Sunday, October 12, 2008
Let's start off with one of my favourite Canadian bands, and maybe their greatest LP. I'm talking about the great McKenna-Mendolson Mainline and their LP, "Stink".
The album appeared on shelves during the second half of 1969. The band had been in London England, supposedly to hook up with bluesman John Lee Hooker. They never met up with him, but DID make a good enough impression in London that they ended up in a recording studio in June 1969 and knocked this LP off IN ONE DAY!!
Mike McKenna is the lead guitarist, a bit of a local legend around the Toronto area. He had been a member of Luke & The Apostles and also briefly with the legendary Ugly Ducklings. Even before that, he was a member of Whitey & The Roulettes, a precursor to the Mandala.
Joe Mendelson was a guitarist and singer who spotted an ad saying that Mike was looking to put together a blues band. They got together, hit it off, and started playing coffee houses in Yorkville. They attracted the attention of Denny Gerrard, great bass player with the Paupers who served session musician duties with fellow Pauper drummer Skip Prokop on "I Dig Rock 'N Roll Music" by Peter, Paul & Mary. (this is a killer cut...I HAD NO IDEA that a couple of groovy Canadians were playing on this record!!)
Gerrard would eventually be replaced by Mike Harrison (from Grant Smith & The Power), and drummer and North Bay, Ont native Tony Nolasco would join up.
If this LP doesn't get you tapping your toes, or flailing your fingers up and down your air guitar, then you are a dead man. Great blues guitar from Mike, especially on my fave cut, "She's Alright". The entire album is smokin', and you will be missing out on something special if you don't grab this one.
Mainline played many of the top venues around Toronto, and even got to be the very last ever band to perform at the legendary El Mocambo (didn't the Stones play there one night??). I will post that show a bit later.
For now, please enjoy some rocking Canadian blues. MAINLINE!!
McKenna-Mendelson Mainline - "Stink" (1969)
01 One Way Ticket
02 She's Alright
05 Think I'm Losing My Marbles
06 Drive You
07 T.B. Blues
08 Better Watch OUt
09 Bad Woman
10 Don't Give Me No Goose For Christmas, Grandma
Stink - part 1
Stink - part 2
Sunday, March 16, 2008
Andy's greatest claim to fame was that he co-wrote the monster hit, "Sugar Sugar" by Don Kirshner's mythical group The Archies. Anybody old enough to remember the Summer of '69 will remember this song OWNED the radio waves, staying at #1 on the beloved CHUM Chart for upwards of 5 or 6 weeks. The common myth was that Andy also sang the lead vocals on this song, and I believed it for years. But in actuality, it was Ron Dante who sang lead. The same Ron Dante who did the lead vocals on "Tracy" by the Cuff Links (also in '69). I'm sure Andy and his writing partner Jeff Barry made enough moolah to retire successfully from that one hit.
This compliation was put together from all his singles, both as himself and also as "Baron Longfellow", a rather interesting stage name. I have an original copy of Andy's Greatest Hits on the DOT label, but there are only 11 songs on it and was released before "Rock Me Gently".
Andy Kim records are hard to find, trust me. Grab this great collection and remember what top 40 pop rock is supposed to sound like!
Andy Kim - Greatest Hits
01 I Hear You Say (I Love You Baby)
02 How'd We Ever Get This Way
03 Shoot 'Em Up Baby
04 Rainbow Ride
05 Tricia Tell Your Daddy
06 Baby, I Love You
07 So Good Together
08 A Friend In The City
09 It's Your Life
10 Be My Baby
11 I Wish I Were
12 I've Been Moved
13 Who Has The Answers?
14 Rock Me Gently
15 Fire, Baby I'm On Fire
16 The Essence Of Joan
As "Baron Longfellow"
18 Go It Slow
20 Sugar Sugar
21 I'm Gonna Need A Miracle Tonight
22 Hold Me
23 In The Night Machine
Andy Kim Greatest Hits Part 1, Part 2
Thursday, February 28, 2008
Originating out of Hamilton, the band was led by Kelly Jay, a veritable mountain of a man with his huge mop of hair and (later) bushy beard. He could pound ONE MEAN boogie-woogie piano and had a great growl of a voice to go with it.
