dfc Play It Again, Max: Lotti Golden - Motor-Cycle (1969)

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Lotti Golden - Motor-Cycle (1969)

Unfortunately I'm very busy this week and so have fallen back on someone else's rip (thanks to the anonymous News Group poster who put this one out there in the ether). Also, it looks like I'll be travelling next week so don't expect another post for 2 weeks.

This is a fine soul record with some psychedelic touches and some weird Satan-biker references. It was released on Atalantic records in '69 and produced by Bob Crewe. Robert Christgau didn't like it, which is usually a good sign--he compares her to Laura Nyro (who he also doesn't like) & I can definitely hear some similarities (at least with Nyro's earlier work) but Golden has an oddness that puts her in a class by herself. Christgau liked her '71 self-titled album better but I haven't heard that one.
After that 2nd lp she appears to have gone on to work as a back-up singer (for Carly Simon among others) and record producer.

There's a poem about Motor-Cycle Michael on the back of the record (images included in link below) that starts with, "Michael was a siren and a street god...and he said chicks called him Lucifer, beacuse when he got wasted one eye would nod out in the corner...and when I wasn't riding his truth machine, anabell and johnny and me...would go down to the eastside docks and watch the jive sun do the boogaloo on the water..." That should give you as good idea as anything about what the record is like. Perhaps the song titles will help too:

(1) Gonna Fay's, (2) A Lot Like Lucifer (Celia Said Long Time Loser), (3) The Space Queens (Silky Is Sad), (4) Who Are Your Friends, (5) Get Together (With Yourself), (6) You Can Find Him

Enjoy the music here


Anonymous Anonymous said...

there is a sugestion...
tell me about it...
see you

Fernando Costa

5:58 PM  
Blogger Scott Soriano said...

hello -

scott from crud crud here. thought you might wanna check out my new one

10:31 PM  
Blogger Max said...

Hi Scott,
Gibble Gabble is already on my list of links to add.

& Fernando,
Not sure if your comment constitutes spam but I'll leave--you should allow downloads of your songs if you want more people to listen.

7:44 AM  
Blogger sturgut said...

It will be nice to see you here :


4:54 PM  
Anonymous Cash said...

Hi Max,

You've got some truly bizarre stuff. Thanks for doing all the grunt work so we web thieves can enjoy the fruits. Love those 60s/70s oddities.
MANY MANY thanks again.

12:12 AM  
Blogger MUDDY BOOGERS said...

fucking odd coincidence! i was going to post this exact record next.thanks for the comments.looks like i'll have to cop a few of your post.

6:43 PM  
Blogger adma said...

I think you're dealing with something more "Helter Skelter" portentous than you realize--'way back in September of 2001, it was appropriated as a 9/11 metaphor.


"...and yet, self-consciously affirmed art's no match for the shellshockingly lurid... I'm left thinking, instead, of the 1969 Lotti Golden album "Motor-Cycle" which, in the name of some kind of perverse Midnight Cowboy-era Piaf-of-Gotham schtick, takes Laura Nyro a step or two further than really necessary, and then sends her hurtling pointblank into the Velvet Underground, exploding in one huge fireball --a musical Ground Zero if ever there was one..."

Also note the subheading in the "Post-Transcendence" chapter: "She's A Lot Like Lucifer".

4:32 PM  
Blogger Max said...


When you refer to "Helter Skelter" I assume you're talking about the Manson family's interpretation of the song & the subsequent events. While this is an interesting quote about the Golden album, I think it would be beyond bizarre if the terrorists on 9/11 were listening to Lotti Golden. Thanks though for the quote.


1:02 PM  
Blogger adma said...

Obviously they wouldn't--in fact, it may more properly be an inversion of the "Helter Skelter" metaphor. That is, not the album's influence on the event, but the event's invocation of the album, as if the rather flabbergasting WTFness of the latter somehow foretold the former.

By that measure, it's definitely a disc that deserves more of a cult following than it's had--or, under the circumstances, maybe not.

6:35 PM  
Blogger Max said...

Well it seems to have had more downloads than any previous post (in part thanks to the links from the WFMU blogs) so perhaps its cult following is growing & maybe it even touches on some subconscious recognition of 9/11 trauma. Or maybe it's just a really cool record.

7:27 PM  
Blogger adma said...

Given the nature of the series of pieces where that quote came from, it may be less a matter of 9/11 trauma than of 9/11 Dada, so to speak. (IOW if, as WFMU suggests, the music tosses in everything including the kitchen sink, then said kitchen sink must be signed R. Mutt. "Really cool record" truly understates the case--everyone I've played the album for seems to go away wondering what hit them. And that includes your garden-variety Scott Walker & Syd Barrett afficionados.)

