The best of 'Beat Beat Beat' – as incoherent as the 60s will always be!

The label tells it like it is – “Beat Beat Bea_t was a German music programme that ran during the sixties. Not to be confused with the other well known German pop programme Beat Club. Beat Beat Beat was broadcast out of Frankfurt commencing in 1966.” Well you wouldn’t want to confuse the two programmes as far as getting the DVDs of material from them is concerned, coz while the Beat Beat Beat (ABC Entertainment) disks give you classic mod, British Invasion, freakbeat, pop and even soul performances, on the The Best of Beat Club vol 1 & 2 (Eagle Vision) you apparently get Deep Purple,  The James Gang, Johnny Winter, Santana, Procol Harum, Nazareth, Free, Humble Pie, Jethro Tull, Alice Cooper, The Kiki Dee Band, Johnny Rivers, The Hollies, Bachman Turner Overdrive, The Doobie Brothers, Ten Years After, Canned Heat and Three Dog Night. So while a mixed bag, the The Best of Beat Club vol 1 & 2 will appeal more to headbangers and others of that ilk; whereas Beat Beat Beat is a groovers kinda thang! That said, there were earlier year by year compilations of Beat Club and those for 1965, 1966 and 1967 look a lot better than the more recent ‘total overview’ disks… But I’ve only seen them listed online, I’ve not actually viewed them.
There are Beat Beat Beat DVDS running to about 10 minutes each devoted to The Small Faces, The Kinks, The Yardbirds, Eric Burdon and the New Animals, The Spencer Davis Group and The Hollies. Performances by these acts are not particularly rare and I’ve certainly seen enough footage of them to know the Small Faces totally rock onstage, whereas the Kinks or The Yardbirds (both of whom made records I love) tend to look too static and overall not that great. With more tunes and some groovy but less well known acts, The Best of Beat Beat Beat compilation disks are a better option, despite a really odd selections of talent.
At 41 minutes The Best of Beat Beat Beat volume 1 offers the longest running time. There’s Barry Ryan (Eloise), Cat Stevens (Granny and Matthew & Son) and Chris Farlowe (Out Of Time and Ride On Baby) lip-synching really badly to pre-recorded tracks. Farlowe in particular looks completely uninterested in what he’s doing, but remains compelling in a train wreck kinda way, especially as he is one sad and ugly motherfucker who had an obsessional interest in Nazi memorabilia (fortunately it was illegal for him to wear his fascist uniforms on German TV). There’s straightforward sixties pop from Herman’s Hermints (No Milk Today and My Reservation’s Been Confirmed) that while adequate need not detain us. By way of contrast, Casey Jones and The Govenors (Come On And Dance and Don’t Ha Ha) are a bit of an oddity.
In the UK Casey Jones AKA Brian Casser is known to music fans (but not the general public) as the bloke who booked The Beatles as his support act and briefly had Eric Clapton as his guitarist, but not really for his music. In Germany he had a huge hit with Don’t Ha Ha, hence his inclusion here. And if you like primitive beat sounds then you’ll dig the two Casey Jones and The Governors tunes on the The Best of Beat Beat Beat volume 1. It is probably unnecessary to add Don’t Ha Ha was a Huey ‘Piano’ Smith song. Volume 1 also gives us two tunes from The Trinity featuring Julie Driscoll (Save Me and Road to Cairo), with keyboardist Brian Auger’s theatrics totally upstaging his singer Julie Driscoll (who sounds great, albeit not as good as Aretha Franklin when covering her, but doesn’t have much stage presence). The best is saved for last, The Easybeats doing Loving Machine (incorporating the Batman Theme) and that old stomper Friday On My Mind. As prot0-punkers The Easybeats completely outflank Casey Jonees and The Governors.
Volume 2 is shorter but better. The Minderbenders do a Wilson Pickett medley in the form of Land Of A Thousand Dances/In The Midnight Hour and their big hit Groovy Kind Of Love; and also Don’t Cry No More and a medley of C. C. Rider/Jenny Jenny Jenny
._ P. J. Proby’s What’s Wrong With My World provides another spectacular train wreck; his lip-synching is terrible and the old rocker looks both off his box and down on his luck – he has to be seen to be believed! The disk winds up with two total class acts, P. P. Arnold and The Creation. A former Ikette (an Ike and Tina Turner backing singer) and session vocalist for the likes of The Small Faces, Arnold is diminutive but her voice is 100% pure soul and her two tracks here (Speak To Me and The First Cut Is The Deepest) are just fabulous.
You’d think there’d be nothing in the Beat Beat Beat vaults that could credibly follow Arnold, but The Creation are up for it! Aside from being a truly awesome song writer and musician, their guitarist Eddie Phillips also had the greatest haircut of 1966, just look at the shape of it around his ear in the footage of The Creation doing their cover version of I’m A Man! The Creation look fabulous in their dark trousers and button-down shirts with contrasting white details (buttons and belts). The shame here is that on the same edition of Beat Beat Beat (their first TV appearance) they also did That’s How Strong My Love Is and Makin’ Time, but they ain’t included on the DVD. Still you do get to see Eddie using his innovative technique of playing his guitar with a violin bow, something much imitated by lesser talents like Jimmy Page of Led Zeppelin. What you also see here is The Creation doing Painter Man a year later, with their hair a little more grown out; the band still look really stylish but a little freakier. When I was a teenager back in the 197os I was on the lookout for some Creation vinyl for a long time, and when Raw Records stuck out Makin’ Time and Painter Man on either side of a 45 in the latter part of that decade, I grabbed a copy as soon as it came out. I really love this band, Makin’ Time in particular. And, of course, we should never forget the famous Eddie Phillips quote: “Our music is red with purple flashes.” Incidentally, after The Creation broke up, Phillips joined P. P. Arnold’s backing band.
Volume 3 of The Best of Beat Beat Beat features solid sixties pop from The Searchers (Love Potion No. 9, Sweets For My Sweet and C. C. Rider) and The Tremeloes (Loving You Is Sweeter Than Ever, Silence Is Golden and Here Comes My Baby). Then there are the more psychedelic sounds of The Move (Walk Upon The Water and I Can Here The Grass Grow). However, the real highlight is The Smoke doing My Friend Jack, a song banned by the BBC in the sixties because it is about LSD! My Friend Jack is a psyche classic and everything else on this particular disk looks second-rate in comparison…  so surely we could have had more than one track from The Smoke!
I’ve also spotted but haven’t acquired a two band Beat Beat Beat DVD compilation featuring The Troggs alongside Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick & Tich. I love The Troggs but I figure the DVD ain’t worth getting coz there won’t be enough of ’em. Likewise, any disk you see in the Beat Beat Beat series will probably feature gawky looking teenagers dancing badly to groovy sounds… You can also see most of this stuff and much more for free on YouTube, although it comes and goes and the image is obviously heavily compressed- whereas on these disks both the audio and visual quality is really top-notch. Weird how you can see and hear so much shirt now that just wasn’t available to those of us based in London back in the old days, but I ain’t complaining! It’s like time travel for ravers…
And while you’re at it don’t forget to check – – you know it makes (no) sense!


