MARCEL AZZOLA, Last Night, 1961

“New Accordion Rock” was just another trick to get teenagers to buy a record made by a bunch of professional French musicians. I don´t think it worked. Teenagers were much smarter than that. They knew that accordions just don´t rock.

However if you close your eyes and simply listen to Last Night, a cover version of the Mar-Keys instrumental soul classic, and imagine not to be somewhere in a café along the river Seine but way over the Atlantic ocean in a state named after the King of France, this could be a song played by Nathan Abshire or Clifton Chenier. Well, at least for a couple of seconds and when they were on a slow night.

I still like these songs. Except for: “Love doesn´t exist”. With that I wholeheartedly disagree…

MARCEL AZZOLA, Last Night, 1961

MARCEL AZZOLA, Daniela, 1961

MARCEL AZZOLA, Tossin´and Turnin´, 1961

MARCEL AZZOLA, Non esiste l´amor (L´amour n´existe pas), 1961


LOS APSON, Desilusion, 1967

Los Apson were among the most well-known Mexican beat group of the 60´s. I first heard of them when I bought the Mexican Rock´n´Roll Rumble And Psych-Out South Of The Border bootleg LP in the mid-90´s. That record was put out by some record collectors from California who would find Mexican records either in California or when they would cross the border. Here in Berlin  original Mexican records hardly ever show up, so of course I picked this 45 in the plain but striking Peerless label company sleeve up, when I saw it in a Lisbon record shop.

Los Apson seem to still be performing in Mexico. I bought a legit Los Apson CD published by the same independent Peerless label, the oldest record company in Mexico that has since been bought by Warner, in the late 90´s on my one and only trip to Mexico. My girlfriend and me were on vacation and I didn´t really get the chance to do any real record shopping.  I randomly bought a couple of Mexican LP´s but found no Mexican rock´n´roll. My girlfriend still makes fun of me, because one of the shops ripped me off when they sold me a shrink-wrapped LP that later when I opened it, only contained some cardboard paper.

This is not the most rockin´ of Los Apsons´45´s but it´s the one I got.   Nunca se lo digan is a cover version of  I´m so lonesome I could cry by Hank Williams. Despite the title Desilusion has a nice easy-going vibe and a cool guitar break.

LOS APSON, Desilusion, 1967

LOS APSON, Nunca se lo digan, 1967

ENRIQUE LYNCH, Merengue Tropical, 1967

I don´t know much about latin american music or merengue and  quite obviously took an interest in this record for other reasons,  than the music. So I can´t say if this is good merengue or only average merengue, but when I listened to it it in a Lisbon  record shop I  enjoyed it enough to buy it. The record was made in Portugal but apparently Enrique Lynch was a fairly well-known Peruvian orchestra leader.

The back of the sleeve lists two previous merengue EP´s on the Alvorada label. So here´s more merengue…

ENRIQUE LYNCH E SUA ORCHESTRA, Merengue Tropical, 1967



ENRIQUE LYNCH E SUA ORCHESTRA, Besos de Fuego (El Choclo), 1967

ART HEATLIE EN SY KERELS, Marie Sarais, 1963

Over the past 30 years of record collecting  I have found records from France, Peru, Mexico but never ever from Southern Rhodesia! To be honest, I didn´t even know where exactly Southern Rhodesia  is, or rather was . It´s located next to South Africa and now called Zimbabwe. The front cover even has a little sticker in the upper left corner from the shop where it was purchased, Radiocity of Salisbury. Salisbury is now Harare, the largest city and capital of  Zimbabwe.

The Dutch owner of the house we stayed at in Portugal was crazy about this record when I showed it to him.  Sarie Marais is a  famous traditional South African songs and was also well-known in Holland in the 50´s. Afrikaans, the language these songs are sung in,  is a daughter language of  Dutch, originating in its 17th century dialects. Being in his late 60´s, it sure inspired a feeling of nostalgia in the owner of our house.  The Dutch Instro Rock Classics blog has a cool post on the origin of the song and also a collection of much better rock´n´roll versions of Sarie Marais.

This record is a mix of  South-african songs, called Boeremusik. It sounds like it was recorded at a camp fire or in a barn. Whatever it is about, it´s my first record from Southern Rhodesia!

