Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Ask Mr. Music by Jerry Osborne


DEAR JERRY: Here I am right in the middle of a recording session, but I just told the band to take a short break so I can tell you everything I recall about the recordings I made in 1964 with the You Know Who Group.

Considering you couldn't reach me back in May, when you first wrote about “Roses Are Red My Love,” you did a good job piecing things together. Having moved to Canada many years ago can make finding me a bit more difficult.

The You Know Who Group, as you indicated, were not British at all. Chances are none of them ever set foot in England.

However, they were not a happenstance gathering of studio musicians. They were a real self-contained garage band and they played all their own instruments.

From their home base in Brooklyn, they came to my Manhattan studio, Talent Masters, wanting to record two original songs: “Roses Are Red My Love” and “Playboy.” Both were written by Robert Esposito, their leader and also their lead singer.

Other than Esposito, I don't recall the names of any of the other “Boys with That Great New English Sound.”

Now, nearly 50 years after their LP came out, it can also be told that the four guys on the front cover, wearing capes and masks, are indeed the same band that's singing and playing on the record! Pictured third from the left is Robert Esposito.

As for my musical contribution, I think I played some guitar, and possibly piano, which I overdubbed after the session. Contrary to frequently published reports, this was not a studio band. Other than myself, no outside musicians were involved.

These boys probably had a group name when they arrived at Talent Masters, but I doubt I ever knew it. My partner, Bob Harvey, came up with the idea of having them try to sound British. He also named them the You Know Who Group, and dreamed up the whole secret identity stunt, complete with masks and capes.

Esposito and the guys were not very happy about Bob's brainstorm, but they went along with it on the chance it would create more publicity if people thought they might be the Beatles, for example, singing under another name. Like the 4 Seasons did as the Wonder Who?

It turned out Harvey was right. If not for the gimmick angle, they probably would never have gotten to put out an album after just one moderately successful single.

Break time is over now. Gotta get back to making music.
—Bob Gallo, Toronto, Ontario

DEAR BOB: Unless we hear from Robert Esposito, or another of the You Know Who Group, it is very unlikely we'll ever learn the names behind the other three masks — but what a huge help you have been!

Count me among those who pegged the You Know Who Group as a makeshift, middle-aged group of studio musicians, and not the four young men pictured on the LP cover.

As far-fetched as it seems, some publications go so far as to suggest “Roses Are Red My Love” is really by the 4 Seasons. Clearly, the Jersey Boys have nothing to do with any of this.

The You Know Who Group is neither the first nor the last act to come across as mysterious by being masked.

Best known is Orion (Jimmy Ellis), who had about a dozen Country hits in the early '80s. But let's look at an earlier masked man, one not nearly as familiar:

In 1958, at Gold Coast Studio in Mobile, Ala., Jerry Lott recorded two original songs, “Love Me,” a frantic rocker, and “Whisper Your Love,” a rock-a-ballad. For over a year, those masters existed only on tape.

Then, in late 1959 when pure rock and roll vocals were few and far between, Lott played “Love Me” for Dot Records' top recording artist, Pat Boone.

Based on Pat's belief in the record's potential, Dot released a single in January 1960 with both of Lott's tunes (45-16056). Boone is also the one who suggested crediting the record to “The Phantom.”

Amazingly, Dot even issued the single in a custom black-and-white sleeve, picturing Jerry wearing a Lone Ranger-style mask. Having a picture sleeve was highly unusual for a Dot debut release by an unknown artist.

Even many the label's top-selling acts (Gale Storm; Hilltoppers; Fontane Sisters; Louis Prima; Lawrence Welk; etc.) didn't see a picture sleeve made for any of their Dot hits. Furthermore, only about 10% of Pat Boone's singles came with a custom sleeve.

IZ ZAT SO? Billboard's review (Feb. 29, 1960) of “Love Me” states: “A wild vocal that attempts to outdo Elvis at his wildest. Sleeve shows the Pantom (sic) with a blindfold over his eyes.”

This reviewer didn't know the difference between a blindfold, through which you see nothing, and a mask, with two cut out holes for the eyes.

