Butch Whacks postcard Mar08

Butch Whacks & the Glass Packs  U.S.  n.  < fr. butch wax, 1950s hair pomade sometimes used as bondo to repair car dents + glass pack, car muffler which reduces engine exhaust pressure while increasing engine power and noise, and, more importantly. rhymes with butch wax.  1.  San Francisco area music group, 1971-1976, composed of slackers from St. Mary's College looking for unique ways to avoid classes.  2.  1983-2008:  San Francisco Bay Area music group composed of seemingly responsible adults, looking for unique ways to avoid real work, who get together once a year and amazingly play before enthusiastic, sell-out crowds in San Francisco.  Long-time members include Rob Birsinger, Dee Dee Crockett, Morey Goldstein, Mike Hagerty, Bill Lazzaretti, Bruce Lopez, Julio Lopez, Mike Moore, Gary Murphy, Jerry Murphy, Walt Quinn, Dan Ritzo, Bob Sarlatte, Larry Strawther, Tom Tomasello and Karl Young.  At various times, other members have included John Buick, Jeff Carino, Davey Gonzales, Peter Gordon, Craig Martin and Bob Stambaugh. 

Saturday night show is sold out!  Tickets still available for Thursday-Friday shows

BWGP - Julios 1980sAlthough the Saturday night show is now sold out, there are still some tickets left for the Thursday and Friday shows for Butch Whacks & the Glass Packs' 25th annual Farewell Performance to be held at Bimbos' 365 Club in San Francisco on June 26, 27 and 28.
    You can order tickets via credit card online, or if you want to avoid those bank and credit card processing fees, then you can pay by check and get your tickets by snail mail.
    Details are available at our butchwhacks.com web site.
    Ticket prices are $45 for Thursday night, and $50 for Friday night.

Retro Record Reviews:  Butch looks at the timeless (or mindless?) "Monster Mash"

45 rpm recordAnybody can review a record when it's new and nobody knows the song.  Only a very secure individual reviews a record that's been out over 40 years and on which everyone has an opinion.  Such a challenge doesn't daunt our very own Butch Whacks (aka Jerry Murphy) who gives us the 411 on one of rock's most enduring 45s -- Bobby "Boris" Pickett's "Monster Mash." Who could worry about the Cuban Missile Crisis when the Cryptkicker 5 (which included Leon Russell) were making the scene?  Check out Butch's ode to the Monster Mash.

Glass Packs to help Zasu Pitts reunite to raise funds for stricken band mate Morey G
Zasu Pitts - Morey G benefit posterAs we related in the past few email blasts, Butch Whacks tenor saxman, Morey Goldstein, has been stricken with brain cancer.
   To help defray medical costs, Morey's friends and former bandmembers have put on benefit shows.  One coming up on June 23rd is the reunion of the Zasu Pitts Memorial Orchestra at the Great American Music Hall
   Morey and his wife, Katy were original members of Zasu, which rocked San Francisco in the 1980s with its super hot repertoire of Motown and Stax oldies with a big band, horn section in the back, girl group in beehive hairdos at the front. 
    We'll be doing a few numbers as an opening act and hope some of you can make it out there and help out Morey.  If not, and you still want to help out, you may reach out to Morey by clicking here or going to the link below.


Commander Cody & Lost Planet Airmen - posterOur favorite clubs and bands

Over its early years as a unintended non-profit organization, Butch Whacks had the chance to play with a lot of great bands -- the Doobie Brothers, Ike and Tina Turner Revue, Boz Scaggs, Tower of Power, Chuck Berry, not to mention the immortal Uncle Vinty -- and also to play in some great venues, such as Keystone, the Great American Music Hall, the Fillmore, the Mother Lode. 
   Who were our favorite bands?  What were our favorite clubs/venues?  Band members Gary Murphy, Bob Sarlatte, and Larry Strawther take a couple swings at the question and list their favorites.

Links of the Week - "Hullabaloo," divas, 60s soul and other digressions

In our last email blast, we saluted ABC's "Shindig,"  but NBC had its own teen-themed music effort "Hullabaloo," which lacked Shindig's creativity and energy, but did have some notable features, among them the show's off-camera announcer - San Fran Top 40 DJ Johnny Holliday (the Baron of the Bay) who ruled the radio waves from the afternoon drive time slot on KYA for years. 

Moody BluesHullabaloo was more mainstream (i.e. adult acceptable) pop than youth-oriented Shindig, but it had its moments -- some early Moody Blues (seen left doing "Go Now") and in a clip that could be out of Austin Powers, the Yardbirds doing "I'm a Man."

