Glass Derringer

Band members                             Related acts

  line up 1  (1976)

- Christopher Augustine -- drums, percussion

- Rick Derringer -- guitar

- Dick Glass (RIP 1982) -- guitar

- Randy Hobbs (RIP 1993) -- bass

- Bobby Peterson -- keyboards





- Rick Derringer (solo efforts)

- Elephant (Dick Glass)

- The McCoys (Rick Derringer)



Genre: rock

Rating: *** 3 stars

Title:  Dick Glass Featuring Rick Derringer and the McCoys

Company: LAX

Catalog:  GG 58005

Country/State: --

Grade (cover/record): VG+/VG+

Comments: cut lower right corner

Available: 1

Catalog ID: -

Price: $40.00

The late Dick Glass is an interesting and enigmatic character.  I own the album he issued under the name "Elephant" but really don't know a great deal about the man.   Just as odd as his solo career is this strange collaboration with Rick Derringer and the McCoys.  Credited to 'Dick Glass featuring Rick Derringer and the McCoys', 1976's "Glass Derringer"  was released by Jerry Goldstein and Steve Gold's LAX label, but seemingly promptly pulled from circulation.  My guess the hasty withdrawal had something to do with unauthorized use of the Rick Derringer and the McCoys nameplate.  Incidently, that suggestion was underscored by a comment Rick Derringer left on YouTube: 

"I am Rick Derringer. When this LP was made in 1967; I had not yet started using the name Derringer. Dick Glass, 9 years later tried to capitalize on my success with this: "featuring Rick Derringer" title. I was simply hired to play guitar as a sideman. This in no way represents what I would call a "Rick Derringer Album". Don't be fooled, check out the real thing at my website."

The 1976 release date is also interesting given The McCoys had called it quits by 1970.  Again, nothing more than speculation on my part, but judging by Derringer's comments and the sound, late-'60s seems like a more likely time for these tracks to have been recorded.

Jerry Goldstein (best know for his work with the funk band War) was listed as producer of "Glass Derringer" but that seems doubtful given these were likely archival tracks.  Goldstein may have had a role cleaning up the original recording and perhaps extending tracks like 'Thoughts of Melinda' to fill up the album's paltry running time. Regardless, the collection appeared to be a massive marketing scam and betrayal of The McCoys trust by Dick Glass and LAX.  Interestingly, with all of those strikes against it, musically it was surprising entertaining.  Glass may have looked like a sleazy plumbing accessories salesman, but the guy wasn't without talent.  His voice was interesting, if somewhat limited and assuming he actually wrote this material, it reflected commercial melodies with some interesting time piece effecs.  Highlights included the title track instrumental, the garage rocker 'Fourteen' and The Elephant carryover 'Lovely Road'. Part of Glass' talent was also knowing where to go to recruit a first-rate backing band in Rick Derringer and the McCoys.  Time after time their performances took what would have been mediocre material and elevate it to good (the ballad 'Thoughts of Melinda'), or even great performances ('Fourteen').  Certainly a quirky released, but interesting and worth looking for since you can still find affordable copies.

"Glass Derringer" track listing:

(side 1)

1.) Sharing the Victory (Dick Glass) - 5:36  rating: *** stars

Starting out with some patented wah-wah guitar, 'Sharing the Victory' began as a slightly-acid tinged rocker before morphing into a more conventional tune.  I could have done without the scatting, but overall the track was surprisingly energetic with Glass sounding far better than I recall from his earlier LP.  Judging by the sound and feel,  I'm guessing the tune was recorded in the late-'60s..  

2.) Thoughts of Melinda (Dick Glass) -7:28 rating: *** stars

Without The McCoy's backing the ballad 'Thoughts of Melinda' would have been unlistenable. The song was primarily interesting for showcasing Glass' weird voice.  There was a weird, flat edge to his deliveries, but it was kind of fascinating to hear.  It was also amazing what a difference Derringer and company made.  This would have been total crap without them   Listening to it, it was amazing how long it one seemed.  Extra star for Derringer's arsenal of guitar stylings.

3.) Fourteen (Dick Glass) - 8:40  rating: **** stars

'Fourteen' was a fantastic, pounding garage rocker that again showcasing Derringer's immense talents. You also got an extended Christopher Augustine drum solo thrown in for free, though it wasn't a necessary component to the song.   I have to admit there was something deeply disturbing hearing Glass singing about his thing for a 14 year old.  Would you let this guy anywhere near your daughter?  


(side 2)

1.) Lovely Road (Dick Glass) - 4:18 rating: **** stars

'Lovely Road' was a track that had previously appeared on The Elephant's 1973 debut album "Elephant."  Opening up with an ominous, mildly lysergic vibe, 'Lovely Road' quickly morphed into a more commercial melody that actually sounded more "modern" than the side one compositions.  Loved Derringer's jazzy guitar runs.

2.) The Glass Derringer (instrumental) (Dick Glass) - 3:38 rating: **** stars

I wasn't expected what sounded like an in-studio jam to be so good.  Musically 'The Glass Derringer' sounded like a mash-up of Native American tom-tom rhythms with a healthy dose of Derringer's most melodic lead guitar slapped on top of it.

3.) River of Life  (Dick Glass - Tom Grasso) - 5:50 rating: ** stars

A stab at Gospel messaging, the lyrics were thoughtful, but Glass' lightweight voice simply didn't have the character, or strength to carry it off.

4.) Paula (Dick Glass) - 4:00 rating: *** stars

'Paula' was another track that had a distinctive '60s feel.  The tune also served to showcase the strengths and weaknesses in Glass' voice.  Hard to accurately describe it's tone, but it was both fascinating and limited.  The melody has always reminded me of another song, though I've never been able to make the connection.