In The Land of Free, we still keep on Rockin'

Plain and Fancy

"I hope for nothing, I fear nothing, I am free"

Friday, February 7, 2014

Kath ‎- One (1974 us, brilliant trippy basement psychedelia, 2011 double disc edition)

As with many others of my generation, watching "The Beatles" on the Ed Sullivan Show in early 1964 completely changed my life's desire from pursuing a medical education to playing in a Rock 'n' Roll band. I still remember that sudden dramatic change of ife. At first I tried playing the guitar. While some friends and I were just playing around a girl said that I played guitar like I was playing drums. We needed a drummer so I got my first set and started playing the drums—it was definitely a better fit! We called ourselves The Serfs. Band members were: Jim Bensen (guitar), Frank Moultrie (guitar and voca s), Ronnie Gomez (bass and vocals), and Val Rogolino (drums and vocals). 

What a great feeling it was to hear the sound come together. We played mainly Rock 'n' Roll and Soul music. I still remember the first time we played before a live audience and the sensational feeling I had of realizing that the people were dancing to our music. We played during the era of "Sock Hops" and "Teen Clubs." Later, we became a trio and changed our name to The Group. In 1969, we changed our name again to Badge, with band members: James (Cheese) Sellers (guitar and vocals), Jim O'Dell (bass and vocals) and Val Rogolino (drums and vocals). We started playing in night clubs and writing original songs as Badge. The recording bug hit us. Cheese and I did all the recordings.

In the early to mid 1970's, we made three 45 rpm singles and one EP. The tape recorder we used was a Teac 2340. Through the 70's, the band continued performing, recording, and utilizing different techniques and sounds and enhanced productions. 3RI I wanted to expand the recordings so I decided to make an LP. This LP was not a Badge project. I named the album Kath, and recorded it during the summer of 1974.

Kath had a variety of songs, more complex production and greater overall depth than previous projects. The musicians performing on this project: Cheese Sellers, Brent Buckley, Bruce Lapier, Bob George, and Val Rogolino. Recording began on March 31, 1974 and ended September 5, 1974. Only 60 copies were made. Some of the equipment used in the production: Teac 2340 (4 track tape recorder), a Kustom PA amp (mixing board), two Kustom PA columns (mix down speakers), a Vox Echo Unit, a Vox Jaguar (organ), Ludwig drums, and Shure microphones. Most songs needed 12 to 14 tracks—a lot of over dubbing was necessary. 

Badge still performed through the 70's adding horns, and female vocalists to our live performances. But of course, Disco reared its ugly head. The nightclub gigs dried up and many bands were out or work. The days of teen clubs and the night clubs of my era were a memory— a thing of the past. I'll always remember waiting for the next 45 or LP to be released, listening to live groups, comparing and just communicating with fellow musicians.  Sadly, the sound and feel, and the way we experienced the music were gone. 

As with many others of my generation, in the early 1980's I had to get a "real job", but music and recording remain my first love. The world of music still fills my lire and burns deeply in my heart and soul. "I fell in love with this world of song—laughing—crying as the years go on." When I was contacted by Rockadelic (in May 2005) regarding the Kath LP I revisited a cherished time. I appreciate Rockadelic for caring and taking the time to re-release this album. Many thanks to Rich Haupt, Carl Weiss, and Patrick the Lama. Special thanks to David Haffner, Steve Lorber, and Vincent Tornatore for releasing the CD version of Kath. Wherever this paths leads I'll treasure the entire venture. 

There are those who understand the feeling of playing and performing Rock 'n' Roll—that feeling will never fade away. Dedicated to all my friends and family for their love and support, and many thanks to countless musicians who brought their love to music. A heartfelt remembrance to those who experienced this world of music with me—I simply thank you.
by Val Rogolino

Not many albums can get you in the mood to blow out your speakers quite like Kath, a band that evolved from local Maryland 1960’s band Badge. This is an authentic low-fi DIY effort, recorded in the home of the band’s leader (and, yes, actually dedicated to his pet monkey—and his girlfriend!), originally released in 1974 in a micro edition of 60 hand-made copies, and later reconfigured for a legendary Rockadelic label LP version. 

Truth to tell, the Kath album is full of well written melodic songs with loose, semi-ramshackle, low-fi/no-fi production values. Nothing gets down and dirty quite like 'Say What You Feel,' with its blown out bass, killer guitar and drums, echoed vocals and sound effects; well, actually, ‘Love Me Down' is equally potent. The band also had a fondness for tape experimentation ('Seagulls') and simply screwing around ('Toilet Theme'). As Patrick the Lama said in Acid Archives, “Obscure and impressive melodic basement garage/psych excursion with a lo-fi atmosphere that would have most purveyors flip out, hits the Ampex two-track echo & tinny drum sound dead on....

