You tell me the year. The We Are Family Pirates were playing the Orioles in the World Series. I was working for a film distribution company, specializing in arty European movies. We had a hit with a bit of sexploitation called Wifemistress, about (if I’m remembering correctly) an Italian revolutionary who had to go in hiding in a barn across from his old apartment, and thus witnesses his beautiful wife’s liberation, after which she chooses to bed many of his old foes and friends. Laura Antonelli was brilliant as, The Wifemistress.
On this particular October day, it seems that we had a routing problem with the prints of the film, and the only way to get a copy of the movie to the theater in Old Roslyn, on Long Island, for its Friday opening, was for me to personally drive to Harrisburg and pick up the print after the last show on Thursday night, then drive back and deliver the print on LI when the theater opened the next morning.
I listened to the World Series on the radio that night, drove through the PA night past Three Mile Island, which had only recently almost gone China Syndrome, stayed in a cheapo motel somewhere, and then hit Long Island the next morning, delivering the print in time for them to begin their regular schedule. Success!
There was a record store in Old Roslyn, and it was there I found a copy of the Hombres’ Let It All Hang Out. I bought it because of the cover photo, which shows the band dressed in serapes and those big round Mexican hats, hanging out around a dumpster. Also, probably because it was cheap. Maybe fifty cents or a buck. The revelation came when I got home.
This was cheese. These guys were going for the novelty hits, the way, let’s say Sam the Sham and the Pharoahs did, but they were just as tight and fun as Sam et al were. This was cheese with chops. The bottom line was, if you take off from this post and play any of the songs on the elpee, including the hit, Let it All Hang Out, or the cover of Lee Dorsey’s Ya Ya, or whatever, you will be charmed. By an album that coughed up one semi hit and laid down a winning mix of New Orleans/Memphis style rock roots tunes and soul.
I give you Hey Little Girl, tonight, which reflects the band’s blue-eyed soul roots, an abiding interest in the rhythm part of I Fought the Law, and a video of ace go-go dancing. The band’s organist was brother to the bass player in the Box Tops, for what that’s worth. Memphis is a small town it seems. Let It All Hang Out.