CD Review – Gregg Turner Plays the Hits

This writer knows Gregg Turner from Back Door Magazine, but a press release states he is also a “veteran of the Angry Samoans & New Mexico’s garage-rockin Blood Drained Cows.” What you get on the 11 tracks on Gregg Turner Plays the Hits is another dimension tribute to the Velvet Underground and Modern Lovers, the Lovers being, of course, the direct sons of the V.U.

The fun that Turner imparts into his three minute and fifty one second “I Dreamed I Met Lou Reed” is an amalgam of Armand Schaubroeck’s “Ratfucker” with the V.U.’s own “I Heard Her Call My Name” / “Sister Ray” and a dash of the elements of “European Son” from the V.U. debut with a touch of the “Black Angel’s Death Song” tucked inside some Jonathan Richman talk-it/walk-it.

“I Lost My Baby to the Guy at the Bobcat Bite” and “Starry Eyes” take on the fifties with tongue-in-cheek parody, a bit of doo wop in both. The dissonant “Eve of Destruction” is timed perfectly for all the madness going on about a half a world away, stylistically Turner pushing the three-chord rock routine to the limit.

“Santa Fe” takes things into a different direction, nice wet guitars – both rhythm and lead – like an outtake from Jimmy Webb via Glen Campbell. Too bad Glen is in no shape to take this to his audience, but maybe Webb can.
“Satan’s Bride” at 2:45 would make a nice flip side to the Unnatural Axe’s “They Saved Hitler’s Brain.” It’s some rockabilly with a sci-fi edge and catatonic splintered leads somewhere in the back of the mix that explode just when the time is right. “Tombstone” is the longest track at 4:49, a gunslinger epic that brings an old world (go a hundred years or so back) feel to this otherwise Proto-punk excursion.

Gregg Turner Pharmacist at Walgreens n Bobcat Bite at Showcase:

Now being someone who HAS met Lou Reed (along with Jo Jo Laine, when I reunited Jo Jo the cover gal from Nelson Slater’s Wild Angel with the producer of that epic backstage at the Orpheum in the 1990s) Lou and I both agreed that his early composition “Cycle Annie” is a good tune. Turner agrees with Lou and this writer by covering the lost Reed classic and it is a highpoint of Gregg Turner Plays the Hits.

The 3:49 of “Another Lost Heartache” appropriately closes out this 39 minutes of Gregg Turner, and it is a good one for college radio at 2 AM. A nice segue for those young d.j.’s who find and adore Andy Mackay’s In Search of Eddie Riff.

Gregg Turner plays Club Bohemia, downstairs at the Cantab, Central Square Cambridge this Thursday, August 14, 2014

Joe Viglione is the Chief Film Critic at He has written thousands of reviews and biographies for,, Gatehouse Media, Al Aronowitz’s The Blacklisted Journal, and a variety of other media outlets. Joe also produces and hosts Visual Radio, a seventeen year old variety show on cable TV which has interviewed Jodie Foster, director/screenwriter David Koepp, Michael Moore, John Cena, comics/actors Margaret Cho, Gilbert Gottfried, Gallagher, musicians Mark Farner and Don Brewer of Grand Funk Railroad, Ian Hunter of Mott The Hoople, Ray Manzarek, John Densmore, Felix Cavaliere of The Rascals, political commentator Bill Press and hundreds of other personalities.