From the putrid depths of a Mississippi backwater, please welcome back Collin, with this fine review...
1974. The year, according to “Metal” Mike Saunders, that scared everybody out of Glitter rock forever. Mike was likely still afro’d and exiled in Little Rock at the time of this pronouncement, but maybe he had Neil Norman in mind. ‘Cos the party might well be over, Mike, but don’t you try and tell Neil!
The son of GNP Crescendo founder, Gene Norman, Neil was given proverbial free reign over the empire that Pushin’ Too Hard built. And what’s the first thing he goes and does, but pal & partner up with Kim Fowley! Boy oh boy…kids today!
After recording his first single, Phaser Laser, an epic of damaged Alice Cooper rock/horror and suggested violence, Neil decided to give the king of Canter’s Deli a try at penning some tunes. As always, Kim wrote about what he knew. Fresh off the heels of recording as Jimmy Jukebox, Kim fired back with ‘Wild Boys’ - a fairly typical, Fowley-esque, grope-trope of perpetually erect males wreaking havoc across a vulnerable, all-female city-scape that is rocketed to the stratosphere via Neil’s fine, Punky, lead fuzz break.
And it’s in the upper atmosphere we stay for the instrumental b-side, Tits From Mars. Stinking all over of residual Barrett fumes or possibly presaging the coming of Simply Saucer, ‘Tits’ is an oppressive, Mandrax messterpiece. Instellar Overdive’ meets The Nazz Are Blue according to one learned scholar of such things.
Neil would go on to indulge his sci-fi obsession with a cockpit-load-of-moog-crap instrumental Star Wars cash-in records later in the decade. He also returned the favour to Fowley, co-writing and co-producing one side of the Hammerhead single, issued, naturally, on dear old dad’s dime a year later and reviewed, conveniently, over on Proudfoot Sound.
Hear a full version of Wild Boys
Hear a full version of Tits From Mars