Friday, October 7, 2011

CHRISTOPHER MILK Some People Will Download Anything

God help us all. John Mendelsohn (sometimes with 2 S's in his last name) is a great rock critic/writer who also compiled "The Kink Kronikles" double LP that is as flawless as it is essential. Not to mention, he is to thank (or blame, depending whose side you're on) for the release of "The Great Lost Kinks Album" for Reprise.

His early 70's band was called CHRISTOPHER MILK (above photo L to R: The Kiddo, Ralph Oswald, Mendelsohn and G. Whiz) and they are an obscure Los Angeles glam rock afterthought. Along with guitarist 'Surly' Ralph Oswald, Mendelsohn had briefly been a member in an early, unrecorded version of Halfnelson with Ron and Russell Mael (later Sparks). Russell told me that although Mendelsohn was also an anglophile (into British style and bands like The Kinks, The Move, Small Faces and The Who), he was also critical of the Mael's songwriting and even wanted the band to do a straight cover of "A Quick One."

The MILK poured ahead and by 1971, a self-titled long-playing 7" EP on the United Artists label was available via mail order for just $1 from Phonograph & Record magazine and it is weird and wonderful. This 15 plus minute debut release had an extended version of the lineup with The Kiddo and Mr. Twister. Even David Bowie namechecked them in the British press.!Their only LP was titled "Some People Will Drink Anything" on Reprise in 1972. It featured a now streamlined 'quartet' version of the band. The songs are more lyrical than hook-y (like early Split Enz), and sometimes hard to remember after you heard them numerous times. The band's audience was also streamlined and very often outsmarted. Great guitar work though and quirky humorous songs (a pre-Grand Funk "Locomotion" cover in a Bonzo vein) with lyrics worthy enough to make sure you seek out the original lyric sheet. Crisp production by Beatles engineer Chris Thomas ultimately could not help them find their audience.

A final Reprise single in 1973, despite its two-fisted, double-sided strength (and again, humor), flopped. I love their take on "I Want To Hold Your Hand" and always wonder if Cheap Trick heard this version of Terry Reid's "Speak Now Or Forever Hold Your Peace" before they cut their own for their 1977 debut. No other recordings were to follow although they did get back together at the Starwood in 1976 because Rodney wanted them to.

Anyway, no use crying over the musical spillage left behind by Christopher Milk. ENJOY!


  1. Wow ... been trying to track this one down for years. I always loved John's reviews and his liners in Kronikles are fantastic. Thanks!

  2. What are the odds of me finding an album by a group I just found out about on a blog that is among my regulars that I frequent. Thanks