Band members Related acts
line up 1 (1968)
- Richard "Dick" Bozzi --
- Don "Dewey" Burns (RIP 2011) --
- Morrie Yess -- guitar
- Steven Zwern -- drums, percussion
- The Burnt Offering
Rating: *** 3 stars
Title: In Research
Company: Flick City
Catalog: FC 5001 A/B
Country/State: Oxnard, California
Grade (cover/record): VG+/VG+
Catalog ID: 30099
This has to be one of the most eclectic albums in my collection. Note, eclectic doesn't mean consistent, or imply quality.
There isn't a great deal of information out there on this short-lived trio so a lot of this is pieced together from the album liner notes, miscellaneous on-line sources and personal speculation. Dick Bozzi and guitarist Morrie Yess had been members of The Stoney Creek Bridge who recorded an unreleased 1968 album ("The First Album" Flick City catalog FC LP 5000) and a promotional single for David Rollnick's small Flick City label:
- 1968's 'Seattle' b/w 'I Feel Warm' Flick City catalog number FC 3003)
Burns and Yess apparently ended their relationship with Stoney Creek, morphing into Research 1:6:12 with the addition of Richard "Dick" Burns to the line-up. The new entity continued their relationship with the MGM associated Flick City label.
Released under the name "Research 1:6:12", the trio made their debut with 1968's 'In Research". So, I'll start by saying "In Research" is definitely a period piece and not all of it has aged well. Exemplified by material like 'Omar', 'The Grass Is Greener' and 'Lookin' In the Toaster' the underlying influences seem to have been acquiring and consuming illicit substances. Whereas lots of artists swear drugs bring out their creativeness, 'The Grass Is Greener' and 'John' make a good counter-argument that is not always true. These guys were clearly talented which only served to make the album's lack of focus all the more frustrating. Given the myriad of genres, you almost got the feeling they were trying to show their label how talented and versatile they were - look we can handle everything from country to psych ... There appear to have been at least two lead vocalists; Burns handled at least one tune by himself - the pretty acoustic ballad 'Highway Song'. Judging by that track, he had an awesome voice. Given the album was reportedly recorded in one day, the results were actually pretty impressive. Best of the lot was the atypical growling garage rocker 'I Don't Walk There No More'. Almost as good were the two psych numbers 'Omar' and 'Lookin' In the Toaster'. Add in a couple of stong biker rock tunes ('Can You Baby' and 'The Feeling'), and afterwards things started to go downhill rapidly.
In spite of the three promotion singles, the album vanished without a trace. The trio quickly called it quits.
Dick Bozzi stayed active in music, but turned his attention to the business side working in radio, promotion and production.
Burns' subsequent career is a mystery to me. He ended up living in Tujunga California, dying of cancer in January 2011.
Yess moved to New York where he worked in radio and programming. In the mid-'70s he moved to Israel, undertaking seven years of Rabbinical studies - today he is known as Rabbi Morrie Yess.
1.) Can You Baby (Richard Bozzi - Morrie Yess) - rating: **** stars
While it may not have had the subtlest come-on lyrics you've ever encountered, 'Can You Baby' started the album with a surprisingly conventional and enjoyable rocker. The tune was interesting for sporting a surprisingly "heavy" sound for 1967. Imagine a good Cream tune with the blues infatuation. Easy to understand why Flick City tapped it as the leadoff single. I've only seen promotional copies of the 45.
- 1968's 'Can You Baby' b/w 'Lip Smacking Good' (Flick City catalog number FC 3007-A/B)
2.) Highway Song (Dick Burns) - 2:33 rating: **** stars
Showcasing Burns on vocals, 'Highway Song' was a stark acoustic ballad. It was hard to image something musically further from the pounding opener. The "poor hitchhiker" lyric was patented mid-'60s plotline, but the melody was pretty and the trio's harmony vocals were gorgeous. The track was tapped as a promotional single:
- 1968's 'Highway Song' b/w 'Highway Song' (Flick City catalog number FC 3001-A/B)
3.) Pale Rose Gray (Richard Bozzi - Morrie Yess) - 2:45 rating: *** stars
Yeah, I'm not sure how to describe 'Pale Rose Gray' ... Bizarro blues? Bizzaro folk? No matter what genre(s) it fell under, I will say their harmonies were darn nice.
4.) The Grass Is Greener (H. Lanning) - 1:58 rating: ** stars
'The Grass is Greener' was the album's lone cover tune, the combination of a country melody, in-studio party vibe and in-your-face counter-cultyre references were clearly meant to make a "happening" statement. Imagine a really crappy country Joe and the Fish performance. The song certainly hasn't aged very well, though it is funny to imagine grandpa and grandma as social outlaws ...
5.) Juicy (Richard Bozzi - Morrie Yess) - 2:10 rating: *** stars
Thankfully, 'Juicy' found the trio returning to a more rock oriented sound. Again, the lyrics left something to be desired and guaranteed radio wasn't going to come calling, though the risque lyrics didn't stop Flick City from floating it as a promotional single. Yess' guitar made up for other shortcomings.
1968's 'Juicy' b/w 'I Don't Walk There No More' (Flick City catalog number FC-3005)
6.) John (Richard Bozzi - Morrie Yess) - 3:10 rating: * star
Showcasing some third grade, boys bathroom humor, 'John' was a needless waste of three minutes. Exemplified by the opening toilet flushing sound effects and assorted farts and other bodily emissions, this was a pretty good example to folks who think smoking a couple of joints will free up their creativity.
1.) Lip Smacking Good (Richard Bozzi - Morrie Yess) - 2:40 rating: *** stars
I'm a knock over for fuzz guitar and 'Lip Smacking Good' showcased plenty of it. Sadly, the rest of the song was pretty conventional blues-rock with some risque lyrics that again guaranteed radio wasn;t going to pay attention to them.
2.) Omar (Richard Bozzi - Morrie Yess) - 2:47 rating: **** stars
While much of the albumsported a druggy feel, it was seldom as prominent as on 'Omar'. Apparently a paen to their dealer, the song sported the album's most psychedelic arrangement, couple with some breezy Association-styled backing vocals..
3.) The Feeling (Richard Bozzi - Morrie Yess) - 2:45 rating: **** stars
Built on a tasty Yess' guitar riff, to my ears the folk-rocker 'The Feeling' was easily the band's second standout performance. Wonder who the anonymous drummer was ...
4.) Lookin' In the Toaster (Richard Bozzi - Morrie Yess) - 2:44 rating: **** stars
Hum, ever wondered what kind of creative inspiration an overindulgence of illicit substances results in? Check out 'Lookin' In the Toaster'. Yeah, it was deep ... in a way that was liable to make you smile. Again, the grandkids were certainly going to wonder about grandpa ... I'll give it an extra star just for the goofy lyrics. Hard for me to look at a toaster without smiling.
5.) I Don't Walk There No More (Richard Bozzi - Morrie Yess) - 3:05 rating: ***** stars
'I Don't Walk There No More' sounded like nothing else on the album, but was easily the set's most impressive performance (and a true five star effort). A tale of mistaken identity, it may have been the best garage-rocker folks have never heard. Anyone who was a fan of bands like The Castaways, ? Mark and the Mysterians, The Outsiders, or Sam the Sham and the Pharaohs was going to fall in love with the classic grunge rocker. Not sure who handled the vocals, but their growling voice was awesome and Yess' squealing guitar ws simply icing on the cake.
Poking around the internet I came across some comments Yess had submitted to a discussion of the album on Scott Soriano's Crud Crud website. Yess clearly has a sense of humor and I figure he won't mind it I add his recollections to this site. (I'll delete them if anyone complains.)
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