Monday, April 01, 2024

Susan Christie - Paint a Lady (Very Rare UK Folkrock 1969)

Size: 60.4 MB
Bitrate: 256
Ripped By: ChrisGoesRock
Artwork Included

How rare can a rare record be? - medium rare? uncooked? how about unreleased? 

Susan Christie was a Philly based sophomore folk singer who had one novelty hit for a major label and never quite recovered - Afterwards, her psychedelic take on country standards and hand crafted tales of inner-city solitude backed by a break heavy folk-funk rhythm section was never accepted as a commercial viabilty by record company big-wigs - They obviously couldn't quite muster their nostradamus sensibilities to forsee what future hiphop producers and DJ's would be feeding into digital music-machines 30 years down the line! 

Luckily three -fifths of a handful (literally three!) privately pressed vanity copies were manufactured in early 1970 one of which became the source material for Finders Keepers 6th LP in their expanding library of obscure, obtuse, obsolete and obsessive vintage music from the 60's and 70's. Uber legend John Hill who penned the acid-rock floor-filler 'LOVE,LOVE,LOVE,LOVE,LOVE,' for 'Wool' and 'Pacific Gas And Electric' produced the LP which features 9 tracks including a Johnny Cash cover and a 12 minute 'drugsploitation' epic called 'Yesterday - Where's My Mind' featuring Susan flipping vocal styles between Janis Joplin and Margo Guryan (...who was in fact a close friend of Susans at the time of recording).

30 years ago, a Philly based folk singer named Susan Christie was dropped by her record company. After one novelty song, the label bosses didn’t think her melancholy take on country and solitude would ever be of any interest. Five copies of her album were pressed and faded into obscurity. Skip forward to present time, and a small label, ‘Finders Keepers’ salvages three out of these five copies and decides to release it.

Susan Christie’s album is a beautiful piece of despondent tales and folky psychedelia. The fascinating thing is that it sounds very current. The title track is reminiscent of Portishead , while other songs incorporate break heavy folk-funk, current DJ’s would die for.

Don’t get me wrong, it is an obscure 70’s folk record at its heart, but highly worth listening to today.

01. Rainy Day 
02. Paint A Lady 
03. For The Love Of A Soldier
04. Ghost Riders In The Sky 
05. Yesterday, Where's My Mind? 
06. Echo In Your Mind 
07. When Love Comes 
08. No One Can Hear You Cry 

1. Susan
2. Susan
3. Susan

A Fleeting Glance - Selftitled (Prog & Acid Rock UK 1970)

Size: 94.9 MB
Bitrate: 320
Found in OuterSpace
Some Artwork Included

One of the most astonishing British private pressing rarities, only two copies have resurfaced of this 1970 concept album. Telling the story of a woman’s life from her own conception to giving birth, the LP was put together by a variety of musicians and bands at a social club, and allegedly includes an uncredited appearance by Billy Fury. 

Linked by narration and sound effects, the music runs the gamut from heavy space-rock jamming (including a snatch of ‘Interstellar Overdrive’) to folk/rock (an acoustic cover of ‘Light My Fire’ and a stunning version of ‘Watch The Stars’), avant-garde choirs, krautrock-styled interludes and even trad jazz. 

The result is among the trippiest albums I have ever heard, comparable only to Jumble Lane in terms of eccentricity, although the music is infinitely better, with a strong Pink Floyd spacy edge. Indeed, had Syd Barrett remained with Pink Floyd, one could well imagine The Dark Side Of The Moon might have sounded thus. 

01. Theme Of The Beginning — 5:26
02. Light My Fire — 4:55
03. Rosetta — 1:56
04. Fly To The Moon — 8:43
05. Watch The Stars — 5:42
06. Tiger Rag — 3:18
07. Symphony Of Love / Finale — 11:18


Friday, February 16, 2024

Clifford T. Ward - Singer, Songwriter (Folk-Rock UK 1972)

Size: 103 MB
Bitrate: 256
Ripped by: ChrisGoesRock
Artwork Included
Source: japan 24-Bit Remaster

Clifford Thomas Ward (10 February 1944, — 18 December 2001) was a popular English singer-songwriter, best known for his career as a solo artist.

Born in Stourport-on-Severn, Worcestershire, Ward was one of five children, having one sister and three brothers. He was educated at Stourport Secondary Modern School, and there he met his wife, Pat, when she was 13 years old, and he 14. At school he spent some time as a choir boy. Ward and Pat married when he was 17 and she 16, after Pat became pregnant with the first of their four children: Debbie, Martin, Sam and Polly.

In 1962, shortly after leaving school, Ward formed a beat band 'Cliff Ward and The Cruisers'. The band was popular in Birmingham and also in demand at American Army bases in France. It was during this time abroad that Ward wrote "Home Thoughts From Abroad" (a song that would later appear on his second solo album and also as the B-side of "Gaye"). In the mid 1960s and after several member changes, the group was re-named 'Martin Raynor and The Secrets' with Ward in the role of the elusive Raynor. The fictitious name was soon dropped and the band continued on as 'The Secrets', and went on to tour around Britain and France, achieving moderate success. Along the way, six singles were recorded by the group (ten of the songs penned by Ward himself), though these made little impact.

In 1968, following the demise of The Secrets, Ward decided he needed to get a 'real job', and so spent the following three years at a teacher training college, ultimately finding employment at nearby North Bromsgrove High School, teaching English and drama. One of his pupils was the future wife of Sting, Trudie Styler. The children heard singing on Ward's early albums were from North Bromsgrove High School. In his spare time, he continued songwriting and recorded his first solo album Singer Songwriter.

His first album, Singer Songwriter, was released in 1972 on Dandelion Records (a label formed by the late disc jockey John Peel) just before it went into liquidation. As a result, the album received little media coverage and went largely unnoticed. Signing a new recording contract with Charisma Records, Ward went on to have a hit with the single "Gaye". It sold over a million copies worldwide and reached number 8 in the UK Singles Chart in June 1973.

