Sunday, December 3, 2023

Tasmanian Devils and Stardust - Hippie Love Turbo Radio Show - Code Word "Taro"

This episode of Hippie Love Turbo, on KUCR 88.3 FM, leaned more towards the psych side which is probably going to be the theme for the next few episodes. Like many people, I sometimes find myself gravitating towards certain musical genres for a given period of time before I get sick of it. Lately I've been checking out a lot of late 60s and early 70s fuzzed out stuff rather so these next few episodes will definitely be reflecting that.

Anywho, towards the beginning of the show you heard the buzzy little tune Baby by a band from West Palm Beach, Florida named The Tasmanians. The original release is fairly rare but you can find the track on a bunch of different compilations, some better than others. The version you heard came from Sixties Archives Vol. 4 Florida & New Mexico Punk and if you are ever interested in getting some compilations for your collection, you can't go wrong with the Sixties Archives!

As is the case with a lot of psych and garage bands, one of the best sources for information on the group is on Garage Hangover. However, on the show I focused more on the strange dog sized marsupial which shares a similar namesake with the band, the Tasmanian Devil. The Tasmanian Devil's breeding behavior is what initially caught my attention due to the fact that they often give birth to 20-30 pups with only around 40% surviving to maturity. They have relatively short lifespans with the oldest known Tasmanian Devil being Coolah, who was born and raised in the Children's Zoo in Fort Wayne, IN and died at age seven

Tasmanian Devils remind me of Master Splinter

Currently, the animals are facing extinction due to a fatal disease (Devil Facial Tumour Disease) which causes facial tumors and is one of the very few known forms of cancer which spreads in a contagious fashion. Conservation efforts are being led by the Department of Natural Resources and Environment Tasmania and if you would like to learn more about these unusual creatures and possibly donate to their causes, head on over to their official website.

Towards the halfway point of the show, you heard The Stardusters play their cover of Ray Charles' What'd I Say. The group was made up of young teens from the sparsely populated Willisville and Cutler area of Illinois and according to a local newspaper article, the band was known for performing 3 times a week. The recording is a little rough around the edges which contributes to its charm with vocals provided by a young woman named Miss Darla Dean. There are a few other groups that share the Stardusters name including a latin rock band from the greater Houston area whose most popular single is Forever and a vocal group from the 1930s that was known for their appearances on The Vitalis Show, featuring George Jessel and his Celebrated Guests

While listening to The Stardusters I was reminded of a film I watched way back in 2007, and had long since forgotten, named Stardust. What I remember most about the film is its unusual tone which was a mix between campiness and self-seriousness with the unusual casting choices of Robert De Niro as a pirate with a secret love for dressing in women's clothing and Michelle Pfeiffer in the role of an ugly witch. The movie is based off a 1999 novel of the same name by Neil Gaiman who is probably best known for his comic book series Sandman which was later made into a critically acclaimed series on Netflix. While I can't say I'd really recommend Stardust because, frankly because I can't remember too much about it, but I would highly recommend Sandman for anyone that's slightly interested in Gaiman's work.

And finally, towards the end of the show I played a song by Maximus named A Better Mind and I mentioned that the group was headed by Jack Ross, who was an active session musician in Nashville. Ross was also married to a country music singer named Jeris Ross who gained some success with her version of the Gary Paxton song Pictures On Paper which features some unusual lyrics such as:

So what if he flirts a little with the girls where he works, as long as he's true to you, you better give that man a little slack.

Funny enough, there's another version of the song by Ronnie Dove which seems more sympathetic to the woman's perspective. On air I compared Pictures On Paper to Tammy Wynette's Stand By Your Man which caused some controversy during its debut for containing lyrics which feminists felt were misogynistic. 

If you happen to like vintage country western music my buddy Jed McDaniel has a show on Spotify named When Cringin' Leads to Cryin' which highlights music from the early days of country until around the 1970s. We used to talk a lot about old country records so I can attest for his taste. Back in the day Jed used to host a show on KUCR named Cryin' Time, so he's got a history with our humble station.

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 or listen to an archived version of the show here. You can also listen through, Radio Garden, or Tune-In

Check out this week's playlist below:


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