Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Star Mountain Babylon

El Chuco: que transa por tus venas

There's few parallels to draw between El Paso's music scene in the 1960s and Albuquerque's. In the early sixties, El Paso was seemingly still under The spell of Buddy Holly/Eddie Cochran and early recordings by local bands reflected this trend. This El Paso era produced two musicians in Bobby Fuller and Terry Manning that would influence American rock/pop music well after the 60s gassed out. Fated for a macabre demise, Bobby Fuller established himself in West Texas/New Mexico before he moved to Los Angeles and broke out on the national scene with “I Fought the Law” in 1966. Terry Manning, had a modest run in El Paso with his band, The Wild Ones, but truly hit his stride once he relocated to Memphis, Tn. and started working with Stax/Ardent Records in the the early 1970s.

Due to the success of Norm Petty Studios, West Texas got off the starting line early compared to the rest of the region. In 1957, both Buddy Knox and Jimmy Bowen (who had played together in The Rhythm Orchids) hit the national charts with million selling singles. Bowen's “I'm Sticking With You” and Knox's “Party Doll” coupled with Buddy Holly's #1 single, “That'll Be The Day” set off a stampede of musicians headed to Clovis, N.M. As Goldust Records founder, Emmit Brooks put it: "After Buddy Holly and the Beatles, there was a feeling out there that anyone could get a hit and make a million dollars," El Paso caught the fever and before long a burgeoning local rock & roll scene was starting to bubble up from the dusty landscape.

The arrival in 1957 of itinerant blues guitarist, Long John Hunter (who set up shop at the Lobby Club across the river in Juarez) helped to kick things off. Much like Al Hurricane in Albuquerque, Hunter was grounded in another genre, yet still played a part in helping rock & roll gain a toehold. His single “El Paso Rock” released on Calvin Boles' Yucca Records in 1961 helped spark El Paso's pre-Beatles infatuation with instrumental rock. Countless El Paso musicians made nightly treks across the border to the Lobby No. 2 Cafe and Night Club to watch Long John lay down some rattlesnake moan. A disciple of the East Texas blues guitar tradition, Hunter would often allow young musicians who could work up the nerve, to take the stage with him (including a very young and nervous Bobby Fuller)

Then in 1963 a funny thing happened... El Paso went bonkers for surf music. No easy way to explain this. The Gulf of Mexico is 700 plus miles away (though the closest beach to El Paso is actually Puerto Peñasco in Mexico...about 500 miles) Almost overnight, every band worth a lick in El Chuco, started playing like Dick Dale and The Deltones. A period well documented by Norton Records' compilation series “El Paso Rocks” Having tossed aside his aspirations towards emulating Buddy Holly and Eddie Cochran. Bobby Fuller planted himself firmly at the forefront of this curious turn towards instrumental surf music in the desert. “The Bobby Fuller Instrumental Album” compiled by Rockhouse Records (a label based in the Netherlands) adds further credence to this strange turn of events.

I realize that historically, El Paso has ties to Cali, specifically Los Angeles. But this is fucking nuts. If not for the British Invasion, who knows how far this “sand surfing” craze may have gone. One thing for certain, this odd mix of borderland bands produced instrumental surf music roughly the equal of what was streaming out of SoCal at the time. Bobby Fuller's “Thunder Reef” “Our Favorite Martian” “Wolfman” and “Stringer” The Pawns “South Bay” The Sherwoods “Tickler” The Impostors' Surfaris spoof “Wipe In” Four Dimensions “Sand Surfin” The Four Frogs “Mr. Big” The Chandelles “El Gato” The dichotomy of “surf in the desert” was resurrected in 1978, when for some strange reason “Big Wednesday” John Milius' coming of age surf movie filmed several scenes in El Paso. 

The Chains “El Paso's Beatles” weren't from El Paso, they weren't even from the Southwest. The band got its start in Las Cruces when Roy Pinney, Brian Kelly and Andy Woll, all formerly of The Dolphins, a surf band from Larchmont, N.Y. enrolled at NMSU. They added Ted Woods on drums and lead guitarist Ron Hillburn (a fullback on the NMSU football team) and called themselves Rasputin and the Chains. After a year at NMSU, Andy Woll left the group and the rest of the guys transferred thirty miles down the road to UTEP. The group's name was shortened to The Chains and they recorded their first single, a cover of The Young Rascals “Ain't Gonna Eat Out My Heart Anymore b/w Cee C. Roc” The b-side was actually titled “Crotch Cannibal Rock” an instrumental ode to an enthusiastic groupie.

