Saturday, February 25, 2023

Raking the Moon? That's Cool - Hippie Love Turbo Radio Show - Code Word "Golden Berry"

This episode of Hippie Love Turbo, on KUCR 88.3 FM  started with a series of garage rock tunes that you could shake your hips to before we slowed things down with some moody psych tracks. It's those hills and valleys, highs and lows, that keep this show rocking.

While we were on one of those "hills" you heard The Street Cleaners perform one of my favorite garage rock classics, That's Cool, That's Trash. If you are like me, you are probably more familiar with the Kingsmen version of the song, however, The Street Cleaners are actually the originators of the song. Of course, like a lot of other "bands" The Street Cleaners were just one of many pseudonyms used by the writing duo P.F. Sloan and Steve Barri. In fact, you might recognize another track by one of their "bands" The Fantastic Baggys titled Tell 'Em I'm Surfin' which was covered by Jan and Dean

The two songwriters started recording at a fairly young age with Sloan's first recording being sold while he was only 13. Though the two were both prolific, Sloan is more renowned due to his matured songwriting in the mid '60s with songs such as Eve of Destruction. If you are interested in reading more about Sloan and Barri check out this retrospective from NPR's Fresh Air and this LA Times article on Sloan's passing in 2015.

As the show continued you heard The Moon Rakers perform their Beatles-esque song You'll Come Back. Originally, the band was known as The Surfin' Classics, then The Classics, until they added another member that played a Wurlitzer piano, which was highly unusual for garage rock bands. The band's name comes from the 1955 Ian Flemming book Moonraker, however, nowadays people are more familiar with the 1979 film which came out during the resurgence of space themed science fiction caused by the popularity of Star Wars. Funny enough, the movie led to a novelization by Christopher Wood, titled: James Bond and Moonraker. So, if you are keeping track, there's 3 different works of fiction using the Moonraker name. The original novel, a movie based on the novel, and a novel based on the movie which is based on another novel. Funny stuff.

And quickly I'll mention that you heard Nancy Holloway perform Tu N'es Pas Venu which is a cover of a Wanda Jackson's Whirlpool. Although I said I'll play Jackson's version of the song in a future episode I thought it'd be a good idea to link to it now for those that don't feel like waiting around to hear it.

Well folks, that's about it for this episode's rundown! Thanks for reading the blog and be sure to listen over the air on KUCR 88.3FM on Saturdays at 9pm PST. You can also listen through, Radio Garden, or Tune-In

You can check out this week's playlist below:


Saturday, February 18, 2023

Japanese Garage Sounds, David Bowie and The Shadows Four! - Hippie Love Turbo Radio Show - Code Word "Salsify"

On this episode of Hippie Love Turbo, on KUCR 88.3 FM  we drifted around the world of rock and roll in a vibrantly colored balloon. You heard freakbeat from Japan, garage from Canada and some psych from the UK. It was fun and I'm sure you loved it.

There were two Japanese songs on this episode with the first by The Dynamites, a group from a residential area in Tokyo named Asagaya. Originally the band performed at local clubs and US military bases as The Monsters before they changed their name sometime around 1967. According to various online sources, The Dynamites was one of several names presented to the group once they signed were signed to Victor Japan. The band was fairly short lived and ultimately only had one hit song, Tunnel Tengoku or Tunnel to Heaven, however, lead guitarist Fujio Yamaguchi continued his musical career for decades after The Dynamites' breakup. One of his more successful ventures was with a band named Teardrops which mostly played hard rock or southern blues influenced rock but also had a few tracks that flirted with reggae. There's a bunch of videos floating around with Yamaguchi playing guitar and singing at various clubs in Japan but this televised performance perfectly highlights his American influences and energetic playing style. If you can get a hold of it, there's a documentary about Yamaguchi's final performances named "皆殺しのバラード."

Additionally, lead singer Hiroshi Segawa, briefly sang in a band he helped form, named The New Dynamites, which doesn't appear to have released any recordings or at least any that I could find. However, I did manage to track down Segawa's solo album titled Pierrot which features an unusual mix between psych, country, and southern rock. The whole album feels like it could be on the soundtrack of some old American International Pictures film. The cover is also fairly bizarre with a blurry closeup of what appears to be Segawa in clown makeup. Strange stuff.

