Wednesday, October 30, 2019

W.O.C.K On Vinyl: MAD - Mad Twists Rock´N´Roll (1962) & Fink Along With Mad (1963)

Before things get too serious at Rock On Vinyl, I thought it might be fun to post a song at the end of each month, that could be considered to be either Weird, Obscure, Crazy or just plain Korny.....
Let’s hear it for Alfred! Mad Magazine released two great albums in the early 1960s: Mad Twists Rock´N´Roll & Fink Along With Mad
A wonderful symbiosis of Mad humour and rock´n´roll. Produced independently by Norm Blagman and Sam Bobrick who then played it for the Mad staff who then saw to it that it was released. Now, let’s do the pretzel!
For most of its history, MAD magazine has been at the forefront of gleefully juvenile printed humour. Its pop culture spoofs are legendary, its cartoonists among the finest humorists of their generation. But along the way, MAD created some of  the most fun (and suitably warped) musical creations of the 20th century.

MAD’s first real foray into recorded sound began in the late 50s with Musically Mad. Conceived, composed and directed by Space Age Pop arranger Bernie Green, a veteran of radio comedy who served as musical director of the anarchic, acerbic Henry Morgan Show (and whose later television work included the excellent Garry Moore Show and Wally Cox’s Mr. Peepers.) Morgan himself makes several contributions, helping Green send up everything from Gunsmoke to The Mikado.

After the inevitably-titled 45 “What, Me Worry?” MAD moved up to the big leagues with a full-length LP (pressed on vinyl, not cardboard!) 1962’s Mad “Twists” Rock ‘N’ Roll was written and produced by Norm Blagman and Sam Bobrick. The prolific Bobrick later wrote for Andy Griffith, Get Smart, The Paul Lynde Show, The Smothers Brothers, and Saved By The Bell (as well as a very MAD-esque comedy album called Folk Songs Of Madison Avenue, credited to “The Flagpole Singers”); Blagman wrote and arranged for Tiny Tim, contributed to the original 1968 soundtrack of The Producers, co-wrote “Give Me The Right” and “Put The Blame On Me” for Elvis Presley, and would continue making MAD records into the 1980s. The album featured a time capsule of 1962 pop culture preoccupations spoofing James Bond (“Agnes The Teenage Russian Spy”), teenage car-race death ballads (“All I Have Left Is My Johnny’s Hub Cap), and chiropractically-ill-advised dance crazes (“Let’s Do The Pretzel”).

The success of Mad Twists demanded a follow-up, 1963’s Fink Along With MAD, which featured the same creative team and the same clever spoofs, from the heartfelt “Loving A Siamese Twin” to “She Lets Me Watch Her Mom & Pop Fight”. It also features one of MAD’s most memorable—and most revisited—songs, “It’s A Gas”, which artfully combines percussive belching with a great King Curtis sax solo. Sam Bobrick co-writer of "It's A Gas" annotated in albums credits that the musicians themselves provided the burps. The band loved going up to the mike, we would just have them belch, and then we cut the belches in later.  This album is one for the ages. [extract from]

Of course, MAD started declining a bit in the 70s, when it was eclipsed by The National Lampoon. It's still going strong, but seems a bit formulaic, and I find it sad that I usually enjoy Cracked (MAD's second-rate competitor for many years) online more than anything I've read in MAD in years.

Society has changed, of course, but both of these MAD albums are still very funny albums in my opinion. But then again, you could call me MAD, MAD, MAD I say, absolutely MAD

This month's MAD post is a prime candidate for the WOCK on Vinyl award, ticking all boxes and more. It's Weird, it's Wacky, it's Obscure in that these recordings were only released on Flexidiscs found inside MAD magazines and above all the songs are Korny yet Catchy. Ripped to MP3 (192kps) - not my rips folks - there is unfortunately little artwork or information associated with these flexi albums. If you are as MAD as a hatter, you will find more MAD material on a previous post found HERE.
Mad Twists Rock´N´Roll (Big Top LP, 1962)
1. (Throwing the) High School Basketball Game
2. (She Got A) Nose Job
3. Please Betty Jane (Shave Your Legs)
4. Somebody Else´s Dandruff
5. Blind Date
6. Agnes (The Teenage Russian Spy)
7. Let´s Do the Pretzel
8. I´ll Always Remember Being You
9. When My Pimples Turned To Dimples
10. She´s A Serious Teenager In Love
11. (All I Have Left Is) My Johny´s Hubcap
12. Written On the Boys Bathroom Wall

Fink Along With Mad (Big Top LP, 1963)
1. Let´s Do the Fink
2. Her Mustache
3. Biggest Mouth In Town
4. Her Dad´s Got Money
5. His Hair
6. It´s A Gas
7. Don´t Put Onions on Your Hamburger
8. Loving a Siamese Twin
9. She Lets Me Watch Her Mom and Pop Fight
10. The Braces on Your Teeth
11. Contact Lenses
12. The Neighbourhood Draft Board
13. A Mad Extra 

Thursday, October 24, 2019

Aunty Jack - Sings Wollongong (1974)

