‘Attack Of The Jersey Teens’ (Bona Fide Records BFR-NJ-6601) 1984
One of the first 60s garage comps I bought was ’Attack Of The Jersey Teens’ in late 1984 or early ’85. I would have bought this in the same order from Funhouse Records with other acclaimed garage comps ’Back From The Grave Volumes 1 & 2’.
To say those three comps had an impact on my life is an understatement. I was always fascinated by the picture on the front of the ’Jersey Teens’ comp. Look at those young lads. The lead guitarist was 14 years old at the time. His lead guitar breaks on The Young Monkeymen 45s are killer.
I just LOVE this comp and it’s been one of my very favourite collections for almost 40 years. Amazing how time flies. When I started collecting 45s in earnest about 20 years ago I decided to focus some of my attention on the discs released by groups from the small State of New Jersey. I’ve acquired quite a few over the years including most from ’Attack Of The Jersey Teens.’
There are plenty other cool 45s by the likes of The Satyrs, The Yorkshire Puddin’, The Trees, The Bucaneers’s, The Abstract Sound, Galaxies IV and The Myddle Class…plus others…
THE CALLIOPE – ’KALEIDOSCOPE – CALLIOPE’/’EVERYBODY’S HIGH’ (AUDIO SEVEN 151/153) 196?
At least two other outfits in America went by the name of The Calliope. This particular group from Short Hills, NJ should not be confused with the Calliope from Santa Barbara who recorded for Epic and Shamley or the one from Seattle who released an album called ’Steamed’ on Buddah.
The New Jersey Calliope came to my attention way back in the 80s with their killer ‘Streets Of Boston’ which was compiled on ’Attack Of The Jersey Teens.’ When I started to collect original 45s I made a decision to find all of the the records used for that comp and Calliope were top of my list.
Not much has been written about Calliope and information seems to be at a premium. Not even the guide ’Teenbeat Mayhem’ could confirm a release date or even year for that matter of the two discs Calliope put out. All four songs were written by James Bentley. My research has drawn a blank so hopefully someone who knows more will get in touch with me.
’Kaleidoscope – Calliope’ is wondrous basement psych full of echoed vocals with a fragile melody held together by some heavy bass and primitive drum action. The liners of ’Attack Of The Jersey Teens’ describe this 45 as ’awful but amusing’. They didn’t even bother to compile the song or the flip ’Everybody’s High’ which is of a similar lo-fi psych quality and is as fragile as butterfly wings.
THE CALLIOPE – ’STREETS OF BOSTON’/’AWOSTING (THE TRUTH)’ (AUDIO SEVEN MG 152/154) 196?
Probably the most well known Calliope 45 is the crude garage psycher ’Streets Of Boston’ which was compiled on the early 80s LP ’Attack Of The Jersey Teens’. Notable for it’s primitive guitar riffs and clattering tambourine throughout. I think it’s a monster of a song but it rarely gets talked about.
The flip ’Awosting (The Truth)’ is an atmospheric psychedelic ballad with one of those strange song titles that needs investigation. At first I thought it could be simply a typo on the label and should have read ’Awaiting (The Truth)’ but I soon realised with a spot of googling that Awosting is a place in New Jersey.
Once again, both songs were written by James Bentley. His skill at writing introspective psych songs makes him one of my ’Flower Bomb Songs’ minstrels and someone I’m sure would have went onto other music after Calliope ceased to be.
I’ve recently made contact with Jimmy Bentley, the leader of The Calliope and he provided me with the following information.
Jimmy: ”To answer your question on the word ”Awosting.” It is a town in northern New Jersey, USA (I live on the New Jersey Shore) I first saw that word on a friend’s T-shirt, and it cracked me up, so we used it to mean ”Party”!
”Streets of Boston”—the first ”Drum Sound” you hear was a ”Drum Machine” or ”Rhythm Ace” (very old-fashioned & ”corny”) it sounded so humorous, had to use it!
We turned it up loud so it would distort! – then I screamed out ”Look out! It’s the mad Armenian Monsters, oh no!
All tunes recorded in Short Hills, NJ, USA”
”We only printed up a small amount of those 45’s back in 67 or 68 (I forget which!)
Sold locally in a few neighbouring towns Millburn, Short Hills, Summit, Morristown, New Providence (North New Jersey). We took 2 real cool pictures of the band– I’ll try to send them to you.