Song of the day: The Four Fuller Brothers – "Groupie"

January 20, 2010

You may remember (or may have chosen to forget) one of my posts from a few days ago which featured a bubblegum song called “Groupie” by The New Dream. Because it was a bubblegum song about a groupie, I felt obliged to be mildly outraged by the lyrical content. However, I had a Dickens of a time trying to figure out the lyrics to determine just how outraged by the lyrics I was supposed to be. I listened intently to the lyrics, transcribing them as best I could (with decent audio equipment but faulty ears), but there were definite errors: for example, I was convinced I had heard phrases like “soda lap” and “waking minister’s door”. Unfortunately, because it’s a bubblegum song and not a stream-of-consciousness piece of prose à la Bob Dylan, I was fairly sure that The New Dream weren’t actually singing those odd phrases and was frustrated that I didn’t know exactly what they were singing. Cue my friend Col…

Col is a regular reader of this blog and occasional contributor of ideas (e.g., “Hey, Peter, I’ve got a really cheesy 60’s song that nobody’s ever heard of. Can you use it on your blog? And will you hate me for suggesting it?”). Col read my post about “Groupie” and emailed me straight away saying that, believe it or not, he and his brother had tried to figure out the lyrics to that very song ten years earlier. He then presented me with his version of the lyrics, which was helpful. But the best thing he did was supply me with the original version of “Groupie” by The Four Fuller Brothers. I was relieved to hear the Brothers singing much more clearly than The New Dream did. It made a huge difference to my poor old ears.

Col and I went to work on the lyrics again, and now I’m extremely pleased to say that, thanks to The Four Fuller Brothers’ clearer singing, the mystery of those pesky lyrics has been solved.

(Incidentally, Col even went above and beyond the call of duty by emailing Buzz Cason, the man who wrote the thing. We haven’t heard back from Buzz yet – but hope we do.)

So, here now for your listening pleasure tolerance are both versions of “Groupie” – PLUS the full and correct lyrics (yay!):

The Four Fuller Brothers – “Groupie” (1969)

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The New Dream – “Groupie” (1969)

Link

Every time we come to town
You know she always comes around (so they laugh at her and call her a groupie)

There she is in the very first row
After the show I know just where she will go

A night of love (ba ba, groovy groupie baby)
Waiting near the stage door (ba ba, groovy groupie baby)
She’ll have flowers and kisses (ba ba, groovy groupie baby)
And a pair of beads that I once wore (ba ba, groovy groupie baby)

And baby, though they laugh at you and call you a groupie
To me you always will be nothing but groovy, yeah (ba-ba-ba-ba ba ba ba ba [x2])

And I got love (ba ba, groovy groupie baby)
Just waiting for you (ba ba, groovy groupie baby)
I got flowers and kisses (ba ba, groovy groupie baby)
And a brand new picture of our group (ba ba, groovy groupie baby)

And baby, though they laugh at you and call you a groupie
To me you always will be nothing but groovy, yeah (ba-ba-ba-ba ba ba ba ba [x2])

Let her by
Officer, it’s OK
Can’t you see the tear in her eye?
She’s come such a long way

So bring me love (ba ba, groovy groupie baby)
I’m givin’ you some (ba ba, groovy groupie baby)
You’ll be showered with kisses (ba ba, groovy groupie baby)
And I’ll sing you our latest bubblegum (ba ba, groovy groupie baby)

And baby, while they laugh at us our life will be groovy
Some day I might up and marry a groupie, yeah

I’ve got love (ba ba, groovy groupie baby)
We got love (ba ba, groovy groupie baby)
We got love (love, love)
We got love (love, love)
We got love
Uh huh huh (ba ba, groovy groupie baby)
Uh huh huh (ba ba, groovy groupie baby)
Uh huh huh (ba ba, groovy groupie baby) (baby I love you)
Uh huh huh (ba ba, groovy groupie baby) (baby I love you)
Uh huh huh (ba ba, groovy groupie baby) (baby I love you) etc

As a bonus – and as a reward for perservering to the end of this post – here are The Four Fuller Brothers with their only other hit:

The Four Fuller Brothers – “Bitter Honey” (1969)

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Song of the day: The New Dream – "Groupie"

January 14, 2010

Here’s a bubblegum song with a difference:

The New Dream – “Groupie” (1970)

Link

This is one odd song. Musically, it’s bubblegum through and through. But lyrically…

This is a bubblegum song about a groupie. A GROUPIE. In a bubblegum song.

