S/D: The Turtles

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Its funny how this band had a) huge hits, b) made insanely great sample fodder, and c) played a pivotal role in the T. Rex sound ... and yet I know anything about their actual output, nor to my knowlege have I ever met a fan or seen them included in any discussion of 60s psych. what is the deal.

Shakey Mo Collier, Wednesday, 16 April 2008 22:15 (fourteen years ago) link

"don't know anything"

Shakey Mo Collier, Wednesday, 16 April 2008 22:16 (fourteen years ago) link

LP produced by Ray Davies any good...?

Shakey Mo Collier, Wednesday, 16 April 2008 22:21 (fourteen years ago) link

I AM A FAN. WE HAVE MET. CAPSLOCK UNINTENTIONAL

jaxon, Wednesday, 16 April 2008 22:21 (fourteen years ago) link

I haven't heard the album Davies produced (being a Turtle neophyte myself), but I do recommend the fairly solid/often silly Battle of the Bands ("Elenore," "You Showed Me").

Terrible Cold, Wednesday, 16 April 2008 22:54 (fourteen years ago) link

Elenore fucking rulz

Cheif was a break from way back in the days before rap records too, but ath Steady B Serious remix has recontextualized that track forever in my mind.

PappaWheelie V, Wednesday, 16 April 2008 23:00 (fourteen years ago) link

Great band. You need to meet more people Shakey.

c) played a pivotal role in the T. Rex sound

You mean Howard Kaylan and Mark Volman's backing vocals, I presume? In which case you might have added:

d) played a pivotal role in the destruction of whatever cred Frank Zappa still had at the start of the 70s

Tom D., Thursday, 17 April 2008 08:55 (fourteen years ago) link

two months pass...

hey this Battle of the Bands album is awesome! and really funny. love the use of "you're my pride and enjoy, etcetera" in Elenore, the food song with the brownie recipe, "Surfer Dan".... good shit

Shakey Mo Collier, Tuesday, 8 July 2008 20:41 (fourteen years ago) link

and omg that I Am Chief Kamawamalea break - teh awesome

Shakey Mo Collier, Tuesday, 8 July 2008 20:42 (fourteen years ago) link

Destroy : Outside Chance ... for inventing Ocean Colour Scene.

Thomas, Tuesday, 8 July 2008 20:48 (fourteen years ago) link

eh?

Shakey Mo Collier, Tuesday, 8 July 2008 20:51 (fourteen years ago) link

you don't think it sounds like the template for the 3rd-rate fag-end of britpop? not that i'm seriously blaming the Turtles for those crimes of course.

Thomas, Tuesday, 8 July 2008 21:21 (fourteen years ago) link

maybe I just don't have a good idea of what Ocean Colour Scene really sound like, but to me Outside Chance is just a fairly generic 60s garage band type track.

Shakey Mo Collier, Tuesday, 8 July 2008 21:23 (fourteen years ago) link

...which happened to be written by a pre-fame Warren Zevon.

I got to see Flo & Eddie w/the newest editon of the Turtles a couple years back. Fun show. They did the expected hits, plus a bit of comedy and some trivia, like a song they wrote when they were staff writers for Strawberry Shortcake. Afterwards they joked about all the subliminal messages they stuck into that and other shows they worked on. ("We've been messing your kids up for years!")

C. Grisso/McCain, Wednesday, 9 July 2008 00:29 (fourteen years ago) link

"you don't think it sounds like the template for the 3rd-rate fag-end of britpop?"

i thought it was "you showed me" that invented bad brit 90's trippop? i actually liked the lightning seeds cover. but it's nowhere near as brilliant as the original:

http://youtube.com/watch?v=ANPGyzmgvk4

Maria :D, Wednesday, 9 July 2008 01:21 (fourteen years ago) link

and sorry to be a broken record, but the album that everyone needs:

The Turtles Thread (Cuz I Couldn't Find One) A.K.A. I Finally Heard Turtle Soup.

scott seward, Wednesday, 9 July 2008 01:23 (fourteen years ago) link

i mean, i love the first album and i love battle of the bands, but turtle soup is just flat-out amazing. near perfect. "hot little hands" is my jam of jams.

