2007   OCTOBER 11   #284

Chet Bolins - All American Masher

01 All American Masher (3:12)
02 Boom Boom (2:53)
03 Rock n Roll on the Radio (3:30)
04 Avenue of Love (3:11)
05 Without Love (3:51)
06 Love Mugger (3:14)
07 Animal for Your Love (4:31)
08 Willie the Snake (3:29)
09 Superman Love (2:40)
10 Dance the Night Away (2:51)

Of all the weird viny records I have owned, it's the Chet Bolins album "All American Masher" that has received the most enthusiasm by people with some knowledge of the Chet Bolin Band. From the time I purchased it in 1984 to two decades later, I didn't know much about it either, but the enthusiasm got me to look into it.

Bolins is the song de plume of Chris Darway, who fashioned a weird sort of new wave lounge act persona with his wife. They apparently became somewhat legendary in the Philadephia area and a little more of the story is told here.

As for me, I picked it up sealed for 88 cents at Sounds Records on St. Mark's Place in 1984. I was there with a girl I had fallen madly for and wouldn't have even bought the record if she hadn't urged me to. She was on her way to live in England and I was pretty sure I wouldn't see her again. She had a good sense of humor and great taste in music, I trusted her instinct and picked it up.

Two days later and I had that album (red vinyl!) to show for the day and the girl was gone. A few songs are great fun, a few aren't easy to get through, but the title track is one of my favorites ever, an obscurity that deserves more recognition in this world.

I have kept the album all these years and cherished it, a nice reminder of that day with that special girl. As luck would have it, though, the girl eventually popped up in my life again, we ended up getting married and having kids together. I'm not quite sure she's as fond of Chet as I am, but I'm sure she understands the soft spot I have for him.

- Contributed by: John Mitchell

Image: Cover