Each week, Howie Pyro tells us a little about a 45 from his collection of 30,000 records. Let Howie trip you out live and in person at Intoxica Radio Live Fridays in the Amigo Room at Ace Palm Springs.
The Phantom: Love Me/Whisper Your Love — Dot Records
Possibly the craziest rockabilly record. Coming in at one minute and thirty seconds, this piece of insanity — another weirdo obscurity brought to light in the punk days by The Cramps — takes it all the way & further. Marty Lott recorded this at the Gulf Coast Studios in Mobile, Alabama in 1958. It was a quick try at rock n’ roll & he needed a flip side to the side already recorded. “I’d worked three months on the other side of the record,” he told Derek Glenister. “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.”
It gets weirder…Lott took the master to Hollywood. On a Satanic impulse, he followed Pat Boone to church and persuaded him to listen to the tape. The devil was surely working overtime that Sunday. It was Boone’s idea to call Lott “The Phantom” and he even agreed to issue the record on his own label, Cooga Mooga (a euphemism for God, as in Great Cooga Mooga). In the event, Lott signed a contract with Boone’s management and never met anyone at Dot, who finally released Love Me in 1960.
The full story of The Phantom can be found in the long-out-of-print Kicks Magazine #3 (1983) from our friends Billy Miller & Miriam Linna of Norton Records.
Each week, Howie Pyro tells us a little about a 45 from his collection of 30,000 records. Let Howie trip you out live and in person Fridays in the Amigo Room at Ace Palm Springs.
The Ideals: The Gorilla / Cortland Records
Absolute drunk party dance killer! This jungle soul monster gets everyone moving at a certain point in the evening! After this they released the follow up, Mo Gorilla (Cortland Records), and a bit later Go Go Gorilla, a funkier version on Satellite Records. There are a few covers/rip offs of this wild slab of vinyl, most notably the mega rare savage garage version of Go Go Gorilla by The Shandells.
Here is a bit of Ideals history from the Hook and Sling blog:
The Ideals were formed in 1952, and over the ensuing years the groups line up chopped and changed leaving only two of the original members, Leonard Mitchell and Robert Tharp. By the time the group had got round to recording ‘The Gorilla’ in 1963 Reggie Jackson, Sam Steward and Eddie Williams had all joined the ranks.
After releasing several records with limited success, The Ideals joined up with former Five Chances member Howard Pitman, who not only owned Concord Records, but also wrote ‘The Gorilla’ for The Ideals. The record imediately took off and sold nearly 90,000 copies! It is cited this may have been due to The Ideals mini tour of all the local Chicago schools, complete with a guy dressed in a gorilla outfit in tow!!
The groups local hit out grew Concord Records and Howard Pitman eventually sold on the rights and The Ideals contract to Cortland Records, who pushed ‘The Gorilla’ to a national platform.
Ranger Joe has combined two of life’s greatest pleasures — happy hour and summer camp — to make Craft Night. Every last Wednesday, he transforms the Amigo Room into a boozy make-along, with a new craft featured every month: desert pom-pom pets, paper poppies, friendship bracelets, and paper plate masks to name a few. New Year’s Eve, it was noise-makers. And tomorrow, God’s Eyes. When was the last time you made a God’s Eye? In June, you can make necklaces with braided and macrame’d strips of fabric and be the envy of the desert.
Materials are free, and so are ghost stories. Joe only brings a few pairs of scissors, so you’ll have to share and talk to each other. This is also free. Stay tuned for a custom soundtrack from Joe’s sweetheart, Victor Rodriguez.
Each week, Howie Pyro’s going to tell us a little about a 45 from his collection of 30,000 records. We’re really excited about it. Let Howie trip you out live and in person Fridays in the Amigo Room at Ace Palm Springs.
Alf Newman: It’s A Gas / Let’s Do The Fink, on Golden 12 records
Considered to be the greatest Rock & Roll record ever made by late Cramps vocalist Lux Interior, this ahead-of-its-time, vulgar dance tune had kids going nuts & parents bumming out upon its initial release in 1966. Mad Magazine had special issues a few times a year where they would reprint old faves & always included a special gimmick gift (bumper stickers, records, a hanging mobile, posters, etc.). One in a long line of mad inserts, this came in The Worst From Mad #9 in 1966. Made before Flexi-Discs were invented, this was a cardboard cutout record credited to Alfred E. Neuman, infamous Mad mascot. It’s your basic early twist instrumental, but at each stop there’s a huge greasy burp! Even now, when I play it in my DJ set people stop in their tracks and it causes an uncomfortable disturbance! A total success!