Sounding like nothing else out there is sometimes an advantage, but that didn't help the Phantom. Dee jays didn't seem to love him and the record flopped.

Now quite rare, “Love Me,” the Phantom's only known record, can sell for around $300. With the picture sleeve that amount can more than double.

Both sides of the Phantom's single have been revived in recent decades; “Love Me,” by the Blue Cats in 1981, and “Whisper Your Love” by the Flat Duo Jets in '93.

Jerry Osborne answers as many questions as possible through this column. Write Jerry at: Box 255, Port Townsend, WA 98368 E-mail:   Visit his Web site:
All values quoted in this column are for near-mint condition.

Copyright 2011 Osborne Enterprises- Reprinted By Exclusive Permission

Vinyl Record News & Music Notes


Legendary guitarist and MOUNTAIN founder Leslie West will release a brand new solo album entitled "Unusual Suspects" in Europe on Monday, September 19 via Provogue Records. The follow-up to 2006's "Blue Me" features West alongside a hand-picked line-up of the finest guitar players alive today including Slash, blues-rock guitar superstar Joe Bonamassa, BLACK LABEL SOCIETY frontman and ex-OZZY OSBOURNE guitarist Zakk Wylde, ZZ TOP's Billy Gibbons and TOTO's Steve Lukather.

"These guys don't just show up to play on everybody's albums," says West of his special guests and the album's title.

"They're all stars in their own right, and fantastic players — everyone with their own sound and style, about as far from ‘the usual suspects' as it gets."

Read the rest at Blabbermouth


these lists always seem to get something wrong........

NME Readers Name Michael Jackson as the Greatest Singer of All Time

England's NME recently asked their readers to name the greatest singers of all time and over 10 million votes were cast along with 4,000 Facebook comments.

Pulling ahead at the end was Michael Jackson who had been sitting in second behind Freddie Mercury. Third was Elvis Presley followed by Axl Rose and John Lennon.

Read more and see the top 20 at our friends at


Madonna begins recording new studio album

Manager Tweets progress

Katie Hasty

For Madonna fans, any little bit of news is good news. And a little bit came over this July 4 weekend.

The pop legend's manager Guy Oseary Tweeted yesterday that the Material Girl had stepped into the studio to begin recording her new album.

"It's official.. Madonna's 1st day in the recording studio for the new album... Very exciting.. Happy 4th of july..."

Read the rest at


Hot Graves To Release New 7" Vinyl "Desecration Time"

Greyhaze Records has announced the upcoming release of a brand-new 7” from Hot Graves. Entitled "Desecration Time," the record will be available both on classic black vinyl and on limited edition hot pink. "Desecration Time" features two original songs and an Anti Climex cover, and will see an official release on July 19th, 2011.

The 7-inch release serves as a warm up to the band's upcoming full-length "Knights in White Phosphorous," which is due out later this year via Greyhaze Records.

Get more information at


this from our friends at

The Raincoats Announce Reissue, Tour

On September 13, post-punk originators the Raincoats will release a reissue of their 1981 sophomore album Odyshape on CD and vinyl via their own We ThRee label. The album has been remastered, and it'll include liner notes by Sonic Youth co-leader Kim Gordon.



Red Hot Chili Peppers Unveil New Album Artwork

The Red Hot Chili Peppers have just released the cover for their upcoming album ‘I’m With You‘, which was designed by respected British artist Damien Hurst.

The band unveiled the artwork via their website with a note that reads: “Check out our new album cover – officially revealed! Damien Hirst did it for us and we’re happy to get this out to ya,” while frontman Anthony Kiedis told Classic Rock: “It’s an image. It’s art. Iconic. We didn’t give it it’s meaning but it’s clearly open to interpretation.”


our friends at have a revealing article about some great album cover art, well worth checking out:

Take Cover: Bon Iver: Bon Iver

Artist Gregory Euclide on his surreal landscape sleeve

Notable record covers help to define artists. With Take Cover, we aim to track down the most striking sleeves and get the stories behind them.

