THE LEATHERCOATED MINDS - 'Sunset And Clark' (Fontana TL.5412) 1967

This is my rare UK copy of The Leathercoated Minds LP 'A Trip Down The Sunset Strip' on Fontana. It also happens to be the essential mono mix. How this rather obscure and completely 'underground' album managed to get a release in Britain is unclear....

The album cover is a picture of Roger Tillison and Terrye Newkirk who were a folk-rock duo based in Hollywood. They cut a 45 as The Gypsy Trips. Read my review here.

It is believed, however, that Terrye Newkirk did not perform on The Leathercoated Minds album but Tillison did, along with producer and arranger John J. Cale and sundry musicians employed by Viva Records.

'A Trip Down The Sunset Strip' is quite a period piece and a tyme capsule of the coloured sights and sounds of the L.A. teen scene circa 1966-67. Unfortunately the cover versions don't stand well next to the originals but the snippets of conversations and car noises between the tracks recorded on West Hollywood's Sunset Strip are cool.

The instrumentals featured such as 'Sunset And Clark' are really where it's at. These were all written by John J. Cale.


  1. This one took me a long time to track down, and I still have yet to hear the mono, but I think it's a keeper. As far as psychsploitation efforts from the era go, it's one of the best. Love the version of "Eight Miles High" in particular.

    I'm guessing you realized that John J. Cale would later go on to fame and fortune as J.J. Cale? I think this was his first LP effort in what amounted to a 30+ year career making great music.

    I'd wager Leon Russell and other members of The Shindogs guested here as well, as they were Okie buddies of Cale's and Tillitson's.

  2. He was already J J Cale - "real" name John Weldon Cale (1938-2013) the J J moniker was created by a venue in LA that hired him around the same time as the Sunset Strip LP.

    Venue owner wanted to avoid confusion with Cale's Welsh contemporary, John Cale of the Velvet Underground.

    As an aside, I met Cale (JJ) in 94. On telling him I had a copy of the Sunset Strip LP, he advised me, in a slow Tulsa drawl: "Best thing y'can do wi' that, my friend, 's jus' throw it away...". Needless to say, I haven't obeyed!

  3. Ha Ha - good story Fretless....

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