When we were working up our 100 Songs That Defined Arizona list, one name was mentioned more than any other by our readers and consultants, and that name was Mike Condello (1946-1995). Known best for his work on The Wallace and Ladmo Show, Condello was an active musician at the time, recording the soft-psych epic Phase One in the late sixties, and No Bathing In Pond, released in 1984 on John Fahey's Takoma Records. But between those two projects he played guitar in a L.A. power-pop combo called Elton Duck.
Featuring bassist Micki Steel, who went on to join The Bangles, singer/guitarist Mike McFadden (Goose Creek Symphony/Superfine Dandelion) , and drummer Andy Robinson (Invisible Zoo). The band opened for The Knack, The Tubes, Phil Seymour, and The Knack, and was quickly signed up by Clive Davis to Arista Records. They set about recording their debut album for the label.
But the album never saw release, and was shelved.
Until now, at least. Phoenician Lee Cooley has launched an Elton Duck Kickstarter project to fund a special release of the Elton Duck material, dubbed "The Greatest Album Never Heard," with all proceeds going to the Phoenix Union Foundation for Education.
Cooley cites an interview with Robinson, who recalls the sound of the band: "When (the Mikes) sang together, it was sort of like the Everly Brothers, soulful and supercharged with energy. The songs were full of hooks; some of them were funny, real dark humor."
A donation of $25 acts essentially as a pre-order for the album, with international fans being asked for $30. With 23 days to go, the project has reached $2,132 of the $2,525 goal. You can pledge until May 4.
I haven't heard the tunes in full -- but the jangling, power pop cut the band performs in this Kickstarter video is right up my alley, and I can't wait to hear the record.