Back in '81 when I was in the band Jonny Sevin, we contacted Forster Cayce to record our first studio track, a cover of The Guilloteens garage classic "Hey You" which was also covered and released by Tucson's The Five of Us. Foster, of course, was the head engineer at Tucson's Copper State Recording studios in the '60s and recorded several local Tucson bands (including The Pills) as well as Phoenix's Spiders, who later became Alice Cooper. We wanted the track to sound like it was recorded in the golden year of 1966, the year it was originally released. I think Forster thought we were out of our minds but obliged and the result was fabulous! I'd bug Forster about his work in the '60s, asking him about the bands and the experiences. He finally suggested we meet at Johnny's on 22nd Street where he'd bring his index card file documenting many of his sessions from the era. How I wish I'd have asked to make copies of those. While eating his Fat Boy burger with fries and a milkshake he proceeded to flip through the cards. One session in particular was by an El Paso band hanging out in Tucson, called The Torquetts. He laughed as he read the title of one of the songs. "(Who's Got The) Tortillas." By the end of the meal and meeting, Forster claimed, to my disappointment, he had none of the tapes. Finding a copy of that record at the time was hopeless. A few years later, the track—a rousing surf instrumental generously peppered with whoops and hollers—appeared on the Strummin' Mental "gray area" compilation album and I finally got to hear it. The group, who most likely took their name from their hometown heroes The Fireballs' "Torquette," had two single prior releases, both instrumentals. The A-side of this, "Any More," is an OK but non-offensive Brit Invasion-inspired rocker vocal. It is of course, the B-side of this waxing that's the burner!
Lee Joseph grew up in Tucson. He's a DJ (Luxuriamusic.com), marketer of cool shit (Reverberations Media) and founder/CEO of internationally respected Dionysus Records, an indie that has long specialized in releasing super-rare music, and more. He came of age in the first wave of Tucson punk rock and is an expert on Tucson music. He now lives in California. Vintage Vinyl is a recurring addition to the Tucson Weekly.