 At times the vibe is almost like Mystery Meat or Index, and that's not something you run across every day. A totally outside garage/psych/private LP that feels as personally projected as those Michael Yonkers sides. Nuts lo-fi recording quality and impossible-to-figure production values gives this a nicely zonked almost real-people vibe. Keyboards, fuzz, heap of amateur avant spirit and a cover of 'Norwegian Wood' that ranks up there as one of the few listenable Beatles covers ever cut by teens with brains." There's also included Badge's excellent 1978 five-track EP as bonus tracks. 

Disc 1 Kath "One" (Original Album)
1. I Want To Love You - 3:16
2. Lonely Again - 2:44
3. Goodbye Sunshine - 3:36
4. Tell Laura I Love Her (Barry, Releigh) - 4:11
5. Seagulls - 1:54
6. Silly Willy - 3:36
7. It Doesn’t Mean - 5:25
8. Candleman - 4:46
9. Norwegian Wood (Lennon, McCartney) - 2:50
10.BLPSVC - 4:12
11.Typical Recording Session (With Breakdown Of Instrumental Version Of Mother Dear) - 3:50
12.Mother Dear - 3:16
13.Say What You Feel - 2:54
14.Toilet Theme (With Part Of Say What You Feel) - 3:58
15.She’s The Girl I Love - 3:32
16.Love Me Down - 2:56
17.I Hear Them Laughing - 3:47
18.As I Looked - 4:02
19.Just Like You - 2:19
20.She - 2:13
Bonus tracks 16-20 from "Badge EP"

Disc 2  Unreleased Material
1. It Doesn’t Mean (EP Version) - 4:29  
2. I’ve Got That Feeling - 3:53
3. Tearfall In The Rain - 5:42
4. Look To Your Window - 3:47
5. The Great Pretender - 6:43
6. Little Miss - 3:31
7. Keep Tryin’ - 2:23
8. Do You Wanna Dance - 3:45
9. I Need You - 2:28
10.Everything I Do - 2:38
11.Sitting All Alone - 2:57
12.When You Walk In The Room - 4:03
13.Just A Little Smile - 4:14
14.I Lie Awake - 5:06
15.Singing Out Thoughts To My Lady - 5:27
16.A Gentle Breeze - 3:57
17.Le Fini - 2:56
18.C - 1:43

*Cheese Sellers - Rhythm Guitars
*Brent Buckley - Lead Guitar, Organ, Sax
*Bruce Lapier - Bass
*Bob George - Trumpet
*Val Rogolino - Drums, Tambourine, Vocals, Organ

Free Text


Hajul Ellah said...

Many thanks for this great share, Marios.

kost mah said...

Ειναι καταπληκτικο,ευχαριστω πολυ.

Robert said...

Thank you for posting this one...many thanks from here in New York City !

CK said...

First of all thanks for posting this interesting album. One question though; the Unreleased Material on Disc 2, part of the Kath sessions for this 1974 album, or are these recordings pertaining to Badge of another time? Any idea when they were recorded?
Thank you in advance.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the wonderful comments... Kath disc 2 contains some material that was to be Kath 2, some material are recordings Cheese and I made in the early to mid 1970's and some others recorded by myself. Again, many thanks, Val Rogolino

Philipp said...

Thanks a lot, Marios! Unknown pearl for me.

Robert said...

Hey. Val Rogolino !! This is a great collection of songs ! Disc One made me laugh ! And the liner notes made me laugh ! Thanks for making great music ! You should join Facebook...I searched for you on Facebook, but I couldn't find you. Thanks again for great music ! P.S. Is Cheese Sollers still around ? Do you keep in touch ?

Anonymous said...

Robert, again-thank you...yes, Cheese is still around and we keep in touch once in a while. Lion Productions -in the future- will put out the "Original" Kath 1 on a 33rpm...I have much more material-outtakes from Kath 1 and songs from that time frame. Thank you for the interest-after all these years, it's a nice feeling with bitter sweet memories! Val Rogolino

Robert said...

Your story of Kath and how the album and band came to be should be told to the world! If your up to it, contact Ugly Things magazine...they specialize in reissued music from the '60's and '70's, right up your ally. Ugly Things 'zine can be reached here:

I would love to hear your story and so would others!

Woody said...

Thank you very much for this superpost.

pat said...

Val, I would love to interview you (and Cheese if possible) for a series of articles I've been writing for DCist about DC-area private press records. Please let me know how I can get in touch. Thanks!

Val Rogolino said...

Pat, this is Val Rogolino of the Kath LP. I can be reached at:

Thanks, Val