Julian Cope presents Head Heritage

Teddy And His Patches - Suzy Creamcheese/From Day To Day

Teddy And His Patches
Suzy Creamcheese/From Day To Day


Released 1967 on Chance
Reviewed by Dave Furgess, 06/05/2007ce


During the so-called psychedelic era (1966-1969) it was San Francisco that garnered most of the attention in the national press for being the hot-bed of activity for all things psychedelic. However little has been written about a smaller California city called San Jose that is just south of San Francisco. This city spawned a whole host of excellent groups that are for the most part only known to die-hard record collectors.

Among San Jose's heavy hitters we will find The E-Types, Count 5, Mourning Reign, Syndicate Of Sound, Chocolate Watchband, The Brogues, Harbinger Complex, and of course Teddy & His Patches. For the most part all of these group's played tough R&B influenced garage rock that was based on British Invasion groups like The Yardbirds, Rolling Stones, Them & The Pretty Things. The Count 5 & Syndicate Of Sound were "one hit wonders" while the others had brief careers and were lucky if that had a 45 or two to their names. The Chocolate Watchand did manage to issue 3 albums but weren't really appreciated until the 1980's. While Brogues members Gary Grubb (aka Gary Duncan) & Greg Elmore would later find fame with Quicksilver Messenger Service.

Teddy & His Patches were one of the unlucky groups to never have a national hit, they split after just 2 45's were issued on the small Chance label. However they have achieved legendary status among garage collectors for this demented 45 "Suzy Creamcheese." Obviously the song is based around an idea they no doubt swiped from The Mothers Of Invention (though I doubt that Frank Zappa was aware of the record because he probably would have sent a team of lawyers up to San Jose pronto.)

In my opinion Teddy & His Patches take on "Suzy Creamcheese" is one of the most ambitious and mind blowing garage-psychedelic records of all time, I rate it right next to The Calico Wall's "Flight Reaction" in terms of squeezing an entire career's worth of ideas into 3 minutes. The record begins with a creepy organ and spoken word intro that is a direct ripoff of The Mothers song, then the rest of the track is strictly on the Patches own turf. The group just leap into a garage punk frenzy that ranks with the best of all time, during the mid-section the group sound like Syd Barrett's Pink Floyd trying to play "Psychotic Reaction." Then the whole piece slows down to an early Doors style festival of dementia, with Teddy pouring his teenage, garage punk heart out to the mythical Suzy Creamcheese. The song ends in a sea of effects that sound like Lothar & The Hand People meeting early Hawkwind. Singles rarely come any more potent than this one.

But wait, you gotta hear the flip too, "From Day To Day" is a lethal, pissed off garage punker that is so vicious it should have been compiled on "Back From The Grave Volume 3" (the single greatest punk LP ever!) Teddy & His Patches did issue a second 45 in 1967 that featured "Haight Ashbury" b/w "I Ain't Nothin'", but sadly I have never heard either side. Though I do believe "Haight Ashbury" turned up on one of the volumes of "Boulders" (naturally the one volume I don't have.)

Teddy & His Patches did the right thing, they gave their hearts & souls to this classic 45 and then got the hell out of town (in the process securing their legend.) I for one don't want to know what happened to the ex-members of these obscure garage bands, let sleeping dogs lie. Besides it would be a real bringdown to find out that Teddy is now a real estate mogul who drives a Hummer!


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