Welcome! This will be a new weekly feature hosted on the KSPC blog in which I, your humble Summer Music Director Winona, and my faithful sidekick… I mean, co-worker, Joseph, explore KSPC’s vinyl library in search of hidden gems for you to play on your show. Alone, we are two lonely basement dwellers, but together, we are The Spin Doctors, checking the pulse of music everywhere and administering to you a dose of the elite obscure. So sit back, enjoy, and happy listening!
Television- Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door
A review by Dr. Ocon
Hello. Joseph here. I want to show you about something. Come over here. Closer. Close your eyes. Wait, actually, open your eyes. You’re probably gonna need your eyes to play the song. Click play. Okay. Is it playing? Close your eyes now. What? Yes, I mean it this time. Look, close ’em or don’t. I don’t care anymore. You’re making this difficult.
Anyways, let me tell you about this song. You’re listening to the Television (wonderful/influential ’70s art rock/post-punk band responsible for the effing unbelievably good record Marquee Moon) cover of Bob Dylan’s “Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door.” I don’t know the original that well. I don’t really listen to Dylan much at all. I’ll say it. I’m not ashamed. I don’t listen to Dylan. Not in a sneering, annoying, look-at-me way (okay, kinda in that way). I just haven’t. I’ll get around to it. Stop hassling me. That being said, for some reason, I have listened to a lot of covers of this song. I love covers of this song. I haven’t heard one I don’t like (another good one is the Antony & the Johnsons cover on the I’m Not There soundtrack).
This cover, however, is something else. There is like not a single moment where either Tom Verlaine or Richard Lloyd (not sure which) isn’t soloing for no other reason than it’s awesome. Full of stalls, breaks, build-ups and the goddamn chunkiest guitar tone ever, this cover is raw. The reedy, emotional, slurred, sorta shitty vocals. Holy hell. This cover is from Television’s 1982 live album The Blow Up (recorded in 1978) originally released on cassette tape on Reachout International Records (ROIR). Here at KSPC we have it on a vinyl sampler of famous ROIR cassette releases (along with many other amazing tracks). Of course, it closes side two.
An invasive look at the band by Winona, MD
I think Schnäbbls may be a hoax. The greatest hoax that was never recorded.
My coworker Joseph was drawn to this album in all its orange and black glory, located just below the OTA computer in the ZZZ portion of the KSPC vinyl collection. Off of Yahoo Records, this Schnäbbls record is a self-proclaimed “compilation of 8 lost German garage bands from the 60’s.” With the exception of some cryptic band bios on the back of the album (one person’s bio reads: ‘Sorry, nothing. Maybe from Goppingen.’), the entirety of the liner notes and every other bit of elusive text is in German.
A quick google search initially turned up nothing. So, I refined my search to “band member” names, song titles, and then searched directly on “Yahoo Records.” A couple of things came up, but no photos, no videos, and certainly no information as to whether this album was even a real thing. I’ve listened to both sides twice already, and a mysterious and cryptic message appears at the end of the album. Over and over again, once the last track on the B Side finishes, a sentence is repeated stating something that sounds like “Bitte um player.” I don’t know. I don’t speak German. Do you speak German? Does this sound like something? Please, I have nowhere to go. Help.
So why does KSPC have it? Who is the mysterious guitarist “D’Rotzlöffel,” who according to band lore, “died of an overdose of chewing gum, while on a chicken-hunt.”
To conclude my post, from the album, here is “Schnäbbls Theme.” The best I can preface it is tell you to play it, play it please. Get the word out there. Who is Schnäbbls? Why is Schnäbbls here? And, where did Schnäbbls go?