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Salient. Victoria University Student Newspaper. Volume 36, Number 9. 1ts May 1973




Ever thought what might have happened to Elvis Presley if he'd signed up with say CBS, (and like Dylan been produced by someone like John Hammond) instead of falling in with that Nashville crowd? Just an idle thought on RCA records while spinning this new album. What a mess that company is. Its either been a graveyard for natural talent like Presley and the Airplane, or become the greedy, ignorant sponsor of trash like this. Its their second shot at the country rock market (remember Rio Grande?) and they're getting worse. Imagine the New Seekers doing the New Riders songbook and you've got it. For example can you dig a double tempo scoobied-up rendition of You Aint Going Nowhere? So don't be fooled by the determinedly counter-cultural cover, these cats have got their eyes on the hit single, the Andy Williams Show and on bookings at Vegas. The nicest thing about them is a girl singer who sounds a weebit tike Linda Ronstadt, but do you, in 1973, really want to lay out $5.75 for a watered down version of the Stone Poneys?

Commander Cody & His Lost Planet Airmen play Hot Licks, Cold Steel & Truckers Favourites

A collection of roadside rockers from a truckstop band whose forte, if it can be called that, is skat cum Big Bopper vocals over an undistinguished rhythm backing.

They impress as a bunch of local lads getting together Saturday nights down at the local cafe in some small American town straddling the highway, serving up generous if mediocre helpings of 50's rock, fast-moving country numbers with lots of busy pedal steel, the jukebox playing "Truck Drivin' Man" and to show their influences a nicely sentimental laid back "Kentucky Hills of Tennessee" (sic) which comes on much like the Band's "Rocking Chair".

Commander Cody, whose contribution is a few Jerry Lee Lewis piano riffs, has gathered together seven airmen from various lost planets but for such a tribe it's hard to see what they all do. Bobby "Blue" Black is up front a lot on pedal steel though he's no Sneaky Pete or Bill Keith; Andy Stein is likewise on fiddle and sax.

They've produced a record all about trucks (no!), guns and love, whose saving grace is its lack of pretension and obvious sense of enjoyment. The highlight is "Mama Hated Diesels" where they send up themselves and their genre beautifully with a tale of an anthropomorphic truck which splits a marriage right down the middle, "Mama hated Diesels so bad/I guess I knew it was something to do with Dad".