Warlocks attend the 1972 Philadelphia Folk Festival
In the midst of Sunday’s festival activity, the Philadelphia version of motorcycle machismo—known as Warlocks—roared up to the entrance gate to be surrounded at once by state police. Within a short time, festival co-chairman Bob Siegel and other cool heads on the security force negotiated the impasse to a compromise: Warlocks were allowed in free on the condition of non-destructive behavior and a promise to leave the grounds by 5 PM.—Amie Hill, Rolling Stone
“Jake, Junk & the Jewels" by Aaron Fuchs, Crawdaddy (1972)
Ever since rock and roll began, New York City has taken a terrible toll on its young. The Broadway gestalt, like some klieg-lighted Medusa, reaches alluringly to the farthest ends of the city, where starry-eyed children with show biz otherness on their mind seek to return the energy, only to have it bounce back in their faces off the inescapable, insurmountable concrete, steel and brick. The expression that inevitably results is called fantasy.
Allen “Jake” Jacobs has to be in the forefront of NY City’s casualties. Blood, Sweat and Tears made it, and today apologizes for losing the most vital music they made. Dion made it, and today apologizes for making the most vital music he made. But Jake Jacobs, well, Jake Jacobs hasn’t made it at all, and would demand an apology for the lack of success his most vital music has met with, but he’s known failure so consistently that he’s beginning to learn to live with it.
Jake’s new album, The Big Moose Calls His Baby Sweet Lorraine, is quite simply, an album for our time. Like few other works by white artists, it compellingly captures today’s mood of the city’s people, with it’s sense of longing for both better times and places, coupled with the final irony of resignation to that longing. Jake is backed by the Family Jewels, a loose aggregation of musician-friends whose imprecise but cohesive blend of sound supersedes technical virtuosity or tightness. They are the perfect backdrop for Jake’s funkishly human, non-stylized vocals. And the sound of the music is like a voice-print of New York City—an accretion of styles, from doo-wop to West VIllage folk to good-time music to rock and roll, that sets like the 59th Street Bridge, with filth-encrusted eloquence. It is inevitably wasted, however, without passengers; and Jake is now musing why there seem to be so few willing to share his ride.