(Australian 1972-1975)
The Cool Bananas was a pseudonym for Grahame Bond and Rory O'Donoghue, who were the stars of the ABC's Aunty Jack show. The programme was a highly successful, bawdy television comedy which, despite its popularity, was dropped after only two series.
'Farewell Aunty Jack' was released on a special record which had a pictorial representation embedded into the vinyl. The single was enormously successful, and by June 1974 it had reportedly sold over 100,000 copies. (see previous post)

As a result of its popularity, a group called Gong was formed to tour as Aunty Jack and the Gong. The band included Tony Buchanan, Mark Punch, Ian Clyne, Russell Dunlop, Tim Partridge and Denny Gordon.
Before the fad began to wither, an album entitled 'Aunty Jack Sings Wollongong' was released on Polydor in April 1975, although the album cover and associated record label specify 1974..
Rory continued performing and composing and formed a successful music writing company with Grahame [extract from Noel McGrath's 'Australian Encyclopedia of Rock', Outback Press 1978, p74-75]

“The Aunty Jack Show” was one of Australia’s earliest and best loved TV Logie Award winning comedy series. Starring a motor-cycling transvestite boxer, it ran from 1972 to 1973 on Australia’s national broadcaster ABC-TV and attained an instant cult status that persists to this present day. The main character “Aunty Jack” was a unique comic creation, an obese, moustachioed, gravel-voiced transvestite, part trucker and part pantomime dame who habitually solved any problem by knocking people unconscious or threatening to ‘rip their bloody arms off’. Visually, she was unmistakable, dressed in a huge, tent-like blue velvet dress, football socks, workboots, and a golden boxing glove on her right hand. She rode everywhere on a Harley Davidson Motorcycle and referred to everyone as “Me Little Lovelies”.

Under threat of having their “bloody arms ripped off” if they didn’t, Australians of the early seventies had little option but to tune in each week to their favourite Aunt. [extract from]

The album 'Aunty Jack Sings Wollongong' was  conceived as an aural/visual experience; a T.V show on record; sound with pictures. From a day trip to Wollongong to Spider Farrelly's Buck Party. Settle back, close your eyes and be transported to a day in the life of Aunty Jack with Thin Arthur and Kid Eager.

Share the dingy atmosphere of the Gong a Go Go with MC Norman Gunston. Hear the Farrelly Brothers perform their greatest hit. Attend an audition with Mervyn Whipple,Man of 1000 faces. Come into the other World of Neil and Errol, then take a trip to the abattoirs with Kev Kavanaghand the Kavemen and join in the Wollongong National Anthem with Norman. Come to Spider Farrelly's Buck's party where the Ri Fol Tit Men make a special appearance.
Aunty Jack takes her clothes off and the Farrelly Brothers take dangerous substances. A stirring rock opera Tarzan Super Ape followed by a fish milkshake. More country and western suburbs music then the Ode followed by Aunty Jack and the Box.
"Farewell Aunty Jack" leads to a jam session with a famous Japanese blues star and his Indian sidekick. The rest is history  [extract from CD liner notes]
This post consists of FLACs ripped from a double CD release entitled 'Aunty Jack - Auntyology (1972-1985)' which features this album. I own a vinyl copy of this album (in fact I have 2 copies), but I decided that a CD rip would provide better quality recordings. Full album artwork for both vinyl and CD are included, and features a 20 page booklet of lyrics to all songs and dialogue.
Now, in the infamous words of Aunty Jack, if you don't leave a comment after downloading this post, I'm gonna come out of your computer screen and Rip Ya' Bloody Mouse Off ! LOL
01 Rip Off
02 I've Been Everywhere *
03 The Kid Eager
04 Doin' The Aunty Jack
05 Man Of 1000 Faces
06 Last Refrain
07 Veggie Queen
08 Wollongong The Brave
09 Wollongong The Brave Revisited
10 Head Of The Pack
11 Spider's Bucks Lunch
12 Don't Take It Off
13 What's On In Wollongong
14 Snowy Aloha
15 Tarzan Super Ape
16 Fish Shakes
17 The Western Lady
18 Aunty Jack 'N The Box
19 Farewell Aunty Jack
20 Nagasaki Blues

Backing Vocals [Vocal Backing] – Creenagh St. John*, Denny Carger, Judy Henderson
Bass – Bruce Worrall, Stein
Drums – Greg Henson
Harmonica – Garry McDonald*
Jew's Harp [Jewish Harp], Acoustic Guitar – Grahame Bond
Lead Guitar, Acoustic Guitar, Keyboards – Rory O'Donoghue
Music By, Lyrics By – Grahame Bond (tracks: A1, A3 to B12), Rory O'Donoghue (tracks: A1, A3 to B12)
Other [Union Delegate] – Spider Farrelly*
Performer – Neil And Errol (tracks: A6), Norman Gunston (tracks: A8, B1, B5)
Performer [Cast] – Garry McDonald*, Grahame Bond, Rory O'Donoghue
Piano – Jamie McKinley
Saxophone [Saxaphone] – Jeff Oakes*
Vocals [Tarzan] – John Derum, Margaret Ferguccio

Wednesday, October 16, 2019

John Klemmer - Waterfalls (1972)

(U.S 1963 - Present)
Waterfalls is a live album by American saxophonist and composer John Klemmer (born 1946)  featuring studio enhanced live performances recorded in Los Angeles for the Impulse! label.
Picked up this LP based on the cover art alone not knowing who John Klemmer was and I was not disappointed. Some tasty, psych-tinged post-bop led by saxophonist John Klemmer. Waterfalls is a live recording, but the sound is studio-quality.

