Wednesday, October 10, 2012
It's already October - I certainly did not plan to be away from the blog for such a long absence. Things have been quite busy at Priceless Info Press, running your own business sure does require long days. TeenBeat Mayhem! is selling well; thanks to everyone who has placed an order.
The typo / corrections will be posted here shortly. I want to make sure no more crop up before listing the handful of changes. Everyone can make their own corrections by pen in their books. Those who bought recently (the past three weeks or so) have the most updated corrections. For those who purchased the book during the summer, the changes found since then will require you to make your own corrections.
The duplicated label scan for the Denims "White Ship" appears as #741 in the Top 1000 label scans. I've printed out a color label sticker for the correct label "I'm Your Man" by the Denims, which I have been placing over the incorrect scan for recently purchased copies of the book. If you would like one, please contact me here with your mailing address, and I"ll send a sticker for you to affix in your book:
Just put "label scan" as the subject in the e-mail. I'll mail one off promptly!
In other TeenBeat Mayhem! related news, I will be a guest on Bill Kelly's long running "Teenage Wasteland" radio show on WFMU this upcoming Sunday, October 14th, at 3PM. I'll be spinning some cool 45s as featured in the book, along with some new garage 45 discoveries that didn't make it into the book. Plus, I'll be giving away a free copy of the book or two to lucky listeners. Bill and I will plan out the show beforehand, I'm sure we will just open up the phone lines to call in and win. so if you'd like a shot at a free copy of TeenBeat Mayhem!, be sure to listen in - you can listen in at:
Friday, August 10, 2012
Saturday, August 4, 2012
I know you are eager to buy a copy, but 90% of you want to pay with paypal. I myself cannot take paypal on my website, due to their new policy of holding money for 90 days or more for "new" sellers, or new sellers with a lot of activity (payments).
The ordering page has been configured, all set to take orders now!!
Friday, July 27, 2012
It looks fantastic!
I'll present a more "display appropriate" photograph shortly once I stage an appropriate shot. So much to do between now, and when the full shipment of books arrive - 6 skids worth.
I will make an official announcement as soon as the books arrive as to how everyone may order a copy of the book.
Just so you know beforehand: TeenBeat Mayhem! can only be purchased directly from me. There are no copies going to wholesale outlets like Amazon, no distributors are reselling the book, no kindle or e-reader downloads - you gotta get this book the old fashioned way - by direct purchase!
The book will be available for purchase via my own publishing company.
Saturday, July 14, 2012
The Making of TeenBeat Mayhem!, Part III
When the going gets insane, the insane get going....
Saturday, July 7, 2012
The Making Of TeenBeat Mayhem! (Part Two):
The world of music copyrights
Note: there are at least 15 long rows of card files on each side of the main entry aisle, the above view is from the secondary aisles in between each row length.
Next up: the pro-bono staff climbs aboard; layout refinements / updates, and the resulting insanity which ensued…
Sunday, July 1, 2012
New 45s are ready
Have a look, and enjoy:
TeenBeat Mayhem! Spins
Back in 2003/2004 (pre Youtube and ubiquitous "blogs are everywhere" period), I ran a weekly feature on the net where I would upload obscure 45s from my collection. In those days, I still had an old, slow PC and a dial-up connection, so I was limited from the git-go, besides having so little time to update and continue my web page, called "MopTopSpins". I kept at it for almost 10 months, before abandoning the page in lieu of work required for the book.
Well, with the resurrection of my TeenBeat Mayhem! blog, I thought, "Why not bring the Spins on back?" Yeah, it seems that most people would rather goof around with Youtube nowadays, but I know there are coolsters out in 'netville who kinda like the old fashioned method of viewing a web page, and downloading the songs. So, TeenBeat Mayhem! Spins will feature 45s that are listed in the book itself, to be uploaded for all whenever I have some time to update.
