Wednesday, March 25, 2020
The Beetle Beat--The Original Liverpool Sound: The Buggs (The Coachmen V; 1964)
It just occurred to me that putting up an LP by "The Buggs" might not be in the best taste, given our current health crisis. But "The Buggs," of course, is a phony name (you'd never have guessed)--the group's real name was the Coachmen V, and it included Spooky Tooth member Gary (Dream Weaver) Wright. Info (save for the Spooky Tooth detail) courtesy of Brian McFadden's terrific Rock Rarities for a Song: Budget LPs That Saved the Roots of Rock 'n' Roll. (I know that it's also at Discogs.) The Coachmen V thought they were getting their big break and were shocked to discover their tracks had been released under different titles, with a fake credit, and without so much as their real group pic on the jacket. This is what you get for trusting the Coronet label, I guess. Maybe the weirdest feature of this LP is the inclusion of the Doris Troy/Hollies hit Just One Look, only under the title Soho Mash, believe it or not. It seems that Aaron (Goldie) Goldmark, the head of Premier Albums Inc.'s publishing wing, had published the song, and so it was up for LP-filler use. (Coronet was a Premier Albums, Inc. label.)
The tracks are fun and well performed, but I would have thought the Baiao beat in these numbers, a staple of the Invasion sound (a feature straight from Brill Building pop and R&B), might have alerted the group to the actual intentions of Coronet. That, and the "Yeah, yeah, yeah"s. Maybe it's only in retrospect that these tracks sound like surrogate Mersey beat items, though. And a lot of U.S. groups were being pushed toward a Beatles sound on account of the Fab Four's massive fame. Some groups, like the Buckinghams, were even adopting Brit-sounding names, of course.
Another piece of weirdness: A single from this LP was released on Coral and credited to another nonexistent group, The Pacers. It featured You Got Me Bugged and Sassy Sue, obviously the real titles of Mersey Mercy and Big Ben Hop.
In my thrifting, this is the fake Beatles LP that shows up most often, but this is the first near-mint copy I've landed, so I just had to post it. For stereo fans, sorry about the mono, but the stereo quality probably wasn't much to rave about. All these decades later, I'm feeling bad for the Coachmen V, who must have been beyond bugged over this betrayal, and who certainly didn't deserve to be derailed in this fashion. (Had to make a terrible pun--sorry.) I would hope that modern record contracts forbid this kind of name, title, and image hijacking....
To the Coachmen V....
DOWNLOAD: The Beetle Beat--The Coachman V (The Buggs)--Coronet CX-212 (1964)