June 13, 2009

My Quest for THE BUGGS

Category: Music — jerry @ 11:02 am

Okay, boys and girls–I need your help on this.

In a GOOGLE search on the topic of “Beatles clones”, I came across this group.  According to Wikipedia:

The Buggs were a short-lived pop band of the mid-1960s which attempted to cash in on The Beatles craze.

The Buggs only album, “The Beetle Beat”, consisted of covers of Beatles songs (I Want To Hold Your Hand, She Loves You) with quickly-written dance-title originals (Big Ben Hop, Soho Mash, Liverpool Drag, Teddy Boy Stomp, Mersey Mercy) which displayed an almost preternatural cluelessness of what The Beatles were actually about.

Although the album cover was emblazoned with the legend “The original Liverpool sound”, The Buggs actually hailed from Omaha, Nebraska, and the album was recorded at Kay Bank Studios in Minneapolis, Minnesota.[1]

A later re-release (or pirating) of the album was titled “Meet The Buggs” and featured the band in an exact simulacrum of The Beatles’ pose on the cover of “Meet The Beatles” (the then-current American title for the album now called “With The Beatles”).

So they hailed from Omaha, Nebraska, in the mid 60’s and had larceny in their hearts–these are my kind of guys!!  And here’s the other thing–they sounded pretty darn good (see below).

So…does anyone recognize these fellows?  I have an email out there to an eBay seller who has the actual LP and am trying to get the names of the members.  I’d think they would have to be 65- or 70-ish in age now.

Dear The Buggs:  Please contact me–I want to get together.  The beers are on me!   Beatles Forever!!

Some of their music:
I Want to Hold Your Hand

Mersey Mercy

Soho Mash

East End

London Town Swing

She Loves You

Liverpool Drag

Swingin Thames

Big Ben Hop

Teddy Boy Stomp

8 Comments »

  1. I have a copy of the album and NO NAMES are listed. Very strange. Also, the album was recorded in England on Coronet Records. The cover was printed in the USA. I am following up on a hunch that the guy third from the left is Billy Shepard. I find a lot of errors on Wikipedia and I believe the idea that they were from the USA is not true. Additionally, there is no evidence of a second (even pirated) album exists that can be found.

    Comment by Alison Wilson — June 16, 2010 @ 7:55 pm

  2. Yeah, this continues to be one of Life’s Great Mysteries.

    I’m not familiar with Billy Shepard. Who is he?

    Comment by jerry — June 16, 2010 @ 9:00 pm

  3. The lead singer of the Buggs was Andy Anderson, who was in a couple of Omaha bands in the early sixties called Andy and the Live Wires and Andy and the Manhattans. The bass player was a guy named Bobby Jones, who later went on to join Joe Cocker’s group on the Mad Dogs and Englishmen album and tour. There was also a drummer, name unknown.

    Andy Anderson later retired from music and became a physician. Sadly, Andy murdered his wife and then killed himself in 2009. Bobby Jones was last seen living near Santa Barbara.

    The links below contain more information:

    http://www.garagehangover.com/tag/andy-anderson/

    http://launch.groups.yahoo.com/group/rockinrecords/message/15775?var=1

    Comment by sprattle — February 14, 2013 @ 7:51 pm

  4. Thanks a million for the info!

    Comment by jerry — February 14, 2013 @ 11:00 pm

  5. More on the murder/suicide here:

    http://www.1011now.com/home/headlines/42191832.html

    I remember when this occurred. Little did I know there was a THE BUGGS connection!

    Comment by jerry — February 14, 2013 @ 11:04 pm

  6. I have this album, and I got it converted to MP3 with many other records a few years ago, so I listen to it regularly while working, along with other 50s-70s music.

    I got the album when I was about 9 years old, around 1967, when the Beatles were all the rage and I wanted a Beatles record. My mother took me to the local store and we got. I didn’t realize for years that it wasn’t the Beatles.

    Wikipedia explains more about who the Buggs were: there was no such group. But the songs are nice.

