September 1, 2012


For garage fans, this disc rounds out the trifecta of killer Planet label releases (in good company with the Malibus and Shawkey Se'au, natch). The fast 'n frantic instrumental a-side "Blast Off" was comped on the "Strummin' Mental Volume 2" LP in the mid-1980s, though the single itself has proven incredibly elusive through the years. This may be due to the fact that the record never made it past the "Radio Station Copy" promotional stage: no blue-label stock copies were ever pressed. The ballad flipside, typical for the time, is a moody teen tale of love gone bad. We caught up with band leader Michael Russo and he gave us this info behind the Cranston, R.I.-based band:
"As for the year I started the band, it would have been 1961. I was 14. We played for school dances, weddings, showers, Knights of Columbus dances, and appeared on Hootenanny, a local TV show, and a local country and western TV show named for the star, Eddie Zack, because my uncle Bill Zompa was his drummer. We were the first band to open a show at a now-defunct amusement park named Crescent Park in East Providence, with Little Eva ("Locomotion") and Freddie "Boom Boom" Cannon ("Palisades Park"). The band had five players, me on lead guitar and vocals, Carmine Albano on organ, Morris LeBelle on bass, Lou Pazienza on sax, and Dave Tancredi on drums. After that I lost track of everyone."
Rip It Up R.I. would like to acknowledge the deceased brothers Donald and Aleck DePetrillo, who also performed with the Montereys.

Russo later played in a surf-pop group, playing songs by the likes of the Beach Boys and Jan And Dean, but despite an original tune called "Vicki," no recordings were ever made.

Blast Off / You Never Cared
(No. 57) 1965

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