Daniel Maier writes things for TV and radio and sometimes performs in them. He has associated himself with three BAFTA-winning comedy shows, most recently Harry Hill's TV Burp, on which he has written since its first series. He has also written a couple of plays and the comedy football dictionary Footypedia. Every couple of months he puts on the the 60s garage, psychedelia and pop night, 13th Floor, at The Albany in London. He likes to believe that "Kilimanjaro" by The Teardrop Explodes was the first album he ever bought, whereas it was in fact Wings' "Greatest Hits".
Daniel also recently compiled "Before The Fall" for us.
The Wailers 'Dirty Robber'
Listen to the house band of North-West garage and get how 50’s Little Richardesque stomping warped into 60’s primitive r’n’r. Bangy piano and skittery sax from the pre-fuzz pedal age, yet still garagey as hell. Fabulous indeed.
The Chob 'We're Pretty Quick'
From New Mexico, a one-hit band with a stupid name (pronounced to rhyme with lobe, as it happens) energetically sneering unintelligible cobblers. “Put your love in a bag and swing it round your head”, for goodness’ sake. Thus, the quintessence of garage punk.
Bobby 'Boris' Pickett 'Monster Mash'
A hallway, 1973. Three brothers mime to The Monster Mash to an audience of their parents and great aunt. I played the corpse, rising from the coffin during the chorus and still recall my pride at being able to rise from supine without the aid of my hands on the floor. I was 23. Of course not! I was five.
The Novas 'The Crusher'
A ‘dance’ so unsophisticated it makes The Chob sound like Radiohead. If you’re not laughing within the first fifteen seconds you’re empty inside. ‘Do the eye-gouge, you turkey necks!’
She 'Outta Reach'
If you wanted to hear heartbreak from a female perspective in the 60s, you listened to girl groups, not garage. ‘Outta Reach’ is a nebbishy exception, delivering the trad punkboy trope of no-count self-pity, but from a she-freak angle.
Big Star 'O My Soul'
Maybe because they were an anachronism in the first place, Big Star never seem to date. ‘Thirteen’, ‘September Gurls’ and ‘Kangaroo’ may be the three best things they did, yet all are very different. ‘O My Soul’ is like a lurching Best Of all in one song. And they were too cool to put an h on ‘O’.
Bo Diddley 'Who Do You Love''
“I walk 47 miles of barbed wire / I use a cobra snake for a necktie.” sang Bo. In 1956!! “I got a brand new house by the roadside / made out of rattlesnake hide.” Take that, Grand Designs! “I got a brand new chimney built on top /made out of a human skull”. You’d never get away with that in Richmond, not in a conservation area anyway.
The Sonics 'Going Home'
Whingeing was a foundation stone of 60s garage, but not for The Sonics. They may have had woman trouble on ‘The Witch’ or ‘Psycho’ but you can’t accuse them of sobbing into their Coors over it. Aside from the great stop-start bluesy riff, what I love about 'Going Home', a cautionary tale for any young punk who can’t wait to eff off mom and pop and hit the city, is that it’s uncharacteristically, knowingly and hilariously whiney.
Thor's Hammer 'If You Knew'
There’s always a whiff of exotic irony about 60s comps from farflung corners of the globe, is if there’s something innately funnier about the Vietnamese trying to copy The Yardbirds than four yoots from Pittsburgh doing the same. Folk may thus be understandably suspicious of proselytes of Icelandic freakbeat, though one listen to the breathless and quite unpatronisable fuzzpop clatter of Keflavik’s finest should put dubious minds at rest.
The Counts 'Trick Bag'
Somehow, this and The Artesians’ version of the same song each benefit from the comparison. In The Counts’ laconic version, the betrayed vocalist seems philosophical – yes, he “saw you kissin’ Willy across the fence / Heard you tellin’ Willy I don’t have no sense.”, but subtextually, one suspects he has other irons in the fire himself and that his protests may be a little disingenuous. The Artesians’ version, on the other hand, sounds like a murderer playing a broken organ with his fists.