The 'One & One Is Two' single has been a top want of my girlfriend for a couple years. It's been on sale over on the LDK site for quite a while but we both agreed it was a bit out of our price range. Saved eBay searches and constant internet browsing never materialized another copy so I after a year of waiting I broke down an bought it for her birthday.
Here's what LDK had to say: Revolver were actually a band called Black Maria, popular on the Merseyside circuit and with one of future Liverpool 'new-psych'-ers The Cherry Boys in the ranks, who were rechristened Revolver for this Lennon/McCartney-covers project in 1979. There's a whole LP of this stuff, snappily called "Northern Songs" - this one's probably pretty representative of Revolver's ouevre.
Take a listen to 'One & One Is Two' and you'll understand when I say that I was a little reluctant to give this gift, but as luck would have it, not one week later, my friend Atsushi gave me the 'Northern Songs' LP as a gift!! Not only does include both songs from the single but 15 more Lennon/McCartney penned tunes that they never actually recorded themselves, plus great liner notes and a cool 2-panel insert. Definitely worth tracking down.
Hailing from the Southhampton area, Straightshooter formed in 1976 and recorded their only 45 in April of 1979. This amazing two sider was pressed and privately released on the bands own "Strolling Bone" label in an edition of 500 copies.
Band members were:
Dom O' Riley- Guitar
Pete Luck- Vocals
Tony Ecclestone- Bass
Mike O'Riley- Drums
Rarely do we spill the beans about the upcoming releases here at Sing Sing. We try to keep our projects under wraps for as long as possible. We're gonna make an exception here and announce an official re-release of this record early next year. It's too good to keep secret!
Cramp were from Portrush, Northern Ireland and released their sole single on George Doeherty's Rip Off label in 1979.
Richard “Toadie” Todd - Vocals
Tim O'Hara - Lead Guitar
Nigel McComb - Bass
Declan Service – Rhythm Guitar
Colin McDowell – Drums
And, as an extra treat, here's an interview we did with Richard and Tim....
Sing Sing (SS): Can you speak briefly about how you met and who your earliest influences in Cramp were?
Tim O'Hara (TO): I recall our first meeting at Declan's house in Queen's Park. I was not sure if Toadie was a genius or just plain mad! But after that, we used to rehearse in some weird places - Ray Kennedy's billiard hall and Nigel's dad's stockroom to name two. Our influences in Cramp were of course mainstream punk, the Pistols, Clash, etc. but we did do a rather nice reggae song, "Tribute", which Toadie will hopefully remember. We also liked the new wave stuff like Joe Jackson, the Buzzcocks and the Ruts.
Richard "Toadie" Todd (RT): It was a bit strange at first singing and jumping around in a garage in front of 3 complete strangers (I only knew Colin at first) but looking back I suppose that was pretty normal for me in every way!!
SS: When were your first lives shows, and can you describe them?
TO: The live gigs were quite something as I recall. Toadie was quite a presence on stage and knew how to entertain the punters - think Robbie Williams on lighter fuel! The occasional youngster would gob on us and there was a memorable night when a large scale fight broke out. There was also the day the Undertones (before they were famous) saw us in Spuds (a pub in Portstewart, long since gone) and asked Declan if we wanted to play in Derry at one of their gigs. Derry was of course a bit dangerous place for young Ulster Protestants so nothing came of it. How different things could have been!
RT: Yea, the Easter Monday and Boxing day gigs in Spuds Portstewart were always the best… 400 people crammed into a venue that could hold about 200!!
SS: Who were the other bands you would play shows with?
TO: Other bands at the time were Clive Culbertson's lot: No Sweat (later called The Sweat) and of course the Xdreamysts. I can't remember any others.
RT: Flying Squad gigs on a Thursday nights, again in Spuds, were always great. They later became known as Xdreamysts, a great bunch of guys!!
SS: How did you come in contact with Rip-Off / George Doherty?
RT: It was through Clive Culbertson that we met George...
TO: Yea, Clive Culbertson introduced us to Rip-Off Records. Clive's band had already got a deal with George and recommended us to him.
SS: Your single on Rip-Off credits George Doherty as producer. Can you speak about the experience in the studio with him?
RT: I can't remember too much about the recording except there was a lot of beer consumed!!
TO: I remember the recording sessions very well although it was Clive rather than George who did the actual recording. Great fun it was, although the facilities were quite basic. I seem to recall tins of McEwans helped Toadie’s vocal performance a lot! George and Clive did the mastering later. Some syndrums (quite novel at the time) were added at this stage and the members of the band were, as I recall, not overly keen on this! I had real trouble keeping my guitar in tune so if the tone sounds extra distorted, that's the real reason.
