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24 Jun 2017

Left End "Spoiled Rotten" 1974 US Hard Glam Rock

Left End "Spoiled Rotten" 1974 US Hard Glam Rock


Why was this band not huge?? The had all the ingredients: awesome, theatrical lead singer (Dennis T. Menass), a solid guitar player in Tom Fignisky and rhythm guitar player Jim Pullah, and a rock solid rhythm section of drums (Pat Palombo) and bass (Roy Guerrieri). Their live shows are of legend and were kick ass back in the day. The song lyrics aren't even bad and the songs themselve kick major ass. Their cover of the Beatles "EVERY LITTLE THING" is gold and is one of the finer beatles covers. They were possibly the most commercial sounding heavy rock band of the 70s, that didn't make it. To make things quick, get this cd while you can. Go to rockadrome and they have a sweet deal. It usually gets out of stock fast, so get it while you can. It's a rare classic and deserves to acknowledged more. It took me 7 months to find this bad boy and i am not letting go!!!

if you like Foghat, Humble Pie, Nazareth, Aerosmith, Grand Funk, this is the shit right here! ..................

I could write volumes about this ill-fated theatrical shock rock act from Youngstown, OH. The Left End were a hybrid of Kiss, New York Dolls, Alice Cooper, Led Zeppelin, The Tubes and Grand Funk. With a bottom heavy punkish sound and the formidable vocal chops of Dennis T. Menass, Left End made huge waves in the midwest before Polydor signed the band in late 1972. Upon the release of their sole album, the band were set on a non-stop cycle of sharing the bill with many of the legendary bands from the era. Audiences were left speechless and all of the major magazines were emphatically proclaiming their love for the band. All seemed perfect until Polydor began undergoing major reorganization in 1975, resulting in the dismissal of the key personnel responsible for promoting the band. As a result, Left End were sent packing back to their hometown where they spent several more years headlining smaller venues in the region. Eventually, the band vanished from the scene, though in recent years they have enjoyed a revival in the area and have performed regularly to packed houses.

This albums demands to be heard, so I suggest you check out this hard rock nugget and listen in awe at one of the midwest's most unsung treasures. Long live Left End!...................

"The Left End were a snotty bunch of ‘plastic-punks’ from Youngstown - just down the road from the habitués of Messrs. Carmen and Thomas - with a stage-act to rival the Tubes and a sound crude enough to make James Taylor shit blood. Informed and equally enamored of the New York Dolls, Kiss, Aerosmith and Slade, the Left End didn’t so much cut through the chaff of Seventies rock as they did ridiculously exaggerate and entangle themselves in its many clichés. Kiss make-up, towering platforms, glitter, audiences pelted with live frogs… negative musical chops, lyrics about violence, bad women and alcoholic demons, a blitzkrieg death-ride through the Beatles’ ’Every Little Thing’ - this is the sublime sound of effortless street-level caricature - cartoon punk - thug rock of the highest/lowest prehensile order. But what the Left End may have lacked in sonic competence and originality, they made up for in outrage and bile; their collective spirit of irreverence being perfectly embodied in their imperfect lead singer, the inimitable Dennis T. Menass - a ’secret weapon’ of the classic Dick Manitoba style, possessing vocals like a Frankenstein Steve Marriott (or maybe Eric Carmen on steroids). Oh, it was pain from the start… Yet, somehow, in this ugly hick mass of fat and balding malcontents, A&R guru and all-around good egg, Paul Nelson, thought he saw the future - got the boys a deal, got their names written up in all the happenin’ papers. The Left End promptly responded to this rash display of good faith by throwing their benefactor down a flight of stairs. I’m sure Paul - a dude notorious for backing beautiful losers (New York Dolls, Blue Ash, et al) - couldn’t help, but appreciate the gesture. We can’t all get lucky like Landau, Paul - there are only so many Springsteen’s to go around (thank God).

