4 December 2009
"THE SAVAGES - LIVE'N WILD" (CRUDE 60s GARAGE BERMUDA 1966)
"The Savages" was a GREAT 60s GARAGE COMBO who started in 1965 in Bermuda; "The Savages" were "Paul Muggleton" (guitar), "Jimmy O'Connor" (guitar), "Bobby Zuill" (bass guitar) and "Howie Rego" (drums).
"The Savages" played usually in the hotel nightclubs for tourists wound up cutting one of the great live Lps of the era.
The Savages: "The World Ain't Round It's Square" / "You're On My Mind", Duane 1054, March 1966
"Paul Muggleton": "The Savages" started in 1965 in Bermuda.
We used to watch another band in Bermuda rehearsing, they were "The Gents".
We were not sons of diplomats ...my father was a printer...both "Jimmy O'Connor" and "Bobby Zuill"'s fathers were sea captains and "Howie Rego"'s father had a supermarket. "Jimmy O'Connor" and I started the band and recruited "Bobby Zuill" and "Howie Rego".
"We played seven nights a week doing mostly covers until we were asked to make an album which Jimmy and I wrote in about 3 weeks which became the 'Savages Live' album.
It was recorded straight to a four track machine, warts and all, live except for one track. "No No No" was recorded after we recorded the album as a b-side to the first single "She's Gone". I think it was a small audience, maybe 150 tops, set up to record the album"
"Rob Zuill": "We recorded that album live at the Hub [on February 6, 1966] and we were all so scared that we played everything way too fast. The songs should have been played much slower. In listening to the album later we were very disappointed with our performance. Anyhow it was way to late to do anything about it then. But I know that if we had recorded the album at a proper studio it would have turned out much better."
"Rob Zuill" may not have been happy with the results, but listening to the album today is a pleasure.
For one thing, most of the songs are originals, and the quality of the songwriting is amazing considering the inexperience of the band.
"Paul Muggleton" wrote "Poor Man's Son", "Gone to the Moon", "Nobody But You", "No No No" and the fantastic "Quiet Town".
"Jimmy O'Connor" wrote "She's Gone" and "Oh My Soul", and he and "Paul Muggleton" collaborated on "I Believe".
"Howie Rego" and "Rob Zuill" co-wrote the most famous song on the record, the dissonant "The World Ain't Round, It's Square".
Of the three cover songs, two are predictable - a fine version of "The Animals"' "We Gotta Get Out Of This Place", and one that I would say is the least worthy track on the Lp, "The Drifters"'"On Broadway".
The third, however, is a very unusual choice - an English version of an Icelandic song, "Ertu Med" written and recorded by "Thor's Hammer" in 1965.
"Paul Muggleton": "Our manager, "Bev Welsh" was Icelandic, he played us the song and I may have written the lyrics in English".
Confusion arises because "Thor's Hammer" recorded their own English version of the song under the title "If You Knew", with totally different lyrics than "The Savages". In fact, "Thor's Hammer"'s English version wasn't recorded until May of 1966, several months after "The Savages" live session!
Also of note is that "No No No" came to be recorded by "The Instincts", a band from Connecticut, most likely because someone brought "The Savages" 45 back home with them after vacationing in Bermuda.
The "Duane Records" was run by "Eddy De Mello", a Bermudan of Portuguese descent. All the Duane releases recorded in Bermuda have a fine natural echo, leading me to believe they were recorded at the same location.
"Paul Muggleton": "Eddy De Mello was the only promoter on the Island and I think initially he worked hard for us...putting us on tours of the West Indies and getting us to the States [summer, 1966] for gigs like the Scene and The Coney Island Pub and gigs on Long Island and Providence, Rhode Island.
We went to New York to record "Roses Are Red". We also recorded two other songs at A&R studios with engineer and producer "Chuck Irwin".
Released as their second 45, "Roses Are Red My Love" shows a tighter, more mature sound than the live recordings done just a few months previous.
No one seems to remember the names of the other songs recorded in New York City, and the tapes have disappeared.
While in New York City, someone in the band made an insulting remark in Harlem which caused an irreparable rift in the band.
"Paul Muggleton": "The Savages broke up because of an incident in New York that nearly got us all killed through the stupidity of some of the members...and that's all I can say on that one, even after all these years".
After "The Savages" broke up, "Paul Muggleton" and "Jimmy O'Connor" joined with "Andy Newmark" and "Glenn Mello" of "The Gents" to make the "Bermuda Jam" album for "Bob Crewe"'s "Dynovoice Records".
"Live'n Wild" (Duane Records 1047, 1966) is a solid 60s Garage album, composed almost of original material, "The Savages" played top-notch tunes with heavy echoes of "The Beatles", "The Searchers", and "The Byrds", with a much greater melodic sense than the typical 60's American Garage combo, though a pleasing rawness is evident throughout.
"The Savages" created a private press album that possesses clarity, vision and originality.
The sound quality and musicianship is excellent, sounding like many studio cut 60s Garage albums of the day.
Like "The Rising Storm", "The Savages" effectively mixed slow moody Folk-Rock-like compositions with 60s Garage raunch.
The most famous number here is a 60s Garage-Punk classic, "The World Ain't Round, It's Square": it's an aggressive, trebly mess with angry, tormented screams and is by far the heaviest song amongst the batch.
Good Rock'n'Roll is supposed to move you emotionally or 'blow you away'.
Great artists like "Bob Dylan" or "The 13th Floor Elevators" have always been brutally honest, searched for meaning and never gave in to commercial demands.
Many years ago Rock'n'Roll was powerful because it never made any promises. Recordings were murky, guitars distorted and trebly and vocalists were love-struck gods.
"The Savages - Live'n Wild" album is one of the great holy grails of Rock music.
This is really what Rock'n'Roll is all about, cutting straight to the heart.
Thanks to my friend Garage Hangover for infos!