“Ain't Gonna Eat Out My Heart Anymore” was an instant regional hit, topping the charts at El Paso's KINT “And NUM-BER ONE (echo) for the fifth week in a row-ow-ow-ow, THE CHAINS-AINS-AINS! Ohhhh, baby! I Ain’t ‘a Gonna’ Eat Out My HEARRRT Anymore-ore-ore-ore!” With Bobby Fuller gone from this earth, The Chains rapidly filled the void in the El Paso musical landscape. They signed with Pinpoint Records and received a radio push from KINT radio personality Sonny Melendrez who wrote: “The Chains were the Beatles of El Paso, I remember seeing them for the first time at Cathedral Hs. There was electricity in the air... the kids went wild for these guys” Not to be outdone, KELP El Paso's top forty front runner ran a “Win a Date with The Chains” contest.

1967 was a busy year for The Chains, as they toured relentlessly across the Southwest, opening for the Standells in Las Cruces and The Electric Prunes in Albuquerque. Yet, a breakout hit eluded them. Roy Pinney's brother Tor, had cut his teeth playing with several bands in upstate New York, the best known being Haymarket Square. When the drug scene in New York got too heavy, Tor bailed out, joining his brother in El Paso as The Chains second guitarist. Within a month or two, Roy quit The Chains, with Tor filling his spot. The Chains then embarked on a 1968, “40 shows in 40 towns” tour of the western states that included stops in Albuquerque and Santa Fe. Tor recalls that: “The audiences were appreciative and the groupies were downright heartwarming”

Back in El Paso, The Chains were offered a recording contract from a label in Dallas. Ultimately the deal fell through and they found themselves stranded and starving in a Dallas motel before landing a gig as the house band at a club called “Lou Anne's” Undeterred The Chains made their way to New York City in search of a record deal. Roy Pinney rejoined the band, personnel changes followed. They worked the club circuit in New York, cut some demos, but were unable to land the elusive major label contract that they sought. In 1969 The Chains called it quits. Later that year, following on the heels of the smash hit “Na Na Na Na Hey Hey Kiss 'Em Goodbye” Tor Pinney toured the U.S. as a member of Steam (this was strictly a touring band and not involved in the recording process)

Terry Manning played a bit part in El Paso's early rock history, yet his name still resonates in that border city. A nascent Terry & The Wild Ones (with Roy Moore & David Wood) can be heard at their raucous best, working through a set of diverse cover songs in 1963 on Norton Records' “El Paso Rock Vol. 7” Originally from Oklahoma, the Manning family only lived in El Paso for a few years before moving to Memphis, Tn. For Terry it was long enough to attend Austin Hs., put together an iconic local band and strike up a friendship with Bobby Fuller, after a performance by Fuller at a school dance. Terry is often referred to as having been mentored by Bobby and apparently his connection to Fuller helped open doors for him on the Memphis music scene.

Manning performed live with Bobby on several occasions “I ended up on several gigs sitting in and playing with him, or he'd let me sing a song here and there, it was usually "Oh Donna" or "Peggy Sue" Terry was also a frequent guest at 9509 Album Ave. the Fuller's home. He recalls the living room having been converted into a rudimentary recording space with a fully functioning concrete echo chamber added on just outside the house. This would have been around 1962-63, when Bobby started up Eastwood Records, which would later transition into Exeter Records. However, Terry admits that at the time he wasn't into the technical aspect of the recording process, so other than picking up a few pointers, it's not likely that the two worked together on any actual recordings.

