Saturday, June 4, 2011

droogs of stonehenge


 
Now. It is my assumption that the following 2'57" is not some veiled reference to NASA fueled excesses over the plains of New Mexico. Or covert cold war dramas outrunning missiles over Soviet air space.

Tearing the back seat out of the sound barrier.

This, despite dandified drummer Steve Tindall's passing resemblance to Thunderclap Newman's Speedy Keene; offset, even more bizarrely, by a ludicrous calabash pipe of the type favoured by a cocaine addled Sherlock Holmes. On and off his game.

NYC based The Druids established their order in 1965. Sessions for Nola Records produced a fairly pedestrian concoction of standard garage fare heavily indebted to the 'British Invasion'. A crudely propelled biplane cobbled together with Cow Gum and string. 

Three years later, the appended Druids of Stonehenge upped sticks and promptly relocated to the patchouli scented intersection of Haight-Ashbury, settling into orbit around the UNI label. 

Their resulting stab at the big time, "Creation", proved more of a rudimentary feint than a well honed blow. Those druids. All dressed up in the height of summer and still no place to go. 

Almusic's Richie Unterberger rightly celebrates the strand of 'surliness' resistant to Susan on the west coast waiting. More so, his assertion that vocalist Dave Budge evinced a hint of cabaret at odds with any genuine attempt to break out of the room. The inclusion of covers - "I Put a Spell on You";  "It's All Over Now, Baby Blue" - seems more desperately recalcitrant than righteously cynical. Minor league in spite of the original material showcased throughout. 

Their opting for Arthur Lee's "Signed D.C." is especially predictable. If altogether symptomatic of lovely winds of change.

Still. Nowhere have I stumbled upon any dedicated reference to the particular highlight here. Well. Swan Fungus got the jump on me with its inclusion in one of his Sunday Mix Tapes, infuriatingly. Rather, that would be case had I heard it there first.

Not for the first time, Fungus exhibits taste.

A proto switchblade jab of neanderthal punk, paced at a stumble, "Speed" ought to have been on jukeboxes everywhere in the dark corners of 1968. Luddite tub thumping on an overseas U.S. Air Force base. While the twelve-year-olds safely raid the medicine cabinet; the military policeman's wife irons his stripes.

Nobody was listening.


image: Mr. Natural Comix #2, R. Crumb.


THE DRUIDS OF STONEHENGE: SPEED from "Creation" LP (UNI) 1968 (US)

19 comments:

said...

glad to have you back slinging tunes & opinions.

thanks for the heads-up on the Freaks Amour.

Arthur Lee...
patchouli...

minor details in the face of 'cow gum' (I always thought that had to do with cud chewin')

miss you, but don't wanna be a pest...remembering when Lao was M's age

ib said...

Never a pest. Seriously.

I've been propped up half empty of sleep and 3/4 insane of late, but acclimatising (woefully slowly) to recent changes.

Been meaning to email you. I will get there, albeit in my habitual snail-like fashion.

Jon said...
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Jon said...

Sorry to be so windy. I too worry about @eloh. I know her health problems were much more serious than she liked to admit.
I've known uniplumr for a long time. He is looking and sounding better than he has in years. I hope he's well. I haven't heard from him recently but I've seen him in the past few months and he looked and sounded great.
Seriously, all the best Bro' Ib.

ib said...

Jon! Not windy in the least.

Seriously glad you intercepted on the feed and filled me in some. The thing was, I hit the 'publish' button by accident before I'd properly thought through what I wanted to get off my chest; I'll probably (re)post it, regardless, but - all the same - I'm happy that it grabbed your attention.

My fingers have grown clumsier.

Glad to hear Frankie is OK. San Quentin, huh. I guessed things might be perilous at the time of his disappearance, but all painted spokes will weather a storm.

@eloh. Well. This has been bothering me for some time. Her daughter's post greased the concern a little, but too much water has passed since then. I do not have her email address, otherwise I'd have shot out a letter direct. We did all our communications incommunicado. I hope she is well. I've had my own share of IP crap, but have always got through it in the end. Touch wood. I have grown very fond of @eloh through her writing.

As have a lot of people, I suspect.

I've refrained from putting my foot in my mouth publicly, but I've been wanting to email you in this regard for quite some time.

