*** Reviewed by great fellow Adamus67 ***The album has an interesting history with Third Man stating, “Produced by Terry Melcher, the Sacramento-based Public Nuisance laid down gritty, baroque psychedlia that was too hard for the hippies and too poppy for the punks. The end result is the perfect amalgam of all that was great about the era. The album was shelved after the Manson Family murders took place at the home Melcher had leased to Roman Polanski. In the aftermath, all of Melcher’s projects at the time were shelved and “Gotta Survive” suffered that unfortunate fate.”
The tunes on "Gotta Survive" are unbelievably powerful, cast of tough as nails musicianship that is amazingly advanced for its years. Clusters of inventive arrangements propel the band's efforts, heightened by unusual yet utterly catchy melodies and stirring harmony exercises. The production is crystal clear and absolutely piercing, prompting you to wonder if these songs really were recorded in the sixties! Fresh and exciting,''Gotta Survive'' is a sweet piece of garage rock history. I think there is something in here for everyone,each tracks proves to be a cut above average, but "Small Faces," "America," "Katie Shiner," "Love Is A Feeling," "Time Can't Wait," "Strawberry Man",well as the title track are particularly memorable. Trippy psychedelic flourishes surely characterize a lot of the tunes, but we're not talking about ten-hour, hippy-dippy, jam sessions. Public Nuisance smartly streamlined their songs so they would be accessible and it's safe to say they weren't afraid to sprinkle their fare with tasty pop elements. A cool version of "I'm Only Sleeping" plainly confirms they were Beatlesque to a certain degree.
It’s quite ironic that the title of this forgotten double CD material that never saw the light of day is Gotta Survive, in part because of the circumstances in which it was buried after producer and label owner Terry Melcher went into hiding after he was rumored to be on Charles Manson’s hit list (which in turn caused the break up of the band). It’s a true shame as the group of young boys from Sacramento display incredible promise on this fantastic release. Public Nuisance is garage rock at its best, edgy punk with a flair of psychedelia, everything that garage rock should be and more. In addition to the fantastic raucous sounds the band created, the lyrical content was also above average, tapping into issues of the war on tracks like “Strawberry Man” and including superb love songs like “7 Or 10.”
It all begins in the late 60’s in sunny Sacramento, California with Public Nuisance laying down the tracks. It all takes a big turn when the album goes into production under Eirik Wangberg, and the project is overseen by Terry Melcher. In an unexpected twist by way of Beach Boys drummer Dennis Wilson, and the “music career” of Charles Manson – yes that Charles Manson, some sort of connection is established to Melcher. It finally, sadly, culminates in the 1969 Tate murders, Manson instructed Manson family members to go to “that house where Melcher used to live” and “totally destroy everyone in it” one of the members being Roman Polanski’s wife Sharon Tate. In this aftermath Melcher’s projects including Gotta Survive were shelved. It’s only just seen the light of day in 2002 as put out by Frantic Records and has long since been out-of-print until now. The good people at Third Man Records present the new re-release that is Public Nuisance Gotta Survive. With new art work and re-mastered from the two -track analog masters by Ron McMaster (The bands drummer) Gotta Survive gives the listener a schizophrenic psych experience that’s not usually heard from artists of this time period. “Magical Music Box” comes galloping out of the gate with steady strums, thumping beats, and in epic fashion the baroque keys that the time period was known for. “Strawberry Man” hits with the in your face croons of “Charlie don know” and keeps a sunny psych disposition until it turns into an all-out guitar warped fuzz war. It’s a nice touch that shows that these guys have more to them than meets the eye. “Love Is a Feeling’ almost comes off as a proto- Ramones rocker with some of the heaviest guitar chunk and string bends that make you wonder what comes next. “Holy Man” then takes the psych to a new level with keys providing the back bone to a perfect amount of wah pedal wizardry. The vocals add the right amount of haunt to the song with a ghostly woman wail and drone delivered, reverb tinged lyrics. Title track “Gotta Survive” is all fantastic key arrangements and a huge bass line that encourages the chorus sing along style that envelopes the song. It’s the albums most displaced jam, and it’s all pure fun, just think of it as Wayne Kramer fronting a rowdy garage psych band. “7 or 10” is a nice break in the form of a finger picked love song that showcases some tender hearted beauty. The final track, “Thoughts” might fit as the most traditional of the bunch with its heavy, swimmy, chorus guitar tones and lazy harmonica tones that invokes a dream like sway. There is a bit of menacing guitar distortion and chords thrown in there to shake things up a bit, but the track makes a fitting end. The band at times has an uncanny resemblance to the vocal style of modern day garage rock lovers The White Stripes.
