In 1965 they were smoking pot with Hendrix, opening for the Byrds, the Doors and Love, but then The Sloths vanished, their recordings unavailable unless you wanted to spend $6,000 on eBay. More than 45 years later, they return! There was a Friday show at the Rockit Room, but this story could only happen at Oakland’s incredible Stork Club. The crowd was small but huge in its thirst for discounted PBR tallboys.
After two opening acts (keep reading!), The Sloths took the stage. Singer Hank Daniels looked like he could be Iggy’s brother with long straight hair and exposed six-pack. The band started off with the song often credited for the birth of punk, Love’s “7 and 7 Is.” Later they played Love’s version of Burt Bacharach’s “My Little Red Book.” Still later they covered “Hey Joe” with some Love touches as well. Seeing Love in the late 60s musta been life changing. Just listening to Forever Changes a few times can change you. The Sloths were clearly intimate with this material and brought out the full power of the songs. As “7 and 7 Is” came to its apocalyptic conclusion, Hank lifted his fingers and a small blast of flames came forth! For “My Little Red Book” he pulled out his very own little red book (and his iPhone) to demonstrate just how far we have come….or possibly how far we have gone astray? Cool classic covers continued with “Here Comes the Night” from Them.
I missed Tuci and the PJs but made it for Dukes of Hamburg featuring local dj Russell Quan. The guy has played drums for the Mummies, The Phantom Surfers, The Bobbyteens and more, but in the Dukes he is front and center screaming, blowin’ harp and bangin’ that tambourine. Fun 60’s nuggets determined to get yer ass shakin’. And no one shook it harder than Marc Ribak. Marc is another Bay area music madman. He’s the mastermind behind Berkeley’s Rock N Roll Adventure Kids. He played with Nobunny. And along with his fine lady Amy, Marcos created Total Trash Booking which has delivered 3 years of the super sleazy-delicious Total Trash Fest and much more including a load of work on this years uber fun n’ milky Burger Boogaloo.
Turns out Marcos was just warming up. As the clock passed 12:30, he strapped on a guitar and joined LA’s Wounded Lion to close out the evening. I’d imagined heading home ‘early’ after The Sloths, but simply could not. Wounded Lion had it going on. The sounds are catchy and invigorating pop. There’s a drummer plus a percussionist guy hopping like mad. He was sporting a Fungi Girls t-shirt. Clearly he knows his shit.