Archive for the ‘The Creation’ Category

Kennedy Express

Sunday, September 2nd, 2012

kennedyexpressuka, Kenny Pickett, Eddie Phillips, The Creation, Kennedy Express

Listen: Is There Life On Earth? / Kennedy Express

I stumbled on Kennedy Express in some London collectors shop, I think it was 50p. How could the staff not have noticed both the writers and producers were Kenny Pickett and Eddie Phillips of The Creation? Aren’t you paid to know these things?

Better yet, how did I not know The Creation were essentially recording under another name? Bigger fuck up.

Okay, so ‘Is There Life On Earth?’ was released in 1980, when the band were traveling the has-been patch before legend. Not sure if The Creation were ever really has-beens though. Never mind, the discovery was the shop’s loss and my gain.

It was pretty 80′s sounding stuff but the Phillips/Pickett hooks were still obvious. This was around the time when ‘Teacher Teacher’, a song they’d written for Rockpile, became a worldwide hit. Proof there is a God.

Presumably Don Arden, who owned Jet, decided to give the guys a release. Clearly he continued to be an investor, given some seven years later, when Eddie Phillips reformed The Creation, he released ‘A Spirit Called Love’, also on Jet. That was during a brief period when both Mick Avory and John Dalton from The Kinks made up the band’s rhythm section.

Considered disposable pop by those in the know apparently. ‘Is There Life On Earth?’ doesn’t even appear in the RECORD COLLECTOR PRICE GUIDE. Possibly only for we hardcore Creation specialists. I can live with that too.

Again, their loss, my gain.

The Creation

Wednesday, April 25th, 2012

How Does It Feel To Feel / The Creation

Listen: How Does It Feel To Feel / The Creation

The Creation, undisputed masters of British psychedelia. Eddie Phillips is as stellar a guitarist as he is a songwriter. He wrote, or at least co-wrote, most, if not all of their original material. Plus he was the first to use a violin bow on the instrument, combining his mastery of feedback with scraping, screeching chaos to ultimate effect. Jimmy Page later brought the technique mainstream on ‘Whole Lotta Love’, but fairly, has always credited Eddie Phillips for the idea. It’s also widely documented that indeed he asked him to join Led Zeppelin as second guitarist.

They recorded two versions of ‘How Does It Feel To Feel’ in summer ’67. Oddly, this one specifically for the US market, apparently deeming the violin bowed manic version more suitable to American programmer. Huh? Nonetheless, it’s a super version and top single to own and cherish, which I do.

In ’01, The Creation finally made it to America, playing The Warsaw Theater here in New York. I had injured my leg, it was a very cold November night, none of my friends wanted to attend, so I struggled along alone. The pain vanished when the musty maroon curtain lifted and there were The Creation, looking weirdly not a day older than those pictures from back when, sharp haircuts, great colored shirts and pants, but not dressed too young for their age. Sorta like if today’s Paul Weller would tone his image down a bit. Huge Union Jack backdrop. Sounding so powerful, my jaw dropped. Everyone’s did.

Bob Garner, original bassist and then sometimes singer, now permanantly on lead vocal, executing the red and purple spray paint free form psychedelic graffiti routine during the closing song ‘Painter Man’. Truly worth the 34 year wait.

Afterwards, I did my jukebox tab signing routine, Eddie and Bob both filling one out (see below). Flattered, appreciative, friendly, talkative, great, great guys.

Little Steven brought them back a few years later for his Randall’s Island Festival. Still powerful. Still one of a kind.

Above: Jukebox Tabs signed by The Creation. Eddie Phillips (left), Bob Garner (right)

Tintern Abbey

Tuesday, October 4th, 2011

Beeside / Tintern Abbey

Listen: Beeside / Tintern Abbey

Many years back, in the late 80′s, a friend John Stainze had stumbled on a bunch of Deram singles. I seem to recall them being from a UK Mom & Pop record shop or something. He called asking if I wanted him to pick any up, running a bunch of titles past me. They were around $5 each so I said yes to a few including The 23rd Turnoff record.

