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 KUCR.org, 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 KUCR.org, 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 KUCR.org, Radio Garden, or Tune-In

You can check out this week's playlist below:


 

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...