Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Claw Hammer live 1992

I was pretty shocked to see that this clip is 25 years old now. I can’t think of another band that I saw more often in the late 1980’s/early 1990’s than Claw Hammer. Just one of the best live bands at the time and one that played out a LOT. Unfortunately, there is not a lot of video out there though there is an early public access tv thing that is not yet on youtube. What I like about this clip is that it does capture their live power - as well as Al Hambra, Rob and Bob’s hair and Jon’s tucked shirt (thanks Whittaker!) looking like he was outta a 1972-3 J.C. Penney catalog. Man, did I proselytize about these guys to the extent that I even won over my hardcore Lazy Cowgirls contingent to going to see them at EVERY possible opportunity. Gotta hand it to Dave Laing and Dog Meat/Grown Up Wrong Records (and Eddie Flowers' write up in Forced Exposure) for really getting the ball rolling. Dog Meat of course was responsible for putting out the posthumous Imperial Dogs lp and then Grown Up Wrong put out the first 45s by both Claw Hammer ("Poor Robert") and Crawlspace ("Silent Invisible Conversation") - both bands I religiously followed at the time in LA. The Imperial Dogs lp was a MAJOR deal at the time to me and my friends. As I followed Australian rock pretty close in the era and it was funny that Grown Up Wrong put out the two best local bands of the time . . . . that we had to get on import!

Friday, February 3, 2017

Terry Knight: Songwriter/Beatle Bones 'n' Smokin' Stones

Anybody who delves deeply into the Grand Funk Railroad catalog will eventually end up at the first two Terry Knight and the Pack lps, or the great early 1970's cash-in lp, "Mark, Don and Terry, 1966-67." As far as I can discern, the two Terry Knight lps were never released in New Zealand. Yet, as a SONGWRITER, Terry Knight had a number one hit in New Zealand in 1969 with Shane's cover of his great Paul-is-Dead Beatles oddity "Saint Paul," which is played on oldies radio here as much as say Tommy James' "Crystal Blue Persuasion" from the same year. Shane was the singer with the great Pleazers who had a NZ nugget with a tribute to the late, great Ray Columbus (seen below). Say what you will, Knight had a knack for writing great songs referencing both the Rolling Stones and the Beatles. Yet what the "Mark, Don and Terry" lp is missing is perhaps one of Knight's finest moments, the Pack's awesome Stones inspired debut 45 "How Much More (Have I Got to Give)" from 1965 which abounds with Stones references (and the plight of long-haired men in Flint, Michigan). I can picture Greg Prevost, Peter Zaremba or Mike Stax just tearing up a cover of this Terry Knight nugget. And I am not sure how Knight's great Dylan swipe missed the compilers of one of my favourite boots of the last 15 years, The Dylan Kynd.