Spins From TeenBeat Mayhem! will not appear on this main blog area - you'll have to follow the link to load the page. The reason I'm operating this way is that I do not intend to keep the label scans and the mp3s up indefinitely - they will all be removed after a short period of time, a week or so. In addition, the scans and the mp3s were created on the lower end of the quality scale in order to potentially thwart any theft/stealing for other's self-serving purposes. Thus, if you are someone who expects dynamic, flac file quality coupled with 300 dpi label scans, well, expect to be disappointed. Please excuse the "old school" design appearance of the Spins page - I simply don't have time to dust off and re-learn .css & xml code. Besides, I had a template html coding still on the PC from 2004. It's quick and easy, gets the job done. So, that's why the page has that look. Well, I like it!
Wednesday, June 27, 2012
Sunday, June 24, 2012
Hmm.... so, where do I start?
The book provides some background on the rock & roll road I traversed, from discovering and collecting the hits and non hit 45s released during the 1960s as a 13 year old teenager in 1976, all the way to finally completing TeenBeat Mayhem! and getting into the eager hands of fellow fanatics worldwide. I won't rehash the story here, however, I will go into some detail as to how the book evolved from an idea to a 400 page, hardcover reference behemoth over the course of 20 years....
By 1981, I was already die-hard into the sounds of '60s garage. I bought every compilation I could get my hands on, and a few years later, I slowly started buying the cheaper priced original label 45s ($30 and under) from other collectors and specialist record dealers, like Texans Doug Hanners and David Shutt. I also met my pal Seve DiCo who also had lots of 60s garage tunes - he didn't spend time and money buying original 45s; most of his '60s garage song collection were on LP comps and on cassettes. He had been buying dubs of cassette tapes via mail order from a guy who in turn bought the tapes originally created by legendary collector Hans Kesteloo, called "The Never Ending Trip". I think there were at least 40 volumes produced. Hans started making these tapes of 45s from his collection around 1978; even Greg Shaw took some songs off of Hans' tape series to use in the Pebbles series. Here is a track listing from one of the volumes - most of these songs had not appeared on a garage comp yet (early '80s):
In the spring of 1991, my health was giving me fits...different ailments, all unrelated, as my (then) physician would lecture to me. "You're too young to have all of these aches and pains in your joints. Stop burning a candle at both ends.." blah blah blah. Well, besides being an idiot, said young doctor was right - I was working two jobs, plus playing guitar in a rock & roll group. Maybe I was wearing myself out. The next several months found more profound aches and pains, to the point of practically becoming immobile by early September. I finally got the correct diagnosis news from the 6th doctor I saw, and part of my recovery to regain mobility required lotsa downtime. No work, no band, nothing. Rest, lying flat out in a prone position.
I thought: "What the heck am I gonna do for three weeks? Why, spin my 45s!" I decided right then that since I'd be confined to home quarters for at least three weeks, I should start logging the details of my 45rpm 60s collection on 3 by 5 (inch) index cards for inventory and data purposes - all of those obscure, 1960s teenage member rock & roll combo 45s that everyone tags as garage 45s via today's vernacular. It took around two months of daily scribing to get the cards annotated. I still have the couple thousand cards, stored in a huge cardboard box on a shelf in the closet.
I had also been conversing with fellow '60s garage 45 collector compadres who were just as fanatical about the music as I, and one of my pals, an erudite young fella from Texas known as Don Julio Blanco tossed up an idea that I should get crackin' and author a reliable reference guide for the music we loved. I distinctly recall his comment: "Mike, YOU are the only guy insane enough to even consider tackling such a project." DJB also cajoled me into a wager, challenging that I would not complete this as-yet untitled book anytime prior to reaching the year 2000. I have since forgotten what the stakes were, since I lost...
Two things were absolutes, meaning that I would keep steadfast to my methodology: I had to travel to visit other collectors, and paw thru their 45s, in order to document 45s that I did not have myself, or had not documented elsewhere and 2 - I would transcribe all of the details directly off of the 45rpm record labels into notebooks. This ensured everything would be transcribed exactly as it was listed on the label, barring a mental goof on my part. For part 1 -
Every collector I was pals with readily agreed to grant permission for a visit and collection trawl. Lots of memorable road trips on vacation time with my garage fanatic pal Steve DiCo, as we traveled by car cross country, other than one time flying in and out of Las Vegas for a trip up to California to visit longtime collector friend Barry Wickham. That visit alone required two full 8 hour days to log details from his collection.
