A Public Execution

Barely Appreciated

Reading between the lines, many of the songs on Nuggets: Original Artyfacts from the First Psychedelic Era, 1965-1968 were apparently chosen by what had hit the Top 100 at some point during that time period; that would explain the presence of the strangest of the songs, the closing track “It’s-a-Happening” by the Magic Mushrooms, which remarkably made it to something like #94 for a week.  Even more intriguing to me were the songs that hadn’t hit the Top 100 at all.  One immediate fave was “A Public Execution” by a Texas band called Mouse and the Traps (the song was officially issued under the name Mouse), doing something that I didn’t think would ever happen:  someone else creating music along the lines of Bob Dylan’s Like a Rolling Stone and Highway 61 Revisited.
(January 2011)
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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 Trapsa 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. 
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). 
 (December 2011)
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Mouse and the Traps was one of the first bands that I wrote about; they were featured on the original Nuggets album with their fabulous Bob Dylan soundalike song “A Public Execution” that was released under the name Mouse


What’s more, I had long owned a retrospective album by Mouse and the Traps called Public Execution, and all of the songs on the album were great, particularly “Maid of Sugar, Maid of Spice”, which was their failed second single following A Public Execution


(September 2013)


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Homer was fortunate enough to record their single at Robin Hood Studios in Tyler, Texas, which was managed by Robin “Hood” Brians.  ZZ Top recorded their debut album, ZZ Top’s First Album at this studio, and Mouse and the Traps laid down their early tracks there as well, including their Dylanesque classic A Public Execution.  


(April 2014)


Last edited: March 22, 2021