Mogan David and His Winos


Band members                              Related acts

  line up 1 (1968-70)

- Harold Bronson -- vocals, percussion

- Dan Krowchuk -- percussion 

- Carl Lent-Koop -- bass, backing vocals 

- Tom Matye -- keyboards

- Bob Rosenberg -- vocals (1968-70

- Bob Shieinberg -- kleenex box 

 

  line up 2 (1970)

- Jim Bickhart -- bass, guitar (replaced Carl Lent-Koop)  

- Harold Bronson -- vocals, percussion

- Dan Krowchuk -- percussion 

- Tom Matye -- keyboards 

- Eugene Slafer -- rhythm guitar, vocals 

- Bob Wolfe -- horns 

 

  line up 3 (1970-71)

- Jim Bickhart -- bass, guitar 

- Harold Bronson -- vocals, percussion 

- John Kellerman -- rhythm guitar (replaced Eugene Slafer)

- Dan Krowchuk -- percussion 

- Tom Matye -- keyboards

 

  line up 5 (1971-73)

- Jim Bickhart -- bass, guitar

- Harold Bronson -- vocals, percussion 

- David Ebberts -- vocals 

- John Kellerman -- rhythm guitar

- Rob Lampl -- drums

- Mark Leviton -- rhythm guitar 

- Tom Matye -- keyboards 

- Paul Rappaport -- lead guitar 

- David Schneider -- drums 

 

  line up 6 (1973)

- Harold Bronson -- vocals, percussion 

- Rob Lampl -- drums, percussion

- Mark Leviton -- rhythm guitar 

- Bill Pique -- bass, guitar 

- Paul Rappaport -- lead guitar 

 

 

 

 

The Low Numbers (Harold Bronson and Mark Leviton)

 

 

 


 

Genre: pop

Rating: 2 stars **

Title:  Savage Young Winos

Company: Kosher

Catalog: KOSH-001
Year:
 1973

Country/State: US

Grade (cover/record): VG+/VG+

Comments: gatefold sleeve; includes multiple inserts Available: 1

Catalog ID: 5594

Price: $100.00

 

Rather than go into a lengthy history of this L.A. based outfit, I'll let you read member Mark Leviton's comments (found at the end of the page).

 

Released in 1973, "Savage Young Winos" was essentially a career retrospective pulling together material stretching back to 1969.  Included were the band's two earlier singles:

 

- 1971's 'Nose Job' b/w 'The Big Way' Kosher catalog number KMW-1)

- 1971's 'Street Baby' b/w 'Party Games' (Kosher catalog number KMW-2

 

a couple of newly recorded numbers, and four live tracks.  Without trying to sound snarky, the overall results were pretty painful.   The older material showcased a band interested in old school jazz and blues.   Ever heard the obscure '78s cartoonist Robert Crumb was interested in ?   Well old timey tracks like 'Music Music Music' and 'Sweet Lips' were right down that alley.   Elsewhere the band showcased a more modern repertoire, including stabs at classic pop and rock.   The problem was that they simply weren't very good.  With the exception of guitarist Paul Rappaport who actually displayed some nice moves, these guys were ...  well, energetic if technically challenged.   The three side two live tracks served to showcase their performance limitations.   About the best you could say is that the live performances were simply horrible, made even worse by some of the worst sound quality you'll ever encounter.   Still, you got the impression they knew their technical limitations and were doing this as a goof more than anything.   (Hopefully that was the case.)   Not that they didn't have some degree of talent.   'Party Games' and 'Beauty Queen' were both nice proto-punk rockers.    

