The Flamin’ Groovies Classic ’70s Lineup Reunites for New Album: Exclusive
Bringing Chris Wilson back into the Flamin’ Groovies fold was as easy as riding the proverbial bike for mainstay Cyril Jordan.
Wilson makes his recording return on the upcoming Fantastic Planet — whose opening track “What The Hell’s Going On?” you can listen to here — the Groovies’ first album with the two founding members in 38 years. It comes after Wilson made a guest appearance with the group during 2013 in London, which led to him rejoining the band shortly thereafter. “We showed up at the gig and came in backstage and there was Chris. As soon as we saw each other it was hugs and kisses and we were back together,” Jordan recalls to Billboard. “We hadn’t decided to put the band back together, but the word got out that we were friends again and all of a sudden the offers started coming in. It was a nice kick start, and we’ve been going ever since.”
Recording some new music, then, was just a logical part of the continuum.
“Chris and I decided pretty early on to start writing originals and recording,” Jordan recalls. “Each time we got back together for a tour and rehearsed we got into the recording studio, too. It definitely came together gradually, in spurts. Two or three songs at a time. We started about two and a half years go, and the last session for the album was a week’s worth of work in October, and here it is.”
Fantastic Plastic comes out Sept. 22, and Jordan considers “What The Hell’s Going On” to be a slice of what most would consider classic Groovies sound. “We love the Rolling Stones and we loved the Beatles, so we tried to get inspired by those two realms of British music — the pop side and the R&B/rock side,” Jordan explains. “I figured, let’s get started with a Stones-type tune from a guitar point of view, namely around the period of Exile On Main St. The idea of the song, basically, was ‘What the hell IS going on?’ Nobody knows what’s going on. It’s a real good phrase, an old-fashioned phrase from way back, but the way things are in the world today, I thought it was appropriate to say something like, ‘Hey, things are pretty weird, what the hell IS going on.'”
Jordan painted the cover illustration for Fantastic Plastic as a homage to Mad Magazine‘s late resident artist Jack Davis. The album features founding Groovies bassist George Alexander and latter-day drummer Victor Penalosa, along with Tubes drummer Prairie Prince and members of the Fabulous Thunderbirds, as well as covers of NRBQ’s “I Want You Bad” and the Beau Brummels’ “Don’t Talk To Strangers.”
When the Groovies hit the road, meanwhile, Jordan and Wilson will be joined by bassist Chris von Sneidern and drummer Tony Sales, grandson of the late Soupy Sales and son of Tin Machine’s Tony Sales. “Those guys are really, really professional,” Jordan says. “We get along really well and they’re having a ball and they know the tunes. Everybody sings in the band, so it’s really good right now.” The tour kicks off Aug. 22 in Worcester, Mass, with two U.S. legs and a European tour, and if Jordan has his way the group will remain a going concern for the foreseeable future.
“This is a big deal; we’ve been working towards this moment for, like, 50 years,” Jordan says. “Basically we’re doing what we’ve always been doing, trying to make a better record than the one we made before. When we started this thing up again we were obligated to do certain songs, but we’re now at a point where we have a whole new set of original stuff, and I’m real excited about it. We’ve got more originals in the set now than we’ve had, ever. More people have been noticing us, too. We’ve been getting a lot of young girls at our shows in places like Sweden and Hollywood and the Midwest. As soon as the young kids see it and hear it they go, ‘Oh, yeah, this is great.’ That’s very strange to us — like, what the hell IS going on?’ But we like it.”
