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Mark Volman and Howard Kaylan first made their name in the music business as the creative force behind The Turtles. They scored a number of Top 40 hits with the likes of “Happy Together,” “Eleanor,” “She’d Rather Be With Me” and a cover of Bob Dylan’s “It Ain’t Me Babe.”
Their albums, part parody, part serious, generally were well received by critics but didn’t chart so well with the public. (They were largely a singles band.) One, Turtle Soup, was produced by Ray Davies of the Kinks.
By the early 70s Volman and Kaylan had had enough of The Turtles. They assumed the aliases of Flo (the Phosphorescent Leech) and Eddie due to contractual obligations with The Turtles’ recording label (White Whale) and joined forces with Frank Zappa for a series of albums – 200 Motels and Fillmore East – June 1971 (1971), and Just Another Band From L.A. (1972). That ended when Zappa was injured at a London concert in 1971, so the boys made a series of Flo & Eddie albums for themselves.
Today’s song of the week is “Keep It Warm” from their fourth album, Moving Targets (1976).
Musically “Keep It Warm” is a Beach Boys parody (dig the “Good Vibrations” reference about 2:30 in) mixed with grim lyrics that reflect the then current evening news headlines of the mid 70s.
Elect another jerk to the White House
Gracie Slick is losing her door mouse
Take her off the streets and keep her warm
Kill another whale with your power
Or shoot a bunch a kids from a tower
Snipe them in their cars, blood keeps them warm
Starting in the 70s Flo & Eddie began singing harmony/background vocals for other artists. They were regulars on T. Rex albums including Electric Warrior and The Slider. They also sang on songs by Alice Cooper, Blondie, the Ramones, Stephen Stills and Bruce Springsteen (“Hungry Heart”), among many others.
In recent years they’ve been doing summer “shed” package tours. I saw them a couple of times with the “Hippiefest.” This season they’re out with The Cowsills, The Spencer Davis Group (I assume sans Stevie Winwood), Chuck Negron (of Three Dog Night), Mark Lindsay (of Paul Revere & the Raiders) and The Gap Band including a couple of stops in New York in June and California in July. They’re still a very funny duo so you might want to check them out if they’re in a town near you.
Enjoy… until next week.