The other Japanese track you heard was Asamade Matani by The Mops with lyrics written by Yu Aku. During the show I mentioned the song was covered by Carmen Maki and how, much like Yamaguchi, Maki branched out to hard rock later in her career. If you want to check out how much Maki's work changed over the years, compare her sleepy pop songs like Town of Orphans to her late 70s work on the album Night Stalker which features Carmine Appice on drums and Earl Slick on guitar. More recently her song Tokiniwa Hahano Naikono Yoni appeared in Brad Pitt's Bullet Train (2022).

As the show continued you heard an obscure song by The Shadows Four named: I'm Begging You. There's hardly any information about the group online and what little I was able to find came from the liner notes of The New England Teen Scene, a garage rock compilation from 1983. According to the compilation, The Shadows Four were a house band for a venue named Shoreside 17 in Braintree, Massachusetts. I did find one tiny reference to Shoreside 17 in an old Melrose High School yearbook where a student mentions she'll never forget the venue before she explains how she likes to spend her free time going to dances and "Friendly's". As the liner notes continue it explains how the members of The Shadow Four also won the 1966 American Federation Award for musicians. Not sure what that means but it sure sounds fantastic. Good job guys!

Finally, towards the end of the show you heard You've Got a Habit Of Leaving by Davy Jones and The Lower Third. The original single omits the band's name but it reappears on various reissues. This Davy Jones, not to be confused with Davy Jones of The Monkees, eventually became known by a more famous name: David Bowie. In the year 2000, Bowie re-recorded You've Got a Habit Of Leaving with guitar work by a guitarist we mentioned earlier in this post, Earl Slick. For two decades the re-recording only existed in bootleg form until it saw an official release in 2021 on Bowie's posthumously released album Toy. I guess you could view the song as a bookend to Bowie's musical beginnings and his final works.

Anywho, that's about it for this episode's rundown! Thanks for reading the blog and be sure to listen over the air on KUCR 88.3FM on Saturdays at 9pm PST. You can also listen through, Radio Garden, or Tune-In

You can check out this week's playlist below:


Saturday, February 4, 2023

Carol Fran, Hound Dog Taylor, The Purple Barrier and Hippie Love Truck? Hippie Love Turbo Radio Show - Code Word "Lotus Root"

This episode of Hippie Love Turbo, on KUCR 88.3 FM kicked off with a set of rhythm and blues and blues inspired rock. I don't dip my toes into the blues too much because I'm not much of an expert in that field but since rhythm and blues is the foundation of early rock and roll, I can always find a way to squeeze some into the show.

The first song of the night was a soul blues banger by Carol Fran titled I'm Gonna Try. Perhaps you know Carol Fran from her cover of Darrell Glenn's Crying In The Chapel, then again, you probably don't know Fran's version, as it was unfortunately overshadowed by Elvis' cover that was released soon after. Humorously, Fran eventually confronted Elvis over his use of Crying In The Chapel which lead to Elvis cutting her a hefty check right then and there. If you liked I'm Gonna Try, I'd suggest checking out more of Fran's early singles as they are some of her best works. Some of her greats include: Emmett Lee, Knock Knock, and One More Chance.

As the show continued, I dropped a few tidbits of info about various subjects but I didn't really get too in depth with anything. For example, I mentioned Hound Dog Taylor's extra fingers and how he may have removed one during a night of heavy drinking but upon reflection, I realize that shouldn't steal the spotlight from Taylor's interesting approaches to music and love of cheap guitars. There's a great article on Premier Guitar which explores Taylor's history and gets into some of the ways he achieved his signature sound.

After you heard The Turtles' Buzzsaw I talked about the differences between turtles and tortoises and how last year there was some hubbub about videos which depicted turtles and tortoises being "rescued" from various hazards which, when watched with a critical eye, appear to be total fabrications. You can read a little about the situation here and watch some video analysis by DanTheTurtleMan. In his videos, Dan explores some examples of these bizarre turtle abuse videos and how they often receive praise from uninformed viewers.

