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A Man Who Has Nothing In Particular To Recommend Him Discusses All Sorts of Subjects at Random as Though He Knew Everything

No, Not The Ramones. The Ramongs

Consider if you will, kind reader, Top of the Pops emcee Jimmy Savile’s hairstyle. If and when you recover, consider The Foundations, who wisely changed their name from The Ramongs and had a couple of hits in the late sixties. Perfect fake Motown by a band from all corners of the British Empire:

The Wikipedia page for The Foundations is a stone gas. The formation and promotion of bands used to be interesting –byzantine, egalitarian, and charming. Pop music might as well have an HR office with forms now, the process is so contrived. I love that Clem Curtis, the lead singer, was a boxer and an interior decorator. He’ll pick out your drapes and beat your ass if you don’t like them.

A band I was in used to play “Stump the Band” with the audience back in the nineties and early oughts. You name a band with a top ten hit from the 60s,70s, or 80s and we’ll name the hit and play it. When we were in a good mood and the audience looked square, we’d expand it to top forty. Everyone always said The Foundations, hoping we wouldn’t know Build Me Up, Buttercup. Eventually the song was in a movie and not very obscure anymore, a common fate for Stump the Band fodder. I remember Steve would always sing:

Why do you build me up, buttercup, baby
Just to let me down,
And hose me around?
And then worst of all
You never call baby
When you say you will,
And you’re on the pill…

Well, it wasn’t Hal Holbrook performing Mark Twain, but liquor was served. You don’t want to know what we backup singers changed the word “buttercup” to.

To amuse ourselves we’d play Now That I Found You once in a while. It was a much better song, anyway, than BMUB. Most of the songs that were hits in those decades you really didn’t have to know to know. If one of us knew a snippet of lyrics, the chords weren’t hard to parse out on the fly. Everybody always asked for the identical obscure stuff anyway. As Paul the drummer used to say, “If you haven’t seen the show, we haven’t been stumped in ten years. If you have seen the show — OK, we were stumped.”

When we didn’t have an inkling, we’d cheat and just say, “Did you say The Beatles?” and play ISHST. Sorry about that.

7 Responses

  1. Hi Jean- You think I'm nice so it doesn't occur to you. Imagine I'm not nice.

    Hi Arthur-Hello Kitty On A Rocket To Russia

    G Bob- Isn't COB "Gimme Just A Leetle More Time-ah?" See, I'm mixed up, too, and we're both pros.

    Leslie- We should start a support group.

  2. I looked at the MC and my first thought was did this guy ever look in the mirror and wonder at his hair style???

  3. The Chairmen had a number of modest hits. I'm sure you will recall the anti-feminist demand for snuggling, "if you dance to the music, you gotta pay to the piper." Pipe. Heh. Also the lesser known You've Got Me Dangling On A String and Everything's Tuesday.

    Interestingly, they were one of the first acts produced by Holland-Dozier-Holland after they left Motown and formed their own record label, Invictus, because a black man couldn't get a break at Motown.

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