Thirty Days Out

Band members               Related acts

- Phil Lowe -- drums, vocals

- Jack Malken -- lead guitar, vocals

- Monte Melnick - bass, keyboards, vocals

- John Micaleff -- vocals, guitar


  supporting musicians:

- Jim Dickinson -- keyboards

- Larry Knechtel -- keyboards





- The Outcasts (Jack Malken)





Genre: p

Rating: 3 stars ***

Title:  Miracle Lick

Company: Reprise

Catalog: RS 2085
Year: 1972

Country/State: New York

Grade (cover/record): VG / VG

Comments: --

Available: 1

GEMM catalog ID: 5745

Price: $20.00




"Miracle Lick" track listing:
(side 1)

1.) Honey I Do
2.) I Need You
3.) Any Other Day
4.) Tupelo

(side 2)
The Sun Keeps Right On Shining

2.) Everybody's Got to Have A Song
3.) Phoenix
4.) Never Felt Better
5.) Take A Look At Yourself



1(A) THIRTY DAYS OUT (Reprise RS 6450) 1971
2(A) MIRACLE LICK (Reprise MS 2085) 1972

Thirty Days Out were formed New York in 1971 by John Micaleff (pronouced "McCullough"), a folksinger from Michigan and Jack Malken, who had previously been with The Outcasts. After teaming up with Melnick and Lowe, they found a place to practice but had to relocate in Greenfield, Massachussets when their neigbours complained! They soon managed to get a recording contract with Reprise and their first album was released in the summer of '71. 


Produced by Larry Marks (previously in charge of Lee Michaels and Phil Ochs) their debut was recorded in New York and L.A. On offer are eight tracks penned by Micaleff and Malken, which mix competent guitars with early seventies style vocals. Influenced by Free on some tracks (Doing The Best That I Can and Survival, a rip-off of Clover's Shotgun). The most interesting element is probably the keyboard parts played by two ace sessionmen, Larry Knechtel and Jim Dickinson. The lyrics have often a Christian content and the overall result is rather undistinguished. In fact the album is maybe mainly notable for a weird packaging idea, as it came wrapped in a poster of a steamliner. Once the shrink was opened, the hidden black and white sleeve with pictures of the group would appear.

Probably due to this poster, the sales were quite good and the group soon released a second album, recorded in Wallingford, Connecticut and remixed in London. This time Malken handled the production and Micaleff wrote most of their material. Their ambition of "blending electricity and acousticity into a fresh, tasteful and unified rock sound" turned into a total disaster, the lyrics being over-ambitious and the songs lacking melodies or "Miracle Licks" (despite its title).

Their albums will appeal mainly to fans of early seventies prog rock, some tracks of their second effort being "graced" by the "Magic Mellotron" of Teddy Taylor and Bing McCoy.

Monte Melnick, their bass player later became The Ramones tour manager. At least one of their albums was engineered by Melnick's high school buddy Tom Erdelyi, later known as Tommy Ramone.

(Stephane Rebeschini/D.J. Hack)


Singer/guitarist John Micallef and ex-Outcasts guitarist Jack Malken formed progressive rock unit Thirty Days Out in New York in 1971. With the addition of bassist Monte Melnick and drummer Phil Lowe, the nascent group began practice sessions, but noise complaints from the neighbors forced relocation to Greenfield, MA. Upon signing to Reprise, Thirty Days Out returned to New York City to begin working on their Larry Marks-produced debut LP, also recorded in part in California with famed session keyboardists Jim Dickinson and Larry Knechtel. The completed self-titled effort caused a minor stir in record stores for its novel packaging instead of shrinkwrap, the album was housed in a poster of a steamliner. Sales were promising, and in 1972 Reprise issued Thirty Days Out's follow-up, Miracle Lick. Reviews were poor and receipts dwindled, however, and the band split soon after. Melnick later resurfaced as tour manager for punk legends the Ramones


John Micaleff - lead vocals, guitar
Jack Malken - lead guitar, organ
Phil Lowe - drums, lead vocals
Monte Melnick - bass, background vocals
Nicky Harrison - strings
Bing McCoy, Teddy Taylor - keyboards, mellotron
Madeleine Bell, Doris Troy, Lisa Strike, Christine Ohlman - background vocals

Thirty Days Out bass player Monte Melnick ended up as tour manager for New York punk darlings The Ramones, but trying to find much else on this east coast band is next to impossible. The group released a self-titled album in 1971 sent to record stores not in shrink wrap, but housed in a poster of a Steamliner. A novel idea and it received a lot of attention from store owners and record buyers, but the band's second album 'Miracle Lick' didn't fare quite as well and the band folded shortly thereafter.

The Songs
Playing a well behaved version of San Francisco west coast and Midwestern hippie rock with slight progressive moves, 'Miracle Licks' will appeal to those who long for the hazy days of Grand Funk Railroad, early REO Speedwagon and more importantly Quicksilver Messenger Service. 'Honey I Do' is standard '70s good time rock, pleasant enough blue-jean boogie and the type of thing that backed-up clogged airwaves in the early part of the decade, but it's the final track on this side that wins points for creativity. 'The Sun Keep Right On Shining' with its well placed use of Mellotron and haunting melody makes searching for this record all the more worthwhile. As shamefully post-Woodstock a title as 'Everybody's Got to Have A Song' is, you would be forgiven for expecting the worse but it's actually a very good tune with excellent vocals from John Micaleff who shines on much of the record. 'Never Felt Better' sounds like an REO Speedwagon/ Neal Doughty styled rocker featuring a prairie burning organ solo and barroom piano with 'Take A Look At Yourself' closing out the album along similar lines making for a slightly above average album of groovy Midwest rock- New York style.

In Summary
The more I listen to 'Miracle Licks' the more I like it, although I've yet to come across a copy of their first album. I imagine with the Steamliner poster intact it has to be worth a fortune.

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