Alex Chilton/The Royal Pendletons
As y’all no doubt heard, Alex Chilton passed on a couple months back. We were sad about that here at the Old Record Club, but couldn’t really find much to say to do him justice. It didn’t seem appropriate to just slap up a couple of tracks and go “Boxtops/Big Star/Solo oddness/discovered The Cramps/enormously influential etc.” Not for me anyway. I knew that Boogie Woogie Flu would come up with something better than I was reading or could do myself. It took ’em a couple weeks and is still the most recent post on the site, but it’s the best you’ll read on him and it has a bunch of great tunes to go with it (including a fantastic live set with Yo La Tengo from 2007). Meantime, I saw how just ’bout everyone seemed to mention him producing The Cramps early singles and that gave me an idea to write about some garage type stuff he’d produced by The Gories and the Royal Pendletons.
Time passed, as it does and I never did get around to it. Now Randy has showed me the June issue of dad rock rag Mojo (spit) has an equally delayed but touching obituary to Chilton by none other than Mike Hurtt of The Royal Pendletons hisself. Well Hell, you can’t turn down that kind of thing can you? No sir, I loved The Royal Pendletons they were a really great, fun band live. They played/play a pretty familiar mix of 50’s R&B, surf and garage punk that all right thinking folks just can’t help but love .
The only time I ever saw Alex Chilton not on a stage he was stood a few feet away from me throwing money at the Pendletons and yelling drunkenly. I’m not sure if he was heckling or cheering them on. This was a show at Checkpoint’s, probably not the one this flyer is for and mostly bands would play there for tips (like at What’s Cookin’, Chilton wasn’t just randomly throwing money). Checkpoint Charlie’s was a bar and launderette which did food, had live music and a pool table. You could be in there for a pretty long time if you weren’t careful although honestly, you had to be plenty drunk to eat the food and the launderette was rubbish. The Pendletons used to play on a fairly regular basis and I would generally try and show up for it. The record they made with Chilton came out on Sympathy for the Record Industry in 1998 and was called Oh Yeah, Baby. It’s the only long player they did and I’ve no idea if another will ever turn up. One day, maybe.
As it’s pretty darned obscure and probably next to impossible to find we’ll be generous here and give you four tracks from it. Two songs by Hurtt a cover of Earl King’s ‘Those Lonely, Lonely Nights’ and ‘Mecca’ one of the numerous swingin’ instrumentals that used to pepper their sets….
It’s seems they split in 2000 but reconvened in 2005 even touring Europe in 2008 under the patronage of none other King Khan hisself and are still an erratically going concern although I think they all have other stuff going on, Mike has a new band called The Haunted Hearts for one. Still, here he is rockin’ it live in a truly hideous jacket