MCKENNA MENDELSON MAINLINE - Stink (Liberty LBS 83251) UK 1969 gatefold LP (Blues Rock from Toronto, Canada)
vinyl: VG++ (excellent) | cover: NM (mint-) deletion mark in cover bottum left
Quote: What a pleasant surprise. I myself have seen this album in bins over the past 35 years plus. Amazing how a cover can turn people off.
But what a great blues album from this Toronto band.
Great vocals, great guitar, good vibe. Pick one up!
Both natives of Toronto, Mike McKenna and Joe Mendelson grew up fans of the blues, and both emulated their idols early in life while learning to play guitar.
After McKenna left Luke & The Apostles in the mid '60s, he was a brief footnote in The Ugly Ducklings' story, then began working the local club circuit. He placed a newspaper ad looking for people to start a new band with, which Mendelson, a University of Toronto student, replied to. They decided that instead of toiling through the process of finding other musicians through the same means to round out the group, they'd do it on their own - and the foundations of McKenna Mendelson Mainline were laid with former Paupers bassist Dennis Gerrard and drummer Tony Nolasco, ex of The Spassiks.
After some rehearsals their first paid gig was a week-long run at The Night Owl in Yorkville in August of '68. They recorded some demos a month later, but Gerrard's run in the band was short, leaving that October immediately after a show at Massey Hall supporting The Fugs. But with new bassist Mike Harrison, who'd just left the popular R&B group Grant Smith & The Power, they carried on, opening for The Jeff Beck Group at The Grande Ballroom a month later, one of a handful of shows they gained favourable reviews for around the Detroit area.
Before the end of the year, they flew to England, where they filled in for a recently departed Jimi Hendrix Experience at the Utrecht Pop Festival. Hoping to land a recording deal while in the UK, they ended up working the same club circuit that saw the likes of Rory Gallagher, Fleetwood Mac, and the newly-formed Led Zeppelin appearing on a regular basis. They signed with Liberty Records under the United Artists umbrella in early '69 and recorded the basic tracks to their debut album in a single day. But homesick and with the rigors of the rock & roll lifestyle already getting to them, they returned to Toronto that June.
Their debut album, STINK, was in the stores a couple of months later, and the slide guitar-driven single "You Better Watch Out" got some good airplay around the Toronto area and made them one of the hottest tickets in town. The flipside "She's Alright," "Mainline," "Bad Women," the cover of Ramblin' Thomas' "One Way Ticket," and the funky second single "Don't Give Me No Goose For Christmas" helped catch the critics' and the audiences' attention, and things were looking up.
MCKENNA MENDELSON MAINLINE Stink (Liberty LBS 83251) UK 1969 gatefold LP (Blues Rock)
- Product Code: lp
- Availability: 1