Psychedelic-Rock'n'roll: The Fallen Angels - The Fallen Angels (PSYCHEDELIC 60s GARAGE US 1967)

15 February 2009

The Fallen Angels - The Fallen Angels (PSYCHEDELIC 60s GARAGE US 1967)

Fallen_Angels,Bryant,1968,psychedelic-rocknroll,roulette,FRONT"THE FALLEN ANGELS - THE FALLEN ANGELS" (PSYCHEDELIC 60s GARAGE US 1967)

Based in Washington, D.C., guitarist "Wally Cook" had been a member of "The Young Rabbits".
In 1965 he hooked up with singer/bassist "Jack Bryant" and "Charlie Jones" to form "The Disciples".
Within a matter of months they became "The Uncalled", followed by a shift to "The Fallen Angels" formed by "Jack Bryant" (vocals, bass guitar, kazoo), "Wally Cook" (lead guitar), "Richard 'Luvly' Kumer" (drums and percussions), "Howard Danchik" (piano, flute, celeste), "Jack Lauritsen" (guitar, sitar, vibes), "Barry Seidel" (horns, effects) and "Tom Traynor" (laughter, good vibrations, first aid).

the_Fallen_Angels,Bryant,psychedelic-rocknroll,roulette,hello_girl,4785Under the tutelage of two managers, 1967 saw "The Fallen Angels" signed by "Laurie Records".
"Laurie Records" quickly financed a pair of singles:
- 1967's "Everytime I Fall In Love" / "Have Found" ("Laurie Records" catalog number LR-3343)
- 1967's "Have You Ever Lost a Love?" / "A Little Love From You Will Do" ("Laurie Records" catalog number LR-3369).
Switching to the New York based "Roulette Records", saw "The Fallen Angels" release their first single in 1967 "Hello Girl" / "Most Children" (Roulette Records 4785, 1967), and in 1968 their first LP "The Fallen Angels" ("Roulette Records" Stereo SR 25358 and Mono R 25358).

The first album (entitled simply "The Fallen Angels") received a very favorable response but had no top ten hits due in large part to a sub-par production effort by the recording studio and an ill-conceived promotional strategy aimed at the conventional tastes of AM listeners.
Unfortunately,"Roulette Records" was looking for hit-making successors to "Tommy James and The Shondells" and consequently never had a clue as to how to properly promote the iconoclastic "The Fallen Angels".

the_Fallen_Angels,Bryant,1968,psychedelic-rocknroll,roulette,backLargely written by "Jack Bryant", material such as "Room At The Top", "Introspective Looking Glass" and "Your Friends Here In Dundeville" was full of hazy lyrics, weird timings, Fuzz guitar and sound effects - simply too progressive for mainstream consumption.
Needless to say, their music was too far out for the straight audience and received very limited exposure to the underground music scene associated with West Coast bands such as "The Doors" and "Jefferson Airplane".

Fallen_Angels,Bryant,1968,psychedelic-rocknroll,roulette,promoThe Fallen Angels in late 1967: Jack Bryant, Ned Davis, Wally Cook and John Molloy

Even with all the problems concurrent with it's release, the "Fallen Angels" album contains some real gems that reflect the attitudes of both hope and cynicism which prevailed during the Psychedelic era.
Conflicts with "Roulette Records" came to a head when the band was slated to promote their single "Hello Girl" on Upbeat, a Cleveland-based TV show clone of the "American Bandstand".

Fallen_Angels,Bryant,1968,psychedelic-rocknroll,roulette,liveJack Bryant and Wally Cook early 1967 Photo © Doug McCullough

Upon arriving at the TV studio, the band heard a version of their song that, unbeknownst to them, had been completely rearranged by "Roulette Records" to the point where it bore little resemblance to their original composition.

the_Fallen_Angels,Bryant,1968,psychedelic-rocknroll,philips,ep,frontThe Fallen Angels: "Most Children Do" / "Hello Girl" / "Room At The Top" / "Your Friends Here in Dunderville", EP Philips 112-701 BE, 1968 Malaysia

Disgusted and disheartened, the band rebelled at the idea of lip-synching to this bastardized version of their song.
Finally, they agreed to go on TV, but as soon as the camera began to roll, "Jack Lauritsen" pulled a toy doll out of his jacket and proceeded to rip off it's limbs and throw them directly at the camera.
It was a classic "Fallen Angels" performance, albeit one which was highly edited prior to the broadcast.