Band members Related acts
line up 1 (1971)
- Don Parish -- vocals, bass
- Robert Savage (aka Bobby Arlin) (RIP 2010)-- vocals, guitar
- Tommy Richards -- drums, percussion
Anna Rizzo -- vocals
- Bobby Arlin with the Hustlers
- The Hook (Bobby Arlin)
- The Leaves (Bobby Arlin)
- Lonely London Lad (Bobby Arlin)
Rating: **** (4 stars)
Title: The Adventures of Robert Savage, Volume 1
Country/State: California, USA
Grade (cover/record): VG+/VG+
Comments: gatefold sleeve; small cut out notch alone edge
Catalog ID: 4605
Anyone got a clue on this short-lived early 1970s trio? The fact that their sole album was recorded in California with Keith Olsen engineering leads me to believe they were American, but who knows.
Released by Paramount Records, 1971's "The Adventures of Robert Savage, Volume 1" is one of those albums that initially doesn't seem to have a great deal going for it. Based on the sci-fi cover I bought it expecting something vaguely progressive. Not even close. LOL. The first time I spun it the Hendrix-styled rockers quickly faded into background noise. It wasn't bad by any stretch of the imagination, rather just wasn't very imaginative. Luckily I dumped it into an 'also ran' pile that I came back to a couple of months later. Mind you, this set won't change your life in any way, but namesake guitarist Savage (aka Bobby Arlin or The Hook and The Leaves fame), singer/bassist Don Parish and drummer Tommy Richards turned in what is a pretty impressive set of Hendrix-inspired hard rock and white boy blues. With Savage/Arlen and Parish responsible for most of the nine compositions, tracks like 'Amy (The Insane)' and the instrumental 'Road Apples' demonstrated that Savage was a more than competent guitarist. That said, the band's secret weapon was singer/bassist Parish. Parish had a killer growl of a voice that bore a mild resemblance to a more versatile Tony Joe White, or perhaps James Dewar (of Robin Trower fame). Virtually everything he sang was worth hearing. On the other hand lyrically tracks such as 'Beaver Baby', ' A Hard One' and 'Seven Days Drunk' weren't exactly Pulitzer Prize noteworthy, though they were goofy enough to be worth hearing. Be sure to check out 'Amy (The Insane)'). It all came together in the form of the bizarre 'Save Us from the Cyclops'.
Definitely derivative, but it's one of those albums that I find gets better every time I spin it.
"The Adventures of Robert Savage, Volume 1" track listing:
1.) Beaver Baby (Robert Savage - Don Parish) - 3:05 rating: *** stars
Give the sci-fi album cover, the opener 'Beaver Baby' caught me totally off guard - I wasn't expected to hear a rollicking, Hendrix-influenced guitar powered-rocker. The song would have been even better if Anna Rizzo, the shrill Tina Turner-wannabe backing singer, had been mixed lower in the arrangement.
2.) Milk Run (Robert Savage - Don Parish) - 3:10 rating: **** stars
Blue-eyed soul with a rock edge ... Parish had a nice voice with a Swamp Rock feel that reminds me a little of the late Joe South. Excellent rocker.
3.) Don't Run and Hide (L. Ransford) - 4:03 rating: **** stars
Yeah, there was still plenty of Hendrix-styled guitar, but 'Don't Run and Hide' found the band injecting a touch of pop influence into the mix. Nice performance that would not have sounded bad on FM radio.
4.) A Hard One (Don Parish) - 3:19 rating: **** star
'A Hard One' showcased Savage's guitar chops. He also seemingly handled lead vocals, on this slightly funky rocker. Savage had a nice garage-rocker voice which probably explains why this track had a nice garage rock vibe.
5.) Seven Days Drunk (Robert Savage - Don Parish) - 4:29 rating: **** star
'Seven Days Drunk' opened up with some classic blues-rock guitar chops and then served as a baseline for some of the album's best guitar work.
The fuzz drenched opening seemingly promised the band were dipping their creative toes into a more progressive sound, but then 'Save Us From The Cyclops' started bouncing around between the goofy lyrical content, pop-tinged vocals and a harder rock edge. This one's always reminded me a bit of prime Robin Trower. Certainly schizophrenic, but one of my favorite performances.
2.) Amy (The Insane) (Robert Savage) - 3:55 rating: **** star
Guess where the opening was borrowed from ... Another album highlight with some of the most bizarre lyrics I've heard in a long time. Hopefully namesake Amy was not a band groupie. Savage turned in a stellar solo on this one.
3.) Lonely World (Robert Savage) - 3:08 rating: **** star
The ballad 'Lonely World' was another stab at a more commercial sound and the results were quite enjoyable. I particularly liked the keyboard frills and the harmony vocals.
4.) Road Apples (instrumental) (Robert Savage) - 4:24
The album's first mild disappointment, while it showcased Savage's rollicking lead guitar, the instrumental 'Road Apples' was a pedestrian blues-rocker. I'm guessing it would have sounded far better in a live setting after a couple of cold beers.
As far as I can tell, this is the only item in Savage's catalog. I have no idea if it's a legitimate reissue, but in 2004 the South African Skyf Zol label released the set out on CD.
Unexpectedly I got a short email from someone who was familiar with the band:
Saw your write-up for the Robert Savage album and thought I drop you a note. I saw them in the SF Bay Area many times in the early 1970s, and they were remarkable live; the album fails their live sound terribly. The lead guitarist listed as Robert Savage was, in actuality Bobby Arlin of The Leaves band, who died in Las Vegas in [February] 2010, (Link below) I talked to the drummer, Tommy Richards, via email about 6-7 years ago and asked if he was still playing and did he ever see Don Parish (who did 90%) of their album and live vocals. He said no to both and said he had to quit playing because of arthritis in his hips and didn't know the whereabouts of Parish. Live, Parish sounded (and kinda looked like) Bob Mosley of Moby Grape, in fact the 1st time I saw them I was sure he was Mosley (I am a big fan of MG). Anyway thought you'd be interested in that info since on your write-up you said very little was known about RS Group.
Have a great day, Cheers, Rich Irwin (February 2019)
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