Thank you so much Adam for that effort
An amazing late sixties rock band from Sacramento, California. The core band originally formed in 1964 as The Jaguars and played concerts using this moniker but did not record. During 1965, the line-up shown above was fixed and they made their first recordings as Moss and The Rocks. One of the two 45s by this band was made at Ikon Studios in Sacramento, which at the time was home to engineer Eirik Wangberg. Readers of this book will recognise at least two of the projects that Wangberg handled at Ikon, the 45 by The Oxford Circle and the album by Glad. The relationship between Moss and The Rocks and Wangberg continued for over three years, during which time Wangberg relocated to Southern California and helped the group record two remarkable albums of British-influenced rock that have to be ranked amongst the finest ever produced in the State. Their release is the basis for the band's inclusion here.
During 1966, Moss and The Rockers adopted what are now considered quintessential "punk" pretensions; the more aggressive music and the unorthodox fashion sense. As they moved their local campaign into high gear, they changed name to the more appropriate Public Nuisance, which surely must have cost them some concert opportunities in the relatively staid community of Sacramento! The band spent a great deal of time and energy on visual propaganda during this period, staging photo sets and producing rather provocative handbills and holiday greeting cards for fans on their mailing list. In time, the band was invited to record a demo for Fantasy Records. Sessions took place at Fantasy's studiod in San Francisco during 1967 that resulted in a finished master. Sadly, a recent search of the company's archives proved fruitless, and the demo appears to be lost. It was eventually apparent to the group that the label wasn't interested in pursuing a contractual agreement, however.
In 1968, Public Nuisance recorded a new demo on a four-track machine operated by Eirik Wangberg at his new center of operations, Sound Recorders in Hollywood. This is an LP-length recording, produced by the band, that makes up disc-two of the Gotta Survive double set. In even a cursory review of this music, it is apparent that Fantasy made an enormous blunder in letting this band get away! Punishing fuzz guitars, pummeling drums - it's like someone commanded The Savage Resurrection to record a follow-up to The Who Sell Out! Aside from a cover of The Beatles' I'm Only Sleeping, the material is all original and is not to be missed by any and all fans of late-sixties rock. Time Can't Wait sounds like a '66 punk 45 side with better production; Pencraft Transcender has thick fuzz reminiscent of the Canadian Plastic Cloud album; Darlin' and Katie Shiner have a distinctly British underground feel that readers will associate with the Chocolate Soup For Diabetics UK compilation series. For a self-produced demo tape, it's a phenomenal achievement. Wangberg thought so, too - and in the course of playing it for visitors to the studio, brought it to the attention of producer Terry Melcher (Paul Revere and The Raiders, The Byrds) who envisioned Public Nuisance as (indeed) an American-made British rock band. He had the group back to Sound Recorders and under the watchful eye of Wangberg in 1969, with a simple prime directive: make a British rock album. This new recording (disc one of the double set) is every bit as powerful as the 1968 demo. Love Is A Feeling and Small Faces are violent freakbeat a la Creation/Who/Pretty Things, while Evolution Revolution could fit on Tomorrow's album. Strawberry Man is pleasant power pop until the last minute, when it explodes into a maelstrom of druggy pyrotechnics. The only noticeable difference between the two sessions is a hint of a British accent on the vocals on this later recording. None of the material from the 1968 demo repeats here - this is a completely original album-length master that, due to Melcher's self-imposed exile following the Manson incident in August, was shelved and forgotten. Not long after, the band split.
Dave Houston opened a recording studio in the seventies, producing a number of albums that fall outside the scope of this book. One band that readers may be familar with, The Twinkeyz, did all their records with Houston. Ron McMaster works for Capitol Records and is responsible for remastering albums by Badfinger, The Beace Boys and the Blue Note jazz catalogue amongst others. Eirik Wangberg turned knobs on a number of projects that readers will be familiar with (Paul McCartney's Ram album, John Mayall, Peacepipe, Joan Baez) before returning to his native Norway and (presumably) abandoning music-orientated pursuits.