And finally, I spoke about The Purple Barrier, a group from Fulham, London, that eventually dropped the Purple from their name and unknowingly had a single recorded by session musicians while they were away on tour. According to the blog Cosmic Minds At Play, the phony tracks are on the Phillips singles for The Tide is Turning and A Place In Your Heart which have been hard to track down. Probably for a good reason.

That's it for this episode's rundown. Thanks for reading the blog and be sure to listen over the air on KUCR 88.3FM on Saturdays at 9pm PST. You can also listen through, Radio Garden, or Tune-In

You can check out this week's playlist below:


Saturday, January 14, 2023

San Bernardino's The Good Feelins and The Pattens - Hippie Love Turbo Radio Show - Code Word "Cassava"

This episode of Hippie Love Turbo, on KUCR 88.3 FM had some more obscure stuff as I've been finding myself getting lost in some out-of-print compilations and oddball bootlegs. As a result, a lot of tracks that you heard on this episode aren't on Spotify but that's just how it goes.

Speaking of obscure, one of the first bands you heard on this episode was The Good Feelins from San Bernardino. The group only released a couple singles, one under the name The Genteels, before their career was cut short due to members being drafted into the Vietnam war. In fact, they began playing with bigger acts such as The Animals and Rolling Stones as they secured a recording contract through Liberty Records and were even predicted to reach the Hot Top 100 by Billboard. 

On various compilations the group's name has been slightly altered, which adds to the band's mystery. For example, the track you heard on this episode, I'm Captured, was found on the compilation Who Needs Tomorrow? American 60s Garage Bands, which lists the group as "Good Feeling". While that may not seem like a big deal, when you are dealing with garage rock bands, sometimes even a misplaced apostrophe can mark the difference between two bands. 

Additionally, I think it's important to point out that The Good Feelins official website mentions the band's San Bernardino roots. I've seen a few websites refer to The Good Feelins as a Riverside band and to some people that distinction, although minor, would probably be appreciated. Most of the members knew each other from San Bernardino Valley College with the exception being their drummer, Mike Kravitz, who was only 17 at the time and still attending Pacific High School. You can read some contemporaneous articles about the band on their website which was difficult to find due to some dead links. 

As the show continued you heard The Pattens song You Should Know and I mentioned that there are some arguments to be made over who actually wrote the song with a Chicago based band, The Escavels claiming to be the song's originators. The Escavels' version was recorded a year prior to The Pattens version but was never released to the public until 2012. As noted by the blog A Bit Like You and Me, The Pattens B-side Jump is a cover of The Toggery Five's I'm Gonna Jump with the song's credits listed as Ren Shawel instead of the actual name of the songwriter Frank Renshaw. Whether or not there was plagiarism involved or simply mishandled credits is hard to say and we'll probably never know the whole story. However, it's fairly obvious that The Pattens versions are produced fairly well and I'm sure they would have gotten into some legal trouble if their single was more successful.

Anywho, there wasn't a ton of talking on this episode so I'll wrap it up here. Thanks for reading the blog and be sure to listen over the air on KUCR 88.3FM on Saturdays at 9pm PST. You can also listen through, Radio Garden, or Tune-In

You can check out this week's playlist below:


Saturday, January 7, 2023

The Dirt Merchants, Bradley's Barn and Other Obscure Garage Rock! - Hippie Love Turbo Radio Show - Code Word "Seakale"

This episode of Hippie Love Turbo, on KUCR 88.3 FM featured a bunch of bands that aren't on Spotify so I had to dig a little deeper than usual to provide a playlist but luckily there are plenty of fine people on YouTube that are willing to share some of their collections.

Towards the beginning of the show, you heard The Dirt Merchants perform their song Do What You Wanta Do which appears as a B-side on their only release from 1966. The A-side is a song named I Found Another Girl which shares a lot of similarities to The Nightcrawlers' song The Little Black Egg. And by saying it shares a lot of similarities I mean, it's practically the same song, even down to the basslines with the differences coming from the lyrics and the chords used in the refrain. Perhaps someone was banking on the popularity of The Little Black Egg to rub off on The Dirt Merchants single, however, I would argue that the B-side is the stronger song of the two and would have made a better A-side. Unfortunately, both of the songs suffer from fairly generic lyrics along the lines of the typical "you did me wrong" song. If you are having a little déjà vu it might be because I recently wrote about The Little Black Egg on the episode Mizuna.

