Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Does anybody know anything about this record?

A couple days before Christmas, I went to Sunburst Records to pick up some Dusty Springfield CDs for my wife. Jay had a 3 huge stacks of 45's that he was giving away. Somebody brought them in to sell and Jay didn't offer them enough money so they left all of the records at the store cause they didn't feel like carrying the box back home. This was one of the first records I looked at and I knew it was gonna be a good stack of records. It was a nice clean 45 with a bright pink label. It just looked good.

I don't know anything about this record other than the information that's on the label. Big Top records was based in New York City but The Premiers don't sound like a New York band. I think the A-side was "Oogsy-Moo" which is a cover of a Jessie Hill song. Naturally enough, this sounds like a New Orleans R&B band. But the other side of the record is a rockabilly instrumental called "Locomotive". This song was written by somebody named Dale Kahrr. I can't find any information about him either. What's going on? Does anybody know anything about this record?

Update: I checked the Rockin' Country Style website and it looks like the Premiers record came out sometime between April of '62 and March of '63. Nothing about the Premiers or Dale Kahrr though.

(Yes this is a rerun of the very first post on A Million Miles Away. The blog is one year old today and I still don't know anything about this record.)

Sunday, January 29, 2006

I was listening to the rain

I was hearing something else.

I saw the light

shining all around.

Friday, January 27, 2006

Tell me

that you Do Do Do.

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Love on the rocks

Leilani” was the first (and only) 45 by Le Hoodoo Gurus. Right after this record came out, two of the guitarists quit, leaving the remaining guitarist and drummer (they never had a bass player) to form a new band. They got a new guitarist and bass player, dropped the ‘Le’ and re-recorded “Leilani” for their first LP. I prefer the original bass-less 45, it has better Umgawahs.

The Hoodoo Gurus didn’t record a new version of “Leilani, Part 2”. The b-side is a terrific multi-part song about the young man’s life after Leilani went to the volcano.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

I go from place to place

nobody knows my name.

Monday, January 23, 2006


I admit that I first picked this one mostly for the cover. You would have picked it up too. I liked the picture but spelling ‘Markko’ with two K’s was kinda cool too. The other main selling point was the Raymond Scott song. It turns out that song wasn’t even one of the better ones on the LP.

ORIENTA was put together by Gerald Fried, who trained as an oboist at Juilliard. In the late fifties, Fried was scoring movies in Hollywood. Among many others, Fried worked on the great I Bury The Living, Poor White Trash and several Stanley Kubrick movies.

Apparently, Fried put this album together as a parody of exotica records. I didn’t get the joke forty years later. I thought the Adventurers were including rock and roll & jazz because they liked it. Oops. I didn’t need any help to figure out that the song about the tiger attack on a festival was supposed to be a joke.

I think the reason I didn’t get the joke was because the songs were really good. Parody or not, “Song of India/Beggars' Procession” and “The Girl Friend of a Whirling Dervish” are two of my favorite exotica songs.

The Markko Polo Adventurers was Fried's only album, he went back to film and TV work, most notably Star Trek, The Man From U.N.C.L.E. and working with Quincy Jones on the music for Roots.

Sunday, January 22, 2006

Someone helping a stranger along the way

That's heaven to me.

Thursday, January 19, 2006


Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Owed T' Alex

Original Captain Beefheart and his Magic Band guitarist Alex Snouffer has died.

Details here.


you'll never do it, Babe.

Monday, January 16, 2006

Are you serious?

OK, this is a good record. I want to say that up front because now I’m going to say that it isn’t all that great. Most of the reviews I’ve seen compare ARE YOU SERIOUS? to Big Star's RADIO CITY. Some go as far as saying it's the second best power pop LP of the seventies. Nope. Sure, Van Duren is from Memphis but that alone doesn’t make this record better than any of the other power pop records that came out in the seventies. There some moments that really do sound like Big Star but that’s understandable. Van Duren had been playing in bands with Chris Bell and Jody Stephens and auditioned for Big Star in the last days of that band.

But like I said, this is a good record. Several of the songs are shoulda-been-a-hit great. The record did get some airplay in 1977 but I guess it wasn’t enough. The record was recorded while Duren was living in NYC. The record came out on Jon Tiven’s Big Sound label, maybe they couldn’t get the record into stores. The album was released in Europe under the name STARING AT THE CEILING. Oh yeah, the cover has the same problem that a lot of mid seventies LP covers had. It’s ugly.

After ARE YOU SERIOUS?, Van Duren recorded another LP (that wasn’t released until 2003) called IDIOT OPTIMISM. Then he moved back to Memphis and spent years playing in a popular Memphis band called Good Question. That band broke up in 1999 and Duren formed a band with another Memphis legend named Tommy Hoehn. He has also recorded a third solo LP that was released in 2005.

Lucky Seven Records has announced that they will be re-issuing ARE YOU SERIOUS? this spring.

Sunday, January 15, 2006

Didn't it rain, children,

Rain all night long.

Saturday, January 14, 2006

Integrity, Technology and Service

Friday, January 13, 2006


Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Drop a nickel in the jukebox

After World War II, Dwain Lee Voorhies was working as a truck driver in Missouri. A guy in a truck stop heard Finn singing along with a song on the jukebox and suggested that he become a singer. So Voorhies got a guitar and became a singer. His first record is under his own name with the Ozark Country Boys backing him up.

The record wasn’t a hit. Voorhies changed his name to Lee Finn and the Ozark Mountain Boys became the Rhythm Men. Finn recorded 4 songs with and put out a second 45. It’s a good one. “Pour Me A Glass Of Wine” makes me think that Lee was singing along to a Johnny Cash song back at that truck stop. “High Class Feelin’” is more billy than rock. Finn may have had more success if he had moved to Nashville.