By the fall of 1995, I had accumulated enough verified and reliable information to finally start assembling a rough outline for the book. (I'll discuss my trips researching song copyrights in a future blog update). The book was initially intended to be a discography rounding up all known USA issued '60s era 45s with that garage" sound. I envisioned an accurate reference work; nothing like those Midwest Publications abominations that had been cranked out on the
cheap xerox machine, reliability of their content of less impact than healthy nutrients from fast food burgers. I also was not going to keep pumping out newer edition "updates" while expecting corrections from others to create updated information for another publication. Nope. I was going to get everything all in order before going to press. Here is an early draft sample of a discography page, created on an old IBM computer!
If I didn't own the 45, or know of the 45, I wanted to have a copy on cassette for archival purposes; thankfully, garage collector pals of mine agreed to swap sessions, where we would trade songs from our collections. Jeff in Florida, George in the Pacific Northwest, Brent in Vancouver, Tom in Cleveland, Mike in Pennsylvania, Mark in Kansas City, Missouri, Ray in Pennsylvania, and Bill here in Connecticut were the first grouping of guys to join the book contribution team. All these guys had more experience collecting than I, thee young upstart at the time. But all were eager to help me and desired the same result as I pledged to create in book form. My pal Greg, situated up in the frozen tundra area (Duluth, Minnesota) and I had accumulated enough songs between us to eventually trade 43 90 minute cassette tapes which commenced in 1992. We called our trades: "Swap Tapes". How original! Locations noted on the
sheets by Greg were often nothing more than guesstimations and heresay from other collectors. That's why everyone clamored for my book!
Here are the track listings of my requests from Greg, November and December, 1992. By October of 1994, we had already "swapped" 21 90 min cassette tapes back and forth. Remember, this was time period long before being able to find and obtain most everything music-related "instantaneously on demand" via the Internet and various on-line resources. The 'pre-net brigade of collectors had to work diligently to gain trust with other collectors - after all, you did not want your personally compiled set of songs absconded by someone in your network loop, then find out your song collection ended up (without being contacted, or credited) on the next volume of Highs In The Mid '60s, right, George?
By 1995, the general kidding and joking I got from everyone was along the lines of, "You'll Never Get It Done". Someone even suggested that for the title of the book. It's insanity! Mayhem!...Bingo! The title went off, like seeing Larry the Light bulb once again, from those infamous mid '60s public service announcements which aired on TV. Teenbeat Mayhem. Perfect. Teenbeat, arrived distilled from the phrase 'teenage rock & roll beat', which was the true identity of the music. Teenagers making music for teenagers. Of course, there are exceptions to that strict notion. I chose to avoid the term garage as a word within the main title, for that caused all sorts of headaches and strife with group member interviewees, as well as creating misinformed stereotypes from revisionists who were born of recent times (this topic is discussed in a chapter of the book).
Don Julio Blanco came to my page layout design rescue as the new millennium approached. Having contributed swap tapes of his own over the years, while working own his excellent '60s garage oriented magazine "Brown Paper Sack", DJB offered to try his hand a professional looking typeset page. Anything he could whip up would be an improvement over my limited ability working with word document design options. I sent him a sample page, and in a few days, he mailed a couple of copies of a sample page. I was psyched, as the sample typeset page looked
spiffy, with some crude black and white label scans tossed on the page. I started to think of ways to improve upon the quickly created design idea from DJB - TeenBeat Mayhem was going to be better than I had hoped!
After getting familiar with researching song copyright registrations at the Library Of Congress in Washington DC, I created a Help Wanted flyer in 1997, explaining my mission for TeenBeat Mayhem on the front, and on the reverse, a mini questionnaire and details page. I would mail letters to people who shared the same names of someone I was seeking to contact - someone who played in a given teenage combo. I mailed hundreds and hundreds of letters with the questionnaire via bulk mailings. For every 50 letters mailed, I would find the "right" person maybe half a dozen times.
I also sought a potential publisher for my book, and the one that stood out was a company based in Ann Arbor, Michigan - Popular Culture Ink. I spoke with the owner several times by phone; he was eager to publish a book that we knew would easily sell worldwide. But, when would I be done? I just couldn't give a deadline, for I was still researching locations of groups at that point, and adding more and more to the discography listings every week. For the hell of it, I threw out 1999, just to give a workable time frame. Wouldn't you know, 1999 also found yours truly hired by Rhino Records to provide information and double-check facts during the closing stages for the Nuggets 4 CD Box set. You can read my credit in the box set liner notes, with a mention of TeenBeat Mayhem, to be published in 1999!