Too dumb to rock smart and too inept to rock stupid, The Left End are to hard rock what inbreeding was to the royal families of Europe - a tragedy in hindsight, but seemed like a great item at the time. Their sound is Woodstock Nation, six years on - like the Music Machine had Jim Bonniwell cut his teeth in mid 70’s Ohio, weaned on Quaaludes instead of acid and speed. If your heart is large enough to lodge Burton Cummings and Sir Lord Baltimore, it’s more than roomy enough for Dennis T. Menass and Co. They’ll crash anywhere. The Left End’s lone album from ‘75, ‘Spoiled Rotten,’ (Polydor 6022) is highly recommended." .............

The rain continued to fall on a September Friday evening in downtown Youngstown, Ohio. The thick air made the last chords of the last song ring on beyond their normal cry. It was over. The young rock group Cherry Paup had finished their last gig. Guitarist Tom Figinsky, keyboardist Fred Dolovy, bassist Rod Buckio and drummer Pat Palombo had come to the end of their four years together. They were billed as The New Teen Sensations from 1964 through 1969…from high school freshmen to now graduating high school seniors. Now, it was a time of passage…from boys to men, from the dreams of rock & roll to the challenges of the real world… from high school heroes to regular faces in the crowd.

It was during a break at the Apartment Nightclub on Youngstown’s south side in the summer of 1972 that an articulate, brash, boastful and at times vulgar gentleman walked into the group’s dressing room. He announced himself as Steve Friedman and confidently told the group he wanted to manage them. At first, the guys took Mr. Friedman as just another hawker that was not to be taken seriously. But Friedman’s obvious knowledge of the music business and his arrogance were appealing to the group. After a couple of meetings, LEFT END had a management/production contract with Steven Friedman.

The group recorded more demos and Steve began meeting with record company executives in New York City. By October of 1972, Friedman landed the group a recording contract with Polydor Records. The contract gave the group a lucrative recording budget that included a minimum of two singles and one album a year for five years. LEFT END could choose any studio at which to record. The group unanimously selected Cleveland Recording in Cleveland, Ohio. Why? Because that is where Grand Funk recorded its early albums with the great engineer Ken Hamann. The group finished its winter engagements while writing and testing new material for an album. Polydor released “Bad Talkin Lady” on its label and the single began to sell nationally.

In the late spring of 1973 LEFT END began recording their first album. The group continued to perform during this period. The group recorded on Monday through Thursday. One night with a few guests on hand, someone noted the total chaos and mess at the large hotel dining table that had been created by sliding several tables together. There were beer bottles and mixed drink glasses lying on their side surrounded by stacks of china and half-eaten desserts. The guest said, “Boy, you guys are really spoiled rotten.” That was it…the perfect name for LEFT END’s first album…Spoiled Rotten. To fit the image, Dennis changed his name to Dennis T. Menass.

The Spoiled Rotten LP was released by Polydor Records in the late fall of 1973. It went to #1 on “Album Pix” charts in the tri-state area of Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia over night.

The album picked up momentum and began to sell throughout the Midwest. LEFT END’S live performances also picked up dramatically and they began playing concert venues to “standing room only” crowds. Steve Friedman strongly supported the group’s spoiled rotten image by equipping the group with dead frogs to throw into the crowd, ping pong ball firing canons and suckers with wrappers that boldly read “YOU SUCK!” Below in smaller print it read LEFT END. The group did a mock slow ballad called, “Your Mine” or “The Pimple Song” in which a large weather balloon filled with water, whipped cream, and mustard was wheeled onstage in a small red wagon. At the end of the song Dennis T. Menass would burst the balloon and those against the front of the stage got the worst of the exploding pimple.

