Sunday, May 19, 2013

Reasons To Be Cheerful Part Six (and Drugs and RocknRoll)

Daddy Cool - Teen Love

Daddy Cool were one of Australia’s first huge acts of the 70s – Best known for the number one single Eagle Rock and the album Daddy Who? Daddy Cool which was massive making them the biggest pop band of the day in the early 70s but it wasn't that album that hooked my young mind, of course not.  No, it was album number 2 - Sex, Dope, Rock'n'Roll - A Teenage Heaven that I fell for (albeit a coupla years after the fact) I mean with a title like that, how could you not be interested? 

Sex Dope Rock’n’Roll was recorded after a tour of the US and though it had the obligatory hit single Hi Honey Ho (edited down to fit the 45 format but in all it's glory on the LP) it also had the great ‘drive-in’ suite –  a side of songs that was all about that great weekend tradition of getting your leg over (or at least trying to) in the backseat of the car at the drive-in. There’s even a great pisstake/homage to the ballads of the 50s with “Donna” where our hero bombs out when he touches her knee!  Finishing the album with a sub zappa riff jam called Make Your Stash – about hiding yr drugs from the sniffer dogs and you can see this isn’t quite what the kids or the pop press were expecting.  The good time band had grown up a little and even though the album made the top twenty it was a long way off from the number one position that their first album had conquered.  Especially in little old Australia circa 1972!  Of course I was too young to really know any of the goings on that the record was talking about but you know i was well on my way to working it out. 

My first copy of Sex Dope was in a cheapy two record set called The Daddy Cool Story – bought at Coles in Millicent when I was but a tween and one of the first albums I ever owned.  One of the labels wasn’t glued down right and when I peeled it off, lo and behold, underneath was the original Sex Dope label!  The cheap buggers at Sparmac had just taken the first two albums, slapped some new labels on top, put them in a new sleeve (not even gatefold!) and voila – The Daddy Cool story. Put it out there cheap in the supermarkets and get rid of the leftovers. Not that I cared at the time, I was too busy listening intently to the songs, laughing at the audacity and double meanings of such tunes as Baby Let Me Bang Your Box and generally trying to catch up on what had already been and gone. (A common story for me really)  Decades later I managed to finally get hold of the real deal, gatefold sleeve, cartoon inside and the record still kicks arse and subverts minds.  They liked to have fun but this was a band that with Ross Wilson out front had some brains as well. If’n you think they are just that nostalgia act with Eagle Rock and Come Back Again you are way off base.  Hunt this baby down, it’s worth it trippers. 

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