Fire Escape

Psychotic Reaction

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Because it is totally hardcore, has the word "psychotic" spelled wrong in huge print on the back cover, and is almost impossible to find anywhere, '60s freaks will want this. No members of the so-called Fire Escape are mentioned by name, and there's an arranger's credit, which is not exactly a sign that a regular band is playing. It is a good guess that the group is fabricated and the project is actually performed by the so-called production team of Larry Goldberg and Hank Levine, with help from sessionmen. The liner notes detail how some jokers arrived in San Francisco during the height of the Haight-Ashbury scene and spent more than $50 in cab fare wandering around trying to find where the group the Fire Escape was playing. And guess where that was? A club called the Gutter. If that is not proof enough that this is one of the greatest sets of liner notes in music history, sample the intro: "San Francisco, a far out city! The Fire Escape, a far out band!" Well, it certainly has good taste in covers, that's for sure. Practically all the good parts of the original Nuggets collection are here: the title track, "Talk Talk," "96 Tears." There's not one but two obscure Seeds covers. The producers take credit for writing "Blood Beat" and "Journey's End," both yucky, but no one takes credit for "Love Special Delivery," advertised as just plain "LSD" on the front cover. This is one of three overt references to acid in the song selection -- talk about targeting an audience who are hallucinating too hard to respond. This album is, frankly, a ripoff, but at least good stuff was ripped off. And yes, Shockabilly also spelled "psychotic" wrong on the back of the original Rough Trade release, Dawn of Shockabilly, but at least that was in small print.

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