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All Back To Ours - The Stoner Scal Tapes

By Dave Richards


It was 20 years ago today, well nearly, since Pink Floyd played their infamous show at Maine Road. To celebrate that fact, Swine has produced a handy playlist for all those of us who knew our bus-stop ratbags from our fucked-up old hags.........


1. Matilda Mother - Pink Floyd.
http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=bzm86LWgDFE

2. Grandchester Meadows - Pink Floyd.
http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=J6h7rOQRbfU

Floyd were the essential band, no doubt about that. There was a time when you couldn't move for lads with scraggy jeans and suedies who were sporting a "Hammers" or "Dark Side" T-Shirt, or even changing their name by deed poll to Seamus Atomheart-Mother and painting their house like the cover of Obscured By Clouds, but all the Floyd albums used to get heavy rotation. I know loads of lads who owned Roger Waters's unlistenable side project album with Ron Geesin called "Music From The Body", along with all the solo Syd Barrett stuff and the hard to get compilation of early rarities "Works". These two are early Floyd from Piper and Ummagumma. Far superior to anything on "The Wall" if you ask me.


3. Fly On A Windshield - Genesis.
http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=gcV_COCcT08

4. Back In NYC - Genesis.
http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=QA62zY6G8Hw

Two Genesis tunes off "The Lamb Lies Down On Broadway", another must-own album in Liverpool in the mid-80s. For some reason "Fly On A Windshield" was a favourite drunken singalong tune on the Friday night post alehouse walk home, usually followed by The Jam's "Down In A Tubestation". On the cover Rael Imperial, our hero, is clearly seen sporting adidas trainees and a pair of semi flares which to this listener were almost certainly a pair of Flemings Supa-Tuff. Genesis (aka Genno) were a weird one though - quite a few disagreements would breakout over the merits of the post-Gabriel (or even post-Hackett) incarnations of the band - "What's this shite - Three Sides Live ? They were cack after Gabriel left you tit". The later stuff like Duke, Abacab and Genesis (with "Mama" and "Home By The Sea" on it) were huge as well, but as a staunch Gabrielist I'm not letting none of that shite on. The Genno cult reached it's logical conclusion at Glastonbury 1991 when, as yet another festival was taken over by hordes of scousers and mancs, one well known Everton head set up a giant tent ("Southfork"), installed his own decks, and treated the crowd to classics from The State interspersed with snippets from "Foxtrot", and the gurning masses all chanted "Mum Diddilly Washing, Dad Diddilly Office, You're All Full Of Ball". True story.


5. Magic Fingers - The Mothers Of Invention
http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=EIcDIG-8hgw

6. Trouble Every Day - The Muffin Men
http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=pdjqkitMvNE

Zappa and the Muffin Men. There's no explanation as to the huge popularity of Zappa in Liverpool. Zappa-heads have always been with us. There's a famous cartoon in The End of a cockney "casual" and a scouser stood next to each other. The cockney is sporting some complicated Italian jumper and his speech bubble says "Nitto you sigh", no idea what it means, while the chonging scouser is saying "Sound this draw" and is wearing a Zappa "Ship Arriving Too Late To Save A Drowning Witch" t-shirt. God only knows how that "difficult" album became a underground classic round here, although "Valley Girls" is on it so it could be that. Years later I worked in London for HMV and I got talking to some cockney sales rep who used to supply vinyl to all the big city HMV megastores. Turned out he was into Frank and he told me that other than the Oxford Street Megastore, the Liverpool one was the only shop that stocked the entire Zappa back catalogue. He never knew why either. So big was Frank on Merseyside that it's only right that the greatest exponents of Zappa's music ("tribute" band doesn't do them justice) should come from here as well. The Muffin Men are still going strong and are just about the best live band you will ever see, so get on them.


7. Ohio - Crosby, Still and Nash
http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=gCV7PobBq ... re=related

8. Treetop Flier
http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=NUmIO_MG5IU

9. Old Man - Neil Young
http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=Hq0tAoO3-xQ

Here's a few of various Stephen Stills/Neil Young bits. All their stuff was big back then, Neil Young in particular had a huge following amongst the lads, although personally his whiney voice used to get on my nerves. I preferred Stephen Stills, and one of the lads copped for a CSN&Y video that featured Stills doing "Treetop Flier" (it's on youtube), a boss little fingerstyle guitar number about the Nam vet chopper pilots who could only get work as crop sprayers when they came home. I think it may well have been inspired by Stills's own legendary coke-binge freakout where he was convinced he was a Nam vet himself despite never getting further East than the end of Mama Cass's fridge. "Ohio" always reminds me of the Cumberland boozer in town, a classic haunt of the pot smoking togger fan. One Monday night about 20 of us trogged down from the Yankee after scranning a load of mushrooms. Jimmy The Greek (ace covers band) were on, and when the mushies were properly kicking in they did a version of "Ohio" that caused a mini outbreak of full-on loon dancing in our corner. Jimmy The Greek himself looked on, bemused.