There was one more 45 and then Lee went back to truck driving. He died in 1999.

There’s lots more details here, including a picture of Lee Finn and couple of pictures of the Westport 45 label. It's a great looking label, I had it hanging up on my wall for a long time.

Monday, January 09, 2006


By request, here's "War Ina Babylon"

Sunday, January 08, 2006

If I

Friday, January 06, 2006


Covers Rock (Bonus tracks!)

The Clash didn’t cover Max Romeo’s “A Quarter Pound Of I'cense” but Joe Strummer and The Mescalaros did. I kinda wish Joe had done “War Ina Babylon” instead.

Here’s a bit of stage talk from an early Clash show.

The Clash didn’t cover this song but they liked it well enough to use it for a name. More Culture here.

Junior Murvin and Lee “Scratch” Perry recycled the “Police & Thieves” backing tracks many times. Not just for dub mixes, “Bad Weed” may even be better than "Police & Thieves".

I’m pretty sure the Clash never heard this version of “Junco Partner” but I like it. It was recorded by a Bethesda, Maryland garage band called Nobody’s Children.

And finally, here’s another cover of “Fujiyama Mama”. This is from Pearl Harbour’s only solo LP called DON’T FOLLOW ME, I’M LOST TOO that came out in 1981. The LP was produced by Clash associate Mickey Gallagher and had Nick Simonon on drums. But Mekon drummer Steve Goulding says that he worked on the LP with members of the Clash. Anybody know the real story?

OK, that’s all. Hope you enjoyed it!

Thursday, January 05, 2006

Covers Rock (Part 4)

Police On My Back” was one of the few songs on SANDINISTA! that everybody liked. It was also the first time I had ever heard of Eddie Grant. I had heard the Equals but who knew that one of them was still active in music in 1981? Timon Dogg had some records in the Sixties too, the Clash never covered them. His song on SANDINISTA! doesn’t count as a cover because Dogg sang and played it on the album.

Bo Diddley opened for the Clash on their first U.S. tour in 1979 and they were playing “Mona” live around then too. The song was recorded during the LONDON CALLING sessions too. I think it sounds better here.

The Clash didn’t exactly cover “Little Latin Lupe Lu” but they might as well have. I wonder if whatever bunch touring as The Kingsmen these days plays “Should I Stay Or Should I Go?”

I’m pretty sure the Clash were covering the Small Faces when they played “Every Little Bit Hurts” but I don’t like them so here’s Brenda Holloway’s doing of “Every Little Bit Hurts”. She recorded it twice, once for Del-Fi records and again for Motown. I like the strings on the Motown version.

Here’s a song that The Clash never recorded but they did play live in the last days of the band when Joe Strummer and Paul Simonon were the only two original members left.

Bonus tracks tomorrow!

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Covers Rock (Part 3)

Today, we’re gonna finish up LONDON CALLING and start on the SANDINISTA! cover songs.

The source of "Revolution Rock" is even more obvious than the "The Guns Of Brixton" but Jackie Edwards didn't get a songwriting credit.

"Armagideon Time" was the b-side of "London Calling" and also came out on the BLACK MARKET CLASH 10" EP in 1980. Willi Williams is still performing and now calls himself The Armagideon Man.

I’m not really sure when the Clash recorded Booker T. & The MG’sTime Is Tight” but it first came out on BLACK MARKET CLASH so I always thought that it was recorded during the LONDON CALLING sessions. But it’s not included in the deluxe reissue that came out a few years ago so maybe it wasn’t.

The liner notes for SANDINISTA! say that the writer of “Junco Partner” was unknown. Actually, the song was written by a jazz guy named Bob Shad. He also produced Big Brother & The Holding Company’s first album. There have been a lot of versions of “Junco Partner” and I don’t know which version the Clash was covering. I used Professor Longhair’s version because it’s great (and I have a copy). Also, it sounds really good next to Mose Allison's “Look Here”. Allison has been making records for fifty years and if he’s made a bad one, I haven’t heard it.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Covers Rock (Part 2)

In 1979 and 1980, The Clash became interested in their musical roots so today we've got a couple rockabilly songs, an R&B classic, a ska song and a reggae number.

Pearl Harbour and the Explosions toured with the Clash in 1980 and Pearl Harbour sang these two songs with the Clash on several occasions. She was also married to Paul Simonon

"Brand New Cadillac" was not a Strummer/Jones song but just last month I heard a band call it a Clash song. Sorry Vince.

"The Guns Of Brixton" was inspired by (or borrowed from) Jimmy Cliff's "The Harder They Come".

I always thought that the change up at the beginning of "Wrong 'Em Boyo" was a screw up that was left in the final mix. It's not.

Still more LONDON CALLING tomorrow!

Monday, January 02, 2006

Covers Rock (Part 1)

This week I'm going to be posting songs that either influenced or were covered by the Clash. I stole the idea from this guy but I didn't like the order of the songs on his disc. I decided to put the songs in approximate order that the Clash covered them. It made more sense to me and I think the songs flow pretty well too.

I Fought The Law wasn't released until THE COST OF LIVING EP came out in '79 but it's a good opener and the Clash probably played it live early on. Move it up to song number 4 if you want to be a purist.

"Hope you all know Junior Murvin, you should hear Junior Murvin sing that tune. Junior Murvin can sing in a voice as high as that roof." - Joe Strummer, September 21, 1979. Next up is a Lee 'Scratch' Perry dub mix of "Police & Thieves"

The Clash's cover of Blitzkrieg Bop is only available on bootlegs and a promo disc that came out in 1999.

In my opinion, The Clash's cover of Pressure Drop doesn't some close to the original version by Toots & The Maytals.

There's more to come!

Sunday, January 01, 2006

I could've been dead

in my grave.
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