roy loney - The I-94 Bar

Greatness in the grooves

between the linesBetween The Lines: The Complete Jordan-Wilson Songbook ’71-’81 - The Flamin’ Groovies (Grown Up Wrong! Records)
I’ll Have a…Bucket of Brains! The Original 1972 Rockfield Recordings for UA - The Flamin’ Groovies (Grown Up Wrong! Records)

Keeping track of the Flamin’ Groovies discography used to be harder than Chinese arithmetic. Multiple line-ups on a slew of labels - major, independent or indecent, depending on who you believed - and a dizzying array of re-issues, compilations and live sets made it hard work.

Like everything else, the Interwebs changed that. Resources like Allmusic and Discogs allow you to thread your way - relatively coherently - though the back catalogue to make some sense of it.

“Between The Lines” is a clever concept: It compiles the original songs of the “second” Groovies from their salad pop days and strips out the covers.

New 45 recaptures the Groovies' glory

crazy macyAs the Flamin’ Groovies celebrate 50 years with a special gig in San Francisco this week, DAVE "DOG MEAT" LAING checks out their new single vinyl seven-inch, "Crazy Macy" b/w "Let Me Rock"...

Okay, so the Flamin’ Groovies have a new single out for Record Store Day, on the very cool Californian Burger Records label. This is exciting stuff – even more exciting than walking into my first Groovies show on the ’86 Australian tour, seeing they had a new single (“Way Over My Head’ b/w ’Shakin’’) for sale, and buying five copies of it because I never knew if I’d see it again.

That was what, maybe five or six years since their previous release, the “River Deep Mountain High” single? This one comes more than 25 years since we’ve heard anything new from the band – a long fucking time.

Of course the Groovies, with ’71-’80 lead singer Chris Wilson back in place, have been back in action since the second-last Dig It Up! Festival in Australia a few years back.

While we Down Under may have copped them a tad underdone (the Caravan Club show on Melbourne was sensational though), a look at more recent YouTube footage shows the band firing on all cylinders and sounding very much like they must’ve live in ’75 or so, on the cusp of releasing the landmark “Shake Some Action” LP.

Rocking for Roy

loney tribute

San Francisco will be the place to be in February when a stack of friends and former bandmates pay tribute to the late Roy Loney.

The original lead singer for the Flamin’ Groovies passed away in December at the age of 73 after complications from surgery. Loney was with the band for two of its greatest albums, "Flamingo" (1970) and "Teenage Head" (1971) and went on to a long solo career.

One of his bands, The Phantom Movers, will be part of the tribute gig, as well as the current line-up of trhe Flamin ' Groovies, frmted by Cyril Jordan. Jello Biafra, Peter Case and Yo La Tengo members Ira Kaplan and Georgia Hubley are among other guests.

Stars give Roy Loney a fitting farewell

roy billboard

Gonna Rock Tonight: A Tribute To Roy Loney
The Chapel, San Francisco, USA
Friday, February 21, 2020

Roy Loney’s passing on December 13, 2019 was a very sad day for the music and arts community. He last appeared on stage May 29th, 2019 at the the second warm up show for the Flamin’ Groovies' "Teenage Head" European tour. Always the trooper, Roy continued to perform live despite his declining health. Sadly Roy was forced to pull out of the tour after collapsing at San Francisco Airport.

"Gonna Rock Tonight: A Tribute To Roy Loney" brought together many of the musicians he’d worked with, musical friends and fans for a night to remember Roy.

Tales from James Ferrell, The Phantom Groovie

groovies cretell france 1972The Flamin' Groovies in Paris in 1972 with James Ferrell at right. 

Long obscured in the Flamin’ Groovies behind Cyril Jordan, Roy Loney, Chris Wilson and even tight-lipped man of mystery, George Alexander, guitarist James Ferrell is a key player in the band’s story. Along with his best pal Danny Mihm, James served in both the Loney-fronted and Wilson-fronted incarnations of the Groovies, and in Loney’s brilliant subsequent band, Roy Loney & The Phantom Movers.

James climbed aboard the Groovies train, replacing Tim Lynch, in Roy’s final days – he plays on the classic 1971 Fillmore recording that’s been released on both Voxx and Norton as well as other labels – and lasted through to 1976. He took part in the early European sojourns, their time with UA in London and the prime days of their relationship with Dave Edmunds and Rockfield Studios. That relationship produced game-changing 45’s, including “Slow Death” and “You Tore Me Down”, as well as the landmark and hugely influential "Shake Some Action" album.

James was there for the band’s legendary shows with the Ramones – on the 1976 Bicentennial bill in London and in LA - before departing the band and ultimately falling back in with Roy and Danny.

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