Tuesday, April 19, 2005

The Colors

the colorsIn early 1979, Australian Robert Vickers left the band The Numbers and travelled to New York. "I went to New York, met a whole lot of people, went out to Max’s and CBGB’s. CBGB’s seemed a lot friendlier and a lot more people I liked seemed to go there more often. The night I came the Colors had played. They didn’t have a bass player so they played without one, just guitar, singer and drums. So I started talking to them and went down to the guitarist’s flat which was disgusting but interesting and just started playing with him and joined the band within a matter of a week. What I was aiming for with the Colors was more along the lines of the Rascals and the Lovin’ Spoonful, that sort of New York brightness which is sometimes confused with California. With the Colors I wanted to do a very commercial sort of thing but I still wanted to get subtlety into the Colors" (This quote comes from Clinton Walker's Book The Next Big Thing - Contemporary Australian Rock.)

After releasing a 7" EP on Infinite Records the Colors hooked up with New Jersey's legendary Johnny Dirt and the Dirt Club label for a cut on the Dirt Compilation Vol. 1, a 6-song 12", and a Clem Burke produced lp where the track "Go Go Getter" is from.

The Colors were: Tom Cookman - vocals; The Elf - drums; Charlie Pip - guitar, vocals; Paul Sass - guitar, synthesiser, vocals; Robert Vickers - bass, vocals.

Vickers went on to The Go-Betweens and Charlie Pip joined the David Johansen Group.

Johnny Dirt can be found behind the bar at Rudi's Bar & Grill on 9th Ave. in Hell's Kitchen, NYC.

You can find three more tracks from the Colors on the excellent new "Yellow Pills: Prefill - A Power Pop Prescription" compilation released today on the Numero Group label.

Go to the download page to get the Colors - "Go Go Getter"

8 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nice song from the LP!
The new Yellow Pills CD has my fave Colors song "Growing Up American" and also two early tracks by The Speedies who, incidentally, (get ready for the plug) covered The Student Teachers song "Looks" (on stage).

http://www.thestudentteachers.com/

11:55 AM  
Anonymous Andy said...

Your blog is sweet! Thanks!

5:08 PM  
Blogger konk on the noggin' said...

I love the Colors and remember them appearing on The Uncle Floyd Show and lip synching to Growing Up American.
Charlie Pip also played in The Bee's who had a seven inch out with a cool song called "Circuit Breaker Boy". He also is probably still playing in the (New Jersey) band THE SKULLS who we used to go see every wednesday at The Dirt Club in the late 80's.

2:52 PM  
Blogger Larry Grogan said...

Wow! I can't believe anyone outside of NJ knew about these guys. I have an EP by them with one side that plays at 33rpm and the other at 45rpm (one of the tracks is 'Growing Up American', I think). Cool.

9:27 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

as drummer for the GO, I got to know the COLORS through our CBGB appearances. a great bunch of guys as well as a great power-pop band.
Colors trivia: original guitarist Paul Sass can be seen in the movie "Times Square" as a member of (the charactor Niki's) backing band.

6:36 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I know the original drummer for the colors right now - through his daughter.

It's crazy that he was part of this. totally crazy. He's still an awesome guy - he's now a defense lawyer.

6:29 PM  
Blogger Debra W. said...

Charly Pip is still playing music all over New Jersey and New York City in a band called The World Famous Skulls. I met Tom Cook when he was working in a bakery on the upper East side. He had a girlfriend who was a model and she was in Milan a lot. I went to a lot of their gigs, rehearsals, shows, in 1982-83. They made a video and I was front and center with a red satin dress and beret. I would love to see that video now! I remember when they broke up the band, kicked Elf out and then reformed the next day. They didn't do to much after that. I lived on Tommy and Charly's couch for $75 a month back in th day. No funny stuff. We lived in a basement apartment on 17th street. it was grungy, but it was clean. crazy times in that apartment! Tommy had some great mixing equipment and was a talented DJ. Charly was always a rocker, played in another band also at the time. Tommy had a 5,000 plus record album collection that I never forgot about. Amazing! They were good and should have made it. I left in 1983 and moved to Florida. Tommy went to South America for 6months to year maybe more and I lost track of him. He was a really cool guy, a hustler, but cool. I remember he would only take cabs everywhere he went. Highbrow! Lol!
Nice to hear Elf went on to become a defense attorney. I still talk to Charly regularly . He recently became engaged to his girlfriend Lori. Thank you for the blog, nice to see someone else appreciates them also.

7:39 AM  
Anonymous Jon E. said...

My band The Skanks opened for the Colors in 1981 in a Washington DC club. I have loved them since that night. They still live on my iPod! Thanks guys.

8:05 AM  

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