Sunday, April 01, 2018

The Crossfires (Pre-The Turtles) - Out Of Control

Out of Control is an album of material by The Crossfires, later known as The Turtles.

The Crossfires were a surf-rock group active between in 1963 and 1965. The group was formed in Los Angeles, California by Westchester High students Howard Kaplan (changed in 1965 to Kaylan, because that's how he always wrote his name), Al Nichol and Chuck Portz. Originally called 'The Nightriders'; the group Mark Volman, Don Murray from Inglewood High and Dale Walton (later replaced by Tom Stanton, who in turn, was later replaced by Jim Tucker) to the group in 1963, changed the band name to 'The Crossfires' and began performing guitar-driven surf instrumentals in concert across the Westchester area.

The effects of being in a band had their social consequences. The naive group were exposed to wild bacchanals, strangely devastating drinks like "Red Death," and all manner of mayhem. To rise to the occasion, and to keep the frat boys happy to insure the band of even more $200-a-night jobs, the Crossfires adapted their own, original versions of standards like "Money" and "What'd I Say" that were laced with the well chosen obscenities that the UCLA party boys loved so much. An ill-timed rendition of those very same ditties at the Westchester Women's Club effectively banned the Crossfires from Westchester, for good.

They set their sights on the adjacent South Bay area (Redondo Beach, Manhattan Beach, Torrance) and quickly found themselves winners of several Battle of the Bands competitions that resulted in a residency at Reb Foster's (a local DJ) Revelaire Club. The group also had a fan club of sorts, "the Chunky Club," whose members made obscene genital gestures with the help of spoons during band appearances. (For more insight into this period, refer to the Crossfires album, Out of Control) It was here that demands were made upon them to learn the various hit recordings of stars like the Coasters, Sonny and Cher, the Righteous Brothers and others for whom they would occasionally become the backup band.

In 1964, the Beatles and the whole English Invasion took effect. Mark and Howard put down their saxes, took up the vocals more ardently (Howard did most of the leads, Mark backups and tambourine) and the Crossfires dropped their entire repertoire of surf instrumentals and grew their hair long.

Despite this response, and their following at the Revelaire, frustration set in. The members weren't in high school anymore, two were married, and the band wasn't earning enough money. In 1965, on the night they were submitting their resignation from the Revelaire and about to break up, they were approached by Ted Feigin and Lee Lasseff who signed them to a brand new, nameless record label, later to be called White Whale. It was time for a name change as well. The group liked "The Half Dozen," or "Six Pack," but opted for Reb Foster's suggestion, The Turtles

Personnel :
Al Nichol - lead guitar
Howard Kaplan - tenor sax, lead vocals
Mark Volman - alto sax, lead vocals
Don Murray - drums
Chuck Portz - bass guitar
Dale Walton - rhythm guitar
Jim Tucker - rhythm guitar ("One Potato Two Potato", "Stay Around", "Livin' Doll")
Tom Stanton - rhythm guitar ("That'll Be The Day", "Revelaire", "Silver Bullet")
Terry Hand - drums ("Livin' Doll", "Stay Around")

When the band changed their name from The Crossfires to The Turtles, lead singer Howard Kaplan changed his last name to Kaylan.

Out of Control - Pre-The Turtles.
Label: Sundazed Music ‎– SC 6062 1995

This is the earliest songs from the turtles when they were the surf group the crossfires. It has some great songs on it like 'one potatoe, two potatoe" ( a california hit regional single) , and 'silver bullet' and some average tracks too. The sound quality varies on these tracks but overall they are worth owning. In fact the whole turtles catalog is worth owning. The boys were just beginning at this point and they would explode into action in 1965 with their first turtles album. This one was of course a complilation of early preturtles tracks, and you do get excellent guitar playing, and a few harmonies but not like what was to follow

1 comment:

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