempted to shift their image and music towards heavier rock from the earlier teeny-bopper pop In December that year, they released their most successful single, "Eleanor Rigby", which was a hard rock cover version of The Beatles' ballad and by March 1971 it had peaked in the Aussie top five. Go-Set magazine listed Zoot's 'Eleanor Rigby' in it's Top Records for the Year of 1971 at No. 12.

The Zoot, - T.V Week Pin Ups April 4, 1970
Ironically, they’re probably best remembered these days for their classic heavy-metal version of The Beatles’ “Eleanor Rigby” — and also for the fact that Zoot was first successful outing for two future stars — solo performer and soapie heart-throb Rick Springfield, and Little River Band lynch pin Beeb Birtles.

In May 1971, despite the top 30 charting of their next single, "Freak" / "Evol Rock", the group soon disbanded, and all four members moved onto to bigger and better things  [extract from]

This post consists of FLACs ripped from a recently acquired vinyl copy, found at my local Sunday Flee Market.  To my delight, upon further inspection I found a T.V Week Pin Up Poster of the group inside the album cover  in excellent condition (see scan above).  As usual, full album artwork and label scans are included.
Because the vinyl is in excellent condition, I think this is one of the better rips circulating the traps at the moment. To sweeten the deal, I am also including a very rare recording made by the group back in 1967 called "I Can Hear The Grass Growing", recorded at the Nationwide Studios in Hindley St, Adelaide in 1967.

Track Listing
01 You Better Get Going
02 One Times, Two Times, Three Times, Four
03 Monty and Me 
04 About Time
05 Mr. Songwriter
06 Flying
07 Hey Pinky
08 Strange Things
09 Eleanor Rigby
10 Turn Your Head
11 The Freak
12 Evil Child
13 I Can Hear The Grass Grow (Bonus) *

*  First recording by the Zoot (The Move cover), recorded at the Nationwide Studios in Hindley St, Adelaide in 1967 and taken from Big Beat Cellar Scene

Darryl Cotton – Vocals, Guitar 
Beeb Birtles – Bass Guitar, Vocals 
1965 -71
Teddy Higgins – Drums 1967-68
Rick Brewer -Drums 1968-71
John D’Arcy – Guitar 1965-68
Steve Stone – Guitar 1968
Roger Hicks – Guitar 1968-69
Rick Springfield – Guitar, Vocals 1969-71
Zoot Out FLACS Link (258Mb)

Monday, September 17, 2018

The Who - Boris The Spider: Live in Ludwigshafen, 7-11-1975 (Bootleg)

(U.K 1964–1982, 1989, 1996 – present)
This is a great Japanese bootleg from the Who By Numbers tour in 1975, and was the last gig played in Germany before their U.S tour started. It is a factory pressed CD and is an audience recording. I would rate it as a 8/10. It comes as a nice glossy laminated LP replica style sleeve, 2 great discs this is the entire show...minus the encore "Magic Bus".
One month before this recording was made, 'The Who By Numbers' album was released on October 18th in the UK, where it peaked at No.7 in the charts. The album then entered the US albums chart on November 1st, where it peaked at No.8
By this time, a non-concept album by The Who was a concept in itself and on this album the ten new songs were linked thematically by Pete Townshend's growing concern with age and disillusionment. Several tracks: notably "However Much I Booze", ''In A Hand Or A Face' and 'How Many Friends' were explicitly connected with Pete's anxiety in this direction, and John Entwistle's sole contribution 'Success Story' ran along similar lines. 
Elsewhere, "Slip Kid" was a neat, latter-day teen anthem, "Squeeze Box" was a Jaunty, semi-humorous song (with Pete on accordion) chosen as a single and "Blue, Red And Grey", virtually a solo track by Pete, movingly recounts disenchantment with the rock'n'roll lifestyle so enjoyed by Keith Moon and many of his peers. 

Clad in a sleeve designed by John Entwistle , the front cover incorporated a join-up-the-dots picture of The Who.

In the book Eyewitness: The Who by Johnny Black,  Entwistle states:
The cover drawing only took me hour, but the dots took about three hours. I took it down to the studio while we were mixing and got the worst artist in the room to fill it in. Discovered I'd left two inside legs out.
We were talking it in turns to do the covers. It was Pete's turn before me and he did the Quadrophenia cover, which cost about the same as a small house back then, about $16,000. My cover cost $32.