Over the last few years, Minnesota artist Gregory Euclide has racked up an impressive list of gallery and museum showings for his skewed, three-dimensional take on the traditional landscape painting. His surreal and woodsy cover for Bon Iver's sophomore album is an excellent representation of his overall style; the original piece-- made specifically for the record-- is a surreal swirl of paint, melted snow, pine cones, and more. By including unorthodox, found elements in his work, Euclide offers art that not only depicts nature but emulates its cycle of transformation, too.

Read the rest at


nice little article about vinyl!

Vinyl records' retro return

By Penni Crabtree

In an era of iPods and digital music, it's become the hippest of audio anachronisms - the vinyl record.

Declared dead in the 1980s, when major record store chains replaced vinyl record albums with the jewel cases for compact discs, records appeared destined for the great vinyl Frisbee dumpster.

Now a new generation of musicians and audiophiles, most of them raised on CDs and MP3, are giving records a spin again.

And that is giving a boost to everything from independent record stores to artists who are rediscovering the lost art of cover album art.

"It's the whole full-circle theory thing," said Curt Peterson, owner of Off the Record, a North Park music store that sells new and used vinyl records and CDs. "Vinyl is cool again."

Read the rest at


as always, these lists are subjective, where's The Band? see if you agree with their selections:

Top 50 American Rock Bands of All Time – July, 2011

1. Bruce Springsteen and The E Street Band
2. Aerosmith
3. Nirvana
4. The Ramones
5. Metallica
6. Van Halen
7. The Byrds
8. R.E.M.
9. The Beach Boys
10. The Allman Brothers Band
11. Guns N' Roses
12. The Doors
13. Eagles
14. Creedence Clearwater Revival
15. The Stooges
16. Lynyrd Skynyrd
17. The Velvet Underground
18. Pearl Jam
19. Wilco
20. Buddy Holly and The Crickets
21. The Grateful Dead
22. The White Stripes
23. Sly and The Family Stone
24. Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers
25. The Replacements
26. KISS
27. Big Star
28. Red Hot Chili Peppers
29. Foo Fighters
30. ZZ Top
31. Sonic Youth
32. Los Lobos
33. X
34. Pixies
35. Talking Heads
36. Booker T. and The MG's
37. The Flaming Lips
38. Mountain
39. The J. Geils Band
40. Buffalo Springfield
41. NRBQ
42. Cheap Trick
43. The Strokes
44. Alice Cooper
45. The Lovin' Spoonful
46. Kings of Leon
47. Elvis Presley and The Blue Moon Boys
48. Yo La Tengo
49. Frank Zappa and The Mothers Of Invention
50. Green Day

again, some I disagree with, I mean Poco ahead of ZZ Top? never! Readers Poll – Top 25 American Rock Bands – July, 2011

1. Van Halen
2. Guns N' Roses
3. Allman Brothers Band
4. Creedence Clearwater Revival
5. Aerosmith
6. Wilco
7. Mountain
8. Poco
9. The Replacements
10. The Byrds
11. ZZ Top
12. Grateful Dead
13. KISS
14. The Ramones
15. The Doors
16. The White Stripes
17. Metallica
18. Nirvana
19. Steppenwolf
20. Talking Heads
21. Bruce Springsteen and The E Street Band
22. Buffalo Springfield
23. Alice In Chains
24. Cracker
25. Foo Fighters


this from our friends at


**New Album out September 27th**

The Devil’s Walk Tracklisting:
Sweet Unrest
Song Of Los
Black Water
Candil De La Calle
The Soft Voices Die
Ash/Black Veil
A Bang In The Void
Your House Is My World

Apparat’s forthcoming album, The Devils Walk, will be released September 27th on Mute. The 10-track LP features “Black Water” and “Ash/Black Veil”, two new tracks off the new album that have been released as free downloads. Enthusiasm for both tracks has been overwhelmingly positive with close to 200,000 listens combined on SoundCloud alone.

It is safe to say that any electronic music enthusiast will have come across Berlin artist Sascha Ring at some point. Whether it be via the releases of his first three albums under Apparat, through the music of electronic supergroup Moderat, through his collaborations with other music greats such as Ellen Allien, or at one of his epic live club or festival performances, Sascha’s restless presence within the field of electronic music is unavoidable and elementary to the evolution of the genre.

