Saturday, April 11, 2009

The Yellow Pages - Volume 1 (1968)

This band were formed in Torrance, California, near Los Angeles, by Dan Hortter in early 1966. Originally known as The Driftones, they changed name to the more hip Yellow Payges later that year, when they signed a contract with Gary Bookasta, the owner of The Hullabaloo club.
In 1967 they signed to UNI and in the Summer went on their first tour joining Dick Clark's Caravan Of Stars - a tour package that took in 45 cities in as many days. For the tour Mike Rummans replaced Bob Norsoff on lead guitar and Teddy Rooney (Mickey Rooney's son from Martha Vickers) replaced Herb Ratzloff on bass.
In the Summer of '68 Mike Rummans and Teddy Rooney left the group, and in came Bob Barnes (ex-Elite / Those Guys) and Bill Ham (Rocks / The Nomads). Dan Hortter recalls: "I hooked up with Bob Barnes through an acquaintance of mine and Bob told me about Bill Ham. We were desperate because we had a concert to do at the Hollywood Bowl on August 16th, 1968 with the Animals, The Rascals and Tommy James and The Shondells. We flew Bill Ham from Fort Worth, Texas out two weeks prior to the Bowl concert and the rest was history. We were the house band at the Hullabaloo club (which later became the Kaleidoscope and then the Aquarius Theater) on Sunset and Vine from '67 through to '69."
Although major chart success eluded The Yellow Payges they were quite a successful band issuing a string of singles displaying a variety of musical styles. The beauty of the slow numbers like Moonfire and Never Put Away My Love For You contrasts with hard rock cuts like Crowd Pleaser, Devil Woman and the rock'n'roller, Boogie Woogie Baby.
There were rumours of a second LP but it never emerged. With 16 non-LP tracks mainly on UNI 45s it certainly could have happened, and a decent CD retrospective of the band is long overdue. As it was, The Yellow Payges disbanded in 1970 having failed to make the big time. Don : "Our demise came when we signed a multi-million dollar contract with AT&T to do an ad campaign for the Yellow Pages (BIG MISTAKE). I went on to do some solo recordings with Buddah Records. Neil Bogart-President of Buddah at the time was a close friend of the group and gave me a shot. Unfortunately things didn't work out very well."
Bob Barnes became Roscoe West and played with Kinky Friedman for three years, worked a great deal with T-Bone Burnett, The Alpha Band, Guam-Rolling Thunder Revue. There were two Bill Hams in Texas, Yellow Payges Bill Ham and the Austin producer. Bill Ham wasn't with Kinky Friedman, although he may have sat in a couple of times.
As for the other members of the band, Dacus went on to The Steve Stills Band and later to a long term slot in the top band Chicago, where he replaced Terry Kath who had shot himself while playing Russian roulette! Gorman later played with Bandit, a mid-seventies heavy rock outfit.

01. The Two Of Us - 2.59 02. Little Woman - 2.44 03. Friends - 3.31 04. Boogie Woogie Baby - 2.14 05. Crowd Pleaser - 2.26 06. Moonfire - 1.53 07. Devil Woman - 3.00 08. Never Put Away My Love For You - 2.25 09. I'm A Man & Here 'Tis - 8.43
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