Shindig! issue 27
THE CHOCOLATE WATCHBAND
On the vangard of strangely-named groups that began rippling out across the sunny streets of California during the heady days and nights of 1966, a San Jose-based quintet calling themselves THE CHOCOLATE WATCHBAND were among the strongest contenders to infiltrate the already thriving San Francisco music scene.
The Watchband drew heavily from the rough-hewn elements of R&B, plus the forward-thinking sonic experimentalism displayed by the harder-edged British outfits such as the Stones, The Kinks and especially, The Yardbirds.
Mentored by svengali Ed Cobb (‘Tainted Love’, ‘Dirty Water’), the group released a run of spellbinding 45s and albums, and trod the boards of many of San Francisco’s hippest psychedelic rock venues, yet attained only a fraction of the success of many of their lesser contemporaries. They even found their way onto the silver screen via a cameo in one of Hollywood’s most memorable drugsploitation flicks. As the group’s status as trailblazers of original garage and psychedelic sounds continues to grow, LENNY HELSING listens in as the group’s still-ongoing tale unfolds.
If ever further proof were needed that the ’60s were most unlike the way we’ve subsequently imagined them, then the strange story of TOBY TWIRL provides the ultimate evidence. Their very name exudes the childlike sense of wonder that embodies the essence of one playful strand of UK psychedelia, while their second 45 – the almost perfect pairing of pristine toytown psychedelic confections, ‘Toffee Apple Sunday’ and ‘Romeo And Juliet 1968’ – has long been regarded as one of the most sublime examples of paisley pop.
Yet beneath the groovy gear and Small Faces support slots lies a tale of scampi in the basket, cheap bitter, working men’s clubs, shared billings with Scouse comedian Freddie Starr and sets interrupted by a mad scramble for pub grub!
The Swinging London of magical myth this most certainly wasn’t, as HUGH DELLAR is about to find out
THE WHEELS / DEMICK & ARMSTRONG
Hot on the heels of Big Beat’s anthology of wild mid-60s R&B punks THE WHEELS and RPM’s reissue of DEMICK & ARMSTRONG’s soulful, rustic rock debut, Belfast boys and core members, Rod Demick and Herbie Armstong reflect on 50 years in rock ‘n’ roll with TREVOR HODGETT
VAN DYKE PARKS
The backroom boy and session man who became the maverick lyricist and songsmith that helped change the face of popular music in the ’60s. BILL KOPP discusses George Washington Brown, Donovan, Brian Wilson and worldbeat with VAN DYKE PARKS
?Sun Studios, John Fahey, Jim Dickinson and “not getting” his friend and mentor Alex Chilton’s Big Star – “I was listening to Stockhausen and country-blues”
KRIS NEEDS enjoys an audience with Memphis legend TAV FALCO
NIRVANA, Patrick Campbell-Lyons and Alex Spyropoulous, were one of the first signings to Chris Blackwell’s legendary Island Records in 1967. Fusing the classical trappings of Procol Harum with romantic lyrics and fairytale settings, the band scored with ‘Rainbow Chaser’ and the future looked set. However, after two fine albums they were dropped from the label on delivery of their third, decidedly romantic venture, Black Flower.
GEORGE CANON hears PATRICK CAMPBELL-LYONS’ side of the story
Post-Easy Rider American cinema had its fair share of sunny, liberated, hippy chick actresses, but few mastered the combination of cute and carefree as well as JOY BANG.
Far from ever becoming a household name, the Kansas City starlet’s brief but vivid filmography is dominated by visionaries like Andrew Meyer, Woody Allen, Roger Vadim and Norman Mailer.
The roles she was offered were rarely more than decorative with little dialogue, but Bang possessed an undeniable on-screen charm marked by a wide smile, a smoky voice and a sense of wild spontaneity. Not to mention a name that was hard to forget!
KIER-LA JANISSE bangs the gong
THE FALLEN ANGELS
THE FALLEN ANGELS burst out of Washington DC in 1966 and hit the ground running. Schooled in R&B, soul and jazz, and galvanised by Rubber Soul and Bringing It All Back Home, their intent was to fuse sophisticated jazz and classical motifs to visceral rock n soul grit.
Everyone who saw them live instantly became a fan, they left other bands quaking in their shadow.
But their records were rushed, their image mishandled and their firebrand spirit eventually extinguished by a clueless music industry. Yes, that old chestnut again.
In the first part of our epic band history ALASDAIR C MITCHELL charts the formation, early singles and debut album of this incredible band, one whose reputation should be mentioned alongside those of their more celebrated contemporaries The Nazz, The Vagrants and SRC
?Type “Amboy Dukes” into any search engine and you’ll get plenty of hits for the American Ted Nugent-led band, but not much about the Reading-based combo that unknowingly shared its name with the boys from Detroit. Not only is there precious little information about Britain’s Amboy Dukes on the net, most of it is just plain incorrect.
JOHN BLANEY meets with the band’s saxophonist,
Ken McColm, to put the record straight
plus THE SEE SEE • SUNBEAM RECORDS• BLUE OYSTER CULT and more!
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