I would like to give credit where credit is due. Videos are from YouTube and other sources such as NicoNico while Oricon rankings and other information are translated from the Japanese Wikipedia unless noted.

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

The White Kicks -- Alligator Bogaloo(アリゲーター・ブーガルー)

It's one of those YouTube browsings that provide an interesting story and an enjoyable adventure. However, I will start from the finish, as it were, namely this song.

Not that I had intentionally known that I would show up here, but the destination was just so darn fascinating. I discovered this song called "Alligator Bogaloo" by this Group Sounds band, The White Kicks(ザ・ホワイト・キックス), which only lasted for this single from May 1968. Listening to some of this late 60s fuzzy-and-buzzy psychedelic rock, I was seriously tempted to search for some John Lennon glasses and a flowery headband, although the only "drug" that I would be willing to indulge in is some Cadbury Milk Chocolate. Digging under a bit of that guitar, there were also some nice harmonies especially right at the end.

The other intriguing thing is the lineup of this short-lived band. The bassist happened to be Akira Terao(寺尾聰)who later pursued a long acting career and achieved success in the City Pop field, and he came over from another GS band, The Savage(ザ・サベージ). Keitaro Miho(三保敬太郎), I believe, was the leader who was also a jazz pianist, and there was one other member, Taeko Morino(森野多恵子), who was the spark behind my browsing which led to The White Kicks. I will be writing more about her very soon under her future stage names of Tan Tan and Harumi Ohzora(大空はるみ). The other band members included drummer Masatsugu Kawate(河手政次)from The Launchers, guitarist Kenkichi Hayashi(林廉吉)and flautist Yasuo Shimura(志村康夫). Yuka Matsushima(松島由佳)came up with the Japanese lyrics.

The White Kicks' "Alligator Bogaloo" was actually the rock cover of the original funky jazz song by saxophonist Lou Donaldson, the title track from his album of August 1967 that became an unintentional success. According to the Wikipedia article (originally from the "Let's Cool One" website from 2009), Donaldson and his quintet, which included guitarist George Benson, found themselves a little short on material, so apparently the producer just told him to make up something. Well, the sax player came up with a riff and everyone followed his lead, and thus "Alligator Bogaloo" was born.

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