Thursday, March 24, 2011

Professor And The Efficiency Experts - I Gotta Stand For Something

Long story on this one. I first heard about this song way, way back from my friend Seth Roehl who played it for me over the phone. I hassled him about this 'white label' deep funk test pressing, trying to get him to trade it to me throughout the years. At that time most folks knew this as an obscure and rare funk test pressing. Some, like ourselves, knew nothing about it other than it sounded like the heaviest shit we had ever heard. A few years later, I found out that this was in fact a white label re-press done by none other than Skate Master Tate.

Still at that time, it was coveted among funk collectors and still remained a high dollar record, even as a bootleg. I was lucky enough to find the original yellow label Stanson 45 in a shop in L.A. for a measly 5 bucks. I was so overjoyed to separate it from it's sleeve with that certain look and feel that it hadn't been touched before. Finally a conquest for this 45 had ended with a stock unplayed copy.

So, jump down the time line now 10-15 years later when my friends Jon Erickson and Bart Davenport gave me a call and asked if I'd meet them at Wally Sound Recording Studios. They were in the middle of recording a few songs for an upcoming Greyboy album. They were using old equipment and getting a vintage sound, trying to replicate a few original songs that DJ Greyboy had sent them. Jon and Bart insisted I sing with them on one of the tracks and they said I would love the song. As soon as I heard the whistle and crowd noises from the beginning of the record I knew exactly what it was and knew all of the lyrics by heart. I gave it my best shot and still to this day you can hear faintly in the background backings vocals from yours truly. Now, of course Sharon Jones took hold of this track with the lead vocals, but this was an experience of a lifetime for me. Just my ultra tiny little claim to fame, and like my friend Xan said, I was 'high on lead singing' even if the end result had our vocals father away in the mix. Still, incredible to be a part of one of my all time favorite funk 45's and see it evolve into current times and be featured on this LP.  Me and Sharon Jones baby!

This was also issued on 'Funk Spectrum II' compiled by Kenny Dope and Keb Darge. It's listed on that compilation as simply 'Undiscovered Break' with no other information. Oddly my friend Seth did finally give up his copy of this record almost 20 years later, so now I have both the white label bootleg and original now. Go figure.

This is a beast of a funk track. Probably one of my most favorite deep funk 45's. The constant and underlying fuzz and feedback coated guitar really stings like a bee. It's a guitar sound that's straight out of some seedy biker exploitation flick. The drums slap and knock along like a dirty fight that rolls and crashes from the bar out into the street. Check out the wicked fills and rolls..this drummer was serious business. All together wrapped up with speckles of horns and a ever growing party in the studio. Sounds like numerous folks are getting down on the lead vocals. Like a true 'pack' of funkateers. This track is the perfect example of nasty garage funk. Just how we like it.

Professor And The Efficiency Experts - I Gotta Stand For Something

1 comment:

  1. Backstory: I used to buy records from John Hillyard in the 80's at the Pasadena record swap. Sometimes I would go to his house and have full pick of everything that he couldn't haul to the swap. It was amazing. One night I brought Tates with me. After digging for a a minute, Tates asked Hillyard if he had a copy of I Gotta Stand For Something on Stanson label. Hillyard who was extremely eccentric and an encyclopedia of MANY genres/eras of recorded music, began howling with maniacal laughter, saying "Good luck finding That joker!. Ahhh Hawwwww Hawwww Hawwww" . About 20 minutes later, Tates finds a 7" manila envelope in a stack of 45s with a Stanson logo pasted on it. He reached in and pulled out the actual metal pressing stampers for the record! It was completely surreal in the realm of digging. I don't think he paid more than 50 bucks for it ,if that much. He took them to Frank at Alberti pressing plant and had about 100 or so pressed up. I think there might've been a short run of red vinyl in the batch if memory serves correct. Thanks for the cool blog post ~Joey