Bay Area native Roy Loney, a founding member of the great Flamin’ Groovies, quit the band in the early ’70s, ostensibly to pursue a solo career. Oddly, his first solo recording didn’t appear until 1979, nearly seven years after leaving the Groovies. In the interim, Loney had taken a series of record industry jobs, at one point working as a sales rep for the now defunct ABC Records, and at the funky and fabulous Jack’s Record Cellar in San Francisco. Despite the delay, Loney’s return to rock & roll performance was auspicious; there was a tremendous EP, A Hundred Miles an Hour, dedicated to Sissy Spacek, which was followed by the wild and woolly full-length LP, Out After Dark. Eschewing the Byrds-ian pop direction that former partner Cyril Jordan had now taken the Groovies, Loney’s records were wild-eyed, rockabilly-fueled chunks of joyous noise, with much shaking, rattling, and rolling provided by the great guitar playing of ex-Groovies James Ferrell and drummer Danny Mihm. Now fully integrated into the late-’70s/early-’80s rock scene, Loney, retaining his deservedly hip credentials, released a string of fine records from 1979-1983 on mostly small indie labels, eventually dropping out of sight in 1984. Actually, he just withdrew from the rock scene for a while and continued to play in the Bay Area and work at Jack’s. In the late ’80s, recording for roots rock label Norton, Loney unleashed The Scientific Bombs Away, which was a terrific, if almost totally ignored record. Loaded with raving guitars, hiccuping vocals, and his thoroughly original sense of humor, Loney had made a triumphant return to rock. Too bad no one seemed to care. Later, Loney recorded a great cover of Sam the Sham’s “I Couldn’t Spell !!*@!” with the Seattle band Young Fresh Fellows.
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