A web search indicates that "Motor-Cycle" was a formative influence on Cree Summer, of all people...

4:46 PM  
Blogger adma said...

Apropos to all, this was just described to me as the intersection of Andy Kim + Lotti Golden


And, I agree. Really.

4:56 PM  
Anonymous qing said...

I'm sorry but she has a really, really irritating voice. Annoys me way too much for me to appreciate her music.


9:27 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have been listening to this off and on since it came out. 'Silky is Sad' is my favorite track for what it is worth. What struck me when I first heard it was what an honest set of songs this is. They seem to tell about her life and friends with a direct intimate voice. In this sense she is more like Lady Day or Piaf than she is like most of her contemporaries. What she might occasionally lack in pop appeal, she makes up for with strength and honesty.


6:20 PM  
Blogger Carson Kreiger said...

I found your site when I happened upon http://hillaryclintonarmy.blogspot.com/ where Lotti Golden's LP "Motor-Cycle" was recently posted and received lots of comments--some very informative. One of the posters referred to Play It Again Max, so I thought many of you (including Max!) might enjoy reading the comments on hillaryclintonarmy.
As a fan of Golden's work-- (the lyrics read like poetry) I'd really like Atlantic to reissue the album on CD.

10:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Adama's reference to 9/11 dada vs. 9/11 trauma (LOL) struck me as quite clever--just wanted to mention. I was impressed with all of these thoughtful comments regarding Ms. Golden's Atlantic LP "Motor-Cycle."
For my 2 cents (haven't adjusted for inflation) Golden's "Motor-Cycle" LP is so far ahead of its time that it is just now becoming appreciated for its balls. Also, I'd like to shed some light on the often-debated kitchen sink factor. Listening to Golden's LP, is like watching a film--the lyrics and the story line are predominant and the music, i.e. the tracks, are like the (film) score. Golden uses a variety of genres: rock, blues, jazz, cabaret, country etc. deliberately--in order to punctuate the action, but mostly to infuse irony or satire. The juxtaposition is, as far as I know, totally unique and I'll go out on a limb: it's sheer genius. All these years later, I still listen and can come away with a new insight. I've read on other sites and blog diaries that "Motor-Cycle" has become a big party record for DJs. Get in Golden's time machine and you're rocking at Andy Warhol's Factory. Hey--there's Lou Reed!

4:02 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Looks like Lotti Golden may have a website coming soon--there's a photo posted (she's on a motorcycle). I have to thank Max for starting this thread—he was on to Golden’s amazing LP early on, and now so many others have taken up the subject of Lotti Golden's "Motor-Cycle" most recently in Helmet Hair and Gutter, online zines.
Check out this tidbit, from a from a blog documenting Matt Sullivan's travels in London: "Martin plays some more rad LPs - Lotti Golden - “Motor-Cycle” (Atlantic, compliments of Jet Set in Tokyo!), Rufus Harley - gospel soul on the bagpipes. I’ve never heard anything like it." (http://www.lightintheattic.net/?p=753)
Both artists on Atlantic--that's the connection, and both are not the same old cliché. I'm glad that Golden's "Motor-Cycle" is being listened to by a whole new generation of music fans. The longevity of her LP is uncanny-it had a cult following for years, and is exponentially expanding since the Internet. There's never been another LP remotely like it.

6:20 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Max--thanks for this posting Lotti Golden's amazing "Motorcycle" LP on Atlantic. Your site was among the first, showing your excellent taste in the rare and unusual--which is rare and unusual in these fairly mundane, artistically tame times. (Delorean agrees on his blogspot: "I look forward to a time when labels will once again release hard-driving soul albums that play out like one long, campy musical. I guess R. Kelly’s episodic soap opera “Trapped in the Closet Pts. 1-whatever” is sort of in the ballpark, but... Lotti Golden leads us into the bizarre excursions of the late-’60s underground freaks." Labels are basically releasing very little of anything interesting now that the music business is in the tank, and artists have a lot to deal with; self-promoting online takes away from time formerly used to create. In the old days, fans could look forward to an artist's 3rd, 4th 5th LP on a label. There's no money or inclination today. Since music fans are going through archives to find musical gems with integrity, artistry and originality, Atlantic Records, for example, should reissue Lotti Golden's "Motor-Cycle." (Rossogood)

3:37 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hope we get to hear from Lotti Golden in 2010. Also, Atlantic would be wise to reissue "Motor-Cycle" on CD in 2010. A lot of fans would buy it--not ony dowload. It's hard to fathom how these record lables don't know what's up online. If they had earned royalties for every Golden LP download, they'd actually have a success! But they'd rather sue students and grandmothers than reissue a record on CD that has thousands of fans. Amazingly stupid. Happy New Year to all!