 

"Savage Young Winos" track listing:
(side 1)

1.) Beauty Queen   (Bill Pique - Harold Bronson) - 2:35

So how to best describe 'Beauty Queen' ?  With a giddy, hyper-speed arrangement and some surprisingly funny lyrics, imagine The Ramones with a sense of humor and a bit more instrumental prowess ?  And off the liners notes: "This, the Winos newest effort, was condensed from a woeful tale a one-time flame related to me about her sister.  It's true, more or less.  To get the desired sound in the lead break, Paul employed a pick broken in by Jeff Beck."   The song was also tagged as their third and final single.  rating: *** stars

2.) Love Potion Number Nine   (Leiber - Stoller) - 2:00

How many millions of covers of this chestnut exist ?  There version wasn't anything special.  "Okay, we're gonna slow things down a bit and do a song by the Ckivers recorded in 1959.  It's our soul number.  The unique arrangement was concocted one evening at the Daily Bruin office by Paul and Bill with the drummer and other guitarist failed to show."   rating: ** stars

3.) Party Games   (Mark Lewiton - Harold Bronson) - 3:15

Ah, life as a 20s dweeb.  I can readily identify with the feeling.    Great rocking tune with Paul Rappaport  turning in what was actually a nice lead solo.   "The was inspired by a party Heather Harris had in the summer of 1971.  Since then nothing's changed.  Lately, the song's become a teenage ode of sorts.   We don't do it live because it's too sad."   rating: **** stars

4.) Street Baby   (Mark Lewiton - Harold Bronson) - 3:36

Appealing punk angst with some ravaging raw guitar.   Yeah, there was an element of humor in this one, but just a trace of it.   Lou Reed would have approved.   "This, coupled with 'Party Games', was out second single  Says Paul: "The last note of the song is my guitar being sick -- well so would you be if I smashed your guts for 3:38."   rating: *** stars

5.) Nose Job   (N. Blagman - S.Bobrick) - 2:15

 

   

 

Originally recorded by The Dellwoods, '(She's Got a) Nose Job' got it's initial attention when Mad Magazine included it in their 1962 "MAD Twists Rock 'N' Roll" edition of the magazine as one of those 'throw-away" cardboard records.  The Mad Magazine release originally credited the tune to Alfred E. Newman.   Reflecting a weird mix of doo-wop influences and Dr.Demento humor, their cover wasn't all that different from the original - not quite as peppy.   The fact it sounded like it had been recorded in a urinal, let alone the fact it wasn't very funny made it acquired taste.    "Our first single.  What can we say, except a lot of Jewish people will identify with it.  The instrumental track was recorded eleven months before the vocals were perfected and the song was completed."   rating: ** stars

6.) The Big War   (Tom Matye - Harold Bronson) - 1:55

"As one review put it "a beautifully poetic yet moral tale of a devastated world war.  One village, burned flesh, starving peasants and all."  I Always liked the song, but somehow we never pulled it off properly."   And I'd agree with those comments.   They didn't pull it off properly.  Imagine CSN&Y's 'Wooden Ships" sung by a bunch of stoned high school drop outs and you'd have a feel for this one's vapidness.   rating: ** stars.  

7.) Music Music Music   (Weiss - Baum) -1:45

"This oldie about jukeboxes was once a hit for Teresa Brewer.  It has a lot of weird things going on in the break.  Note my Al Jolson-imitated vocals.  Like all our early stuff, it was recorded in Tom Mayte's living room, also scene of the first single."  Let me just say  I've heard the Teresa Brewer version and it kicks the crap out of their cover.   "  rating: * star

8.) Sugar Lips   (Sherrill - Killen) - 1:42

"Another music hall rocker, this one reveals the earl Winos to be something of a cross between the Bonzo Dog Band and the Swingin' Medallions.  It was done in one take."  So the Bonzos at least attempted to be funny.   This wasn't funny in the slightest.   rating: * star

 

(side 2)
1.) Down the Road Apiece   (Raye) - 2:32

The first of four live tracks, 'Down the Road Apiece' was a blues-rocker, but given it sounded like it had been recorded on a piece of scotch tape, you simply couldn't tell if these guys were any good ...  "This and the following three cuts were culled from the never released Five Jive WInos which was recorded live before an audience at a crowded party over Shelly's and Nikki's old backyard at their secluded Laurel Canyon house.  Since then they've moved.  This selection is a little boogie we picked up forma 78 rpmer by Ella Mae Morse.  Top that Savoy Brown."  rating: ** stars

