They’ll Huff and They’ll Puff and They’ll Blow Your House Down

By Brandon Adamson

justforthehellofit

“What was the name of that movie we watched where the teenagers go around and do bad things and stuff that baby carriage in the trash can?” an ex girlfriend from years ago called me up to ask. She was talking about “Just For the Hell of It,” the 1968 Herschell Gordon Lewis I made her reluctantly sit through one time. For some reason it stuck out to her, and she wanted to show it to some dude she was hanging out with.

The movie itself is an interesting piece of art, basically it features scene after scene of teenagers terrorizing people just for kicks. There is a plot of course, but I’m not here to talk about the film, really. I just wanted to mention that the intro/theme song is yet another underrated classic among forgotten movies.

It’s “Destruction,” performed by Tary Rebenar, a late 60’s early 70’s folksinger. He apparently later died of AIDS in 1989, which he was said to have contracted from a blood transfusion he received for a prior surgery for skin cancer. In the early 70’s he released an LP called “Just a Dream Ago,” which is hard to find.

justadreama_justadrea_101b

From that photo, he resembles the actor credited as “Steve White,” who appears in several of Lewis’ movies, usually in a musical capacity. They may have been the same person. It is very difficult to keep a lot of these things straight the way so many of these bands and actors in this era went under multiple aliases. Aside from legends like Ray Sager, most of these types seem to have disappeared without leaving much of a trace of information available.


Brandon Adamson is the author of “Beatnik Fascism

Simon Says

By Brandon Adamson

1910 Fruitgum Company had a number of popular songs in the 1960s, my favorite being “Goody Goody Gumdrops”(my heart is doin’ flip flops!) One of their jams was “Simon Says.” It had a similar feel to the other bubblegum type stuff they put out. The band’s name fits their music perfectly as their songs all sound like extended commercial jingles. “Simon Says” reminds me a little of the theme song for the 1970s Scooby Doo cartoon.

We’re Not Expecting Rainbow Colored Skies

By Brandon Adamson

claudine longet
One of my favorite Peter Sellers films is “The Party,” where Sellers portrays a clumsy Indian actor who accidentally ends up invited to a Hollywood party. It’s a fairly abstract and experimental movie with not much of an actual plot(and it seems to not require one.)
The main romantic interest in the film is played by Claudine Longet. She sings her popular song, “Nothing to Lose” in a sequence that’s one of the highlights of the picture. Several years after “The Party,” Claudine made headlines when she shot and killed her boyfriend at close range, in what she claimed was an accident(it was ruled a “negligent homicide.”) I have to assume she’s telling the truth, but I’d still have taken a bullet for(or from!) her either way.

Be My Guest

By Brandon Adamson

be my guest

Several years ago for Christmas, my girlfriend at the time gave me a copy of a 1965 British “mod” movie called “Be My Guest.” The plot is basically about a family who owns a struggling hotel, but the son’s band becomes popular and starts to draw people in. The film has a special appearance by Jerry Lee Lewis, and surprisingly features a lot of memorable music from bands like The Nashville Teens, The Niteshades, The Zephyrs, The Plebs, etc. “Be My Guest” is quite a good movie and made for a memorable Christmas in what was an innocent time for me.


Brandon Adamson is the author of “Beatnik Fascism

The Ambushers

By Brandon Adamson

ambushers

There’s an unforgettably awesome song at the beginning of the Dean Martin/Matt Helm 60s spy film, “The Ambushers.”

“A blonde and a brunette lie in wait like injuns in the grass. You’re comin’ through the pass.
Then buster! You’re General Custer!”

The beauty of this song can only be truly experienced with the visual intro sequence from the film, but unfortunately it’s not available anywhere online without a video of the movie in it’s entirety. No sense posting that since it will probably be deleted from youtube in a week.

Signs of Age

By Brandon Adamson

jakeholmes

The first I heard of Jake Holmes when I was about 25. It was from an issue of “Ugly Things” where they reviewed his forgotten album, “The Above Ground Sound of Jake Holmes.” He’s actually most well known for having had his song “Dazed and Confused” stolen by The Yardbirds(and was later recorded by Jimmy Page and Led Zeppelin after they disbanded.) They had seen Jake play it at Village Theater in Greenwich Village in 1967.

Personally I’m not really into the song “Dazed and Confused.” The tracks which have always drawn me to Holmes’ music are “You Can’t Get Love” and “Signs of Age,” particularly through his thoughtful lyrics and the way he builds up the song.

The Next Time

By Brandon Adamson

blast off girls - the big blast

“The Big Blast” was a group featured in the film “Blast Off Girls” by Herschell Gordon Lewis in 1967. “Blast Off Girls” was a low budget classic that chronicled the band’s relations with a sleazy manager “Boojie Baker” in a humorously cynical look at the music industry. One of the cast members, actor Ray Sager, later became a well known producer and is also widely recognized for his role in “The Wizard of Gore.” The film famously includes a cameo appearance by none other the Colonel Sanders of Kentucky Fried Chicken.

One of the recurring songs in the movie is The Big Blast’s signature song(in the movie) “The Next Time.” It’s quite catchy seeing as how as haven’t watched this film in almost 7 years, and it’s frequently in my head.

Magic Wands

By Brandon Adamson

magic wands
I first discovered Magic Wands at SXSW in 2010 when they played at The Ghost Room(at least that’s where the old schedule says they played, I can’t remember to be honest.) I never forgot the band though. When I got home I looked them up on Myspace when that was still kind of a thing at least for music.

When I was younger, it was always my dream to be in a two person “boy/girl” band. I was never able to find the right girl to partner up with though. The ones who seemed like good prospects(Dawn Aquarius, etc) all either lived too far, and/or were already partnered up. The long distance dream became real for Magic Wands though. They represent everything about why I loved these types of groups, right down to the name. “Magic Wands,” indeed.