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The Guilloteens

Despite making fans of Elvis Presley and Phil Spector, as well as getting a big local hit in Memphis, the Guilloteens are not too well remembered in the pantheon of mid-'60s garage bands. That's unfortunate, because they were one of the better ones, and certainly one of the best from the South, an area that produced fewer garage bands per capita than the leading regional hotbeds of the sound. Perhaps some of the attention given to other regional garage bands of the era has eluded them because they were more versatile than the usual such act, putting fair quotients of blue-eyed soul, pop, and folk-rock into their sound, as well as the more expected British Invasion and raucous frat rock ingredients.

The Guilloteens formed in 1964 when Louis Paul, Laddie Hutcherson, and Joe Davis were members of the touring version of the Mar-Keys (who were by no means the same as the musicians who played on the Mar-Keys' records). When the horn section and singers of the band didn't show up one night, the three played on their own, leading them to decide to form their own group. Local popularity built a fan base that included Elvis Presley, who had known Louis years before the band had formed, got the Guilloteens a gig in early 1965 at the Red Velvet Club in Hollywood, where the group briefly relocated. Phil Spector saw the Guilloteens and was impressed enough to start working on producing their original song "I Don't Believe" in the studio. But for reasons that remain obscure, while Spector was out of town, Guilloteens' manager Jerry Williams signed a deal with the newly launched Hanna Barbera label (an offshoot of the company responsible for popular children's TV cartoons).

Still, the Guilloteens' debut single, "I Don't Believe" sans Spector production, was a strong effort mixing British Invasion pop harmony, Searchers-like guitar, and Paul's unusually thick blue-eyed soul vocals. It was a big hit in Memphis, backed with the Kinks knockoff "Hey You," another group original. Paul took vocals on three of the four songs on the band's first two singles, with "For My Own" an impressive follow-up that similarly mixed folk-rock with garage pop, though it wasn't the same regional hit that "I Don't Believe" had been. Paul quit the Guilloteens, however, after that release, unhappy with their manager.

By this time the band had returned to Memphis from Los Angeles, and replaced Paul with Buddy Delaney. Another decent single followed, one side of which ("Crying All Over My Time") was co-written by Hutcherson and Jim Dickinson, the latter later to become famous as a sideman and producer. That was their third and last release on Hanna Barbera, as a Southern tour on which they opened for Paul Revere & the Raiders helped get them a deal with Columbia Records. A Revere & the Raiders influence can be heard, in fact, on their first Columbia 45, "Wild Child," a really good slice of tough garage pop-punk that rates as one of the raunchiest garage singles issued on a major label. It couldn't break the Guilloteens nationally, however, and after a final disappointing uncharacteristically pop Columbia single in 1967, the group split up. Delaney made a rare single shortly afterward, "Girl," as frontman for Buddy Delaney & the Candy Soupe, though it was nothing more than a slightly reworked version of the old Guilloteens B-side "Hey You." All ten songs from the Guilloteens' singles (as well as Buddy Delaney & the Candy Soupe's "Hey You") were collected for the Rhino compilation Where the Action Is! Los Angeles Nuggets 1965-1968 compilation. ~ Richie Unterberger
full bio

Selected Discography

x

Track List: Where The Action Is! Los Angeles Nuggets 1965-1968

Disc 1

1. Riot On Sunset Strip

2. You Movin'

3. You I'll Be Following

4. Dr. Stone

5. Go And Say Goodbye

6. Zig Zag Wanderer

7. Gentle As It May Seem

8. Candy Cane Madness

9. If You Want This Love

10. Baby, My Heart

12. It's Gonna Rain

13. For My Own

14. Take A Giant Step

15. One Too Many Mornings

16. Time Waits For No One

17. Take It As It Comes

18. Pulsating Dream

20. The People In Me

21. Saturday's Son

22. Eventually

23. Swim

Disc 2

1. Jump, Jive & Harmonize

2. Back Up

4. Get On This Plane

5. Little Girl, Little Boy

6. Hideaway

7. Listen, Listen!

8. She Done Moved

9. Grim Reaper Of Love

10. See If I Care

11. He's Not There Anymore

12. Back Seat '38 Dodge

13. Eternal Prison

14. Revenge

15. Come Alive

16. Acid Head

17. Guaranteed Love

19. Underground Lady

20. Pretty Little Thing

22. Hippy Elevator Operator

23. That's For Sure

25. Everything's There

26. Our Time Is Running Out

Disc 3

1. Action, Action, Action

2. The Rebel Kind

3. High On Love

4. Fan Tan

5. Halloween Mary

6. Somebody Groovy

7. Daydreaming

8. Just Can't Wait

9. Yellow Balloon

10. The Times To Come

11. No More Running Around

12. Little Girl Lost-And-Found

14. My Girlfriend Is A Witch

16. Flower Eyes

17. Come Down

18. Jill

19. Daily Nightly

20. Night Time Girl

22. Tin Angel (Will You Ever Come Down)

23. Rainbow Woman

25. Baby, Please Don't Go

Disc 4

3. November Night

4. Roses And Rainbows

5. Lemon Chimes

6. Here's Today

7. I Love How You Love Me

8. Words (Demo)

10. Los Angeles

11. Once Upon A Time

12. Darlin' You Can Count On Me

13. I'll Search The Sky

14. Come To The Sunshine

15. Heroes And Villains (Alternate Take)

16. She Sang Hymns Out Of Tune

17. Sister Marie

18. Last Night I Had A Dream (Single Version)

19. Life Is A Dream

21. I Think I Love You

22. Change Is Now

23. Truth Is Not Real

24. You Set The Scene

x

Track List: Mind Blowers Vol. 1

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