A few weeks ago I spoke with Chris Bishop, otherwise known as the man behind the great website Garage Hangover, which recalls obscure '60s garage-rock bands so you don't have to. After a few visits in recent months, I wondered: What fuels his interest, especially given the amount of Dallas bands that have appeared on the site?
"Well, first, the scene there was so great," said Bishop, who lives in upstate New York after a stint in Houston. He was a collector who became a devotee. "And when I'd get a record I'd find more information and hope to tell a story, and if there was nothing out there I'd post. I've tried to cover bands that haven't been covered in detail, which is why I haven't covered the well-known acts. I figure if I can't add anything new to it, why bother."
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Which brings us to The Rain Kings.
On occasion I'll browse eBay to see if there's a hard-to-find oldie-but-goodie floating around, and over the weekend I stumbled across this one, up for grabs for the not-inexpensive starting bid of $99.99. Says the seller, it's rare all right: "ONE OF ONLY 100 PRESSED!" Really? Really. That's what Rain King Richard Parker, a Bryan Adams product like his bandmates, told Bishop when he provided Garage Hangover a brief, hilarious history of the long-forgotten Rain Kings ("a name that will live in anonymity") in 2008. Wrote Parker, the four-song single was cut at Sellers Company Recording Studio in 1965 ... all four songs in about 17 minutes, give or take.
This turned out to be more than enough and we spent the last five minutes smoking cigarettes and planning our Grammy acceptance speeches. In the session, four lasting musical memories were perpetrated: "Lydia," "Everybody Out of the Pool," "Lewis Lewis" and the tune which would inevitably become our signature song, "I Know What You're Trying To Do (But You Can't Get Away With It)."
Lydia had lyrics that were so bad that even The Rain Kings were embarrassed by them (including the immortal line "If you should leave, my name is Steve.")
We decided to go for broke and pressed one hundred copies of our record, and in six short months we had sold almost one-third of them for a clear profit of sixteen cents.
You've got four days left to bid on the single ... or you could download all four tracks, plus the unreleased "I'm a Little Fat Boy," from Garage Download. And you know what? Kinda genius.