Amongst their stock was the sole release by Tintern Abbey, ‘Beeside’, of which they had five copies. I took them all, even though they were $20 a piece back then. When the box arrived, I was bragging to Corinne that I’d gotten five copies of this, and she berated me for wasting even money on more useless records, not to mention multiple copies. One recently sold for $1135 on eBay. She remains unimpressed. Now I just need to unearth the remaining four somewhere in the black hole of extras.

The record is often sighted as classic British psych, to these ears not unlike Love in parts. It’s truly up there with The Smoke, Tomorrow and The Pretty Things ‘Defecting Grey’. But that’s just one useless opinion.

Vacuum Cleaner / Tintern Abbey

Listen: Vacuum Cleaner / Tintern Abbey

Both sides of the record are often compiled on psyche compilations, and it seems many have confused ‘Vacuum Cleaner’ as being the A side, given ‘Beeside’ sounding like a clever play on words I’m guessing.

Not sounding unlike a Shel Talmy production, I suppose in a pinch, it could pass for The Creation.

For the record, drummer John Dalton is not the same John Dalton who played bass with The Kinks for centuries.

New York Dolls

Saturday, March 20th, 2010

NYDollsMystery, New York Dolls, Mercury, Shadow Morton

Listen: Who Are The Mystery Girls? / New York Dolls NYDollsMystery.mp3

It shouldn’t have been possible – that being when The Dolls reformed a few years back, they’d be any good. Let’s face it, only two of them were left by the time the reunion gained any momentum, and the whole point in ’74 was being young and outrageous. But surprise surprise, I saw them at Randells’ Island with a slew of bands (Iggy & The Stooges, The Strokes, The Pretty Things, The Electric Prunes, Bo Diddley, The Creation) all presented in a one day festival setting by Little Steven, and they tore it up.

Seriously, David Johansen, so thin he made an Olympic runner look heavy, but with absolutely no muscle tone, a skirt type pant combination, pearls, red nails and long hair not unlike Harry Dunn out of The Hullaballoos. What more could you ask for? Now, just as in ’74, when they were sandwiched between Mott The Hoople and 3rd on the bill, Aerosmith, opening the show with ‘Who Are The Mystery Girls?’ nearly caused a riot – it was so powerful. On that day, August 14, 2004, The New York Dolls unquestionably put on one of the best live shows I’d ever seen.

Boney M

Sunday, February 28th, 2010

BoneyMRivers, Boney M, Atlantic, Sire

Listen: Rivers Of Babylon / Boney M BoneyMRiver.mp3

BoneyMBrown Boney M, Atlantic, Sire

Listen: Brown Girl In The Ring / Boney M BoneyMBrownGirl.mp3

If ever there was a double sider, this one qualifies. Probably by accident, Boney M’s massive worldwide success, their cover of The Melodians’ Jamaican hit ‘Rivers Of Babylon’ was coupled with ‘Brown Girl In The Ring’. Who knew? The A side was such a smash in the UK (#1) that even the flip took hold, got played and charted on it’s own right (also #1). It was a time when Boney M could do no wrong, German accents and all, one of many consistent ‘phenomenas’ in England. When they get themselves worked up, they really get themselves worked up.

Boney M was everywhere – and seemingly all walks of musical taste liked them. I know I did.

BoneyMRasputin Boney M, Atlantic, Sire
BoneyMRasputinUSA Boney M, Atlantic, Sire

Rasputin /Boney M BoneyMRasputin.mp3

Their NIGHTFLIGHT TO VENUS album contained both ‘Rivers Of Babylon’ and ‘Brown Girl In The Ring’ as well a bunch of other classics: the title track, a version of The Creation’s ‘Painter Man’, ‘He Was A Steppenwolf’ and ‘Rasputin’ (which became the followup reaching #2). One of those huge selling albums, like we don’t really have much anymore, the ‘Painter Man’ track became a single, charting at #10, a whole year after the double A whammy peaked.