In July 1973, following the success of "Gaye", Ward's second album Home Thoughts achieved healthy sales and reached number 40 in the UK Albums Chart. At this point, wanting to concentrate on music full time, he gave up the teaching profession. He made a rare public appearance in August, performing "Gaye" on Top of the Pops. In January 1974 Ward entered the singles chart again at number 37 with "Scullery", a track from his third album Mantle Pieces.

Subsequent singles, notably "No More Rock'n'Roll", "Jigsaw Girl", "Ocean of Love" and "I Got Lost Tonight" (written by the U.S. singer-songwriter Tim Moore, one of the very rare occasions when he recorded outside material) were loved by BBC Radio presenters and programmers but Ward never made it into the UK charts again. It was said that he would have had more commercial success were it not for his dislike of touring, public appearances, interviews and photo shoots. 

"The Best Is Yet To Come", from the album Both of Us, enjoyed success when covered by Justin Hayward, and his songs were also recorded by Cliff Richard, Jack Jones, Art Garfunkel, and Judy Collins. He was compared to Paul McCartney by reviewers and his songs have strong melodies and concise, original lyrics.

In 1984 Ward was diagnosed as having multiple sclerosis. He continued to record and write songs while living at home, cared for by his wife Pat.

In 1994, Ward was interviewed by local paper, the Wolverhampton Express & Star. He told reporter Aidan Goldstraw: "I have not and will not come to terms with this illness. There are times - usually quite late at night - when I'm almost normal again. But unless they find a cure for this dreadful MS, then I don't see a future".

Also then, he recorded his eleventh and what would be his last new album, Julia And Other New Stories, crawling on all fours into his home-based recording studio to finish it. At around the same time, a stage musical, Shattered World, was produced as a tribute to him, based on his life and his battle against MS. Half of the songs were Ward's own, and half were numbers written by others about him.

In the early winter of 2001, he fell ill from pneumonia and entered a Kidderminster hospital. He died there a few weeks later, on 18 December.

01. Coathanger
02. Sam
03. Leader
04. A Dream
05. Anticipation
06. Rayne
07. The Session Singer
08. Carrie
09. God Help Me
10. The Cause Is Good
11. Sympathy
12. Circus Girl
13. You Knock When You Should Come In
14. Sidetrack

1. Ward
2. Ward
3. Ward

Chris Rohmann - The Man i Am Today (Rare Folk UK 1973)

Size: 85.1 MB
Bitrate: 256
Ripped by: ChrisGoesRock
Artwork Included
Source: 24-Bit Remaster

Who is this artist (?)

Sorry, but i have no info about this artist. Anyone who can help me (?)

01.  The Chair Song    
02.  Biography    
03.  Roll Your Dreams On    
04.  What Would It Be Like    
05.  I Don't Know What To Say    
06.  Riot ( Are You Afraid)    
07.  The Man I Am Today    
08.  The Lion And The Deer    
09.  I Must Fly    
10.  Song Of The Farmer    
11.  Sing    
12.  Happy Birthday  

1. Chris
2. Chris
3. Chris

Steve Cropper, Albert King - Jammed Together (Superb Blues US 1969)

Size: 91.8 MB
Bitrate: 256
Ripped by: ChrisGoesRock
Artwork Included
Source: Japan 24-Bit Remaster

One thing is certain...when these guys said "Jammed Together", they MEANT it; what an awesome album this is! Here we have two of the blues' elder statesmen (Pop Staples & Albert King), and the young "whippersnapper" (Steve Cropper) all assembled in one place, and the results are fantastic; there's no doubt that the three of them had a great time making this album! 

"Jammed Together" isn't an album of self-indulgent guitar solos and noodling to satisfy egos; the title tells you all you need to know: this is all meat, no filler, folks. Because each of the three guitarists have very distinctive playing styles and tones, you can literally pick them out as you listen to it. 

A great example of this can be heard on the rocking instrumental "Big Bird", where Cropper, King and Staples each occupy the left, middle and right stereo channels respectively, but the stereo separation didn't really need to be done so you'll know who is who; as I said, you'll literally be able to identify them with each solo turn. 

In addition to the fabulous guitar playing, all three take turns on vocals as well; King leads off with the Ray Charles classic "What I'd Say", Cropper turns in a rare vocal on "Don't Turn Your Heater Down", and Staples on the positively spine-tingling "Tupelo", where his soulful vocals and trademark tremelo-effected guitar give the track a swampy, ominous feel and mood. It's very obvious that this song influenced John Fogerty of Creedence Clearwater Revival, as evidenced by the CCR tracks "The Midnight Special" & "Born On The Bayou" alone. 

Released on the Stax label in early 1969, "Jammed Together" is a genuine blues/soul classic; get it now! 

01. What'd I Say 5:28 
02. Tupelo 6:00 
03. Opus De Soul 5:30 
04. Baby, What You Want Me To Do 3:30 
05. Big Bird 3:13 
06. Homer's Theme 2:11 
07. Trashy Dog 3:00 
08. Don't Turn Your Heater Down 3:15 
09. Water 3:06 
10. Knock On Wood 5:02 


Sunday, January 28, 2024

F.J. McMahon - Spirit of The Golden Juice (Psychedelic Folk US 1969)

Size: 57.6 MB
Bitrate: 256
Ripped by: ChrisGoesRock
Artwork Included

Hypnotic folk-rock introits from California Vietnam vet.

Grew up in Santa Barbara, California. He played in several “surf/instrumental” bands through junior and senior high school. Upon graduating Santa Barbara High School in 1964, he enlisted in the Air Force.

While stationed at Hamilton Air Force Base just north of San Francisco, he had the opportunity to play a few small clubs and get involved with some of the music scene that was happening in that area between 1965 and 1967.  In 1967 he received orders to South East Asia.  This involved travel and temporary duty in Vietnam, the  Philippines and  Thailand.

After being discharged F.J. returned to Santa Barbara to play and write what would be his only album: Spirit of the Golden Juice.  The album was released in 1969. This was followed by two years of hitting the road and playing anyplace that he could.  He then played in a succession of bar bands culminating with a move to Hawaii and one more year of gigging bars and hotels.  