Really feelin' the echoplex on the sax, as well as the electric piano, which helps to make for a generally loose, mellow vibe.

This really is a wonderful classic from John Klemmer – one of those artists we've under-appreciated for years, but grow to love more and more as time goes by! The set's an incredibly soulful set of explorations played by Klemmer (on tenor, soprano, and Echoplex) with a group that includes Mike Nock on Fender Rhodes, Eddie Marshall on drums, Victor Feldman on percussion, and Wilton Felder on bass – definitely in the post-Coltrane mode, with long spiraling solos that explore both space and the outer sonic reaches, yet never too way-out, and never losing a subtle swing that makes the record sparkle with unimaginable appeal. One of those few hippy jazz classics that really works – and which arguably sounds better now than it did back in the 70s! Titles include "Centrifugal Force", "There's Some Light Ahead", "Waterfall", and "Utopia: Man's Dream".

Waterfalls, released in 1972, was John Klemmer's 6th album. While living in L.A. in the late 60's and early 70's at the height of the rock explosion, he did concerts with Janis Joplin etc. and local L.A. rock groups and musicians. He incorporated these new styles etc. in his recordings for Cadet Concept/Chess & Impulse! records, constantly breaking new ground, broadening & increasing his critical interest & acclaim & fan base.

Klemmer, the self-styled "Ambassador Of Cool," was a smooth jazz saxophone pioneer, composing and performing music back in the 70's that was smooth, hip and easy - way, way before Kenny G broke the world of smooth jazz saxophone wide open.

Waterfalls is a psychedelic Jazz recording of eight tracks with a cavalcade of shared Exotica particularities, envisioned by tenor saxophonist John Klemmer and his sextet, performed live at the Ash Grove Club in Los Angeles in June 1972 and, as the liner notes astutely claim, enchanted at The Village Recorder in the same city and month. The album offers a superb fusion of Exotica, Funk, Batucada and Ambient, but seriously, the Funk part of this list is probably the least
stringent force that wafts around this aquatic LP. The front artwork suggests a wonderful magic world full of vivacious trees and valleys, but this is simply not applicable in the given arrangements which burst at the seams when it comes to glittering moonbeams, nocturnal cascades and nightly rivers. This feeling is fueled in large parts by the use of an electric Rhodes piano and plinking cymbals in tandem with the saxophone.

While there is not even one birdcall in sight, let alone the probably expected inclusion of water drops or liquid field recordings, Waterfalls paints a galactic yet humane and inhabitable void of drenched landscapes. Even though it is recorded in front of a live audience, the sound quality is unbelievably crisp, with the few cheers and hand claps of the audience hailing from a curious distance, as if they cross-faded from a parallel universe into the intrinsic world which John Klemmer and his band create. The sextet comprises the talents of Mike Nock on said electric piano, Eddie Marshall on the drums, Victor Feldman on various sparsely used and not overly exotic percussion devices, bassist Wilton Felder, vocalist Diana Lee who appears in two tracks, and last but not least John Klemmer on the tenor or soprano saxophone. Luring, cleaning and seductive: here’s a closer look at John Klemmer’s Waterfalls.

"Prelude I" functions as the introduction to the cascading movements of Waterfalls. Sure, its title states exactly that, for it is the reason of any prelude to make the listener comfortable with the things to come, without letting him- or herself immerse all too densely in the unfolding structures. It is therefore no surprise that this is a proper solo; only John Klemmer is heard on the tenor saxophone whose heavily convoluted and labyrinthine spirals are given enough time to let the listener fathom out the backdrop of nullity and blackness. There is a strong wideness in this piece, but it is not erected via blurred reverberations rather than soaked echoes created via Echoplex electronics. The result feels emaciated yet rich, and it is this bewildering gallimaufry which the listener must swallow in order to reach the dreamier parts of John Klemmer’s Utopian gardens.

And eureka, "Waterfall I" is ameliorated by Wilton Felder’s thick bass riverbeds and the excited cheers of the audience which otherwise remains whisper-quiet and is blinded out completely during the performance. The feeling is laid-back and nocturnal, not yet as bright as the delicate artwork suggests. Victor Feldman only very cautiously ennobles the tenor saxophone-heavy coils with a cymbal and softened hi-hats once in a while, whereas Mike Nock’s Rhodes piano delivers glistening scintilla which superbly augment the moonlit spirit of purity. Notwithstanding the esoteric psychedelia, this is indeed a postmodern Exotica piece, one that grows larger during its climactic end which does not lead to a definite eruption rather than a stream of carefully maintained bliss… followed by the introduction of Mr. Nock on the piano. These instances might throw the listener out of the dreamworld, true, but Waterfalls I is simply too luring and enchanting to get hurt by these fragments of the real world.

