Monday, January 02, 2012

Blu Maxx –Rev It Up

Blu Maxx - O’ Come All Ye Faithful/ Rev It Up –Brother Studio BS -19 (1979 US)

To start the year here’s a real Powerpop gem of which only 500 were ever pressed.The opening of Rev It Up is one of the most evocative intros ever with twin lead guitars recalling Wowii at their best. The track then turns into a perfect lesson in maximizing the minimum where nothing is superfluous and where a simple chord structure and infectious melody rule the roost. The lyrics spell out SOCAL existentialism
Bob Shank: “The whole point of "Rev it Up" was to celebrate the "Southern California Beach Living" lifestyle. Our singer Gary worked in a Surf Shop, was an avid Surfer with hundreds of girlfriends. He looked like a Japanese soldier who wasn't told the war was over. But charisma and charm oozed from his pores...”
The A side O’ Come All Ye Faithful is a punked-out festive ditty akin to The Yobs but with added gritty guitar moves. The track actually received a good amount of local airplay on KLOS and KMET in the Los Angeles at the time “Come All Ye Faithful was on LA FM drive time radio for 3 weeks. We were living the dream...” (BS)
The band line-up was Gary Haraguchi (vocals), Bob Shank (Lead Guitar, Vocals), Bill Shank (Bass), Gordon Sims (Guitar), Carl Jensen, (Drums). Following the single, in 1980 Geoff Guerrero added his Rick 6/12 and Vocals to the mix. Blu Maxx had been in existence quite a few years before their only single
BS: “Gordon Sims and I got our roots in instrumental Surf Music. We saw all the heavies .. Dick Dale, BelAires, Chantays, and The Ventures.We saw the change first hand. We were 1967 highschool graduates. We saw Sonny and Cher, the Turtles, Yardbirds, Beatles, and the Rolling Stones. We did a lot of "herbal" jams back then. (Summer of Love). We started BluMaxx because there was a sudden influx of good venues, and sound engineering was coming of age. We felt we had a cool sound that went back to Real Surf Music, not The Beach Boys style, but real South Bay Surf...”

You can hear some 70s Blue Maxx recordings here:!/artist/artist_songs/767037

Recorded between 72 and 74 Superman Boogie and Short In My Brain are fully realised proto punk riff-heavy melodic numbers, like The Stooges transplanted to California in a bid to get on the radio. These tracks shine beyond the parameters of the limited recording facilities.
BS: “Superman Boogie was my second song written in a herbal haze in 1970. My first was The Family Visits Saturn. A Timothy Leary tribute in 1969...”

Blu Maxx at Pier 52, Hermosa Beach, California -Bob Shank and Gordon Sims

Following Blu Maxx, Bob formed Holy Joe “an Alt Rock experience fashioned on the Garbage model...Leah Sharp was an able front with her Big Voice and Courtney Cox good looks! Today Holy Joe has had new life in Russia and Ukraine...”. Holy Joe was Tim Edmondson, Darren McClung, Leah Sharp and Bob Shank. But what of Blu Maxx?
BS: “I have managed to stay connected with all but Gary. Rumour has it he is living on various sofas in Hawaii!

Hear a full version of Rev It Up

Hear a full version of O’ Come All Ye Faithful

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