Amoeblog

search for the holy grail: episode one

Posted by Whitmore, September 15, 2007 12:07pm | Post a Comment

In 1967 Tintern Abbey released their only single on Deram, Beeside b/w Vacuum Cleaner. It has since become one of the most sought after 45’s for British psychedelia collectors. But unlike many of these obscure collectable singles, this one is actually great: cool mellotron, a slightly distorted vocal track, a touch of melancholy, a vaguely off kilter arrangement … what else could you want!

There was suppose to be a follow-up single and album but nothing else was ever released and the band disbanded in 1968. The Holy Grail of British psych? … well, one of the Holy Grail’s of British psych!

Jerry “The Phantom” Lott

Posted by Whitmore, September 4, 2007 11:56am | Post a Comment

A decade before the mayhem and lurid madness of the Legendary Stardust Cowboy’s “Paralyzed” there was Jerry Lott, a.k.a. “The Phantom,” recording his own blithering two minute psychotic-billy breakdown. Born near Mobile, Alabama in 1938, Lott played country music as a young teenager until he heard Elvis Presley and rockabilly in 1956. Something obviously went ping!

During the summer of 1958 in Mobile, Lott recorded Whisper Your Love. As he told Derek Glenister in a 1980 interview: "Somebody said, 'what you gonna put on the flip-side' - I hadn't even thought about it. Someone suggested I wrote something like Elvis 'cause he was just a little on the wane and everybody was beginning to turn against rock 'n' roll. They said, 'See if you spark rock 'n' roll a little bit' ... so that's when I put all the fire and fury I could utter into it. I was satisfied with the first take, but everybody said, 'Let's try it one more time.' I didn't yell on the first take, but I yelled on the second, and blew one of the controls off the wall. I'm telling ya," Lott continued, "It was wild. The drummer lost one of his sticks, the piano player screamed and knocked his stool over, the guitar player's glasses were hanging sideways over his eyes."

Love Me was that song, written by Jerry Lott in 10 minutes. Almost 50 years later that track is still startling, especially to the uninitiated. If the screams don’t stagger you at the beginning, perhaps The Phantom’s post-coital exhaustion at track’s end will. Yeah, most great Rockabilly records from the late fifties had more then their share of fire and dementia, but this track is insane … certifiably, wickedly, aberrantly insane! It’s beautiful!

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49 square inches of something again

Posted by Whitmore, September 2, 2007 12:15pm | Post a Comment

“This is in no sense a  stunt record. Let the record speak for itself.”


Says that right here on the back. Of course the record starts with the sound of a train, moving from left speaker to right.


“In spite of the high
degree of perfection
reached hitherto in the art of commercial disc recording, especially
since the advent of the long-playing record, the  monaural or one-channel system has certain limitations. The listener is deprived of any real sense of perspective in the sound.”

But wait, there is something astonishingly beautiful and perfect about some monaural mixes: and that beauty is called “clarity.”  To my weary, tinnitus-filled ears, the mono mix of the Zombies’ Odessey and Oracle is perfection, even in headphones. There’s separation. The piano, the organ, the harpsichord, the guitars, drums, the vocals, the reverb … it’s all there sounding just about what you would like these things to sound like, without the sugar-coated, frosty-haze of full frequency stereophonic sound creeping into your left and right ears, ping-ponging one at a time!  Another great psyche classic, Pink Floyd’s The Piper at the Gates of Dawn also benefits from a mono mix,  as it was originally released in mono. There is something distracting about the gamesmanship of  “The Piper” stereo mix. That’s right … the gamesmanship.


Coincidentally, (then again, like I’ve written here before,
there are no coincidences …) according to the Pink Floyd
official website, the 40th anniversary edition will be
released on September 4th, 2007, as both a two CD set
and a three CD box set and with both the stereo and mono
versions. Unfortunately The Piper at the Gates of Dawn
has been “newly re-mastered.”

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49 square inches of something something part 2

Posted by Whitmore, August 27, 2007 08:20am | Post a Comment


Felix the Cat isn’t just a silent film star and  animation's first superstar, or a 1950’s TV phenomenon, or the logo for a Los Angeles Chevrolet dealership, (opened by Winslow B. Felix in 1921), with its benevolent, three-sided neon sign looming over the Harbor Freeway, or the doll aviator Charles Lindbergh took with him on his historic flight across the Atlantic Ocean in 1927, or the mascot for the U.S. Navy's Bombing Squadron Two during WW2, or the image on tabs of LSD in the mid seventies, he's:

Felix the Cat,
The wonderful, wonderful cat!
Whenever he gets in a fix,
He reaches into his bag of tricks!

Felix the Cat,
The wonderful, wonderful cat!
You'll laugh so much
Your sides will ache

Your heart will go pitter pat
Watching Felix,
The wonderful cat.

 
RIGHT- E - O!!

49 square inches of something something

Posted by Whitmore, August 26, 2007 08:33am | Post a Comment

































Are you an amateur or a professional?

“The amateur is the kind of a guy who draws a 9 to 5 line around his job … makes his own little box that he never gets out of … the professional doesn’t put on his cloak of excellence only at certain times … he wears it all the time”  -  Dr. G. Herbert True

“Over 2500 power-packed visual-verbal extravaganzas with slides, magic, music and wit.”

“Champ or chump … pro or schmo … how do you know?”

A self help seven inch record! On Idea Records (1966), and if this doesn’t help enough, you can always look for his full length album, “Are You A Prisoner?”

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