The record was also noticeable for a complete lack of the synthesizer parts that had been such a notable feature of the group's two previous albums. Instead, Nicky Hopkins added a generous amount of gentle piano. Instrumentally The Who showed no signs of flagging: Roger's vocals - particularly on "Dreaming From The Waist" and "Imagine A Man" - were both melodic and inspiring, while Keith's usual bombastic drumming belied the physical deterioration brought about by his alcoholic tendencies. 'Dreaming From The Waist' included some popping bass lines that are among the finest John Entwistle has ever recorded and which would be further spotlighted in The Who's upcoming live performances.

While the standard of composition reached just short of that attained on Who's Next, The Who By Numbers opened the doors to an overt autobiographical style that served to emphasise Pete Townsend's honest approach to his work. By expressing his anxieties through the music of The. Who, he acknowledged the fact that the group are - and always will be-a band of the people whose problems could be shared with those people. According to the old adage, a problem shared is a problem halved and thus the tour that followed the release of The Who By Numbers saw the group return to the kind of form they displayed in pre-Quadrophenia days.

The Who 1975
The Who By Numbers was the first Who album (aside from Roger Daltrey's Ride A Rock Horse) to appear on the Polydor label, and was thus the first public indication of the severance of The Who's long-standing relationship with managers Kit Lambert and Chris Stamp and their jointly owned Track Records. The litigation between The Who and their former managers was settled out of court shortly after the release of this album and the two former film directors who had played such a crucial role in The Who's career went their own way from this point onwards.

They had, by this time, fallen out with each other   . over financial matters and when Lambert issued a badly phrased press release that to some extent brought the squabbling out into the open, the split became irreversible. For the remainder of the decade Stamp involved himself in film work and quietly enjoyed his fortune, while Lambert spiralled downhill, squandering his fortune on drink and drugs.

Keith Moon 1975
"Kit bought a palace in Venice on the Grand Canal and tried to cultivate high society friends there," says Chris Welch who has written a biography of Lambert. "He was forced to leave Venice. He set fire to the palace and he ended up owing money all over town. He was an alcoholic and he was hooked on heroin and was forced to undergo treatment for this in a Swiss clinic. Back in London he was busted for cocaine after being shopped to the police by a pusher that he owed money to. He always felt very bitter that he didn't receive the credit he deserved for his work with Pete Townsend on Tommy."

Various people, including Pete Townshend, offered Kit Lambert a helping hand as his condition worsened but to no avail. Lambert died aged forty-five in April, 1981, after falling down the stairs at his mother's house in Fulham. That night, by all accounts, he had been involved in a drunken brawl at a night club in Kensington and had returned home injured from the beating he received. It was a sad and ignominious end fora man whose creative guidance and explosive vision had done so much to promote the career of the group he loved.

In September, 1975, The Who regrouped to rehearse for a lengthy series of tours that would take in Britain, Europe and, in three separate' visits, the United States. Fresh from his trip to America on soothing Meher Baba business, a refreshed and spiritually rejuvenated Pete Townshend walked into the first rehearsal smiling, a fact noted by Keith Moon as both unusual yet indicative of happier times to come.

The British leg of the tour opened with two concerts before large audiences at the New Bingley Halls near Stoke-on-Trenton 4-and 5 October, and from the programme selected it was apparent that Pete Townshend had exorcised his fears about the danger of The Who becoming a revivalist act. Though only two new songs from The Who By Numbers - 'Squeeze Box' and 'Dreaming From The Waist' - appeared in the set, The Who displayed an almost boyish enthusiasm for their older material, especially on the second night.

Opening with 'I Can't Explain' (now in its eleventh year!), they crashed through 'Substitute,' 'Magic Bus'and 'My Generation' from pre-Tommy days with wild abandon. Tommy itself was well represented with a half-hour medley, and Who's Next was represented by four songs, 'Baba O'Riley,' 'Behind Blue Eyes,' 'My Wife'and 'Won't Get Fooled Again,'the latter now a show stopper that featured Pete Townshend's longest Jump ever. Inevitably, perhaps, The Who had come to the collective conclusion to celebrate, rather than fear, their considerable catalogue of influential material. The result not only satisfied the fans but, happily, the group themselves.

Lighting engineer John Wolff had occupied his time | industriously during the group's lengthy sabbatical and had become adept in the operation of lasers, an effect that growing numbers of top rock acts were utilising in this period. Though The Who had always eschewed such gimmicks as dry ice and mirror balls, they threw themselves wholeheartedly behind Wolff's plans and from this tour onwards The Who's concerts featured a galaxy of lasers. Thin strands of spiralling light now emanated from behind Keith Moon's drum kit, flickering over Roger Daltrey's head up into the vastness of the auditoria. Such was Wolff's skill in handling these lasers that within a year he would become a recognised authority on the subject and hold his own exhibition of lasers and holograms in London.