Next up: The millennium comes and goes, while TeenBeat Mayhem grows by leaps and bounds....
We initially sent our completed pdf files to the book printer nearly two weeks ago, but the files were scrapped by the printer for pre-press / technical matters. Thus, my go-to team and I went back to work, plowing through each pdf file to ensure the specs required for this project were spot-on to the book printer's suggestions and requirements. It took some time, longer than I would have thought, but the TeenBeat Mayhem files are now on their way to the printer as of today. I will receive the proof copy of the text, and a proof of the book cover sometime during this upcoming week. Hurrah!
Thursday, May 24, 2012
Ever since I began work on this project, people located all over the world have been asking questions, wondering WHEN will the book be ready...well, the LONG wait is just about over!
A reference bible, to be published by Priceless Info Press, for all things concerning the topic of a rock & roll sub-genre tagged as '60s Garage'.
Playing in a rock & roll combo as a teenager during the '60s was the coolest fad around. Just ask anyone who was a teenager at that time. A proper, accurate account of this era has finally arrived, a 20 years in the making project that will soon be available. A hard cover edition, 400 pages chock full of information housed inside a cool, era-evocative high school yearbook design. Nope, no flimsy soft-cover or hair-thin inner pages that will fall out after 20 minutes. This is a book you can and will refer to, again and again.
The book commences, after kudos and tributes with a historical, time-line based recounting as things unfolded throughout the USA from then, right up to today. The chapter is sprinkled throughout with personal reflections and accounts as the story unfolds, from the folks who made it all happen. All sourced from personal interviews and contacts I have made, dating back to the early 1980s, when I did so for fun and personal curiosity - long before the idea of a book came to be.
TeenBeat Mayhem's features:
A massive, 228 page detailed 45rpm discography from A to Z, with late additions following, noting relevant releases which have that 'then in-vogue, '60s teenbeat sound. The group location / home town is noted as verified, or unverified; each listed 45 includes the month and year of release; any noteworthy facts and relevant cross references are noted. All this detail, coupled with our exclusive Garage-O-Meter rating system rankings, noting the song "quality, (i.e, how "good" it is from a fan and collector standpoint) from 1 on up to a perfect 10, as determined by consensus votes from a hand-picked record cabinet panel of contributors. And if that isn't enough, each song title is tagged by song "descriptions", so that anyone can have an idea as to what each song sounds like via a style or resemblance to another performer/group/song;
A song title index listing well over 17,000 titles;
Cool photos of teen combos, nearly all never seen/ published elsewhere;
A methodology discussing the construction of the discography portion of the book;
Other nifty features, such as the first recorded '60s efforts on 45s from later day worldwide recording stars and performers, handy guides to help identify bootleg and reissue 45rpm "garage" pressings; worthy references and on-line resources, a chapter finally answering, in an accurate and logical manner, what the term "garage" really identifies...
And the visual showpiece: The all-time, Top 1000 USA "Garage" songs, as tabulated from the Garage-O-Meter ranking votes are counted down from #1000 to #1 depicted not in a text listing, but via full color record label scans. Followed-up by several color pages of picture sleeves and jackets - 64 full color pages in all.
Latest news -The book is going to press mid June, 2012. Yes, it is DONE! More details to be noted soon. Forthcoming blog posts will tell the story of how the entire project came to be, with early examples. I hope the story of how TeenBeat Mayhem! has evolved through trial and error will be an enjoyable read for anyone who might be interested.
The Sounds Of 1960's Teenage America, as captured within my book, TeenBeat Mayhem!
Here you'll find all the latest news and updates on the book, plus examples of how it has evolved during the course of 20 years of work! And, a cool 45 or two as well, time permitting. Stay tuned!
Here you'll find all the latest news and updates on the book, plus examples of how it has evolved during the course of 20 years of work! And, a cool 45 or two as well, time permitting. Stay tuned!