scott seward, Wednesday, 9 July 2008 01:25 (fourteen years ago) link

actually i don't even know if it aint me babe is their first album. but i like it. and i like happy together. and i really need a vinyl copy of you baby. i just found a nice mono copy of happy together.

scott seward, Wednesday, 9 July 2008 01:33 (fourteen years ago) link

I am currently searching for Turtle Soup... lolz it took me at least three or four listens before I got the filthy little pun in I'm Chief Kamanawanalea

Shakey Mo Collier, Thursday, 10 July 2008 15:40 (fourteen years ago) link

*cough*

gnarly sceptre, Thursday, 10 July 2008 16:49 (fourteen years ago) link

yeah grabbed that earlier - hurray for blogs

Shakey Mo Collier, Thursday, 10 July 2008 17:02 (fourteen years ago) link

'Outside Chance' is a brilliant track. If only Ocean Colour Scene had been half as good...

zeus, Thursday, 10 July 2008 20:06 (fourteen years ago) link

Someone had to ask: would it be accurate to say that this band is completely misrepresented by "Happy Together"?

res, Thursday, 10 July 2008 22:57 (fourteen years ago) link

wow scott totally OTM abotu Turtle Soup - grab that shit yo

Shakey Mo Collier, Friday, 11 July 2008 15:19 (fourteen years ago) link

altho kinda annoying that it includes several songs from Battle of the Bands. I hate when bands do that.

Shakey Mo Collier, Friday, 11 July 2008 15:20 (fourteen years ago) link

one year passes...

Seek: "Goodbye Surprise," which sounds more like Uriah Heep than anything else.

Also seek: the Top 20 hits "She's My Girl" and "You Know What I Mean," two of my very favorite songs of all.

Joseph McCombs, Saturday, 18 July 2009 04:12 (thirteen years ago) link

six months pass...

can't get enough of these guys lately. their "20 greatest hits" compilation is incredibly solid, perhaps more so than 99% of 60s pop acts. even "happy together", which has been utterly exhausted by years of oldies radio and advertisements, sounds incredibly fresh when placed among its family. these guys were genius arrangers. "you baby", "you showed me", "she's my girl"..."love in the city" is a lost masterpiece!

johnnyo, Tuesday, 2 February 2010 15:20 (twelve years ago) link

One of my first-ever 45s was "Sound Asleep," and I was OBSESSED with the flipside, "Umbassa The Dragon." In no way the "worst record ever made' as youtube claims, but it is pretty deranged/drug addled...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=99mzGJpy9g0

Such A Hilbily (Dan Peterson), Tuesday, 2 February 2010 15:39 (twelve years ago) link

i love, love, love the Turtle Soup outtakes. 'The Owl', 'The Last Thing I Remember' and 'If We Only Had the Time' in particular are amazing tracks. better than any of the offical album tracks, imo.

gnarly sceptre, Tuesday, 2 February 2010 15:55 (twelve years ago) link

better than hot little hands!?? i'll be the judge of that! um, if i can find them somewhere. i'll look on youtube.

scott seward, Tuesday, 2 February 2010 16:16 (twelve years ago) link

there's a song on their first album called "... suburbia" (can't remember, i'm at work now). truly hilarious wimpy "ballad of a thin man" rip-off. check it out.

johnnyo, Tuesday, 2 February 2010 16:47 (twelve years ago) link

i love, love, love the Turtle Soup outtakes. 'The Owl', 'The Last Thing I Remember' and 'If We Only Had the Time' in particular are amazing tracks. better than any of the offical album tracks, imo.

I dunno if they're better but they're definitely equal, especially "The Owl."

international slackness (GOTT PUNCH II HAWKWINDZ), Tuesday, 2 February 2010 16:53 (twelve years ago) link

'If We Only Had the Time' has two distinct halves, and the second half totally reminds me of another song. Is it Blood, Sweat and Tears, maybe?? The first half is the better half anyway. Love the part with the lyrics about how 'isn't it nice, how little we have to say?/and how nice it is to say'. Although this kind of needs to be heard to be read right.

gnarly sceptre, Tuesday, 2 February 2010 17:15 (twelve years ago) link

four months pass...

damn "hot little hands" smokes

kamerad, Thursday, 17 June 2010 20:09 (twelve years ago) link

I love The First Thing I Remember

puff puff post (uh oh I'm having a fantasy), Thursday, 17 June 2010 20:14 (twelve years ago) link

last thing I remember

puff puff post (uh oh I'm having a fantasy), Thursday, 17 June 2010 20:19 (twelve years ago) link

Tons of great songs!! "Outside Chance" is prolly my favorite, but they had a lot of winners.

