Tuesday, October 30, 2525

This Ain't The Summer Of Love

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This live performance of the Imperial Dogs' original version of "This Ain't The Summer Of Love" is taken from the band's new DVD, Live! At Long Beach (October 30, 1974), which is available for purchase directly from this site. (See details at top left.)

Written by vocalist Don Waller and guitarist Paul Therrio, the Imperial Dogs' original version first surfaced as the A-side of the band's posthumous 1978 single on Back Door Man Records, which wasn't released until after the song was recorded -- in a radically revamped version that retained only the hookline ("This ain't the Garden of Eden/This ain't the Summer of Love") and none of the original music -- by NYC-based metal-masters the Blue Oyster Cult on their platinum-plus 1976 Agents Of Fortune LP.

Incidentally, the Imperial Dogs' original version also appears on their Unchained Maladies: Live! 1974-75 album, which was issued by Australian indie Dog Meat Records in 1989.

Meanwhile ... the B.O.C.'s version has inspired a 1986 single by Swedish garage-rockers the Nomads (recording under the in-jokey pseudonym the Screamin' Dizbusters) and a 1988 Bucketful Of Brains flexi-disc by Australian neo-punkadelic outfit the U.V.'s. It's also been covered by British eccentrics Current 93 on their 1988 Swastikas For Noddy album, by L.A. rock-grrrls L7 on the 1997 soundtrack album to I Know What You Did Last Summer and by L.A. shock-rockers Lizzy Borden on their 2000's Deal With The Devil album. (The song's chorus was also interpolated by Seattle grunge pioneers Green River into into their 1988 re-recording of "Swallow My Pride.")

Note: Owing to the song's length, this videoclip is presented as an MP4 file. The actual DVD was created by transferring the original half-inch, open-reel, black & white, mono videotape into the MPEG2 format, which should provide a superior audio and video experience. To view a full-screen version of this clip, go to YouTube.

Since every ballad should have a rockin' B-side, here's the Imperial Dogs' original composition, "Midnite Dog" ... . (Also available in full-screen version at YouTube.)

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Monday, June 4, 2012

The Imperial Dogs Captured In 'Flipside'!


"Classic super obscure glam-punk-sleaze-riff-rock heavily under the spell of the Stooges, MC5 and Dolls from a quartet of South Bay sickos fronted by future rock critic Don Waller from the fabled Lost Age of pre-'77 American garage-punk, now being issued (except for two tracks which came out in '77 as a posthumous 45) for the first time ever," wrote Mike Snider, reviewing the Imperial Dogs' Unchained Maladies: Live! 1974-75 album -- issued by Australian indie Dog Meat Records -- way back in the Spring 1990 issue of the semi-legendary, Southern California fanzine Flipside.

"Sloppy and FTW through and through, and remarkably contemporary in light of the current interest in Motor City sounds," continues Snider. "Crude, distorted and noisy in the best scuzzrock tradition, with sound quality worthy of GG Allin (this WAS recorded on a cassette recorder, some of it live at pre-Van Halen, pre-pay-to-play but still detestable Gazarri's, the rest done in a garage literally). 'Unchained Maladies' abounds in that sort of ingratiating abrasiveness that is the essence of the protopunk spirit -- not just a historical document ("This Ain't The Summer Of Love" was reworked and re-arranged by BOC on "Agents Of Fortune," the Imperial Dogs' biggest and only claim to fame until now) but a pretty cool record nevertheless, too!"

And a special howl 'n' woof from the Imperial Dogs to Carmen Hillebrew for pulling our tails to this "arty-fact," which we had ab-soul-utely no idea even existed. Until now.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Imperial Dogs: 'All The Velvets' Urban Grit Plus Dictators-Style Rock 'N' Roll Bravado!'

The B-side of the Imperial Dogs' 1978 single on Back Door Man Records was a cover of the Velvet Underground's "I'm Waiting For The Man," which, as the Dude Behind The Record Counter writes here, "has all the Velvets’ urban grit plus Dictators-style rock ’n' roll bravado, turning it into a fist-thrustin’ rock anthem!"

