Sunday, June 6, 2010

SHA NA NA Time to take these guys seriously...seriously!

I never missed an episode of Sha Na Na’s TV show when I was a kid. They might have a tarnished image in your memory but for many, this band introduced young rock & roll music fans to classic oldies like “Goodnight Sweetheart, Goodnight," "Tell Laura I Love Her" and “Duke Of Earl” to name a few.

Recently, some writers and critics have been giving credit to Sha Na Na for being somewhat responsible for actually helping invent NOSTALGIA as we know it (many do not realize that Sha Na Na formed in the late 1960's and actually played at Woodstock, three days of GREASE, love and music).

A friend of mine was shocked when I pointed out that not only was this album from 1972 a GOOD Sha Na Na album but it also wasn’t JUST OLDIES and included some nice originals produced by the legendary Jeff Barry (“Da Doo Ron Ron,” “Sugar Sugar”) who contributes a couple songs of his own including the single “Bounce In Your Buggy” which is an album standout.

Other highlights are the Stones-y “It Ain’t Love” and Screamin’ Scott Simon’s opening hymn “Sunday Morning Radio.” Bowzer even supplies a unique track entitled “Glasses” and finds good use for his bass voice by exploring optical issues during the 14th century. And of course you do get some choice oldies like “Sea Cruise,” and “In The Still Of The Night.”

Most of the classic lineup from the TV show were already in the band by the time of this album (Johnny, Jocko, Screamin’ Scott, Denny, Danny, fat Lenny and even Santini, who at this time was known as Captain Outrageous), although original guitarist Vinnie Taylor died from a heroin overdose in 1974.

I know it's hard to forget about Grease For Peace, Bowzer’s biceps and those gold lame suits, but here's your chance to enjoy some classic Kama Sutra pop from the streets of New York.

Sunday Morning Radio / Sea Cruise / You Can Bet They Do / Bounce In Your Buggy / It Ain't Love / The Vote Song / Sleepin' On A Song / Bless My Soul / So Fine - You're So Fine / Oh! Lonesome Boy / It's What You Do With What You Got / Glasses/In The Still Of The Night


  1. Great post!
    Loved their crappy tv show as a kid (when the Ramones were on it was like a Beatles on Sullivan moment for me), though my dad kept insisting that they were WAY cooler than that earlier. And, of course, when I saw "Woodstock" I saw what he meant. That frantic "At the Hop" absolutely blew me away, and I've heard that the freeze-frame in the film during their entrance was to edit out them flipping the bird to the crowd. Doubters should check it out on youtube, as well as unused footage like a wild "Teen Angel" (complete with reaction shots like fan Jimi Hendrix digging them and faces in the crowd with looks of both joy and confusion)... And by the way, just try telling me the Cramps didn't owe these guys!

  2. I gotta say, I have nothing but fond memories of both this band and the show. I know it all didn't exactly coincide but Sha Na Na along with both Happy Days and Grease are cemented in my mind as the 50s come 70s. I also see by the band pic that Juan Epstein plays in this circa of the band, Ha ha ha.

  3. Didya know that one of the guys from the TV show era (Santini???) is now a surgeon?? No,really...They weren't dumb guys.After all,the original group was formed at Columbia University...Jon 'Bowser' Baumann said that the Bowser character was based mainly on the guys that used to beat him up was a kid...

  4. I too grew up watching their show. Chico was my favorite member of the group. I always thought he was very cool. Unfortunately he passed away in 1998 however I do run a website about him.

  5. There's one more very important and often overlooked fact about ShaNaNa. They influenced The Ramones music (and they all dress like Bowser haha) with their revved up covers and The Ramones started punk rock.