Comment by raymond anderson on 2009-12-21 13:18:54 +0000

I remember years ago there used to be a dedicated freakbeat/psych/garage room on Soulseek called Sunshine Corner where the odd video of 60s acts started being shared just as broadband came in..a noughtie memory….and now there’s DVD’s and youtube clips
..that was the room where someone sent me a dvd of The Poppy Family’s TV show…
now the exotica/lounge room ..that was a whole different caper

Comment by Dave Kelso-Mitchell on 2009-12-21 13:40:14 +0000

Sounds fantastic – I want em all.
I’d better get my letter up the chimney to Satan right away…

Comment by Lrak Ekalb on 2009-12-21 16:06:27 +0000

….i want! i want! love the idea of the beat club stuff on its own and have seen some but the bbb stuff sounds great also – want to see if theres any Attack stuff out there [featuring john duCann – another Atomic Rooster link alongside Farlowe – who, incidentally was apprently more interested in on-stage sandwiches whilst in Rooster [as has been reported generally but was also related to me by the unsung guitar god and Joker-mouthed Steve Bolton, who did time in AR alongside Farlowe] also would like to know if theres any Flies – as their ‘i’m not your steppin’ stone’ cover was scorching.
For me – Vanilla Fudge on Ed Sullivan doing ‘You keep me hanging on’ was OTT genius – arthur brown in black and white poss. from TOTP was ‘HAXAN’ type sinister wierdness [another rooster link and also genius] – this stuff was so much better than a lot of the ‘old grey whistle test’ stuff that was put out.
Another i can remember on TOTP at the time of release was a black and white film accompanying ‘BALL OF CONFUSION’ that had KKK types jumping over a bonfire!!! and even seeing the twatty wildlife murderer and rightwing ahole ted nugent playing with the Amboy Dukes on Youtube was fun as the music was good –
the troggs – a song that is v. rare but great and literally sonically punishing and i wan’t to cover but will probably ruin is ‘Looks like a woman to me’ [at least i think it was called that – released as a single “she walks, she talks, she looks like a woman, she looks like a woman to me”…
ohhh, things were great then….must get to see yr archive stewyboy…
I’d love to see some