There were at least two different bands with The Dirt Merchants name and because there's little information on either band, it's easy to get them mixed up. The Dirt Merchants from this post appear to have been from Yazoo City, MS and featured Jack Phillips, Ricky Pettigrew (mislabeled R. Pettigraw on the single), John Brister, Kenny Waldop, and Charles Jackson. Jack Phillips, the singer of The Dirt Merchants (MS), continued to play music in various groups over the years with his most recent band being The Remnants until his passing on May 3, 2021. 

More information can be gleamed from the comment section of a Garage Hangover blog post about the Florida based Dirt Merchants. A commenter that identifies himself as Ricky Pettigrew's son states that The Dirt Merchants (MS) won a Battle of the Bands in New Orleans which awarded them a recording session at what he believes to have been Bradley's Barn. This is mostly likely how the band recorded their only single since it appears that they never had a record contract. Besides that, I haven't been able to find any other information on the group.

The name Bradley's Barn may be familiar to you because it's also the title of The Beau Brummels' fifth album which takes its name from the studio. It's a bit different from the band's earlier releases but it's worth listening to if you want to hear early releases in the country rock genre. There were a ton of great albums recorded at Bradley's Barn before it burned down in 1982 due to a florescent light's faulty electrical connection. Unfortunately many irreplaceable masters were completely destroyed in the fire. Eventually, I'd like the dive deeper into the history of Bradley's Barn, however, until then you can check out the Barn's official Facebook page.

Now I'll quickly go over some of the other topics I covered on this episode!

Following The Dirt Merchants, you heard a track by The Satans named Makin' Deals. There's a post on a blog named On The Flip-Side that makes a pretty solid argument that the group was probably just another studio project and that The Satans probably never existed in the true sense of a band. On The Flip-Side also makes a connection to biker exploitation soundtracks and points out how the B-side, Lines And Squares, swipes lyrics from an A.A. Milne poem with the same name. The poem features "satanic" lines such as: 

The sillies who tread on the lines of the street
Go back to their lairs,
And I say to them, "Bears,
Just look how I'm walking in all the squares!"

Later in the show you heard The Interns track I've Got Something To Say and I spoke a little about how the single suffered from mistakes during its production. Additionally, I touched on a little history of the band's hometown Uniontown, OH that's just outside of Akron, OH and is known for its proximity to a Superfund site.

That's about it for this episode! Be sure to listen over the air on KUCR 88.3FM on Saturdays at 9pm PST. You can also listen through, Radio Garden, or Tune-In

You can check out this episode's playlist below:


Friday, December 23, 2022

Christmas Radio Special! - 50s-70s Rock and Roll, Rockabilly, and Novelty Songs

This episode of Hippie Love Turbo, on KUCR 88.3 FM was a Christmas special! There were lots of songs about Santa and staying festive. In fact, this episode has one of my highest track counts with almost 30 songs in an hour! I kept the talking to a minimum so you can put it on in the background for that last minute gift wrapping session. If you are feeling crafty, check out this folding box pattern I made back in 2020. It features one of my favorite bizarre Christmas decorations.

Be sure to listen over the air on KUCR 88.3FM on Saturdays at 9pm PST. You can also listen through, Radio Garden, or Tune-In

Have a happy holidays and if you missed the show you can check out the playlist below!


Saturday, November 19, 2022

The Everly Brothers Flirt With Psych and The Cars Cover The Nightcrawlers - Hippie Love Turbo Radio Show - Code Word "Mizuna"

This episode of Hippie Love Turbo, on KUCR 88.3 FM was light with the dialogue but heavy in the tunes. Most of the songs were moodier than usual or featured more pop orientated psych flavorings, which I find nice as the wind rages and the temperatures cool.