BoneyMPainter, Boney M, The Creation, Atlantic

Painter Man /Boney M BoneyMPainter.mp3

Somewhere in that team, good taste prevailed. Not only did they cover The Creation, they had a go at The Smoke’s ‘My Friend Jack’, Bobby Hebb’s ‘Sunny’, The Yardbirds’ ‘Still I’m Sad’ as well as Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick & Tich’s ‘Zabadak’.


Wednesday, September 16th, 2009

rockpileteacherusa, The Creation, Rockpile, Dave Edmunds, Dave Edmunds' Rockpile, Columbia, Nick Lowe
rockpileteacherukps, The Creation, Rockpile, Dave Edmunds, Dave Edmunds' Rockpile, Columbia, Nick Lowe" title="rockpileteacherusa, The Creation, Rockpile, Dave Edmunds, Dave Edmunds' Rockpile, Columbia, Nick Lowe

Listen: Teacher Teacher / Rockpile RockpileTeacher.mp3

A hybrid version of Dave Edmunds’ Rockpile from 1970. Actually, Dave Edmunds had just broken up Love Sculpture and John Williams, that band’s bassist, came along to play on his solo album, which was preceded by, and also included, the single ‘I Hear You Knocking’. That single in the UK credits the artist as Dave Edmunds’ Rockpile, yet in the US, as with the UK and US album, it’s simply credited to Dave Edmunds. Add to that, Terry Williams (no relation to John) plays drums on the aforementioned recordings.

Ten years later, Terry is still playing with Dave and now, Nick Lowe is as well; and their band is called Rockpile. Confused? Then re-read the above.

Well this was probably their biggest hit, and despite the proven pop songwriting talents of both Nick Lowe and Dave Edmunds, ‘Teacher Teacher’ was actually written by Eddie Phillips and Kenny Pickett, flawless higher forms of life behind The Creation, as both members and songwriters. Glad to know they earned some money in the end. They sure could write a tune.

Kaiser Chiefs

Tuesday, September 15th, 2009

kaiserruby, Kaiser Chiefs, Overseer, The Herd, The Creation, Andy Bown
kaiserrubyback,       Kaiser Chiefs, Overseer, The Herd, The Creation, Andy Bown

Listen: Ruby / Kaiser Chiefs KaiserChiefsRuby.mp3

One of the best UK singles from this millennium, no lie. The background vocals are lifted, or influenced, beautifully from The Creation. Whether by design or simply by growing up hearing all but formula AOR music on the radio – it doesn’t matter. Great call.

I picture it here, even though I despise colored vinyl. I mean, seriously, I really hate it. Add to that, a sticker on the outside plastic sleeve (above top) affixed crooked. Makes my skin crawl. Records should be as God made them, black. But if it’s the only way to get a 7″ of ‘Ruby’, I will adjust. There’s always Lexapro.

Drummer Nick had the best haircut in rock, identical to Andy Bown’s of The Herd until this recent US tour. Not to worry, it should grow back fine. Turns out we know each other from years ago, when I signed Overseer to Columbia. Nick worked at the studio in Leeds where the album was made, and shared a house with Rob Overseer as well. Small world.

And I must say, nicer guys you won’t meet.

The Smoke

Saturday, April 18th, 2009

My Friend Jack (Unreleased Version) / The Smoke

Listen: My Friend Jack (Unreleased Version) / The Smoke SmokeJackUnreleased.mp3

My Friend Jack / The Smoke

Listen: My Friend Jack / The Smoke SmokeJack.mp3

High In A Room / The Smoke

Listen: High In A Room / The Smoke SmokeHigh.mp3

Have Some More Tea / The Smoke

Listen: Have Some More Tea / The Smoke SmokeTea.mp3

Dreams Of Dreams / The Smoke

Listen: Dreams Of Dreams / The Smoke SmokeDream.mp3

Ride Ride Ride (Dick Turpin)/ The Smoke

Listen: Ride Ride Ride (Dick Turpin)/ The Smoke SmokeRide.mp3

Sugar Man/ The Smoke

Listen: Sugar Man/ The Smoke SmokeSugarMan.mp3

A good band that sticks to their sound isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Even when the world evolves, sometimes staying in your little place can be good, as long as you actually had something decent to begin with. Obviously, it’s how I feel about The Smoke. Now I hadn’t discovered them when they were current, I guess they didn’t quite get enough press attention, I missed out until a year or two later. And upon hearing ‘My Friend Jack’, I filed it right up there with The Creation. That guitar effect, in fact, sounded very Eddie Phillips to me. Still, it took ages to find all their singles. The 60′s releases were hard enough, being non sellers. And the 70′s singles, selling even less, were a real challenge. Thank God for the many trips I made to the UK on some label’s dime, because I’d have never found them otherwise.

