Oct 212021

Simple thread, this one. One of my favorites is from T. Rex.

(I offer this live version mostly because of the first comment below the vid, one clearly directed to EPG.)

Here’s the studio version, the better to hear the “One and a-two and a bubbly, bubbly, boo, boo, yeah!”

What’s your favorite count in on a song?

Sep 142021

I recently came across a tribute band called Alter Eagles. I’m not suggesting you watch the video included with this thread; I include it only to show I didn’t make up the band’s name.

I don’t care one way or the other about tribute bands; I guess they have their time and place. I am a fan of tribute band names and I think Alter Eagles is a good one.

My challenge to Rock Town Hall: Tell us your favorite tribute band name. The catch is you can’t submit an actual tribute band name without being creative and telling us the tribute band you wish existed. If you don’t want to bother with an actual name, that’s fine but you have to have a made-up one.


The Human Perkulator

 Posted by
Aug 142021
Although Mr Mod lives only a few blocks from here, he won’t trust his hair to anyone but a guy named Richard at Ovations, in Philadelphia.

Ah, how great to see cdm’s reference to Billy Harner and to see Billy aka The Human Perkulator aka Perk appear on a recent thread.

I love Billy Harner and have for 50+ years now. Such fond memories of hearing his “hits” on WFIL-AM and WIBG-AM – the two top 40 stations in Philly for all of you non-Philadelphia Townsfolk.

“Hits” is in quotes because he never charted nationally but he was a hit locally and for a long long time. I never was lucky enough to see him live nor to get my haircut at his shop. Once, probably 25 years ago, I did make a trip from Connecticut down to Upper Darby to see him play in some nothing little restaurant or bar or something only to find that the gig had been canceled.

Anyway, his catalog isn’t very big. A lot of singles, many of which are highly valued among Northern Soul fans, one LP proper, and a couple of CDs most of which are grey area “reissues” of his LP and singles and a 2000 CD with lots of remakes. I have the latter, inscribed and signed, a copy of the LP, and about 20 singles, mostly purchased from old Goldmine ads and from Val Shively’s R&B Records. Memories…

Billy had three local “hits”. Please you should listen to them all.

His biggest was “Sally Sayin’ Somethin’”

My personal favorite has always been “Homicide Dresser.”

The other was the title track from his LP She’s Almost You.

There are a lot more for you to find on YouTube if you are inclined, including live versions of the three above. They are from 40 years after the fact but I enjoyed them enough to wish that gig hadn’t been canceled.

I think Billy is in bad health in recent years and his Website no longer exists. Anyone who knows more details, please let me know.

Oh, and one more song, this especially for Mr. Mod, Perk doing “Magic Carpet Ride.”

Jul 122021

Rock & roll is littered with lots of bands featuring brothers.

How many are there? Let’s find out with a Last Man Standing. Let’s not be exclusionary though. Sisters, brother & sister, parent and child are all allowed. That’s as far as we stretch though. No cousins twice removed or anything.

Oh, and they don’t have to have a love-hate relationship.

Bonus points for twins. I can only think of one of those [Ed – Oh, I think you’ll be sorry for your obvious oversight!] so I’ll put that out there to start the show and since they are twins I’ll show two videos (because I couldn’t decide on a favorite).

Thanks to Craig & Charlie Reid, I am the last man standing!

As always, don’t Bogart this thread. Please limit yourself to ONE ENTRY PER POST.


T. R E X

 Posted by
Jul 022021

What nonsense, this slagging of Marc Bolan!

Couldn’t you take the sentence “Honestly, the T. Rex catalog can be arguably defined as ‘Get it On (Bang a Gong)’ and 60 or so other tracks that are more or less ‘Son of Get It On (Bang a Gong)'” and substitute “Chuck Berry” for “T. Rex” and “Johnny B. Goode” for “Get It On (Bang A Gong)”? The only flaw in that is that Marc Bolan had more variety in his songs than Chuck Berry did.

I won’t argue that Bolan did mostly one thing. One overall thing to keep in mind is that he died at age 30. It’s an incomplete career that was actually over 4 years before his death when the cocaine and champagne stagnated him; he was only rounding back into shape months before the car crash.

Another overall thing to keep in mind is that the statement isn’t really true. He started out as Dylan folkie, then switched to the Incredible String Band-ish Tyrannosaurus Rex, then to T. Rex. With T. Rex, he had hit on the sound that made him a superstar (at least outside the US), and that’s what he wanted to be and he rode it.

