Sunday, August 27, 2006

Bubble, Bubble, Toil And Trouble.....Lucifer's 'Big Gun' LP

It might dismay any scorekeepers or itinerant biographers out there in blogland to hear that I ain't one much for flea markets, thrift stores, etc. when it comes to lookin for 2nd hand records. Sure I've done it & have been rewarded for my time w/a smattering of MSR & oddball Xian psych finds, but on the whole I don't go lookin for luck. It just has a way of findin me. Take for instance the other day. I agreed to help my neighbor Sonny go & clean out his dead Pop-Pop's gas station. He was lookin to sell the property & it needed some spiffin up. There wasn't much valuable-save the Plymouth Fury out in the garage-mostly it was all rusted shit, old, oily rags 'n dead bird carcasses. We found a couple've vintage pinups but they was mulchin & smelled of mildew, so yeah, a whole lot of nothin. We tinkered around on the car & got it so's it was runnin, which was a victory of sorts (beat havin it towed). So once it was determined we could drive it away, we needed to fix the one flat & then it was good to go. Upon openin the trunk, behold, there was a crate of records, all of'em from the 60's/70's & in pristine condition. Sonny had a look through & as there weren't no Elvis or Sinatra's, declared it a bust. "You want'em, take'em. They're yours." I put'em off to the side, but then we couldn't find no jack, so we called it a day. Once home I started lookin through the box; Iron Butterfly, Pink Floyd, Zombies....not bad. Then all of a sudden, pow! I hit a motherlode w/Lillipop Shoppe, Wendy & Bonnie, Skip Spence, Damon, My Solid Ground + an lp I'd never heard of before by Lucifer called 'Big Gun'. Not that I knew what it was; a plain black cover, but inside there was a "poster" w/the band name, a few skuzzy photos + some cryptic jabber written about how they had a cave in Arizona they recorded in, brushes w/the police & how they wanted to make "evil music & sell it direct". I figured maybe I'd stumbled onto some Process Church album, you know, even if it sucked, it would still be a worthwhile curio. But I wanted to know more about it. So I called my buddy Oracle.
Danny Herman (aka Oracle) was a livin, breathin encyclopedia of all things stoner 'n stardust when it came to underground Rock. He'd been huntin (& findin) rare treasures at yard sales, Salvation Armies & sheriff's auctions for longer than I could recall. He hadda voice what sounded like a cross between Gabby Hayes 'n Walter Brennan but he weren't no piker, no sirree. I told him what I had. "You found that WHERE?!" he wheezed anxiously through the phone line. I could hear what sounded to be quiet sobs & maybe a pen scratchin on paper, like he was writin a note to himself or somethin ("must start looking in old gas stations' it likely read).Once he composed himself, Oracle told me one monster of a story about Lucifer. Allow me to paraphrase;
1st off, Lucifer wasn't a band at all, but the nom de plume & solo project of one Peter Walker, from the UK outfit Purple Gang (the band that did 'Granny Takes A Trip').Seems Walker was an ardent occult fan, hence the Lucifer moniker (he was also good bud's w/Syd Barrett for whatever that's worth) & made two lp's + three 7"ers as Lucifer that was funded & distributed by the legendary UK counter cultural magazine, OZ. The OZ story in itself is interestin too, sort of a cross between Rolling Stone & Aspen, but that' all's I'm sayin about it. Look it up! If you've ever come across that Lennon/Ono 45 on Apple goin as the Elastic Oz Band called 'God Save Oz' & didn't know what it was all about, well, mystery solved. Anyway,so these Lucifer records was ONLY available via OZ, which meant you had to know about'em or write to get'em as there was no real distribution, hence they'd become rare as hen's teeth. So what does it sound like? "Man, that 'Big Gun' lp is full tilt, bad hippie, black-acid boogaloo!" screamed Oracle. 'You know them Maitreya Kali lp's that everyone think's are so witchy? Lucifer could scratch that fucker's eyes right out. Hell, Kali wasn't nothin but a Peter, Paul & Mary kissass anyways till he took a hit of acid. What are you doin talkin to me? Listen to 'Big Gun'! It's killer!"
So I got off the phone & put on the record. Fuckin Oracle is right on the money too. A killer record. It crosses swords 'n burns barns right up there w/the likes of Godz, Deviants, Twink, Steve Took & early Edgar Broughton. Massively fringed & baked to the max, Lucifer's 'Big Gun' deserves all the blue ribbon hype it's been bestowed. While it's not likely you'll ever come across a real one, the good news is that it's been reissued on cd/lp & is available via;
which is where I'm goin to score a copy as I'm tradin the original I found to Oracle for a pool table.
Eight ball anyone? Beep, beep!



Heavy Evidence said...

Excellent post! I really enjoyed that "luck finding you" bit. You really found some seriously amazing records in the trunk of that car. Any chance Danny Herman (aka Oracle) might have some kind of "online" resource or contact info in relation to obscure heavy music?

Outer Space Gamelan said...

Aw man great story - rack em up!

Heavy Evidence said...

Could you possible respond to the question that I asked you? I am very sincere in the hope of learning more about rare/obscure hard rockdom. I have collected records for many years now & it seems like Danny might really be able to shed some serious light concerning a number of potential questions that I have.

tshannon said...

David Katznelson put this record on a tape for me, which I promptly lost. Been looking for it (the record)ever since. We did a version of "Hypnosis" on Refried Dreams, so I've wanted to hear the original. Now the mystery is solved. Will miracles never cease?
Tom - Cheater Slicks

tshannon said...

It was actually on Forgive Thee...not that it matters...TS

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