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.
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.
Howie Pyro made a list of his top ten favorite collaborations caught on 45s. It was part of the recent X: Mark of Collaboration issue of Arkitip curated by Ace founder Alex Calderwood and Ace friend John Jay, of Studio J. Howie also hosts a weekly party at Ace Palm Springs called Intoxica Radio Live, a live version of his radio show on luxuriamusic.com. Howie is awesome — we did another post about him that you should check out.
Top 10 Collaborations by Howie Pyro:
1. FRANK ZAPPA & BURT WARD: BOY WONDER I LOVE YOU A super weird 45 written by Zappa for Ward (aka Robin from 1966 Batman TV show.) Produced by Mothers & Velvet Underground producer Tom Wilson.
2. NANCY SINATRA & LEE HAZLEWOOD: Anything.
3. JOHNNY “ROTTEN” LYDON & AFRICA BAMBAATA: WORLD DESTRUCTION
4. BUNKER HILL & LINK WRAY: THE GIRL CAN’T DANCE Hill, a prize fighter/gospel singer turned Rock & Roll screaming madman, backed by the first thundering guitar hero, Link Wray, makes for the obliteration of anything in Soul or Rock & Roll up to that point. 1962.
5. BRIGITTE BARDOT & SERGE GAINSBOURG: Songs recorded for 1968 French TV program.
6. DAVID BOWIE & BING CROSBY: LITTLE DRUMMER BOY Great duet done for a 1977 Bing Crosby Xmas TV special.
7. THE VELVET UNDERGROUND & NICO: What else can I say?
8. THE BEACH BOYS & CHARLES MANSON: NEVER LEARN NOT TO LOVE This song, from The Beach Boys 1968 LP, 20/20, is actually a known Charles Manson original song, Cease To Exist. The song writing credit was given to Manson’s buddy (at the time), drummer Dennis Wilson, as Manson owed Wilson money for trashing his house. Crazy.
9. I ONCE SAW SKY SAXON, FROM 60’S GARAGE BAND, THE SEEDS do a duet with Mark Lindsay from Paul Revere & The Raiders, backed up by the Mys- terians (of Question Mark & the Mysterians, most famous for their track 96 Tears.)
10. The A-Bones backing Hasil Adkins (or Ronnie Dawson or The Flamin’ Groovies!)
Howie Pyro’s musical career began in the late 1970’s when he formed the notorious NYC punk band, The Blessed. Since then, Howie has been member to acts such as: D Generation, Danzig, and The Action Swingers. He’s played at venues such as CBGBs, The Mudd Club, and Max’s Kansas City alongside such acts as The Misfits, KISS, The Ramones, and Social Distortion.Partnering with D Generation co-Founder, Jesse Malin, Howie opened the (now legendary) rock club, Coney Island High. Howie is currently hosting a radio show titled Intoxica on luxuriamusic.com. He is also working on books, CD compilations, and creating mashups/bootlegs under the group name The Illuminoids.
Howie Pyro has been DJing since 1978 — at Christina Aguilera’s 21st birthday party, The Cramps shows, and a Santerian Priest induction, to name a few gigs. He’s also performed with Danzig, Joey Ramone, and Debbie Harry. As if that weren’t enough idiosyncratic street cred, he’s also caretaker to Phil Spector’s old dog. And now he hosts Intoxica Radio Live in the Amigo Room at Ace Hotel & Swim Club every Friday night. Psycho soul, voodoo R&B, 60s garage bands and wild old rock & roll, all from his collection of over 30,000 original records. He wants to make you dance uncontrollably to music that makes your head spin. But you can also just have a vodka-laced iced tea and hang out.
Photo of Howie (left) with Nick Berlin in the early 80s via ngaudi