But often Hullabaloo was a glaring example of network television gone bad.  For perfectly hideous results, check out this duet of Gary Lewis (sans Playboys) and his dad Jerry Lewis (sans talent).  The opening NBC peacock may bring back some memories, but be warned: the song may make you cringe.  
   Almost as bad were the Hullabaloo salute to Bob Dylan, the Hullabaloo dancers performing to Batman, Nancy Sinatra doing "These Boots are Made for Walking."  Or this Trini Lopez/Vicky Carr medley (with Vicky singing "I'm into Something Good" to Peter Noone, (who had the actual hit of the song, so why not have him sing it? I know, too logical. )

We could go on, but we are compassionate beings.  If one is going to do Dylan, we suggest you check out Sam Cooke doing "Blowing in the Wind" on Shindig.  We also prefer to remember Vicky Carr doing "It Must Be Him."  Her powerful voice reminds us of Little Peggy March's "I Will Follow Him," Connie Francis ("Who's Sorry Now," "Where the Boys Are,") and last but certainly not least, Miss Toni Fisher's "The Big Hurt" which Vicky covered on The Tonight Show in 1972.  By the way, since we've totally gone off the deep end into Diva-land here, let's point out that "Where the Boys Are" even sounds good in Japanese.  But does it sound as good as rock and roll's only real hit from Japan -- the immortal Sukiyaki by Kyu Sakamoto. (The title had absolutely nothing to do with the song, but apparently were the only Japanese words known by the English company which released it over here.)

Lest you think we've totally lost our minds, our reputation (and testosterone), some of us Glass Packers have always been big fans of 60's soul... like The Esquires ("Get on Up"), the Intruders ("Cowboys to Girls"), Archie Bell & the Drells ("Tighten Up"), Jimmy Ruffin ("What Becomes of the Brokenhearted"), Sonny Charles & Checkmates, Ltd. ("Black Pearl"), and even blue-eyed Philly soul from the Soul Survivors ("Expressway to Your Heart") which was produced by Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff who later hit it mega big producing some great hits for among others Harold Melvin & the Blue Notes ("Wake Up Everybody"), and the O'Jays ("Back Stabbers"). 

Surprisingly, one of the most viewed articles in our last email blast was our look at North Beach restaurants that you might consider for a pre-Butch meal.  The area around Bimbo's offers some of the best dining in San Francisco. And since some of the Glass Packs sport long-standing credentials as true city boys with the real low-down on high quality dining in the North Beach area, we thought you might be interested in some of our suggested pre-show dining possibilities (that is, if you don't tailgate.)  Click here to see where Butch and the boys meet to eat. 

band partial 2001 When a band has 37 years of history and bad jokes, you have to store it somewhere.  And a lot of it is at www.butchwhacks.com.  Learn a little bit about band members, a skewed history of the band, see some old photos which we probably should burn, and even see some of our old bits.  We're actually learning how to do much of this ourselves, so we'll even do a better job of keeping you posted on what's happening (although bear with us - sometimes we have to have our teen-age kids shows us all these internet tricks).  

ONCE AN ON-AIR PERSONALITY, ALWAYS AN ON-AIR PERSONALITY:  BWGP's Bob Sarlatte is moonlighting every Sunday night as a DJ for Napa Valley radio station KVYN, impressing one and all with his immense mastery of myriad musical minutiae, which he once displayed in the early 70's as a white shadow DJ working at KSOL.   El Hombre Grande has also been beating the bushes publicity-wise in preparation for the band's Bimbo's dates with appearances on KFRC's morning show with Dave "The Duke" Sholin, and has a scheduled stop with KGO-TV's Don Sanchez a week before the show... Other visits might also include a piece with KCBS's Mike Sugerman... The Big Guy also had a nice article written about him in a recent Oakland Trib.

MXC Wipeout no similaritiesIn the IMITATION IS THE SINCEREST FORM OF FLATTERY DEPT:  In 2003 BWGP piano player Larry Strawther and a  couple SoCal friends licensed some 1980s Japanese game show footage and created a television show called Most Extreme Elimination Challenge (also known as MXC). They edited the footage to resemble an over-produced network sports show that featured contestants running an obstacle course that resulted in lots of face plants and mud plops, incessant reruns of those smashes, and fast-paced cuts and splashy graphics, etc.).  It became a hit on Spike-TV and through three volumes of DVDs (with the fourth slated for this Fall). 
    Now, it is with keen curiosity that Larry and his partners await the June 24 premier of the ABC game show Wipeout, described as "Human cannonballs! Human pinballs! Crashes, smashes and mud splashes! Twenty-four thrill-seekers will compete in the world's largest extreme obstacle course designed to provide the most spills, face plants and wipeouts ever seen on television."  Hmm, well, we're sure that beyond that besides being an over-produced network sports show featuring an obstacle course, face plants mud plops, splashy graphics, etc., any similarities are purely coincidental. 

See you at Bimbo's.

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