Frijid Pink


Band members                              Related acts

  line up 1 (1967-72)

- Tom Beaudry (aka Kelly Green)  (RIP) -- vocals

- Tom Harris -- bass

- Rich Stevers -- drums, percussion

- Gary Ray Thompson -- lead guitar

 

  line up 2 (1972)

NEW- David Alexander -- vocals

- Rich Stevers -- drums, percussion

NEW - Craig Webb -- lead guitar 

NEW- Larry Zalanak -- keyboards 

 

  line up 3 (1975)

NEW - Jo Baker -- vocals, harp

- Rich Stevers -- drums, percussion

NEW - Larry Poplizio -- bass

NEW- Larry Zalanak -- keyboards 

 

  supporting musicians (1975)

- David Ahlers -- piano

- Rockin' Reggie Vincent -- vocals

 

  line up 4 (1981-82)

- Ray Gunn -- lead guitar

- Tom Harris -- bass

- Rich Stevers -- drums, percussion

- Arlene Viecelli -- vocals, guitar

 

  line up 5 (2001)

- ???

 

  line up 6 (2005)

NEW - Tom Beaudry (aka Kelly Green)  (RIP) -- vocals

NEW - Steve Dansby -- guitar

NEW - Tom Harris -- bass

NEW - Larin Michaels -- keyboards

- Rich Stevers -- drums, percussion

 

 

 

 

 

- Cactus (Steve Dansby)

- Lost Nation (Craig Webb)

- Virgin Dawn (Ray Gunn)

 

 


 

Genre: rock

Rating: *** (3 stars)

Title:  Frijid Pink

Company: Parrot

Catalog: PAS-71033

Year: 1970

Country/State: Allen Park, Michigan

Grade (cover/record): VG+/VG+

Comments: --

Available: 1

Catalog ID: 3253

Price: $20.00

 

 

I've owned a couple of Frijid Pink albums for years and never really paid much attention to them until recently.  I know I played at least one of them when purchased, but I couldn't have told you which one it was, let alone what it sounded like.   Add to that, for some reason I was laboring under the mistaken impression these guys were from the UK ... wrong, wrong, wrong.

 

Drummer Rich Stevers and bassist Tom Harris started out playing in the Detroit cover band Detroit Vibrations.  They were joined by singer Tom Beaudry (who adopted the stage name Kelly Green) and guitarist Gary Ray Thompson.  As Frijid Pink the band spent two years on the Michigan and mid-West club scene before recording a collection of demos that eventually attracted the attention of London Records Preside Walt McGuire.  In 1969 London signed them to it's Parrot subsidiary. The group debuted with a series of three singles:

- 1969's 'Tell Me Why' b/w 'Cryin' Shame' (Parrot catalog number 45-PAR 334)

- 1969's 'Drivin' Blues' b/w 'God Gave Me To You' (Parrot catalog number 45-PAR 340)

- 1969's 'House of the Rising Son' b/w 'Drivin' Blues' (Parrot catalog number 45-PAR 341)

 

The first two 45s disappeared into oblivion, but the band enjoyed a fluke hit with their third single which was a heavy metal adaptation of the traditional and oft covered 'House of the Rising Son'.  The song's international success generated enough attention for Parrot to finance an album.  Produced by Michael Valvano (who also wrote one of the earlier singles), 1970's "Frijid Pink" compiled the three previous singles with new original material.  Largely penned by Beaudry and Thompson, the album reflected a mix of then popular blues and hard rock.  The first genre was epitomized by tracks such as 'I'm On My Way', 'Drivin' Blues' and 'Boozin'' which lef to comparisons with early Ten Years After and Kim Simmonds and Savoy Brown (who actually get a name check on 'Drivin' Blues').  Anyhow, anything in that catalog will put you in the right aural niche for about half of these songs.  Their heavy metal leanings (think a band who's clearly listened to their share of Vanilla Fudge) were on displayed via Thompson's fuzz guitar propelled tracks like 'Crying Shame' and 'Tell Me Why'.  Elsewhere, simply because it was one of the more commercial efforts, my nod for standout track goes to the opening ballad 'God Gave Me You'.  The overall result was an album that sold well, but wasn't particularly original or even all that interesting, though the cover art gave your cornea a jolt.