With disco on the way in and glitter glam the current flavor of the month, F.J. decided to quit the music business and get a day job. 

So he went to work for the Atomic Energy Commission as a Security Enforcement Officer on a place called Johnston Atoll.  Upon his return to California he met the lady of his life Diane Milano, got married and had two daughters Danielle and Niki.  Mixed in with all this was four years in the Navy where he became an avionics technician and served on the USS Ranger.  F.J. has spent the last twenty five years as a computer repair and operations specialist.

Fred McMahon must have called me at MOJO one day but I have no recollection of it. All I know is that, back in 2004 I received a CD burn of this album in the post. Given I’d forgotten he’d even called my natural next response would have been to stick the CD straight in the listen-to-later box, and get on with something far less important. But written on a post-it note stuck to the back of the CD case were the words “Sorry it took so long” and a signature that looked a lot like “F.J. Mc”. Then there was that cover - an oval Victorian picture frame containing the image of a perplexed, apprehensive young man, standing next to a pot plant, looking like he’d was posing for some 19th Century photographer, before going off to fight in the American Civil War. 

Then there was that album title, Spirit Of The Golden Juice, suggesting something mystical yet seedy, transcendental but intoxicating. It needed to be played. Well, Spirit of The Golden Juice doesn’t come upon you like a great album. It neither pounces nor creeps but is just there, like you’ve walked in on the middle of it and it’s always been playing. The opening track, Sister, Brother “begins” with a short military drum paradiddle before guitar and drums flop into a lazy, seemingly eternal time-keeping groove, interspersed with lonesome twangs of Gibson echo as McMahon sings “Sister, brother/come and hold my hand/don’t let me walk away/help me stand.” McMahon’s voice is something else: nervous, beaten, wary, possessing some of Fred Neil or Tim Hardin’s folk presaging but without their junkie meanness or arrogance. 

If Spirit has a weakness it’s also its strength: every song sounds the same, keeping to the same lazy rhythm and possessing the same delicate, mournful melodic drift, with only the lyrics changing. But it’s in those lyrics that you get to the heart of the album. On one track he is a drifter who “forgot the way back home”; on another, a man back from a five-year sentence who doesn’t understand how the world works. “I never knew what they meant by duty,” he sings on Five Year Kansas Blues, while on the beautifully sad Early Blue we find him cowering in his room during daylight “I try to hide from people…” Turns out that McMahon was a Santa Barbara surf guitarist who joined the USAF in 1965, receiving orders for a tour of duty of Vietnam two years later. The darkness at the heart of Spirit Of The Golden Juice is combat fatigue, PTSD.

“I know I’ve lost a good part of my life,” he sings on the reverberant, premonitory title track, “But I’d do it again / As will most men / Keep on ’til I die.” And what is The Spirit Of The Golden Juice? “That song is about my experiences in Viet Nam, Thailand and the PI,” he tells, “The ‘golden juice’ is I. W. Harper bourbon which was the fuel of the times.” Fred McMahon currently works in computer repairs. If you go to his website and drop him a line he’ll burn you a copy of his album for $19.95, including postage and packing. [Mojo Magazine]

01. Sister Brother 4:05 
02. The Road Back Home 3:12 
03. Early Blue 3:02 
04. Black Night Woman 3:22 
05. One Alone Together 2:57 
06. Five Year Kansas Blues 2:44 
07. Enough It Is Done 2:35 
08. The Learned Man 2:37 
09. The Spirit of the Golden Juice 3:33 

1. F.J.
2. F.J.
3. F.J.

There are some tricks to open the image to 100%
You can try it yourself, Example, click on the picture, then open 
picture in a new window etc.

Wildfire - Smokin´ (Superb Fuzzed Hardrock US 1970)

Size: 76.3 MB
Bitrate: 256
Ripped By: ChrisGoesRock
Artwork Included

From Laguna Beach, California, Love and Jameson had previously been members of Phil Pearlman's band that recorded the rare surf 45 as Phil and The Flakes. 

The Band
It began and begins again in California.  Donny approached Randy and asked him to be in a band he was putting together.  Randy agreed, although he wasn’t certain about the bass player or the singer.  The name for the band came about one night when the bass player’s younger brother, a child at the time, said, “Well, what about Wildfire?”  Everyone laughed at first, because the suggestion came from a “little kid,” but then the laughter stopped and someone said, “Hey, that’s a really good name.” 

One night Randy and Donny were playing in a band at an underground club in Huntington Beach.  Danny walked in as part of the audience, accompanied by 2 chicks.  At the break Danny said, “I like the way you play, can I jam with you guys?”  The Sixties, the time of free love, of free music.  Walk into a club today and ask the band if you could jam with them.  Right! 

Randy asked Danny what he played, and Danny replied, “bass, keyboards and vocals.”  Randy thought that if this guy is any good, he could replace his bass player AND the singer.  After the break, Danny got on stage with Randy and Donny and after Danny’s first note, history was in the making!

Quilter Amplifiers
Shortly before Randy met Danny, he was working with a bass player named Mike Castevens.  Mike rode an old Indian motorcycle and was working at this guy Pat Quilter’s formative guitar-amp shop.   

Randy was using a Fender Single Showman at the time and he was constantly blowing it up trying to play Jimi Hendrix licks. He really needed the Dual Showman version, but you couldn’t just add another speaker to the existing cabinet, the output transformer was set to drive only one.  Randy’s father passed by Fender Musical Instruments in Fullerton each day on his way to work, and he would take in the amp every other day or so to get a new speaker. After about five warranty replacement speakers (expensive JBL D130F’s) he was basically advised that he was expecting too much from the amp. What to do? 

Mike introduced Randy to Pat Quilter, saying “this guy is an electrical genius, he can build you whatever you want.” Pat’s first idea was to replace the single 15 with a set of four 12-inch speakers wired for the same impedance. These were the heaviest-duty speakers available from a local electronics store. They held up for a little while but eventually fried as well. However, Randy thought this was progress at least, and remained interested in what would happen next at “Da Shoppe”. The group Randy and Mike played in broke up, so equipment plans were put on hold, but when Danny joined the band, Randy realized that Pat Quilter was what Wildfire needed. 

