THE AVID COLLECTOR’S GUIDE to Wild In The Streets Part 2 addresses records made that are associated with this movie—both singles and albums. All were released in the wake of the very successful movie in 1968, but few were hits. Before commencing, I recommend that you first read “On Wild In The Streets As Political And Social Satire” and then the first part of this four-part series of articles about the movie and its music.
This second part more or less focuses on Davie Allan, with and without his band, the Arrows. Allan is a pivotal figure around which so many of these Wild In The Streets recordings revolve.
Davie Allan and his Arrows have received little attention from historians and golden oldies radio.
Long known to record collectors, Allan is all but unknown elsewhere: he has received little attention from rock historians and his few singles to make the charts in the ’60s never made it onto the rotation of golden oldies radio.
So who is Davie Allan and why is he all over this article? My favorite answer comes from the Los Angeles Reader: “Davie Allan is perhaps the closest thing you’ll ever hear to a combination of Link Wray, Dick Dale, and Henry Mancini.”
“The first official sessions were for the Apache ’65 single and then the album. At that time, there wasn’t a band except for me and Larry Brown. I played electric rhythm on some of the tracks and then overdubbed my leads. Harley Hatcher played acoustic, Andy Andrews from the Hondells played bass on some tracks, and Mike Curb was on electric piano.” (Davie Allan)
The development of modern electric guitar
While that answer is clever, it doesn’t tell us much—unless you can make the connections between rockers Wray and Dale and easy-listening master Mancini. A more informative answer can be found at the LAWeekly’s site:
“Davie Allan contributed mightily to the development of modern electric guitar, and profoundly impacted American ears in the ’60s. The six-string prodigy was a groundbreaking stylist whose reliance on fuzz and distortion never got in the way of his own extraordinary vision.
Allan’s rich sense of melody and atmosphere drew much from Henry Mancini and John Barry. Allan also advanced the electric guitar at a frightening pace. In the process, he became the juvenile Burt Bacharach of Hollywood acid-biker rock.
Allan’s overall style is a breathtakingly curated aural assault, one whose notes-per-solo quotient is practically stoic in comparison to so many of his noodling contemporaries. Allan could meld sweet and sour into a convincing presentation, and deliver it with such just-for-the-hell-of-it disregard that one never heard anything like this anywhere else. The breadth and ambition with which Allan wielded his ax is still stunning.” 1
“I’m not too thrilled with BLUES THEME, since most of the tracks were recorded years before and didn’t work well together. I didn’t think much about the drug freaks. We weren’t involved in that scene or even the biker scene except for the image.” (Davie Allan)
Who are Max Frost’s Troopers?
The ‘artist’ most commonly identified with the music in Wild In The Streets is Max Frost, the fictitious character played by Christopher Jones. The charismatic Jones does an excellent job of acting like a pop star, including very believable lip-synching and some Mark Lindsey-like steps that probably pleased many a female viewer over the years.
But in the movie, Max’s band is never named.
The name given that band by Mike Curb or Sidewalk productions for use on records is the Troopers. This was derived from Max’s use of the term “troops” to describe his teenaged followers in the movie.
For years, a persistent rumor among record collectors was that Davie Allan and his Arrows provided all of the music on the three Wild In The Streets-related albums: the soundtrack album, the Max Frost album, and the Arrows album.
Davie Allan advanced the electric guitar at a frightening pace, becoming the juvenile Burt Bacharach of acid-biker rock.
As this article makes plain, such is not the case. In fact, you will read that the following:
• Allan was a part of the Wild In The Streets soundtrack recordings—and apparently without the Arrows—but not on the hit record most closely associated with the film.
• Los Angeles session musicians were a part of the soundtrack recordings but not on the hit record most closely associated with the film.
• Another band played on the hit single.
• While the Arrows were not the Troopers on this soundtrack, they were the Troopers on another soundtrack.
• The last Arrows single on Tower did not feature any of the Arrows.
“For the most part, CYCLE-DELIC SOUNDS made sense: except for a few older tracks, that album was put together as an album and not just thrown together. Tracks like Cycle-Delic and Mind Transferal were actually thought out and not just jam sessions as some might believe. It really is amazing to me that we weren’t high when we recorded them. We were just a bunch of boring, non-drugged out guys having a ball!” (Davie Allan)
Are the Arrows really the 13th Power?
