boston - The I-94 Bar
These were the first recordings released by Lyres. What else do you need to know? It’s on UK label Dirty Water and listening to it is as close to the state of Garage Godhead that any of us mere mortals will reach.
Boston’s Lyres inarguably were, and probably still are, the pick of the turn-of-the-'70s US bands that went on to wear the “garage” tag. Not that you should use that term in front of Jeff Conolly (aka Monoman), the band’s leader on organ and vocals. And never append “The” to the band’s name. Just don’t.
John Felice is one of rock’n’roll’s unsung heroes. A founding member of the Modern Lovers at the age of 15, he quit the band before the sessions that resulted in their classic album, and was subsequently written out of the history of one of the most influential bands of the ‘70s.
The band he left to form, the Kids, made some local waves but ultimately went nowhere, pretty much coming to an end when he went off to New York to audition for the Heartbreakers - a job he turned down.
Back in Boston, he formed the Real Kids, and finally wrote his own chapter in rock’n’roll history with an album for Marty Thau’s Red Star label that goes down as one of the greatest ever – a perfect blend of Eddie Cochran, the early Stones and the Velvet Underground, with killer tunes, energy and feel, and some of the most honest and affecting lyrics ever put to music.
This week's rhetorical question is about bands singing in faux Irish accents with traditional Celtic instruments, mixing it up with banjos, strings, pipes and punk rawk guitars. The query is: "Do we need 'em?" The quick answer is: "I'll get back to ya." From your perspective I know that's it's not really good enough so I'll spend the next 400 words so telling you how albums like this get to exist in the first place.