Mike Castevens, who played bass with Pat Quilter’s younger brother in their high school band “The Blown Mind”, had commissioned the first Quilter amp with the inspiring nameplate “A Quilter Sound Thing.”  It was a 100 watt amp that sold for $250.  Pat remembers that he had to do everything over twice before it worked, and that he made about 3 cents an hour after all was done! 

“Flushed with success,” according to Pat, he went into business in 1968 and quickly connected with several local bands in Southern California, including Wildfire. A great part of the dominance of the Wildfire sound was due to the next-generation Quilter amplifiers they used.  Randy got an early prototype of the “Model 500” which had 200 watts, but only 3 main control knobs – volume, treble and bass.  Pat squeezed in a little mid-range knob to add “contour” and give the sound more overdrive, but Randy didn’t consider that one of the main controls.   

Having learned not to skimp on speakers, the Model 500 came with a single tall cabinet holding no less than six Altec 417C guitar speakers – a truly cosmic experience! There are a few 455 and 500 heads in the Quilter museum, but no original Quilter speaker bottoms have surfaced – no doubt they were eventually recycled as closets or storage units.   

The earliest Model 500 amplifiers were plenty loud, but there were some bugs in the design.  For some reason, about 25% of them would “just blow!”  If they made it through a few gigs, they were usually good for life.  They were the loudest thing available, even compared to a Marshall stack at the time.  Danny played through a newer, cleaned-up Model 455 with a 2 x 1 Altec bass cabinet. 

Later Randy asked Pat to build him a bigger stack, and he was rewarded with a 500 watt monster with 2 4-12 cabinets.  The stack contained a faceplate that said “The Randy Love Model” and cost him $2,100.  It stood about 8-10 inches taller than a Marshall and, according to Randy, “just kicked ass!”  Unfortunately, the power of this amplifier did not catch on with other bands. 

By about 1972, it became clear to Pat and his partners that they had missed their chance to take over the world in guitar amplifiers.  Marshall had already become the standard for “big stacks” and other companies had taken up the rest of the business.  Beginning in the mid-seventies, “Quilter” became “QSC” and refocused on rack-mounted general purpose amplifiers. The company has since worked its way to leadership in the general sound reinforcement industry. 

Check out today’s Quilter amps at

The main venue for the band in California was Finnegan’s Rainbow, a nightclub in Orange County owned by Syl Grove. 

Soon after the association with Danny, the band began rehearing in a house on 19th Street in Costa Mesa.  They had been together only 3 weeks when they were offered the opportunity to play an outdoor concert at the University of California at Irvine (UCI), headlining Lee Michaels.  There were 8 or 10 other bands on the bill, including Love, and Wildfire went on right before Lee Michaels.  Thousands of people showed up, including people from Finnegan’s Rainbow.  Soon after the show Wildfire was asked to be the house band at Finnegan’s, playing 5 nights a week.    After only a few appearances, lines formed around the block waiting to get into the club and hear the band.   

Another memorable concert was at an obscure location in the hills above Laguna Beach known as the “Top of the World,” a remote spot available at that time only via a dirt road.  Wildfire pioneered the concept of “word of mouth” advertising, and told a small number of people about the venue.  The band knew a man who worked for the Aliso Creek Water District, and he had the keys to all of the locked gates.  Given entrance, the roadies set up the gear on a flat-bed truck with a 10kW gas generator.  About 500 people came through the gates, settled into the beautiful valley setting, and the gates were locked once again.   

The Top of the World concert stands as one of the epitomes of “peace/love/joy.”  There was no violence.  No arguments.  No “hassles,” as they said back then.  The audience was as much in love with the music as the boys were making it.  As was fitting, the generator ran out of gas on the last song, the second encore, “Quicksand.”  There were rumors that the Orange County Sheriff’s Department personnel were outside the gates wondering where all that music was coming from, hearing the cheers of 500+ people from somewhere up on that mountain! 

The Top of the World concert stands out in a series of outdoor concerts in Southern California.  The Ortega Festival, the last outdoor concert Wildfire did in California, was much larger, almost 2,000 people, and the organizers were not ready for the crowds.  Wildfire played at the end of the day, and by that time, the venue had become a dust bowl, covering the guitar strings with dirt.  It was the last outdoor venue Wildfire played until they came to Texas. 

Prior to the Ortega Festival, Wildfire had played at the Merced County Fairgrounds, opening for Elvin Bishop and Santana.  It was a typical county fair situation, with people from the surrounding areas coming to enjoy a day of county fair activities.  The bands performed outside in the afternoon, and then were to perform inside a convention center that evening.   

Wildfire created such a stir with their loud amplification and high-energy original songs that other more established bands were in awe of their musical power.  Thousands of faces turned away from the main stage and started grooving on this powerful trio. Ultimately, the name acts asked the promoters to cancel the indoor appearance of Wildfire, and as usual, money spoke.  Despite the pleas of the audience, Wildfire was not allowed to perform that evening. 

Wildfire had better luck with the Laguna Beach movie theater. One night Randy was walking past the theatre, right across from the beach, thinking that it would be a great place to play after the movies were finished.  He walked in and asked for the manager, who happened to be there, and told him of his idea.  Several weeks later the manager called Randy and said that his theatre was about to go out of business, so he had nothing to lose by adding bands at midnight.  The boys of Wildfire were geared for the show and had friends doing the promo work.   The place was packed and the crowd was on its feet by the end of the show.  That single night launched a concert series on Friday and Saturday nights that lasted nearly 4 years.  Jerry Garcia and other groups of international acclaim played there.  It was at this venue that Wildfire opened for Blue Cheer in the late 1960’s.  The local attention paid to Wildfire assured that any name act would find a packed audience.

