So there I was a couple of weeks ago, working up a UARB article on a 1960's garage rock band (Phil and the Frantics). I found practically nothing on the Internet about them (except for a really snide piece with lots of putdowns and profanity); there were some nice (though incomplete) liner notes on a compilation album that I have on them, but it just wasn't coming together.

Then I hit Wikipedia and looked up something on the legendary Nuggets collection (full name, and also how it is listed in Wikipedia: Nuggets: Original Artyfacts from the First Psychedelic Era, 1965-1968), when what to my wondering eyes did appear but a total list of blue names sans one. Blue in the Wikipedia world indicates a 'wikilink' to another article.

In other words, someone has now written a Wikipedia article on every band on the Nuggets double-album set except one: THE MAGICIANS. (Actually there are now Wikipedia articles on the great majority of the bands on the entire four-CD Nuggets Box Set). Oddly enough, the last several times that I have listened to Nuggets, their song 'An Invitation to Cry' has really stood out as a highlight. It is a clever idea for a song that has happened to a lot of people: getting an invitation to the wedding of a former girlfriend.

I have already praised this album to the high heavens when writing the UARB article on Hacienda (January 2011) nearly a year ago, so I won't say too much more now. Back when Wikipedia was just a little over one-third its current size (as measured by the number of articles in the English-language version at least), I spotted a glaring hole in the rock band articles when I tried to look up something on Mouse and the Traps, a wonderful Texas garage rock band that I have long admired. (At that time, there were articles on maybe half of the bands on Nuggets). Their Nuggets entry 'A Public Execution' sounds a lot like Bob Dylan, so you can imagine the appeal of that to me; as Lenny Kaye's liner notes put it: 'There are some who say that Mouse does Dylan's Highway 61 period better than The Master himself'. On that band I found plenty on the Internet, including websites by at least one of the founding members of the group. Someone in the Wikipedia community even awarded me a Barnstar award for that 'long awaited' (as they put it) article, and that sure felt good.

Songwriter and drummer Alan Gordon was playing in an inter-racial Greenwich Village band called Tex and the Chex; other members included Mike Appel (guitar) ' who was later the manager for Bruce Springsteen early in the Boss's career ' and Everett Jacobs (bass). Gordon had co-written 'An Invitation to Cry' with Jimmy Woods (who was not in the band), and Tex and the Chex had recorded the song. They were discovered by record producers Bob Wyld and Art Polhemus; the producers wanted a stronger vocalist, so they brought in Garry Bonner. The resulting recording (released in October 1965) was described by Richie Unterberger as 'superb moody pop/rock with a touch of blue-eyed soul, enhanced by an imaginative production highlighting ominous distorted guitar riffs, graceful tempo shifts, accomplished vocal harmonies, and Bonner's anguished lead vocal'. Most of their songs though are not as psychedelic but are more mellow pop/rock.

The band, now redubbed the Magicians, added Allan 'Jake' Jacobs (guitar and vocals) and John Townley (guitar and bass) when Mike Appel and Everett Jacobs left the band. The band became better known when they replaced the Lovin' Spoonful as the house band at the Night Owl nightclub in the Village. At one point, Felix Pappalardi ' later of the hard rock band Mountain ' was interested in joining up as the bass guitarist, but it didn't work out. They even managed to score an appearance on a local CBS television show called Eye on New York ' quite a coup considering that they did not have a hit song or an album.

The Magicians released three more singles on Columbia Records in 1966 and 1967, but none of them ' including 'An Invitation to Cry' ' cracked the Top 100. (Same with Mouse and the Traps though ' they released even more singles, and their biggest hit 'A Public Execution' got only to #125 nationally ' so that doesn't mean a thing to me).

Following the break-up in 1967, Alan Gordon and Garry Bonner became successful songwriters, particularly with the Turtles; they composed two of the band's biggest hits, 'Happy Together' and 'She'd Rather Be with Me'. Allan (Jake) Jacobs later recorded as Bunky and Jake, and also as Jake and the Family Jewels.

Like many a garage rock band before them, Collectables Records has issued a compilation CD on the Magicians called An Invitation to Cry: The Best of the Magicians, and that CD is definitely on my Christmas wish list.

* * *

FLASHBACK: The Under-Appreciated Rock Band of the Month for December 2009 ' BEAST.

I really didn't expect to find anything on YouTube by Beast., and I did have to hunt around quite a bit; but I finally stumbled onto several songs of theirs. None of them are videos; there is just a shot of the Beast album cover in each case. Apparently one person recorded every song on their first album, and others had recorded selected songs. The first song listed below is the opening cut on the album, which features chanting that sounds like animal grunts; the second is another good song that is a little different. If you like what you hear, there are plenty more that you could check out also.

I haven't ever heard another band that is quite like Beast ' the nice woodwind work is rare enough in itself ' but if you know of one, please let me know!

'Floating (Down by the River)' '

'Listen' '

