03. THE HORSEMEN HORSEMEN - 'Gotta Be Cool' EP (Resonance 45-8820) 1988

New York band The Headless Horsemen may just have been the most talented outfit of the garage revival scene during the mid to late 80s. All of their releases are essential listening and shouldn't be that difficult to track down, unfortunately several major killers have never seen the light of day on CD. This really is a sad case of events. A quality band like The Headless Horsemen should have had the re-issue treatment by now!

After playing their debut album 'Can't Help But Shake' at least once a week in 1987 I couldn't believe my eyes when I flicked through the record boxes in my local vinyl shop the following year and pulled out a brand new record by these guys. Sadly it wasn't a full length album but a four song twelve inch record. Ha, remember the good old twelve inch record of the 80s..

'Gotta Be Cool' is a Flamin' Groovies type rocker with punkadelic guitar by Elan Portnoy who had been previously 'cool' in The Fuzztones....

'Ya gotta stay with me if you wanna be cool'....

'See You Again' follows next and the mood and pace slows down somewhat but the angst does not. Got to applaud the musicianship and general 'tightness' of The Headless Horsemen, no doubt honed by their frequent gigs in New York. According to a write up in 'Kaleidoscope' - issue 3 they had an effervescent stage show, an ear for a good hook as well as a good joke.
Side 2 opens with a Peter Stuart (ex Tryfles) original called 'Miles Above'. It's a meandering folk rock tune with a jangle burst of greatness. Things get all a rockin' next with the Larry Williams favourite 'Bad Boy'....I of course knew this song first from The Beatles cover. Don't think I've ever heard the original come to think of it?!!

The Headless Horsemen recorded at Brill Buildings in New York and had access to vintage 60s equipment. They list the instruments used on the back cover of this record and if you're a musician it will make your brain hurt.


  1. The Headless Horsemen have long been a favorite of mine and remain so. Even wrote a fan letter back in 1988 and still have my glossy 8x10. Well done, all around!

  2. Fantastic band! I have been playing that record for more than 20 years.

  3. The Headless Horsemen were an amazing live band back in their day. I recall many a night in divey places seeing them play in NYC in '86-'89.

  4. Yep, they were amazing. Peter did lead vocals throwing the craziest bass parts around... and they were great guys too. That sleeve with Nurns and Teisco May Queen silhouettes have defined my ideas of what's cool in guitarland ever since - along with the iconic Vox Phantom and Teardrop shapes, of course, courtesy of Elan's previous band: the Fuzztones.
    I kept in touch with Peter for a while and he dropped by at the rehearsal room of my old band, the Ace-Tones, when he was on tour (with Bianca 'Bob' and Flystrip). Did some songs together... must've been 1992 or something. Almost twenty years ago and I STILL play that kind of music!

  5. Thanks Eric - Peter got in touch with me back in 2008 and filled me in on the details of the record as Chris Such & The Savages.

    Follow the link below for more information.


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