A Texas promoter heard Wildfire in Southern California and brought them to Austin to play a private concert at The Hill On The Moon, a 55-acre ranch north of Austin by the lake.  Because they were so intense and so ahead of their time, they became an instant hit locally in the Austin area.   Austin is home to The University of Texas at Austin, and with approximately 40,000 students in the late 1960’s, it was the perfect place to live during the academic school year.  The band returned to Southern California during the summer. 

The boys loved the college campus, mainly for the beautiful Texas women!  At one point, they lived at The Dobie, a high-rise, off-campus, co-ed dorm near the University.  The Dobie  had a “hippie theater” in it, and in exchange for a concert once a week, the boys lived free in the building for a while.   

The Armadillo World Headquarters was a favorite venue for the band (  The October, 1970 concerts opening for Freddie King, brought Wildfire to the attention of more Austin music lovers.  The two-night stand was memorialized in a poster no longer available, but viewable on the website  Freddie King was not traveling with his own band, and Jimmy Vaughn’s band at the time backed him up.  Randy remembers that Freddie did not even carry extra guitar strings, and that on both evenings Randy had to give Freddie an e-string before the show. 

At that time in Austin, the biggest draw next to Wildfire was Krackerjack.  Krackerjack had a winning format – they wrote most of their own stuff and people could dance to their music all night long.  With both bands on the ticket, the promoters and club owners were always pleased – Krackerjack sold a lot of beer and Wildfire sold a lot of tickets.  Stevie Ray Vaughan played with Krackerjack for a while. 

Charlie Hatchett, of the Hatchett Talent Agency, which is still alive today, booked them in and around the Austin area.   

The band drew a different crowd in Austin when they played at Maggie’s, an after-hours coffee house near the Holiday Inn on East Avenue somewhere between River Street and First Street.  People would stay all night at Maggie’s, listening to music and discussing Viet Nam.   Many a person who contributed memories to this history confessed a crush on Miss Maggie!  We are still looking for Maggie.  If you have any knowledge of how to find her, please send an e-mail to the band. 

Wildfire frequently played at The Jam Factory in San Antonio, a club owned by Joe A. Miller.   Here they opened for the Allman Brothers, when Dwayne Allman was still alive and the band was rocking.  Wildfire played at a Port Arthur surfing contest where the hotel would not let them check in because of their long hair.  This performance marked the first time Donny was using Sparkle drumheads and they broke!   

Headlined by Doug Sahm and the Sir Douglas Quintet, Wildfire played at the San Antonio Coliseum.  ZZ Top was also one of the opening acts.   

Another obscure venue where the band played often and to rave reviews was at Jim Marlin’s club in Brownwood, a small town in West Texas.  A picture of them playing this club is on the CD release of the original demo album.

The 1970 Demo Album
When Wildfire determined it was time to cut a demo album, they began in California at the Beach Boys’ studio, putting down the bass and guitar tracks.  Wildfire guitarist Randy Love is Beach Boy Mike Love’s cousin.  A Texas promoter convinced the band that Texas was the place they wanted to be and the place they wanted to record, and the boys returned to Austin, eventually ending up at Sonobeat’s Western Hills Drive studio toward the end of the year.  There they cut a demo of original music, 8 power-packed songs of timeless rock and roll.  Sonobeat owner Bill Josey, Sr. produced and engineered this demo album which, like all of Sonobeat’s classic demos, was released in a plain white jacket with hand-written numbers on white stickers.

According to Pat Quilter, “to my knowledge, this was the only recording of Quilter amps used at full power.” 

In addition to the few copies given out in Austin, the demo was sold at Sound Spectrum, a record store in Southern California owned by Jimmy Otto at the time.  Wildfire gave only 100 albums to the store, and they were sold out in 2 days.  The store begged fore more, and Sound Spectrum was given an additional 100 albums.  They were sold out in a matter of hours, setting an all-time record albums at the store, per Jimmy Otto. 

The authorized demo album has a white cover with an adhesive label.  The label on the vinyl reads “Primo” and was drawn by Randy Love.  Autumn Leaves and BMI were on the label. 

01. Stars in the Sky   
02. Down to Earth   
03. Time Will Tell   
04. Don’t Look For Me   
05. Free   
06. What Have I Got Now   
07. Let It Happen   
08. Quicksand   


Mariani - Perpetuum Mobile (Psychedelic Fuzzed Out Hardrock US 1970)

Size: 97.9 MB
Bitrate: 256
Ripped By: ChrisGoesRock
Artwork Included

Ultra-rare album originally released as acetate only in 1970 by Austin based psychedelic rock-blues combo featuring a 16 year old Eric Johnson, Vince Mariani and Jay Podolnick...contains two bonus tracks from a rare single 'Re-Birth Day' and 'Memories'.

This Mariani album comes in either a plain white cover with MARIANI written at the upper right or a cover with stamped info MARIANI at upper right, PERPETUUM MOBILE at upper right, SONOBEAT STEREO at lower right and ADVANCE COPY with a handwritten number at lower left. That´s all. 

Labels have the numbers HEC 411 / HEC 412. 

The record sold for $10.000 mentioned above had the cover with stamped info 

Reviewed by: Keith "Muzikman" Hannaleck: 
A trio called Mariani originally recorded Perpetuum Mobile in 1970. In 2001 Akarma Records resurrected this sought after collectable. A young 16-year-old guitarist was making some noise then, his name was Eric Johnson. Many music lovers found out about Johnson through his breakthrough album Ah Via Musicom in 1990. After The Ventures had initiated me and opened my ears to instrumental rock, I heard Johnson's song "Trademark," which was enjoying a steady rotation on FM radio. Enamored by the new sound, I consequently started my search for all the instrumental guitar music that I could get my hands on. 

This reissued classic rock-blues album comes packaged in gatefold sleeve with the original stunning artwork and lengthy and informative liner notes that fill up both sides of the inner sleeves. 

I really did not know what to expect when I put this platter on my turntable. I thought it might have been one of those castaway recordings that you hear 30 years after the fact. This however was not the case. Johnson, Vince Mariani (drums, vocals), and Jay Podolick (bass, vocals) were a powerful trio. Johnson was only a 16-year-old kid but he sounded years beyond capabilities as a lead guitar player. 