It was included in the LP Fink Along With Mad on the Bigtop label soon after. This LP and the LP Mad Twists Rock & Roll compiled all the rock & roll parodies plus had lots of new ones. Classics like She Got A Nose Job, She Lets Me Watch Her Mom & Pop Fight, I Found Her Telephone Number Written On The Boys Bathroom Wall, Let’s Do The Pretzel, and much more. On the LP, It’s A Gas is credited to Mike Russo, Jeanne Hayes & The Dellwoods.
Loft Room 1011 at Ace NYC features two pieces from Timothy Liles’ new collection through May 20th: the Crested Comb-Back Chair and Sweetser Lamp, made in collaboration with Lilies and local craftspeople and artisans. Find out more about the pieces on Design Mouth.
Our treasure is your treasure. Ace Hotel & Swim Club is having a garage sale Wednesday from 8 to 4. Drink some lemonade with us and sift through Commune Design and Ace-selected furniture, uniform extras, knick-knacks, and all kinds of cool Ace wares. Not only is everything really cheap, but a donation will be made to the Desert AIDS Project.
Harry Everett Smith was an American archivist, ethnomusicologist, experimental filmmaker, artist, bohemian, magician, and mystic. He was born in Portland, Oregon in 1923, and lived at Ace New York when it was The Breslin Hotel. So we’re pretty fond of him.
OMFGCo and resident artist Johnne Eschleman designed and installed this photograph of Harry shot by Allen Ginsberg at The Breslin in 1985. Harry dubbed it “Transforming Milk into Milk.” Come by the lobby sometime and see it.
Ohmega Watts Spins Thursday at Ace Hotel & Swim Club
You are looking at one of the nicest people in the world, Ohmega Watts. And we’re not even going to mention his good looks. A West Coast nomad, designer, creative, producer, DJ, and MC, Ohmega joins Palm Springs favorite DJ Day for his weekly ¡Reunión! at Ace Hotel & Swim Club. Hailing from Portland, with a residency at The Fix and his group Lightheaded, now in San Francisco via Seattle, Ohmega continues the West Coast love in Palm Springs for anyone lucky enough to be there Thursday night. We’re thrilled to have him.
at Ace Palm Springs. They’re solid chums of Ace, and their party was amazing. Parra from Amsterdam created the look and feel of the wedding and this incredible cake. And guests received these custom bamboo towels by Luxurious Organics (check out their shop). Everything was very YES. Goro’s in Harajuku made a special tie pin for the groom and the wedding party wore these top-secret custom shoes. Afterward, there was an dance party in the Amigo Room that none of us will soon forget. See more on Jarrett’s blog — he’s on a honeymoon right now, but stay tuned for more.
Photos, top to bottom: Cake by Parra, dance party in the Amigo Room, custom towels by Luxurious Organics, Ace founder Alex Calderwood with wedding friends, custom tie pin by Goro’s, and custom shoes. Photos via Jarrett’s blog.
Other Music Curates a New Collection at Ace Hotel New York
Other Music is our friend. They unveiled an inaugural collection of vinyl and CDs at Ace Hotel NYC in February. Now they’ve sent forth another to make our lives even better. Here’s what they have to say about their latest collection:
The Drums have been tearing the blogs up since mid-2009, and have quickly become New York’s most buzzed about indie-pop band, garnering fans worldwide with their songs and converting the masses with their stellar live shows. Their faces (and phenomenal ’80s hair) have been on the cover of the NME, and they have been touted as 2010’s best new band, resulting in a furious worldwide tour and an A&R bidding frenzy. Well, what does the album sound like? Summertime is a gloriously joyous romp through C86 pop and the early Factory and Postcard Records sounds. Think the Wake, the Smiths, Orange Juice and contemporaries like Tough Alliance, Legends, and pretty much any band on Slumberland. “Don’t Be a Jerk, Jonny” is probably the most twee track that I’ve heard in a long time; with its Casio drum beat, boy/girl vocal, and ultra-catchy chorus, it brings a smile to my face every time it comes on the iPod. “Let’s Go Surfing” is a sunny California jam that evokes the Wake at their best — it’s a great tune, and the obvious single that has had the masses drooling since it was released. Summertime is filled with seven great songs that will have you longing for fun times, ocean waves, and summer sun.