Up next is the innermost core called "Utopia: Man’s Dream" which is divided into Part 1 and Part 2, having a total runtime of almost 13 minutes. The CD reissue merges both parts together, as it should be. Completely enthralling times are ahead of the listening subject: a cosmic mélange of languorous wind chimes, galactic Rhodes piano shards and yearning saxophone tones in tandem with Diana Lee’s vocal-related mimicry await the traveler. After approximately two minutes, the composition is revised by Eddie Marshall’s skillful drum protrusions. In the meantime, it turns out that Klemmer’s sax and Lee’s vocals are really glued to each other; there are several purely instrumental segues and interludes, but the temptress joins the silkened brazen effulgence time and again. The saxophone is clearly in the forefront, as is common in Klemmer’s album, and this fact does not diminish Mike Nock’s polyhedron piano crystals but only makes the backdrop a more interesting and luring underbrush to venture into. The aura is occasionally calcined by cheers and claps of the attendees, but only infrequently.

The moments of soothing quiescence are probably the most surprising revelation of "Utopia: Man’s Dream". And indeed, once the saxophone is mute and lets bassist Felder, pianist Nock and percussionist Feldman interact with each other at the end of Part 1, the ensuing interdependency takes both the song and its arrangement to new heights. Instead of high billows of rapture, a more reduced, carefully kindled luminousness is reached which partially reaches the colors of the front artwork, but otherwise nurtures the positively ashen moonlit tropicana. Part 2 is not much different and relies on the same four-note alterations of the main theme.

Speaking of the susurrant darkness: "There’s Some Light Ahead" addresses the missing cavalcades of colors by injecting them into the uplifting arrangement. Eddie Marshall’s drums are ubiquitous, the five-note main theme on the saxophone is gorgeously accompanied and then exchanged with glistening sparks of electric piano prowess and the accordant backing chords which mesh very well with the heavier drums and shakers, especially so since Klemmer’s tenor saxophone is replaced by a soprano one; this newly introduced device is at the same time played in a more soothing, not all too protuberant fashion. The result is a classic Funk escapade of the sumptuously poeticized kind, strongly mellow and pristine.

However, nothing prepares the listener for the following Centrifugal Force, a fast-paced, eclectic yet accessible maelstrom of Diana Lee’s chants, Mike Nock’s heftily crystallized electric piano prongs, Eddie Marshall’s cymbalscapes, Wilton Felder’s bouncing bass runlets and… the omission of John Klemmer for exactly three minutes. Despite the joyously upbeat wind chime-underpinned aqua adventure, this trip never feels forceful nor staggering. There are many Ambient segues hidden in the alcoves of the titular centrifugal force, and even though the listener as well as the band are absorbed and soaked into its very center, the tune always feels like a reverie and an breakneck voyage. The simultaneity of these feelings only makes it stronger. The album ends the way it began by offering reinterpreted versions of the first two tracks: "Prelude II" is strongly tied to the first prelude and features anyone but John Klemmer on a reverb-affected tenor saxophone.

"Waterfall II", however, differs in that it weaves the theme of Waterfall I into a more groovy, city-like beat structure without neglecting the phantasmagorical luminescence of the album. This very beat is not dropped before the Ambient half of the tune is over, and even then the ambience takes over time and again, rounding the album off with the endemic Rhodes piano glitters and mellifluous saxophone tones.

John Klemmer’s Waterfalls is a strong concept album with an admittedly bewildering last third – a second prelude? Really? – and an ever-sparkling physiognomy whose complexion is potentially gelid and frosty, but strikingly heated by the interplay between the sextet. John Klemmer is naturally heard most of the time, but he allows his fellow band members to bathe as well in the limelight by delivering highly melodious segues whose textural range is awesomely tempting. This is obviously no clear-cut Exotica album, but if the genre had not faded away during the middle of the 60’s, chances are that John Klemmer’s album would have provided one possible missing connection to the graceful, exhilarative and nocturnal moirés of the late 50’s indeed. I deem Mike Nock’s Rhodes piano as essential as the tenor saxophone, especially so since its purified omnipresence is, as the word already explicates, all over the album and rarely ever silent except in the two preludes.

This is a Jazz album alright, one with quickly vesiculating build-ups, ebullient shapes and structures, but there is never a dull moment or a designedly off-putting eclecticism that prevents birdcall-swarmed Exotica listeners from enjoying the coziness-augmenting textures. Sure, there are vintage listeners who do not want their beloved genre to be pestered with electronic devices. In this regard, they may well skip Waterfalls, but contemporary listeners in search of fast-paced, varied takes should pre-listen to Centrifugal Force and see whether it suits their fancy, whereas followers of the Ambient Exotica movement will be pleased with all other tracks.  [Exotica Review 255: John Klemmer – Waterfalls (1972). Originally published on Aug. 31, 2013 at]
This post consists of FLACs ripped from vinyl (another flee market gem) and includes full album artwork and label scans.  A nice jazz fusion recording, with occasional interactions from the live audience - not to be missed. Just love the album cover, very Psychedelic.
Note: because tracks 3 & 4 run into one another, I have recorded them as one track, so as not to interrupt the listening experience.
Track listing:
1. "Prelude I" - 3:33
2. "Waterfalls" - 4:19
3. "Utopia: Man's Dream, Part 1" - 8:47
4. "Utopia: Man's Dream, Part 2" - 3:50
5. "There's Some Light Ahead" - 4:29
6. "Centrifugal Force" - 5:59
7. "Prelude II" - 4:02
8. "Waterfall II" - 6:08
John Klemmer - tenor saxophone, soprano saxophone, echoplex
Mike Nock - electric piano
Wilton Felder - electric bass
Eddie Marshall - drums
Victor Feldman - percussion
Diana Lee - vocals (tracks 3, 4 & 6)

