THE GREATEST SONGS OF THE 1960s THAT NO ONE HAS EVER HEARD
539) Black Merda — “Got Me Running”
Here is an incendiary funk-rock out-take from Detroit’s legendary Black Merda (see #134, 467) If the song was a fine wine (which it is, and it gets even better with age), I would say that to my nose it displays notes of Hendrix and Zeppelin. If either of them had released this song, it would have been a billion seller (I know, know, Zep didn’t do singles!).
Eduardo Rivadavia opines that:
Black Merda . . . is what happens when a group of Detroit-based R&B musicians discover Jimi Hendrix and reinvent themselves as psychedelic rock ‘n’ soul explorers. Can you dig it? Guitarist Anthony Hawkins, bassist V.C. Veasey, and drummer Tyrone Hite began playing together in school before paying their dues as both session and backing musicians (usually billing themselves as The Impacts) for Motor City contractors like Fortune Records and Golden World Studios. By the late ‘60s, they’d backed major names like Jackie Wilson, Joe Tex, The Chi-Lites, and even cracked the Motown assembly line behind The Temptations, The Spinners, and hard funk pioneer Edwin Starr, who dubbed them The Soul Agents and made them his permanent support unit. But the trio had also fallen under the spell of cutting-edge British rock groups like Cream and The Who, plus transatlantic superstar, Hendrix, whose Are You Experienced? LP inspired them to cut one of the first known covers of “Foxey Lady” . . . . [T]hey officially became a self-contained rock band, flirting with the name Murder Incorporated, then Black Murder, and finally settling on Black Merda, because they felt it represented the African American slang and enunciation. . . .https://vinylspinning.tumblr.com/post/677381255462092800/black-merda-black-merda-1970-black-merdas?is_related_post=1
Sylvain Coulon notes that:
In the electric atmosphere of late sixties Motor City, [Black Merda’s] abrasive sound, their hybridization of funk with voodoo blues and fuzzed up guitar parts, their eccentric get-ups and their virulent lyrics struck many minds. Their career was meteoric (1968-1972), marked by two albums, commercial failures both, which are now fetching amazing prices on e-Bay, even after their reissue by the New York record label Tuff City in 1996. And they owe their come back to a cassette compilation. In 2001, a collector from Chicago copies a few of Black Rock’s ultra-rare singles for a Memphis pal, who in turn runs countless copies of that cassette. Under the title “Chains and Black Exhaust”, the compilation soon is found all around the world as a bootleg CD. . . . [T]heir[‘s was a] unique sound and colorful style (frilly shirts, necklaces, paladin hats or keffiehs adorned with jewels or pearls) . . . .http://digitfanzine.chez.com/digitarticlesenglishblackmerda.html
VC Lamont Veasey in person, founder member, bass guitarist and lead singer, recounts that:
[O]urs were about poverty, racism, hypocrisy, despair, freedom, separating reality from fantasy, consciousness raising and expanding and all of the bad shit that was befalling Black people and others on the everyday street level of experience back then. Our lyrics weren’t so much political as there were truthful and a light shining intensely on issues that people didn’t want to see but needed to see and needed to come to grips with in order to live a better, happier life and to help others do the same.http://digitfanzine.chez.com/digitarticlesenglishblackmerda.html
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