The cuts recorded for this album were not for the faint of heart or meant for top-forty airplay, some are complex jams that run for over five minutes. The beginning of side two starts things off with a Vanilla Fudge/Cactus like blues-rock session. That song was the decisive factor for me. It solidified in my mind that Johnson was indeed big league material long before he received that recognition. 

It is time to blow the dust off your turntable and start your LP collection again. This album will inspire you ... I guarantee it. Even if you are not interested in the music, the cover alone is a real eye catcher for science fiction buffs or album art collectors. I loved the entire package myself, and was enlightened once again about an artist I have always enjoyed.

“Perpetuum Mobile”, the awesome rare import disc by MARIANI featuring Texas guitar legend - ERIC JOHNSON, includes 13 trax (52 minutes) of killer, bad-ass, mind-blowing, grooved-out, authentically trippy retro-70’s bluesy Hendrixy heavy guitar power trio riffage that will trip your brain hard. The MARIANI: “Perpetuum Mobile” disc was originally recorded and released on vinyl in 1970 when ERIC JOHNSON was only 14 years old! Don’t be fooled by his young age, even @ 14 E.J. was a true heavy guitar hero. Going with a classic Les Paul through a stack of Marshalls mentality, young ERIC JOHNSON gets down hard on his axe and kicks ass with a heavy, get-down Hendrix(y) lead guitar freak-out vibe on the killer “Perpetuum Mobile” disc. Available for the 1st time on c.d., complete with kool packaging and featuring 2 bonus trax, the MARIANI: “Perpetuum Mobile” disc is further proof of the heavy guitar legacy of ERIC JOHNSON and is a rare musical glimpse into his early bluesy Hendrixy heavy guitar power trio roots.
Through the years, ERIC JOHNSON has acquired himself quite a reputation as one of the best, most respected guitarists in the world. Combining phenomenal technique with feel and a strong sense of originality, E.J. is a true master of the guitar. Starting with the awesome bluesy heavy guitar riffage of the MARIANI disc, then progressing to the fantastic instrumental rock/fusion grooves of the ELECTROMAGNETS, on through to his rather illustrious and diverse solo career, ERIC JOHNSON has proven that he is a world-class guitar legend in every sense of the word.

NB: (1) all known copies are in a sleeve labeled 'advance copy' and are numbered on the front by hand. It is believed that only 100 copies were made, and known copies are numbered in the double-digits, supporting this theory. (1) counterfeited (Hablabel HBL 11004) 1988, (Fanny 300894) 1997 and also on a CD with additional material. More recently reissued as 10" (Akarma AK 140LP) and CD with both sides of the second 45 as bonus tracks.  

01. Searching For A New Dimension        
02. Re-Birth Day        
03. Things Are Changing        
04. Lord I Just Cant Help Myself        
05. The Unknown Path        
06. Euphoria        
07. Message        
08. Windy Planet        
09. Re-Birth Day (45 Version)        
10. Memories  



Thursday, January 25, 2024

The Golden Cups - Super Live Session (Great Live Performance, Japan 1969)

Size: 131 MB
Bitrate: 256
Ripped by: ChrisGoesRock
Artwork Included
Source: Japan 24-Bit Remaster

Biography: (a very long....)
In 1966 the cosmopolitan port town of Yokohama proved the perfect breeding ground for the new Group Sounds. Just as in Liverpool and Hamburg, the local kids were exposed to a wealth of foreign culture not readily available to the typical Japanese teen. The FEN (Far East Network) broadcast out of the nearby U.S. Army base, bringing the newest Western sounds to the locals. The base PX stocked the latest hip imported discs, which Japanese record stores seldom carried, and domestic pressings of which were often delayed many months. Kids with friends from the base got to watch shows like American Bandstand, while the chances of their less-fortunate peers catching British or American bands on Japanese TV shows was next to nil. Yokohama had it's own exotic culture, and it was there that, in December, the Golden Cups were born.  

At this time the Cup's  vocalist and founder Dave Hirao was already a rock'n'roll veteran, having played earlier with the Sphinx. But it was his visit to the States in ’65 that made him an eager convert to the new beat style - the bands he saw there left him stunned! The other members of the band were no less ready to switch to the GS sound. Eddy Ban (lead guitar & vocals) made it to the U.S. in '65 as well, and returned with an odd device called a fuzz box, perhaps the first to arrive in Japan. (Eddy later lent it to a fellow GS guitarist who had a Japanese instrument manufacturer duplicate it; this company was soon selling its knock-off throughout the country!). 
   Kenneth Ito (guitar, vocals) had a special affinity for the West, having grown up in Hawaii. He owned the first Fender guitar to reach Japan (imported instruments being prohibitively expensive back then); a Telecaster like his heroes Mike Bloomfield used.He also used Gibson SG. With Kenneth on board the Cups didn't have to struggle with English like the other GS outfits. The group was rounded out by Ruiseruis Kabe*1 (who'd previously played with Kenneth in Take Five) on bass, and Mamoru Manu (drums, vocals). 

Initially using the name Group and I,” they became the house band at the Golden Cup discotheque near the Honmoku army base. Their clientele was made up mainly of GI's, and their set list entirely of covers: "One More Time"(Them), "Evil Woman"(Canned Heat), "Gloria","Stroll On","I Got My Mojo Workin'" (their opening tune), "I Feel Good" (James Brown), "Work Song"(Paul Butterfield Blues Band), etc. Sadly no recorded document of this period survives. 

The group was fortunate to land a TV gig the very month it formed! "Young 720" was a teen-oriented weekday morning program (starting at 7:20am – hence its name) that often featured live GS bands. The Cups'gained some important national exposure through the show, and the teenagers of Japan discovered a cool new band! (This performance too seems to have been lost, but if you know otherwise, get in touch!).
From the beginning, the Golden Cups set themselves apart from the other GS bands. In 1967 most groups wore uniforms on stage, seemingly chosen at random. For example, the Dynamites felt it necessary to dress like bellhops, while the Cougars paraded around in Scottish kilts! The Cups, meanwhile, wore only the latest imported mod threads, as if to say "Those other bands rely on gimmicks, but the Golden Cups are for real."