The tour moved to Manchester for two nights at the Belle Vue arena where the newly discovered camaraderie within the band resulted in shows that the now notorious Roy Carr described in NME as "... so intense as to sap every ounce of energy from the spectator, but it's an energy that's generated by a positive sense of purpose and not hate or anger."
Speaking to Carr after the concert, Roger Daltrey expressed his gratitude to the NME for bringing The Who's internal problems out into the open. "Now there aren't any fences for any of us to hide behind and that's the reason why I feel The Who are much better than they've ever been, simply because there is no excuse that any of us can make. If someone throws a tantrum on stage now, it's their bleedin' fault. Nobody's gonna hide behind The Who.

"The Who have always put their balls on the line," he added. "If they didn't then that kind of controversial publicity would have broken up any other group. Things like that interview are always bleedin' hard to do, but The Who can do it; and as everyone can see, use it to our mutual advantage. Pete's now fired with renewed energy. He realises that, despite what he said, The Who are the band that they used to be. It's Just that it got hidden under all that morass of over kill publicity."
After a concert at the Glasgow Apollo on 15 October, Keith Moon proved in his inimitable way that The Who were as anarchic as ever by falling foul of British Airways at Prestwick Airport. After an exchange of opinions with both police and airline staff over a broken computer, Keith was fined £6O for disturbing the peace. He later admitted that his net prof it at the end of the British tour was amere £46.7O.

The British tour climaxed with four concerts at the Wembley Arena in London and was followed by dates in Germany and Holland. [extract from The Illustrated Biography The Who, by Chris Charlesworth, Omnibus Press, 1982, Section 1975]

This leg began on 27th October at the Ahoy in Rotterdam in the Netherlands and ended on 7th November at the Friedrich-Ebert-Halle in Ludwigshafen in Germany, from where this recording originated. By this time, the band was already starting to pare down the set list. Here is a fairly typical set for this leg of the tour (actually from a concert in Düsseldorf, Germany, on 31 October).

"I Can't Explain"
"Squeeze Box"
"Boris the Spider" (John Entwistle)
"Baba O'Riley"
"Behind Blue Eyes" (not on 2nd November)
"Dreaming from the Waist"
"Amazing Journey"/"Sparks"
"The Acid Queen"
"Fiddle About" (Entwistle)
"Pinball Wizard"
"I'm Free"
"Tommy's Holiday Camp" (Keith Moon)
"We're Not Gonna Take It"/"See Me, Feel Me"
"Summertime Blues"
"Bargain" (Dropped after 31st October)
"My Generation"
"Won't Get Fooled Again"
Encores (variations of the following list):
Performed on 3rd November.
"Magic Bus"
Performed on 7th November.
This post consists of MP3's ripped from my Killing Floor bootleg and includes album artwork and concert photos (thanks to Klaus Hiltscher).  I've also include artwork for an alternative release of the same concert by NSU (see below).  This boot is a must for all Who fans, and shouldn't be missed.
As a side note, if you've got the Who By Numbers album and weren't tempted to join the dots like most Who fans, the virgin cover is worth big bucks.  I picked up my copy for $1.99 back in the 70's from Brash Sutton in Geelong from the sale box, and thankfully left it alone!
1-01  I Can't Explain
1-02  Substitute
1-03  Squeeze Box
1-04  Baba O'Riley
1-05  Boris The Spider
1-06  Drowned
1-07  However Much I Booze
1-08  Dreaming From The Waist
1-09  Behind Blue Eyes
2-01  Amazing Journey - Sparks
2-02  The Acid Queen
2-03  Fiddle About
2-04  Pinball Wizard
2-05  I'm Free
2-06  Tommy's Holiday Camp
2-07  We're Not Gonna Take It
2-08  See Me, Feel Me
2-09  Summertime Blues
2-10  My Generation /Join Together /
         Road Runner /My Generation
2-11  Naked Eye
The Who:
Roger Daltrey - Vocals
Pete Townshend - Guitar
John Entwistle - Bass, Vocals
Keith Moon - Drums, Vocals
New Link 04/01/2024

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Galapagos Duck - Ebony Quill (1974)

(Australian 1969 - Present)
This is the first record made by a unique band, unique because of the versatility of its members and for the brand of jazz they play. Each member of the Group plays many different instruments and to see them playing is quite an experience. They move around creating music which varies from hard-swinging jazz; to jazz/rock; to beautiful melodic sounds; to very exciting exotic percussion things; to the more contemporary avenues of creative use of electronic devices.

