Friday, July 23, 2010

Sam Gopal

Sam Gopal
(Stable Records, 1968)

OK, this was completely unintentional, but there's a connection between today's group and yesterday's! I didn't realize it 'til I sat down to write these notes.

See the guy on the left? That's Ian Willis! Before hooking up with Sam Gopal, he was a member of The Rockin' Vicars! He went on to play with Opal Butterfly, though I'm not certain if he actually appeared on any of their three singles. He's definitely not on the first two. I own the third, and I can say, with a bit of confidence, that you needn't seek it out or pay a lot of money for a copy.

After that, his career was pretty much a dead end. He had a stint with Hawkwind for a bit, but got kicked out after a drug bust. After that, he started his own lil' combo, Motörhead, who are still going at it 35 years later. Somewhere along the way, he gained the nickname Lemmy and also changed his last name to match the man who raised him, rather than the one who squirted him out. I think.

Sam Gopal is, I believe, the dude with the biggest hair and only 'stache (Ian's just looks like fuzz that needs a trim). Rather than playing a traditional drum kit, he played the tabla. Screaming lead guitar and throbbing bass with Indian percussion was definitely not the norm for the day, and it sounds pretty cool to my ears. The album is around half covers and half originals; this one's an original.

Oh, yeah . . . the connection! Lemmy played bass with The Damned before they got Algy Ward from Aussie punk rockers The Saints as a permanent replacement for Captain Sensible, who'd switched to guitar when the band reformed without original member Brian Jones.

2 biased opinions:

Biki said...

bleech! psychedelic '60's "music" is worse than rap and country combined!

John said...

This is fantastic, reminds of what Nick Cave is doing now with Grinderman but hairier. See it's just been given a CD reissue, must try and track it down.