It wasn’t just the Cups' image that set them apart, as became apparent with the June ’67 release of their first single, "Jezabel" (hear the flip side, "Hiwa Mata Noboru,"on the Big Lizard Stomp compilation). The Cups’ guitar playing amazed their less-able competitors, and the band soon built a reputation as the most technically proficient GS outfit. 

This reputation was cemented with their sophomore release, the incredible "Giniro no Glass" ("Love is my Life" on ESD Pebbles), in November. This song gave Kabe, who"d handled lead guitar in the Take Five, the chance to turn lose with some astounding bass runs. "When I played bass, I didn’t have to think about it," he recalled later. Considering the amount of practice the Cups were getting, this isn't surprising: "We were very busy. One day we did ten 45 minute shows in a row, and then got to the studio around midnight to record." They actually preferred to record late at night, as it gave them more time to work; there were very few studios available in the 60's, so bands were typically given only one or two hours to finish each number. 
  1967 also saw the Cups hit the road, if only for a short distance, for an important stand at la Seine, a popular *2Jazz Kissa (or Jazz Tea Room) in Tokyo. The band had something of a split personality live, depending on where they were playing. If they were at a club or Jazz Kissa, they'd play their fave tunes and put on a wild show; but if they were giving a "recital" at a large concert hall, they were forced to perform their dull commercial material, often with an orchestra for accompaniment. 

The Golden Cups Album made its appearance in March 1968, a diverse collection of originals and covers. While it has its share of killer tunes, the album reflects the disagreements the band was having with Capitol Records regarding musical direction. Left to their own devices the Cups liked to play R&B tunes like "I Feel Good" or "Got My Mojo Working," while "Giniro no Glass"and their other originals were exercises in fuzzed-out punk mayhem! "Hey Joe" is an example of the real Golden Cups sound at its finest. The slow Jimi Hendrix version made the song famous in Japan, so the many GS groups who recorded it copied this style – but not the Cups! Their "Hey Joe"is based on the garage versions recorded by bands like Love or the Leaves, but with a wild, extended psychedelic freak-out in the middle. It's hard to believe this is the band that recorded sappy, orchestrated ballads like "Jezabel" or "Unchained Melody" on the same album at their management's behest.
The group's next single hit the stores one month later, and for two very different reasons proved the high water mark of the Golden Cups'career. The plug side was another lame ballad, "Nagai Kami no Shoujo" ("A Girl With Long Hair"), a product of professional songwriters that their management insisted they record. The Cups naturally hated the song, and refused to play it live, though they did do some promotional TV spots for it. There was even a "Girl With Long Hair" contest, in which thousands of teenagers enthusiastically participated. As an unkind fate would have it, the song was just about the biggest hit the Cups would have, reaching #14 on the Japanese pop charts!
Luckily for garage fans everywhere, the Cups were given free reign on the flip side, and turned in what's got to be one of the five most savage and stunning garage-punk efforts to come out of Japan! "This Bad Girl"(on HOT NIPS) is propelled by a riff that descends the scale like a bolt of crackling lightning, while Kabe's nimble bass runs and Manu's frantic pounding provide the accompanying thunder. The lyrics, while simple, are in the best anti-social teenage punk tradition: "I don't care what the people might say," Kenneth snarls, a sentiment that, while perhaps not too radical in the States, must have sounded fairly extreme in conformity-loving Japan. Backing vocals add a catchy pop element to the track without detracting a bit from the brutal instrumental impact. "This Bad Girl" is without doubt the Golden Cups' crowning achievement. 

Despite the band's success, Kenneth Ito was denied a Japanese work visa that summer, and was forced to return to Hawaii. Rather than attempt to replace him, the band used this opportunity to retool their sound, and brought in 16 year old Mickey Yoshino on keyboards. Despite his age, Mickey was a veteran GS musician, having played with his previous band at the teen club of the US Army base in Yokohama for two years. He counted Al Kooper and John Lord (Deep Purple) as his primary influences.
The personnel changes took place during the recording of The Golden Cups Album Vol. 2 (released in September), so both Kenneth and Mickey are featured. But perhaps the band's meddling management deserves the biggest credit (more accurately, their management was the biggest culprit) for the album, as they continued to feed the Cups middle-of-the-road pop in an effort to keep them on the charts. "Woman Woman,""My Love Only For You:Aisuru Kimini"(the 4th single, which climbed all the way to #13) and "Goodbye My Love:Sugisarishi Koi"are all execrable examples of Capitol's handiwork. ""Gimme Little Sign"was another song recorded at the behest of Capitol bigwigs, who were trying to promote it. The Cups' fascination with Motown wasn't helping much either, as the album is loaded down with one R&B/soul cover after another. 

Really the only hint of what the Cups were capable of comes on the psychedelic "Happening At 3 O'clock A.M."(appeared on Hot Nips vol.1).A sped-up ad for the "Crybaby" pedal (competition for the Vox Wah Wah pedal) segues into the music, which can only be described as Spaghetti-Western Psych. Otherworldly wailing weaves its way through the loping beat, amidst a barrage of distorted lead guitar and doom-laden vocals. Not exactly fodder for the Japanese Hit Parade! 
  When GS mania began to fade in 1969, the Cups were finally given some creative freedom during the recording sessions for their next album. Now they could give the orchestras and balladeers the bum's rush and concentrate on kick-ass rock and roll! Or, they could wallow in their Blues fixation and fill the album with tiresome Butterfield Blues Band covers. You have three guesses as to which of these two scenarios the Cups followed! OK, we'll throw in a clue: the title of their third LP is Blues Message.

