Sunday, July 12, 2009

Michael Yonkers Band-Microminiature Love and The Twin Cities Electronics Mad Scientist

I think this sums it up,so why bother writing my own...
A cult artist the likes of Captain Beefheart, the Fugs and
the Godz, Minneapolis' Michael Yonkers
has been toiling in
obscurity since the late '60s. With a solid foundation of surf rock
and garage,
Yonkers pushes the limits of distortion with guitar
and effects modifications, and a raw and blunt
approach to
underground rock & roll. Born in 1947, Yonkers began playing
guitar in the early '60s.
Raised on Link Wray and the Trashmen,
he officially started his music career as the leader of
Michael &
the Mumbles (great name!)who played proms and dances in the
Twin Cities area. Constantly
redefining and stretching the limits of
their sound, the group eventually evolved into
Michael Yonkers Band
with Michael's brother Jim on drums and Tom Wallfred on bass.


In 1967, Yonkers cut his Telecaster down to a plank and began
the other modifications on
his equipment that would solidify the
band's unique approach. Soon, Minneapolis music
impresario
Peter Steinberg landed the band a contract with Sire Records,
not unusual for
a time when major labels were combing the
underground for bands like the Mothers of Invention.

Microminiature Love was the group's first full-length and was
intended to be released in
1968, but for reasons still unknown,
the deal with Sire fell apart and the band broke up,their

brilliant debut left languishing on a shelf.In 1971, Yonkers'
back was broken in an on-the-job-
accident at an electronics
warehouse -a twist of fate that led to years of exploratory
surgery
that only made matters worse, and an allergic reaction
to X-ray dye that left the guitarist with
a degenerative spinal cord
condition.But Yonkers kept recording, and released three solo

albums on his own label in 1974-Grimwood (recorded in 1969),
Michael Lee Yonkers
(recorded in 1972) and Goodby Sunball
(recorded in 1973) as well as Borders of My Mind
with
Jim Woehrle.Thy Will Be Done followed in 1976 and then
Yonkers was relatively unheard
of for two decades. In 1997,
Get Hip Records released a compilation of songs recorded at
Richfield,
Minnesota's Dove Studios called Free Flight:
Unreleased Dove Recording Studio Cuts 1964-69

which contained two songs from Microminiature Love,
"Puppeting" (which was mislabeled as
"Microminiature Love") and
the anti-Vietnam war song "Kill the Enemy." These stripped-down,

seminal art rock tracks caught the attention of De Stijl's
Clint Simonson, who spent over a year
searching for Yonkers.
Simonson released the virtually forgotten Minneapolis psychedelic-garage

album Microminiature Love in 2002. The vinyl-only edition quickly
became a record collector
favorite, and in 2003 Sub Pop put out the
CD of this strange, lost album complete with six bonus

tracks recorded circa 1968. -Charles Spano, All Music Guide.
Also: I included the fabulous Dove Records 2 acetate tracks,
that appear on the Get Hip release,so now you are a Michael Yonkers
completest. Big Giant Thank You to Clint Simonson for having the
foresight to see the unusual talent that he did!
I'm bonkers for Michael Yonkers.
Microminiature Love

Dove Records Acetates

4 comments:

Mason said...

Holy shit, this is amazing.

Jesvs said...

Hello there, man.
terrific blog. I got stupendously happy to see someone remembered sky saxon's death. As a matter of fact, I was just about making a seeds compilation to post in my blog.

So, if you have the time, take a look at my blog, if you like, we should link each other. what do you say?

www.jesvscristvs.blogspot.com

cheers.

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Rev. Dr. Moller. MDMA, THC and BAR. said...

This looks right up my street so I am gonna check it out, thanks.