Sunday, July 24, 2022

Triumphs, Moorhead, MN and B-movie Exotica - Hippie Love Turbo Radio Show - Code Word "Lucuma"

This episode of Hippie Love Turbo, on KUCR 88.3 FM featured an array of tunes spanning from rockabilly, garage, to psych mashed into an hour of toe tappers and far out drifters. Here's a breakdown of some of the things I talked about in this episode:

Near the beginning of the show you heard Terry Lee and The Poor Boys' My Little Sue and I spoke about Terry Lee and his hometown of Moorhead, Minnesota. Moorhead is located in the Red River Valley and has a tragic connection to rock n roll history as it was destined to be the next stop on Buddy Holly's Winter Party Tour. As you most likely know, Buddy Holly along with Ritchie Valens, and "The Big Bopper" J. P. Richardson never made it to their show in Moorhead due their plane crashing in an event that's often referred to as The Day The Music Died. However, what I didn't mention on the show is that Terry Lee and his group performed as replacements during the scheduled event along with Bobby Vee and the Shadows, and Holly's group, The Crickets. You can read Terry Lee's recounting of the night via this old Facebook post here. Terry Lee now goes by Bob Becker, which I assume is his real name, and has (or at least, had) a radio show titled Bob Becker's Old Tyme Variety Show.

As the show continued, I briefly mentioned The Gatormen and how they were known for performing throughout the Pacific Northwest. If you are interested in a little more about the band's history, check out their page on Pacific Northwest Bands. There's not a ton of info on the group but, as of 2004, their bassist Rick Fleek released an album named Lost & Found which you can listen to here.

Later on you heard Los Ovnis' La Última Vez but the group was best known for their Spanish covers of English rock songs. Before becoming Los Ovnis, the band was known as Los Teddy Bears and their most popular album consisted solely of Beatles covers. Fun stuff.



And finally, you heard Les Baxter's Chain Fight which plays during the climax of the 1969 biker film Hell's Belles, starring Jocelyn Lane, Adam Roarke, and Jeremy Slate. The soundtrack features some of my favorite work by Baxter who was well known for writing music in the Exotica genre and for his prolific work in B-movies, particularly with American International Pictures. Baxter's music ranged from fairly straightforward orchestral music to spacey Bossa Nova and pop music featuring Moog synthesizers and theremins. 


As for the film, it's a fairly run of the mill motorcycle flick that features many of the standard biker film tropes such as: hassling gas station attendants, helmet-less riding on dirt-roads and desert highways, as well as, a few ill-conceived and dangerous stunts. The plot revolves around a motocross racer that wins a Triumph motorcycle valued at $2,000 that's stolen multiple times, first by a fellow jealous racer, and then by a somewhat toothless motorcycle gang. You won't see any bikers getting loaded in this film, profanity is scant, and while there are some "belles" they hardly seem like they're from Hell, let alone heck or H. E. double hockey sticks. The near wholesomeness of the gang is a real head scratcher. Their fearsome leader has a strange obsession with denying the fact that he's a thief and instead he forces people into "trades" where he gives up something in return for the items he takes. These trades lead to one of the biker's old ladies, Cathy, being forcefully exchanged for the film's protagonist Dan's motorcycle. The rest of the film follows Dan's attempts at retrieving his motorcycle while dragging along helpless Cathy. The film seems like it wants to establish a relationship between Dan and Cathy but it never really takes off the ground. I'm not sure if we are supposed to like Dan as he's pretty much an abusive jerk to Cathy throughout the film. Again, this movie is an odd one. The movie suffers from a script that lacks the edgy nature of typical biker films as it banks on the audience sticking around just to see Jocelyn Lane in a mini-skirt. I pretty much only recommend the film if you like AIP's other biker schlock.

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, or on Mondays at 10pm PST. You can also listen through KUCR.org, Radio Garden, or Tune-In

You can check out this week's playlist below:


 

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