In Memphis, a teenage Terry Manning convinced Al Bell to give him a job at Stax Records. Initially his duties consisted of sweeping floors and copying tapes. Eventually he became an assistant engineer and then an engineer and occasional producer. During this period Terry also played with Lawson and Four More, a Memphis band that featured Bobby Lawson as vocalist. Lawson and Four More recorded for Ardent Records (produced by Jim Dickinson) which led to a spot on The Dick Clark Caravan Tour of the Mid-South. It was on this tour (which included The Yardbirds) that Terry became friends with guitarist Jimmy Page. After Bobby Lawson was unceremoniously booted from the group, they changed their name to The Goatdancers and continued to record for Ardent under Jim Dickinson's direction.

At Stax Records, Manning was on the production team that produced The Staple Singers and Al Green. He also recorded a rather unexpected solo album, “Home Sweet Home” released in 1970 on Stax's Enterprise subsidiary. The brainchild of Stax Vice-President Al Bell, Terry's soulful, psychedelic, blues tinged rockabilly long player deserves serious consideration if only for the fact that it marked the first studio appearance for Big Star's Chris Bell. Manning also worked at Ardent Studios, first with The Box Tops and then with Alex Chilton. His continued friendship with Chris Bell led to his becoming a member of two of Bell's pre-Big Star bands, Rock City and Icewater. He engineered Big Star's “ #1 Record” (on which he played electric piano) and “Radio City” albums.

Manning's friendship with Jimmy Page also led to his working on “Led Zeppelin III” the crowning achievement of a career that would see him work with the likes of ZZ Top, Albert King, Leon Russell, Joe Walsh, Johnny Winter, Molly Hatchet, Ten Years After, Jason & The Scorchers, Joe Cocker, The Fabulous Thunderbirds, George Thorogood, Widespread Panic and Lenny Kravitz... just to name a few. In 1988 Manning opened his own studio in Memphis, Studio Six. Four years later Chris Blackwell of Island Records sought him out to revitalize Compass Point Studios in Nassau, Bahamas. where Terry worked for twenty years. Manning also started his own record label, Lucky Seven on which he released an album by Chris Bell's Rock City and his own tribute to Bobby Fuller “West Texas Skyline”

Bobby Fuller Died For Your Sins

Following Terry Manning's departure, Roy Moore, David Woods and a revolving cast (Frank Sotelo, Ty Grimes and Mike Ciccarelli) continued on as The Wild Ones. They recorded one single on Suemi Records “Something's Wrong b/w I Want to Be Friendly” in 1966. Produced by Bill Taylor and Kenny Smith, co-owners of Suemi Records and co-writers of both songs. Following the release of the Suemi single, The Wild Ones made the prerequisite move to Los Angeles. On the fateful day of July 18th. 1966, Ty Grimes and Mike Ciccarelli, having just arrived in Los Angeles, stopped in at the apartment shared by Dalton Powell and Jim Reese of The Bobby Fuller Four. They asked if they could go see Bobby, who lived just a few blocks away. Powell and Reese agreed to take them to see Fuller.

The four arrived at Bobby's place, only to find his Oldsmobile gone. They went up the stairs and knocked on the door, nobody answered. After waiting a few minutes, they started back down the stairs when suddenly Lorraine Fuller, Bobby & Randy's mother, came running towards them. She had just discovered Bobby's lifeless body in his car, which had mysteriously turned up in an adjacent lot during the time that the four men had gone up the stairs. Ty Grimes would later state that he was almost certain he saw Bobby's car pull into the lot while they waited upstairs. Lorraine collected herself, called the police and then called Randy Fuller (he wasn't on speaking terms with Bobby and was staying at the home of a family friend from El Paso) Lorraine uttered “Bobby's Dead” and hung up the phone.

Bobby Fuller was almost certainly murdered. Theories abound, few stand up to further scrutiny. There's one theory that was brought to my attention by a man who claims he's the illegitimate son of Bobby Fuller. His version echoes a plot line from John Kaye's novel “The Dead Circus” Frank Sinatra, enraged over Bobby having slipped his daughter Nancy a hit of LSD (she had a bad trip) during the filming of “Ghost in the Invisible Bikini” (in which they co-starred) used his ample mob connections to have Fuller put on ice. Bobby was into acid and in fact it's rumored that he attended an LSD party the night he died. It's the most plausible of all the Bobby Fuller murder theories. It would take a heavy guy with dirty cops and mob hit men at his beck and call to pull this off. Was Sinatra that guy?