* * *
The Honor Roll of the Under Appreciated Rock Bands and Artists follows, in date order, including a link to the original Facebook posts and the theme of the article.
Dec 2009 ' BEAST; Lot to Learn
Jan 2010 ' WENDY WALDMAN; Los Angeles Singer-Songwriters
Feb 2010 ' CYRUS ERIE; Cleveland
Mar 2010 ' BANG; Record Collecting I
Apr 2010 ' THE BREAKAWAYS; Power Pop
May 2010 ' THE NOT QUITE; Katrina Clean-Up
Jun 2010 ' WATERLILLIES; Electronica
Jul 2010 ' THE EYES; Los Angeles Punk Rock
Aug 2010 ' QUEEN ANNE'S LACE; Psychedelic Pop
Sep 2010 ' THE STILLROVEN; Minnesota
Oct 2010 ' THE PILTDOWN MEN; Record Collecting II
Nov 2010 ' SLOVENLY; Slovenly Peter
Dec 2010 ' THE POPPEES; New York Punk/New Wave
Jan 2011 ' HACIENDA; Latinos in Rock
Feb 2011 ' THE WANDERERS; Punk Rock (1970's/1980's)
Mar 2011 ' INDEX; Psychedelic Rock (1960's)
Apr 2011 ' BOHEMIAN VENDETTA; Punk Rock (1960's)
May 2011 ' THE LONESOME DRIFTER; Rockabilly
Jun 2011 ' THE UNKNOWNS; Disabled Musicians
Jul 2011 ' THE RIP CHORDS; Surf Rock I
Aug 2011 ' ANDY COLQUHOUN; Side Men
Sep 2011 ' ULTRA; Texas
Oct 2011 ' JIM SULLIVAN; Mystery
Nov 2011 ' THE UGLY; Punk Rock (1970's)
Dec 2011 ' THE MAGICIANS; Garage Rock (1960's)
Jan 2012 ' RON FRANKLIN; Why Celebrate Under Appreciated?
Feb 2012 ' JA JA JA; German New Wave
Mar 2012 ' STRATAVARIOUS; Disco Music
Apr 2012 ' LINDA PIERRE KING; Record Collecting III
May 2012 ' TINA AND THE TOTAL BABES; One Hit Wonders
Jun 2012 ' WILD BLUE; Band Names I
Jul 2012 ' DEAD HIPPIE; Band Names II
Aug 2012 ' PHIL AND THE FRANTICS; Wikipedia I
Sep 2012 ' CODE BLUE; Hidden History
Oct 2012 ' TRILLION; Wikipedia II
Nov 2012 ' THOMAS ANDERSON; Martin Winfree's Record Buying Guide
Dec 2012 ' THE INVISIBLE EYES; Record Collecting IV
Jan 2013 ' THE SKYWALKERS; Garage Rock Revival
Mar 2013 ' THE GILES BROTHERS; Novelty Songs
Apr 2013 ' LES SINNERS; Universal Language
May 2013 ' HOLLIS BROWN; Greg Shaw / Bob Dylan
Jun 2013 (I) ' FUR (Part One); What Might Have Been I
Jun 2013 (II) ' FUR (Part Two); What Might Have Been II
Jul 2013 ' THE KLUBS; Record Collecting V
Aug 2013 ' SILVERBIRD; Native Americans in Rock
Sep 2013 ' BLAIR 1523; Wikipedia III
Oct 2013 ' MUSIC EMPORIUM; Women in Rock I
Nov 2013 ' CHIMERA; Women in Rock II
Dec 2013 ' LES HELL ON HEELS; Women in Rock III
Jan 2014 ' BOYSKOUT; (Lesbian) Women in Rock IV
Feb 2014 ' LIQUID FAERIES; Women in Rock V
Mar 2014 (I) ' THE SONS OF FRED (Part 1); Tribute to Mick Farren
Mar 2014 (II) ' THE SONS OF FRED (Part 2); Tribute to Mick Farren
Apr 2014 ' HOMER; Creating New Bands out of Old Ones
May 2014 ' THE SOUL AGENTS; The Cream Family Tree
Jun 2014 ' THE RICHMOND SLUTS and BIG MIDNIGHT; Band Names (Changes) III
Jul 2014 ' MIKKI; Rock and Religion I (Early CCM Music)
Aug 2014 ' THE HOLY GHOST RECEPTION COMMITTEE #9; Rock and Religion II (Bob Dylan)
Sep 2014 ' NICK FREUND; Rock and Religion III (The Beatles)
Oct 2014 ' MOTOCHRIST; Rock and Religion IV
Nov 2014 ' WENDY BAGWELL AND THE SUNLITERS; Rock and Religion V
Dec 2014 ' THE SILENCERS; Surf Rock II
Jan 2015 (I) ' THE CRAWDADDYS (Part 1); Tribute to Kim Fowley
Jan 2015 (II) ' THE CRAWDADDYS (Part 2); Tribute to Kim Fowley
Feb 2015 ' BRIAN OLIVE; Songwriting I (Country Music)
Mar 2015 ' PHIL GAMMAGE; Songwriting II (Woody Guthrie/Bob Dylan)
Apr 2015 (I) ' BLACK RUSSIAN (Part 1); Songwriting III (Partnerships)
Apr 2015 (II) ' BLACK RUSSIAN (Part 2); Songwriting III (Partnerships)
May 2015 ' MAL RYDER and THE PRIMITIVES; Songwriting IV (Rolling Stones)
Jun 2015 ' HAYMARKET SQUARE; Songwriting V (Beatles)
Jul 2015 ' THE HUMAN ZOO; Songwriting VI (Psychedelic Rock)
Aug 2015 ' CRYSTAL MANSION; Martin Winfree's Record Cleaning Guide
Dec 2015 ' AMANDA JONES; So Many Rock Bands
Mar 2016 ' THE LOVEMASTERS; Fun Rock Music
Jun 2016 ' THE GYNECOLOGISTS; Offensive Rock Music Lyrics
Sep 2016 ' LIGHTNING STRIKE; Rap and Hip Hop
Dec 2016 ' THE IGUANAS; Iggy and the Stooges; Proto-Punk Rock
Mar 2017 ' THE LAZY COWGIRLS; Iggy and the Stooges; First Wave Punk Rock
Jun 2017 ' THE LOONS; Punk Revival and Other New Bands
Sep 2017 ' THE TELL-TALE HEARTS; Bootleg Albums
Dec 2017 ' SS-20; The Iguana Chronicles
(Year 10 Review)

Last edited: April 7, 2021