Comment by mistertrippy on 2009-12-21 17:10:06 +0000

I’ve never come across any Attack film, they had a couple of really top tunes and some less interesting ones the record company lumbered them with…. But “Anymore Than I Do” is an absolute classic:
But for more 60s London mod ‘action’ check this TV doc about The Action on YouTube if you ain’t already seen it, absolutely fab:
There is some great footage of The Flies on the BBC Man Alive documentary about the 14 Hour Technicolor Dream, which gets dragged out once every few years and shown somewhere like the ICA or Barbican in London (there is also some fleeting footage of my mom in the same doc and she’s obviously totally off her box on acid!). Unfortunately the BBC doc isn’t commercially released but I have heard a rumour there is a bootleg, although I’ve never seen a copy. As I noted in an earlier blog of mine reviewing a recent doc on the same subject:
“There is a very brief piece of footage of The Flies playing at Alexandra Palace, but while the BBC “Man Alive” documentary made at the time showed them throwing flour at the audience and allowed you to hear them rockin’ out, pretty much all you get here is a shot of their drum kit with something else dubbed over the top. This is a shame because The Flies were the business, and self-evidently a lot better than Pink Floyd live; presumably this is why the director Stephen Gammond cut their sound from the audio track, he clearly wants to big up original Floyd frontman Syd Barrett and takes many historical liberties to achieve this.”
Full review at:

Comment by Zen Master K on 2009-12-21 18:01:50 +0000

These acts are good but not of them can touch The Beatles. Macca rules the universe!

Comment by The Feltcher on 2009-12-21 18:57:22 +0000

If there is anyone out there who’d like to be shagged, feltched and then snowballed while listening to music that is red with purple flashes, then leave a message below so I can get in touch with you!

Comment by Ekaterina-Ivanova on 2009-12-21 19:14:50 +0000

of course I could mention that Ronnie “Sindi Incidentally” Wood’s The Birds appear in the The Deadly Bees but I would just be repeating myself
“‘When Ronnie and I moved into a tower, my friends were laughing and saying I was like the princess trapped in the tower. He went all Jekyll and Hyde. I’d be trapped there with an evil Goblin King.’”
me i’m gonna bounce along to MorganBlueTown on my spacehopper to The Troggs “The Raver”

Comment by mistertrippy on 2009-12-21 19:21:42 +0000

I’ve seen the clip with The Birds, I love them too (much better than The Stones) but never seen the whole film. But don’t forget Ronnie’s brother Art(hur) and his band the Artwoods!

Comment by Dave Kelso-Mitchell on 2009-12-21 19:26:13 +0000

After reading this I hopped on over to Youtube and was ted a very pleasant hour watching the Small Faces, Yardbirds, Action, Creation etc.. There’s a totally fucked up clip of John’s Children on there that is more interesting than enjoyable but I’ve never been able to find any clips of the US group ‘Rising Tide’ whose song ‘Frustration’ seriously outdid the Velvet Undergound for guitar shredding madness.

Comment by Dave Kelso-Mitchell on 2009-12-21 19:27:00 +0000

‘was ted’ should have read ‘wasted’ as I have never worn brothel creepers nor a drape coat.

Comment by The Sound Of 65 on 2009-12-21 19:33:04 +0000

Don’t forget the Graham Bond Organisation in “Gonks Go Beat” either!

Comment by mistertrippy on 2009-12-21 19:41:21 +0000

Dave, that John’s Children’s film is mad, as rather than being the promo, it is the out-takes cobbled together as they’ve been found but it looks like the actual film is lost…. Lots of great stuff on there for free… but nice to have some of it in much higher quality on these DVDs.
And Feltcher, finishing with the snowballing is just taking things too far for me!

Comment by THE PLAGIARIST on 2009-12-21 22:41:18 +0000

Strange sense of deja vu… like being zapped straight back to the 60s (man)….

Comment by Old Rope on 2009-12-22 00:52:13 +0000

Oooooooooooooh this is all getting read in work tomorrow!!! But for now I will dream about beating

Comment by Dottie Danger on 2009-12-22 11:14:04 +0000

We got the beat YEAH! We got the beat!

Comment by Stuart Leslie Goddard on 2009-12-22 12:02:32 +0000

Black and blue baby I love you… beat me beat me!

Comment by Joe Meek on 2009-12-22 12:41:04 +0000

Burn ’em, burn ’em all!

Comment by Brief Encounter on 2009-12-22 14:21:58 +0000

We’re gonna make it baby, yeah, to the disco era!

Comment by Dean Moriarty on 2009-12-23 00:49:13 +0000

Crazy kicks man, absolutely crazy! Beat beat Beat makes the beat generation look like a load of geriatric stiffs from the 1950s!

Comment by George ‘Tatters’ Chatham on 2009-12-23 02:09:22 +0000

Crime is the highest form of sensuality, and all great rock and roll is criminal!

Comment by Eddie The Eagle on 2009-12-23 03:28:25 +0000

I worship Eddie Phillips. He is a guitar god!

Comment by Old Rope on 2009-12-24 02:09:38 +0000

Love, kids, dont hate

Comment by Reality Surfer on 2010-01-07 02:54:09 +0000

Please take a moment to check out my documentary LSD:POWER & CONTROL.
It features an interview with one of the Divinity Students who was in Tim Leary’s Miracle of Good Friday Experiment.
New Interview with Ram Dass, and a look at LSD and the protest movement…as well as Krassner’s acid trip with Groucho Marx.
posted the film here at Youtube

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