Jim Reese would later state that he and Dalton Powell fled Los Angeles after three mysterious armed thugs showed up looking for Bobby four days after he died. Apparently, the thugs hadn't read the newspapers. Reese and Powell, who were already scheduled to depart from Los Angeles, proceeded to do so, post haste. In Bobby's Oldsmobile no less... reeking of gasoline and death. Dalton Powell was desperate to return home to his wife in El Paso. He had rejoined the band on an interim basis following DeWayne Quirico's dismissal. Jim Reese had received his draft notice and was due to report for boot camp. Bobby, as he was wont to do, had dipped into El Paso's deep pool of talent for replacements. Ty Grimes and Mike Ciccarellli who were already in town being the obvious choices.

Bob Keane of Del Fi/Mustang Records was the type of guy that believed you could still race a dead horse run if you whipped it hard enough. After a brief period of mourning and with “I Fought the Law” still on the charts, Keane had DeWayne Quirico convince Randy Fuller to come back to Hollywood and put together another band. (Randy Fuller, DeWayne Quirico, Mike Ciccarelli & Howard Steele). A former member of Bobby Fuller & The Fanatics, Ciccarelli had been replaced by Billy Webb when he was unable to accompany the band to Los Angeles in 1963. A talented guitarist, he had just left The Wild Ones and would go on to join Swift Rain in 1969 (they released an album on Hi Records) Mike Ciccarelli also released a solo single on Hi Records “The Sun Rises/ Here” in 1971.

Bobby Fuller was a strict taskmaster, as evidenced by the long list of back up musicians he employed. Bobby loved to tinker with the lineup, trying out various drummers and guitarists. The only constant being his brother Randy. He damn near went through as many drummers as Spinal Tap. Accompanying Bobby and Randy on the fishing expedition to Los Angeles in 1963 were Billy Webb and Jimmy Wagnon (who had replaced Freddy Paz on drums) They played a few gigs and trolled for a major label, to no avail. The only bite they got was from Bob Keane, who always kept an open door policy and yet he initially turned them down. Keane advised them to go home and come back when they had a hit single for him. Advice that must have gnawed at Bobby's egocentric nature.

In late 1964, spurred on by the closing of the “Rendezvous” his showcase dance club in El Paso and his father's refusal to co-sign on a new club. Bobby left for Los Angeles. From that point on, Fuller had mixed feelings about his hometown. A big fish in a small pond, Fuller would soon find himself a guppie swimming among sharks. Accustomed to to their role as headliners, Bobby & The Fanatics (now rechristened The Bobby Fuller Four at Bob Keane's insistence) found themselves grinding out cover songs at The Ambassador Hotel, L.A. Rendezvous and PJ's. “Let Her Dance” a local hit in Los Angeles (released in June of 1965, it tanked nationally, failing to make the Top 100) finally broke the band regionally as control over his destiny and music slowly slipped out of Bobby's reach.

Bob Keane rushed Randy into the studio and had him sing over the original track for “It's Love, Come What May” Instead of dubbing in Randy's voice, Keane simply turned up the volume, in effect drowning out Bobby's original vocals. It's suffice to say, Randy was a much better bass player than vocalist. The resulting cluster fuck was rushed out as a single, credited to Randy Fuller and it flopped miserably. The faux four recorded a second single for Mustang, “The Things You Do/Now She's Gone” credited to The Randy Fuller Four, it went unreleased. Keane also re-recorded “Thunder Reef/Wolfman” which had originally been released on Mustang and credited to The Shindigs aka The Bobby Fuller Four (a blatant ass kissing attempt to secure the position of house band on the tv show)

It's the same arrangement, right down to Bobby's awful Wolfman Jack impersonation. But, it's clearly Mike Ciccarelli on lead guitar instead of Bobby Fuller. Keane updated the sound in the same manner that so many groups did back then, giving it a hyper speed freak boost. It's a miracle Bob didn't rename it “Wolfman '66” Ever the scoundrel, Bob Keane licensed (without Randy's consent) “It's Love, Come What May” to Show Town Records for release in the UK (a fairly common Bob Keane dirty deed) “1,000 Miles in Space / Revelation” would prove to be the last recording made with Keane. Cornball psyche guitar doodling with vocals as thin as Arby's roast beef, it amounted to nothing. Randy for the life of him, could not sing. Not that it stopped him from trying.