At some point during the show, you heard The Everly Brothers cover of The Spencer Davis Group's Somebody Help Me, which was first released on their album Two Yanks in England. Between the two versions I prefer The Everly Brothers' version as it's one of the few moments the Brothers got close to making something that resembled a psychedelic song. Other songs of theirs that flirted with psychedelia include: the sunshine pop sounding Talking To The Flowers, baroque pop influenced June Is As Cold As December, A Voice Within, Mary Jane, and the bluesier You Got The Power Of Love and The Price of Love. Out of all their albums, The Everly Brothers Sing has their most psyched out songs before they began their country rock phase. During this time, it seemed that rock artists from the '50s were struggling to find new sounds to fit in with the changing musical landscapes. We've looked at a couple examples before with Del Shannon and Chuck Berry's Bound To Lose from his album San Francisco Dues, as heard on the episode Sapote.

Two Yanks in England heavily featured The Hollies as the album's backing band, which obviously influenced the albums direction towards a beat sound, which the Everly Brothers appeared to be fond of when you look at their previous album Beat 'N' Soul. Of course, The Hollies are best known for their song Long Cool Woman (In a Black Dress), however, at time that they recorded Two Yanks in England the band was mostly known for their beat covers of popular songs such as: The Coasters' Searchin', Maurice Williams and the Zodiacs' Stay, and Doris Troy's Just One Look. Supposedly, Two Yanks also featured an uncredited Jimmy Page but it seems like every album recorded in England in the late '60s is claimed to have been graced by Page's presence. You can read more about this album's inception here.

As the show continued you heard The Nightcrawlers' The Little Black Egg which I mentioned was covered by The Cars for their 1981 album Shake It Up. The cover was dropped from the original release but appeared, with new lead vocals, on Bebe Buell's ep Covers Girl and later on The Car's 2018 re-releases. It's interesting comparing the two versions because, although the music is identical, Ocasek's voice brings the right amount of rocking weirdness to match the stripped-down new wave sound as opposed to Buell's more theatrical wailing.

That's about it folks! Thanks for reading the blog and be sure to listen over the air on KUCR 88.3FM on Saturdays at 9pm PST. You can also listen through, Radio Garden, or Tune-In

You can also check out this week's playlist below:


Saturday, November 12, 2022

Mini Skirts, Mocking Hippies, and Yūzō Kayama - Hippie Love Turbo Radio Show - Code Word "Sunchoke"

This episode of Hippie Love Turbo, on KUCR 88.3 FM started with a cover of The Kinks' All Day and All of The Night as performed by The Knickerbockers. You've heard The Knickerbockers cover another song, The Kingsmen's Jolly Green Giant, on the episode Apricot and if you take a look at their catalogue, most of their songs are covers, with the one major exception being their hit single Lies which could easily be mistaken for a Beatles B-side. 

The group formed in Bergenfield, New Jersey which has consistently been rated as one of the safest cities in the U.S. If that's not exciting enough for you, Bergenfield is also known for being the town where George Gately spent his youth. Gately was a cartoonist that's best known for his comic strip Heathcliff aka the other orange cat that's not Garfield. Around the time The Knickerbockers formed, Gately was kicking off his comic career with a strip known as Hapless Harry.

Following the wordless Harry, Gately started a strip named Hippy, which was a single panel strip that followed the life of a flower child named...well, Hippy. The main jokes in Hippy revolved around how hippies were smelly, or lazy, or stupid, etc. etc. For the most part the comic uses the same formula: a dirty beatnik or hippie says or does something stupid and Hippy reacts in a confused or oblivious manner. 


The comic was fairly unfunny and was only published in a small market leading it to become a mere footnote in history. Stripper's Guide, an amazing blog featuring information on various obscure comic strips, has a small article about Hippy and you can find some panels on a Twitter thread by Pop Arena

As the show went on, I played a strange novelty song by Minnie and The Kneebones titled: Me and My Mini Skirt. There is some confusion about the origins of the song because there is another version which appears to be slightly sped up with different background vocals. This version of the song is credited to Karen Young and The Knee Caps. Both versions are silly and reflect the taboos of the era and I can't say which one I prefer. If you want to hear Karen Young's version, I suggest checking out her interesting performance of the song on an unnamed French television show. After watching Young flail and shimmy, if you still find yourself in the miniskirt mood, there's a contemporaneous documentary about the history of the miniskirt uploaded onto YouTube by PeriscopeFilm.