Besides practically re-recording the Butterfield's East/West album ("Walkin’ Blues,""Get Out Of My Life"and "I Got A Mind To Give Up Living"all show up on the first side), the Cups tackle a number of other tunes by popular blues-based bands on the album. Canned Heat's "Evil Woman"(a staple of the Cups’ live show for years) rubs shoulders with "Can't Keep From Cryin'" by the Blues Project, while so-called original "Take 3"is just a thinly disguised "Let Me Love You,"from the Jeff Beck Group's first LP. The orchestra has been replaced by piano and, in some cases, a horn section, though it does make a gag-inducing return on the ballad "Sand of 4 Grammes"(the b-side of the Cups’ sixth single, tacked onto the end of the album). In an effort to say something positive about Blues Message, I'll mention the remarkable Van Morrison imitation on "One More Time,"and the way the oddball "You Really Got A Hold On Me"(Beatles)/Bring It On Home To Me"(Sam Cooke) medley flows so smoothly. This latter track appeared on the Cups' seventh single, with a boogie-rock version of the Chuck Berry tune "Lucille,"also on Blues Message, as the plug side. The album's certainly a success from a Blues standpoint, but is very disappointing for fans of the "This Bad Girl"Golden Cups.

April of 1969 found Eddy Ban bowing out of the Cups in order to form the Eddy Ban Group. (Eddy handled the guitar duties, with Hiro Yanagida from the Floral on organ, and Eddy Fortuno, late of D'swooners, on drums). Ruiseruis Kabe took over the lead guitar spot for the Cups, making way for Rin Keibun to come aboard on bass. Their sound grew progressively heavier, while they maintained their penchant for R&B and Blues. Some of the songs in the Cups’ set list at this time were "I Put A Spell On You,"Mr. You are A Better Man Than I,"and "Blues With A Feeling."nbsp;

Those of you interested in hearing what the Cups were like live in '69 have a wealth of material to choose from-the band released an unheard-of two live albums in the space of three months! Bearing in mind the schizophrenic nature of most GS combos, this actually makes some sense. Super Live Session (released in August) captures the Cups in their "Jazz Kissa" incarnation at a Yokohama club called The Zen, performing the music they preferred to play and ignoring their sappy hits. It's still largely blues-based rock, but played with more verve and creativity than on Blues Message. Highlights include a nearly unrecognizable (compared with the Artwoods'version) "One More Heartache,"and a sprawling take of "Gloria"."Zen Blues,"(on Slitherama compilation)one of the duller straight-ahead blues cuts on the album, has recently been comped on Slitherama. What makes the track notable is that it features the band Power House as well, who were something like the Cups’ proteges. Kabe provided the jacket's psychedelic artwork, hand painted on a Fusuma (a traditional Japanese room screen).
The second live album, Recital, hit the stands that October. Geared towards fans of their singles, the first side features many of the Cups’ lame commercial hits with full orchestral accompaniment. Luckily the band didn't have enough hits to fill an album, so side two is stocked with more covers of heavy blues tunes:"Spoonful","Communication Breakdown,""Let Me Love You"(credited to Jeff Beck this time, unlike on Blues Message!), etc.

By 1970 the Golden Cups’ transformation from GS group to hard rock band was complete. Eddy Ban returned to the fold, as did Kenneth Ito, and Ai Takano from the Carnabeats (by way of the Eddy Ban Group) took over on drums. Still more live material appeared on a various-artists compilation, Rock 'n'Roll Jam'70(featuring the Flowers and Mops as well, and recently reissued on CD). Artists like the Band and Jethro Tull figured heavily in their music. The group's only other releases that year were a second Best Of collection, and the single "Bitter Tears” (which sounds like a poor man's "Whatever Gets You Through The Night" backed with the loungey "Devil's Disguise."
The group's line-up was shuffled still more leading up to their last studio album, Return Of The Golden Cups Vol. 8:Fifth Generation (counting two Best Of collections, this was their eighth LP), released in January, 1971. The members were now Dave Hirao, Eddy Ban, George Yanagi (bass, ex-Power House), and Ai Takano (Mickey Yoshino had left to study music at Barclay College in Boston). Perhaps realizing that their past emphasis on covers wouldn't cut it now that rock musicians were supposed to be "serious artists,"eight of the nine tracks on Return were by group members, with one Band cover ("Tears Of Rage" thrown in. The Procol Harum-like psych of "V.D. (Vernards Going Doomed Again)"may be the album's highlight. But by this point the group's sound was far removed from their GS work, and of little interest to garage rock fans, so I won't bother describing the album further.

In July came another incestuous line-up change, as John Yamazaki - late of the band Room with ex-Cups Ruiseruis Kabe and Rin Keibun - joined on keyboards. On July 31, 1971 the band played an outdoor music hall called the Hibiya Yagai Ongakudou, and the following October released the performance as yet another live album. It proved to be their last; the days when a native band could be financially successful were long gone. The Cups’ albums were selling little more than a few thousand copies apiece, prompting the band to call it quits.
The Cups’ gave their final concert on New Year's Eve, 1972 in an Okinawa discotheque. Just as at the beginning of their career, the audience was mainly American GI's. Since it was their last show, the band played their big hit "Nagai Kami no Shoujo,"but no one in the audience recognized it. It was at this point that Jorge Yanagi noticed a strange smell, and, opening the curtain behind the drum kit, discovered the building was on fire! The Cups yelled "Fire! Fire!"in an effort to clear the room, but many in the drunken crowd thought they were introducing the next song, and called for them to start playing again! Eventually everyone got out, but the Cups had lost all of their instruments, and weren't even paid what they were guaranteed for the show. A sad end for one of Japan's most important GS bands. 

01.  I Got My Mojo Working 
Written-By – Morganfield-Waters*  4:42   
02.  I'm So Glad 
Written-By – Skip James  4:57   
03.  59th Street Bridge Song 
Written-By – Paul Simon  5:08   
04.  One More Heartache 
Written By – Robinson-Moose-White-Rodgers-Jarplin  3:50   
05.  Season Of The Witch 
Written-By – Donovan  9:28   
06.  Gloria 
Wr.itten-By – V. Morrison  10:10   
07  Born Under A Bad Sign 
Written-By – B.T. Jones, W. Bell  4:25   
08.  Man's Temptation 
Written-By – C. Mayfield  4:27   
09.  Zen Blues  10:40

1: Golden
2: Golden
3: Golden