MAMBO BAND, Hey-O-Mambo, 1966Posted: November 16, 2014
When I arrived at the flea market on Saturday, it was already afternoon. Not too many people strolled around the flea market in the icy wind, but nevertheless most of the boxes had probably been combed through by other collectors. One of the first booths I went to, belonged to a nice lady my age, a seasoned seller, who comes to the flea market even when it´s snowing. Now she was sneezing and coughing. I noticed that two guys were checking through the pile that I had just picked and told them kindly:” I just picked those.” One guy replied, “Oh! Sorry. I´m still curious what you found. Mind if I take a look?” I said: “You´re welcome. Go ahead.”
Well, they both saw this 45 and didn´t bat an eyelash. We talked about another one in the pile, a Spanish opera record that had a cowboy on the sleeve. I ended up not buying it. But, without knowing what it was, I did buy the Mambo Band for 1 Euro. No wonder this unassuming, sleeveless 45 went by unnoticed. Most collectors don´t go for mambo.
Well, as it turned out, Hey-O-Mambo is a great garage beat rocker, fuzz guitar and all…
When I heard Hey-o-Mambo at home for the first time, I immediately checked the Internet. It´s been featured on Prae-kraut Pandaemonium #14, that came out in 2003, the same Volume that also has Andy Nevison & His Rhythm-Masters White Woman.
This is what Peter Urbach wrote, in the trademark hip PKP-style liner notes: “Though credited on their Etzel 7” as Mambo Band, these guys were better known as The Mambos all over the Lower Franconian hinterland. A rare case of early German frat rock, these kids looked like acolytes on a joyride, but could do a neat Sonics imitation, when fuelled with enough homebrew. Remember: There’s nothing dirty about sax, except you know how to blow right…”
Left out from Bear Family Records huge German Beat round-up “Smash!…Boom!…Bang!…”, it´s due to the classic Prae-kraut series, that bands like the Mambos were finally put on the global map of Rock´n´Roll. Of course, it also led to increase the value of the original 45s.
Apart from the bootleg PKP re-issue, that is sold out, the songs are currently not available anywhere.
Rock´n´Roll-wise, there is nothing more to add. Still, the flip sheds a little more light on the background of the Mambo Band.
Started as a duo by Kurt Eisemann (organ) and Hilmar Hirt (sax) in 1952, when the Mambo was in style, they soon developed into a full band. After more than 60 years, they still play locally.