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The Turtles / Flo & Eddie

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by Chief, Jun 21, 2019.

  1. kwadguy

    kwadguy Senior Member

    Location:
    Cambridge, MA
    To me the saga of Flo & Eddie has always seemed strange. There were the two albums on Reprise and the two on Columbia, where they were clearly still trying.

    And then they seemed to just give up being trying to be serious artists. A crappy jokey reggae album. A crappy jokey electronic music EP. Scattered crappy jokey songs.

    I bought most of it, but only because I kept hoping it would be better than it was.

    I know being cutups was always in their DNA. But at least they balanced that with some good songcraft up until a point.
     
    Revolver and Frank Discussion like this.
  2. James spencer

    James spencer Forum Resident

    Location:
    Ohio
    It is odd.
    I think at some point they just saw the writing on the wall and realized touring as the Turtles was where the income was going to come from.
    But as late as the early nineties they were still pretty much Flo and Eddie on tour. I caught them a few times around then and the show was the Flo and Eddie show with just a few Turtles tunes thrown in for good measure. At some point tho it became the Turtles show with just a hint of the Flo and Eddie experience.
     
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  3. Zappateer

    Zappateer Forum Resident

    Perhaps they found they made more money doing live shows, backup singing and radio. Didn’t they try to down play the comedy stuff as they went out touring as the Turtles again. By the way Howie’s book is great, it is a must read. Any word on Howie? I read a while back he cut out touring due to health reasons.
     
  4. bRETT

    bRETT Senior Member

    Location:
    Boston MA

    It sounds like these were the source interviews for all the liner notes of the original Rhino reissues. There was also a VHS tape of the Turtles story, including the now-viral clip about their various managers.
     
  5. Saganomics

    Saganomics Billions (and billions)

    Location:
    PacNW
    There seems to have been tension between Howard and Al, at least over songwriting. Don Murray cited it as one of the reasons he left in the happy together video. Howard has mentioned tension over songwriting in at least one interview I’ve read without naming names, and in speaking about why he would never reunite with the original Turtles he said that they broke up in part because they could not stand each other. Considering they speak rather fondly of John Seiter and asked Jim Pons to be part of the Zappa experience, that kind of narrows it down. In the “My Dinner With Jimi” movie the Al character says “there would be no Turtles without me” during an interview sequence, which is an interesting thing to write for that character to say. I have no idea whether this means there is still bad blood today, however. Al is still active as a guitar player, most recently in Reno with a band called Turtle Park.
     
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  6. pokemaniacjunk

    pokemaniacjunk Forum Resident

    Location:
    south paris maine
    the most I got is that he is resting, he doesn't seem to be on this year's tour but he does seem to be kinda active on twitter
     
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  7. pokemaniacjunk

    pokemaniacjunk Forum Resident

    Location:
    south paris maine
    it's great to hear atleast some news on Al
     
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  8. Saganomics

    Saganomics Billions (and billions)

    Location:
    PacNW
    Pretty difficult to find much information about the guy following the break up. His short quotes in the recent singles compilation are the only thing I’ve read of him speaking about the Turtles. It would be nice if there were at least an interview or two for his perspective considering he was the only one other than Howard and Mark to be there the entire time.
     
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  9. pokemaniacjunk

    pokemaniacjunk Forum Resident

    Location:
    south paris maine
    I wonder if Al would consider writing a book
     
  10. richierichie

    richierichie My glass is always full.

    This is a great thread. It has also cost me money, although I doubt I'll regret spending it. Although I own various Turtles comps and the CD box set I did not know anything about Flo & Eddie.

    I've rectified that by just now buying the two Flo & Eddie CD 2fers, Howard's 'Dust Bunnies' CD and his book.

    I always loved the music of The Turtles but remained ignorant of the band's history until this thread. I've converted several friends to their music who only were aware of 2 songs I doubt I have to name here.

