Thursday, September 06, 2007

70's Rocker Roundup, Goodwill Style

A jam band? - the Capital City Rockets

It's been a great summer of record digging here in southern Illinois. Even the normally barren thrift shops have been full of 45's, thanks to somebody steadily donating old radio station stock. Every few weeks, more of these goodies have shown up, like clockwork. The donations haven't been limited to just one thrift store either, as I've found the promos in three different stores, across two towns.

Now, most of these promos have been from the 1972-77 time frame, with earlier items only occasionally turning up. Thus, much of the best stuff has been soul and a whole of it has been complete dross. But, the small price tags have encouraged experimentation and I've discovered some cool 70's rock and roll through taking chances on previously unknown records.

Today, I thought that I'd share some of my favorite finds from the thrift store stash. All info was gleaned post pick up, as I didn't know anything about these, beforehand.

Capital City Rockets - Little Bit O' Fun
The Capital City Rockets were a Columbus, Ohio area band that featured the lead vocals of former Music Explosion front man, Jamie Lyons. Thus, I assume the title, "Little Bit O' Fun" was a tip of the cap to the Explosion's huge 1967 hit, "Little Bit O' Soul". Here, we're treated to a straight ahead rocker, with lots of guitar. The single and an album were released in in 1973. While the long player doesn't contain anything else as good as "Little Bit O' Fun", it's not nearly the full out disaster described in this Joe Viglione review for the All Music Guide.

Peach and Lee - Hold On
The best that I can gather, (Arlis) Peach and (Larry) Lee were from the Omaha, Nebraska area and "Hold On" also dates from around 1973. It's an excellent, early example of midwestern powerpop, with hooks-a-plenty and tuneful guitars. Apparently, more material was recorded but only this one single was released. Seems a shame, as the flipside here, "It's Better" is also fairly decent, meaning that "Hold On" probably wasn't just a fluke.

Stamford Bridge - Rise Sally Rise
Here we have what looks like a British studio concoction. The Stamford Bridge, who released a pair of albums in Britain, were total obscuros in the U.S.A., where they were relegated to two long forgotten singles. Pop rock, with heavy bubblegum leanings, "Rise Sally Rise", from 1971, is yet another hooky winner. I have to admit being a total sucker for this kind of thing and, since finding this one a couple of weeks ago, it's been in heavy rotation.

Streak - Bang Bang Bullet
I haven't gotten much of a line on these guys, outside of the fact that they too were British. "Bang Bang Bullet", from 1973, is a pub rocker, with a great punk rock vibe. Yep, this doesn't sound much different from what a number of British punk rockers would sound like, four years later. Even the horns that creep in near the end, can't ruin the fun here.


Darcy said...

Stamford Bridge: with that name either these guys were Chelsea supporters or they were on a nostalgia trip remembering their old O level History lessons.

Anonymous said...

Great songs, but I'd like to hear the stereo version instead of the mono.

Stamford Bridge sounds like the work of John Carter, who wrote and produced a truckload of UK One-Hit-Wonders in the late 60's - early 70's like Edison Lighthouse and White Plains.

Todd Lucas said...

The Capital City Rockets and Stamford Bridge 45's are mono/stereo. The other two are mono only. Your preference is duly noted though. I'll keep it in mind for any other stereo 45's that I post.

Collin said...

Glad I'm not the only one who has this Peach & Lee 45. The rumour is that Peach & Lee recorded a whole album's worth of material for RCA, but after talking with Arlis and Tom and Mark from Titan Records, it was apparently only demos. Arlis and Peach later went on to make at least a little money with Knack-clone scene-jumpers, The Scooters out in L.A.

That's also funny about the Capital City Rockets - I know Alan Betrock's Rock Marketplace tipped them for great things upon hearing that first 45 and were aghast when the LP finally rolled out. They later, of course, evolved or rather devolved into unrepentent Midwest long-hairs, The Godz.

The Peach & Lee 45, as well as the entire Titan story as well as interviews and reviews will be featured in the second issue of Total Rock Mania. Issue one available now:

Anonymous said...

Streak was an early version of the Arrows, the "Touch Too Much" guys. I've always liked "Bang Bang Bullet", too.

Jeff Lemlich

Anonymous said...

yeah, Peach wasn't from the Nebraska area, He spent is entire life out in California until about 20 years ago when he moved to Southeast Missouri(where he has past the time building unique guitars). More current, getting ready to relocate to Kansas City and get the band back together now that his family has been raised.
What's even more strange is the fact that he didn't even have a copy of his own 45 for the longest time until somebody sent him one awhile back.
And just as any musician, he has a smoking hot daughter

Todd Lucas said...

Thanks for the correction regarding the locale of Mr. Peach. I'm sure that I picked up the wrong info somewhere on the net. Go figure.

lfl said...

Your wrong. This is Lee

lfl said...

Hey Mr Anonymous, Arlis and I are both from the Nebr. area. We left there in 1969 for N.Y. to record for RCA and then moved out to Ca. and reading what you wrote, your wrong about most of it.

Scottj said...

Peach and Lee practised all the time in my basement, in Council Bluffs. My brother is the unnamed lead on the 45. I don't know about Lee, but Arlis went to the same grade school as me in CB.

Always wondered what happened to them.

"the youngest Jake."

the*spiral*groove said...

My copy of the Peach & Lee single (also a promo) has a hand-written date of 12/19/71 on the label, so it looks like it may have been a bit earlier than the 1973 estimate in the original post. And yes, it's a great single, with a nice, drivin' groove on Hold On.

Todd Lucas said...

Aha, thanks for that information. Those hand-written dates can be a wonderful help, at times.

Women Leather halter said...

Always wondered what happened to them.

Unknown said...

Eric Moore bassist , vocalist of the band The Godz was also in Capital City Rockets as well