Second compilation of rare songs from 1999-2001 released on CD and limited LP.
I Still Get a Sensation from Adam West!
Okay, it's really quite simple: Adam West rock. That alone should explain it all but let me give all you hepcats a quick lesson in rock-n-roll, Adam West-style. Stories? You want stories? I'll give you stories!
You can read a lot of this on the Fandango Records website but to get the inside skinny on Jake Starr and his ever-rotating band of merry miscreants you have to come to the source of all knowledge. Me.
Jake and Bill Crandall started Adam West back in December 1991. Back in those halcyon days of Am Rep rock, Jake and Bill put together a band that had its roots firmly in 60's garage but had a modern day sensibility to it. In a nutshell, the songs were tight, well-composed and extremely well-performed. Bill's melodies and Jake's vocals came together into a well-balanced act that slowly built up a following in the DC area. Their second 7" (a cover of the Misfits "Cough/Cool") was limited to a measly 108 copies and now fetches a hefty price "when" it's up for auction. I stress the word "when" as it doesn't happen too often.
By 1994, this lineup of Adam West had blown its wad and Jake put together another version of Adam West. And a strange thing happened… the band completely honed its sound and went for a balls-out, hard-rocking sound that continues to delight to this day.
But, Bernard, enough of the history. Tell us about what's on this glass cylinder that's now booming out of my stereo. Okay, hold yer horses and I will. It's a collection of non-LP tracks culled from their many 7"s and their one 10" from the years 1999-2001. Covers of stuff by Cream, Thin Lizzy, and AC/DC are balanced by covers from Radio Birdman, Sonic's Rendezvous Band (original SRB vocalist Scott Morgan is said to have been extremely impressed with the band's version of his song), the Ramones, Stooges, the Damned, Samhain, and even a Norwegian act called Mensen. However, this is not a cover band! Some of their most kickass tunes like "Sizzleen," "Piece of Ass," and "Iron Chain" are included for your aural delights!
Hey, they could play the cover circuit in DC and rake in the bucks playing to the knuckleheads, but here is a band that chooses to compose and perform its own music and if you dig it then you dig it. If you don't? Well, they just pack up and move on to the next venue. It's called being uncompromising. A rare term these days and not just when speaking about bands.
I would be remiss if I didn't pass on a couple of stories to all of you. Here's a goodie: A certain label inadvertently repressed 500 of one of the 7"s that make up part of this collection. What did Jake and Co. do? Hell, they grabbed some blue sleeves, stamped "Tour Only" on them and flogged every one of them on their first European tour in 2000.
Hey, don't get me wrong. I'm not pulling Starr's crank here. He's not beyond using salacious photos of 60's pinup queens to advertise the band and to flog the band's merchandise. A good friend of mine up DC way has told me that Starr's nickname in that town is "Media Whore" which may be a bit unfair. Both the band and Jake personally have won many local awards for their efforts in the service of rock-n-roll. I just like the sound of "media whore!"
So kudos to People Like You Records for having the wherewithal to put this second Adam West collection out and introduce some new fans to one of the USA's finest exports. And stay tuned because the word on the vine says that Adam West are going to pulverize Europe again on their next onslaught.
If you enjoy this collection and the "Ready Steady Adam West!" 1993-1999 collection on People Like You Records, then grab "Mondo Royale," "13 de luxe," "Right On!," and the latest "God's Gift to Women" albums. All four are full-length blasts of high-octane rock-n-roll that are guaranteed to delight and amuse. Or at least amuse.
Just never ask Jake about the "Brett Beale" footage. Just don't, okay?
Deputy Sheriff (retired)
These Be Some Rare Records, Son!
I want to thank my esteemed colleague Bernard Fife for writing such a nice foreword for this compilation. I also want to thank all the members of Adam West for producing such great songs and making them so fucking hard to get on limited vinyl singles!! Anyway, far be it for me to question the logic of supreme record collector and Adam West throat Jake Starr.
