Hello, Cleveland and Parts Beyond! It’s been a while since we’ve utilized our Beachland blog, as we’ve shifted the heavy online PR lifting to social media sites like Facebook and Twitter. We’re saving this blog space – and your precious time and attention – to shows we feel are truly special and worth more than a quick post or tweet. This Friday and Saturday are filled to the brim with great musical acts – Roy Loney, from legendary 70s rockers The Flamin’ Groovies, and Cleveland soul group The Hesitations – that you couldn’t really see anywhere else. So we’ve taken the time to get you hip to the sounds that are going down this weekend!
In many circles, Mr. Roy Loney needs no introduction. But to many others, he seems like a footnote in the annals of rock and roll. Fortunately for Loney neophytes, we’ve got some Cleveland friends helping us tell the story of Loney and his band, The Flamin’ Groovies. Former Mirrors drummer and CLE alum Michael J. Weldon shares his insights into Loney via the site for his shop, Psychotronic and Mia’s Bead Shop, which sells a wide variety of far-out rock and roll collectibles. Please note that this is a thorough interview with Loney , so make sure to settle in a comfy chair! http://www.psychotronic.com/psychotronic-interviews/roy-loney
For those of you readers pressed for time, here’s a quote from the Flamin’ Groovies’ bio, provided by the ever-essential Trouser Press, that sheds light on these San Francisco forerunners of punk, roots rock, and DIY record labels:
Starting out in San Francisco as early as 1965 (actually predating the Grateful Dead!), the Flamin Groovies were always out of step with the rock world. Ten years before bands routinely released their own independent records, the Groovies issued a 10-inch mini-album, Sneakers; in the ’70s, when that same do-it-yourself spirit was inspiring countless innovative bands to try and challenge the old boundaries, the Groovies retreated to make albums of beat group nostalgia, wearing period clothes and refusing to acknowledge that times had indeed changed.
Always more cult-popular and influential than commercially successful, the Groovies, led by irascible but talented guitarist/singer Cyril Jordan and (until 1971) singer/guitarist Roy A. Loney, always embodied the rebellious, youthful spirit that fueled punk, but held tenuously to their musical roots — ’50s American rock’n'roll and ’60s British pop. In effect, they provided inspiration for countless bands (how many covers of “Slow Death” can you name?) and are legendary for good reason.
So you’ve got your Groovies lesson, then. Let’s fast-forward to 1979, whereupon Mr. Loney solo career boasted a blasting sound akin to punk rock (warning: cute kid alert at the end):
Here’s a 2010 updating of a classic Loney tune, served up for the madwomen and madmen of Madrid, Spain:
Loney plays this Friday, January 21st, backed by former CLE surfoholics The Purple Knifs (Waitresses and Walkin’ Clampetts guys who’ll be playing a set of their own). Also on the bill are Living Stereo, most recenly remembered for a powerhouse Halloween set covering the Sonics.
Saturday night, we’ll have a homecoming of sorts for Cleveland’s very own Hestiations. This 60s soul group’s brief career got them not only airplay in the States, but in Europe and especially in Great Britain. That nation’s Northern Soul fans gobbled up singles like “Soul Superman”, “The Impossible Dream”, ”Who Will Answer”, and “You Can’t Bypass Love”:
“….the Hesitations are ready to work again; reunited in 2006 for a show at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum, the four singers and five musicians discovered last March that they can indeed draw a crowd, headlining the Northern and Modern Soul Weekender in Prestatyn, North Wales and pulling 3,000 to 4,000.
The Hesitations will perform at the Beachland Ballroom on January 22, helping Beachland manager Mark Leddy celebrate his 51st birthday. A long-time fan of Northern Soul, Leddy says: ‘I generally use my birthday as an excuse to book some kind of show. Often, it’s a soul-oriented show, so it seemed like the thing to do.’” Carlo Wolff’s great, four-page article on The Hesitations on OhioAuthority.com
John Benson, writing for CoolCleveland.com, has also penned a profile of The Hesitations that’s brief and concise. However, for the purposes of you, The Blog Reader, we’ll go back to YouTube vids that show the Hesitations in front of an enthusiastic UK crowd, having a good bit of cheeky fun with their hit, “Soul Superman”:
The Hesitations will perform on Saturday, January 22nd, with help from DJ Charles McGaw, and DJ Racecard, aka Lawrence Daniel Caswell, one of the voices on local NPR affiliate WCPN, bassist for the bands This Moment In Black History, Vernacular, and National Suicide Day, and all-around polymath. It’s also the birthday party of Mark Leddy, one of the Beachland’s co-owners. Expect nothing but good tunes and good times.
Tickets are available at http://www.beachlandballroom.com.