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Sunday, June 17, 2012



Rick Johnson
The Rick Johnson Reader: Tin Cans, Squeems & Thudpies (Mayfly Productions) :: If the late Lester Bangs is indeed “America’s Greatest Rock Critic”—I happen to come from the land of the ice and snow where I rank number one in a field of one in a country where I’m literally the only Canadian rock critic of note; you could look it up if indeed there was anything to look up other than my own extensive international body of work spanning six decades—then the late Ranger Reek Johnson is arguably number two. And although Rick sure knew his sports teams and his television shows, it’s his record reviews which ultimately anchor this excellent anthology, as evidenced by the following accurate analysis of Rush’s wretched Caress Of Steel album: “Anemic Led Zep with rats sneezing in the background.” And you thought I was good…

Terry Knight And The Pack & Reflections (ABKCO) :: A long long time ago, I can still remember how the music used to make me smile—especially when I could purchase it as an abandoned long playing platter at 69 cents a pop.

Which is why, over 40 years ago, I shelled out a cool buck fifty to buy these two albums at Sam The Record Man where the entire third floor was relegated to being one big dingy dimly-lit delete bin, ignominiously stacked with thousands upon thousands of dusty drilled out efforts that nobody wanted anymore—assuming that anybody ever wanted them in the first place—including such cult classics as Lou Christie’s Lighting Strikes, which reminds me: didja ever notice how the photo of falling rain that they superimposed over Lou’s mug on the front cover was slovenly slapped on upside down so that it rained up?

Now, thanks to the unbridled benevolence of the Allen and Betty Klein Company in conjunction with the Greta Garbo Home for Wayward Records and Singles, it’s still raining up in the world of rock ’n’ roll reissues because these two seminal slices of mid-sixties snapola are back on the racks as a revived and restored single disc of proto-pop delight which, some would say, puts the “mono” back in monotonous—but not me!

Terrance would later go on to use these initial efforts as a springboard to ramrod, manage, produce, and sue Grand Funk Railroad. And although these nascent noodlings do feature a Beatle-banged Mark Farner and an eerily Afroless Don Brewer, some would say that one listen to this pair of primitive Pack pop paeans will have you running to Grand Funk’s Live Album to wash the dullness out of your ears—but not me!

Oh, and whatever you do, don’t dare deprive yourself the pleasure of hearing Reflections’ stand-out track “Dimestore Debutante,” which eerily evokes Dylan’s “Like A Rolling Stone” from the opening organ notes to the nasally poetic-spouting vocals, even though some would say it’s a blatant theft—but not me, Babe! No, no, no, but not me, Babe!

Be seeing you!

Sun, June 17, 2012 | link 

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