Someone helpfully posted Holy Modal Rounders – Live 1965 as MP3s. Both Pete and Steve are clearly out of their heads when they played, but it’s a diamond in the rough of the freak folk scene.
The recording has a chequered history. Recorded on June 5th 1965 (no-one knows or remembers where) by WDTM Detroit, the tape belonged to Peter Stampfel’s mother. It was found after she passed away, and mastered to CD for release in 2002. According to Peter, Steve borrowed a CD-R copy, and released it through an acquaintance. Much to Steve’s dismay, the acquaintance claimed that all the money from the release disappeared as expenses. It is now out of print, and seemingly any release could trigger legal action from either party.
Whatever the history, it’s a great record of the time.
The Holy Modal Rounders documentary DVD, Bound To Lose is now available for us international types. But the price? $28 in the US balloons to $40 elsewhere. At that price, I’d expect Peter and Steve to deliver it in person!
In Your Easter Vomit
by Peter Stampfel & Antonia, circa 1970s
in your easter vomit with all the flies upon it
you’ll be the drunkest wino in the easter parade
you’ll be all hung over and when they roll you over
you’ll be the rankest wino in the easter parade
on the avenue tenth avenue the
photographer will snap us and he’ll say that
you’re like a pile of manure
fifty pounds of comet
could not remove the vomit
and all the flies you’re wearing
to the easter parade
Happy Easter … and remember, don’t eat the little “eggs” the bunny leaves on the lawn.
I heard last night that Steve Weber has announced his retirement, and thus the chances of new releases and shows by The Holy Modal Rounders are slim to none. Let’s hope that Steve enjoys his retirement, but I can’t exactly see him on the golf course.
Not all of these could be classed as banjo tunes, but I’d want to try, anyway:
- The Coo-Coo Bird (it’s not optional)
- The Old Plank Road (Uncle Dave’s delivery, which was more demented than the Rounders)
- Hot Corn, Cold Corn (like HMR; just how does one spell moo’m moo’m moo’m de boo’m boo’m de boo’m?)
- I’m Going In A Field (Nic Jones style)
- Bridges & Balloons (Joanna’s song’s just crying out to be covered with a broad Glasgow accent)
- Needle of Death (too many banjo tunes are too happy)
- Ghost (the Neutral Milk Hotel one)
- something by Sufjan (even if Peter Stampfel says he plays banjo kind of boringly)
- I Love How You Love Me (like Mangum, not Spector)
I joined ivor-list during the week. In this short time, I’ve met on the list:
Judith & Steve called me again. Steve treated me to a great version of ‘Skin Game’ (from Too Much Fun!) over the phone. I think having one of the elder statesmen of psych-folk play a personal concert for me while I waited for the Bathurst streetcar to take me to the CNE must be one of the weirder episodes in my life.
Got two messages from the taller Holy Modal Rounder, Steve Weber,
tonight. He was jamming away, and recorded a great song for me, Blue Navigator.
How apt that, in order to join have_moicy (the Holy Modal Rounders discussion list), I got the above captcha.
Oh, and did I say that we really enjoyed hearing Chris Smither play at Hugh’s Room last Friday?