When I first heard “Groupie” my eyebrows raised considerably as I kept thinking “This is a song for kiddies, and they’re singing about a groupie!”.

I don’t know how shocked I’m supposed to be by this – or even if I’m supposed to be shocked at all – because I’m not sure what the term ‘groupie’ meant to Australians in 1969. (I was eight at the time, so all that “Hey baby” stuff the grown-ups were singing about on the radio completely eluded me.) Maybe it was a whole lot more innocent back then, and being a groupie in Australia meant no more than a coy peck on the cheek of your favourite pop star. But with the exploits of real people like Pamela Des Barres and fictional people like Penny Lane offering aspiring male rock stars dreams of non-stop naughtiness, I have a feeling that groupies everywhere back then were exactly what I think they were (i.e., mind-bogglingly available and enthusiastic young women).

Nevertheless, from what I can gather, nobody in Australia in 1969 seemed to have been terribly outraged by “Groupie.”

And I’ve come to the conclusion that I’m a prude.

I wondered just how risqué the song actually was so I decided to find out exactly what the band were singing by reading the lyrics. The Internet seemed the most likely place to look, considering that it has the lyrics to every song ever recorded. Well, that’s what I thought until I found that the Internet has the lyrics to every song but this one.

So, determined to get to the bottom of this “Should I be shocked?” moral and ethical dilemma I put on the headphones, pressed “play,” and went a-transcribin’.

The following lyrics are presented as is. I must warn you that due to my less-than-magnificent ears there are bound to be inaccuracies. For example, I thought I heard the phrases “soda lap” (at the 6-second mark) and “waking minister’s door” (at the 28-second mark), but I’m pretty sure that they’re not singing “soda lap” or even “waking minister’s door.”

The background vocals are in brackets:

Every time we come to town
You know she always comes around (soda lap [?] I’m gonna call her a groupie)

There she is in the very first row
After the show I know just where she will go

A night of love [I got love?] (ba ba, groovy groupie baby)
Waking minister’s [???] door (ba ba, groovy groupie baby)
She’ll have flowers and kisses (ba ba, groovy groupie baby)
And a pair of beads that I once wore (ba ba, groovy groupie baby)

And baby, though they laugh at you and call you a groupie
To me you always will be nothing but groovy, yeah (ba-ba-ba-ba ba ba ba ba [x2])

And I got love (ba ba, groovy groupie baby)
Just waiting for you (ba ba, groovy groupie baby)
I got flowers and kisses (ba ba, groovy groupie baby)
And a brand new picture of our group (ba ba, groovy groupie baby)

And baby, though they laugh at you and call you a groupie
To me you always will be nothing but groovy, yeah (ba-ba-ba-ba ba ba ba ba [x2])

Let her by
Up the stair [?] it’s OK
Can’t you see the tear in her eye?
She’s come such a long way

So bring me love (ba ba, groovy groupie baby)
I’m givin’ you some (ba ba, groovy groupie baby)
You’ll be showered with kisses (ba ba, groovy groupie baby)
And I’ll sing you our latest pop gum [?] (ba ba, groovy groupie baby)

And baby, while they laugh at us our life will be groovy
Some day I might up and marry a groupie, yeah

I’ve got love (ba ba, groovy groupie baby)
We got love (ba ba, groovy groupie baby)
We got love (love, love)
We got love (love, love)
We got love
Uh huh huh (ba ba, groovy groupie baby)
Uh huh huh (ba ba, groovy groupie baby)
Uh huh huh (ba ba, groovy groupie baby) (baby I love you)
Uh huh huh (ba ba, groovy groupie baby) (baby I love you)
Uh huh huh (ba ba, groovy groupie baby) (baby I love you) etc

I guess that’s innocent enough. (The singer’s even thinking about marrying his enthusiastic sweetheart.) But it’s a bubblegum song about a groupie.

I know, I know: you’re saying “Just get over it, Peter.”

Can do, gentle reader. Can do.

Before I leave this post, though, I want to mention that “Groupie” was written by a chap called Buzz Cason (great name) who also wrote “Hayride” which was a previous Song of the day. Unsurprisingly, the two songs sound similar (they both have virtually identical bass lines). Here’s “Hayride” to refresh yer memory:

The Flying Circus – “Hayride” (1971)

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By the way, I promise not to overreact to the next Song of the day.

(*Is there a name for a group of bubblegum songs? If there is, then I’m guessing it’s not “slew.” Maybe “gaggle,” or “pompus,” or “dridlibing,” or “comgibinibity.” Or maybe it’s just “Kevin.” Who knows?)