Battles on stage with giant gorillas and “staged” attacking fans that Dennis T. would subdue with beer bottles, whips and clubs became a standard. The press labeled them “Big Time Wrestling Meets Heavy Rock.” The group wore lavish “glam rock” costumes of bright silver, gold, black and red. When in New York City, the group would head to Greenwich Village and SoHo to find the most outlandish boots, belts, and leather outfits. Dennis T. would change outfits several times during a concert set. Certain songs commanded a special look. Of course, the group continued closing their shows with flash pots and pyrotechnics. LEFT END was known for their introduction tapes that were played prior to the group appearing on stage. These were comical thematic collections of live and taped recordings compiled by Thomas John and Jerry Starr of what was then WSRD FM Radio (The Wizard). These intros became very popular with LEFT END fans. The Cleveland press dubbed them, “The Monster That Ate Cleveland.”

Soon after the Spoiled Rotten album was released, Polydor released the single “Loser” from the album. The group began performing in large concert venues with the likes of the Eagles, the J. Geils Band, Brownsville Station, the New York Dolls, Trapeze, George Clinton and the Funkadelic Parliament, and dozens of others. LEFT END appeared in Rolling Stone, Cash Box, Billboard, Cavalier and other national magazines. They were frequently featured in local periodicals in the tri-state area.

Polydor held a big reception for LEFT END after the group performed in concert at Cobo Arena in Detroit. The concert was a great success. LEFT END finished the set with the usual flash pots on stage and added a full blown fireworks display. The crowd went crazy and literally attacked the group. Later, at the reception for the group, Polydor executives, still buzzing from the concert, began to lay out plans for the group. LEFT END had captured the Midwest and there was great interest from east and west coast cities. Their plan was to take the group to Europe where it was felt that they would be an instant success and then bring them back here as “The Monster That Ate Europe.”.................

I have waited a decade for this vinyl LP to appear on CD format, finally a company out there has the moxy to release it. This was a Cleveland band from Youngstown, Ohio. They were the bomb on the club circuit in the early 70's. This album, "SPOILED ROTTEN" was released in 1974, by Polydor Records. They played with an attitude, their singer Dennis T. Menass was hysterical, he sang with a growl, prowled the stage, had makeup with a black eye painted on--- he reminded me of
Alice Cooper. They were confident on stage, they knew they were going to make it big, Polydor blew it, this band was lost in the shuffle when their label was reorganizing. Left End got very little publicity and promotion. Who else would put out a song called "THE PIMPLE SONG, or something like that, roll out a giant pimple on stage and pop it. They were all about shocking an audience.

The highlites on this CD are LOSER, BAD TALKIN' LADY, the title song SPOILED ROTTEN, TAKE IT IN STRIDE, WHISKEY & RYE, and TAKIN' TIME. These were classics by Left End in their live sets. I saw them along with my friends at the House of Bud, and Cyrus Erie. My two younger brothers also loved this album when I played it at home. Straight ahead, power rock n roll, the closest comparison I can think of would be Alice Cooper & Motley Crue (with less glossy studio production). No keyboards, just two guitarists, bass and a drummer making a statement- with singer Dennis T. Menass at the controls. ....ByFrank Rocker.........................

Left End
*Dennis T. Menass - Vocals
*Patsy Palombo - Drums, Percussion
*Tom Figinsky - Lead Guitar
*Jim Puhalla - Rhythm Guitar
*Roy Guerrieri - Bass

1. Loser (Figinsky, Menass) - 3:38
2. Bad Talkin' Lady (Guerrieri, Menass, Palombo) - 2:28
3. Spoiled Rotten (Figinsky, Menass, Palombo) - 4:15
4. Take It In Stride (Figinsky, Guerrieri, Menass, Palombo) - 5:04
5. Sweet Lovin' (Figinsky, Guerrieri, Menass, Palombo) - 2:59
6. Every Little Thing (Lennon, McCartney) - 3:06
7. Mary-Jo (Figinsky, Menass) - 3:59
8. Takin' Time (Figinsky, Menass, Puhalla) - 3:24
9. Whiskey And Rye (Figinsky, Guerrieri, Menass, Palombo) - 3:55
10.It's Over (Left End) - 4:08

johnkatsmc5, welcome music..





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