ImprovSpirit, Thursday, 17 June 2010 21:02 (twelve years ago) link

two years pass...

Enjoying Michael Shelley interview(s) with Howard Kaylan but not sure if I want to read his entire book.

Oulipo Traces (on a Cigarette) (James Redd and the Blecchs), Wednesday, 22 May 2013 15:40 (nine years ago) link

in-laws are tight with Kaylan. last year for Xmas they gave me a 45 of "You Showed Me" autographed by him and Volman!

four Marxes plus four Obamas plus four Bin Ladens (Shakey Mo Collier), Wednesday, 22 May 2013 16:11 (nine years ago) link

... and yet five years ago:

I know anything about their actual output, nor to my knowlege have I ever met a fan

They'll be inviting you to join them next!

Bees Against Racism (Tom D.), Wednesday, 22 May 2013 16:15 (nine years ago) link

things have changed a lot in 5 years lol

four Marxes plus four Obamas plus four Bin Ladens (Shakey Mo Collier), Wednesday, 22 May 2013 16:16 (nine years ago) link

Enjoying Michael Shelley interview(s) with Howard Kaylan but not sure if I want to read his entire book.

― Oulipo Traces (on a Cigarette) (James Redd and the Blecchs), Wednesday, May 22, 2013 11:40 AM (1 hour ago) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

heard one of these, it was really great. I love Flo & Eddie

mizzell, Wednesday, 22 May 2013 17:04 (nine years ago) link

four years pass...

the '65-'66 stuff is pretty hit and miss (so many similar covers etc.) but man was this band on a roll from '67 on.

Οὖτις, Friday, 7 July 2017 17:24 (five years ago) link

agree the Turtles rule. good harmonies and good songs. Battle of the Bands is a lot of fun to listen to.

AdamVania (Adam Bruneau), Friday, 7 July 2017 18:15 (five years ago) link

Howard Kaylan is a fantastic singer too.

weird echo of the falsies (Tom D.), Friday, 7 July 2017 18:25 (five years ago) link

they were the perfect fit for the Care Bears. hearing them sing and talk about a magical land of fluffy clouds and stuff just feels natural.

AdamVania (Adam Bruneau), Friday, 7 July 2017 19:35 (five years ago) link

one year passes...

What the...?

Cruel Summerisle (James Redd and the Blecchs), Saturday, 8 September 2018 23:21 (four years ago) link

three years pass...

Love this clip, especially the way Mark Volman's bouncing around with his French Horn, not even pretending to actually play. This is the side of the '60s I think Mad Men caught perfectly.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mRCe5L1imxg

clemenza, Wednesday, 15 June 2022 16:08 (five months ago) link

Future Jefferson Airplane/CSNY/Stray Gator Johnny Barbata twirling the sticks!

They repeated their performance schtick in that clip (the twirling, Volman's exaggerated miming of an instrument etc.) seemingly everytime they did that song on TV. Can only imagine the gay panic hatespeech from the control room that accompanied the awkward cutaway from Volman putting his arm around Kaylan in this Sullivan clip.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sq3awlDqAVo

This is great:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5JHN5HaUg28

In the comments, somebody names names on all the managers, and the "Big TV Star" part of 'Manager #6' was...Bill Cosby.

five months pass...

"You Showed Me" hits the spot, always

Fash Gordon (Neanderthal), Wednesday, 23 November 2022 04:46 (four days ago) link

Great, but I like the Byrds' original even better.

clemenza, Wednesday, 23 November 2022 04:53 (four days ago) link

Actually, no--I'll take the Turtles too.

clemenza, Wednesday, 23 November 2022 04:56 (four days ago) link

"You Showed Me" hits the spot, always

but how do you feel about third rate brit trippop from the 90's?

