Willie the Lizard & Vince Wallander’s 1st Pink Floyd Special on KFAI Fresh Air Radio’s ‘Monkey Island’ program, 198717 Feb
I’ve seen the Batson brothers live in concert in one form or another more than any other band . Bill & Ernie are my bona-fide heroes.
King Kustom & The Cruisers is the name of the Batson’s 1970s outfit; they played mostly ’50s covers with a lotta Elvis & Conway thown in. KK&C played Christine & my wedding dance on November 4th, 1995 at the Grand Ballroom at The St Paul Hotel. Don Bailey made a good recording onto two cassettes- all three sets. A few songs from that fabled evening are presented here. Still kicking, you could have seen King Kustom last night at Dusty’s Bar in Minneapolis- they’re still “knockin’ ‘em dead” said Vandy via twitter. The photos enclosed are from our actual wedding album, how rad is that??!!??
The Hypstrz were started in the late 1970s by the Batsons and made one of Minnesota’s top five LPs of all-time (“Hypstrization” 1980 Voxx Records, reissued on wax a few years ago). Their self-titled 7″ EP from 1979 on Bogus Records was my portal into ’60s garage rock, thanks to the mail man at my parents’ house at the time. I had an early version of a boombox in 1980 and had taped Mike Reiter’s copy of the EP onto a cassette. As I was walking home from high school one day blaring the EP, the mail man came running up to me with an excited look & expression: “THAT SONG! THAT SONG was done a long time ago by a local band called THE LITTER! I explained to him that THIS version was done by a new local band called The Hypstrz; we proceeded to turn each other onto two unknown local bands from two different eras. Rick the mail man (thanks, wherever you are!) made me cassettes of The C.A. Quintet, The Litter, T.C. Atlantic, and a few local 1960s garage rock singles, with KDWB jingles thrown in between songs for local flavor. He changed my life, and so did The Hypstrz that day. The track here is a Hypstrz original from the “Burger Corpse” cassette from 1983, thanks to Lee Engele for giving the the go-ahead to post it.
The Mighty Mofos were started by The Batsons in the early 1980s. Many a night were spent by my friends and I at The 7th Street Entry & Uptown Bar watching The Mighty Mofos. They took much of the ’60s garage rock ethos that The Hypstrz had & super-charged it with The MC5 & a wider set of influences (’70s hard-core funk, The Dictators, Flamin’ Groovies, etc). I always likened it to Ernie’s amp turned up to 11- definitely the loudest local band I’ve ever heard, and that’s a good thing. The Mofos released one LP, one 12″ EP, one 7″ single, and one CD. I have a cassette of The Mighty Mofos live in concert, one side is from The 7th Street Entry and was broadcast on KFAI around 1984, the other side is live at The Rat nightclub in Boston, 1987.
Thank you to Bill Batson for giving me the green light to put these tracks up for you to hear.
King Kustom & The Cruisers “Bonie Maronie”
King Kustom & The Cruisers “Nervous Breakdown”
King Kustom & The Cruisers “Love Me”
King Kustom & The Cruisers “Lonely Blue Boy”
King Custom & The Cruisers bouquet toss & “Party Doll”
The Hypstrz “I Live In a City That Rocks”
The Mighty Mofos “I Need You (7th St Entry)”
The Mighty Mofos “Slow Death (7th St Entry)”
The Mighty Mofos “Astro Boy (The Rat club, Boston)”