This collection is obviously Volume #2 in the Adam West archives project thankfully undertaken by People Like You Records. It is a collection that started as a CD pressing of the painfully rare "Hi-Balls Are Rolling!" 10" EP that came out in February 2001 and sold out in about five minutes. The band wanted the songs available on CD also, so Jake added 14 "bonus" songs to the collection, grabbed a bunch of photos, and sent the whole kit-and-kaboodle to a record label in the UK. Well unfortunately, that label was unable to press the CD, so this collection eventually fell into the capable hands of Adam West's premier label, People Like You, in Germany. All these songs were recorded with these two line-ups:
#1 - Jake Starr (throat), Steve (bass), Tom Barrick (drums), Derrick Baranowsky (guitar).
#2 - Jake Starr (throat), Steve (guitar), Tom Barrick (drums), Kevin Hoffman (guitar), Johnny May (bass).
Alright, enough history, let's talk about the songs and records.
Like said, the six-song "Hi-Balls Are Rolling!" 10" EP came out in February 2001 on Fandango Records. Limited to 500 copies on shit-brown wax, this record contained an "odds & sods" collection of some new recordings with the then new line-up (#2) of Adam West and some older songs that were sitting in the can. "Hi-Ball" was written with guitarist James Marlowe in 1997, eventually recorded with guitarist Derrick Baranowsky in 1998, and finally re-recorded with guitarist Kevin Hoffman in summer 2000. This is still in the set as a favorite closer. "Your Wish Is My Command" was a cool song that Steve came up with that was submitted with three other songs to Sub Pop for singles club 7" consideration. Pop diva and all-around sleaze bucket Christina Aguilera had just had her first hit "Genie in a Bottle" and Jake wanted to write about his own "genie" experience. "Nine" was the lone song that Derrick came up with in his tenure as guitarist in the band. Jake added his ubiquitous Lizard King take on the vocals and this song was also sent to Sub Pop. "Cruiser" was the B-side to Norwegian band Mensen's first single and was a favorite of Jake's who convinced the band to record it in summer 2000. Jake ended up singing this song with Mensen on their November 2002 tour of Finland. "Sin City" was the choice of AC/DC cover by guitarist Kevin Hoffman. "Cold Sweat" was a Thin Lizzy cover and was originally supposed to be on the Hellacopters/Adam West split 7" on Fandango. According to Nick Royale, the 'Copters attempted "The Rocker" and it turned out horribly, so they recorded "Stab Your Back" by the Damned instead. When Adam West found out, they recorded a Damned cover also, but that will be discussed later on. "Cold Sweat" stayed in the can until this EP. Along with the songs, Canadian artist Dirty Donny drew what some consider his best-ever artwork for the cover. Notice the Jake Starr beer the caveman is holding! And longtime friend and band photographer Stefan Peterson shot the back cover photo at a particularly rowdy Pittsburgh show in 1998.
"Asteroid B-612" is a Sonics Rendezvous Band cover song written by Scott Morgan. After Jake and his life partner Dave Champion had completed the spectacular two-volume Radio Birdman tribute CDs, they wanted to move on to a Scott Morgan tribute and invited most of the bands from the Birdman tribute to submit cover songs. Unfortunately, this project didn't come together but Adam West almost immediately recorded "Asteroid B-612" and submitted it to HDP Records in Sweden for a split 7" with Gothenburg rockers Rickshaw. HDP pressed 500 on black wax. Scott Morgan eventually joined the band onstage in Philadelphia in April 2002 and did a duet with Jake on this song.
"Neat Neat Neat" is the Damned cover song that Adam West recorded after they found out the Hellacopters had recorded a Damned song instead of a Thin Lizzy song. In March 2001, Fandango pressed 700 copies with the first 100 on purple milkshake wax; 666 of them had the regular color sleeve with Nick wearing an Adam West shirt and Jake wearing a 'Copters shirt, but the remaining 34 copies came in a special sleeve dedicated to Vinyl Ink Records, and especially owner George Gelestino, who had supported Fandango and Adam West from the beginning. The sleeve showed his two sons, Quinn and Charlie, in Adam West and 'Copters shirts. R.I.P
. George, we miss you.
"Psycho Therapy" was the Ramones cover song that Steve chose to record when they were offered a spot on an Australian Ramones tribute album. The song was sent off to Oz and the band never heard a thing after that, so when it came to tour Europe in 2001 and opening band Dogs of Lust were arranging a tour single to promote the tour, this was the one song they still had in the can to submit. Lixo Urbano Records in Spain released 500 copies on black wax in September 2001.