Towards the latter half of the show, you heard a surf instrumental by Yūzō Kayama and The Ranchers named Black Sand Beach. Besides playing guitar, Yūzō Kayama is known for acting in popular films that are collectively known as the Wakadaishō series. The films follow Kayama's athletic endeavors with each film focusing on a different sport. The movies appear to be romantic comedies and there are about 17 including one named Campus A Go Go which follows the protagonist as he not only masters American Football but also horseback riding while simultaneously being a guitar master. I believe this is where Black Sand Beach comes from. The movies have been pretty much impossible for me to find without buying and importing them from Japan or using some hackery to stream from Japan only streaming services. Perhaps one day I'll be able to track them down and if I do, I'll be sure to write some reviews.

That's it for this episode's summary! Thanks for reading the blog and be sure to listen over the air on KUCR 88.3FM on Saturdays at 9pm PST. You can also listen through, Radio Garden, or Tune-In

You can check out this week's playlist below:


Friday, November 11, 2022

Jesus, Aliens, and A Little Bit of Soul - Hippie Love Turbo Radio Show - Code Word "Pineapple Guava"

On this episode of Hippie Love Turbo, on KUCR 88.3 FM you heard a song by Merrell Fankhauser and (His Trusty) H.M.S. Bounty titled: Drivin' Sideways (On A One Way Street). The song features some fuzzy guitars and lighthearted psychedelic lyrics with a nice solid backing groove making it a fun cruising song that sounds like it'd fit on the soundtrack of an old biker flick. 

Prior to H.M.S. Bounty, Fankhauser started his musical career with The Impacts, a surf-band that released their first album Wipe Out in 1963. After The Impacts dissolved, Fankhauser started a group that could be described as teen pop, rock n roll, or garage rock with a group known as The Exiles. In the late '60s Fankhauser switched genres and released what I consider his best musical output with H.M.S. Bounty, an album titled Things! There's a re-released version of the album that came out in 1985 but I prefer the original version because it feels raw and appropriate for its time, whereas the '85 re-release feels like it was polished in a way to fit in with '80s standards and, funny enough, feels more dated to me. Perhaps I'm mistaken, but it seems that there were also newer overdubs and editing that also take away from the original release.

Clip from Merrell Fankhauser's Alien Talk

Fankhauser's musical output changed quite a bit over the years as his interests in Hawaii, tikis, space travel, and alien life became more apparent. In the 80's Fankhauser's science fiction themes reached their peak with his 1986 album Message To The Universe. The album features drum machines, synths, and is a bit funkier. 

Eventually, Fankhauser began hosting radio and television shows which featured live performances from various artists on a stage built at his own home. There are some clips and episodes available on Fankhauser's YouTube channel, all of which have a public-access television feeling to them. If you want a more exhaustive look into Fankhauser's history I suggest checking out his interviews with It's Psychedelic Baby Magazine and Mark's Record Reviews or his official site.

As the show continued you heard Music Explosion's I See The Light. The band is considered a one hit wonder with their song A Little Bit of Soul being their claim to fame. Similarly, to other bands of the time, a big chunk of their work includes covers from various other garage groups. The band's drummer, Bob Avery, went on to work with another group, Crazy Elephant, which also had a single hit with their song Gimme, Gimmie, Good Lovin' in 1969. 

Image from Biblewalk's official website

While researching Music Explosion I stumbled upon an unusual wax museum located in their hometown Mansfield, Ohio named Biblewalk. Like many other religious museums, Biblewalk features dioramas based on scenes from the bible featuring narration and stage lighting. However, what's most peculiar about this museum is the fact that most, if not all, of the wax figures have been repurposed from other museums. Despite the museum's attempts to mask the wax figures' origins, visitors with sharp eyes can spot various famous actors and musicians throughout history. If you are interested in Biblewalk but can't make it to Mansfield, check out this video by The Carpetbagger where he explores the museum's highlights.

Anywho, that's about it for this episode's summary. Thanks for reading the blog and be sure to listen over the air on KUCR 88.3FM on Saturdays at 9pm PST. You can also listen through, Radio Garden, or Tune-In

You can check out this week's playlist below:


Saturday, October 29, 2022

Halloween Radio Special 3! - 50s-70s Rock and Roll, Rockabilly, and Novelty Songs

This Saturday at 9pm on KUCR 88.3 FM is the 3rd annual Hippie Love Turbo Halloween Special! Be sure to listen over the air on KUCR 88.3FM or through If you'd like, you can also listen to KUCR through Radio Garden or Tune-In. If you missed the show or want to listen to the tracks again, check out the playlist at the bottom of this post.