The well ran dry, Randy Fuller and Quirico were left to fend for themselves. This albatross of a rhythm section spent the next two years grinding out cover songs at the infamous PJ's. Eventually Randy Fuller found himself playing in Dewey Martin's ersatz version of Buffalo Springfield called “The New Buffalo Springfield” which wasn't even that, seeing how the first version of “The New Buffalo Springfield” had already tanked. In effect it was “The New, New Buffalo Springfield” but it was still the same old crap. This version worked with producer Tom Dowd on an album that was scrapped. After which, Randy Fuller and the others mutinied, fired Dewey Martin and carried on as Blue Mountain Eagle. Not long after that, Fuller left to join Dewey Martin's new band Medicine Ball.

Ty Grimes also had connections with Bobby Fuller. His older brother Gaylord Grimes was Bobby's first drummer, dating back to the Yucca Records period. Ty lobbied for the job when Gaylord opted to enroll in college, but Fuller considered him too young for the job and went with Googie Dirmeyer instead. (Dirmeyer wasn't with the band long before he lost a finger in an industrial accident while working his day job at an elevator factory) While Ty never had a chance to play with Bobby Fuller, he did go on to become a member of Rick Nelson's Stone Canyon Band (appearing on the “Windfall” album) Capt. Beefheart's Magic Band (during the “Bluejeans & Moonbeams” Tragic Band period) and was drummer for jazz/rock fusion flutist, Tim Weisberg in the mid-1970s.

The Nerve of Your Hometown...

The most striking difference between homespun record labels from Albuquerque and El Paso is the production quality. Duke City labels such as Lance, Space, Lavelle, Red Feather, Delta and Q.Q. all met high professional standards. This was due mainly to the state of the art equipment and professional standards set by John Wagner Studios, the primary recording facility used by all the labels mentioned above. Hurricane Records with their own recording facility and Tiny Morie at the control board didn't lag far behind. John Wagner was a major label quality engineer and producer working at the local level. Lindy Laskey and Tommy Bee were also top notch producers with a keen ear for quality production. Few recordings came out of 'Burque during this period that weren't “radio ready”

El Paso studios held to a lower standard. Live takes were often pressed directly to vinyl, equipment was shoddy and production values lax. Danny Parra (Danny & the Counts) having suffered through Steve Crosno's slapdash recording methods at Frogdeath Records, remembers the poor quality of studio recordings in El Paso at the time. “The songs were recorded as live single takes in a dumpy downtown recording studio for the princely sum of $75” production work was nonexistent “The fee was for an hour of recording time with a very bored, spectacled, bald geezer, bored out of his gourd during our session” Parra continued “Did he kick up our audio or segregate the instruments and vocals for a sweeter mix?... Hell No! He might've been the janitor for all we knew”

The recording session Danny Parra describes produced the single “You Need Love b/w Ode to the Wind” released on Coronado Records. This enigmatic label appears to have had two distinct production phases. The first is marked by the use of a maroon label and started with a split single, The Pawns “Lonely” and David Hayes “Meet Me Here (In New Orleans)” Early on Coronado Records was home to a handful of instrumental/vocal groups riding the sand surfing fad that swept through El Paso. (The Pawns, The Beach Nuts, The Celtics) David Hayes & The Pawns single “Lonely Weekends/What do the Voices Say” released in 1965 was produced by Calvin Bowls. Which is either a typo, Calvin Boles of Yucca Records going incognito or a totally different person altogether.

Signaling a change of direction for the label, the last two releases on the maroon label featured R&B artists with Gene Willis & the Aggregation and The El Paso Drifters. Coronado Records second phase “yellow label with conquistador heads” began with Coronado 141, “Ode to Loneliness /Heart of Blue” by The Motivaters (sic)  This period almost exclusively featured R&B/Soul acts such as The El Paso Drifters, Doug Adams, Donald Ray, The El Paso Chessmen. There's gaps-a-plenty in the Coronado Records discography and a thorough search of the internet failed to turn up any info as to who owned and operated the label. For what it's worth, Calvin Boles and Kenny Smith both associated with other labels, produced singles for Coronado. Not sure if their involvement went beyond that.