John Klemmer FLACS Link (218Mb)


Sunday, October 6, 2019

Painters and Dockers - Kiss My Art (1988)

(Australian 1982 - 1998. 2014 - Present)
Painters and Dockers are a band from Melbourne, Australia who formed in 1982 with five members, Vladimir Juric on guitars and backing vocals, Andy Marron on drums, Phil Nelson on bass guitar, Chris O'Connor on guitars and backing vocals, and mainstay Paul Stewart on lead vocals and trumpet. The unusual name was chosen early in the band's career when playing at a pub frequented by the 'Federated Ship Painters and Dockers Union', the band had no name and chose Painters and Dockers for the event, and the name stayed with the band from then on.

In the earlier years, they were the headline act at the Port Melbourne Festival, and in a Government initiative called Rockin' The Rails, played songs from the back of a train, as it stopped at various Melbourne stations, including Ringwood, Camberwell and Flinders Street.

In 1984, Marron was replaced by Colin Buckler on drums, and they released their debut album, Love Planet, which was produced by veteran hard rocker, Lobby Loyde and released on Big Time Records in 1984 and contained the tracks, "Basia!", also released as a single in March 1985, and "The Boy Who Lost His Jocks on Flinders Street Station". Joining after the album's release were Mick Morris on tenor saxophone and Dave Pace on trumpet / backing vocals, and with Stewart the horn section was called the Brassholes.

A four-track EP, 'Kill Kill Kill' was released in 1985 containing cover versions of "Kill Kill Kill" originally by The Sacred Cows on "The Groovy Guru" episode of US comedy TV series, Get Smart. Their first single, "Basia!", released in March 1985 on Big Time Records, was a paean to Basia Bonkowski who was presenter of SBS' music television show, Rock Around the World from 1982 to late 1984.

The Painters and Dockers released seven albums between 1984 and 1994, which featured a selection of sarcastic and amusing singles, such as "Die Yuppie Die" and "Safe Sex" from their 1988 'Kiss My Art' album and the pro-queer and anti-monarchy "I Know Better Queens Than That" from 1994's 'The Things That Matter'. Several members of the band went on to form the highly successful Dili Allstars.

Their greatest chart success was achieved with 1985's Nude School which received air play on a number of commercial radio stations and which was marked by its controversial lyrics and video clip.

On 20 November 2009, early members, Paul Stewart, Chris O'Connor, Colin Buckler, Vladimir Juric, David Pace and Mick Morris, with Michael Badger (not an original member) reformed for a one-off show at the Prince Bandroom in St Kilda, Melbourne, where the band was inducted into The Age newspaper's EG Hall of Fame.

The band were back in the news on 9 October 2014 when Violent Soho frontman James Tidswell was not allowed to board a plane because he was wearing a Painters and Dockers black T-shirt printed with the name of the band's 1990 single 'Eat, Sh--, Die'. When he was told he could not get on the Virgin flight, Tidswell told Fairfax Media he was shocked when he was told new terrorism laws meant he could not wear the shirt on the plane. But a Virgin Australia spokesman said the T-shirt was simply deemed offensive, not a threat.

To belatedly celebrate the 30th Anniversary of their hit album Kiss My Art, Melbourne’s legendary/iconic/infamous/notorious Painters & Dockers are playing a rare show on the 18th October, 2019. 
I say belatedly because the show was meant to happen last year but singer/frontman/wildman Paulie Stewart ended up in hospital with bleeding on the brain. 

To celebrate, ILYOS remembers the Dockers classic Kiss My Art hits “Nude School” and “Die Yuppie Die”, and looks back at the band’s glory days with 20 points of interest, which we present, in keeping with the fact that they took their name from the infamous and soon outlawed Victorian waterside trade union, as the Painters & Dockers rap sheet.

Juke Gig Advert 1992
1. One of the Painters & Dockers’ very first shows was at St Kilda’s legendary Crystal Ballroom, opening for Nick Cave Man or Myth and a bunch of more serious St Kilda types. The band proceeded to unload a bucket of dead fish on the goth-punk groovers who were no doubt standing slack-jawed in the audience.

2. The Dockers’ longtime manager and record producer of choice was none other than Australian 60s/70s guitar God, Lobby Loyde, of Coloured Balls & Purple Hearts fame.

3. The Dockers’ hit “Nude School” made naughty reference to a map of Tasmania, which assumedly no one under the age of say 30 would understand.

4. The fourth single from Kiss My Art was “Safe Sex.” A few years’ later they became involved in Performers Releasing Information about Clean Syringes (PRICS), which promoted safe sex as well as safe drug use at the height of the AIDS/HIV epidemic. (see previous blog post)

5. Two decades later, in 2012, members of the band including frontman Paulie Stewart got together with several other musicians in a band called The Transplants to perform a special show for Organ Donation week. Most members of the Transplants, including Stewart, had had life-saving liver transplants. 
Paulie Stewart and the boys
6. They were joined at the gig, by another famous liver transplant recipient, the 'Human Headline' and now senator Derryn Hinch, who joined the band for a rousing version of the Dockers’ song “You're Going Home In The Back Of A Divi Van.” (A bit of a pub rocker, Hinch used to be a regular at gigs by Sydney’s Hitmen amongst others back in his drinking days.) 

