THE COOLIES dig..? (1986) Simon & Garfunkel Trib +
Doug – A Rock Opera And Comic Book (1988)

UPGRADED: Thanks to zuiop for helping us replace our ancient vinyl rips of The Coolies’ dig..? and Doug LPs with the 1995 2CD reissue, Take That You Bastards! For the CD set, the band included a handful of bonus tracks, including b-sides and unreleased material, while – curiously – omitting “Mrs. Robinson” from dig..? (fret not, we’ve put it back in). Some of the song title spellings are a bit different, too, which appears to be more an issue of quality control than design. The music itself, however, sounds great, so those who grabbed our original vinyl rips any time in the last 5 or 6 years are advised to upgrade. Find The Coolies’ Take That You Bastards! @ Amazon, HERE.

dig?dig..? (1986)
Simon & Garfunkel: A Weird Alternate View

Anyone remember satirical rockers, The Coolies? They were part of Danny Beard’s Atlanta-based DB Records (Swimming Pool Q’s, Guadalcanal Diary, Python, among others), and while The Coolies were never the highest profile outfit, two of their 80s albums did manage to survive my vinyl purges of the 90s. To give you an idea of their collective WTF career attitude, the band’s debut, dig..?, is a rocking, irreverent Simon & Garfunkel covers LP (with a dollop of Paul Anka anchored by a Lou Reed sample). These S&G bastardizations exude their own brand of ramshackle charm, via naked, aggressive, head-scratching arrangements – presumably recorded live in the studio. Not necessarily a classic, but a great diversion for those that like their concept albums with tongue in cheek.

Scarborough Fair (2:28)
Bridge Over Troubled Water (4:14)
59th St. Bridge (Feelin’ Groovy) (2:26)
I Am A Rock (4:04)
El Condor Pass (4:07)
Sounds Of Silence (4:35) – Bonus Track
Cecilia (2:30)
Homeward Bound (3:15)
The Only Living Boy In NY (4:38)
Richard Corey (4:04) – Bonus Track
Having My Baby (4:46)
Mrs. Robinson – Omitted from Take That You Bastards! but included here for your convenience

DougDoug (1988)
A Very Twisted Indie Rock Opera

Speaking of concepts… here’s The Coolies’ 1987 follow-up, Doug – a rock opera about a “skinhead who slays a transvestite short-order cook, makes a fortune by publishing the victim’s cookbook, falls prey to drug abuse and paranoia, and ultimately winds up back on the streets. OK then. As you’ll hear, The Coolies use similar tactics on this album as they did on the last one – parody & irreverence – sending up these original tunes with familiar stylistic elements pinched from The Who, Beach Boys and others. The overall production is much better than their debut (thanks to Brendan O’Brien, who also produced the three outtakes), making for a more rockin’ album, while the opening title track boasts the kind of Southern rock riffage the Pool Q’s (HERE, in the archives) were always so good at. The comic book that came with the original is also included.

Talkin’ Bout Doug (2:58)
Ice Cold Soul (2:51)
Pussy Cook (3:13)
Cook Book (3:16)
Shirts And Skins (2:31)
40 Foot Stretch (4:05)
Doug! (1:55)
Coke Light Ice (3:08)
The Last Supper (2:47)
Ain’t Gonna Eat No More (3:40)
Crack Pipe (Burnin’) (4:18)
Poverty (4:56)
Talkin’ Bout Doug (Reprise) (0:57)
Serious (3:06) – Bonus Track
Soul Side Of Your Mind (4:06) – Bonus Track
Done (3:32) – Bonus Track

19 Comments

  • 1
    Willard
    May 26, 2011 - 10:21 | Permalink

    Search HERE

  • 2
    MNW
    February 25, 2012 - 18:56 | Permalink

    Just FYI, I believe I may be the only person who got the band to reveal this information at the time, but the Coolies’ original plan was to complete a trilogy by recording and releasing a third and final album which was going to be called “DUNG”.

    Despite my then-roommate [Cindy Toth of The Reivers] attempting to use her feminine wiles on her labelmates to wring them dry of info, we did not receive any further details in this matter. (Well, I kinda remember something about “melon balls” but I can’t seem to work it into any logical context.)

    — mnw

    • 3
      June 24, 2015 - 13:03 | Permalink

      Do you know Don Radcliffe?

