U.S. Naval Academy group The Spiffys create a monumental folk-rock jangler
The creator of long-forgotten ’60s garage compilation “Oil Stains – Volume 2” is a genius for recognising that “Dreams,” written by an American midshipman was a worthy sonic artifact.
“Oil Stains – Volume 2” on Bone Records was released in 1988, only 500 copies were pressed and they’re a rare find nowadays. The first volume came out at the start of the eighties and that is even harder to come by.
The Spiffys were a group of young amateur musicians who just happened to be at the U.S. Naval Academy at the same time and in 1968 recorded and released a self-financed LP to sell to their fellow midshipmen.
The Spiffys performed for their Academy and at nearby colleges during dances and shows. Most of their recordings were competent cover versions of the hits of the day. I’ve not heard any of these so am unable to provide any feedback but have read that they’re enjoyable blasts that include “Light My Fire” and “The Letter”.
Fortunately though, one of their numbers, the self-penned “Dreams” has been immortalized for ever on “Oil Stains – Volume 2” and has now received it’s praise on my blog.
Everything about “Dreams” is glorious garage folk-rock . . . the guitar tone, the backing organ patterns, the vocal lament and the manic machine-gun drum action.
“Dreams” was written by guitarist Larry Purdy, and his fine song can sit proudly next to other noble folk-rock janglers from the likes of The Roosters or The Dovers. I rate “Dreams” that highly!
The Spiffys in 1968 were:
Rich Petrino (vocals / percussion)
John Milner (vocals / drums)
Larry Purdy (vocals / guitar)
Mike Imeson (bass)
Mike May (vocals / organ)
“Dreams” was recorded at Recordings Incorporated, Baltimore, Maryland.
*** Italian garage band The Others recorded a version of “Dreams” in 1995.
The photos used in my YouTube video are of American model / actress Anne Randall and scanned from Playboy magazine – May 1967