The Generation Gap

Band members                             Related acts

  line up 1 (1968)

- Don Dexter -- drums, percussion

- Jerald Kolbrak (aka Billy Baker, Billy Boyd, Don Daily, 

  Jerry Cole) (RIP 2008) -- guitar



- 101 Strings (Jerry Cole)

- Mike Adams and the Red Jackets (Jerry Cole)

The Animated Egg (Jerry Cole and Don Dexter)

- BIlly Baker (Jerry Cole)

- The Bandits (Jerry Cole)

- Bebe Bardon and 101 Strings (Jerry Cole)

- The Black Diamonds (Jerry Cole)

- The Blasters (Jerry Cole)

- BIlly Boyd (Jerry Cole)

- California Earthquake (Don Dexter)

- The Champs (Jerry Cole)

- Jerry Cole (solo efforts)

- Jerry Cole and the Country Boys (Jerry Cole)

- Jerry Cole and the Robert Evans Chorus (Jerry Cole)

- Jerry Cole & the Stingers (Jerry Cole)

- Jerry Cole and His Spacemen (Jerry Cole)

- The Detours (Jerry Cole)

- Mr. Gasser & the Weirdos (Jerry Cole)

- The Cee-Gees (Jerry Cole)

- Don and Eddie (Jerry Cole)

- The Deuce Coups (Jerry Cole)

- The Haircuts and the Impossibles (Jerry Cole)

- The Hornets (Jerry Cole)

- The Hot Rodders (Jerry Cole)

- The Id (Jerry Cole and Don Dexter)

- The Kickstands (Jerry Cole)

- The Knights (Jerry Cole)

- Jerry Kole and the Strokers (Jerry Cole)

- The Mustang (Jerry Cole)

- The Projection Company (Jerry Cole and Don Dexter)

- Johnny Rivers and Jerry Cole

- The Scramblers (Jerry Cole)

- The Stone Canyon Rock Group (Jerry Cole and Don Dexter)

- The Super Stocks (Jerry Cole)

- T. Swift and the Electric Bag (Jerry Cole and Don Dexter)

- Them (Jerry Cole)

- Billy J. Tyler and Palomino Boys (Jerry Cole)

- The Underground Electrics (Jerry Cole)

- Eddie Wayne (Jerry Cole)

- The Winners (Jerry Cole)






Genre: pop

Rating: 3 stars ***

Title:  Up, Up and Away

Company: Custom

Catalog: CS 1211

Country/State: Green Bay, Wisconsin

Grade (cover/record): VG+/VG+

Comments: --

Available: 1

Catalog ID: --

Price: $35.00


So this outfit is not to be confused with a Florida-based garage band that recorded a 1968 EP and a couple of singles for the small Trip Universal label.


There's a fascinating movie waiting to document the late Jerry Kolbrak's long running and eclectic musical career. Better known as Jerry Cole, even though I own quite a bit of his work, the guy's largely a mystery to me. His discography is like some sort of virus, seemingly extending into every dark corner of the music industry.  By my incomplete count, he released material under at least forty different names and bands - the vast majority on fly-by-night budget labels like Crown and Custom.  In many cases Cole doesn't even seem to have known some of his work had been sold and released without his concurrence.  Trying to fully document everything he's touched would be a nightmare for anyone brave enough to give it a shot.  



Credited to The Generation Gap, 1968's "Up, Up and Away" was just one in a string of Cole related exploitation albums that flooded the mid-'60s marketplace.  Like many of the other released, the common ingredient was the participation of guitarist Cole. 



Always a keen observer of popular tastes in music, in 1967 Cole formed the  psychedelic band The Id and recorded an album for RCA Victor - "The Inner Sounds of the Id" (RCA Victor catalog number LSP-3805). Recruiting bassist Glenn Cass, rhythm guitarist Norman Cass, singer Rich Cliburn and drummer Don Dexter, the band reportedly recorded dozens of songs during The Id sessions; though only ten of those efforts appearing on The Id album.  Producer Paul Arnold (aka Arnold Sukonick), supposedly grabbed the money RCA Victor provided, took the tapes and began selling them to various "budget" labels including the Los Angeles-based Custom Records.  




