Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Larry & The Blue notes - The Major Bill Tapes

Rocky Shores, drums; Tommy Skaggs, rhythm guitar; Buddy Bates, guitar (replaced Skaggs); Dan Fletcher, bass; Mike Griffin, drums (replaced Shores); Larry Roquemore, vocals; Larry Slater, guitar; Randy Cates, bass (replaced Fletcher); Jack Hammonds, keyboards.
One of the many, many energetic but undistinguished American garage bands of the mid-'60s, Larry & the Blue Notes cut a few obscure singles whose distribution was limited to their Forth Worth, TX, base. Although much of their repertoire consisted of covers and ballads, their greatest enthusiasm was for British R&B/rock, and they wrote some derivative originals in the Yardbirds/Stones vein. Working with Major Bill Smith (who had a hand in huge early-'60s hits by Bruce Channel and Paul & Paula), they made a few singles that were eventually sought by completist garage collectors a couple of decades later. Their "Night of the Sadist" and "The Phantom" are a couple of the better-known garage novelties. Aside from that, their greatest claim to fame was impersonating the Sir Douglas Quintet for a few shows in the mid-'60s, a task which seems about appropriate for the band's limited significance and abilities.
Most of you will know this Fort Worth/Texas band from various compilations. "Night Of The Phantom/Sadist" or "In And Out" are both garage classics. Big Beat released in 1985 (Big Beat WIKM 33) an album with the above mentioned tracks as well as unreleased material and some singles A and B sides. It contains a competent cover of "Love Is A Beautiful Thing", alternate versions of "In And Out" and "Night Of The Phantom", the fine and unreleased "What Made Me Lose My Head" written by leader Larry Roquemore and most notably a strong cover version of "Everybody Needs Somebody To Love" done in a cool "Modtown" style.
- In And Out (unreleased)
- Night Of The Sadist (alternate version) 
- In And Out- It's You Alone (unreleased) 
- Love Is A Beautiful Thing 
- She'll Love Me (as The Bad) 
- What Made Me Lose My Head (unreleased)
- The Train Kept A'Rollin' (unreleased)
- Just Stay (as Larry Roquemore)
- Talk About Love - Everybody Needs Somebody To Love (as The Bad)
- The Phantom (as The Mark Five)
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