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Fans of the Dallas garage-rock scene of the 1960s speak with reverence of a few tracks, among them Mouse and the Traps's "Maid of Sugar, Maid of Spice," the Five Americans' "I See the Light," the The Esquires' "Come On, Come On" (which had all but been forgotten when I wrote about the band in '98) and, of course, Kenny & the Kasuals' "Journey to Tyme." But atop that particular stax o' wax sits one particularly noteworthy entry: The Gentlemen's fuzzy-wuzzy "It's a Cry'n Shame," released on Vandan Records in 1966 and made famous (as it were) only later, when it was among the prized proto-punk obscurities included on Pebbles Vol. 5.
You can download the '66 single here courtesy drummer Tim Justice, among the Oak Cliff boys who made up the band fronted by would-be legend Seab Meador. Justice serves up a lengthy history-of, including tales of the band's opening for James Brown at Memorial Auditorium in '66 and how the kids from Kimball landed that recording "deal" with Vandan and how this perfectly prepped combo platter of "barnstorming drumming, scorching fuzz guitar complete with ripping break, bass alternately swooping and thumping [and] distinctive vocals" wound up becoming what The Onion's A.V. Club called not so long ago "one of the best garage tracks of the '60s -- from teenagers or otherwise."
And while The Official Single became semi-famous, the demo-version acetate -- recorded, like all Gentlemen sessions, at Boyd Recording Service -- has become extraordinarily valuable. George Gimarc shot me a note yesterday saying that mint copies of 'em -- and there are said to be but five in existence -- normally sell for around $800. But yesterday one went for upwards of $3,100 on eBay, this copy having once belonged to the band's roadie. Says George, "This version is superior, a more raw, ripped-out version of the record." And: "It's monster rare." I know how you can get your own copy right now ... for free.