The Mike Jones Group
Each and Every Day / Funny Feeling - 7"
Jet - 1967
The Mike Jones Group was originally formed in the early months of 1966 by a couple of high school buddies, singer Michel Lachance (a.k.a. Mike Jones) and guitarist Bob Panetta. The Montreal five-piece - actually all just teenagers with the youngest of the lads, keyboardist George Legrady, a mere sixteen at the time - recorded some demos that year and trekked down to New York in search of a record deal that never quite materialized. Panetta writes on the Garage Hangover site, "We got really good feedback from producers in the States but were turned down on a technicality (they wanted us to change our name to a French one)." Once back in their home of Montreal, the band hooked up with producer Don Wayne Patterson, who issued a couple of tracks on his Jet label the following year.
This obscure double-sider seems to have become more famous amongst the well-organized garage bloggers for its b-side, the fiery rocker 'Funny Feeling'. No surprise here - this snarling proto-psychedelic fireball sports a brisk beat, some dutifully fuzzed-up guitar work and a swirling organ that must have been a hoot on dance floors back in the day. But for those hoary old pop fanatics (among whom I include myself), their radio-friendly cover of Manfred Mann's 'Each and Every Day' earns its a-side stripes and more. The maudlin harmonies and meatpacking hooks recall the memorable AM fare of those old standbys, the Grass Roots. A little payola would have kick-started this one up the charts. Not much else is known about these guys, though the band did at one time include Roger Rodier, whose dreamy, Nick Drake-inspired LP Upon Velveatur (1972) is a sought-after folk-MOR gem out there in vinyljunkieland.
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