Every member of the Group has paid his dues, sweated his music out over the years in pubs, clubs and sessions all over the country. The original Galapagos Duck has grown out of these experiences.
The band was chosen to support the recent Nina Simone tour in Melbourne and Sydney, and to my mind I've never seen a local support act received with as much enthusiasm. This album comes very close to their live performances which can be heard at The Basement in Sydney, the finest jazz room in Australia.

For those who have heard the band in live performances, I know you will enjoy the music on this album, for those who haven't, I hope you can catch them some time [extract HORST LIEPOLT, Jazz Editor-Sound Blast/Music Maker].

Ebony Quills went on to become one of the best selling jazz records of the '70s.
Galapagos Duck with Horst Leipolt (third from right)
Galapagos Duck are one of Australia’s best known jazz groups, having recorded or toured with varying consistency since just before the 1970's, right up until much more recently, and in a variety of incarnations.

Perhaps best known for their jazz-funk soundtrack ‘The Removalists’ their debut ‘Ebony Quill’ was released around the same time and may have been overshadowed a little, but it’s a great record too – not amazing, but enjoyable without a doubt.

Opening with an atmospheric, extended percussion and reverb-heavy flute exploration, summoning visions of deep jungles, it’s a restless piece hampered a little by the short bass and wordless-vocal duet in the middle, but which is otherwise a fine if misleading opener – as the rest of ‘Ebony Quill’ is less experimental. Except for the brief, mysterious pair ‘And Then Out’ & ‘Out and Then In’ that work as interludes, the album is a little more funk and perhaps pop influenced at times, throwing in a few covers, like the partially convincing ‘The Look of Love.’ It's a shame that it sounds a little too cheesy with sax playing the vocal melody (it works better with trumpet halfway through) but the bouncing joy of ‘Tennessee Waltz’ is a great contrast. ‘Grazing in the Grass’ however, (a Hugh Masekela hit some years before) is the best-realised piece on the album. Drummer Qua throws in a playful nod to the cowbell at the beginning, before switching to the ride. Keeping the distinctive trumpet part, the band don’t try and tinker with the arrangement, instead simply stretching the song out to incorporate solos and simultaneously seeming to evoke the Australian clichés of 'chilled out' people hanging out in summer. 

Willie Qua’s flute tends to dominate a lot of Galapagos Duck’s sound, and though everyone else gets solo space somewhere in the eight pieces, the focus toward the latter half switches to the saxophone. After the fantastic version of ‘Grazing in the Grass’ the band slow things down with the dramatic but still effective ‘Rivera Mountain’ where the saxes again lead, and close the record with a clear homage to Herbie Hancock, whose ‘Head Hunters’ had been released just the year before ‘Ebony Quill.’ It's an influence that would be felt even more clearly on ‘The Removalists.’ Not to say that ‘Mr Natural’ is unpleasant, but it won’t offer up any surprises, even if the solos are energetic and the rhythm section certainly know what to do. It is a fitting end to the set.

While not as consistently enjoyable as their follow up, this is still mostly enjoyable R&B influenced jazz, with some welcome variety on the originals and a growing funk influence. [extract from jazzmusicarchives]
The Tracks
This is a very exciting piece of music, which comes in many different forms and moods. The introduction is played on Recorder by Willie. The theme is stated by Willie playing Lead Flute and Marty Second Flute. Then it's in to the first solo, a Vocal/Flute-type affair played by Willie. Chris follows with a solo using his Bass and his Voice in unison. Next is a percussion duet between Tom and Willie. Before the theme is stated, to take it all out, Willie has another Flute solo, this time percussive and with nice echo effects. Tom is on Drums and Doug on Tambourine throughout this track.

A beautiful ballad which has Chris on Flugelhorn, Tom-Alto Sax, Doug-Piano, Marty-Bass, and Willie on Drums.

Tom on Soprano Sax, Willie and Marty on Tenor Sax this track with a nice church-like (soul church of course) introduction. Then it's into the song with what I call, Bossa-Nova feel. Marty is preaching on Tenor, Doug with Chris on Bass, Willie on Drums and playing the Tom. It ends with the Horns again on the last phrase. The percussion you can hear on this track and on all the others to follow are played by the members of the Galapagos Duck.