The band responsible for the Top 40 hit Shape Of Things To Come originally called themselves Mom’s Boys. (Shudder.) They wisely allowed their name to be changed to 13th Power, which is the name they used when they were brought in to record the bulk of the songs for the movie and the soundtrack album. But that name didn’t last long:
“Back in the mid-’60s, I signed a group to Sidewalk Records called Moms Boys and I believe we changed their name to the 13th Power. The reason we changed the name of the 13th Power to Max Frost & The Troopers was because the lead actor Christopher Jones played the role of Max Frost and we felt that we would have a better chance of breaking the record under the name of Max Frost & The Troopers.” (Mike Curb)
This group apparently played and sang those tracks credited to 13th Power and Max Frost & The Troopers on the soundtrack record. They may have had the assistance of session musicians, although Allan’s statement above can be read to mean that the boys cut the tracks on their own.
“I didn’t think much about the drug freaks. We weren’t involved in that scene or even the biker scene except for the image.”
At this point in the story, it gets confusing and rereading my original article didn’t help much. I had a series of quotes from fan-extraordinaire Seth Man concerning his research into these sessions, followed by my text. In this rewritten article, I have simplified everything by moving Seth Man’s quotes from the body of the article to the footnotes section at the end of the article. 2
THE GLORY STOMPERS soundtrack album with the first appearance of Max Frost & The Troopers was released months before the release of the Wild In The Streets movie and the introduction of Frost as a fictional character.
The first Max Frost & The Troopers
The movie Wild In The Streets was reviewed in the May 30, 1968, issue of The New York Times (“Blunt Philosophy With Dual Exhausts and a Clear Logic:Singer Runs Country in ‘Wild in the Streets’”), indicating a general release to theaters in early June ’68. The soundtrack album WILD IN THE STREETS (Tower SKAO-5099) was reviewed in the June 22, 1968, issue of Billboard, indicating a similar release date in early June.
It is possible that all initial pressings of the albums (the jacket and the record) for the soundtrack album credited five tracks to 13th Power, with no mention of Max Frost & The Troopers. In fact, the first use of that fictitious group name may have come months before the release of the movie soundtrack.
Another AIP movie The Glory Stompers was released to theaters on November 22, 1967. The soundtrack album to the movie was reviewed in the February 10, 1968, issue of Billboard. This would indicate a release date during the last week of January 1968, although most discographies list this as being released in 1967. 3
The name Max Frost & The Troopers was used on a record months before any record from the movie Wild In The Streets was released.
Along with four tracks by Davie Allan and his Arrows, THE GLORY STOMPERS (Sidewalk T/DT-5910) includes The Stomper’s Ride by Eddie and the Stompers along with There‘s A Party Going On and You Might Want Me Baby by Max Frost & The Troopers!
In 1967, Band Without A Name (featuring singer Eddie Haddad) contributed two tracks to the soundtrack album THUNDER ALLEY (Sidewalk T/ST-5902). They were also given a small part in the film! The two album tracks were also issued as a single, Theme From Thunder Alley and Time After Time (I Keep Lovin’ You) (Sidewalk 913
The single and the album did not sell well and the group broke up. Haddad then formed the American Revolution, who cut one album for Curb’s Flick Disc label in 1968. Alas, this group also had a short shelf life.
Mom’s Boys changed their name to the 13th Power before ‘becoming’ the second version of Max Frost & The Tropers. This is the picture sleeve to one of their early singles.
There’s a party going on
The American Revolution also contributed three tracks to the soundtrack album for THE GLORY STOMPERS (Sidewalk DT-5910), but not as American Revolution: The Stomper’s Ride was credited to the non-existent Eddie & The Stompers while both There‘s A Party Going On and You Might Want Me Baby were credited to the non-existent Max Frost & The Troopers! 4
THE GLORY STOMPERS album features four tracks by Davie Allan and his Arrows, including The Stompers’ Party. This instrumental by the Arrows was then used as the backing track to the max Frost recording There Is A Party Going On!
Mike Curb wasn’t through confusing disc-jockeys and record buyers alike: the track credited to Eddie & The Stompers was then issued on a single as There Is A Party Going On / The Stompers’ Ride (Sidewalk 938), with both sides credited to Max Frost & The Troopers!