"Sizzleen" and "Supernaut" were submitted to Glazed Records when they offered to do a 7" for the band. "Sizzleen" was a Jake Starr original that was recorded specifically for this single while "Supernaut" was a Black Sabbath cover that was originally slated for the Powder Monkeys/Adam West split 7" on Fandango. Glazed released 500 copies with the first 100 on purple wax in April 2000. The sleeve is adorned with photos by Stefan Peterson.
"Piece of Ass" and "Iron Chain" were the other two songs that were submitted for consideration to Sub Pop for their singles club. When Sub Pop never returned the band's phone calls, they gave these songs to the Telegraph Company record label who were starting their own subscription-only singles series. Adam West eventually signed to Telegraph for their awe-inspiring "Right On!" album and re-recorded "Piece of Ass" for that. Both songs were typical rockers that Steve and Jake worked out in a few rehearsals with drummer Tom Barrick. Telegraph released this 7" in January 2001 with 800 on black wax and 200 on gold wax. This single was also repressed with 500 black wax copies in a tour-edition "muff" sleeve in August 2003 for the band's European tour.
"Kiss of Steel" was a Samhain cover song that was submitted to Spasthmatic Records for their Samhain tribute double 7" EP "The Rebirthing." As everybody probably knows, Jake is a huge Misfits/Samhain/Danzig fan so he chose this relatively obscure song to cover. Spasthmatic released this EP in October 2000 limited to 500 copies with 400 on red/orange wax and 100 on black wax.
"Real Cool Time" was a Stooges cover song that ended up on the Powder Monkeys/Adam West split 7" on Fandango in May 2000. Jake met the Powder Monkeys when they toured with the Hellacopters in Scandinavia in March 1999 and offered to do a single for them. It took a while to get a song outta them so when their cover of Black Sabbath's "The Wizard" eventually arrived, Adam West's cover of Sabbath's "Supernaut" was already released on the "Sizzleen" 7" on Glazed Records. So Jake chose this Stooges song to record and Fandango released 500 copies with the first 100 on orange wax. The Adam West side of the sleeve spoofed an incredibly rare Who LP called "Who Did It" while the Powder Monkeys side spoofed the cover of Sabbath's first album. R.I.P
. Tim Hemensley.
"Yr Days Are Numbered, Motherfucker" and "Have Your Way With Me" were written in one rehearsal, practically recorded live in 20 minutes, and submited to Kike Turmix's Safety Pin Records in Spain as a 7" single. Safety Pin pressed 1000 copies on black wax in July 1999 but only had 666 sleeves, so Jake created a "tour-only" blue dust jacket sleeve and sold the remaining 334 copies on their first European Tour in summer 2000. That's the late Barry White you hear at the beginning of "Have Your Way With Me" by the way. Fans still request these two songs at concerts.
"Burned My Eye" was a Radio Birdman cover song that Jake chose for his and Dave Champion's "Flattery: A Tribute to Radio Birdman" CD project. Once all the bands submitted songs, the two of them realized they had 30 songs and had to make it a two-volume set. This song made it on Volume #1, which was released in September 1999, limited to 1000 copies.
"Dog Meat" was a Flamin' Groovies cover song that was chosen for them by Kike Turmix for his "Groovin' Round the World: A Tribute to the Flamin' Groovies" double CD on Safety Pin Records. Adam West definitely turned this into their own song with Steve's new solo idea and Jake gave one of his most ear-shattering vocal performances on this. Safety Pin released this in December 2000 limited to 1000 copies.
And last but not least, "SWLABR" was a Cream cover song that Jake and Derrick had always wanted to cover. It was recorded during the "13 de luxe" album sessions and sent off to the BellRays in California to be released on a split 7" on both Fandango and Vital Gesture Records. BellRays chanteuse Lisa Kekaula had contacted Jake after hearing the "Mondo Royale" album and they became friends. After deciding to do this split single, both bands played numerous shows together on both U.S
. coasts and remain friends to this day. Fandango and Vital Gesture released 1000 copies on black wax in January 1999. The BellRays song was a cover of the Saints "Nights in Venice" that also wound up on a Japanese Saints tribute record.
Well, there ya have it, 20 more songs for you vultures to feast on. And don't worry, Volume #3 of this Adam West archives series is already in the works with 20 more non-album songs to tickle your walnut. Enjoy, kids, and respect the rock.