While the A-side of the Imperial Dogs' single, "This Ain't The Summer Of Love" was -- thanks to an introduction by Kim Fowley -- was re-worked and re-recorded by the Blue Oyster Cult, as The Dude Behind The Record Counter notes here:

"I posted the Imperial Dogs flipside to "This Ain't The Summer Of Love" a while back, and now I've actually got the song for y'all. Although this ain't by the Imperial Dogs, it's from Sweden's almighty Screaming Dizbusters, who're really the Nomads lettin' their scraggly hair down. They seemed to always like a fleshy bottom-end to their racket and this is no exception. Nice crunching guitar and heavy organ set at a slow swagger that'll have almost any 40-somethin' rocker headbangin' what little hair he's got left. It's not metal per se, it's more like a straight shot o' no-frills (meat)ballsy rock 'n' roll with a bargain-basement garage chaser. This 7-inch was released on French label Amigo in '86."

Earlier recordings of both these songs can be found on the Imperial Dogs' Live! In Long Beach (October 30, 1974) DVD.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Thames Delta World Service Sends Imperial Dogs Back To The Future!

Inspired by the recent (September, 2011) issue of Mojo magazine that featured a detailed history of'70s pre-punk music by "England's Dreaming" author Jon Savage, the Thames Delta World Service blog created a three-hour, streaming audio playlist entitled "Back To The Future - Mojo's 50 Pre-Punk '70s Tracks" that includes every single song cited in the story's accompanying sidebar PLUS the Imperial Dogs' original version of "This Ain't The Summer Of Love," which was taken from the band's Live! In Long Beach (October 30, 1974) DVD, and can be heard here.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Fang Mail, Pt. 25

Thought we'd share some more "fang mail" from people who've actually purchased the Imperial Dogs' Live! At Long Beach (October 30, 1974) DVD ...

"It certainly took me back to the days when heavy metal and Detroit looked like the feeding ground for punk and for reminding me why Back Door Man magazine (and the Imperial Dogs) came along at just the right time to lead my receptivity to the Stooges, the MC5, the Blue Oyster Cult, and the New York Dolls," writes lifelong fan, true "recordman" -- and great humanitarian -- Gary Stewart. "Clearly you guys were among the first to try this. (Certainly the first on the West Coast)."

Sunday, October 30, 2011

The Imperial Dogs: It Was 37 Years Ago Today ...

It was 37 years ago today ... that the Imperial Dogs performed the show that would be immortalized on their Live! In Long Beach (October 30, 1974) DVD. Ahh, as evidenced here, we were "Just Kids" ...

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Byron Coley On The Imperial Dogs: 'So Nasty, So Dumb, So Perfect'!

"Anyone with an interest in the development of the American musical underground in the '70s will truly get their goddamn lunch eaten after watching this," concludes veteran journalist/author/Ecstatic Yod label owner Byron Coley, reviewing the Imperial Dogs' Live! In Long Beach (October 30, 1974) DVD here at the Forced Exposure website.

"The Imperial Dogs blast off into a very raw version of the Kinks' "Till The End Of The Day" and go flat-out from there on," continues Coley. "There are all kinds of pure aggression onstage -- from (vocalist Don) Waller's call to put all Carole King fans into death camps to the Nazi flag draped on the amps to fake vomiting and song intros that would've made my ears wiggle even if I'd heard them in '77 at the height of the punk scare. Waller's presence is a pure PUNK take on Iggy's gestalt, all negativity and amphetamine. He snarls and curses and stomps around, smacking stuff with his chains. And when his pants start to come off, it reads as a very aggressive act, even though it's clearly beyond his control. And the music would've passed for first rate pastiche in that era as well.

"An outstanding proto-punk garage band, the Imperial Dogs sound very cool -- there are traces of the Standells and the Chocolate Watchband along with the Doors and the Stooges and the New York Dolls -- and the fact that they're playing almost all originals is real unusual for the time. Together they really power through this set like no one else could've in those dark days. If I would've seen these guys, I'm pretty sure I'd be living a different life right now.

"So nasty, so dumb, so perfect. Halloween '74. What the fuck were you doing?"