Years later, I stumbled on some hardcore info – the original version of ‘My Friend Jack’ was recorded and made it’s way to acetates, but not issued due to explicitly drug obvious lyrics. The version that did come out being apparently toned down. On a trip to the UK, Howard returned with just that acetate, one of many gems he’d gotten off his uncle, a former Decca Records UK promotion guy. He just handed it over – a serious ass present. There aren’t many like Howard.

Chris Blackwell’s country house in Theale had an amazing dj equipped/record library in the loft overlooking his recreation room – with pool tables and the works down below. I always made my way straight up there at gatherings for the company. He invited Corinne and I to stay a long weekend, and drove us down from London late one Friday night. An always generous host, we had the run of the place. He said graciously, if I found any doubles in the loft, to help myself. This was a dream come true – and despite being tempted to pocket a few on a first visit – it proves honesty is the best policy, or good things come to those that wait…..whatever. He let me take whatever I wanted. Lo and behold, he had an extra of the one and only Island single by The Smoke. This was ’89, by which time I’d still never even seen a copy, not to mention in unplayed condition. Worth the wait. Thank you Chris.

Imagine my shock when finding ‘Dreams Of Dreams’ at the Notting Hill Gate Record & Tape Exchange, in it’s Revolution Records company sleeve, which until that moment, I hadn’t realized even existed. I guess the Revolution Records team expected big success for the imprint, thereby manufacturing stock sleeves. Mind you, the single was in the glass encased upstairs high end section but well worth the lofty price (around 75 GBP). Nice one.

By 1971, The Smoke had stubbornly, and wonderfully, not changed their sound much. As with all bands that began in the mid 60′s, they occasionally let their love of Motown show, as on ‘Ride Ride Ride’. Later still, despite the glam audio techniques poured all over ‘Sugar Man’, their one of a kind, signature sound could not be stifled, thankfully.

Tim Rose / The Jimi Hendrix Experience / The Creation

Saturday, December 13th, 2008

Hey Joe (You Shot Your Woman Down) / Tim Rose

Listen: Hey Joe (You Shot Your Woman Down) / Tim Rose 01 Hey Joe (You Shot Your Woman Down).mp3

According to some, it’s this Tim Rose arrangement and slow version of ‘Hey Joe’ that manager Chas Chandler brought to his band, The Jimi Hendrix Experience, as a template for their recording.

I played Tim’s version recently, and thought I’d do some research. By the way, the fast, jangled, garage band version popularized by The Leaves is not part of this discussion.

Listen: Hey Joe / The Creation 20 Hey Joe.mp3

Tim Rose, Hendrix and The Creation all did the slow, haunting one, full of mystery. In my research travels, I read that Chas and Jimi may have, in fact, gotten their idea from The Creation, who were playing this arrangement of ‘Hey Joe’ in London clubs late ’66, exactly when Hendrix and Chandler entered the studio to record that first single. Although The Creation never released a 7″ of ‘Hey Joe’, it was an album track, which I’ve posted.

Hey Joe (Single Mono Mix) / The Jimi Hendrix Experience

Hey Joe (Single Mono Mix) / The Jimi Hendrix Experience

Listen: Hey Joe (Single Mono Mix) / The Jimi Hendrix Experience 01 Hey Joe.mp3

Also for reference, I’ve posted the original mono single mix from The Jimi Hendrix Experience above. This version is the one you know, but that mono mix is magic. Even though this original copy has been played hundreds of times, the record still sounds larger than life.