    A question: has anyone had a problem with the Studio Albums Vinyl LP Box Set? I've had three of them and had to return all 3 because of badly warped LPs, caused I reckon by really tight shrink wrap. A pity because I'd love to have the LPs.
     
  11. Michael

    Michael I LOVE WIDE S-T-E-R-E-O!

    love the Turtles!...I have a strange associated memory; listening to Happy Together while I was making "Creepy Crawlers"...can't lose that memory! LOL...
     
  12. brownie61

    brownie61 Forum Resident

    Flo and Eddie could sing the phone book and make it sound great.

    I can listen to Rebecca for hours and not get tired of it.
     
  13. badfingerjoe

    badfingerjoe Senior Member

    Location:
    New Jersey
    I see the Flo & Eddie 2Fer CD's listed on Amazon and then I also notice the individual albums with their own label FloEdCo , the same label that issued the Turtles albums box set a few years ago. I've read that the 2Fers are not tape transfers ,so are the latest FloEdCo Cd's better remasters.
     
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  14. craymcla

    craymcla Forum Resident

    Location:
    Nashville, TN, USA
    Rhino also issued a 3 LP set in 1983 called The History of Flo and Eddie and the Turtles. (Actually 2 LPs plus a bonus disc with three live Turtles tracks from TV appearances.) It starts with a track from their high school chorus group, then a Crossfires track followed by 13 Turtles tracks. After 18 Flo and Eddie tracks it concludes with 21 music and interview tracks from their Flo & Eddie Radio Show. There's even a Rhythm Butchers medley.
     
    Frank Discussion likes this.
  15. joepepitone

    joepepitone A don't you know I got a rock hard reputation....

    Location:
    USA
    Flo and Eddie were the opening act on the Alice Cooper Billion Dollar Babies Tour in 1973. I saw them at Madison Square Garden.
     
  16. palisantrancho

    palisantrancho Forum Resident

    I love the Turtles and many of the albums they sang back up on, especially T. Rex and Psychedelic Furs. I have never listened much to the solo albums. I should further check those out. They even sang back up with The Ramones. :righton:

     
  17. craymcla

    craymcla Forum Resident

    Location:
    Nashville, TN, USA
    I suspect we read the same article. It was in Record Collector or something like that.

    When I saw Flo & Eddie on the Billion Dollar Babies tour, at one point Mark took off his guitar, put it on the floor and started beating it with the strap. It was a real hoot, and I knew this bit was a send up of Bolan. Several months later I saw T. Rex open for Humble Pie, and Bolan (wait for it...) took off his guitar, put it on the floor and started beating it with the strap. OMG! Volman wasn't satirizing Bolan, he was flat out making fun of him.
     
  18. craymcla

    craymcla Forum Resident

    Location:
    Nashville, TN, USA
    Mark himself told me that those 2Fers were not authorized and that the live Illegal, Immoral and Fattening had 2 seconds of silence between tracks.
     
  19. Hamhead

    Hamhead The Bear From Delaware

    I have 5 of the 45 EP's, all autographed by Howard, Mark and Jim Pons, all credited as "The Rhythm Butchers", I don't know where "Rytheme" came from.
    They're nothing great, just them goofing around stoned playing cover songs and stuff like "Dark Moon" and "Toot Toot Tootsie".
    From what I heard, there were supposed to be 12 volumes but stopped at 7.

    [​IMG]
     
  20. Hamhead

    Hamhead The Bear From Delaware

    If that guitar was a sunburst Telecaster (which Mark has), that was the one that Zappa played at the Rainbow where he was pushed off the stage.
     
  21. bRETT

    bRETT Senior Member

    Location:
    Boston MA
    It's three full LPs , with the track breakdown you mention. I am guessing it wasn't in print for very long because the unlicensed performers on the radio disc (Ringo, Bolan, Iggy etc) was a no- no and Rhino knew it.
     