The past year has seen Sacha’s creative focus return once again to Apparat. For the album, which was conceived during a trip to Mexico in early 2010, Sascha enlisted the talents of Joshua Eustis (of Telefon Tel Aviv) and Fredo Noguerira to help him write the music in a makeshift studio in the small town of Sayulita. After experiencing a lull in creative productivity induced by his return to Europe, it was upon meeting Patrick “Nackt” Christensen (formerly of electro-goth outfit Warren Suicide,) that Sacha became re-inspired. With the Nackt on board as a co-producer they re-worked the Mexican material taking it in a new and more esoteric direction, arriving at the majestic finished product that is The Devil’s Walk.

As an early track to be taken from the album, “Black Water” is a striking composition, compelling not only in its emotional content and aural beauty, but also in its capacity to represent Apparat’s eclecticmake-upand theiraptitude for breaking down electronic boundaries. As the mastermind behind Apparat’s evolution, Sascha approaches many of the mechanics of techno music; richly textured layers, sombre melodies and entrancing dynamics and revises them to produce an orchestral work, driven by fervent emotion rather than mechanical rhythm. His melancholic vocal supplements guitars, keyboards and drums.

Together they are suggestive of the progression from studio computer production to stage performance with a live band.

Within The Devil’s Walk, Saschahas evidently transcended both his love for techno and his expert programming skills to investigate an unknown musical realm.

Apparat proves they have the faculty to captivate listeners everywhere.

Apparat announces details of the first full scale tour as a four-piece band with UK dates including London’s Scala on July 25th, and dates across the UK in October. Visit  for a list of dates.


ALBUM: Tomorrow's World

WHEN: October 4th, 2011

TOUR: US dates, onsale NOW

SINGLE: "When I Start (To Break It All Down)"

On October 4th, 2011 Erasure will release their highly anticipated new album Tomorrow’s World and their first single, “When I Start To (Break It All Down)."

The new album news is accompanied by the announcement of the US tour dates, the first in more than FIVE years.

Tickets are on sale now at Ticketmaster and TicketFly. Following the US tour, Erasure heads to the UK for a 16 dates starting October 12th, including an October 25th show at London’s Roundhouse.

Tomorrow’s World is the band’s first album in more than four years.

Tomorrow’s World is produced by one of the dance scene’s most exciting new talents, Frankmusik (production credits include Lady Gaga, Pet Shop Boys, Ellie Goulding) and mixed by Rob Orton.

Tomorrow’s World was written in New York, London, and at Vince Clarke’s cabin studio. It was recorded in Maine, London and Los Angeles between January and June 2011, with Vince using his vintage collection of analog synths for the final touch.

The end result is a collection of electronic songs that sound totally contemporary and classic at the same time. All songs are written by Bell and Clarke.

From Lady Gaga to La Roux, the futurist, electronic sound Erasure championed is more relevant today than ever, and once again re-charging the global music scene. The award-winning duo of Vince Clarke and Andy Bell unleashed on the nation a succession of both influential and chart-topping pop anthems. Songs like “A Little Respect”, “Sometimes”, “Victim Of Love”, “Ship Of Fools”, “Chains Of Love”, “The Circus”, and “Breathe,” ensured a formidable presence on the singles charts

complemented by five consecutive No 1 albums in the UK including “The Innocents”, “Wild!”, “Chorus” and the beginning of the worldwide Abba revival “Abba-esque”.