      • 4
        mnw
        July 25, 2015 - 07:16 | Permalink

        Nope. My entire connection to Atlanta was thru the Reivers being signed to dB Recs for a time. My conversation with the Coolies occurred here in Austin at a gig sometime after the release of DOUG…

        – mnw

  • 5
    Jason
    October 4, 2013 - 10:18 | Permalink

    cool beans!

  • 6
    Andrew
    August 8, 2014 - 22:46 | Permalink

    Many thanks

  • 7
    mylene
    June 24, 2015 - 09:26 | Permalink

    FM radio here used to play You’re Having My Baby like it was a Fleetwood Mac single or something. It’s ridiculously well known down under.

    • 8
      Willard
      June 24, 2015 - 09:27 | Permalink

      Go figure.

      • 9
        no one
        June 25, 2015 - 11:13 | Permalink

        It also flooded the airwaves in Philadelphia when it was new. I never knew a single person who wanted to hear it once, let alone repeatedly. Probably payola :-)

  • 10
    June 24, 2015 - 13:02 | Permalink

    Clay Harper is now the head of a restaurant empire in Atlanta. Danny Beard was inducted into the GA Music Hall of Fame last year.

    • 11
      Willard
      June 24, 2015 - 13:08 | Permalink

      Interesting about Harper, given the subject matter of Doug. I hope the GA Music Hall Of Fame isn’t very old. Because Danny Beard deserves to have been an early inductee.

  • 12
    Grant
    June 24, 2015 - 18:30 | Permalink

    I sure do remember the Coolies! Thanks for sharing!

  • 13
    June 25, 2015 - 13:13 | Permalink

    Never heard of the Coolies. Their approach to the Simon & Garfunkel songbook was radical in a lovable sort of way. The “Cook Book” track from Doug sounds quite a bit like early Who a la “A Quick One”. Are there any of the band members still out there making music?

    • 14
      jonder
      July 10, 2015 - 09:35 | Permalink

      Doug was similar to Dig in that each song was performed in a different musical style. You’re right, “Cook Book” was a tribute to the Who. “Coke Light Ice” was intended to sound like REM, and “40 Foot Stretch” like ZZ Top (circa Eliminator). “Pussy Cook” = the Beastie Boys’ “Cookie Puss”. I think “I Ain’t Gonna Eat No More” might have been a stylistic poke at the Georgia Satellites. I can’t remember the rest. The comic book was drawn by Jack Logan, and the cover of Doug was designed by Anne Richmond Boston from the Swimming Pool Q’s. See below for post-Coolies stuff.

  • 15
    June 27, 2015 - 06:23 | Permalink

    Captain, many many many thanks for this !!! Have the Dig?-Vinyl, but searched a long time for ‘Sounds Of Silence’ and ‘Mrs. Robinson’…. A Day like X-mas !!!
    All the best,
    Gerhard

  • 16
    June 28, 2015 - 14:09 | Permalink

    Just love the lyrics – ‘Cook book, makin’ a fortune. Cook book, it’s out on the shelf’ – sung against the Tommy-esque backing.

  • 17
    July 1, 2015 - 21:21 | Permalink

    Wow! Saw these guys at the 688 in Atlanta in the mid 80s and they tore it up. What a blast from the past. Thanks!

  • 18
    jonder
    July 10, 2015 - 09:25 | Permalink

    They were indeed a great live band. I remember lighters in the air for “Crack Pipe”. MNW, the Coolies’ drummer went by the name Frogg Jaguar Melonball. After the Coolies breakup, Teddy Murray formed a lounge-rock band called Donkey. Frogg and Jeb Baldwin started a really great blues band called the Mighty Fine Slabs. Rob Gal played guitar with 6x (the album was called “Kung Pow”). Clay Harper had the longest post-Coolies career: he started a band called the Ottoman Empire, and he made a record with Wreckless Eric.

    • 19
      mnw
      July 25, 2015 - 07:33 | Permalink

      That was indeed the Melonball reference that I couldn’t completely recall! BTW: I have a program for “Jesus Christ Superstar: A Resurrection” right here in front of me (I really do, oddly enough), which starred the Indigo Girls with members of Big Fish Ensemble, Uncle Green, Jody Grind, Swimming Pool Qs and others. It was put on as a SXSW-sponsored event in 1995 here in Austin, and Rob Gal is listed on guitar in the show’s stock band The Murray Hedd Experience. His bio as owner of Snack ‘n’ Shack Recording Studio is also included in the program…

      — mnw

      PS: Wreckless Eric was just in town (or is about to be), but I didn’t get a chance to go (or won’t, most likely.)

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