10. If Six Was Nine - Jimi Hendrix

11. The Pusher - Stepenwolf
http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=jMqVrUSz62o

Hendrix was yet another t-shirt at the match favourite. All his albums were de-rigeur, but "If Six Was Nine" had the added advantage of being on "Easy Rider", as was Steppenwolf's "The Pusher". Dennis Hopper out-cooled even Jack Nicholson, so much so that you would occasionally see the odd match head sporting a Hopper-style suede "fringie" jacket. Bummer, man.


12. Two Heads - Jefferson Airplane
http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=SwEgOfQufbo

13. New Speedway Boogie - Grateful Dead
http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=sVsSKuxyaro

14. Section 43 - Country Joe And The Fish
http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=oYwH3XBtfo8

The Bay Area psychedelic bands were all massive. Again, video played a big part in their appeal. Everyone had the Woodstock video, and at some point in the mid 80s Channel 4 screened "Monterey Pop" and everyone taped it. The Editor himself went one further and blew seven Memorex c90s (and his mind) on Radio One's 20th anniversary broadcast of the whole Monterey bash. Jorma Kaukonen (Airplane's virtuoso 3rd guitarist) was a style icon in Lee Park. The potheads round there were ringers for his all-denim and suede look (see also George Harrison on the cover of Abbey Road, that's "the look" nailed). As well as the Neth-heads, this look was popular in the scally-hippy commune (serious) that was set up first by Garston Park and later moved to a flat by Penny Lane. If you ever went in there to score a quart, it was like going into that bunker in "Apocalypse Now" where Hendrix was blasting out the stezzer and the loon black GI shoots the gook on the wire.
The Dead were another t-shirt favourite, and hordes of lads made the trip to Wembley Arena to see them in 90/91ish. "Section 43" was featured on "Monterey Pop" and as a result a few lads went out and bought The Fish's "Electric Music For The Mind And Body", which along with Quicksilver Messenger Service's "Happy Trails" and Airplane's "After Bathing At Baxters" were the essential San Fran sike albums.


15. Hassan I Kaba - Hawkwind
http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=6wiW-6eEg ... re=related

16. Space Is Deep - Hawkwind
http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=cULwlnEok1c

The Hawks. If you ever wanted a snapshot of "stoner scal", forget Floyd at Maine Road and instead pick any mid to late 80s Hawkwind show at Liverpool Empire. Whenever they were on, the Yankee Bar would be full beforehand as microdots were getting handed out, blue peters were getting bliffed up, mushies were being boiled, and adidas trefoils were being stitched into lab coats.......I made the last bit up. The Yankee Bar jukey used to have "Silver Machine/Seven By Seven" on it, but that was just a taste. Lads I know used to write fan mail to Dave Brock and get replies, whole evenings were spent in darkened bedrooms trying to get our head round Michael Moorcock's rabbiting on "The Chronicles Of The Black Sword" while buzzing off reefer traces, and when the coast was clear the "Hawkwind at Stonehenge" video would get lobbed on, where you could get freaked out by the lead singer of support act "The Enid" and his litany of mad shouts - "I'd like to take you all home with me.......you naughty naughty norr". To this day I don't know anyone other than togger heads who have even heard of The Enid. And if I had to nominate one tune as a "Stoner Scal" anthem it would be "Hassan I Kaba"


17. Mr Skin - Spirit
http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=etoXNZWp184

Spirit's "12 Dreams Of Dr Sardonicus" is another essential album and pretty much every tune on it is a killer. I've no idea how everyone got on it, but it does have a nutty psychedelic cover which always helped.


18. Mother Goose - Jethro Tull
http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=j4dx4RzaOyY

Tull were always big, thanks in no small part to Groundpig doing covers of Tulll's "Skating Away" and "Living In The Past" in the Bier Keller or Houlihans. I preferred Aqualung meself though. Years later everyone was gutted when the bass player had a sex change and the band started calling themselves Jethrene Tull. Sickener.


19. Your Mind And We Belong Together - Love
http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=K9qKjrwD7 ... re=related

I'd wager that there are more copies of Love's "Forever Changes" knocking about in Liverpool households than there are copies of "Sgt Pepper". One of the best concerts I ever went to was Arthur Lee's "Forever Changes" show at Liverpool Academy the other year. This album alway used to be the last one on if you were about to get your head down, the perfect accompaniment to that last spliff. The mighty Shack used to be Arthur Lee's backing and as well, what more do you want.


20. Let No Man Steal Your Thyme - Pentangle
http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=RwT0COKXFMM

Last but not least, my own personal favourite that you could throw in the hat if you wanted to "out-obscure" someone in the Bier Keller. One of the lads had a older brother who was a "proper" hippie and he had some great vinyl, including the first few Pentangle albums. We used to bladder them all and tape tunes off them for chonging all dayers in Sefton Park or down the Prom where, if you were lucky, you might even stumble onto a "Peace Festival" with loads of arl hippies flogging "Psylocybin" t-shirts. Many years later, the Geordie biffa who does the Swine covers admitted that he secretly liked Pentangle and braced himself for a volley of abuse.......


 

 

 

 

 


 

 

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