Let me tell you that in 1970-73 or so, CROWBAR was HUGE in Southern Ontario, playing everywhere it seemed...packing Ontario Place one night, Massey Hall the next.
Check out the flipside of the "Oh, What A Feeling" 45, "Murder In The First Degree". Better piano playing you won't hear. Or how about "In The Dancing Hold", with that opening from SOME classical piece (I don't know which one, maybe you will....) then right into the groove.
Classic slice of Canadian Rock. These guys were AWESOME.
(trivia: Josef Chirowski (piano/organ/vocal) appeared on Alice Cooper's "Welcome To My Nightmare" which Alice recorded in Toronto. My late buddy played on the sessions but didn't get his name on the LP cuz he wasn't yet a member of the Musician's Union (he was only 16!!!). Also, Kelly Jay used to be a DJ on CHUM-FM. Wild show!!!!)
CROWBAR - THE BEST OF
1. The Frenchman's Cherokee Boogie Incident
2. Let The Four Winds Blow
3. Cane On The Brazos
4. In The Dancing Hold
5. Where Are You?
6. Lay One Down
7. Oh Never Be A Dodo
8. Murder In The First Degree
10. Dead Head Out Of St. John's
11. Tits Up On The Pavement
12. Oh What A Feeling
and HERE too!
Friday, February 15, 2008
I'm straying a bit here, but this is ONE HILARIOUS CD, put together by your friends at the Space Station. Technically speaking, William Shatner is Canadian, so I guess I'm still sticking to the format!
The CD takes some of the greatest hits (?) from Leonard Nimoy's & Capt. Kirk's LPs. BOTH should have just stuck to acting, but at least Shatner does his bits with his tongue firmly planted in his cheek. Bill doesn't exactly SING his parts as much as recite the spoken word. Bill no doubt had a lot of fun doing his gigs and you can hear it in his voice. Spock, on the other hand, firmly believes that he is the next great chanteuse of his era, and that Frank & Dino and the rest had better watch out!!.
The CD opens with the great Shatner reading of "King Henry The Fifth". Listening to it, I couldn't help but think of Rocket Robin Hood battling the evil Sheriff John.....and where the hell is Friar Tuck to come help? (that last part is strictly a bit of Canadiana, "Rocket Robin Hood" being one of the greatest cartoons of my childhood-adolescence.....right up there with "Spiderman" and "The World Of Oz"). Shatner stirs the troops up for battle, and you just got to love the trumpets blaring. Shades of Monty Python & The Holy Grail.
Wait till you hear "Mr. Tambourine Man". The Dylan classic is apparently a song about a drug dealer, and Bill sings the song with the angst of a druggie desparately looking for his next fix. CAN YOU NAME ME ANY OTHER ARTIST WHO INTERPRETED THIS SONG CORRECTLY? NO!!!! Bill is a goddamned genius!!!
Move on to "Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds". Here, Bill obviously found his Tambourine Man, got his fix, and is tripping higher.......higher.....HIGHER. Listen to how he belts the end of the refrain ".....and SHE'S GONE-GONE-GONE-GONE" The echo!!! The angst!!! (what? MORE angst?). Unbelievable. I cannot believe John Lennon (who penned this great song) misinterpreted his own composition......again, we bow to the genius of Bill.
Lastly, take in Bill's version of "It Was A Very Good Year". Notice how the first part is when he's about 17 or so and sings like the young, inexperienced wide-eyed man that any 17 year-old would be. THEN.....he's 21 now. Older, experienced, a "man of the world". YOU CAN HEAR IT IN HIS VOICE!!! The angst...the...what? With the angst again? Oh Bill, you kidder you!!!!
Spock? "Highly Illogical" poses questions that will leave you bewildered for days on end. What did Leonard MEAN by that? Wow, man. Or "Spock's Thoughts", where Leonard advises to even "listen to the dull and ignorant for they too, have their story." Such enlightenment! And sung with the type of fervor that only Nimoy could conjure up.