WOLF6_4_66, WOLF, Dee Jay & The Runaways, Clefs Of Lavender Hill

My introduction to ‘Hey Joe’ was indeed via the Tim Rose rendition. Interestingly, the songwriting is credited differently on all three labels above (click to enlarge). Somehow, this was a hit on my hometown station, WOLF (see chart). Check my past posts for a look at what great music this station played. I hate to say they may have been one of the last great US radio stations. Scary.

The story of ‘Hey Joe’ is full of twists and turns, and now with so many participants deceased, one of great myth.

Read about it:


Monday, July 7th, 2008

Free Me / Cast

Listen: Free Me / Cast

I hadn’t realized Cast scored eight UK Top Ten’s between ’96 – ’99, and more chart success into ’01. I always thought this to be a pretty under appreciated record, but indeed it reached #7. Very good. Well deserved.

I suppose it’s a bit too early in their curve to hear the press singing praises just yet, but then again I don’t read most of it, well any of it to be precise, so they might be. Except RECORD COLLECTOR and MOJO, but haven’t spotted a Cast mention in ages. John Power was the guitarist for The La’s, and it’s all politically correct to like them so…

I’ve been very lucky, ever since Howard gave me that Elektra job, I’ve gotten to visit the UK many, many times. Always liked hearing Cast on the radio there, it just was a natural soundtrack. But I’ll never forget when this came on one morning. You know those moments when a song is an everlasting imprint of a time and place on the brain? I remember that moment, right down to the weather, what I’d just eaten for breakfast and the hotel room I was in while listening to Radio 1′s Breakfast Show, readying myself for work. It sounded modern and perfectly ’60′s at the same time. I had to have the record that day. I immediately called my pal, Jim Lahat, at BBC London and asked if he had a copy. Bless him, he always made sure I got everything, still does. He said, don’t worry, it’s in your pile, adding ‘why do you want it anyways?’. He’s a riot like that. We were seeing each other later at our usual haunt, EAT & 2 VEG, which, by the way, a is killer vegetarian joint just down Marylebone High Street from his office. And Jim outdid himself, getting his Polydor guy to bike over one of the promo-only vinyl pressings they’d done as a surprise. Jim has a heart of gold this way, always doing generous things for friends.

So ‘Free Me’ has great memories attached to it. Despite endless plays, I still can’t put my finger on exactly who this reminds me of, let’s say The Who and The Creation for sure. Anyways, it’s a classic.

Bo Diddley

Monday, June 2nd, 2008

Crawdad / Bo Diddley

Bo Diddley jukebox tab

Listen: Crawdad / Bo Diddley 01 Crawdad.mp3

I starting collecting artist-signed jukebox tabs when I got my 1st Seeburg. It was an aqua/lavender/chrome 1956 model that held 100 singles, with the records housed in a circular carousel that spun around until the desired choice was located, then an arm would reach for the single and put it onto the spinning platter. The tonearm would proceed to lift & set on to the vinyl, and away we’d go. There’s a youtube video of my actual box playing The Rolling Stones ‘Heart Of Stone’ posted by 25 Million, a good friend of mine. Seek it out to see what I mean. So I got this idea back then, around 1986, to carry blank jukebox tabs with me at all times (which I still do) and get artists to fill them out for a record of my choice that they were on, if and when I’d run into them. It was the start of me collecting autographs I guess. So now I have hundreds. So many amazing ones too: Nina Simone, Screamin’ Jay Hawkins, The Creation, Ike Turner, The Move, The Cramps, Love, Ellie Greenwich, Sparks, The Ronettes even Pinkerton’s Assorted Colours. Honestly, loads. A few summers ago I went to see Bo Diddley and was lucky enough to have a word with him. He was just a sweetheart, happily answering questions that would turn into amazing stories. It was at a festival so he was just sitting around. Frail in ways even then, I wasn’t confident I should ask him to do the tab, but finally felt comfortable and did. He was so great about it, saying he wanted to do it, but would it be ok to just fill in his name, as he had a tremble when he wrote. Well sure – no problem. Thankfully, I have this to treasure forever.