This is a beautiful little lament played by Tom, Willie and Marty backed by Doug on Piano and Chris on Bass.

Galapagos Duck Today
(L-R: Will Sargissan, Willy Qua, John Conley, Richard Booth, Rodney Ford)

This is in two short sections. The first section begins with Doug on piano, followed by Chris on Bass, and then Tom on Flute. Section Two is the three Flutes bit played by Tom, Willie and Marty again, with Doug on Piano and Chris on Bass.

Tom-Trumpet, Marty-Tenor Sax, Doug-Piano, Chris-Bass and Willie - Drums. Everybody solos and it's the Group's flagwaver in the fullest sense. It should delight their many fans.

This is the famous tune by Johnny Sangster, one of the most creative and respected musicians in Australia. Tom plays Soprano Sax, Marty Tenor Sax, Doug is on Piano, Chris on Bass and the Drummer is Willie.

Tom and Marty out front on Tenor Saxes, Doug-Piano, Chris-Bass, and Willie on Drums. It's the perfect track to finish an album. It finds the Group in an easy burning Jazz/Rock groove. Marty, for his solo, changes from Tenor Sax to Clarinet and the funky Guitar you can hear is played by Chris and was overdubbed. [liner notes]

Galapagos Duck On Stage Today
This post consists of FLACs and MP3's (320kps) ripped from my newly acquired vinyl, once again found at my flee market hidden amongst some other jazz and classical records which were greatly affected by moisture damaged. Thankfully the album cover was only slightly discoloured and the vinyl in great condition.  Full album artwork for both LP and CD are provided along with label scans.
I am wrapped to think that I have stumbled across this highly sort after LP by one of the great modern jazz bands in Australia, and can make it available here. Enjoy.
01 Ebony Quill 
02 The Look Of Love 
03 Tennesse Waltz 
04 And Then Out 
05 Out And Then In 
06 Grazing In The Grass 
07 Rivera Mountain 
08 Mr. Natural

- Chris Qua / bass, trumpet
- Doug Robson / piano
- Marty Mooney / reeds
- Tom Hare / reeds
- Willie Qua / drums, reeds

Recorded at Earth Media Recording Company November 19 and 26, 1973

Galapagos Duck FLAC Link  (241Mb) New Link 21/12/2023

Wednesday, September 5, 2018

Frieze - 1972 BC + Bonus Tracks

(Australian 1971 - 1972)
Frieze was a curious side-track in the continuing careers of Beeb Birtles and Darryl Cotton, who came to fame as members of Zoot. After Zoot split in 1971, lead guitarist Rick Springfield launched his solo career and headed off to the United States.

Cotton and Birtles were approached through their management by a Melbourne advertising agency. One of the agency's national accounts was the clothing company, Frieze Brothers' Suits, who wanted to employ a pop group to help promote their products.  Beeb recalls "They wanted Darryl and me to form another group which they wanted to call 'Deep Frieze'. The gimmick was that they wanted every guy in the band to be named after a type of material, meaning cloth material. So obviously Darryl Cotton was fine but they wanted me to call me Terry Lean and I was to have a brother called "Crimp" (as in Terylene and crimplene)."So we're sitting there thinking, hang on, we've already been through "Think Pink - Think ZOOT" and these guys are wanting us to do a similar, if not worse, thing. We promptly told them that to pursue this kind of idea; they would get laughed out of the country. Instead we talked them into doing a duo using just Darryl and myself and calling ourselves Frieze."

Beeb Birtles & Darryl Cotton
With financial backing from the company Frieze, they bought a station wagon, a sound system and a tape recorder, which they used to provide pre-recorded backing for their shows and, of course, they were fitted out with a wardrobe of Frieze suits. They performed mostly in shopping malls, performing songs while male models showed off the latest Frieze suits. They played popular hits of the day including songs by Crosby, Stills & Nash and Young and they also did an Everly Brothers medley. During the latter stages of the group, they drafted in Brisbane band Burke & Wills as their backing group.

Frieze lasted almost exactly one year, from June 1971 to June 1972. Their first single, a cover of Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil's "Feelings" ’71, came out on Robie Porter's Sparmac label and managed to scrape into the lower reaches of the Melbourne chart. They were then signed up by the newly established Australian division of Warner Brothers Records. Frieze recorded two singles for Warner which was released during 1972; Frieze's first single for Warner had Darryl's "Try Yourself" on the A-side, backed by one of Beeb's , "You and I". The third and last Frieze single featured two songs by Darryl “Why Do Little Kids Have To Die", backed by "Jimmie and Jessie".