    Comment by David Sherman — April 7, 2016 @ 12:55 pm

  7. Consisted of covers of Beatles songs “I Want To Hold Your Hand”,
    “She Loves You” with some originals.
    Despite the cover displaying “The original Liverpool sound”,
    and claiming to have been “Recorded in England,”
    The Buggs hailed from New Jersey and the album was actually
    recorded in the New York/New Jersey area.
    The Buggs were never a real band; rather, the album was recorded
    by a group named the Coachmen V from Bergen County, New Jersey,
    under the impression that it would be released under that name.
    The album was produced by Goldie Goldman, who hired a songwriter
    to write the original tracks. Some rehearsing of the material was
    done in Nyack, New York at Scotty’s Bar,
    after which the album was recorded. Band personnel included
    Bill Omolski on bass, Gary Wright (later became a member of Spooky Tooth.
    and later to have a successful solo career with hits such as Dream Weaver)
    on organ and vocals, Frank Zillitto on guitar, Steve Bogue on drums,
    and either Eddie Brick or Jimmy Carrol on lead vocals (Brick and Carrol
    both worked as lead vocalist for the Coachman V at different times,
    and it’s not known which one sang on the Buggs album).
    Studio musician Trade Martin also played on album.
    Band members were surprised (and unhappy) when they discovered
    that album had been released under a different band name,
    under false pretenses, and with models representing the band members,
    and when no royalties were ever paid, The Buggs ceased to exist.
    In 1966, Coronet released Boots a Go-Go (Coronet, CX-212-A: 1966)
    repackaging the same Beetle Beat album two years later now with
    a go-go music storyline on the back cover and a picture of a go-go dancer
    on the front and back covers. According to the back cover,
    the Buggs’ “go go sound” was “grown up rock ‘n’ roll” played at
    discotheques and on Hullaballoo. Cleverly, no song titles were featured
    on the album’s front or back cover so that unaware buyers wouldn’t know
    that this was exactly the same Buggs’ music from their previous and,
    technically, only release. As a result, the record’s label didn’t reference
    the “Boots a Go-Go” title as the original unsold Beetle Beat vinyl was
    simply repurposed inside. Their influence may have been limited
    but Devo’s Mark Mothersbaugh said that Beetle Beat was his first album
    purchase thinking it was a Beatles album.
    Mothersbaugh said, “One track pissed me off so much it eventually
    inspired the nasty Devo song, “U Got Me Bugged” I have a pristine copy of this still in shrink

    Comment by TOMMY ACATRAZ — August 10, 2016 @ 4:06 pm

  8. Consisted of covers of Beatles songs “I Want To Hold Your Hand”,
    “She Loves You” with some originals.
    Despite the cover displaying “The original Liverpool sound”,
    and claiming to have been “Recorded in England,”
    The Buggs hailed from New Jersey and the album was actually
    recorded in the New York/New Jersey area.
    The Buggs were never a real band; rather, the album was recorded
    by a group named the Coachmen V from Bergen County, New Jersey,
    under the impression that it would be released under that name.
    The album was produced by Goldie Goldman, who hired a songwriter
    to write the original tracks. Some rehearsing of the material was
    done in Nyack, New York at Scotty’s Bar,
    after which the album was recorded. Band personnel included
    Bill Omolski on bass, Gary Wright (later became a member of Spooky Tooth.
    and later to have a successful solo career with hits such as Dream Weaver)
    on organ and vocals, Frank Zillitto on guitar, Steve Bogue on drums,
    and either Eddie Brick or Jimmy Carrol on lead vocals (Brick and Carrol
    both worked as lead vocalist for the Coachman V at different times,
    and it’s not known which one sang on the Buggs album).
    Studio musician Trade Martin also played on album.
    Band members were surprised (and unhappy) when they discovered
    that album had been released under a different band name,
    under false pretenses, and with models representing the band members,
    and when no royalties were ever paid, The Buggs ceased to exist.
    In 1966, Coronet released Boots a Go-Go (Coronet, CX-212-A: 1966)
    repackaging the same Beetle Beat album two years later now with
    a go-go music storyline on the back cover and a picture of a go-go dancer
    on the front and back covers. According to the back cover,
    the Buggs’ “go go sound” was “grown up rock ‘n’ roll” played at
    discotheques and on Hullaballoo. Cleverly, no song titles were featured
    on the album’s front or back cover so that unaware buyers wouldn’t know
    that this was exactly the same Buggs’ music from their previous and,
    technically, only release. As a result, the record’s label didn’t reference
    the “Boots a Go-Go” title as the original unsold Beetle Beat vinyl was
    simply repurposed inside. Their influence may have been limited
    but Devo’s Mark Mothersbaugh said that Beetle Beat was his first album
    purchase thinking it was a Beatles album.
    Mothersbaugh said, “One track pissed me off so much it eventually
    inspired the nasty Devo song, “U Got Me Bugged”. I have a sealed copy of this for sale on my Discogs page.

    Comment by Tommy Alcatraz — September 3, 2016 @ 1:01 pm

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