Therefore the name ‘Max Frost & The Troopers’ was used on an album issued months before Wild In The Streets the movie or any record from that movie. 5
“When I did the Arrows version of the soundtrack, I overdubbed my leads but they decided that I should NOT use the fuzz. They felt it was passé!?! Even 38 years later, I still have to say Aaaarrrrrgggggh!!!!!!!” (Davie Allan)
The second Max Frost & The Troopers
In 1967, a group with the ungawdly name of Mom’s Boys (featuring Paul Wibier) signed with Sidewalk. They immediately contributed two tracks (Yellow Pill and Up Or Down) to the various artists album FREAKOUT U.S.A. (Sidewalk T/DT-5901) and a third (Children Of The Night) to the RIOT ON SUNSET STRIP soundtrack album (Tower T/DT-5065).
The group then sagely changed their name to 13th Power and recorded their first single, Captain Hassel / A Change Is Gonna Come (Sidewalk 927). It was this group, Mom’s Boys/13th Power, that was called upon to provide the music that Christopher Jones and the other actors would mime in the film as Max Frost and his unnamed band. 6
So it was that 13th Power contributed five tracks to the WILD IN THE STREETS soundtrack album: Shape Of Things To Come, Fifty Two Per Cent, Fourteen Or Fight, Free Lovin, and Love To Be Your Man.
At least one pressing of the record for the album credits those five tracks to the 13th Power. That may have been the earliest pressing of the record. All other pressings credit the five 13th Power recordings to Max Frost & The Troopers!
So, Mom’s Boys were Mom’s Boys on two albums, then the 13th Power for another album, and then they were never heard from again (although Paul Wibier did record under his own name).
The Max Frost single with Shape Of Things To Come (above) was a good-sized hit and copies can be found for $10-15 each in NM condition. The Arrows version (Tower 446) however was not a hit of any kind and is a rather rare record.
Are the Arrows really the Arrows?
The fourth studio album by Davie Allan carried the ungainly title of THE ARROWS PLAY MUSIC FROM THE SCORE OF THE MOTION PICTURE ‘WILD IN THE STREETS‘ (Tower ST-5139). Released shortly after the soundtrack album, this title would lead anyone to believe that it is Davie Allan and his Arrows playing instrumental versions of ten songs from the movie, yes?
It is actually Allan overdubbing guitar parts onto eight pre-recorded instrumental tracks that had already been used on the soundtrack album! Two additional tracks (Pentagon Square and Rocky Road To Washington) were done by session musicians under the direction of Harley Hatcher, and may not have even featured Allan let alone any Arrows!
“I wish I could say that we were Max Frost & The Troopers, but unfortunately, it’s just not true. I did play on the Wild In The Streets soundtrack along with studio musicians known as the Hollywood Wrecking Crew, but none of us played on Shape Of Things To Come. A band was hired to do that one and it was kept a secret as to who the members were!
The mix-up started when my instrumental version was released as the last Arrows single on the Tower Records label. All I did was play lead on that pre-recorded track, so everyone assumed that we and Max Frost were one and the same. I am on some of the Max Frost tracks, including the ones that appeared on The Glory Stompers soundtrack.” (Davie Allan)
FEATURED IMAGE: The artwork at the top of this page was lifted from an advertisement for the movie that appeared in newspapers around the country in 1968. The four interconnected article can be found here:
• The Avid Collectors Guide to “Wild in the Streets” Part 1
• The Avid Collectors Guide to “Wild in the Streets” Part 2
• The Avid Collectors Guide to “Wild in the Streets” Part 3
• The Avid Collectors Guide to “Wild in the Streets” Part 4
1 Quotes lifted from “King Fuzz!” by Johnny Whiteside for LA Weekly as a review of the (long-overdue) Sundazed reissue of Allan’s APACHE 65, BLUES THEME, and CYCLE-DELIC SOUNDS (the latter cleverly deemed Allan’s “revenge on the Summer of Love” by Whiteside).
2 I contacted Davie Allan with some questions and he provided me with answers based on his memories of his experience in the studio in the ‘60s. He also put me in touch with super Arrows fan/collector and publisher/editor of FUZ magazine, The Seth Man.
3 Please note that most albums in the ’60s were assigned catalog numbers as soon as the A&R man could tell the company that the scheduled sessions were completed and the required takes mastered. Due to the fact that most pop artists followed the clock, actual release dates and catalog numbers usually corresponded to give a reasonable chronology for each company’s catalog.