7. The band’s deep social consciousness was perhaps spurred by the fact that Docker frontman Paul Stewart is, famously, the younger brother of television journalist Tony Stewart, who was one of five Australian journalists killed in East Timor by Indonesian troops. After they were killed, they became known as the Balibo Five, and their story is well known to all Australians who were around at the time. 
Painters And Dockers at the Corner Hotel, Richmond.

8. Honoring his older brother, Paulie became very involved in the East Timor cause early on and later went on to form the Dili Allstars in the early 1990s with East Timorese musicians. 

9. Paulie also followed his brother into journalism and was the Melbourne Herald Sun’s rock writer for years.

10. The Dockers’ hit “Basia” was a love song to the cool as a cucumber host of early SBS TV rock show Rock Around The World. It includes the pithy line "She's sitting there with her multi-colored hair / She's sitting there with that multi-cultured stare." (As an aside – Rock Around The World once showed an interview with David Lee Roth before Van Halen were super big here. When it cut back to Basia after the interview, she snidely but cluelessly quipped “Funny guy, that Van”!) 

11. The Docker’s first label Big Time Records – where their label mates included the Hoodoo Gurus – was funded by money made from Air Supply! We assume the Air Supply guys weren’t really paying attention. 

12. Also on Big Time with the Dockers were their buddies the Huxton Creepers, with whom they share management and many gigs. 

13. The title track of the Dockers’ covers EP, Kill Kill Kill, was a cover of a song that appeared in the legendary episode of Get Smart! that stared the brilliant Larry Storch as the Groovy Guru, an evil record producer who tried to do away with Max and 99 in his Echo Chamber. The made-up group of freaks playing the song in the show was called the Sacred Cows. The same episode also inspired the Dockers’ local contemporaries the Sacred Cowboys in their choice of name, and probably was influential in the Hoodoo Gurus choice of name too; the early Gurus’ classic “The Echo Chamber” is definitely inspired by that episode! 

14. The Kill Kill Kill EP also featured a cover of the Saints’ smashing “Know Your Product,” and it’s safe to say that the Dockers’ sound, which incorporated a lot of brass (provided by the Brassholes, natch) was heavily influenced by the Saints’ great second album Eternally Yours. 

15. Kill Kill Kill also featured covers of the Ramones “Do You Remember Rock’n’roll Radio?” and Supernaut’s “I Like It Both Ways” – great taste these boys! 

16. The Dockers once owned their own recording studio – Richmond Recorders, where Lobby Loyde kept busy working with other local bands – and even their own vinyl pressing plant where they pressed their own records!

Painters And Dockers Today
17. Early in their existence, the Dockers took part in a state government initiative called Rockin' the Rails, where they played songs from the back of a train, as it stopped at various Melbourne stations. We’re not sure how many commuters called in sick that day.

18. In 2014, James Tidswell from young grungers Violent Soho was barred from boarding a Virgin flight, because he was wearing an old Dockers “Eat, Shit and Die” T-shirt. “East, Shit & Die” is an old Dockers fan fave but no, it wasn’t a hit.

19. Their 1984 classic "The Boy Who Lost His Jocks on Flinders Street Station" wasn’t a hit either.

20. The two other singles from Kiss My Art – the ones we haven’t mentioned yet – were “Die Yuppie Die” and the tasteful “Love On your Breath.“ [taken from]

For the latest information and tour details on Painters & Dockers, see their Facebook Page.

This post consists of FLACs ripped from vinyl (thanks to gnowangerup) and includes full album artwork for both Vinyl and CD, plus label scans.  This album is loaded with great music and profound lyrics, which are guaranteed to offend even the most hardened blogger.  You really are going to enjoy this album if you haven't heard it already.

Track Listing
01. Jacks' Car
02. Die Yuppie Die
03. Safe Sex
04. Bad
05. If He Beats You, Leave!
06. Love On Your Breath
07. Timing
08. I'm Selling Out
09. Meltdown
10. Nude School
11. Judas


Thursday, October 3, 2019

Cream - Swedish Radio Sessions (1967) Bootleg

(U.K July 1966  -  November 1968)
"Cream" The haughty-sounding name of the group formed by Eric Clapton, Jack Bruce and Ginger Baker in July 1966 was not without some justification. Guitarist Eric Clapton, aged 21. had already been dubbed "God" by a prophet on a North London wall for his playing with John Mayall's Bluesbreakers. He'd demonstrated his purist principles a year earlier, quitting "the most blueswailin" Yardbirds when they'd dared to go pop with their "For Your Love" single. And he'd also played sessions with first generation bluesman like Sonny Boy Willamson and Champion Jack Dupree.

Drummer Ginger Baker, aged 26. had come from a trad jazz background with Acker Bilk and Terry Lightfoot before moving into the burgeoning R&B scene in the early '60s with Alexis Korner's Blues Incorporated and the Graham Bond Organisation whose jazz-tinged R&B gained them a strong reputation in musical circles and the club circuit.