2.) The Last Time   (Mick Jagger - Keith Richards) - 4:02

Overlooking the attrocious sound quality and the painful harmony vocals, their cover of The Stones' 'The Last Time' actually could have been pretty good.  Nice manic drumming from Rob Lampl.  "Paul didn't wanna do this song, but we did it anyway.  I thought it turned out quite well.  Cherish this copy. We'll probably never do it again'"   rating: *** stars

3.) Glad All Over   (Dave Clark - Smith) - 2:50

"Rob was going to do his drum solo here, but he forgot his sheet music, so we did this one instead.  It's guaranteed to make you feel glad all over."  Well, I'd beg to differ.  It didn't inspire those feelings for me.  I'm guessing the crowd applauded at the end of the song to mark the fact the song was over.   I almost wish Lampl had done the drum solo.    Horrific comes to mine.   rating: * star

4.) Communication Breakdown   (JImmy Page - John Paul Jones - John Bonham) - 3:21

Easily one of the worst Zep covers I've ever heard and I've heard some horrible efforts ...."Now ladies and gentlemen, sometimes we're not communicating with the people around us .and we should talk with them more and stuff like that ...  This is a song a guy's writing to his girl friend because their relationship isn't going anywhere ... They don't talk to each other.  Mark sings lead on this one.  It was the first time we ever played it before an audience."   Hopefully this was the last time they played it before an audience.   rating: * star

5.) The Berkowitz Blues  (Mark Leviton) - 6:10

Plodding blues number that may have been funny to the members, but was  simply boring and way too long.   "One day while were practicing at the UCLA Daily Bruin office, Stan Berkowitz, entertainment editor called up to track down Mark about turning in a late article.  While one of us was talking to Stan, Makr began wailing these spontaneous versus in the background.  We never got it down on tape, so I had to send Mark a reel to record it in England.  Ironically, Mark has recently been appointed the new oditor, so maybe some day someone will write a blues about him.  Mark furnish the vcal and electric guitars, while Paul chimes in with slide guitar."   The story wasn't that interesting, but it was better than they actual song.  rating: ** stars

6.) unlisted instrumental

It wasn't listed on the liner notes, but the album actually ended with a brief instrumental snippet showcasing some nice Paul Rappaport guitar.   rating: *** stars

 

By the way, the album packaging was quite elaborate, including a gatefold cover which included a detailed band biography, as well as a series of seven inserts.

 

  

Bronson went on to co-found Rhino Records which saw fit to release a non-LP Winos 45:

 

- 1975's 'All The Wrong Girls Like Me' b/w 'Savage Surf' (Rhino catalog number RNOR-002)

 

 

A couple of years ago I stumbled across this career summary from Mark Leviton.  Hopefully he won't mind me borrowing it to go along with the write-up:   


I started my freshman year at UCLA in early September 1970, and during the first week I responded to an ad in the UCLA Daily Bruin looking for writers for the entertainment section of the paper. I’d already been published in Rolling Stone, Fusion and lots of other places while still in high school, so I figured I’d be pretty hot shit to them. The first person I met there was Jim Bickhart, who had graduated but still hung around as editor. He’d been writing for some of the same publications, had more impressive credentials than me, and grilled me on my tastes in music. I made the cut, but felt taken down a peg.

I met some of the other Daily Bruin music writers, past and present, including Richard Cromelin, Melissa Mills and Harold Bronson, all of whom were at least as obsessive about music as I was, but could express themselves better. Harold had already recorded with his ad-hoc band Mogen David & His Winos (which at one time included Bickhart and Jonathan Kellerman, who after college became a psychologist and then one of the best-selling novelists in the world). They’d rehearse after hours in the Daily Bruin offices, and it wasn’t long before I got pulled into their orbit and started writing songs with Harold, who aspired to sing like a combination of Ray Davies, Mick Jagger and Roger Daltrey (and who didn’t?). My rudimentary rhythm guitar skills complemented his “mod” approach, and sounded suitably grungy beside the lead guitar of Paul Rappaport, who was then the campus rep for Columbia Records and went on to a long career with them after graduation. I acquired the nickname “Punk” based on my interest in groups like The Standells, The Troggs and The MC5, an enthusiasm Harold shared.