ART HEATLIE EN SY KERELS, Marie Sarais, 1963

ART HEATLIE EN SY KERELS, Die ou Kalahari/Tahiti, 1963

ART HEATLIE EN SY KERELS, Daar kom die Alibama/Hiers ek weer/Bokkie, 1963

ART HEATLIE EN SY KERELS, Jan Pierewiet/O Brandewyn laat my staan/Daar doer in die Bosveld, 1963

Lisbon – Portugal

Thanks to the nice people of Jungle World – the weekly newspaper that´s been printing my comic strip Bigbeatland for the past eight years – I spent the last week in Portugal. Every year the staff of Jungle World makes a two-week work/vacation in a preferably warmer country. We go to the beach, swim in the ocean and at the same time produce an issue of our paper about the country we stay in. So far I´ve been to Turkey, Majorca and Cyprus with the Jungle gang. This year we had only one week, but it was the most luxurious one so far.

Our house was located 50 kilometers outside of Lisbon and we had rented three cars to take our group of 12 people around. We visited Casa Amarela, a Lisbon squat that is soon going to be demolished and I painted on a wall together with artists of the Lisbon comic art collective Chili Com Carne.

One day I was lucky and went surfing with a small group of  our Jungle World staff for the first time. The two hours  in the ocean were really exhausting, but I really want to try it again. Two days I went M.I.A and stayed with Marcos Farrajota, editor of the Chile Com Carne publishing company, in his Lisbon appartement. While there, we did this jam-comic together, which is published today in Jungle World.

Thanks to Marcos for his hospitality and thanks to the whole Chili Com Carne gang! Lisbon is awesome!

Holt euch ma´ne Jungle am Kiosk!  Deutschlands krazymässigste Zeitung und ihre Redaktion zusammen unterwegs in Portugal! Wir haben viel erlebt! Diese Ausgabe lohnt sich! Echt! Natürlich genau so wie jede Ausgabe der Jungle World auch …

HERMÍNIA SILVA, A Hermínia canta Yé Yé, 1970

Of course while in Lisbon, I also took some time to go look for records. I didn´t find any of the stuff  that is featured on the three volumes of  the Portuguese Nuggets compilation LP series that Marcos had at his appartement. No cool Portuguese 60´s beat, surf or garage rock. What I found was fado, a very Portuguese type of music that mostly sounds like a lot of  whining and moaning. But that´s just on the surface, fado songs can be about anything. I  like a little fun in my fado, so I picked the records with the funniest sleeves.

Hermínia Silva was one of the greatest stars of fado. Here she is singing in a Portuguese film from 1938.  Actually the bars I´ve been to last week in Lisbon, were just like the one in this film: everybody was chain-smoking, including me…

She was already 63 years old, when she recorded these Yé Yé songs. Chunga Chunga is a cover version of Sugar Sugar by the Archies. Hermínia is making fun of the young hippy generation while still being sympathetic to them. I hope I´ll be as cool and funny as she was when I´m her age. Hermínia died in 1993.

HERMÍNIA SILVA, Chunga Chunga, 1970

HERMÍNIA SILVA, Só Unisexy, 1970

HERMÍNIA SILVA, Vou ser Hippy, 1970

HERMÍNIA SILVA, A Herminia canta Yé Yé, 1970

MENA MATOS, O Noivo, 1961

Mena Matos is shouting and screaming and then he´s singing softly like a crooner but whatever he did, it did make people go Gargalhadas – burst into laughter.

I like the way he seems to be imitating the teen singers of the 50´s/early 60´s:

MENA MATOS, O Noivo, 1961

MENA MATOS, Retalhos do fado, 1961

MENA MATOS, Totobola, 1961

MENA MATOS, Maneiras de rir, 1961

DUO HUMORISTICO CRISPIM, Os Meninos de agora, 1969

These two gentlemen are making fun of the teenagers who would go to the hair dresser, only to have very little hair actually cut. I think that Duo Humoristico might have had a point there. But what about the polar bear?

Here´s some scraps from a Portuguese magazine I found in a junk shop:

Funny fado songs from a forgotten time…

DUO HUMORISTICO CRISPIM, Os Meninos de agora, 1969

DUO HUMORISTICO CRISPIM, Pais, eu quero broas, 1969

DUO HUMORISTICO CRISPIM, Mais coisas a vista, 1969

DUO HUMORISTICO CRISPIM, Marinheiro d´águas turvas 1969