demo, Hard-to-find

A plea for Lee and GOLAS3

Hoy! Mavers! C’mere til I gie you a smack roon’ the heid. And make it quick, before that Pete Doherty gie’s you a different kinda smack roon’ the heid. In two weeks time, a bastardised version of The La’s will play a free festival in Sheffield. The band will consist of Lee Mavers (of course) along with selected Babyshambles personnel and Pete Doherty hingers oan. Not good. I asked Mavers if I could be in The La’s once. True story, but I’ll save it for another day. He told me I could never be in The La’s because I wasn’t a Scouser. Nowadays, anyone with the right haircut, Cuban heeled boots and fondness for illegal substances can seemingly fit right in. This new version of The La’s promises to be a car crash of even greater proportions than the 2005 version. And that’s really saying something. Bop bop shoobedoowop.

Don’t do it Lee. Stay at home, dig out the back catalogue and reminisce. That’s what most La’s fans have had to do for long enough anyway. It’s what I’ve been doing this week. Someone contacted me from Chile (!) and asked me to write a piece on The La’s for a cultural South American website. It’s being translated into Spanish as I type. I dug out my old La’s bootlegs and session material and buried myself in the stuff. It’s been magic. I have all The La’s small but perfect back catalogue apart from this…

timeless melody ad

The unreleased version of Timeless Melody, GOLAS3 (or GOLAS312 for the 12″). Almost 20 years to the day, 500 copies were pressed up and promoed to the music weeklies very briefly. GOLAS3 subsequently became the most sought after item in The La’s canon. It was withdrawn very quickly after Mavers decided he no longer liked the mix. But you knew that already. After hearing tape after tape of La’s sessions I’ve come to the conclusion that I don’t think even Mavers knew what he was really listening for some of the time. GOLAS3 is a fantastic release. I’d imagine you’ll all be familiar with Timeless Melody, but the withdrawn version is something else entirely. It has a full-fat mono-sounding thunk that is obviously missing from the watered down, more well known album version. “Almost an anti production!” raved St Etienne’s Bob Stanley, reviewing the singles in that week’s Melody Maker. The withdrawn version of Timeless Melody is The Beatles in Hamburg’s Reeperbahn, Jeff Beck in The Yardbirds and Bummer In The Summer-era Love rolled into one. ‘Wild’ Billy Childish must’ve cried into his impeccably imperialistic droopy moustache if he was ever fortunate enough to hear it. There’s even more to follow…

GOLAS_312-Melody_Maker-May_27-1989

Skip past the more familiar sounding Clean Prophet and you’ll get to Ride Yer Camel, a 7 minute lo-fi homage to the Delta Blues, recorded late one night in one of The La’s umpteen guitarist’s flats. Beefheart, Bo Diddley and the blues. I’ve written about it before (canny be arsed linking to it to be honest) but have a listen. You won’t believe your sanitised in-ear speaker system 21st century ears.

Timeless Melody

Clean Prophet

Ride Yer Camel

My mp3’s come courtesy of a very kind and decent Irishman. He made my day about 4 years ago. If you happen to have a copy of GOLAS3 or GOLAS312 lying around gathering dust in your collection, drop me a line and I’ll take it off your hands forever. You could make my day today. I’ll even give you some money for it. Everyone’s a winner baby, that’s no lie.

7 thoughts on “A plea for Lee and GOLAS3”

  1. Is this the version from Timeless Melody [UK Single] from 1990? or is the same version from the compilation “Callin All” from 2010?

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