Julian Cope presents Head Heritage

Von Ruden - The Spider & The Fly/Judy

Von Ruden
The Spider & The Fly/Judy


Released 1967 on Ivanhoe
Reviewed by Dave Furgess, 28/07/2007ce


Long before there was Van Halen there was Von Ruden. I really don't know if this was the artist's full name or just his last name, I guess it really doesn't matter. Von Ruden were thought to have been based in Michigan, yet this, their only release was on a Chicago based label Ivanhoe. What is pretty clear is that Von Ruden clearly embraced the psychedelic experience all the way.

The A side of this 45 is a demented reading of the early Rolling Stones number "Spider & The Fly." Von Ruden pull out all the stops and turn every dial in the studio up to 10 on the psychedelic meter. The singer almost sounds like Alan Vega of Suicide, he sings in a creepy whispered tone that also recalls the singer from the Vancouver 60's garage outfit The Painted Ship. While the backing musicians just freak out in every direction possible.

The flipside "Judy" is even creepier, this one also sounds like a 1967 dry-run for the first Suicide album blended with the sinister madness of The Hogs "Loose Lip Synch Ship" 45. The production on the record is brilliant and recalls the absolute terror of The Pulse's "Burritt Bradley" 45. So who were Von Ruden? I really don't know, and I'm not sure I wanna know. Some mysteries are best left unsolved!


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