1-23-12: Larry and the Godz

January 23, 2012 at 7:45 am 3 comments

Larry Kessler performs in the Maryland Morning studio. Picture: Mike Diamond, Manta Ray Records.

[audio http://stream.publicbroadcasting.net/production/mp3/wypr/local-wypr-1001083.mp3]

Imagine sharing a record label with Charlie Parker and Charles Manson.

Back in the mid to late 1960s, the ESP-Disk label released some of the most out there music in America—from free jazz like Albert Ayler and Sun Ra to raucous and vulgar rock bands like the Fugs.

Also on that roster was The Godz, a New York City group who could write pretty songs but often decided to play ugly and provoke their audiences. They were punk before there was punk, noise before there was noise, and a cult following has grown around their handful of late sixties and early seventies releases.

Godz bassist Larry Kessler grew up in Baltimore, and he moved back here about 40 years ago. He’s now 70 years old, and he’s got a new single, “Zoomia,” out on Baltimore’s Manta Ray Records. He and Manta Ray co-founder Mike Diamond join Tom Hall in the studio to look back on Larry’s very unorthodox career, and Larry performs a song he wrote back in the Godz days.

Also out this week from Manta Ray: a “Godz Remastered” retrospective.

Entry filed under: History, Music, On Air. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , .

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3 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Catrina  |  January 23, 2012 at 2:41 pm

    Loved the song Larry!

  • 2. Claudette Kessler  |  January 23, 2012 at 6:54 pm

    Love your songs , Want to hear them LIVE…

  • 3. Michael  |  April 24, 2012 at 1:08 pm

    A major talent resurfaces , I used to listen to the Godz, in the 70’s, people like Red crayola and many of the bands that we listen to owe much to the Godz.


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