Tuesday, July 14, 2009

The tricks you pulled on me...

The Rare Breed

"Beg, Borrow And Steal" B/W "Jeri's Theme"

1966 Attack AR1401

The Rare Breed's "Beg, Borrow And Steal" is definitely an interesting piece of garage rock/bubble gum history. The song was written by a group of teenage musicians in the late 60's who were produced under the name "The Rare Breed". Producers Jeff Katz and Jerry Kasenetz (Super K Productions) knew exactly what they were doing when they made false promises to these highschoolers, and since the band was not under contract with ATTACK Records, it was that much easier for Katz and Kasenetz to take full advantage of them. They released the track on their ATTACK label under the name "The Rare Breed". Next, they rerecorded the track with a band called The Demotrons and released it on Cameo Parkway Records. This still wasn't enough. Shortly after the Demotrons release, they took the original "Breed" recording and reissued it under a new group name "The Ohio Express", again on Cameo Parkway Records. The record went gold, selling about 500,000 records over a fairly short period of time.

Katz and Kasenetz didn't stop here. In 1968, they decided to keep The Ohio Express alive and with Arthur Resnick on vocals, they wrote and recorded "Yummy, Yummy, Yummy" - a song that would become even more popular later that same year when covered by 1910 Fruitgum Co.

Barry Stolnick, John Freno,Tony Cambria, Alexander "Botts" Norbett, and Joel Feigenbaum were the original young muscians that Katz and Kasenetz named The Rare Breed. The kids didn't even know that the record was being released under the "Breed" name until they received their own copies of the 45. They had actually been playing local shows under a completely different identity while Cameo Parkway Records was making their plans to move thousands and thousands of records.

The song is a blatant rip off "Louie Louie" - The infamous never-ending Richard Berry song (later popularized by The Kingsmen) that was under federal investigation in the 60's for rumored underlying drug themes that proved to be only based on rumors (and ended up being one of the most popular songs to cover of all time). It's a great tune regardless, and the lyrics and overall vibe are really classic and solid. Its B-side is a catchy, twangy instrumental titled "Jeri's Theme". I"m not sure who Jeri is or was, and from the looks of things, it was more than likely unbeknownst to the kids forcefully named "The Rare Breed" as well.

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