Listening to those early Leviton-Bronson songs now, I don’t think they are very good, but they did attract some interest from professional musicians (Cub Koda of Brownsville Station once considered recording our tune “Party Games,” one of a series of songs about how we thought girls were shallow and should sleep with guys like us more often). Harold would issue the occasional single, which he’d sell at the UCLA bookstore and any independent record stores that would take them on consignment, and in 1973 cobbled together an album’s worth of material Savage Young Winos (Kosher Records KOSR-001), including early recordings like the Winos version of “Nose Job” (the Mad Magazine novelty song) and some recent live material he’d recorded at one of our few real Winos gigs (at a private party). I was away at college in Birmingham, England when the album was being planned, so Harold invited me to record something and send it over to him to overdub. I wrote what I thought was a funny song about the Daily Bruin called “The Berkowitz Blues” (Stan Berkowitz was one of my editors) and recorded the basic tracks at the home of Dave Pegg of Fairport Convention, with whom I used to hang out. In L.A., Harold had Stan record an accompaniment on typewriter, which sounded great, and made it the last track on the album. The back cover had a photo of me (titled “Punk Abroad”) surrounded by adoring girls recruited from my dorm. Harold included lots of Live At Leeds-style memorabilia in the gatefold jacket (including a failed music theory test) and pressed about a thousand copies. I think he managed to sell most of them over the next few decades, while he was working at Richard Foos’ new Rhino Records store on Westwood Blvd., co-founding the record label of the same name, and becoming a media mogul.

Harold and I continued writing together when I moved to the college town of Claremont, past the outskirts of L.A., in 1974 (having acquired no real marketable skills at UCLA, at the suggestion of my fiancé Linda I convinced Richard to open a second Rhino Records store and let me run it). Our songwriting improved a lot. Under the name The Low Numbers (The Who’s original monicker was The High Numbers), with a whole new group of musical confederates, we released a punky single “Shok Treetments” b/w “Try It” in 1976. The original song on the A-side had spelling inspired by Slade, and the B-side was a Standells tune. My wife took the b&w pic-sleeve photo in which we tried to look hard and mostly failed.


By 1978 Harold had enough accumulated recordings to issue Twist Again With The Low Numbers as Rhino Records LP #4, and it contained seven of our songs (including “1977 Sunset Strip,” “Elementary Doctor Watson,” “Little Miss Quote” and “The Prom Bombed”) and versions of recent punk/new wave songs we admired (The Kursaal Flyers’ “Original Model,” Graham Parker’s “Hotel Chambermaid” and The Jam’s “In the City” among them). Harold also threw on a previous Winos single, “All The Wrong Girls Like Me” b/w “The Savage Surf” so the album would be long enough. As with Savage Young Winos I wasn’t in the front cover photo, so over the years I’ve been spared the adoring crowds fighting for my autograph.

Many years later Harold arranged for a Winos reunion and recording session, and filmed the whole thing. It was great fun. We recorded a song by an obscure Toronto band The Pursuit of Happiness called “I’m An Adult Now.” Reunited, we sounded just like we did in ’73, for better or worse. It was included as the last cut on Tales From The Rhino, a 1995 double-CD compilation of tracks spanning the entire history of the Rhino label.

I haven’t recorded anything since, and while I still have ideas for songs, in the past 15 years I’ve never finished one. My son Michael’s the musician in the family now.

Mark Leviton



 

 

 

BACK TO BADCAT FRONT PAGE

BACK TO BADCAT CATALOG PAGE

BACK TO BADCAT PAYMENT INFORMATION