Hackamore Brick

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Earliest disciples of the Velvet Underground, with a very VU-sounding album cut for Buddah Records' Kama Sutra label.
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Hackamore Brick are one of the great missing links in the late-'60s New York music scene. In some circles, the Brooklyn-spawned quartet is considered notable for the Velvet Underground influence heard throughout the music on One Kiss Leads to Another, the group's album cut for Buddha Records' Kama Sutra imprint, no less. Lou Reed's singing style is in evidence throughout Chick Newman's flat intonation, but other attributes here range further, eerily anticipating the minimalist charm of Jonathan Richman, while some of the material, such as the Bob Roman/Tommy Moonlight-authored "Peace Has Come," makes one think of an embryonic Television. There was a lot of talent there and some good instincts about what to do with it, at least as a starting point. Not even the revived Buddha imprint had the courage or enough interest to reissue the album.

As for the band, they did elicit some interest at the time -- the record was well-reviewed by the rock press of the time, and Hackamore Brick played a week at the Bitter End in Greenwich Village and seven weeks in St. Thomas in the Virgin Islands -- in addition to their originals, their shows encompassed renditions of Chuck Berry, Leiber & Stoller, and Curtis Mayfield songs, and pop standards going back to "I'm in the Mood for Love." They played around New York for a time and issued "Searchin'" as a 45, but a proposed second album never got recorded, reportedly over a disagreements about where to cut it, which led to the single's being canceled. The group split up not long after that -- Chick Newman and Tommy Moonlight stayed in the business, and played such celebrated venues as CBGBs, Max's Kansas City, and Folk City, and even cut a whole album of material together in Austin, Texas in the mid-'80s. Finally, after a false start in 2003, Moonlight and Newman got together for a second bite at the apple as Hackamore Brick in 2008, recording the first new sides under that name in about 38 years. The six-song CD showed up in 2009, not long after their Kama Sutra debut showed up on CD. And follow-up recordings for 2009 were reportedly in the works, as of the summer of that year.