A folkish EP / mini album of organ-based, minimalist pop songs, with unassuming vocals and authentically retro style. These modest jams utilize a couple of vintage Bontempi organs from the 70s and 80s as well as a 1975 Cordovox combo organ. There is some 3/4 acoustic guitar in the title track, and some space theremin is peppered in here and there.
Like Sam the Sham and The Pharaohs’ “Little Red Riding Hood,” Derek’s hit song “Cinnamon” had a charismatic creep theme(the song was actually by Johnny Cymbal, but he released it under his younger brother’s name.) It’s a classic stalker’s anthem, about a guy who isn’t taking no for an answer. It’s never made clear whether the girl might be interested despite his arrogant display, or whether he may even just trying to convince himself to bolster his confidence. There’s a hint that rather than being a predator, he’s the one hurt by the punishment of rejection:
Sneakin down your alley way
And knockin’ on your door
Thought I had enough but I’m back for more
One can almost hear it as a Wonder Years styled inner voice encouraging him to keep trying. After all the stalk talk, he nervously knocks on her door, and she opens it, mildly annoyed. He says meekly, “Cinnamon, do you think we could maybe go out for coffee?”
“No thank you. I have to wash my hair. Maybe some other time.”
As he walks home dejectedly, he begins singing this song again to himself as some sort of defense mechanism and buildup for the next time.
Cinnamon is a pretty hot name for a 60’s suburban teenage girl, maybe even superior to Mercedes(Heather Graham) as the love interest of Corey Haim in the 1980’s film, License to Drive. I definitely empathize with the protagonist of this sexually charged song.
“Cinnamon” by Derek is one of my favorite jams of the 1960s. The lyrics are stalkerish and would trigger most millennials, but it remains to be seen whether it’s a dangerously creepy song or merely a pathetically creepy one. It’s a line fine line we walk. Take a chance and dance around it with us.
You can’t hide girl
I’m comin’ inside girl
Do what you want to
Baby I’ll let you
Might as well face it
Cinnamon you know I’m gonna get ya
Mondo Freudo(1966) is another great “fake” documentary from the Mondo series of the mid to late 60’s. Mondo Mod is of course my favorite, followed by Mondo Bizarro. I’ve been trying to get my hands on a copy of Mondo Teeno for years. Unfortunately I’ve only found one guy on the entire internet that claims to be selling a copy…and he doesn’t respond to emails and hasn’t updated his site for years.
Anyway, though Mondo Freudo and the others aren’t authentic documentaries, they do a fair job of portraying the 1960s Southern California youth culture in their own way, just through the footage and the entertaining narration which accompanies it.
Here’s a great sequence of a portion of the Sunset Strip as it was in 1966. Take me there.
There’s seemingly a never end of obscure and cleverly themed 60’s bands. Add another to the list with “The Monks.” They were a band formed by two American servicemen who were originally stationed and then remained in West Germany in the mid 60’s. They sported monk haircuts and typically wore nooses as neckties. One of the most experimental and creative bands of the era, The Monks continue to influence avante garde musicians 50 years later.
Cool your jets and enjoy the afternoon with this swingin’ summertime, 60’s style pop jam. Turn up the dial on your Nobility pocket transistor radio and head to the beach just one last time before summer’s over, and it’s time to blow this popsicle stand. Fickle fadsters come and go, but a few of us stay until the bitter end.
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.
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.
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.
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.