WILLIE ALEXANDER & THE BOOM BOOM BAND Willie Alexander & The Boom Boom Band LP 1978
You 've lost that lovin' feelin' / Rock 'n' roll '78 / Everybody knows / Look at me / Radio heart / You beat me to it / Hair / Looking like a bimbo / Home is / Kerouac .
Produced by Graig Leon.
W. Alexander & The Boom Boom Band : W. Alexander : vocals, keyboards & percussion / S. Grossman : Fender bass / B. Loosigian : electric & accoustic guitars / D. McLean : drums & percussion .Although relatively unknown outside Boston, Willie "Loco" Alexander is familiar to rock trivia experts as the answer to the brain-teaser: Who took Lou Reed's place in the Velvet Underground? He was born in Philadelphia in 1943, but emigrated to Boston in the '60s, where he formed the folk duo Baba & Willie Loco. Alexander founded the Lost in 1964, one of Boston's most popular garage bands of the period, and recorded for Capitol during the mid-'60s. By 1967, he was playing in Glass Menagerie with Doug Yule (who joined the Velvets one year later, replacing John Cale); in 1970, Alexander was invited to join one of the most influential bands of the '60s after its leader departed. He played keyboards and sang until Yule and the rest of the skeleton crew called it quits in 1972, after the album "Squeeze".
Willie Alexander recorded three solo singles beginning in 1975, and formed the punk-oriented Boom Boom Band the following year. The group recorded two albums for MCA, but broke up in 1978."Willie Alexander and the Boom Boom Band" is dedicated to Jack Kerouac, and includes Alexander's tributary song about the author. "Kerouac" is a heartfelt standout & was a cult hit when it first appeared on a 1975 independent single. The second album "Meanwhile ... back in the States" also produced by Graig Leon is one of the best lp of the year 1978 !
Then Willie released "Solo Loco" in 1982, and then formed the Confessions, who also recorded two albums, "A Girl Like You" and "Autre Chose". Continuing along his odd Boston-and-Paris path, Alexander recorded a spare album that excludes guitar and rock in favor of keyboards for a bluesy, late-night sound (" Tap Dancing on My Piano") . "The Dragons Are Still Out" finds W. Alexander back to rocking with a full-strength rock trio, horns, co-producer/co-writer Erik Lindgren on keyboards and even a cellist
Willie Alexander continued in his solo status throughout the '80s, but formed the Persistence of Memory Orchestra in 1991. Several best-of compilations are available, detailing his solo and group work.
In 2005 , the 1978 line-up recorded "Dog Bar Yacht Club" with a similar cover picture ... twenty seven years older !
In light of Willie Alexander's discographical complexity, "Willie Loco Boom Boom Ga Ga 1975-1991" is better than one-stop shopping, it's the only opportunity for a newcomer to glean a sensible career summary without spending years searching out now-rare import vinyl. The sloppy, spirited festival of bands, unpretentious sounds and songs (22 in all) is neatly annotated by the star. (Sample: "I wrote this ['Kerouac'] in my bathtub in two minutes after thinking about Jack for 20 years.")
But Willie is also one hell of a spoken-word artist, a talent he's also explored on record. Private WA, a collection of studio recitations and diary entries with ambient keyboard accompaniment recorded between 1984 and 1990, makes the personal compelling and sharp-focuses the universal. A bit heavy on the Burroughsian delivery at times (once a would-be Beat, always a would-be Beat), but consistently revealing and engaging.
You can find , on the excellent Rich Coffee site Rich's R'n'R Rants & Raves , a complete review, song by song , of the first "Willie Alexander & The Boom Boom Band" lp ! Allmusic/Trouser Press
And you can buy Willie Alexander music here.
Cd covers by Max !