by Justin CollectorScum

After another long delay -- blame me, not Rich -- we're back with the fourth installment of my showcase for the "other song" by comped bands, and unknown stuff generally not worthy of a comp appearance, but interesting nevertheless. I've been finding that the format of this column, with the thematic linking of the two songs in each section, is somewhat limiting and I might do away with it in the future. But perhaps as a last hurrah, I'm going to swing entirely in the other direction and follow the same theme for all four tracks: 60s covers. You can point at both the Ramones and Sex Pistols as being fans of 60s pop and garage rock, but it's also seen with the more obscure groups, sometimes to good effect.

Flipsides: (All 60s Covers edition)

Village PistolsPerhaps the most infamous (or maybe just most expensive?) of 60s covers by a KBD band is unfortunately a Beatles cover. The Village Pistols put out by far the best North Carolina punk record of 1980, plus or minus many years in either direction, with the amazing and brutal "Big Money" comped on Killed By Death #7. The B-side is a cover of Strawberry Fields Forever. Unlike any of the songs below, one gets the feeling this was done purely for shock value, not out of any love for the song. If nothing else, you've just saved yourself from having to buy an especially mediocre Rave-Up release to hear it.

Jimi Lalumia and the Psychotic FrogsJimi Lalumia & the Psychotic Frogs also covered the Beatles, in the form of a lyrically modified "Eleanor Rigby" which was included on KBD #14. For many years, most collectors were only aware of that single plus an earlier one, but then a mysterious 1981 sleeveless, color vinyl record popped up a few times on eBay. From this, "Loser" got comped on Staring Down the Barrel, where the liners incorrectly claim only sample copies were made and it never got a proper pressing. It actually turns out that 300 yellow vinyl copies were pressed to sell at a show on Long Island, plus another couple dozen mistakenly pressed on red that were given to the band and friends. I suspect it didn't sell very well, or maybe there are lots of them sitting in Levittown basements. Regardless, I much prefer the A-side of this record, a cover of the Chuck Barris-penned Palisades Park.

Uncompables: (And More Covers edition)

Trixy and the TestonesHow's this for a segue: we're going to hear the same song again because it is a favorite of mine. But this one is much better recorded and pressed, plus sped up a bit. In 1978, Trixy & the Testones put out what I consider one of the best records of that era from Baltimore (which I'll admit is not saying great things about the state of punk rock in Baltimore at that time.) Although being all covers and not straight punk, many will disagree with my assessment. But it's hard to go wrong with such a so-uncool-they're-cool group of folks on the cover, and check out their awesome pseudonyms (from left-to-right): David Wylde, Shemp Averagio (I don't get it. Was he an average guy of Italian decent, or was that just his real name?), Jeff Jamm, Trixy (real name: Kraig Krixer, later of the Accused who put out a local single in '80), Johnnie Love, and (best of all) Vic DeMize. Not pictured is Lao Lewd, who plays the Tibetan glockenspiel (!). I've yet to hear the Rude Kids cover, but I don't personally know a better version of Palisades Park.

Rank AmateursAnd finally, something a bit more on the psych side. Status Quo's "Pictures of Matchstick Men" is just one of many reasons you should own the 2nd Nuggets boxed set (Although I do prefer the all-American, more garagey 1st box.) Minneapolis bands circa 1980 had a greater-than-average obsession with the 60s, with the Hypstrz probably being the best of the cover bands. The Hit Squad put out one single of all covers. Like most of the records on the tiny local Break'er label, it was a Gregor MacKenzie and the Misanthropes side project. Despite a typical Break'er pressing size of only 300, this is neither very hard to find, nor valuable. But I think it's well worth seeking out for the very solid cover of Pictures of Matchstick Men, slightly sped up, but faithful to the original.

Questions, comments, corrections? Send them my way: justin-at-CollectorScum.com.

These MP3s are intended for educational purposes and to allow people to hear songs from rare and/or hopelessly out of print records. If you're an artist or label behind one of these recordings and you want an MP3 taken down, please contact the editor at termibore-at-aoldotcom.

To read past installments of Too Much Junk go here.