U.S Tour Dates:

8/31/11--The Ritz Ybor--Tampa, FL
9/2/11--House of Blues--Orlando, FL
9/3/11--Center Stage--Atlanta, GA
9/4/11--Orange Peel--Asheville, NC
9/6/11--9:30 Club--Washington, DC
9/7/11--9:30 Club--Washington DC
9/8/11--Theatre of Living Arts--Philadelphia, PA
9/10/11--House of Blues--Boston, MA
9/11/11--Sound Academy--Toronto, ON
9/13/11--Terminal 5--NYC
9/14/11--Terminal 5--NYC
9/16/11--Congress Theatre--Chicago, IL
9/17/11--Congress Theatre--Chicago, IL
9/18/11--Pabst Theater--Milwaukee, WI
9/20/11--The Vogue Theatre--Indianapolis, IN
9/21/11--The Pageant--St.Louis, MO
9/23/11--Austin City Limits--Austin, TX
9/24/11--Verizon Wireless Theatre--Houstin, TX
9/25/11--House of Blues--Dallas, TX
9/27/11--Ogden Theater--Denver, CO
9/28/11--Kingsbury Hall--Salt Lake City, UT
9/30/11--The Palms Concert Theater--Las Vegas, NV
10/1/11--Hollywood Palladium--Los Angeles, CA
10/2/11--House of Blues--San Diego, CA
10/4/11--Fox Theatre--Oakland, CA
10/5/11--Crystal Ballroom--Portland, OR
10/6/11--Neptune--Seattle, WA


and in music history for today:

In 1954, Sam Phillips gave Memphis DJ Dewey Phillips an acetate of Elvis Presley's That's All Right Mama.

In 1957, John Lennon and Paul McCartney met for the first time at The Woolton Church Parish Fete where The Quarry Men were appearing. As The Quarry Men were setting up for their evening performance, McCartney eager to impress Lennon picked up a guitar and played “Twenty Flight Rock” (Eddie Cochran) and “Be-Bop-A-Lula” (Gene Vincent). Lennon was impressed, and even more so when McCartney showed Lennon and Eric Griffiths how to tune their guitars, something they'd been paying someone else to do for them.

In 1963, two weeks after being released, The Surfaris' classic surf tune "Wipe Out" cracks the Billboard Hot 100 on its way to number two. The song was recorded as a "filler" in just two takes, but would stay in the Top 40 for ten weeks and become one of the most popular instrumentals in Rock 'n' Roll history.

The Beatles' A Hard Days Night premiered in London in 1964.

The Jefferson Airplane formed in 1965.

In 1971, jazz trumpeter, singer and bandleader, Louis Armstrong died. Had many hits including the 1964 U.S. #1 “Hello Dolly!” and the 1968 U.K. #1 “What a Wonderful World’ plus “When The Saints Go Marching In.” “Ain't Misbehavin’.” and “We Have all the Time in the World.” He made frequent use of laxatives as a means of controlling his weight, resulting in Armstrong appearing in humorous, advertisements for laxative product Swiss Kriss; the ads bore a picture of him sitting on a toilet, as viewed through a keyhole, with the slogan "Satch says, 'Leave it all behind ya!"

Queen released their first single, "Keep Yourself Alive" in 1973.

In 1974, The Hues Corporation had the top tune in the US with "Rock The Boat". The song features a lead vocal by Fleming Williams, who left the group shortly after the song was recorded.

The Damned performed for the first time in London in 1976.

In 1979, singer, producer songwriter, Van McCoy died from a heart attack in Englewood, New Jersey. Van McCoy and the Soul City had the U.S. #1 single “The Hustle.” He worked with Gladys Knight and the Pips, The Stylistics, Aretha Franklin and David Ruffin.

In 1980, 36 people are arrested at a Ted Nugent show in Hollywood, FL for smoking pot and throwing bottles.

In 2003, Clyde "Skip" Batton of Skip and Flip, died of complications from Alzheimer's disease at the age of 69. The duo scored a pair of Billboard number eleven hits with "It Was I" and "Cherry Pie". Batton also toured and recorded as a member of The Byrds from 1970 to 1973.

In 2003, eight people were struck by lightning in East Troy, WI while waiting for a Dave Matthews Band concert.

In 2010, Harvey Fuqua, a founding member of the Doo-Wop group The Moonglows who would go on to guide the career of Soul great Marvin Gaye, died of coronary problems at the age of 80 in a Detroit hospital.

birthdays today include Mike Shrieve (Santana) (62), John Keeble (Spandau Ballet) (52) and Nancy Griffith (58) (among many others)