Doc Holliday


Band members                             Related acts

  line up 1 (1971-74)

- Thomas Arlotta -- bass

- Frank Carillo -- vocals, guitar, dulcimer, percussion

- Robert Liggio -- drums

- Robert Mayo -- vocals guitar, keyboards, percussion

 

 

 

- Carillo (Frank Carillo)

- Frank Carillo and the Bandeleros (Frank Carillo)

- Golden Carillo (Frank Carillo)

- Hot Soup

- Kooymans & Carillo (Frank Carillo)

 

 

 


 

Genre: pop

Rating: 4 stars ****

Title:  Doc Holliday

Company: Metromedia

Catalog: BML1-0171
Year:
 1973

Country/State: US

Grade (cover/record): VG+/VG+

Comments: --

Available: 1

Catalog ID: 744

Price: $60.00

 

This one's pretty obscure given you won't find it in references like Patrick Lundborg's The Acid Archives, or Vernon Joynson's Fuzz Acid and Flowers.  As far as I can tell, it isn't even well represented on the web where there are only a couple of short references, including an Italian blogger who seems to have the band confused with a similarly named Macon, Georgia-based Southern rock outfit.

 

I can't say I know a great deal about these guys.  Singer/guitarist Frank Carillo was the band's driving force.  Carillo had previously been a member of the band Hot Soup which recorded an obscure single and album in the mid-'60s before calling it quits.  Carillo's next job was as a member of Peter Frampton's post-Humble Pie recording and touring band (he played in "Winds of Change" and "Frampton's Camel").  With support from  manager Phil Loritoe he then decided to form his own band, recruiting  the talents of bassist Thomas Arlotta, drummer Robert Liggio, and singer/guitarist Robert Mayo.  

 

Signed by the small Metromedia label, the band's debut album teamed them with Rolling Stones producer Chris Kimsey.   Metromedia apparently had high hopes for the band, shipping them to London to record 1973's "Doc Holliday" at the famed Olympic Sound Studios.   With Carillo and Frank Paul Spagnuolo credited with writing most of the eight tracks (bassist Arlotta wrote 'Come Down Sally'), the album wasn't particularly original, reflecting a wide array of outside influences including FM rockers like Humble Pie, boogie bar band (Faces), more pop oriented groups (Badfinger), and even a touch of glam.  In this case the lack of originality was a major criticism.  Among other gifts, the band was blessed with a pair of strong lead singers.  Carillo was the gruffer of the two, which made him wonderful on tracks like the opener 'Fix Me' and the single 'Whiskey Lady'.   In contrast Mayo's voice was a bit more commercial which was great for tracks like the ballad 'Captain Cooke'.   As mentioned, musically they were all over the place including a stab at country-rock ('Restless Days') , but for these guys it wasn't a major drawback since there wasn't a single truly awful performance on the LP.   Hard to put my finger on it, but "Doc Holliday" is an album with a distinctive British rock feel and it's an album far better than the individual compositions (which are themselves quite good).  Highest compliments I can pay -  If I had a record label, this is one of the reissue projects I'd actively pursue  ...

 

"Doc Holliday" track listing:
(side 1)

1.) Fix Me   (Frank Carillo - Frank Paul Spagnuolo) - 4:05

Opening up with some atmospheric Carillo guitar, 'Fix Me' seemed to be heading off into Humble Pie-styled FM ballad territory.  Not necessarily a bad thing, but then things abruptly picked up and the band unexpectedly displayed some wonderful harmony vocals, Carillo's effects treated lead guitar (sounded like he was running it through some Leslies), and their knack for a radio-friendly melody.   Great way to start the album.   rating: **** stars

2.) Captain Cooke   (Frank Carillo - Frank Paul Spagnuolo) - 5:35

A dark, moody ballad, 'Captain Cooke' had a great melody, nice vocal (think Mayo handled this one), and was completely engaging.   It was the kind of song Billy Joel spent years trying to write.   rating: **** stars 

3.) Come Down Sally   (Thomas Arlotta) - 4:42

The lone Arlotta composition, 'Come Down Sally' sounded like Badfinger trying out for a boogie band job.   Initially the song didn't make much of an impression, but after a couple of spins it revealed its charms including some nice vocals and some nice Arlotta bass work.   rating: *** stars

4.) Uncle Tinker   (Frank Carillo - Frank Paul Spagnuolo) - 3:25

The apparently autobiographically inspired 'Uncle Tinker' was the kind of song that Rod Stewart and the Faces would have jumped all over.   In fact, with it's pounding keyboards, drunker sing-along chorus, and overall energy, it sounded very much like a Faces tune.   Good stuff if you like The Faces.   Not so good if you don't like them.   I like The Faces.   rating: **** stars

 

(side 2)
1.) Whiskey Lady   (Frank Carillo - Frank Paul Spagnuolo) - 4:11

Opening up with some tasty Carillo dulcimer, 'Whiskey Lady' sounded like a great Faces tune.  Ronnie Laine would have been proud.   The song also featured some of the band's best guitar work and was tapped as a single.   rating: **** stars

2.) Magga Blue   (Frank Carillo - Frank Paul Spagnuolo) - 3:35

Other than a tasty Carillo-Mayo guitar workout (Carillo also unleashed his slide guiatr chops), 'Magga Blue' was a mild disappointment - a pedestrian blues-rocker that probably sounded way better after a couple of cold beers.  rating: *** stars 

3.) Restless Days   (Frank Carillo - Frank Paul Spagnuolo) - 5:30

I'm usually not a big country-rock fans, but 'Restless Days' was actually pretty good with more of a rock-than-country-tinge.  In other words this one sounded more like The Stones trying to do a country-rock number than something out of the Poco catalog.    Not sure who handled the prominent pedal steel guitar, but it was impressive.  rating: *** stars

4.) Messiah Song   (Frank Carillo - Frank Paul Spagnuolo) - 5:46

Opening up with a hypnotic Arlotta bass line, 'Messiah Song' started out as a slightly lysergic tinged ballad before exploding into a full throttle rocker with some snarling lyrics and first rate AOR guitar pyrotechnics (which showcased why Carillo was such an in-demand player).  Overall, the album's most impressive performance.    rating: **** stars

 

As mentioned, the album was tapped for at least one rare promotional single:

 

  

- 1973's 'Whiskey Lady' b/w 'Whiskey Lady' (Metromedia catalog 69-114)

 

Carillo subsequently enjoyed an extensive solo recording career and though it doesn't mention The Hot Soup, he has a nice website at:

http://www.frank-carillo.com/

 

 

 

 

 

 

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