THE VAGRANTS-60S GARAGE STARS

THE VAGRANTS ? Fans of ’60s garage music will no doubt know of Leslie West’s first band The Vagrants and recognise him more for the achievements of his Long Island teen days than his fame filled years as “rock guitarist”. There’s no doubting the raw, teen angst of ‘I Can’t Make A Friend’ or the Nuggets classic ‘Respect’ (released as the same time as Aretha’s and a minor-hit in itself), both of which swim in that classic garage-band sound. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4OvNPhrr33Y In action playing a dose of solid gold garage snarl from the exploito flick Disk-O-Tek Holiday. Later, releasing further singles on Atco under the guidance of Felix Pappalardi, psychedelia was embraced on such lushly arranged pieces as ‘And When It’s Over’, where the contrast of Peter Sabatino’s delicate vocals and West’s vibrant guitar work equalled anything by the main players. The new Voiceprint collection compiles everything the band recorded, plus early Mountain demos and an interesting live concert by Mountain drummer Corky Laing’s first band Energy from 1969. But it’s The Vagrants that are the essential act here… it’s been longer than I can recall that anything has been ran in the press or on the radio about this brilliant band. Although primarily known for their guitarist they were certainly a dynamic act in their own right, adept at garage-punk, blue-eyed soul, psychedelia and heavy blues-rock.

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