Sorry, We're Closed

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Black Granite





One great thing about buying old records is that you find absolute gems in the weirdest places.

In the late 1970s, Chicago's WKQX-FM (Now Q101) was a pretty crappy album-rock station. To their credit, though, the folks at the station released two compilation albums of local bands. Unfortunately, with an exception or two, the bands' collective aesthetic pretty much reflected the station's preoccupations.

The first of these albums, 1977's Hometown Album, has some of the worst packaging and art I've ever seen, but one song is an absolute keeper: Tetra's "Black Granite."

With its furious guitar/organ attack, enigmatic lyrics, and Move-like heavy bass, this taut rocker sounds more like 1970 than 1977. I'd like to know more about these guys, but I don't.

But a tip of the top anyway to guitarist/singer Jim Miller, organist Bill Tebbets, bassist/singer Randy Leff, and drummer/singer Randy Gladstone. We don't know who or where you are, but you rocked!

8 Comments:

Anonymous Duck said...

Aaron will take the album cover off your hands just because it has a hot air balloon on it!

9:43 AM, March 20, 2008

 
Anonymous Jonathan said...

I used to try to collect these Chicago radio station "local spotlight" albums but eventually tired and gave up. The Loop's were a hoot...

9:57 AM, March 21, 2008

 
Blogger Crotchbat said...

I just scored a copy for fiddy cents! WOO!

8:25 AM, March 25, 2008

 
Blogger Derek See said...

WHOA! what a great track. My mom had this awful album back then and I think I vaguely remember dancing around the living room to this song. Nice work, Stu!

10:18 AM, March 27, 2008

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jim, Randy L., and Willy all were from Northbrook, Randy G. from Highland Park.
Band later morphed into "The Phones" after Jim departed.
Willy Tebbetts later sang and played keys in "Colortone", fairly big Chi band in the 80's...I think they relaeased 1 album.

7:21 PM, September 08, 2008

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Willy Tebbetts is my brother. These days he lives in LA in the guise record producer sugarmilk. http://www.myspace.com/sugarmlk

Jim Miller still lives in the burbs writing loads of incredible music. Unfortunately he flatly refuses to play it live or make available to the rest of us.

Randy Leff was last seen in Pheonix. And as for Mr Gladstone well I'm sure he is drinking gallons of coffee right now somewhere on the North Shore.

I, the original singer am an artist living in the UK. www.mediachi.com/kitty

4:23 AM, December 06, 2008

 
Anonymous Nomo Tings-Tosay said...

I am friends with Randy Gladstone, and he is still drinking tons of coffee. His gig nowadays is doing faux finishes and painting (he is a fantastic faux finisher). It's nice to see people remember Tetra, Randy let me listen to a several songs he had on a cassette, and I was blown away. It is amazing to think they were just out of high school at the time, the places they should have gone. I'm sure Jim has his reasons for not wanting to put the music out there anymore, but I sure wish he would reconsider. Judging by the music I heard, and what Randy told me about, if he had been releasing albums, we would be talking about him going into the Rock 'n' Roll HoF in a few years.

12:46 PM, June 09, 2011

 
Blogger Stu Shea said...

Thanks, everyone, for your input and comments. What I wouldn't give to hear more Tetra from that period!! Peace.

1:56 PM, June 09, 2011

 

Post a Comment

<< Home