Winston’s Fumbs — “Real Crazy Apartment”: Brace for the Obscure (60s rock)! — September 15, 2022

THE GREATEST SONGS OF THE 1960s THAT NO ONE HAS EVER HEARD

582) Winston’s Fumbs — “Real Crazy Apartment”

The greatest ever freakbeat ode to a Swinging London bachelor’s pad. OK, maybe the only one. No Norwegian wood here!

Joynson says that “Apartment” is “a manic rocker”. (The Tapestry of Delights Revisited) Mike Stax calls it “superb freakbeat” with “a great, driving Hammond riff” that “conjures up images of the ultimate Chelsea swinger’s pad, all pop art murals, pot smoke, and Space Age gadgetry.” (liner notes to the Nuggets II comp) Richie Unterberger says it is “a hybrid of hard mod pop and soul-influenced high backup harmonies . . . . [T]he single’s one of the better 1967 British psych obscurities”. (https://www.allmusic.com/artist/winstons-fumbs-mn0000670445/biography)

Dave Furgess adores it:

[T]his thing . . . just tore my face off. This number comes at you from the opening bars and never lets up. Jimmy Winston plays an effects laden guitar against Tony Kaye’s dynamic Hammond organ and unleashes a vocal that sounds almost exactly like Steve Marriott during the song’s raveup. It’s a song about a typical “Swinging London” crash-pad and this song has teeth like razor blades. “Real Crazy Apartment” is easily as potent as anything his former group The Small Faces ever cooked up.

https://www.headheritage.co.uk/unsung/review/1739/

Left and to the Back:

So far as I’m aware, there are only two sixties singles whose lyrics are heavily focussed on interior design . . . . [including] this, which is also surely the only rock record to heavily feature the repeated proclamation “Furn-i-ture! WOOO!” I’m not the right age to understand whether this line sounded as absurd at the time of this record’s release as it does now, but it perhaps signifies how much design and lifestyle became a focus for many British sixties bands . . . . [“]Apartment” [is] an excitable piece of work, so much so than the line “Take it easy now” could well be Winston addressing himself, shortly before he rattles off a list of things in his friend’s apartment he particularly enjoys, including the Shakespeare volumes and the wallpaper. It’s almost like Lawrence Llewelyn-Bowen* on uppers, combined with such a high-tempo, rattling backing that it feels almost beyond gleeful.

http://left-and-to-the-back.blogspot.com/2011/10/winstons-fumbs-real-crazy-apartment.html?m=1

Richie Unterberger notes that Winston “played on the first couple of singles by the Small Faces before getting kicked out and replaced by Ian McLagan. . . .” (https://www.allmusic.com/artist/winstons-fumbs-mn0000670445/biography) Dave Furgess has this to say:

Rumor has it that original Small Faces keyboardist Jimmy Winston was booted out of that group because he was too tall (in comparison to the other 3 pint-size Small Faces) and that his prescence made press photos look awkward. That may very well be true, as in the mid 60’s having the right look was sometimes more important than the music, look what happened to The Rolling Stones keyboardist Ian Stewart. Whatever the reason for Winston leaving the Small Faces, he wasted no time starting his own group Jimmy Winston & The Reflections who issued the “Sorry She’s Mine” . . . 45 for Decca in 1966. However when [it] failed to set the world on fire, Winston decided a name change was in order and his next group effort was dubbed the more exotic Winston’s Fumbs. Remember this was 1967 in the UK where dozens of other unsuccessful Tamla/Motown flavored groups changed names overnight when the psychedelic craze hit. . . . Winston switched to guitar leaving the keyboard slot open for future Yes organist Tony Kaye (who really shines on both sides of this 45.) . . .

https://www.headheritage.co.uk/unsung/review/1739/

[chorus: “Furn-i-ture, wooo! Furn-i-ture, wooo!”]. . . Won’t you come inside? [chorus: “Real crazy apartment.”] Been searching so long, just to satisfy my pride. [chorus: “Real crazy apartment.”] . . . I’ve got so many goodies just a waiting for you and me. [chorus: “Real crazy apartment.”] Take it easy. The nice way. I like the paper on the wall. Is it so kind, plays on my mind, it is the wall, wall, cool. [chorus: “Furn-i-ture, wooo! Furn-i-ture, wooo! Real crazy apartment.”] Yeah, yeah, yeah. [chorus: “Real crazy apartment.”] . . . Take it easy. I like the books upon the shelf, making me well, well to my mind, Shakespeare is kind. [chorus: “Furn-i-ture, wooo! Furn—i-ture, wooo! Real crazy apartment.”] Yeah, yeah, yeah. [chorus: “Real crazy apartment.”] . . .”

* He is apparently (according to Wikipedia) “an English interior designer and television personality best known for appearing on the BBC programme Changing Rooms.”

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