She is good people.

Well. Shit. I am more than glad to hear you're keeping busy, Democrats be damned. The expectation weighted on Obama's shoulders, I believe, was always way too much. That's politics. So much tough shit. So much optimistic grandstanding. I very nearly recently intruded on a debate betwen you and Beer regards unions; in the end, you know, I have too little a grasp of all the ins and outs.

Hoodoo. Well, I'll be damned.

I probably am. Way to go. Ukeleles and chicken feet. Say hello to MP; over and above the Virgin of Guadelupe and Kali Ma.

Uniplumr 1 ? I had no idea you and he were quite so tight. More good people. I hope his new place has internet access. Just greedy for the jive.

Well. In the hours between stabbing the 'publish' key and now I've been down in the park with Milo. Feeding ducks. Seagulls.

A 'ballet' of purple tagged swans.

One of thos f@ckers could have taken my fingers off at the knuckle. In the end he was fairly gentle.

Milo sends his best.

ib said...

NØ:

The 'patuli' I take straight on the chin.

The 'Albert', however, was just plain sloppy; (mis)informed - in part, I'm sure - by your earlier infuriating reference to that damned English fingerpicker.

Amended.

ib said...
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ib said...
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said...

Never was much of a fan of Sir Albert. That country-fried shit is too hick even for me. I was on you about the other A. Lee, Mr. Alvin of the Ten Years After variety. So many Lees, so little thyme.

ib said...

Damn. Alvin it was, Nate.

Ten Years After. It takes me that long, but still I need a reminder. Like a telephone book thing.

Actually. I am no longer certain which A. Lee I am unfond of. The only thing I know is it not Arthur.

ib said...

In the wake of my caution to not "delete your shit", I am inclined to do just that myself.

"...all painted spokes will weather a storm."

What the hell is that all about ? I have no idea. Cryptic crap. Increasingly, I question the facility to log into blogger after a third glass of wine.

Perhaps there ought to be some sort of sobriety test.

Jon said...

I chose to delete my comment because it contained some personal information about our mutual friend. He doesn't like people talking about his legal problems and I try to respect that. He sent me a handwritten, actual letter, one of the few I've gotten in many years. I'd imagine painted spokes will do better in a storm than unpainted spokes.
Uniplumr 1, Tim, is a local guy. He's an old friend of my old friend, Quinton. We get together from time to time. I never knew he was such a writer. I too await his return to the internet.

ib said...

Sounds fair to me. I hope I was not too cavalier - in that regard - with my response. Before I rambled off at completely ludicrous tangents.

Well. Today was a wholly more sober affair. Another park, though. A carnival parade. Samba. A good deal of heavy drumming which was quite sore on the head.

Milo appeared nonplussed, mostly.

We talked at some length with a Chinese woman about human rights abuses in China. Rooted in the Cultural Revolution and still ongoing. Her mother was taken from her when she was just six years old. Imprisoned until she was quite broken. We had Milo's name translated into Mandarin with economic calligraphic strokes. We signed a petition.

We stood under a rainbow printed flag which brushed his head and made him laugh.

anto said...

weclome back Ib. Can't cliam to understand exactly all the talk of lists and toes but I gather fatherhood of a young 'un is doing what it does to you and that somewhere, over the rainbow printed flag, you and wee Milo will be keeping regular hours.

the Miles tune was an excellent choice to jump back in.

ib said...

Thanks, anto. Good you've kept the dead space bookmarked.

Much of my babble has been no more than that.

Glad you dug the Miles.

Holly said...

I feel like I'm interrupting a conversation, but just wanted to thank you for reminding me about this song...something else on that fungus mix got me sidetracked! I now have the full lp, because I like surly.

ib said...

Not intruding in the least.

'Surly' can not be overrated. Dave Budge's delivery might be over the top, but it is damn good.

Curious. What was it in Fungus's mix which initially derailed your attention ?

Holly said...

Dr. Koch Ventilator.

Dude! I mean really - dude!

Anti-Scorpions.

But Ira Louvin would totally kick their ass. :-)

ib said...

Ira Louvin, as in those Lovin brothers ?

Unless I'm missing something, I'd tend not to disagree.