Wednesday, March 7, 2012
Is it possible that Mick Jagger picked up some local rock records while on tour? The Rolling Stones did come through California in July 1966, playing in Sacramento, Bakersfield, Los Angeles, and San Francisco. Do you think there's a chance Mick picked up a copy of this record during that tour? Some Garage Rock lovers are convinced that he did! In fact, they're convinced that this record stuck with him so much that, consciously or subconsciously, it had an influence on a song he wrote and recorded two years later for the Beggars Banquet album, Sympathy For The Devil. His original working title for the song was The Devil Is My Name, to be sung from the perspective of the Devil himself. Mick once claimed that the song was inspired by something he'd been reading, written by a 19th Century French Poet named Charles Baudelaire, who was also a known drug user and advocate of Satanism. My childhood friend Mike was convinced that the song was prophetic, insisting that the lyrics had to have been written before the assassination of Bobby Kennedy, so how come when Mick sings, "Who killed the Kennedy's," it's in the plural form. Actually, Bobby Kennedy was killed while the band was in session recording the song. They changed that part of the lyrics on the spot from the original, "Who killed Kennedy."
So then there's this record. It's another near-total mystery to me. All I've been able to learn about the five kids who made this record is that they're from Fullerton, California, and two of them were named Mike Murphy and Randy Stewart. My guess is they attended Sunny Hills High School there and graduated in 1966. That means they were probably seniors at that school when they recorded this incredible fuzz monster!
The similarities between Makin' Deals and Sympathy For The Devil are impossible to ignore. Both are sung in the first person perspective by Satan. But the line, "Can you guess my name?" is what really puts the icing on the cake!
Here's Makin' Deals by The Satans on Manhattan 801 from 1966:
Here's the flip side, Lines And Squares:
If you want to buy an original pressing of this single, expect to shell out around $500 cold hard cash. But I suspect it would be a good investment. Unlike many other records that have dropped dramatically in value after appearing on compilation CDs, this one is likely to continue increasing in value due to the bizarre connection with the Stones.
I was planning to post a different song today, but I got sidetracked when I found a possible lead to the mystery artist who recorded it. If it pans out, it could be a rock and roll history revelation. That's actually a subtle clue!
The range of information available about the music of the 1960's is incredible. There are some artists whose history has been incredibly well documented. Much of the music from the better-known artists has been digitally cleansed from the master tapes and reissued in box sets, often with with some of the original studio chatter heard between the tracks. I like to say you can hear every belch and fart these guys ever put on tape! But there are many others who are complete mysteries. You can't even find anyone who knew the people involved. But when these obscure tracks are posted on blogs, like this one, sometimes people with first-hand knowledge come forward to fill in the missing pieces. That's one reason why I do this! You can hear hundreds of mystery songs on MusicMaster Oldies. Some of them, like this one, are far more famous today than they were back when they were made, and certainly worth a lot more money!
Posted by joeknapp at 3:35 PM