If someone were to put a squirt gun to the respective heads of the Boogaloo Bag writers and say, “Name your favorite record company!” it is with no doubt whatsoever that they would name Norton Records. Here is a record label that is able to issue one pretty darn fabulous record after another, year after year for, gee, how many years now? Certainly more than twenty, so perhaps about thirty years. Every Norton release deserves consideration for action on one’s turntable (or CD player, if one swings digitally). There is not a single major record company that can make the same boast! The only current record company that comes close would be the crew at Daptone. After that, what’s to love?
On Saturday May 31, Norton Records Triple Record Release Show took place in order to celebrate the release of a trio of new long players—one each by long-time Norton recording artists The A-Bones; relative new-comers Daddy Long Legs; and a new discovery, Miriam. The event was held at Union Pool in Williamsburg at which all three acts played, and it was DJ’d by Norton employee Avi Spivak (Human Being Lawnmower) and Phast Phreddie the Boogaloo Omnibus (who has his own Norton connection: dig “Sing This All Together” by The Love Supremes).
The event was a golden gasser, with a most excellent opening set by Miriam. Miriam, of course, is Miriam Linna, co-owner of Norton Records and president and chief publisher of Kicks Books. For many years, she sat in the back of the stage beating the drums and singing an occasional song with The A-Bones. On this night, she stood right in front on the stage, sang six groovy songs, and was backed by her own band. Her album, called Nobody’s Baby, is a salute to the female singers of the sixties—especially Jackie DeShannon—and it is an instant classic and is highly recommended.
The A-Bones is as much a part of Norton Records as Norton Records is a part of The A-Bones. With Ms. Linna in back on drums, out front is lead singer Billy Miller—the other half of the Norton Records mean and clean music machine! In concert, The A-Bones can be rockin’ and raw, and this night saw exactly that! Pure, unadulterated garage rock mayhem! The addition of tenor (terror!) saxophonist Stan Zenkoff (previously with The Jigglers) returns them to the super-boss sound of the great Pacific Northwest bands (Sonics, Wailers, Paul Revere & the Raiders) that the band digs so much—a sound that was incomplete when the previous saxophonist left the band a few years ago. Further excitement was created by the primitive howlings of the great Gaylord Fields on several songs toward the end of the set: “Ooo Pah Pah Doo,” “Gaylord Is a Coward” and his hit record “Squat With Me Baby.” The new A-Bones platter, Ears Wide Shut, was recorded on one night in February earlier this year (augmented with Ira Kaplan of Yo La Tengo) and somehow re-creates the fun and thrill of a live A-Bones show! It is an instant classic and is highly recommended!
Daddy Long Legs is only three men—but what a joyful, righteous, raucous noise these three men can unleash! Lead singer Brian Hurd (AKA Daddy Long Legs) is a very tall fellow with even taller hair who plays the wildest, most terrific blues-wailin’ harmonica conceivable for a young white man in this day and age—imagine if Paul Butterfield was in the MC5! Guitarist Murat Aktürk plays the bossest, most distorted slide guitar this side of Exile on Highway 49—and dig: he’s from Turkey! If Ahmet Ertegun were alive, he would die!! Josh Styles doesn’t play his drums, he attacks them with great big long weapons. A Daddy Long Legs show is not over until the drum set is beaten to a pulp! The new Daddy Long Legs album is called Blood From a Stone and it will blow your mind how fabulous it is. It is an instant classic and is more than highly recommended—it is crucial and mandatory for anybody who reads the Boogaloo Bag!
DJs Avi Spivak and Phast Phreddie alternated playing records between bands. Mr. Spivak wowed the crowd by playing a couple boss Italian freak beat pounders. When the live music portion of the Norton Triple Record Release Show was over, an instant DJ booth was set up on the very stage these three fine bands had just rampaged upon and a fantastic frenzy was unfuraled as the two DJs played alternating records for the crowded dance floor that jumped and jived until the wee hours!
Here’s a list of all the songs played by Phast Phreddie the Boogaloo Omnibus:
- The New Happiness–Good Vibrations (Columbia)
- Ola & the Janglers–California Sun (Gazell Sweden)
- Vic Thomas–Village of Love (Philips)
- Ted Taylor–You Give Me Nothing to Go On (OKeh)
- Willie Wright and His Sparklers–Gibble Gobble (Federal)
- Camelots–Don’t Leave Me Baby (Cameo)
- Boy’s Wonder–All Tied Up (Speak Now or Forever Hold Your Peace) (Lowland; Netherlands)
- Freddy Cannon–Papa’s Got a Brand New Bag (Warner Bros.; France)
- The Belfast Gypsies–People Let’s Freak Out (Loma)
- Thee Midnighters–I Found a Peanut (Chattahoochee)
- The Crawdaddys–I’m Dissatisfied [from EP 5 X 4] (Voxx)
- The Flamin’ Groovies–Teenage Head (Kama Sutra; UK)
- Bo Diddley–Gunslinger (Checker)
- [no artist listed]–Dance the Slurp (7-Eleven)
- Juanucho Lopez and His Orchestra; vocalist: Mon Rivera–El Twist (Spanoramic)
- The Intimates–I’ve Got a Tiger in My Tank (Epic)
- Eddy Mitchell–Pas de Chance (Money) (Barclay; France)
- Underdogs–Get Down on Your Knees (Hideout)
- Elmore James–Strange Blues (Bell)
- Eddie Bo–We Like Mambo (Ace)
- Supremes–Buttered Popcorn (Tamla)
- The Dave Clark Five–Five by Five (Epic)
- The Lyres–Don’t Give It Up Now (Sounds Interesting)
- The Wailers–Out of Our Tree (Norton)
- The Teen Beats–Big Bad Boss Beat (Original Sound)
- Lu Parks Singers–Zap Pow Ee Yow (Ambassador)
- Link Wray and the Raymen–Ace of Spades (Swan)
- The Real Don Steele–Tina Delgado Is Alive (Cameo)
- The Undertakers–Mashed Potatoes (Pye; UK)
- Sonics–Cinderella (Etiquette)
- The Rackets–She’s Got It (Elite Special; Germany)
- Junior Wells–(I Got A) Stomach Ache (Vanguard)
- Chuck and Cleo–Baby (Blue Rock)
- Little Bob–I Got Loaded (La Louisianne)
- Group Axis–Smokestack Lightning (Atco)
- Las Moskas–Me Voy o Me Quedo (Double Shot) (CBS; Mexico)
- The Novas–The Crusher (Parrot)
- Flamin’ Groovies–Somethin’ Else (Epic)
- The Sonics–Boss Hoss (Etiquette)
- Bo Diddley–Somebody Beat Me (Chess; UK)
- The Rock-Fellers–Orange Peel (Valor)
- The Elite–One Potato (Charay)
- Jimmy Stokley and the Exiles–It’s Alligator Time (LTD International)
- The Rolling Stones–Around and Around [from EP Five By Five] (Decca; UK)
- Nathaniel Mayer and His Fabulous Twilights–Going Back to the Village of Love (Fortune)
None of these records are for sale.
Post script: The Norton Records Triple Record Release Show took place on the evening of the middle day of the WFMU Record Fair. A handful of the records played by the Boog were purchased earlier that day!