Kenny Smith and Bill “Sparks” Taylor were owner, operators of Suemi Records. Named after a popular 60s put down (So, if you don't like it... Sue Me!) Previously, they were both members of the Sherwoods. Often referred to as Bill Taylor and the Sherwoods, arguably to avoid being confused with The Sherwoods of Corpus Christi, a garage band with a much larger following. The El Paso Sherwoods released a handful of recordings, including “You Hold My Letters (Not Me) / Just As I Love Her” released in 1963 on Bobby Fuller's Eastwood label, reissued the following year on Bobby's Exeter label. Like so many of their clan, The Sherwoods got caught up in the surfing craze, recording “Tickler” “Black Out” and “Podunk” for Exeter in 1964.

Following the demise of The Sherwoods, Bill “Sparks” Taylor joined up with band mate Kenny Smith to form Suemi Records. Having been evicted from their original studio on Stanton Street, they set up shop at Tasmit Studios in the Upper Valley. Suemi started out with a diverse roster of local instrumental and vocals groups before evolving into one of those obscure American “soul” labels sought out by British Northern Soul aficionados. The highlights of the Suemi's early rock period include: The Scavengers - Bogus / Ghost Riders ’65, The Embers - I’m Goin’ Surfin’ /Why Am I So Blue, Dave Caflan - You Came To Me / You Must Me kidding, The Wild Ones - Something’s Wrong / I Want To Be Friendly. The majority of these tracks were licensed to Norton Records' and included on that label's awesome “El Paso Rocks” compilation series.

Suemi also went through a psyche rock period, that culminated with the release of “I Love You Gorgo” a cursory compilation featuring four tracks each from Truth, Lode Star and The Intruders. Not certain if Dalton Powell and Jim Reese had joined Rod Crosby in The Intruders at this point. After Bobby Fuller's death and their subsequent return to El Paso, they played with Murphy's Law. Lode Star (they had released a single on Suemi, “Glimpses / It’s Gonna Be Here”) included Andre Bonaguidi and Frankie Sotelo (ex-Wild Ones) The Intruders also included Paul West. All three musicians would later turn up (along with Mike Ciccarelli) in Swift Rain, an aborted psyche rock band that recorded an album “Coming Down" At Royal Studios in Memphis, Tn. released on Hi Records in 1969.

Suemi Records' last phase was dominated by Lou Pride, who's single “I’m Com’un Home In The Morn’un / I’m Not Thru Lov’un You” became a bonafied Northern Soul Monster. In fact Pride's entire catalog is revered by those wacky Brits, specifically his El Paso recordings with the Suemi imprint. Go figure? Lou Pride was a man possessed of “a smooth, uptown southern voice” Originally from Chicago, Pride was drafted into the Army. He met a gal, got married and upon being mustered from the ranks decided to call El Paso home. (he would eventually move to Albuquerque, where he recorded his debut album “Very Special” on the Black Gold label) Landing at Suemi Records almost by accident, Pride recorded seven singles for Suemi, all highly sought after by UK collectors.

Suemi also put out a single by The Groove Merchants “There’s Got To Be Someone For Me / We Are Only Fooling Ourselves” A group of Ft. Bliss soldiers, calling themselves the Funky Bunch, they were actually Lou Pride's back-up band. Kenny Smith was quite impressed with their horn section but not their name. Smith thought he overheard Lou Pride refer to himself as “The Groove Merchant” so he took the liberty to have “The Groove Merchants” printed on the label. All of which freed up Funky Bunch for Marky Mark's back up band to use in the late 1990s. Eventually Bill “Sparks” Taylor and Kenny Smith moved to Memphis and set up shop at Royal Studios, an eight track studio owned by Hi Records. Lou Pride soon joined Bill & Kenny in Memphis, recording a few more tracks in the process. 