The duo also recorded a full album, titled 1972 B.C. (WS 20006) on Warner Records.. It was produced by Brian Cadd; but the LP did not feature Burke & Wills. Instead, the album line-up included several of the same musicians who had recently worked with Cadd on Russell Morris' acclaimed “Bloodstone” LP, Cadd on keyboards, with guitarist Phil Manning (Chain) and bassist Barry "Big Goose" Sullivan (Chain), drummer Ray Arnott (Spectrum, Mighty Kong), session guitarist Charlie Gould and renowned jazz and session flautist/saxophonist Graham Lyell.

By mid-1972 Birtles had grown tired of act and he told Cotton and manager Jeff Joseph that he was quitting, so the duo split and in July, Cotton left for the USA. Meanwhile, Jean Gair offered Birtles a job answering phones at the AMBO office for $50 a week. It was there that he took the call that changed his life, he answered the phone one day and a voice said, "Yes, I was wondering if you could help me, I'm trying to get in touch with Beeb Birtles?" The voice belonged to musician Graeham Goble, formerly of Adelaide folk-rock group Allison Gros, who wanted Beeb to join his new band Mississippi. Beeb accepted, although Goble wanted him to play guitar rather than bass. The other members of Mississippi reportedly opposed this at first but Goble threatened that he would quit if Birtles wasn't hired. The rest is history. Birtles and Goble formed a successful musical partnership that endured through Mississippi and eventually led to worldwide success with Little River Band.

Darryl Cotton returned to Australia in the late 1970s and moved into TV, becoming a popular children's show host. He later returned to music and gained a successful solo career with several LPs including ‘Best Seat in the House’, which produced his biggest solo hit, ‘Same Old Girl’, that peaked at #6. He had since been part of a trio with his old mates Russell Morris and Jim Keays.
Sadly, Darryl passed away in 2012 aged 62, losing his battle with liver cancer.
In 2017, the S.A. Music Hall of Fame inducted Beeb Birtles and fellow Zoot band mate, Darryl Cotton (posthumously), and their good friend, Barry Smith, of the Town Criers. [extract from Milesago]
The following are two 'Frieze' articles published in the Go-Set Magazine during 1971. 

Acoustic Country Music (Go-Set Mag, October 2, 1971, page 6)
Colin James talks about Frieze

There's a trend happening in Australian music that is interesting, and even exciting to watch. It's something that has happened overseas and has not really come to much. Except perhaps one or two good albums. What it is is musicians leaving their existing groups and forming what they feel are more musically satisfying combinations or groups. To wit, the individual Beatles working on other people's albums, people like Leon Russell and even Bob Dylan got into the act.

It's different to people like Mayall and Clapton who have been in more groups than I can count on all my appendages. Their changes seem to be motivated by self-dissatisfaction in what they're playing, while the recent moves by musicians seem to be positive moves. Moves to gain a new sound.

In all, the moves show a desire by musicians to try and find a progression in music. One thing that is talked about by most musicians, and done by some (listen to Aqualung by Jethro Tull - track 2 to the end, side one) is to include more melodic sounds in electric rock music.

Another thing is forming unlikely combinations. Take Pilgrimage, and who I want to briefly discuss here, Frieze. While most musicians are trying to amplify until they electrocute themselves to death (making Ed Nimmmervoll's Death of Rock prediction doubly true), some people are trying to work out music. Frieze have come under some criticism for accepting a contract by a suit manufacturer, but it is an attempt to free them to do what they want.
Most musicians face starvation, some all the time (even the old Zoot starved every now and then) but what Darryl and Beeb have done is sign a contract that will guarantee that they don't starve while they learn to play music.

Zoot Re-united in 2011
Darryl admits he never really played guitar in Zoot, but says he is spending the next year learning. The direction he will take is uncertain,but as he says, there are so many people around it's hard not to be influenced by someone. Possibly with Frieze it could be Graham Nash of C.S.N & Y fame because both Darryl and Beeb like him, and it could fit in well with the acoustic country sound they are trying to develop.

Both are writing, but their first record was picked from a pile of recording company stock songs that "you might like to do one of these kid". Puzzling, but as they explained, coming from the Zoot they were uncertain of their own ability.