DAVID HOUSTON vcls, gtr, keyb'ds, hrmnca, theremin
JIM MATTHEWS gtr
RON McMASTER drms, perc, vcls
PAT MINTER bs, vcls
Fuzz Acid & Flowers (Clark Faville w/thanks to Joey D.)
1-01 Magical Music Box
1-02 Strawberry Man
1-04 Love Is A Feeling
1-05 Holy Man
1-06 Gotta Survive
1-07 Small Faces
1-08 Sabor Thing
1-09 I Am Going
1-10 Evolution Revolution
1-11 7 Or 10
1-13 There She Goes
1-14 Please Come Back
2-02 Time Can't Wait
2-04 Now I Think
2-05 Daddy's Comin' Home
2-06 Pencraft Transcender
2-07 Katie Shiner
2-08 Man From The Backwoods
2-09 One Man's Story
2-10 I'm Only Sleeping
2-11 Hold On
2-12 Going Nowhere
2-13 There She Goes
2-14 Please Come Back
The Public Nuisance - America
Public Nuisance - Time can't wait
Drums [Ludwig], Bongos, Lead Vocals, Backing Vocals, Percussion – Ron McMaster (tracks: 1-1 to 1-12, 2-1 to 2-12)
Drums [Ludwig], Vocals – Ron McMaster (tracks: 1-13, 1-14, 2-13, 2-14)
Engineer – Unknown* (tracks: 1-13, 1-14)
Guitar [Harmony], Vocals, Other [Fender Bassman Amplifier] – Jim Mathews (tracks: 1-13, 1-14, 2-13, 2-14)
Lead Vocals, Backing Vocals, Bass [Fender Jazz], Other [Vox Super Beatle Amplifier] – Pat Minter (tracks: 1-1 to 1-12, 2-1 to 2-12)
Lead Vocals, Backing Vocals, Guitar [Vox Phantom & Fender Esquire], Harpsichord [Electric], Piano, Theremin, Recorder, Harmonica [Echo], Other [Vox Super Beatle Amplifier] – David Houston (2) (tracks: 1-1 to 1-12, 2-1 to 2-12)
Mastered By [Mastered From Mint 45's] – Joey D (5) (tracks: 1-13, 1-14, 2-13, 2-14), Ron McMaster (tracks: 1-13, 1-14, 2-13, 2-14)
Mixed By – David Houston (2) (tracks: 2-1 to 2-12)
Producer – Johnny Hyde (tracks: 1-13, 1-14)
Producer [Cd Production], Layout – Joey D (5)
Producer, Engineer – Eirik "The Norwegian" Wangberg* (tracks: 1-1 to 1-12, 2-1 to 2-12), Stan "Choo Choo" Ross* (tracks: 2-13, 2-14)
Remastered By – Ron McMaster (tracks: 1-1 to 1-12)
Transferred By [8 Track Master Digital Transfer] – Alec Palao (tracks: 2-1 to 2-12)
Vocals, Bass [Hofner], Other [Silvertone Amplifier] – Pat Minter (tracks: 1-13, 1-14, 2-13, 2-14)
Vocals, Twelve-string Guitar [Danelectro], Harmonica, Other [Standel Amplifier] – David Houston (2) (tracks: 1-13, 1-14, 2-13, 2-14)
= Notes =
Ikon 181 / 182 (1966).
Tracks 1-13, 1-14 recorded early 1966.
Gold Star session.
Chattahoochee 703 (1966).
Tracks 2-13, 2-14 recorded mid 1966.
Sound Recorders sessions.
Tracks 1-1 to 1-12 recorded December 1968 to January 1969. 2 track stereo master. Remastered at Capitol Mastering Hollywood.
Tracks 2-1 to 2-12 recorded September & October 1968. 8 track master.
Archives plundered with permission of David Houston, Ron McMaster, Jim Mathews.
The only known copy of the Ikon 45 in existence was kindly loaned by Alec Palao.
Thanks for the liner notes to Alec Palao, Mike Stax, Karl Ikola, Clark Faville, Donnie "Jupiter" Marquez, Roger Maglio.
Special thanx to Jim Musson, Tim Warren, Candy Little, Vance DIckinson, Alex Azam, Billy P, Chema Salinas, Thomas Hartlage, Tim Matranga, Kevin Seconds.
This CD is dedicated to bass player extraordinaire Pat Minter (1946-1994).
[Rip and Scans by frantanovakzelhoty]
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