During the show I recommended Abel Ferrara's 1981 film Ms. 45 for everyone that's still looking for some trashy films to watch this Halloween. Although the film is set in fall, with the film's climax taking place during a Halloween party, I admit it's a stretch to call Ms. 45 a Halloween film. Regardless, I still think it's worth your time for all of its moody world building and grimy set pieces. If you are familiar with Ferrara's Driller Killer (which I talked about on the episode named Mango) you'll see many similarities between the two films, such as the slums of New York, annoying neighbors, demanding bosses, party scenes, and characters that reach their breaking points and turn towards acts of violence. 

Laurie (portrayed by Darlene Stuto) reads about Ms. 45's crime spree

In Ms. 45 the protagonist, Thana, is a victim of multiple sexual assaults in one day which causes her to seek revenge against all the perverts in New York City. At first Thana is portrayed as a sort of anti-hero vigilante similar to Paul Kersey in the Death Wish series but as the film continues, we see Thana become more of a mass murderer that preys on men. There are hardly any positive male characters in the film which makes Thana's over the top murders feel justifiable, assuming that the audience understands the nature of exploitation films. 

One of many scenes in Ms. 45 that feature sexual harassment

Ms. 45 appears to be inspired by several other films, as well as, the real events surrounding serial killer David Berkowitz (aka the .44 Caliber Killer). As previously mentioned, there are similarities to Death Wish but the film's climax is also reminiscent of the 1976 film Carrie. It could be argued that there are elements of Taxi Driver too but, like all good exploitation films, Ms. 45 takes elements from many other films and reduces them down to their visceral core.

A Driller Killer reference can be spotted during the film's climax

The film has various runtimes depending on which version you watch, with Thana's rape scenes being reduced in most of the censored versions. In fact, you may find yourself watching an edited copy where the scenes are removed completely which can make the film somewhat confusing. Of course, the rape aspects are the most off-putting part of the film, however, they are not nearly as explicit as other films such as Wes Craven's The Last House on the Left or Meir Zarchi's I Spit on Your Grave. I understand that sexual violence is a no-go for most people, so I only suggest watching the film if you are alright with fictional depictions of that sort of thing. Yes, it is disgusting and crass but that's sort of the nature of these types of films. They make you feel uncomfortable.

*Saxophone sounds coming from a trumpet*

The film has several humorous moments, some intentional and some not, but most of the film is a fairly straight forward thriller. Overall, the film feels fast paced and doesn't dwell on anything for too long unlike The Driller Killer. It's a low budget affair that you can watch with buddies and revel in it's over the top violence and, while it's not psychologically or emotionally deep, there are moments that highlight the everyday sexual harassment that women often feel in our country, whether it's cat-callers, creepy bosses, or annoying strangers that portray themselves as "good guys." Hopefully, there will be, or has been, someone that watches the film and walks away thinking about their own actions, recognizing that they should stop acting like a weirdo pervert. One can only hope.

In conclusion, Ms. 45 isn't for everyone but it's definitely worth a watch if you are into late night grindhouse flicks.

Ms. 45' Halloween party scene

Anywho, thanks for tuning in this week! You can check out this episode's playlist below. If you are still feeling the Halloween spirit, check out the last two Halloween specials here and here.


Tommy Bell - Swamp Gal
Baron Daemon and The Vampires - Ghost Guitars
Teddy Durant - The Night Stalker
The Mystrys - Witch Girl
Danny Hutton - Monster Shindig


Saturday, October 8, 2022

Obscure Psychedelic Folk and Japanese Beat With Margaret, Mark Fry, and D. R. Hooker - Hippie Love Turbo Radio Show - Code Word "Mouse Melon"

On this episode of Hippie Love Turbo, on KUCR 88.3 FM we stretched things out with 14 tracks that hit close or beyond the 3 minute mark! Most of it was psychedelic this time around but we also had a few tracks that leaned more towards beat music including our first track Aeba Suki Suki by Margaret and Bunnys.