Another thing they are using is tape backings, for two reasons. One. It's expensive to cart around a backing group. Two. They really don't want the hassle of groups for a while. But the tapes make an interesting addition to their soft sound, and enable both voices to be heard.

The only problem with their acoustic sound is that it cuts out quiet a few of the venues they could work (They're already have to put pick-ups on the guitars to be heard in small places) according to Beeb, they're playing the same places that they did in Zoot and a few more.

It will be interesting to see how Frieze progress, but if they are genuine as they seem, it should be well worth it by the end of the year.

Friezed Feelings of Darryl and Beeb (Go-Set mag, October 16, 1971, page 3)
Interviewer: Ian 'Molly' Meldrum

Darryl and Beeb's current single Feelings is hardly selling like hot cakes, and why should it? They don't even particularly like the record themselves.

When the Zoot finally broke up and it was announced that Darryl & Beeb would be going out as a duo many critics like myself expected big things to happen. We're still waiting.

If you judge what they're like from their record, Feelings, you would be excused for thinking they're another poor man's Simon & Garfunkel.The record did absolutely nothing for me and judging from the sales reaction it did little for anyone else, bar Adelaide where it is cirrently No.10

Forgetting the record, what are they like live?
About three weeks ago I happened to stumble across them at a dance in Melbourne and they really surprised me. I must admit I was a bit suspect when they first walked on because I had heard about the taped backings they use instead of a group. I knew that Darryl's voice wasn't exactly crash hot and that his acoustic guitar playing was even more suspect. So with this in mind, I watched and took it all in. They surprised me because Darryl's voice is much clearer and stronger when he takes the lead and sings harmonies with Beeb. His guitar playing is not that bad and coupled together they are very very tight. The taped backing is not even apparent and doesn't seem strange.

But what of the future. Can they expect to carry a name that is a trade name for a clothing manufacture and more important, can they expect to exist on the Australian pop scene by relying on taped backings. The only way to find this out was to have a tete-a-tete with the lads themselves, and so this is what they had to say:

What are the Frieze about?

Darryl: What do you mean - what are we all about? We're a duo, two of us who sing and play acoustic country type music. The name Frieze was chosen because of our tie with the clothing company Frieze Brothers

Surely this has been a hang-up?

Darryl: Not at all. It's been financially rewarding as well as a help in promoting us. With this sort of financial help it allowed both Beeb and I to play the sort of music we'd always wanted to play.

Don't you feel that the taped backings used cause you to lose communication with your audience?

Darryl: You're only judging us on the first bracket that we recorded and played. We've learnt a lot since then and have included six new numbers. They'e far more gutsy and there's more audience involvement in them.

But aren't you, as an act, becoming a little stagnant on stage? Whereas before, especially you Darryl, used to move around a lot. In fact you've almost lost your complete visual act.

Darryl: We don't intend to be a visual act any more

Beeb: You and many others keep comparing us with the Zoot. We're not and don't intend to be the Zoot any more.

I don't think that, but I do think you could be more visual on stage.

Darryl: It all adds up to experience. When we started this duo I'd never played guitar before and therefore before I think of anything else, I have to concentrate on playing guitar. It's the same with Beeb, he's never done as much singing before. But when we get it all together our visual act will become more exciting.

Your current single 'Feelings' is very Simon & Garfunkel. Surely this is bad?

Darryl: It wasn't our choice. It was the record company's. We were virtually ordered to sing that song. We didn't want to sing it that way but they were convinced it was going to be a monster. It's proved otherwise - we almost told them that it would happen that way anyhow. I must say though, that it has sold well in Adelaide and we got an incredible response a couple of weeks ago when we were there.

Do You think there is room for a duo on the Australian pop scene?

Darryl: Yes, definitely, same as there's room for solo artists. With the Frieze there are the two of us doing just a little more than a solo artist.

You couldn't exactly say that solo artists are booming at the moment though.

Darryl: I think work is pretty low everyone throughout Australia at the moment, including groups. We're lucky we have a clothing manufacturer behind us because we don't have to worry about the money angle.

Darryl, I never thought that you had much of a voice in the Zoot but I must admit that I was rather surprised that both of your voices blend well together and individually are very clear.

Darryl: That was one of the frustrations when I was in the Zoot. I knew I wasn't doing a good job with them. I feel much happier now because I'm not screaming and I'm getting a chance to sing properly. Beeb and I have always liked harmonies and now we have a chance to play as we really want to.

Are you surprised that Rick Springfield has done so much since the group broke up?

