Julian Cope presents Head Heritage

Naz Nomad & The Nightmares—
Give Daddy The Knife, Cindy


Released 1984 on Big Beat
The Seth Man, May 2000ce
This reissue of the classic 1967 LSD exploitation soundtrack opens with cheering from the audience in attendance at psychedelic L.A. club The Purple Pit, where The Nightmares had a devoted following and a month-long residency. They did it all, and did it in a mere six tracks per side, with all tracks (save two originals) cover versions of songs found within either “Nuggets” or “Pebbles.” And those that aren’t off the aforementioned compilations are defining singles of sixties punk: “Kicks” by Paul Revere & The Raiders, “I Had Too Much To Dream (Last Night)” by The Electric Prunes and “The Wind Blows Your Hair” by The Seeds. Yes, all this from one band, and the renditions on this garage punk extravaganza capture such ’66 moxie that they don’t “sound” like the covers they are. It’s 1966 central, and the train keeps a rollin’ with the crudest and lewdest vocals from Naz and blasting fuzz/feedback romps that kept their audiences warm and zonked. And guitarist Sphinx Svenson blasts out all over the album. On “I Had Too Much To Dream”, they do away with the zither altogether and he just sustains interminable feedback until yanking it to a halt. Nick Detroit on drums keeps the big beat on the train time “She Lied,” the classic frustration anthem from The Rockin’ Ramrods, and nobody can keep Svenson from being totally ’66 AND ’77 punk simultaneously with wailing ultra-strum. They cover Kim Fowley’s “The Trip”, and the whole sexed-out, panting “Ooohbabuh...ahmagonnamessyourmind” captures Fowley’s original mind game novelty so perfectly, it makes Kim’s original version sound like the cover! The Seeds’ “Wind Blows Your Hair” has an amazing Farfisa organ solo, all rose-tinted granny-glasses perched on the edge of the keyboardist’s nose in a purely late-1966 trippy way. They must have been big time music fans because even the completely rare import, “Cold Turkey” by Pete “Big Boy” Miller, is covered, and the whole fake-theremin with single organ-chord slamming is fraught with more Svenson splattering fuzz’n’feedback to all four walls! Yikes!!!

Even the two originals sound like covers...I must be losin’ mah mind! “(Do You Know) I Know” has all the sloppy frustration of pushing over a rival’s drink in your waitress/girlfriend’s nightclub. “HAH!” spits out Naz, “Git outta our way!!” as fragmented guitar and souped up Farfisa then run roughshod over tightly-wound frustration backing. It all falls apart with “Just Call Me Sky,” where the fake audience cuts in too soon and The Nightmares are introduced one by one over a repeating au-go-go organ plus guitar riff. “We’re gonna take to you places you never DREAMED you could go, baybuh!” promises Naz, but they already have. They convinced me for several days that they were NOT The Damned...which in reality, they were! It makes no sense whatsoever: it was right before they tipped headlong in Goth territory and “Sphinx” Sensible was having big time chart hits. It’s a great album, punk enough for two decades, and on the back cover Sensible looks like a ’67-era Phil Lesh, wotta wiseass. It came pressed on the coolest purple vinyl you’ll ever see, and the whole packaging just screams Tower Records long enough to be extremely convincing.