Friday, September 16, 2016

Philly Rock Mix: Nazz ta Teens

Here comes The Nazz: to the extent that rock people don't realize that Philadelphia in the 60s produced its own Fab Four, who Todd Rundgren, Carson Van Osten, Robert Antoni, and Thom Mooney are, should not be unknown to them now. The Nazz in the 60s produced a body of rock music, from Philadelphia "on out," that rivals anything else produced during that era. They were also a solid commercial success at the time. Who, for the duration of the century past the early 70s, erased them, and why were they erased? Who knows? My overriding feeling about The Nazz has to do with my own youth/adolescence in the Philly 'burbs. As my friends and I tuned in to WMMR and WYSP, two repositories for classic rock and the classic rock canon (WMMR bothered to maintain a contemporary edge, WYSP did not), what we missed was any sense of hometown pride that the presence of The Nazz could've granted us. The Nazz could've improved our adolescence by belonging to us. The Alternative Revolution and WDRE didn't improve matters much. On the two twin towers of Philly rock radio, oddly enough, London was king. Surprisingly little from New York made it onto the airwaves; L.A. had The Doors, The Eagles, and a few others. So, we were forced to become little Anglophiles in the world. Does London as a big rock dream city work over a long period of time? Probably not; it's cold, grey, and foreboding up close. But, back to the Nazz; I have included them in the mix here in hope that rock people can make the nifty discovery of Philly's own Fab Four. The Nazz are pitched to a rock vibe heavier then The Beatles and The Stones, more like The Who; and with a Who-like sense of dynamics, they open a bunch of vistas which still might be fun to explore now.

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