 

"Fijid Pink" track listing:
(side 1)

1.) God Gave Me You   (Gary Thompson - Tom Beaudry) - 3:35   rating: **** stars

I must have played this album a dozen times before it dawned on me how good this song was.  Yeah, it's a typical slice of Detroit metal, with all the subtlety you'd expect from the genre, but ... when that chorus kicks in the tune hit a totally different level.  Released as a single in advance of the album, you could at least understand why Parrot tapped this one for release as a 45.

 

 

 

 

 

- 1969's 'God Gave Me To You' b/w 'Drivin' Blues' (Parrot catalog number 45-PAR-340)

 

 

 

 

 

2.) Crying Shame   (Michael Valvano) - 3:11   rating: **** stars

Maybe it's just my old ears playing tricks on me, but 'Crying Shame' has always reminded me of Cream's 'Tales of Brave Ulysses'.    The combination of Gary Thompson's heavy fuzz lead guitar, Rich Stevers' manic drumming, and the unique song structure just echoed Clapton and company's classic sound.  Not a bad influence to be working under.  Probably my pick for the album's best performance.

3.) I'm On My Way   (Gary Thompson - Tom Beaudry) - 4:34   rating: ** stars

Bland and pedestrian boogie tune ...  Thirty seconds after it's over, you'll have forgotten it entirely.  Well, at least Thompson showed off some nice slide guitar moves.

4.) Drivin' Blues   (Gary Thompson - Tom Beaudry) - 3:14

'Drivin' Blues' was another plodding blues number.  

5.) Tell Me Why   (Gary Thompson - Tom Beaudry) - 2:50

Powered by some of the nastiest fuzz guitar you'll ever hear, 'Tell Me Why' offered ups a blazing mixture of blues-rock and Detroit grunge.  Extremely raw, you had to wonder why Parrot had selected it as the group's debut single:

- 1969's 'Tell Me Why' b/w 'Cryin' Shame' (Parrot catalog number 45-PAR-334)

 

(side 2)
1.) End of the Line   (Gary Thompson - Tom Beaudry) - 4:07   rating: *** stars

One of the album's better blues-rockers with the secret sauce coming from Rich Stevers' frenetic drumming.

2.) House of the Rising Sun   (traditional) - 4:44   rating: **** stars

Their claim to fame and their one and only true hit ...  Ironically, the song was a throwaway effort recorded while recoding their initial demo tracks.  Thompson and Beaudry had come up with a fuzz drenched arrangement, thinking about including the song in their live set-list.  The demo sessions went quickly and they still had time on the clock, leading to a stab at recording the old folk-blues standard 'House of the Rising Sun'..  About all I can say is it's the heaviest version of this classic tune you'll ever hear.  Makes the Eric Burdon and the Animals version sound like  a slice of bubblegum pop.  YouTube has a couple of television performances of the song.  The video quality is poor, but probably the best of the lot is this 1971 lip-synch appearance on CKLW's Lively Spot Show: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t40INnb6DnY 

- 1969's 'House of the Rising Son' b/w 'Drivin' Blues' (Parrot catalog number 45-PAR 341)

3.) I Want To Be Your Lover   (Gary Thompson - Tom Beaudry) - 7:30   rating: *** stars

Another pounding blues-rock number that served as a good showcase for Kelly Green's snarling voice and Thompson's awesome lead guitar.  Admittedly Stevers' drum solo was unnecessary this time out.

4.) Boozin' Blues   (Gary Thompson - Tom Beaudry) - 6:01   rating: ** stars

Another slice of traditional blues that simply didn't do anything for me.  Even more troublesome, clocking in at over six minutes, it seemed to go on forever.

 

 

The band have a web presence at: http://frijidpink.com/

 

 

 

 

 

 

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