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Monday, June 10, 2013


Some of the best executed garage rock records were cut in Texas, and this incredible track is certainly at the upper echelon of the era.

Between the confident and tight musicianship and vocals and the frightening, intense lyrics, it's hard to believe that this record is the work of a teenage band- especially one from the suburbs of Fort Worth.

The record was initially cut as 'Night Of The Sadist", but producer Major Bill Smith made the group go back into the studio and overdub the word "Phantom" (after first suggesting "burglar") over the already recorded track each time the word "sadist" was sung. I can definitely hear the remnants of of the "s" sound of "sadist", especially with headphones. Although the word change was made as a commercial consideration (the producer felt that no radio station would allow the word sadist on the air), I think the song is WAY better as "phantom", as it invokes a certain type of imagery that makes the record even more powerful. Plus, they cranked up the reverb on the "night of the phantom" lines (undoubtedly to cover up remnants of the sadist) which ends up being an ultra cool touch that just makes the record even spookier.

Of course, this was EDGY stuff for 1965, and even though the record was picked up from its initial local pressing by 20th Century Fox Records, it went nowhere commercially and is a highly sought out record in either pressing.

Funny how the two songwriting band members (vocalist Larry Roquemore and Larry Slater) are listed by their first names (Larry-Larry) for the writers credit.

from 1965...



Morgan Young said...

That's a hell of a nice record to have in your collection. I personally prefer the sadist version, but as that was never officially released, you gotta take this with a big smile. Such a nerdy looking band, and you get this cryptic tale. I love it.


tut said...

very cool! thanks

Tonypop said...

greetiings from italy...
great blog and super great stuff, i remember many years ago when i heard this song in a Crypt comp and i star to play garage punk...

Smokee Monkee said...

The producer (Major Bill Smith) used Ray Hildebrand (Ray was "Paul" in "Paul & Paula" who had a #1 hit with "Hey Paula" in 1963)to overdub the new "night of the phamtom yeah-uh" over the original "Sadist" version.
Poor Larry Roquemore, who sang the original, found out about the change when he heard the overdubbed version on the radio while working at his job as a dishwasher.

Aleks said...

A bitchin' song that is.
The original "Night of the Sadist" version is on Youtube, and lthough I definitely agree with you on the overcranking on the reverb being a blessing disguise I think "Sadist" works much better in the greater scheme of the lyrics.
Still, a beautiful track anyway you cut it.