Rode it like Eddie Arcaro! But, wait, that Eddie Arcaro, he was a one-trick pony (yes, I confess, I used Arcaro just so I could use that line), he really wasn’t that good, all he ever did was ride horses, never won the home run crown, never was NBA MVP.

Silly, huh? Arcaro was the greatest ever at what he did; you don’t criticize him for what he didn’t do. Likewise with Bolan. While he wasn’t the greatest at what he did, he was great. He wasn’t Chuck Berry (although he nicked a whole lot from Berry), and we don’t criticize Berry for writing the same song over and over.

Bolan realized before the punks, at a time when rock & roll was splintering into prog and metal and Laurel Canyon and all the rest, that rock & roll at its birth was about boys & girls & love & sex married to a great riff and that’s what he did. Yep, over and over, but it sure is a good formula, isn’t it?

He has never gotten the credit he deserves. Not for returning to the roots before The Ramones or the New York Dolls or punk ever did, not for paving the way for Bowie with glam (and later, Marc shifted into soul-influenced music due to his relationship with Gloria Jones of “Tainted Love” fame before Bowie as well), not for embracing “stardom” before Elton John. [Side note apropos of nothing: Marc, David, and Elton were all born in 1947.]

Here is a playlist, if not exactly a UK 14 track best of. No “Get It On,” no “Telegram Sam,” no “Jeepster.” You all know those anyway and that’s probably all you know. Be honest EPG, you couldn’t name 10 T. Rex songs, never mind 60.

Feb 202021

I’m sure many of you know this great old one-hit wonder. Walter Scott was the lead singer for this song by Bob Kuban & The In-Men.

But did you know this story? It’s taken from a longer article you can find here. A real case of life imitating art.

In early 1983, Walter Scott and Bob Kuban performed together for a television appearance and planned to reunite the band for their twentieth anniversary in June 23, 1984, at the Fox Theatre. After one rehearsal in October 1983, Walter Scott disappeared. In late December his wife, Jo Ann, reported to police that her husband was missing. According to Jo Ann Scott, Walter went out to buy a part for his car and never came home. On December 28th, Walter Scott’s car was found by the St. Louis police, abandoned at the airport.

The St Louis police looked for Walter Scott for over a year, but all the leads led to dead ends. Jo Ann Scott filed for divorce, alleging she’d been abandoned. She was granted a divorce and was remarried in 1986. It happened that the groom at the wedding, Jim Williams, had tragically lost his wife, Sharon, when she reportedly died in a car crash in October 1983.

Meanwhile, Scott’s parents never accepted the official story. They urged the police to keep searching for their son. In 1987, the police uncovered a new lead after Jim Williams’ son informed them that his mom, Sharon, had been having an affair with Walter Scott, and his father found out. Subsequently, the police found Walter Scott floating face down in a cistern ten feet from Jim Williams’ house. Walter Scott’s body been there for about three years. Sharon Williams body was exhumed for a new autopsy. The coroner found that Sharon Williams had died from a “blunt force trauma,” not injuries suffered from a car crash – as the first death certificate stated. Jim Williams was arrested and charged with killing both Scott and his former spouse. Walter Scott had been hog-tied by Jim Williams and then shot.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported later that “Sharon Williams died Oct. 20, 1983, and [Walter] Notheis jr. disappeared on Dec. 27, 1983. His body was found in 1987 in a cistern on property James Williams owned in St. Charles County.” It took about two days for the police to catch up with Jo Ann Scott to charge her with the same two counts of murder. But since Jo Ann was offered a plea bargain, she got a $5,000 fine and spent only 18 months in prison. But Jim Williams spent the rest of his life in prison. As the song lyrics recount: “Tough luck for The Cheater.” Indeed. And Jim Williams got his “baby” (Sharon Williams) back from Walter Scott (The Cheater), only to murder her.

Do you know any interesting rock & roll stories like this that you think the rest of RTH won’t know?

Feb 102021

The Sidekick has a long history in other pop culture forms. Robin. Tonto. Dr. Watson. Mindy. Ginger Rogers.

But not so much in rock & roll.

When I first thought of this I figured there had to be plenty and yet I could only come up with a handful. I’m counting on Rock Town Hall to expand my list.

Here’s what defines a rock & roll sidekick to me:

  • Never the leader
  • Almost solely known for his sidekick role
  • Long-standing stint in this role

I don’t think Keith Richards qualifies. Mick is definitely top dog, but Keith is too much a part of the mythos and music to be a mere sidekick. Feel free to argue this point.


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