Bassist Jack Bruce, aged 23, had studied at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and had already played with Baker in Alexis Korner's Blues Incorporated and the Graham Bond Organisation. He'd also briefly coincided with Clapton in John Mayall's Bluesbreakers and as part of an all-star session band that also featured Steve Winwood and Paul Jones before a short spell in the pop limelight with Manfred Mann.

Cream's formation sent a frisson of anticipation through a music world for whom the "supergroup" concept - not to mention the cynical connotations - was still some years away Their first gig on 31 July at the Windsor Jazz & Blues Festival (the forerunner of the Reading Festival) fulfilled all expectations as the band revelled in the possibilities of fusing the festival's favoured musical styles with their own much-vaunted skills. So the comparatively understated, low-key pop of their first single. "Wrapping Paper", in October came as something of a surprise, despite the band's previously stated commercial intentions.

Their debut album, Fresh Cream, released on Robert Stigwood's Reaction Records in December 1966, was an affirmation of the band's original manifesto. The group written numbers, featured blazing nascent heavy metal rock riffs on tracks like "NSU" and "Sweet Wine" providing a foundation for some short, sharp, sonic blasts that utilised Jack Bruce's fierce counterpoint bass, Ginger Baker's thunderous rhythms on his elaborate double bass-drum kit and Eric Clapton's searing solos and ferocious feedback. They also gave a vivid demonstration of just how far you could take blues numbers like Howling Wolf's "Spoonful", Robert Johnson's "Four Until Late" and Skip James' "I'm So Glad" while staying true to the spirit of the originals.

They even found a viable commercial formula for their second single, "I Feel Free" (with lyrics supplied by underground poet Pete Brown), compressing their talents into a three-minute swirl of rhythms, vocal harmonies and controlled feedback guitar. It got them to Number 11 in the charts and onto BBC Television's Top Of The Pops where they found themselves on the same show as Jimi Hendrix who was performing "Hey Joe". Their careers were to run in parallel but while Hendrix's flamboyance gave him the edge in terms of media exposure, particularly in Britain, it was Cream that would make the first breakthrough in America.

Having tightened themselves as a group with gigs around Britain and Europe during the first part of 1967, Cream set their sights on America, Their initial attempts were somewhat misguided - a week-long 15-minute slot six times a day in front of screaming teenagers on DJ Murray The K's "Music In The Fifth Dimension" show at the RKO Theatre in New York with Hermans' Hermits, The Loving Spoonful and The Who was notably unsuccessful. But once they were put in front of audiences who wanted to listen rather than scream they were guaranteed a rapturous response.

Cream Publicity Shot For Polydor
They also got the opportunity to record their second album at New York's Atlantic Studios in May 1967 - with producer Felix Pappalardi and engineer Tom Dowd. The sessions may have been hurried - three and a half days in total according to Dowd, foreclosed when a chauffeur arrived to take them to JFK Airport - but Disraeli Gears flowed with a supreme, focused confidence that grew out of the quality of the material the band had prepared. The opening track, "Strange Brew", a sublime BB King-influenced blues, was the band's third UK single, reaching Number 17 in July. The B-side, "Tales Of Brave Ulysses", was Clapton's first extravagant flourish using the newly introduced wah-wah pedal (was it any coincidence that Hendrix's first wah-wah flurry on "Burning Of The Midnight Lamp" came out at the same time?). It was the epic "Sunshine Of Your Love" that was to become Cream's anthem -a pile-driving riff and climatic chorus that instinctively drew on the finest assets of the trio. The other tracks ranged across the ethereal, Byrds-like "Dance The Night Away", the attacking staccato of "SWLABR" (standing for "She Walks Like a Bearded Rainbow"*) and the steady rising crescendo of 'We're Going Wrong".

Disraeli Gears was released in November '67, towards the end of an extraordinary year of landmark albums that included The Beatles' "Sgt. Pepper", The Beach Boys' "Pet Sounds", Jefferson Airplane's "Surrealistic Pillow", Love's "Oa Capo", The Doors "The Doors", The Velvet Underground's "The Velvet Underground & Nico" and Pink Floyd's "Piper At The Gates Of Dawn".

Like them, Disraeli Gears perfectly catches the spirit of the moment which was epitomised by Martin Sharp's quintessential British flower-powered cover artwork. Cream had spent much of the summer of '67 playing concerts around Britain, including another appearance -this time top of the bill - at the Windsor Jazz & Blues Festival, but the last four months of the year were mainly spent in America, touring to increasing critical and popular acclaim as Disraeli Gears made the US Top 5, selling a million copies and fuelling the band's ascent to superstardom. The gilt edge to their rising status was provided by San Francisco which fervently took the band to its breast alongside its own myriad local heroes headed by The Grateful Dead and Jefferson Airplane.