Darryl: I really expected more
Beeb: I expected a lot more also

Darryl: In the Zoot he was so ambitious and at one stage he said he would even leave us if we didn't do or progress more. But all he's done is release a single and that's as far as it goes. Don't get me wrong. I like the single very much and he's a very talented guy. As far as ourselves are concerned, don't think we're going to rely on taped backings to get us through because after we've finished this next promotion for Frieze we hope to get together with a group and do some work.

Ray Arnott (drummer of the Spectrum) said he'd like to do some work with you - well?

Darryl: We'd love to. Even Doug Parkinson and Phil Manning have mentioned using us from time to time. It'd be great working with guys like that and having four-part harmonies as well.

What will your next record be like?

Beeb: It's got to be more gutsy that's for sure.

Darryl: Yes, but it'll still be along the harmony or country lines.

Beeb: We have about six new songs in the act, so it'll probably be one of them.

Darryl: We're having a few recording hang-ups at the moment but as soon as they're ironed out it'll be much better.

I never realised you did original stuff on stage?

Beeb: We don't and have no desire to perform any on stage unless it's been put down on record first so people can identify with it.

Darryl: Because of the work setup you can't say I'm going to play my numbers and that's that. At the moment we're doing a lot of pubs and just a bit of everything so we can make some money and I'm sure the majority of our audiences wouldn't like to hear something they've never heard before. That's probably why we're not so original, because we're working to a wide range of people.
Beeb: I think a lot of people are getting sick of groups playing their own songs if they haven't put them down on record and the public haven't heard then before.

Darryl: I don't agree wholly on that because I think originality is an important part of anyone's act but you've got to give us a go. After all, we've only been working together like this for the last two and half months.

What do you do apart from your music?

Darryl: Nothing much

Beeb: What do you mean by that?

Nothing personal, just hobbies and that sort of thing

Beeb: Oh, I See. Well I just like listening to records - anything to do with music. There isn't much else I do apart from the personal thing of course

So what can we expect of Frieze over the next six months?

Darryl: We'll be putting down an album and another new single. Maybe it will come off the album. This week we have to do the Frieze promotions which will continue for five weeks. Once we've finished that we don't have to do any more work for them until April of next year. For the rest of the time we'll be recording and touring, hopefully with a band behind us.

Perhaps it would be a good idea over the summer break to do beach dances and get the group together?

Darryl: We're negotiating now to do a whole lot of beach stuff and hopefully we'll be using a couple of musicians with us. We have no gripes and are really happy with the way things are progressing.

Finally, before you go, do you regret the breakup of the Zoot at all?

Beeb: No

Darryl: I miss it, but as I said before I was very frustrated as a vocalist. It was a joke. I knew I Was - but there was nothing I could do about it. With the Frieze it's so much more satisfying.
The above interview was conducted by Ian 'Molly' Meldrum who I admire greatly. However, I found Molly's approach to this interview to be somewhat negative and pretentious.  He had already prejudged these guys as being nothing special, before even asking his first question.  Some of his questions were just plain rude and I'm surprised Darryl didn't walk out of the interview mid-stream when Molly implied that he couldn't sing or play guitar. Anyhow, you be the judge.
This post consists of MP3's (320kps) ripped from vinyl (thanks to Ozzie Musicman) and includes limited artwork.  I've also included the bonus tracks "Young Man's Lament" (B-Side Single) and their CSN&Y cover of "Cinammon Girl" (Live on Happening '71).
This album is an important piece of the jigsaw puzzle that helped to form the highly successful  Australian juggernauts 'Little River Band' in the mid 70's 
A big thank you to Woodynet for providing me with the two Go-Set articles, helping to make this a more informative post. Thanks mate !
Interesting to note that the final single off their LP "Why Do Little Kids" was credited to only Darryl Cotton rather than Frieze?
Track Listing
01 - Friend
02 - Love Is A Feeling
03 - Superman
04 - Jimmy & Jessie
05 - Why Do Little Kids Have To Die
06 - Try Yourself
07 - A Song
08  - You & I
09 - All Because Of You
10 - Jackie Girl
11 - Young Man's Lament (B-Side Single)
12 - Cinammon Girl (Live on Happening '71)

Produced by Brian Cadd
Engineered by John French

Brian Cadd: keyboards
Phil Manning: electric guitar
Ray Arnott: drums
Barry Sullivan: bass
Charlie Gould: acoustic guitar
Graham Lyell: sax and flute
Frieze Link (89Mb) New Link 21/12/2023