John’s Children

Smashed! Blocked! / John's Children

Listen: Smashed! Blocked! / John’s Children

True story: In the early 80′s, I had a weekly two hour radio show called Import/Export for WCMF, the then mainstream rock station in Rochester, NY. It was tucked away at midnight on Tuesdays, and in today’s market it’d be deemed a specialty show, where all the bands and records that were left of center, or both hip and on the way up, got a weekly spin. It was loads of fun.

When the station decided to leave the building they’d been housed in since the 60′s to a much smaller location, their massive record library needed to be eliminated due to space restrictions. Oddly, instead of inviting the staff to help thin it out (take whatever you want – we’re about to toss it anyways), give it away to a library or charity, or God forbid super serve their listeners with a free for all, they instead chose to rent a dumpster and fill it daily until the massive library was eliminated. Still gives me the shivers.

On that particular Tuesday, I left the station somewhere around 4am, as I’d always stay awhile and visit with Roger McCall, who was my co-host and did the normal overnight shift that followed and a very close friend. I just couldn’t resist having a look into that dumpster. I must tell you, the area and parking lot were a touch daunting anyways. Being in a very quiet part of town, and not the nicest either, I always made a quick dash to the car.

In fact, I vividly remember getting in, starting the engine and just staring at the dumpster heaving with records. The junkie in me came out. But suddenly of equal concern was getting caught. Seriously. There was a security camera affixed to the entrance area allowing the on-air dj’s a look at who rang the bell before buzzing them in. Plus there had been a stern directive that no one was to pilfer through the discarded records.

Nonetheless, I got out of the car, approached the dumpster, opened the heavy lid, and the very top album, I swear on my family’s lives, was ORGASM by John’s Children.

Now if you’re a collector, you are well aware that this is a very, very, very valuable record. In ’67, it was pressed up promotionally, a result of their one and only US single ‘Smashed Blocked’ becoming a regional hit on the west coast, even a Top 10 at KHJ in Los Angeles. As well, on January 14 of that year, it peaked on BILLBOARD’s ‘Bubbling Under The Hot 100′ chart at #102, where it had already spent two weeks:

Needless to say, the album title caused more resistance than it was worth and as the single had stiffed just outside of The Top 100, I’m guessing the label, White Whale, cancelled it’s release. Commercial copies were never manufactured, thus it’s collectibility to this day.

At that moment though, I was purely convinced it was a set up, being as critical and lippy of the station’s shit playlist then as I am of some current US radio song choices now. But fuck it. I wasn’t leaving this one behind.

By the time I arrived home, I was comforted in realizing there wasn’t a person at the station, other than Roger, with a thread of knowledge about a record of this obscure, and hence they’d never have even known to place it top of the heap to frame me. I slept fine.

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