Sessions for Cream's third album, Wheels Of Fire, were spread over the course of a year from mid '67 to mid '68, with some basic tracks being laid down at London's IBC Studios before the bulk of the work was completed back at New York's Atlantic Studios, again with Felix Pappalardi and Tom Dowd, The relatively extended time the group were able to spend in the studio allowed them to sound more comfortable which was in turn reflected by the more sophisticated production. In addition the group's internal musical dynamic was changing. The Jack Bruce/Pete Brown partnership supplied four of the album's nine tracks including the monumental "White Room", Cream's other great anthem with its portentous descending chords and driving wah-wah guitar, the biting, stiff funk of "Politician" and the florid escapism of "Deserted Cities Of The Heart".

Jack Bruce
Ginger Baker teamed"up with avant garde jazz musician Mike Taylor for three tracks including the babbling but melodic "Those Were The Days" and "Pressed Rat And Warthog" which is as spaced out as it sounds, Clapton, who'd had four co-writing credits on the previous album, preferred to cover Howlin' Wolf's grinding blues "Sittin On Top Of The World" and Albert King's "Born Under A Bad Sign" (written by the Stax soul team of Booker T Jones and William Bell). However, he did write a winsome ditty with Martin Sharp called "/Anyone For Tennis" which was recorded for the soundtrack of the Savage Seven movie and released as a single in May '68.

To this studio album, Cream added a second album of live tracks recorded in San Francisco in March 1968 called "Live At The Fillmore" (even though three of the four tracks were actually recorded at the Winterland). It included a monstrous 17-minute version of "Spoonful" that defined the term "rock jam", "Toad" a 16-minute drum solo and a 4-minute 14-second exquisite encapsulation of the power and musical dexterity that was Cream at their very very best -"Crossroads". Robert Johnson's stark, eerie masterpiece was given a different but equally compelling intensity.

Eric Clapton
But even as "Sunshine Of Your Love" was giving Cream their first American Top 40 single in February 1968 (it would go on to reach Number 5 in the summer), rumours that the band were planning to split were rife. The sparks that had given Cream their mercurial quality and inspiration were now destroying the group as their increasingly fractured personalities clashed under the suffocating conditions of endless touring.

By the time Wheels Of Fire was released in August 1968, resplendent in another magnificent Martin Sharp design, Cream had effectively ceased to exist as a group except when they were on stage together. That did not prevent the album from being an instant smash hit, however. It topped the album charts in the US for four weeks. In the UK, Wheels Of Fire was released both as a double album and as a single "studio" album and both versions made the Top 10 - at Number 3 and Number 7 respectively.

Clapton, Bruce and Baker had had enough each other, however. Cream were finished, They agreed to a farewell tour, which started in America in October and bowed out in style at London's Royal Albert Hall on 26 November.
Just before their last tour, Cream recorded three tracks at London's IBC Studios including "Badge" which featured George Harrison (credited as "L'Angela Mysterioso" for contractual reasons) on rhythm guitar and Clapton on the trademark bridge riff (or "badge" as he misread it on Harrison's lyric sheet). These tracks, together with three more live tracks, made up the Goodbye album released in March '69, topping the UK charts and reaching Number 2 in the US.

By then, the three members of Cream had moved on - Clapton and Baker into Blind Faith and Bruce into his solo career.

This post is a radio broadcast performance recorded at the "Concert Hall" in Stockholm on Cream's short Scandinavian tour on 7th March, 1967. It established them in Scandanavia.
The 5 songs were later broadcast on Sveriges Radio's "Konsert Med Cream"

This bootleg has been promoted as an "excellent" quality recording. While it is good it does have some problems. Of the three "excellent' quality versions I have heard, all are sped up. The worst ranges from 7-15% over speed.
The performance includes the five songs that would become the closing elements of their extended improvisational sets later in the year.
It is interesting to note that Ginger Baker's name is advertised as 'Peter Baker' on this Swedish billboard poster, and his nickname was probably unknown in European countries at that time.

This post consists of FLACs ripped from a Koine CD (sourced sometime ago from cyberspace) and includes limited artwork. I have also chosen to include artwork from some alternative releases that also include live tracks from other concerts during their 1967 tour, and are readily available on the internet if you search Google.
Track reviews below by Graeme Pattingale

Concert Review
Track Listing
01 - NSU (Bruce) 4.06
Starts with Baker sounding like he's been slowed down but in fact he's marking time while Jack sorts out some hardware problem. EC joins in to fill out time and then jack joins in. Not a significant variation on the 'Klooks' or "Fresh Cream' versions except its harder and the solo starting to adopt the three way jamming elements.
02 - Stepping Out (Bracken) 4.09
A brief performance but shows Eric's continuing growth and increased interaction between all three.
03 - Traintime (Bruce) 5.55
The Graham Bond Organisation piece revived in a reasonably extended performance. Jack and Ginger have been doing this for years and its really a bravura piece for both of them.
04 - Toad (Baker) 6.52
Short and close to the 'Fresh Cream' recording. The later extended versions were criticised as excessive but this lacks the excitement of the musical development of those versions. Baker was not a teller of short stories.
05 - I'm So Glad (James) 4.58
This song was usually the frantic closer of their sets later in the year. This is a proto-rendition ending with the guitar feeding back as Eric leaves it leaning against the stack.

Cream were:
Eric Clapton - Guitar / Vocals 
Jack Bruce - Bass / Vocals 
Ginger Baker - Drums

Cream Swedish Radio Sessions FLACs (181Mb) New Link 02/05/2020