SS: Can you speak about the how was the single received? What kind of airplay, if any, did you get?
RT: I haven’t a clue… It didn’t seem to matter at the time!!
TO: Don't know how many copies were issued but we did sell enough to get one royalty payment! It got some airplay in Ulster and John Peel played it on Radio One. We had to pretend ‘She Doesn't Love Me’ was the A-side given the explicit lyrics of ‘Suzy Lie Down” - quite tame by today's standards. My mum loved it - fortunately, she never really listened to the lyrics.
SS: Beyond the two tracks released on your Rip-Off single, did you have any other material recorded, or plans for other releases?
TO: We did do a further recording of some other songs with Clive on his reel to reel recorder but I doubt they’re still in existence. We definitely recorded “Tribute” and “Belfast's Burning.” Don't know if Toadie can remember any others? There is quite a market, apparently, in Japan for retro punk/new wave of the era and Clive has his own studio so we may well do some re-recording in the near future if I can remember the chords!
SS: What was the end of Cramp like, and did you pursue any other musical projects??
RT: Believe it or not I went solo; just me and an Eko acoustic, singing many a crude song merged in with other stuff that I had written
TO: Yea, Toadie just decided he had had enough, that we had done all we were going to do and he was right. As I recall, he then did some solo gigs and performed such legendary songs, "I Live in a Pair of Underpants" and "The Boys They Call Her Polo".
Nigel and I played in Minor Classics after Cramp. We released one single Sign Language (you can hear it on http://www.myspace.com/1977records) and did record a number of other tracks at the studio at Templepatrick with a view to releasing an album but nothing came of it. We mostly did local gigs. I also did some gigs with a local artist, the very talented Joey Newcombe - just show-band type stuff; weddings and the like, but got the best money of my playing career by far!
Here are the only 2 releases from the Dekalb IL. powerpop group BB and the Guns. After recently discovering these guys I had to know more so I tracked down founding member Ken Goodman and racked his brain about the band.
Band members were:
Rick Mosher- Guitar/vocals
Betsy Buenzow- Vocals
Ken Goodman- Keyboards
Rich Bell- Bass
Dave Briggs- Drums
How did you guys meet?
We all met in 1980 in the dorms of Northern Illinois Univ. We were all 18 years old. We put ads in the local paper for a drummer and bass player. Doug Davis answered our ad for a drummer. He was a frat boy, but we liked him because he had a great drum kit, a Cadillac Eldorado, and a rehearsal space in his frat house. All we had to do was play one or two parties per semester. And all the boys loved BB. Our first bass player, Rich Bell, was an older fellow who was kind of strange. He didn't talk much. We made him get a new wave haircut. He giggled a lot when he got stoned. We were all getting into punk and new wave. I was just getting out of REO, Journey, Styx, and Pure Prairie League. We started listening to Clash, Blondie, Sex Pistols, Gen X, OMD, Elvis Costello, Benatar, U2, and Josie Cotton. We were kind of outsiders in Dekalb IL, but there was a small group of artists and musicians that liked the same music, so it was kind of exciting and fun time.
Was it tough playing this sort of stuff in Dekalb IL?
It wasn't too hard being in a punk pand in Dekalb. There was even a bar in town that had "New Wave Night", where we all gathered every Wed night. We were mini-celebrities actually. All our bar gigs would get packed and the local radio stations played our singles quite a bit. We wore make-up to class and wore punk clothes. We didn't take ourselves too seriously. BB actually was going to NIU on a track scholarship.
who wrote the songs, and were there any other records on Spazz??
Rick and myself wrote all the songs and we did other punk/new wave covers. Spazz was my first label. Our two singles are the only releases. After Spazz, I started Pravda Records in 1984, which is still my full time job today. There is a small batch of BB songs unreleased that I have on a normal bias cassette.
Did you guys ever tour or play with any bigger touring bands?
We once opened for the Ramones at Haymakers in the Chicago suburbs. One guy stood right in front of me our entire set and was giving me the finger the whole time! I loved it! We also played with The Producers once and other regional bands I can't remember.
what became of the members of the group?
BB still lives near Dekalb IL and has 3 kids. She still sings and we're still in touch. I still play in a band with Rick called The New Duncan Imperials. We have been together 20 years and have toured the world and released many cds. Rich Bell, Doug Davis, Greg Balk, and Dave Briggs(former members) all disappeared into civilian life and have never re-surfaced as far as we know......
Sing Sing Records is a punk and power pop reissue label based in New York City. With so many great under-heard and under-appreciated bands, it'd be impossible to reissue everything; so this blogspot is a means to share some of our favorites. Take a look around, but be sure to visit our label's main website to see what we've got for sale!