Flamin Groovies No Candy big

Side 1: She Said Yeah/ Let The Boy Rock ‘N’ Roll/ House Of Blue Light/ Lover Not A Fighter/ Please Please Me/ Please Please Girl/ Ups And Downs
Side 2: Shake Some Action/ I Wanna Be Your Man/ Don’t Lie To Me/ I Can’t Hide/ Miss Amanda Jones/ Hey Hey Hey

BOOTLEG(S) OF THE WEEK!: The Flamin’ Groovies-NO CANDY (ZAP)

Now that the weather is getting warmer and the sun shinier I feel it safe to once again take a trip down into the basement and mingle with my vinyl friends (who have given me more hours of downright happiness and pleasure than any of my real flesh and bone ones ever have!). And since I just “happened to get hold of” a load of those great (once) clandestine bootleg albums that sure zone me back to the days of those long-gone outta-the-way budget record shops, I thought I’d make it a PROJECT to review for you each and every weekend a bootleg album (or Cee-Dee if the moment arrives) perhaps to reminisce about record buying adventures past or to further document a portion of a seventies/eighties-era piece of rockism that really hasn’t been discussed to the utmost. Naturally I’m only doing this mostly to help pad out these weekend posts and make ’em look a lot meatier than they have the past few weeks so don’t say I have an ulterior motive doin’ this!

Here are a couple oddities from the now-distant and much-missed (in some respects) seventies, Flamin’ Groovies bootlegs that weren’t put out by Skydog Records! Really, one would gander that only a Skydog or some other small specialty bootleg company would have dealt with a group the cult status of the Groovies, but it looks as if the big timers in the underground biz took a shine to our San Franciscan heroes as well. The first offering up for today, NO CANDY, was released by the “Ze Anonym Plattenspieler” label who I guess fell for the SHAKE SOME ACTION album a lot harder than the rest of the music buying populace. I mean, why else would they issue this live recording from August of 1976 featuring our heroes in the middle of a grueling tour kicking out the jams for a rather rabid and appreciative audience when they could have used the vinyl cranking out yet another nth-generation Beatles platter? Sound quality is good enough mid-seventies cassette job about as clear as many of the similar items that were cluttering up the bootleg bins back in the day, while the performance is, er, action-packed as well with the Groovies at the outset of their “power pop” period bridging the energy of the pre-hippie sixties with the budding new underground that somehow caught everyone by surprise during those hard-thrust times. Funny, but I don’t recall seeing this one in any of the bootleg bins or catalogs of the day. My guess is that this was so desired that it actually sold out before I could get to the store.

[Source: BLOG TO COMM]


I find this a bit puzzling, a band I had never even heard off, no hits, no radio play, yet bootleggers obviously liked these guys enough to take the financial risk (there is a Wizardo title – LIVE AT THE ROXY – as well). On the other hand, a band like America’s finest prog-rock group, Kansas, who were fairly big by 1976, never had a vinyl bootleg out. It is interesting how bootleggers had an influence on tastes and artist visibility that way.

“The formation of TAKRL also marked a shift in the scope of artists who could be bootlegged. Dub had kept to the ‘old guard’. Though Ken’s love of Dylan meant that he monopolized American Dylan bootleg product throughout the seventies, his partners were much more willing to test ‘new’ markets. TAKRL was responsible for some of the most unusual artists to be bootlegged in the vinyl era – everybody from Mott the Hoople, Procul harum and The Bonzo Dog (Doo Dah) band to Gentle Giant, Sparks and a particularly inspired compendium of quips from Marx Brothers’ movies, Groucho Marx’s I Never Kissed an Ugly Woman. Though TAKRL’s experiments’ were not always successful, aesthetically or commercially, only they were issuing something other than standard bootleg fodder, even coming up with a handful of superb radio broadcasts of two of America’s best new live acts – the Patti Smith Group and Little Feat. […] By this point, TAKRL could not contain all the product Ken wanted on the streets. HHCER, TKFWM and SODD all took on some of the burden [I really would not have worded it like that], soon folowed by Flat Records […], but it was still not enough. [Heylin, Bootleg pp 107-108]

“Ken’s multiple labels were not simply a ruse to confuse the authorities. Dr. ‘Telly’ Phone was not entirely convinced about the sheer scale of product being churned out. The doctor and Ken did not always see eye to eye about what exactly they should be putting out. Indeed it was a disagreement over content that resulted in the formation of The Kornyphone Records for the Working Man. David [the “Doctor”?] was not enamoured by Paul McCartney in any post-Beatles incarnation, nor by any new American pretenders like Aerosmith, Bachman Turner Overdrive or Lynyrd Skynyrd. If SODD was a bona-fide TAKRL spin-off, and HHCER was phased out as TAKRL went into overdrive, ZAP and Flat – both started in 1976 – were clearly intended by Ken as alternatives to TAKRL. The tension between Ken’s workaholic methods (and occasional dubious quality standards) and someone like the Doctor, committed to ‘approving’ material for ‘his’ label, was bound to lead to a permanent rift.” [Heylin, Bootleg, pp 110-111]

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