This makes it generally easy for researchers to make some kind of determination about any given record’s date of release—usually within a specific quarter of any given year. While this was almost always a more accurate statement for LPs than 45s, it was not as accurate for soundtrack albums, as their release was contingent upon the release of the movie to theaters, over which the record companies had no control. The Billboard review of THE GLORY STOMPERS indicates a January or February release, but Sidewalk may have mailed promo copies to reviewers and then held up general release for months.
4 “There was another [group who had recorded as] Max Frost & The Troopers for Tower and Sidewalk. In 1967, this band—under their original name, Band Without A Name, led by singer Eddie Haddad—appeared not only on the soundtrack album THUNDER ALLEY, but also in the film.
Their two tracks on that album, Theme From Thunder Alley and Time After Time, were also issued as a single credited to the Band Without A Name. Haddad copped another artist’s credit on the album with an instrumental (Riot In Thunder Alley) under his professional nom de plume, Eddie Beram.
After the group broke up, Haddad formed the American Revolution, who cut one album for Curb’s Flick Disc label in 1968. Now this is where it gets really complicated. The same year, the American Revolution also briefly appeared inThe Glory Stompers, and on its soundtrack album as both Max Frost & The Troopers as well as Eddie & The Stompers!
On THE GLORY STOMPERS album, the Max Frost track There Is A Party Going On definitely features Davie Allan on lead guitar. The instrumental track The Stompers’ Party—which is credited to the Arrows—is the exact same recording as There Is A Party Going On but without Haddad’s vocals.
You Might Want Me Baby is the other Troopers appearance and it could have been an old unissued Band Without A Name track left in the Sidewalk vault. But the film The Glory Stompers was out in February 1968, months before the release of Wild In The Streets, so who knows?”
This is the first of two issues of The Seth Mans Fuz magazine with the cover story devoted to our hero, Davie Allan.
5 “While credited to Eddie & The Stompers, The Stompers’ Ride is technically Max Frost & The Troopers. It was issued on a single as the other side of There Is A Party Going On (Sidewalk 938, where both sides are credited to Max Frost & The Troopers). And continuing the complications, it isn’t even Max Frost & The Troopers: it’s a vocal overdub by Eddie Haddad onto a remixed backing track of a 1967 single (The Wild Angels Ride Tonight) recorded by producer Harley Hatcher for a completely different biker film, The Wild Angels Ride Tonight! As one would guess, Davie Allan is on guitar.
Either someone at Tower or at Sidewalk used the name Max Frost & The Troopers because they knew details of the upcoming films characters, or THE GLORY STOMPERS soundtrack album was issued months after both its namesake film and Wild In The Streets and those in charge just wanted to get the name more exposure.”
6 “In 1967, a five-piece group called Mom’s Boys featuring vocalist/songwriter Paul Wibier with Barney Hector, Dale Beckner, Stewart Martin, and Gary McClane recorded Yellow Pill and Up Or Down for the FREAKOUT U.S.A. album. The same year, they contributed Children Of The Night to the RIOT ON SUNSET STRIP album. Children Of The Night is of interest to us here, as the sped-up guitar rhythm is immediately recognizable as the same stylistic riffing used as the introduction to Shape Of Things To Come.
Mom’s Boys then changed their name to 13th Power and recorded their first single, Captain Hassel / A Change Is Gonna Come. They would continue with this name on their next project, five songs that would comprise nearly half of the soundtrack album for Wild In The Streets. These were Shape Of Things To Come, Fifty Two Per Cent, Fourteen Or Fight, Free Lovin, and Love To Be Your Man. The recording of Free Lovin is the backing track of Captain Hassel with new lyrics, possibly penned by Guy Hemric.” (Seth Man)
During 1965-1968, Davie Allan & The Arrows’ recordings were originally spread out over four studio albums, dozens of hard-to-find singles, and various soundtrack albums, often uncredited. To restore Allan to his rightful place atop the ranks of fabled guitar gunslingers, Sundazed compiled a double LP (28 tracks) and double CD (40 tracks) anthology that rounds up the best of these mind-splattering rarities. Each includes a full-color 16-page booklet filled with a band history, interviews, unseen photos, original album graphics, and AIP poster reproductions.