There's not a lot of info on Margaret in English but what we do know is she recorded a few singles as Margaret before she dropped the mononym in favor of Emmy Margaret. The story goes that she was discovered by Takeshi Terauchi whose office was located near the modeling agency which employed Margaret as a client and, in case you are unaware, Takeshi Terauchi was a writer/musician/producer that was known for playing instrumental surf music in his groups The Blue Jeans and The Bunnys. You may recognize his music from the episode named "Endive." 

It seems that Margaret's youth, modeling experience, and American heritage were seen as marketable because it's unlikely that she would have gained recording contracts with her singing ability alone. While I personally think her voice fits the style of music she performed, I have seen many comments in Japanese articles that describe her Japanese skills as lacking and her singing as subpar. At the time, the Group Sounds genre (most often referred to as GS) was gaining popularity due to influence from British beat bands, most notably, The Beatles and Margaret's first single seemed to have a little more of a hard edge compared to her contemporaries. Unlike more straightforward garage rock, GS artists leaned more heavily on the kayōkyoku (Japanese Pop) side. This becomes more evident as Margaret's short musical career evolved and her songs began to feature more strings with softer vocals. If you like the Yé-yé inspired April March I'd suggest giving Margaret's first single 逢えば好き好き/幸福(しあわせ)a listen.

After Margaret, you heard an interesting psychedelic tune, named Forge Your Own Chains, performed by a mysterious artist named D. R. Hooker. In 1972 Hooker released his album The Truth with a very small pressing of 99 records that fell into obscurity for many years before being rediscovered and re-released in the 90s. The album cover features a robed Jesus-esque Hooker standing on a mountain top with an acoustic guitar which paired with the hippy-dippy tunes creates a curious artifact that draws you in. Visually and lyrically the album gives off almost cult-like vibes especially since it was released with little fanfare in a post-Manson world where hippie fashion became unhip. If you are more curious about the album check out this article on Vinyl Me Up which dives deeper into the strange history of the release.

Staying on the obscure side of things, towards the end of the show you heard Wendy and Bonnie perform their song By The Sea which was released through Skye Records shortly before the record label folded. Wendy and Bonnie the daughters of musicians Art and Jeane Flower that, besides releasing their sole full length album Genesis, also performed with a psychedelic group known as The Crystal Fountain. Some editions of Genesis feature The Crystal Fountain tracks Never To Rest and The Night Behind Us which leave me with an appetite for more. Who knows what could have come from Wendy and Bonnie if their label wouldn't have gone bankrupt? Perhaps they could have continued releasing album or drummed up interest in The Crystal Fountain. Back in 2014, Frank Valish interviewed Wendy Flower for Under The Radar Magazine and she explains some of the group's history, as well as, life as a young musician in the late '60s.

And to wrap things up, you heard Mark Fry's A Norman Soldier from his 1971 album Dreaming With Alice. Dreaming With Alice was quietly released through the Italian RCA sublabel IT and then fell into obscurity before gaining a cult following years later. Eventually Fry began releasing music again and has since recorded several full-length albums and also a few EPs. If you are going to listen to any of Fry's more contemporary works, I'd suggest starting with Mark Fry/The A. Lords' I Lived In Trees which I found surprisingly captivating. I say surprisingly because it's not often that a musician can walk away from releasing music for such a long period and then come back with something that's actually good. I've seen many artists try to record new material after their teenage efforts have gained interest through re-releases and they usually are fairly middle of the road or subpar. This is not the case for I Lived In Trees which is experimental and folky with some dreamy lo-fi undertones. There are more hits and misses in Fry's other work, however, I'd say it's all worth at least a brief listen.

Anywho, that's about it for this episode's summary. Thanks for reading the blog and be sure to listen over the air on KUCR 88.3FM on Saturdays at 9pm PST. You can also listen through, Radio Garden, or Tune-In

You can check out this week's playlist below:


Raking the Moon? That's Cool - Hippie Love Turbo Radio Show - Code Word "Golden Berry"

This episode of Hippie Love Turbo , on KUCR 88.3 FM   started with a series of garage rock tunes that you could shake your hips to before we...