"H to the Izzo" means "I love you" (Deflatormouse), Thursday, 24 November 2022 01:40 (three days ago) link

i actually liked the lightning seeds cover. but it's nowhere near as brilliant as the original

it's freakin *identical* to the turtles' version iirc

"H to the Izzo" means "I love you" (Deflatormouse), Thursday, 24 November 2022 01:44 (three days ago) link

Big fan of the first two Flo & Eddie albums, and scattered bits thereafter.

Ⓓⓡ. (Johnny Fever), Thursday, 24 November 2022 07:08 (three days ago) link

Keep it warm is such a banger

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v_3aq5OrIls

kurt schwitterz, Thursday, 24 November 2022 07:29 (three days ago) link

My thing with the Turtles is, I’ve never seen a photo of them in their prime. I’ve only seen them as fat, old hippies playing Rockin’ 60’s Superstars specials on PBS, so I’ve sort of carried that around subconsciously over the years. I know that they’ve aged and they were young once but I still picture them as a couple of grandpas in the 60’s, making those records, singing those songs on television. To the point that it was their identity in the 60’s, in my mind. Just like The Rolling Stones were the dirty, nasty, rebellious ones, the Turtles were the old guys.

The field divisions are fastened with felicitations. (Deflatormouse), Thursday, 24 November 2022 08:04 (three days ago) link

I’ve tended to also picture them wearing turtleneck sweaters. The Turtlenecks.

The field divisions are fastened with felicitations. (Deflatormouse), Thursday, 24 November 2022 08:20 (three days ago) link

Howard Kaylan always looked 15 years older than he was, he was 17 or 18 when "It Ain't Me Babe" was released!

Oh wouldn't it be rubbery? (Tom D.), Thursday, 24 November 2022 10:29 (three days ago) link

Don't think I've ever really been able to figure them out. When I listen to "Happy Together" or "Elenore," I'm not sure to what extent they're sincerely brilliant pop music and to what extent they're sly, knowing parody. Ultimately, it probably doesn't matter.

clemenza, Thursday, 24 November 2022 14:27 (three days ago) link

Wow, I didn't know that about Kaylan's lack of age. So he had a substantial amount of grey hair by the age of 23. Seeing the Turtles in '60s clips I had assumed he was this eccentric older guy who got stuck in a group with a bunch of kids.

Josefa, Thursday, 24 November 2022 14:59 (three days ago) link

clemenza, if intention matters, the lyrics to "Elenore" were written as a deliberate piss-take iirc

Daniel_Rf, Friday, 25 November 2022 11:02 (two days ago) link

They were on a horrible record company who pressurised them to come up with hits and basically ripped them off, so "Elenore" was kind of a fuck you to them. Also it was on "Battle of the Bands" where they were doing songs in different styles as different bands, so it's a self-parody or a satirical version of what the record company thought the Turtles should sound like - which begs the question, why were people ever surprised that Kaylan and Volman ended up working with Zappa? To return to the unlikely youthfulness of Howard Kaylan, the band were all minors when they signed the contract with the record company, or rather when their parents did.

Oh wouldn't it be rubbery? (Tom D.), Friday, 25 November 2022 11:31 (two days ago) link

Yeah, come to think of it, I think I did know that "Elenore" was a put-on. Even with "Happy Together," though--which I count as a perfect distillation of everything ecstatic and sunshine-y about 1967--it walks a fine line between a gentle send-up of that mood and the thing itself.

clemenza, Friday, 25 November 2022 16:10 (two days ago) link

Surely 'Happy Together' is about the 2 guys from the Turtles (Kaylan and Volman, I presume) who are inseparable friends and sing that song to each other every day.

The field divisions are fastened with felicitations. (Deflatormouse), Friday, 25 November 2022 18:12 (two days ago) link

Heh, that’s what I always thought too, at least in the back of my mind, in some dark corner that they and FZ were intent on shining a flashlight upon.

Meet Me in the Z'Ha'Dum (James Redd and the Blecchs), Friday, 25 November 2022 18:14 (two days ago) link

Didn’t they have to start recording as “Flo and Eddie” because their evil manager OWNED THEIR ACTUAL BIRTH NAMES?

kurt schwitterz, Friday, 25 November 2022 19:27 (two days ago) link

Never thought about that but probably. Did they have the same manager as Moby Grape?

