Bob Keane… hmmm… he’s one of those pop/cult names synonymous with record collectors everywhere. I’m not one of them, but even a dumbnut like me can tell you this guy rocks. Why? Well, he founded Del-Fi Records, one of the world’s most successful and unforgettable independent record labels of all time. Although Del-Fi closed its doors after their thoroughbred Bobby Fuller’s tragic demise, the music of Del-Fi continued to live on in the hearts and minds of pop music fans everywhere. Mr. Keane also takes mucho credit for signing a diverse cross section artists such as Ritchie Valens, Chan Romero, Barry White (!) and The Lively Ones (you know, Pulp Fiction) and The Centurions to name a few. Let’s just safely assume that without this guy, oldies radio would not be the same. Cholos and playas would have no make-out music to call their own. Surfers would be trapped in Jan and Dean hell. Surprisingly, Mr. Keane is still very much alive today and continues the innovative traditions of Del-Fi with a rowdy bunch of music enthusiast co-conspirators whose efforts culminate masterfully with this offering of the old and new peering through a delightful aural looking glass. I generally tend to think compilations are hard to sit through. Oh those countless tribute comps and “comedy” comps just make me wish I could just grab for a shotgun and use it like a 15-year-old high school kid, but this one exhibits fresh makeovers by latter day artists putting their own signature touch on these timeless rock gems. The Jigsaw Seen’s take on The American Four’s “Luci Baines” is pure, hazy, happy drug-addled joy (I swear your body tingles when you listen to this). Deke Dickerson’s Dekes of Hazzard (fuck, how many bands is this guy in anyways?) puts Deke’s dexterous fingers to use on that famous double neck Mosrite of his with their rendition of “The World’s Greatest Sinner” by Baby Ray & The Ferns – Frank Zappa (gasp!) The Negro Problem sound very “Randy Neuman” doing “Magic Touch” by The Bobby Fuller Four. Speaking of The Bobby Fuller Four, you know someone HAS to cover “I Fought The Law” on this comp. Who would be more appropriate to execute this deed than our own anti-Christs of rock, The Brian Jonestown Massacre? Drone power, baby, full-on John’s Children psyche dervish. Pass the fucking drugs, I think I’m Anton. Alrightee, this review is getting too long. Let me wrap it up: Davie Allen And The Arrows, The Liquor Giants (doin’ Chan Romero’s “Hippy Hippy Shake” – straight up, yeah!), Man or Astroman?, Neil Mooney, The Wondermints, Mello Cads, Los Straightjacket and a plethora of others make this an enjoyable and even comfortable audio experience. Trust me, it’s got something for everyone.
–nam (Del-Fi Records)