It’s A Vintage Weekend: Roy Loney (from the Flamin’ Groovies); The Hesitations

18 01 2011

Roy Loney, former Flamin' Groovies frontman, this Friday

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!

Loney as new waver

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.

The Hesitations in their heyday. Performing 1 / 22.

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

John Benson, writing for, 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



Waterloo Arts Fest, The Church, Jonathan Richman, Van Der Graaf Generator, and more

22 06 2009
Waterloo Arts Festival 2009

Waterloo Arts Festival 2009

To say that we’re looking at an upcoming whopper of a week is a real feat of understatement.  We believe the colloquial term is “blowin’ up”; in our case, the Beachland and Waterloo Road will be exploding with light, sound, and people at an amazing level.  Being Clevelanders, however, we can handle pretty much damn near anything.  And being Clevelanders, we ask YOU to join us in our enjoyment of art, culture, and music this weekend.

Saturday’s annual Waterloo Arts Festival promises to be the biggest one yet.  Thousands will descend onto a street full of vendors, family activities, and three stages’ worth of live music.  Performers such as yo-yo artist / raconteur Steve Brown and Leia Alligator’s Picklefight Puppet Theatre will be making the rounds on the block.  The Sculpture Garden stage will host roots music, like the bluegrassy sounds of Heelsplitter; the Beachland Tavern (for those of you who dig the comfort of AC and a fully-stocked bar) includes performances by the trunk-rattling electrofunk duo Arte Povera and Pere Ubu offshoot, Cleveland avant-garde ensemble Home and Garden.  Various DJs will hold court at nearby Blue Arrow Records; look for appearances by punk platterista Miss Allisun, and soul sides by Lawrence Daniel Caswell of WCSB’s “No Ways Tired” (which will surely contain tunes by Cleveland-born Rock Hall Inductee, Bobby Womack)

Children’s activities will include mask making, puppet-wearing, building of cardboard cities (future engineers unite!), and a Lego sculpture contest.  For those looking to stay healthy and fit in what is purportedly one of the fattest cities in the U.S. (how do they figure?), a “Clevelanders In Motion” tent will offer ways to stay in shape in the Healthy Living Village.  There’ll also be a mile round-trip bicycle ride from University Circle to the Fest, sponsored by Walk & Roll Cleveland,  the Ohio City Bicycle Co-Op, and ClevelandBikes. It departs Rockefeller Park at 11am, and heads back towards University Circle at 2pm.  If you’re riding (or just strolling) fuel yourself up with food from area restaurants, and buy yourself some riding tunes (from Music Saves) or a cooler t-shirt than the one you just sweated in (at Shoparooni).  Heck, if you stop by the Beachland Ballroom, you might find yourself a nice vintage set of wheels at the Rock & Roll Flea Market that’ll be running there from 12-5.

Got all that? The fun runs from 12-7; to learn more, check out

Inside the Beachland, we’ll have some incredible performances throughout the week.  Art-rock legends Van Der Graaf Generator perform their head-scratchingly melodic art-rock on Thursday, June 25th.  The Church, who can see and hear in the following clip, play the the next night with very special guest Adam Franklin (formely of heavily beautiful UK ‘shoegazers’ Swervedriver):

The Church, “Under The Milky Way”

Saturday night’s big Ballroom show features Jonathan Richman and acerbic singer-songwriter Vic Chesnutt.  Though many folks know Richman from his groundbreaking punk group, The Modern Lovers, many more know him from “Something About Mary”:

The best line from The Modern Lovers’ immortal two-chord driving jam “Roadrunner” is “I’m in love with rock and roll/and I’ll be out all night”.  Will you be too?  There’ll be enough chances this weekend, that’s for sure.  Tickets for all Beachland shows are available through the website or by calling 216-383-1124.


Add to FacebookAdd to DiggAdd to Del.icio.usAdd to StumbleuponAdd to RedditAdd to BlinklistAdd to TwitterAdd to TechnoratiAdd to FurlAdd to Newsvine

The Dogs, Ozric Tentacles, Waterloo Arts Fest

18 06 2009
This Is Cleveland Closing Party - June 27th

This Is Cleveland Closing Party - June 27th

This (kinda) just in regarding the successful “This Is Cleveland” show at Lowlife Gallery.  On Saturday, June 27th,  Lowlife and blogger extraordinaire Cleveland Bachelor will throw a closing party with drinks, DJ sets, and a performance by Arte Povera (Mike and Sunny DiLiberto’s new duo).  The above poster was created by Cleveland artist John G, whose other work you can see by clicking the image above.

The Waterloo Arts Fest takes place the very same day, from noon to 7 pm. There’ll be food vendors, retailers (especially our neighbors on the street like Shoparooni and Music Saves), children’s activities, and three stages featuring the following bands and performers:

12:45-1:30 Lighthouse and the Whaler (indie folk)
2:00-2:45 Arte Povera (instrumental electronic psychedelia)
3:15-4:00 The Muttering Retreats (electronic indie pop)
4:30-5:15 The Modern Electric (cinematic pop)
5:45-6:30 Home and Garden (avante-garde rock)

SCULPTURE GARDEN STAGE (Outdoors next to Waterloo 7 gallery)
1:15-2:00 Mary Taylor-Brooks (roots rock)
2:30-3:15 Heelsplitter (americana)
3:45-4:30 Miles Beyond (blues)
5:00-5:45 Nelken (folk)
6:15-7:00 The Church of the Lazy Bastard (old school country)

DJ STAGE (inside Blue Arrow Records)
noon-1:30pm – DJ Gaw from WRUW’s “On the One”
1:30-3:30pm – Miss Allisun
3:30-5:30pm – Drive Time Radio with Kid Flamingo and The 185th Street Shuffle (Bill & Jeff)
5:30-7:00pm – DJ Lawrence Daniel Caswell of WCSB’s “No Ways Tired”

After the festival there’ll be an after party/benefit for Arts Collinwood in the tavern 7-9 PM with food and DJs.

“Fun times in Cleveland today” exclaims the now-famous “Hastily Made Tourism” video.  That’s quite true, according to a recent report from I Rock Cleveland, which mentions this weekend’s Larchmere Porchfest, the Rock Hall’s free Summer Sessions, and more.

Tonight’s Beachland shows feature the full-throttle punk of Detroit veterans The Dogs.  Here they are absolutely tearing it up a while back in front of a manic crowd in Japan:

and we’ll also have a very special performance by prog-psych pioneers Ozric Tentacles:
Wanna know more? Head to for info and tickets.

Add to FacebookAdd to DiggAdd to Del.icio.usAdd to StumbleuponAdd to RedditAdd to BlinklistAdd to TwitterAdd to TechnoratiAdd to FurlAdd to Newsvine