Similar to other exploitation releases, this one mixed throwaway popular covers (the Jimmy Webb penned title track) with a mixture of originals that mimicked then popular public tastes. Even though there were no writing or performance credits, the slightly flat vocals sounded very much like Cole's singing voice. With the exception of the nasally 'Lisa' none of his performances was horrible and his dry, craggy delivery kind of grew on you - check out 'High On Love', 'Woman of Mine' and the country-rocker 'On the Run'.  Still it was clear Cole was a better guitarist and businessman than vocalist. On tracks like the fuzz drenched instrumentals 'Hard Times', 'Strange Shadows' and 'Fool's Luck' Cole's guitar moves effortlessly captured the mid-'60s zeitgeist and provided for most of the album highlights.  Worth pointing out was the fact several of these songs sounded like material on The Animated Egg LP (which apparently reflected outtakes from The Id sessions).  As an example 'Lisa' included a vocal and a less psychedelic, stripped down arrangement appeared to be the same song credited as the instrumental 'Sure Listic' on The Animated Egg LP.


Any attempt to rank Cole's exploitation releases is going to be subjective, but I'd venture the opinion this one wasn't as good as The Id's "The Inner Sounds of the Id", The Animated Egg album, or even The T. Swift and the Electric Bag album.  It's better than releases by The Black Diamonds and The Underground Electric.  Admittedly, in the end they're all fairly interchangeable.


Sadly, only 68, Cole suffered a fatal heart attack in 2008.


"Up, Up and Away" track listing:
(side 1)

1.) Up Up And Away (Jimmy Webb)- 2:39  rating: ** stars

Well the melody remained instantly recognizable, if the arrangement was far jjazzier than The 5th Dimensions hit.  Honestly this version had the same energy as wet toilet paper.  As mentioned, I'm pretty sure the vocalist was Jerry Cole.  His performance was pretty flat.  Cole's guitar solo was fascinating in that he didn't seem to be putting much effort into it. It should give all aspiring guitarists hope they can surpass this level of professionalism.

2.) I'm A Man - 2:48  rating: *** stars

The opening guitar riff (repeated throughout the song) sounded like if had been borrowed from The Four Tops' 'Sugar Pie, Honey Bunch'.  If you were going to borrow riffs Motown wasn't a bad place to go looking.  Elsewhere I'm a Man' offered up a decent slice of Buddy Holly-meets-blue-eyed soul.  

3.) Make Up Powder And Paint - 3:50 rating: *** stars

'Make Up Powder And Paint' was surprisingly funky with a nice swamp-rock guitar solo and some funny in-your-face lyrics.  Cole's voice actually sound pretty good on this one.

4.) Lisa - 3:09 rating: **** stars

Wow, I've seldom heard a singer with such a nasally delivery.  Shame since the folk-rock melody and accompanying finger-picking guitar work were quite good.  Actually I've always wondered if it was a guitar, or an electrified banjo.  Regardless it was a cool song.  For exploito fanatics, this one sounded similar to the instrumental 'Sure Listic' off The Animated Egg album.

5.) High On Love - 4:15 rating: **** stars

A slinky Gospel-rocker, 'High On Love' would not have sounded out of place on a Delaney and Bonnie album.  Dry and kind a craggy, if this was Cole I'll admit his voice kind of grew on me.  The guitar solo was first rate; I can picture Clapton playing it on one of those Delaney and Bonnie albums.


(side 2)
Woman of Mine - 3:17 rating: *** stars

For some reason 'Woman of Mine' has always reminded me of a Roger Miller performance - sans the goofiness.  The song was essentially a throwaway, but the guitar work was far better than the rest of the song.  Nice chugging drums too boot.  (Turns out Cole was a member of Miller's touring band for years.)

2.) Hard Times (instrumental) - 2:48 rating: **** stars

Opening up with some heavy duty fuzz guitar, the instrumental 'Hard Times' introduced some pleasant psychedelic sounds to the collection and was one of the album's highlights.

3.) Strange Shadows (instrumental) - 2:54 rating: *** stars

The instrumental 'Strange Shadows' struck me as having the album's most engaging melody and some of Cole's most melodic guitar work.  Another highlight.

4.) Fools Luck (Instrumental) - 3:23 rating: **** stars

Another hard rocking instrumental, 'Fool's Luck' showcased Cole's dexterity on fuzz guitar. Another track that sounds like a performance on The Animated Egg LP.

5.) On The Run - 3:08 rating: **** stars

The charming country-rocker 'On the Run' has always reminded me of something the late Michael Nesmith might have written for The Monkees. Shame this wasn't a musical direction Cole pursued as it might have turned him into a groundbreaker, rather than a musical follower.