the fondellas. roy loney in 1999. unreleased demo recordings.

though roy loney had left the flamin' groovies in 1971 the music he played throughout the following years of course was not only a footnoting appendix to the history of bright and clever power pop punk. and having been a subscriber to bomp magazine since the early seventies i always loved his kind of understated rock and was very glad that i had found the fondellas in 1999. so it is a shame he seems to be forgotten nowadays, even wikipedia and discogs seem to be comprehending only very few information about roy loney and literally nothing about the fondellas (the german ostrich fanzine though is recollecting some commemoration these days). so let's get back to 1999 and dance.

the fondellas in 1999 were roy loney (lead vocals), james ferrall (guitar), danny mihm (drums), karl a. malinowski (guitar) and don bacardi (bass). they rehearsed sporadically, played a few gigs in san francisco, had a great time and then went off again. on their homepage "fondellas.com" they offered three demo tracks as free downloads in glorious 64 kbps; the page and the music though have vanished into digital nirvana (i.e. archive.org). fortunately i was one of probably some fifteen people who had downloaded and stored these tracks, and a few days ago i dug them out again, pimped and boosted them up a bit and here they are again in 320 kbps as direct downloads.

please listen to:

out of my head
look out mable
don't back down (fragment)

in an december 2000 interview with ken shimamoto of 1-94 bar roy loney mentioned his work with the fondellas in some short sentences that are quoted here as follows:

K: Skipping forward in time a little bit, you had the Fondellas, which had Danny and James. Is that band still active?

R: No, it isn't, unfortunately. We lost our bass player, who moved out of town, and our rhythm guitar player kind of faded away. It just became kind of hard to pull it together. I don't know if it's totally OVER, but it's definitely on hiatus at this point. We'll see if we get something together.

It was a band that I sort of came into after the fact. It was already a band, but they couldn't hang onto a singer. They kept having singers either leave or get thrown out; they weren't good enough. So finally at one point, Danny just broke down and came to me and he just said, "Look, would you wanna be in our band for a while, just help us out? We need a singer, we don't have one." I said, "Sure. It'll be fun for me. I'll learn the songs, play some shows, get to rehearse, just have some fun."

And it was good for me, but it was their act, pretty much. They ended up doing a few of my tunes, but for the most part with the Fondellas, I was just sort of a hired hand.

K: Did you do any recording with them?

R: No, we didn't, unfortunately. We did a little home stuff that's very, VERY funky sounding, very loose. And there's a couple of videos of us playing live where the soundtracks aren't too bad, for what they are. We were very hard rock. It was very...it was LOUD. We were really loud. It was"crunch factor," it was a crunchy sort of band. I kinda thought of it as "geezer rock;" these old guys up there crankin' it up, gettin' off on it. I think our attitude was really, "Fuck you if you don't get it." Really like that. So we played some gigs, got some people diggin' us, but it just sort of ended. I think it may come back together at some point in some form or other.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Danny Mihm was a founding member of The Groovies and Ferrell founded The Kingsnakes with him around 77. Both joined Loney in his Phantom Movers, a criminally underestimated and overlooked Rock n'Roll - as opposed to rock and even power pop - band. I've got 5 Of their Lps 78-83, and I still wonder, who the real Groovies were during that time. So the Fondellas seemingly were some kind of a reunion. Great stuff. Allen Voran