Paul Major on Toy Tiger, Hikes Point and points beyond
Louisville native, record dealer and guitar genius Paul Major of Endless Boogie chats with LEO Weekly about growing up in Louisville and about Endless Boogie’s second full-length record, Full House Head, due out July 20.
LEO: Talk a little bit about what memories you have of Louisville, especially concerts you saw or buying records.
Paul Major: One of my earliest memories is the sadly gone Toy Tiger sign at Bardstown Road and Goldsmith Lane. I grew up near there. I was in grade school (when) I heard my first fuzz guitars in 1966. As a kid, I went nuts, and my entire gear shifted. So every Saturday with my lawn-mowing money, I’d head up Bardstown Road and go to the head shops and the used record stores. Like Rivertown Records, I remember being one of the first ones. Just went up there and bought every obscure, weird-looking record I saw that might simulate what it was like to be trippin’ out. I remember getting my first copy of (the 13th Floor Elevators’) Easter Everywhere for 27 cents.
But the main difference back then was radio. That was a time when every genre of music competed on Top 40 radio, and you’d hear Deep Purple next to Frank Sinatra next to the Mamas & the Papas next to Claudine Longet. I remember that (Texas International recording artist) Bubble Puppy had a No. 1 hit in Louisville with “Hot Smoke and Sassafras,” and that was kind of a dud elsewhere. I used to sit with the AM transistor radio with little notebooks, and I had all these different categories for tones of the fuzz guitars.
LEO: Tell us about the new record, Full House Head. It’s not a huge departure from the first Endless Boogie record, Focus Level, which means it’s a good rock record.
PM: (One difference with Full House Head), it builds up a little bit with the guitar parts. It’s a little more just being totally spontaneous, but then throwing in some other stuff, with a couple of catchier numbers on there. It’s on No Quarter, so we’re looking forward to that. I just saw the cover art when I got back from Europe. People that have heard it so far are enthusiastic. (It’s an) all-time record for Endless Boogie: only two years to get something done.
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