As Steve Crosno would say, “My, My... will you look at the time” El Paso is a nice place, it's no Albuquerque mind you.... with that said, it's time to wrap this up. Bobby Fuller, as so many had before him, made the trip to Clovis N.M., and Norm Petty Studios. Recording two tracks “My Heart Jumped / Gently My Love” released as a single on Yucca Records. [05/1962] Bobby on vocals & guitar was accompanied by none other than Vi Petty (piano, backup vocals) The experience rubbed Fuller the wrong way and he set out to record his own music from that point on. To this end he set up his own studio in the Fuller's living room. Just a young man, two four-track Ampex recorders and a home made concrete echo chamber. From that humble studio sprang forth some truly iconic American rock & roll.

Naturally, a man with his own studio must have his own label. Bobby Fuller's first effort was Eastwood Records (named either for Eastwood Hs. or the Eastwood Heights neighborhood adjacent to Montclair where Fuller lived) Eastwood ran from 1962-63, releasing three singles “Nervous Breakdown” / “Not Fade Away” Bobby Fuller “Judy” / “I Can No Longer Pretend” The Chancellers “Just As I Love Her” / “You Hold My Letters (Not Me)” Bill Taylor & The Sherwoods (this single was also reissued as EXT 121 on Exeter, the only overlap between the the two labels) Eastwood essentially merged with Exeter Records which was active throughout most of 1964, ceasing operations shortly after Fuller relocated to Los Angeles. Exeter Records would issue seven singles and one album.

The album was an anomaly by Los Paisanos, a local trio comprised of “a businessman, a professor and a dentist drawn together by their mutual love for the traditional music of the Southwest and Mexico” The three, Don Dixon, Dan Richey & Clarence Cooper created a smashup of styles and genres, long before anyone even thought of such a thing. Traditional vaquero songs, modern folk classics, Irish Revolutionary ballads and Mexican folk standards. Wonderful, wonderful, wonderful. The album sold well and copies are still out there.... somewhere. Los Paisanos credited Mr. Bob Fuller of Exeter Records Co. 9509 Album Ave. El Paso, Tx. for having produced and directed the recording. “Los Paisanos are indebted to Mr. Fuller for his able direction and sound engineering.” Boy Howdy!

Three of the Exeter recordings featured Bobby Fuller & The Fanatics (“Fool Of Love” / “Shakedown” “She’s My Girl” / “I Fought The Law” “Wine, Wine, Wine” / “King Of The Beach”) including Fuller's original versions of “I Fought The Law” and “King of the Beach” (which was reworked in Los Angeles as “King of the Wheels” for the album “KRLA, King of the Wheels”) Other singles included, “Tickler / Black Out” The Sherwoods, “The Pawn / South Bay” The Pawns and “Meet Me Here / Lonely” David Hayes & The Pawns. “Meet Me Here / Lonely” was the final Exeter release, shortly thereafter Bobby informed The Pawns that he was leaving for Los Angeles and cleared them to reissue “Meet Me Here/ Lonely” on Coronado Records credited as “A Fuller Production” 

Text accompanied by music, Dirt City Chronicles

Don't Need You No More- The Outer Limits
And She'll Cry- The Celtics
You Need Love- Danny & the Counts
How Do You Feel?- The Chains
When Will I Find Her- Mike Renolds and the Infants of Soul
You Came to Me- Dave Caflan (Colin Flannigan of The Four Frogs)
Not Fade Away- Group Axis
Walking Away- The Outer Limits
Walkin' and Talkin'- The Keymen
Want to Be Your Loving Man- Dudley and the Do-Rites
I Love You For What You Are- Four Dimensions
Don't Leave Me- The Outer Limits
Someday- Apple Glass Cyndrom
Stop the World- The Chains
Silly Ants- Group Axis
Babe You Know- The Brentwoods
Shakedown- Bobby Fuller & The Fanatics
Begin Your Crying- The Outer Limits
Meet Me Here (In New Orleans) David Hayes & The Pawns
Think I'm Losing You- The Four Frogs
Ode to Loneliness- The Motivaters
Waves- The Outer Limits
Something's Wrong- The Wild Ones
Wine Wine Wine- Bobby Fuller & The Fanatics
Smokestack Lightning- Group Axis
Talk Talk- Terry Manning