Meet Me in the Z'Ha'Dum (James Redd and the Blecchs), Friday, 25 November 2022 19:32 (two days ago) link

No MG had the Jefferson Airplane guy

kurt schwitterz, Friday, 25 November 2022 19:34 (two days ago) link

Everyone should listen to the Andrew Hickey podcast ep on Happy Together he just did btw

kurt schwitterz, Friday, 25 November 2022 19:35 (two days ago) link

This video will explain all their complicated business problems:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=183OPk7-eK4

Halfway there but for you, Friday, 25 November 2022 19:37 (two days ago) link

Flo and Eddie were friends with my parents back in the day. My dad was in The Leaves who shared a bad player with them (Jim Pons he played with FZ too) my mom says Howard and Mark shared a house in Lauren Canyon that had a room with a wall to wall waterbed lol.

kurt schwitterz, Friday, 25 November 2022 19:37 (two days ago) link

Bass* not bad he was not bad he was very good

kurt schwitterz, Friday, 25 November 2022 19:38 (two days ago) link

that is amazing that your dad was in the leaves.

dim memories of a syndicated flo & eddie radio show that was picked up by my beloved wlir in the 70s. they would only play the songs until the first appearance of the hook, which meant they could fit in a lot of songs. i remember one episode that was centered around the beau brummels. a quick search pulled this up:

https://archive.org/details/TurningTheTables061FloEddieByTheFiresidePt1Jul82017

Thus Sang Freud, Friday, 25 November 2022 19:50 (two days ago) link

Beloved WLIR? Oh right of course. Did you read Richard Neer’s book FM, TSF?

Meet Me in the Z'Ha'Dum (James Redd and the Blecchs), Friday, 25 November 2022 20:14 (two days ago) link

i have not read that book but thanks for the tip. wlir is known -- if it's known at all -- for being one of the first on the new wave tip. there was even a documentary called "dare to be different." but they were great even before that, with weekly live concert broadcasts, first from their own studios, then later from local venues like the calderone and my father's place. the concerts from their ultrasonic studios are legendary.

Thus Sang Freud, Friday, 25 November 2022 20:24 (two days ago) link

Right. Although in the pre-New Wave days and even after I seem to recall an element of Southern Rock as well. Feel like I can hear Larry the Duck Dunn saying something about Molly Hatchett in my head whilst riding an express bus to Jones Beach.

Meet Me in the Z'Ha'Dum (James Redd and the Blecchs), Friday, 25 November 2022 20:30 (two days ago) link

But yeah, there’s that one live Big Star album recorded there in 1974, for example.

Meet Me in the Z'Ha'Dum (James Redd and the Blecchs), Friday, 25 November 2022 20:32 (two days ago) link

a couple classic little feat performances, lou reed, dr john, incredible string band, holy modal rounders, gentle giant, frampton...they were all over the place.

Thus Sang Freud, Friday, 25 November 2022 20:35 (two days ago) link

I liked the old WLIR and the New Wave WLIR but my um, first love was the year and change of New Wave WPIX.

Meet Me in the Z'Ha'Dum (James Redd and the Blecchs), Friday, 25 November 2022 20:50 (two days ago) link

oh yeah that was a good one too. meg griffin!

Thus Sang Freud, Friday, 25 November 2022 21:40 (two days ago) link

Right. And Joe from Chicago, Joe Piasek, I think, her husband at the time maybe. Along with Dan Neer, Richard’s brother. Some of these people would migrate back and forth to and from the next spot on the dial at WNEW.

Meet Me in the Z'Ha'Dum (James Redd and the Blecchs), Friday, 25 November 2022 21:46 (two days ago) link

I should probably take this stuff over to the Lou Reed WPIX thread.

Meet Me in the Z'Ha'Dum (James Redd and the Blecchs), Friday, 25 November 2022 21:52 (two days ago) link

Heh, found this book about The Clash I never heard about until yesterday that mentions all those people which I probably have to read.

The Dark End of the Tweet (James Redd and the Blecchs), Sunday, 27 November 2022 00:19 (nine hours ago) link

Howard Kaylan’s autobiography is a fun read- basically the exact opposite of Mike Love’s. I recall there being good Zappa stories in it.

Western® with Bacon Flavor, Sunday, 27 November 2022 01:06 (eight hours ago) link


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