Andy and the Rattlesnakes | Last Summer to Dance

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Rock: 80's Rock Rock: Rock & Roll Moods: Type: Vocal
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Last Summer to Dance

by Andy and the Rattlesnakes

"Andy Krikun’s Rattlesnakes were one of the great lost, eclectic underground rock & roll bands in West L.A. in the early ’80s ...." - L.A. Weekly
Genre: Rock: 80's Rock
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  Song Share Time Download
1. Patience
4:11 $0.99
2. Solitary Man
3:46 $0.99
3. Anesthesia
2:32 $0.99
4. Third World Wives
4:38 $0.99
5. Eileen
2:32 $0.99
6. Loving Pauper
3:57 $0.99
7. Epitaph
2:39 $0.99
8. Cheap Thrills
3:35 $0.99
9. Kidnapped
3:30 $0.99
10. Ain't It Cold Jack
4:18 $0.99
11. No Answer At the Roosevelt Hotel
6:53 $0.99
12. Never Let Me Go
3:52 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
In the late 70s and early 80s, Andy and the Rattlesnakes captivated L.A. music fans with their exciting live performances. Their audiences quickly understood that a Snakes performance was not going to be just another rock-n-roll evening. Whether politically charged, strikingly imaginative or sweetly romantic, their songs covered an expansive musical and lyrical territory. The band's sound combined twisted punk overtones, reggae dubs, ska skanks, and spontaneous jazz and blues improvisations, into a mixture held together by the heart and soul backbone of solid R&B.

The Rattlesnakes' musicianship provided the perfect accompaniment for New Jersey singer/songwriter Andy Krikun's poignant lyrics and soulful singing style that bring to mind both Otis Redding and Joe Strummer. While the fervid grooves of bassist Rob Hasick and drummers Barry the Hatchet Wisdom and Andrew Campbell-Hare kept the dance floor at maximum capacity, the band's soloists intrigued listeners with their adventurous musical explorations. Keyboardist Morley Bartnoff combined the raw energy of Jerry Lee Lewis with the jarring harmonies of Thelonious Monk, guitarist Paul Lacques mixed Chicago Blues and Chuck Berry with metallic space age atonality, while saxophonist Jeff Hollie moved from soothing full-bodied warm tones to ominous caterwauling. Together, Andy and the Rattlesnakes devised a musical melange that still resonates 25 years later.

Since Andy and the Rattlesnakes disbanded in 1981, the members have continued to lead active musical lives. The bands featuring former Rattlesnakes include the Burning Sensations (Capitol Records), the Bonedaddies, Rotondi, the Underthings, Daisychain, Blazing Wheel, Urban Artillery, and Double Naught Spy Car. Individually and collaboratively, their music has been featured in film and television (Repo Man, The Shot, The Mayor of Sunset Strip). After receiving his Master’s degree in Ethnomusicology from UCLA, Andy Krikun was appointed a professor of music and music business at Bergen Community College in Paramus, New Jersey, where he guides the careers of future musicians and music business professionals. When not leading his own band Cosmo Topper, keyboardist Morley Bartnoff can be found performing with Dramarama. Guitarist Paul Lacques has recorded three albums with his highly acclaimed country rock combo, I See Hawks in L.A.. Bassist Rob Hasick has been active both as a musician and as a visual artist. Living in Amsterdam since the early 90s, saxophonist Jeff Hollie has toured Europe collaborating with DJs and spoken word artists.

Last Summer to Dance is the band's first full-length album, consisting of twelve re-mastered tracks compiling studio sessions, demos, and live performances at the Taurus Tavern.

"long ago in a place that is no more the legendary Taurus Tavern in Venice, California - a band called Andy and the Rattlesnakes showed up. They played a tough, streetwise, worldly-wise music. This guy Andy had been around and musically he had something to say about it all - something that included all of it, and included all of us other musicians listened, and the Rattlesnakes had their influence on L.A.s music". - Michael Ventura

"The group has worked numerous city clubs and built a reputation as rockers with an intriguing mix of originals and rock and soul standards." - Bill Bentley, L.A. Weekly

"The band does high-energy, solid rock and includes some very intriguing original material. The quality of Andys lyrics, the richness of the music is a lot to digest at first; but Andy sings from his heart and with conviction". -Valerie Geller, Pro-Fun

"Solitary Man" chosen as a 45 Pick by L.A. Weekly

"Third World Wives" featured on the "Ten of Americas Best New Groups of the 80s" compilation by D.I.Y. magazine. The album also included selections by Black Flag, the Red Rockers, and the Dreamers (Johnette Napolitano with Jim and Earle Mankey)

"Patience" featured on USA Networks TV show "New Wave Theater", hosted by Peter Ivers. The show featured cutting-edge bands of the era including X.



to write a review

Dan Groya

Best Lost & Found CD of 2006
Lost records. Bootlegs, unreleased, out-of-print. Collectors wet their pants over this stuff, whether it’s a Son House 78 on Paramount from 1926 or one of those Japanese red vinyl pressings of Rubber Soul. If I ever find a clean copy of Punishment Of Luxury’s The Laughing Academy on United Artists UK my brain will probably explode, but that’s just how it goes.

So when the Andy & The Rattlesnakes CD Last Summer To Dance: Los Angeles 1980-1981 (Fellaheen) turned up in my mailbox, I knew it belonged to that lost planet where gravity is optional. Back when these tracks were recorded, I was producing club dates in New Orleans. I knew that The Rattlesnakes was a fabled L.A. band that sounded like a fabled New York band, and this CD explains in florid detail just why they were fabled anywhere. Back then, I would have jumped at the chance to book them into the old Tipitina’s, maybe on the same bill with Room Service or The Red Rockers before CBS broke their backs. But that chance never came.

7” vinyl records still mattered in the early 1980s, and two of the buzz titles then were REM’s Hib Tone release Radio Free Europe and Andy & The Rattlesnakes’ Solitary Man, the Neil Diamond cover to end all Neil Diamond covers. But unless you happened to be a regular at the Taurus Tavern in Venice, or found a copy of the compilation Ten Of America’s Favorite Bands, you never really heard from them again. Until now.

This CD contains demos, raw live takes from the Taurus, and some rather more polished studio recordings that include Solitary Man, a rendering so thick with irony you can’t cut it with a knife. On every track, singer-songwriter Andy Krikun holds forth at once with the sneering power of Tom Verlaine and old-school soul of Willy DeVille. Then, Morley Bartnof (aka Cosmo Topper) delivers a keyboard lesson as precise as a mathematical theorem, where every note is the correct answer. Although this band did sound remarkably like the celebrated New York group Television, the difference is that The Rattlesnakes’ songs were arranged around a relentlessly driving beat, as opposed to the halting structures and strategically empty spaces that became trademarks of the Television style.

The stand out studio tracks include Anesthesia, the B-side on the Solitary Man single, and Third World Wives, a straightforward rave-up that demonstrates first rate musical chops---each player is clearly and definitively heard across the audio stage. In the “Canyon School” group of demos, Epitaph recalls the punch and dexterity of the early Attractions.

Listening for the first time to a full sample of The Rattlesnakes’ music, alternative histories come to mind. How should this band have been managed in 1980? How far could they have gone? I might have fronted the money for a full album, hired Jimmy Augustin to produce it, and then called Howie at 415 Records. The right players at the right time. Andy & The Rattlesnakes could have leveraged Translator and Romeo Void beyond themselves and led the pack to the kind of success that long-gone label deserved. But we will never know.

At least now, with Last Summer To Dance, we have something.