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Friday, August 18, 2006

Youth And Experience

Sorry about not posting anything for a while, but not much is happening at the moment in the Monolator camp. We were both out of town last weekend at my brother's wedding and Mary is in Alabama until Monday, so no shows or anything for a little bit.

So I'll babble aimlessly about a record I'm listening to at the moment, an awe-inspiringly great comp on Norton Records of mid-sixties garage rock that my brother gave me for my birthday called Friday At The Hideout: Boss Detroit Garage 1964-1967. See, The Hideout was a "teen club" and record label out of Detroit, and basically was a result of the city's post-war white flight phenomenon: while Motown/rhythm and blues happened in the inner city, lots and lots of middle class white kids were stuck out in the suburbs buying Rolling Stones and Byrds records and starting garage bands. Or at least I gather that's what happened.

I dunno if you've heard many of these garage/surf/hot rod-type comps, but they're usually collections of scratchy, ultra-obscure 45 rpm records pressed in tiny numbers by ultra-obscure groups made up of sex-crazed teenagers who later became depressingly old and probably went on to form hideously unlistenable 1970's blues bands (or, in this case, became Bob Seger). There isn't really anything on this comp to match the greatness of, say, Count Five's "Psychotic Reaction," or "Dirty Water" by The Standells, but there are some gems. Probably the most interesting band on the whole disc would be the all-girl Pleaure Seekers whose blatty ode to underage drinking, "What A Way To Die," still seems strangely relevent these days.

The Pleasure Seekers grace the back cover of Friday At The Hideout.

Take a look at the brunette bass player on the left there...does she look a tad familiar to you? No? Look again...hmmmmm...could it be...why yes! It's none other than Suzi Quatro, AKA LEATHER TUSCADERO FROM "HAPPY DAYS!" Yes! You think I'm making this up? I am not.

Instead of "What A Way To Die," though, I kind of prefer the b-side (or was it the follow-up? Dunno), "Never Thought You'd Leave Me," with its great keyboard solo and sloppy spoken-word declaration of love over the fadeout: "c'mon baby come on back you know I love you I've always been true I'll knit a yarmulke for you outta my leg hair if you'll just come back to me," stuff like that. I love little spoken-word messages at the end of songs. Fats Waller used to do that, and Lou Reed. And The Pleasure Seekers, apparently.

The other great track on here is "Youth And Experience" by Doug Brown And The Omens. This is...well, what the hell is it? Why, it's a get-out-the-youth-vote musical endorsement for then-Republican U.S. Senator Bob Griffin! It musta worked, because Bob won the election and served all the way from 1966 to 1979, all thanks (I assume) to the brave rock and roll efforts of Doug Brown And The Omens, who apparently recognized that Bob had both youth (?) and experience on his side. Seriously, this is the best theme song ANY republican has ever had or ever will have, featuring a wickedly catchy chorus and the deathless refrain "keep Michigan off the floor/ by keeping Bob Griffin as our U.S. Sen-a-tor." Again, you think I am making this up? I am not. Like Doug says, give Bob a call, 'cause he's got an action slate for our action state. Except that by now he's about 83 years old.

It occurs to me how easy it would be to do an updated cover of this song for the Arnold Schwarzenegger gubernatorial campaign. I doubt that Doug Brown would shy from rhyming, for instance, "out the door" with "Ter-min-a-tor," or something like that. And then you could have a line that went "he'll shove his tongue down your throat / so you'd better go out and vote..." etc. etc. I tell you, this stuff just writes itself!

There's one more interesting thing about the Friday At The Hideout comp, which is this picture I found in the liner notes:
Who is that guy? It's me, isn't it? I mean it certainly looks like me, right? Who is that girl? Why don't I remember this? What's going on?


Anyway, here's some of the cuts I mentioned...you can buy Friday At The Hideout here.

The Pleasure Seekers -- Never Thought You'd Leave Me
Doug Brown And The Omens -- Youth And Experience


At 6:41 PM, Anonymous Zachary Jean said...

Oooooooh, that is brilliant! You know, when I was in Black, Flat and Circular, I think I narrowed your birthday present choices down to a Mr. Mister Greatest Hits CD and Friday At The Hideout. Still, I will keep an eye out for the Pleasure Seeker's "Light of Love." Someone must have it, I suppose.


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