You can't afford to not have this classic in your collection. It's deliciously awe-inspiring. I'm SURE that the William Hungs of the world based their life teachings on these works of art! Grab it now!!!
What? You are AREN'T going to grab this? HIGHLY ILLOGICAL!!!
"Spaced Out" - Leonard Nimoy & William Shatner
01 King Henry The Fifth - William Shatner
02 Elegy For The Brave - William Shatner
03 Highly Illogical - Leonard Nimoy
04 If I Had A Hammer - Leonard Nimoy
05 Mr. Tambourine Man - William Shatner
06 Where Is Love - Leonard Nimoy
97 Music To Watch Space Girls By - Leonard Nimoy
08 It Was A Very Good Year - William Shatner
09 Ruby Don't Take Your Love To Town - Leonard Nimoy
10 Hamlet - William Shatner
11 A Visit To A Sad Planet - Leonard Nimoy
12 Abraham, Martin & John - Leonard Nimoy
13 Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds - William Shatner
14 If I Was A Carpenter - Leonard Nimoy
15 How Insensitive - William Shatner
16 I'd Love Making Love To You - Leonard Nimoy
17 Put A Little Love In Your Heart - Leonard Nimoy
18 Sunny - Leonard Nimoy
19 Gentle On My Mind - Leonard Nimoy
20 I Walk The Line - Leonard Nimoy
21 Ballad Of Bilbo Baggins - Leonard Nimoy
22 Everybody's Talkin' - Leonard Nimoy
23 Both Sides Now - Leonard Nimoy
24 Spock Thoughts - Leonard Nimoy
Two to beam up!!!
- MEESTER MUSIC
Sunday, February 10, 2008
A rare slice of Canadiana here. The Sir John A. Records label was formed in November 1966 by local DJ John Pozer. Up to this point, PAUL ANKA was Ottawa's famous son, hitting the big-time with his hit "Diana". This CD is testament to the fact that Ottawa had some GREAT rock 'n roll bands. I wouldn't exactly classify this as Garage Rock (the production is too good) but the mentality is certainly there. Lots of Brit influence, yet on the cut "All Of My Life" by Don Norman & The Other 4, you can hear Bob Dylan's influence in the vocals.
Various Artists - "Ottawa Rocks: The Sir John A. Years"
01 Low Man - Don Norman & The Other 4
02 The Bounce - Don Norman & The Other 4
03 All Of My Life - Don Norman & The Other 4
04 Good Time Music - Five D
05 You Gotta Try - Thee Deuces
06 Time To Be Going - Eyes Of Dawn
07 Tell Me Why - Those Naughty Boys
08 Baby Boy - Five D
09 Hung Up On You - Thee Deuces
10 Your Place In My Heart - Don Norman & The Other 4
11 Fever - Don Norman & The Other 4
12 Running 'Round In Circles - Five D
13 When You Ask About Love - Eastern Passage
14 Treat Me Bad - Heart
15 Ignorance And Hardship - Eyes Of Dawn
16 Get Out Of My Life Woman - Five D
17 Somebody Told My Girl - Those Naughty Boys
18 Love Is Gone - Eastern Passage
19 My Mind's Eye - Paper Dream
20 Nothing To Do, No Place To Go - Don Norman & The Other 4
21 Help Me Down - Heart
22 I Could Make You Fall In Love
23 Things Go Better With Coke - Five D
24 Dimentia - Five D
25 She's No Good - Paper Dream
26 I'm So Glad - Eastern Passage
Ottawa Rocks Part 1
Ottawa Rocks Part 2
Artwork & Booklet info included .
Friday, January 25, 2008
If anyone reads this and know how to get an invite from "Lost-In-Tyme", "Rockrula", "Heavy Rock Spectacular", please drop me a line in the Comments section with perhaps an email address of the blog authors so I can get an invite.
Don't worry. I will not publish any comments containing emails or other such information.
- MEESTER MUSIC