Nov 102010

Of course, it was Crabby Appleton!

Why of course, it was Crabby Appleton and their 1970 single, “Go Back,” from their debut album! I stumbled across this album on eMusic the other day and started cracking up at the memory of a college friend and I cutting up on this band almost weekly on our graveyard-shift radio show. I don’t know why we found this band so humorous. This song and a couple others I downloaded from the album are awkward in their decade-straddling, oddly Latin percussion–heavy, power pop arrangements, but the album’s not too shabby. Looking back, maybe my friend and I felt more comfortable spinning more pure pop–focused Badfinger deep cutz, but these days I’m more interested in hearing the ambitiously flawed stylings of a Crabby Appleton, giggle-inducing band name and all.

Crabby Appleton, “To All My Friends”

[audio:|titles=Crabby Appleton, “To All My Friends”]

Crabby Appleton, “Peace By Peace”

[audio:|titles=Crabby Appleton, “Peace By Peace”]

Congratulations to Townspeople BigSteve, misterioso, and ladymisskirroyale (with an assist by Mr. Royale and possibly some contraband research materials) for playing the mockcarr option and keeping their smartypants on through the length of the initial post! BigSteve actually saw this band in concert and pooh-poohed them when they opened for some hippie band he and his friends went to see.

As for the band’s pedigree, you’ll appreciate that most of the members came from a band named Stonehenge. What really caught my eye, though, was that the band’s lead singer, guitarist, and songwriter, the guy who made Crabby Appleton all that it could be, was Mike Fennelly, previously of my favorite “sunshine pop” studio concoction, The Millenium. (See end of this post for a treat from that band.)

Here’s Crabby Appleton playing their would-be hit introduced by our favorite forgotten comedian and introducer of nautical-themed rock video performances, John Byner.

Here they are again, complete with historical credibility–building timecode, on American Bandstand, a decidedly non-Dutch popular television show. I wish we had a color clip to better appreciate the bassist’s pants!


  13 Responses to “Mystery Date Revealed: Who Was That Decade-Straddling, Shoulda-Been Dutch Band?”

  1. misterioso

    Alice in Acidland! Holy smokes! But here is a lengthier clip–which makes me wonder if the one with the Millennium song is manufactured?

  2. You’re probably right. Nevertheless, we’re better people for now having both clips at our disposal!

  3. BigSteve

    I want my acknowledgment for having used the mockcarr option!

  4. Sorry, BigSteve, I meant to acknowledge that in the body of this post. I’ll correct this now.

  5. UPDATED to give credit to those who played the mockcarr option!

  6. BigSteve

    Yes, I forget who Crabby Appleton opened for, but we hated them. Judging from the videos they had serious Look issues, which probably contributed to the negativity. The band name didn’t help. I see now that they were trying to be powerpop before such a thing really existed, and it’s interesting to hear that style emerging out of their Nuggets roots.

    Btw drummer Phil Jones currently plays with RTH favorite Waddy Wachtel’s band.

  7. misterioso

    BigSteve saw Crabby Appleton! Dude, you are my new hero. That’s pretty cool. I think you hit the nail on the head in terms of name and look issues.

    On a somewhat related note, one really wants to see more of the John Byner “Something Else” show. When they weren’t having the Burritos and Crabby Appleton on what else was there? Well, here is a partial answer

    Why aren’t these available? And check out the list of other shows! Why am I not able to watch the Bobby Goldsboro show in the comfort of my home? Can someone get on this?

  8. I’m looking into this for the next couple of minutes. The first thing that caught my eye was this sketch from some other show he did in Canada, BIZARRE:

    Here’s a clip from Something Else featuring his dance crew. I’m getting the idea that Byner had some Benny Hill tendencies:

    Let’s see if I can find any more musical performances…

  9. Taj Mahal – on a boat, no less!

    Was Byner hipper than I remembered, or is this an indication of just how hip our culture was back then? And what’s with all bands playing on or near a boat?

  10. Solo Mark Lindsay, in a horrible solo performance that only gets as close to water as a fountain next to an office building and playground. This clip is only worth it to appreciate the man’s then-very contemporary wide bellbottoms.

    All right, I’m being led down the rabbit hole – I’ve got to get back to work, but first…CANNED HEAT ON PLAYBOY AFTER DARK, another lost hipster show when it came to featuring unusual bands in an unusual setting:

  11. misterioso

    I don’t know if Byner was hip. He was certainly a would-be hipster, if nothing else. These early 70s clips are before my time, at least my time of awareness of such things. I remember him more from the late 70s. I never thought he was too funny.

    That Lindsay clip is brutal. There is a catastrophic dropping off for the Raiders after 67 but from what little I have heard the Lindsay solo stuff is far worse than even the weak late Raiders material.

  12. Rock and roll’s life cycle is turning out to closely resemble that of a human. When it was young it was adorable and easily forgiven for its mistakes because it didn’t really know any better. It got a bit surly, argumentative and disrespectful towards its elders in its late teens/early twenties. Then it hooked up with a big fat corporate job and sold out all of its principles and ideals for a sweet paycheck. Now, it’s just respectable and dull, boring everyone with stories that we’ve all heard before.

    In this scenario, Crabby Appleton represents an awkward 12 year old.

  13. […] as being from 1970 while puzzingly and incorrectly guessing was recorded by an obscure Dutch band. Our Mystery Date turned out to be an American band, Crabby Appleton, led by Michael Fennelly, […]

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