Flamin’ Groovies Tour Dates
Tues., Aug 22 WORCESTER, MA Ralph’s Diner
Wed., Aug 23 NEW HAVEN, CT Cafe Nine
Thurs., Aug 24 PHILADELPHIA, PA Johnny Brenda’s
Fri., Aug 25 BROOKLYN, NY Rough Trade
Sat., Aug 26 WASHINGTON DC Hill Country Live
Thurs., Aug. 31 MALMO (SWE) (venue TBA)
Sat., Sept. 2 ROSKILDE (DK) Gutter City Festival
Mon., Sept. 4 LA CORUNA (SP) Garufa Club
Wed., Sept. 6 AVILES (SP) Niemayer
Thurs., Sept. 7 BILBAO (SP) Cafe Antzokia
Fri., Sept. 8 MADRID (SP) Sala Caracol
Sat., Sept. 9 SAIT BOIX (SP) Festival Altaveu
Tues., Sept. 12 TOULOUSE (FR) Connexion
Wed., Sept. 14 PARIS (FR) La Maroquinerie
Fri., Sept. 15 NANCY (FR) Chez Paulette
Sat., Sept. 16 MONTBELIARD (FR) Atelier Des Moles
Tues., Sept. 19 MANCHESTER (UK) Ruby Lounge
Wed., Sept. 20 BRISTOL (UK) The Fleece
Thurs., Sept. 21 LONDON (UK) Under the Bridge
Fri., Sept. 22 AMSTERDAM (NL) QFactory
Thurs., Oct. 19 CHICAGO, IL S.P.A.C.E. in Evanston
Fri., Oct. 20 NEWPORT, KY Southgate House Revival
Sat., Oct. 21 CLEVELAND, OH Beachland Ballroom
Wed., Oct 24 NASHVILLE, TN Basement East
Thurs., Oct 25 ST. LOUIS, MO Ready Room
Fri., Oct 26 KANSAS CITY, MO Knuckleheads
Bang? Bert Berns Tribute feat Flamin’ Groovies, Betty Harris, Matt Jaffe, Shana Morrison & More! October 11th at The Sweetwater Music Hall.
Flamin’ Groovies “Let Me Rock”
B-side of the European release of “Crazy Macy” single, Otis Premium Recordings, 2016.
For your listening pleasure below, check out the first studio recording of “Let Me Rock”, which is also the first song that Cyril and Chris Wilson wrote together back in 1971!
7″ available for purchase at Striped Music, copy the link below and paste it into your web browser.
Cyril met with his longtime good friend John Wicks from the legendary power pop group, The Records. They had a brief visit in Los Angeles where Cyril approached John about covering The Records song “Starry Eyes” for the Flamin’ Groovies live sets. They also discussed doing some shows together in the future.
Today = August 31st is Cyril Jordan’s Birthday!
Cyril just created a new poster to celebrate some upcoming shows… (with additional graphics and color by Dennis Loren)
Here’s the official word on this little mini-tour…
Burger Records and Ugly Things Magazine Present: The Flamin’ Groovies, The Pandoras and The Loons for two very special shows!
Friday, September 2nd – San Diego, w/ The Pandoras and The Loons at The Casbah!
Saturday, September 3rd – Los Angeles, w/ The Pandoras and The Loons at Bootleg Theater
Sunday, September 4th – Phoenix, Rhythm Room w/ The Rebel Set
GET YOUR TICKETS NOW!!
New Flamin’ Groovies single on Otis Tours Premium Recordings is available for pre-order at the Striped cavern!
To celebrate their 50th anniversary, we’re finally re-releasing the new 7-inch vinyl single “Crazy Macy” by legendary punk forefathers and powerpop pioneers the Flamin’ Groovies!!
Originally released by Burger Records for Record Store Day (April 16 , now it gets a re-release with new vinyl cutting and brand new cover artwork by Dennis Loren.
Written by Groovies founder Cyril Jordan and longtime lead singer Chris Wilson, “Crazy Macy” is the band’s first new record in 30 years. The song was inspired by an episode of the TV show The Untouchables. It was about a crazy woman in Chicago who went on a bank-robbing shooting spree with a Thompson submachine gun. In the show, Walter Winchell says, ‘She went down in a hail of bullets!’
Additionally, the single will feature the B-side “Let Me Rock,” which was the first track penned by Jordan and Wilson in the early ’70s but was only officially recorded recently. “’Let Me Rock’ is the very first song Chris Wilson and I ever wrote together… right when he first moved in with us in my mother’s house,” Jordan recalls.
Limited edition of 1000 copies, 100 on colored vinyl (lime yellow!)
Flamin' Groovies "Crazy Macy" (Music Video)
Here it is folks! The new music video for "Crazy Macy" the latest single from the Flamin' Groovies on Burger Records. The video features footage from The Incredible Flamin' Groovies Movie directed by William Tyler Smith and Kurt Feldhun.
Posted by Flamin' Groovies on Monday, April 11, 2016