  22. craymcla

    craymcla Forum Resident

    Location:
    Nashville, TN, USA
    Wow. I remember that it was a Tele, but I can't say for certain if it was sunburst. But I loved the show. I'm not sure you've really lived until you've seen a fat guy with no shirt on leaping about the stage with a Tele on. :winkgrin:
     
  23. craymcla

    craymcla Forum Resident

    Location:
    Nashville, TN, USA
    I believe (correct me if I'm wrong) that four of the Turtles, including Mark, were in High School chorus together. (Just like the Beach Boys.) They also played in a surf band, the Crossfires. From the liner notes of the Rhino release of The Crossfires - Out of Control:

    In February of 1963, Al Nichol, Chuck Portz and Howard Kaylan took a lunchtime meeting at the Westchester High School cafeteria to discuss the possibility of adding Mark Volman to their rocking teen-aged combo, The Crossfires. No one, including the portly Volman, knew exactly what his role was to be - The Crossfires were a surf band, you see - guitars (Al and assorted others), bass (Chuck), tenor sax (Howard), and drums (Don Murray). [Don went to a different school.] These aspiring lads were at that very moment making the transition from their former incarnation, The Nightriders, into what would become the Turtles after three years of teen clubs and sock hops.

    Volman's forte, it turned out, was the tambourine, and the ability to provoke laughter. (Later, when his father asked why Mark didn't make as much money as the rest of us, we explained that it was due to not playing a "real instrument". His dad bought him an alto sax immediately, and the two horn players began learning steps and harmonies.) Eventually Kaylan and Volman realized that they could sing. That was something few other surf bands could do... or were doing.

    Marks main role was backup harmonies. He only occasionally played guitar on the albums and not at all in concert as far as I know. And I'm not sure if he sang lead before Turtle Soup, although he may have on Battle of the Bands. But Howard briefly left the band before Turtle Soup, so other band members stepped up to take on lead vocals before Howard returned. As a result, Howard was not the sole lead vocalist on that album.

    But, boy, could Mark play tambourine. And I'm not joking. If you've ever seen him live you know what I'm talking about. Plus he brought scads humor and a good time feel to their performances like no other band. Look up the videos on YouTube. Or better yet, seek out the documentary referenced here, "The Turtles - Happy Together". (There also a German DVD if the same name that looks to be a compilation of TV performances.) You can't watch the Turtles play and not come away smiling. That's due to Mark.
     
  24. pokemaniacjunk

    pokemaniacjunk Forum Resident

    Location:
    south paris maine
    I don't know if it counts since they weren't release until 1970 but 2 of the songs on Wooden Head were sung by Mark
     
  25. craymcla

    craymcla Forum Resident

    Location:
    Nashville, TN, USA
    I'm a little late to this thread, started last June, but "The Florescent Leech and Eddie", their solo debut, is absolutely one of my desert island discs. I think it's the best example of Mark and Howard's harmonies there is. And what a band. (The Mothers without Zappa) It sounds like it should have been a Turtles album, a natural successor to Turtle Soup. Hell, half of the band played on Turtle Soup. Apparently they wanted to call it a Turtles album (were the legal problems resolved?) but Warners thought The Florescent Leech and Eddie would be better because of the Zappa connection.

    What interesting is that five songs from this and its follow-up, Flo & Eddie, were songs either recorded or demoed for Shell Shocked, the unfinished LP they were working on when the Turtles broke up. Those songs are "Goodbye Surprise", "There You Sit Lonely", and "Strange Girl" from the first album, and "If We Only Had the Time" and "Marmendy Mill" from the second. All of these are now included on the box set version of Turtle Soup.

    I like that second album, Flo & Eddie", but there's really a difference between the Volman/Kaylan produced first album and the Bob Ezrin produced second album. Unlike the first, they only wrote about half the songs. And it definitely sounds like an Ezrin record. The sublime and nuanced arrangements of the first album are largely gone, sadly. Still, it's my second favorite Flo & Eddie record.
     
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2020

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