Flamin Groovies Pt. 1 + asst. flotsam!

Forgive the dead air. We've been away and have just now returned from another junket to the Holy Land (Pittsburgh, USA), laden with tales as yet to be revealed... in forthcoming volumes of Mad Mike Monsters, that is. Learn to wait. As promised, today's entry provides the pivot post for all fannish things herein, namely The Flamin' Groovies, who were, and continue to be, the common ground for ravin' mavens of the rock n' roll persuasion, and thanks to the beautiful, mysterious epoch in which all dwell, they and we, and all things around us all, continue to amplify and expand until the day that the whole ball of wax goes kapoof! And we catapult through the Milky Way, like some pea green comet burning a path past the Hubble rubble into deepest space. Oh, that's a snap taken in the CBGB's lady's room (where else?) in early 1977. Kindly note the EP and the fan club badge. The very badge on that grimy lapel finds its way onto cleaner ones these days, but I still wear it with pride.

In Ohio days of yesteryear, the common denominator was, more than the Stooges or the 5 (MC and DC), the Flamin' Groovies. I've tried to nail down the reasons why, and can't. Other than to think that there was something in their sound and style that made us feel like one of them. Over other combos that we dug to pieces, there was a sense of joy and good humor to the hard ass blasts which made them front liners for the defense. But you know that. If you've managed to tread water through the world's longest sentences and have made it thus far, you KNOW THAT. For a band that sprang from the bayside bowels of San Francisco at the height of the British Invasion to persist for one decade at the same magnamity, let alone four, is something worth perpetual notice. In the 70's, you just couldn't trust anyone without the Groovies in their personal stash. This was understood. Flamingo and Teenage Head were absolute staples in any hard driving collection, and when Supersnazz and Sneakers were found alongside the others in any given home habitat, you knew you were in the presence of a fellow genius. The original Groovies lineup with lead singer/superstar Roy Loney, blazed a trail through 1971, at which point Roy left the combo. Cyril kept the band going through some truly lean times, recording amazing music, and trying his darndest to get with label again. Groovies superfan Greg Shaw of Who Put The Bomp and Phonograph Record magazine was key to making this happen. Of this there can be no debate. His enthusiasm, sense of history, and full-on support of the fan/artist relationship, would perpetrate the pure energy that was the legacy of the Groovies. With the release of a seven incher- You Tore Me Down-- on his inhouse Bomp label, he helped make the Sire label signature a reality, initiating the new rise of the Flamin Groovies. The release of the Shake Some Action album marked a victory against the horrendously bland music that had waylaid the airwaves of America, and which was beginning to be equally matched by disco, an alarming development for rock n roll fans. Greg Shaw started a Flamin' Groovies fan club in 1975, issued one professionally printed fanzine, and then asked me to take the reigns. Lately, I've been reading through Greg's old Bomp newsletters,great reads which reinforce our collective rites of fandom.

That's Greg's fanzine, above. And here's my goofy letter which was published therein. Remember, these were the teenage zit poppin' days.

I went headlong into fanzine publishing with my extremely homemade fan rag. Color xerox covers, kid! I thought I was so hi-tech! Here's my first 40 page issue, officially #2. More next post.


Like I said when this little boat set sail, jetsam will float to the surface and flotsam, too, and being as it all ties in to the same ball- okay- disc, of wax, we'll include whatever turns up in the net. So, into the wayback machine once again. Set the controls to the heart of 1975-1976 with letters from pen pal Lux from WAAAAY before I ever considered making the move to NYC. Note Groovies mentions! Hooray!

Lyrics to Subwire Desire. Note my telephone pole art. Hmmm. No-talent at many levels.

Fine art circa 1976 by a Cramp (not me!)

Much more tomorrow. Don't miss a heart thumpin' minute!
Bye for now!


  1. I think the first time I heard of the Groovies was, in fact, the first time I heard of you -- in the piece on BAD SEED magazine in Greg Theakston's BETTY PAGES, where ya mentioned the Groovies being basically sorta the icebreaker between you & Billy. I immediately scribbled out a money order to ya for all five SEEDS, and as it would happen, Roy Loney became the first face I ever saw on a Norton catalog, the SCIENTIFIC BOMBS AWAY LP being spotlighted on that little 8-page wonder. A couple years later, he became the first Norton act I ever encountered live, when he played a string of shows here with my (later) buddy Greg Reinel's band The Screaming Iguanas of Love backing 'im up. I was starstruck, but I managed to choke out my thanks for indirectly causing the creation of the Norton Empire...

    Two decades later, and my admiration for Roy & the Groovies only grows. Seein' him & Cyril demolish New Orleans this year was so freakin' stunning, I feel guilty for having experienced such a thing. And I ain't even Catholic.

  2. Felt like throwing darts at their Genesis poster, hahaha....brilliant.

    Got into the Groovies sometime during the 80's, discovering other regular staples in my diet, Tav Falco's Panther Burns and Roy Loney's Phantom Movers. Always relate the trio.

    Most of my LP's are Edsel reissues i think. Supersnazz. Roadhouse (with that great pic of the band, Cyril's see-thru guitar).
    Love the raw sound on Skydog's Grease. Live at Mangel's San Francisco apparently?

  3. On the same page as Chesson with the Panther Burns as a dietary staple. Probably 80+% of the cool slop I got turned onto as a teen (Benny Joy, Sonny Burgess, Charlie Feathers, etc) was as a direct result of Tav's teachings. At that Loney/Iguanas show I mentioned above, I found out Roy was a Tav Falco fan himself. So it all fits...

  4. Miriam: Love the blog: I always said you were my favorite author of the female persuasion! You wrote a piece about (the) Lyres for a zine whose name escapes me now (I think it was the work of one T. Abramson of Hoboken, NJ) that I hope you will re-publish here.

    Re: the Groovies: Ever since I got TEENAGE HEAD (as a cut-out) back in high school, I've had the fever. Hell, I even liked some of that stuff they recorded down under with the guy who replaced Chris Wilson (best version of "Bittersweet" ever). I was going to put out a tribute album called FRAMIN' GLOOVIES in the mid-'90s, but then my label (the mighty CHUNK Records) went under...but not before puttin' out some boss 45s by DMZ, Lyres, Cheetahs, etc.

    Again, I'm digging this blog, and look forward to more.

    Mal Thursday a/k/a JM Dobies

  5. I am loving this Miriam, can't wait for the next post!!!!

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  7. I can't get enough reading you, Miriam

    Chesson mentioned live at Mangels.
    Wasn't Mangels the cellar of Cyril's mother house?

    PS : same message as the deleted one with a little less mistakes (I'm french, yuk!)

  8. and THAT exact button is how we met in 1976...i always remembered that...you never, ever fail to amaze...

  9. Anonymous1:41 AM

    miriam post the garage letter