Rockbrat Remembers: Seab Meador and the Werewolves

Posted: December 21, 2017 by Cowboy Col in Rockbrat Remembers:
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Zombies Seab Closeup Negative

Seb Meador: Photo (c) fakezombies.blogspot.com.au

The Werewolves were a band from out of Dallas, Texas who signed to RCA and released two amazingly underrated albums brimming with first rate power-pop / country melodies. Don’t know the name ? OK, fair enough. Put down your can of Gilley’s Beer and read on. Let’s dig a little deeper. Before the Werewolves, in the annals of Texas rock history you will see there was a band called The Gentlemen, a garage rock band who existed from 64-68, and are best remembered for their killer tune, “It’s a Cry’n Shame’, often regarded as one of THE garage rock songs from that era. Their guitar player/ song writer, Seab Meador was a hotshot on guitar, and a big fan of Jeff Beck’s style, which you can hear in his playing too. Meandor developed a reputation as one of the unknown guitar greats from Texas in the 60s/70s. Jimmie Vaughan, later a member the Fabulous Thunderbirds and brother of Stevie Ray Vaughan, served a brief stint for several months in The Gentlemen in late 1965 and early 1966, but did not appear on any of their recordings. The Gentleman were heavily influenced by the Brit beat invasion sound, and would go on to support acts such as Mitch Ryder, James Brown and Jerry Lee Lewis amongst others. In 1967, with their record company out of cash, Seab Meador left The Gentlemen, and the group lost momentum splitting in 1968. Meador went on to form other bands such as the Houston based Hurricanes, and later the Werewolves, in the late 70s, which is, in a roundabout way, the main topic of this post. The Werewolves were managed and produced by former Rolling Stones svengali, Andrew Loog Oldham, with the band cutting and releasing two major label albums, both worthy of your attention. According to AllMusic, “ The first of two albums in 1978 for this discovery of producer Andrew Loog Oldham, the Werewolves’ self-titled debut has less focus than the follow-up, “Ship of Fools”, the band undecided whether to try their hand at being Bad Company-lite, a slowed-down version of Cheap Trick, or R.E.M. by way of Rossington Collins Band. The jangle with tinges of Southern rock could hardly help the glam image projected by the Mick Rock photos. There’s a cover of an early Elvis Presley nugget, “One Night of Sin,” from his 1957 Loving You album. It’s called “One Night” here, and that avenue, coupled with the folk-blues of “Too Hard” with acoustic guitar and Peter Wood’s accordion ensemble, makes for a strange mix. That the Presley cover is next to a harder-rocking song entitled “Deux Voix” gives a hint of the jolts the listener is put through. The band is adequate, and everything is recorded oh so precisely, but there’s little to excite” Who is this reviewer and what the hell does he know ? Cowboy Col will give you the tip that this album COOKS, and is as every bit as good as any of those aforementioned bands he mentioned. And I’ll throw in The Babys to boot. The vocals of Brian Papgeorge are smooth and similar to John Waite, (and Paul Rodgers), and that’s a good thing in my books.  The bitchin “The Flesh Express” is total early 70’s Stones, and “Hollywood Millionaire” is also a killer tune, as is ‘City By The Sea’. With a genuine guitar protégée on board, (who can shred, rip and also finesse in equal parts), it astounds me that this band didn’t reach the heights. Almost 40 years after its release, this album still sounds great and has not dated – testament to the songwriting and quality of the songs. (Chew on that Allmusic). The Werewolves headed to NYC and released their second album, ‘Ship Of Fools (Summer Weekends And No More Blues)’, also worthy of your attention – yet any further attempt at reaching the big heights of success were halted on January 24, 1980, when Seab Meador died tragically of a brain tumour. Seb’s amazing talent can be heard today still, via any of his recorded works – the Werewolves are a great starting point. Recommended!  Be sure to check out the excellent “I Was a Teenage Fake Zombie” site for first hand memories of Seb.

 

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