11:17 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just listened to Lotti Golden (Motorcycle) and I'm blown away. This is good!

3:23 PM  
Blogger Carmen said...

"Motor-Cycle" by Lotti Golden is more encrypted than I'd realized. There are many ways to listen--from entry level to advanced. Although I'd heard the LP some time ago, and thought the lyrics were practically unparalleled in originality and brilliance, I now notice Golden's religious metaphors are central to her theme—resurrection, renewal, etc. (Her boyfriend Michael (angel) later becomes Lucifer, in the epic good vs. evil struggle that's been the formula for blockbuster films.) The last song "You Can Find Him" is like a Buddhist Baptist revival with Che in attendance, and the Resurrection reenacted on suburban lawn. Golden reminds us that religious movements, like personal awakenings, arise in a time and place that makes for fertile thought, and there was plenty to go around in Golden's world.

5:56 PM  
Blogger Carmen said...

"Motor-Cycle" by Lotti Golden is more encrypted than I'd realized. There are many ways to listen--from entry level to advanced. Although I'd heard the LP some time ago, and thought the lyrics were practically unparalleled in originality and brilliance, I now notice Golden's religious metaphors are central to promoting her theme—resurrection, renewal, self-discovery, etc. (Her boyfriend Michael (angel) later becomes Lucifer, in the epic good vs. evil struggle that's been the formula for blockbuster films.) The last song "You Can Find Him" is like a Buddhist Baptist revival with Che in attendance, and the Resurrection reenacted on suburban lawn. Golden reminds us that religious movements, like personal awakenings, arise in a time and place that makes for fertile thought, and there was plenty to go around in Golden's world.

5:56 PM  
Blogger csartsong said...

Just heard "Motor-Cycle" by Lotti Golden. Thanks to Max for the recommendation. Golden's record is revolutionary, I think, even for its time. Lyrically, she's unique regarding the subject matter she covers. Golden's singing is very soulful and real-without all of the studio tricks used now. "Silky is Sad" is a great track/song.

9:41 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is interesting. I came across a compilation LP on Atlantic UK, "Funkin' the Ghetto" with an impressive line up of artists including-King Curtis, Mongo Santamaria, Donny Hathaway, Yusef Latif, and Roy Ayers---and Lotti Golden, the only female artist on the LP, singing a cover of a soul/funk song! Maybe UK Atlantic is more proactive than here in the US (seems like it) 'cause I'm still waiting for "Motor-Cycle' on CD. It's a crime that it hasn't been reissued at this point. So many just average LPs get reissued and can be accessed on iTunes.

10:44 PM  
Blogger Max said...

Was it her recording of "Sock it to me baby/It's your thing"? That's available online here:
along with some later work she produced/performed on.

If that isn't the track you found, I'd love to hear it if you're inclined to post it.

5:34 AM  
Blogger John said...

Max, you posted Lotti Golden's epic "Motor-Cycle" (Atlantic Records) quite early on. You have a knack for spotting the good stuff; Golden's work has generated much discussion, as it should. This LP is highly experimental--one of the early concept LP's where all of the songs add up to one story. Golden extended the length of the songs, sometimes with long instrumentals like jazz artist--Yusif Latif, or the Grateful Dead. I believe Golden's LP is one of the top LPs in the rock pantheon. Wish she would've gotten more credit for such a groundbreaking work. I did read though, that the LP got major critical acclaim, but the record company failed to promote it.

3:04 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

New interview out with Lotti Golden on Helmet Hair Magazine.com

"HH is thrilled to feature an interview with Lotti Golden as she breaks her silence on life, music and motorcycles for the first time in decades." Go to

Check it out!

11:39 AM  
Blogger swanavala said...

Just read the above mentioned interview. Great stuff! Also,the 2010 photo of Lotti Golden in a white beret and shades, is very cool. There's a gallery where you can view photos from '69, when "Motor-Cycle" was released. Golden still looks amazing, i.e. sexy-beautiful. Let's have "Motor-Cycle" on CD already! Downloads are OK but some fans want to support the artist. I'd buy the sucker--give me a booklet with more juicy bits--like some memoir type thing, photos then and now. Then print the (killer) lyrics. Do any of these record companies have someone checking what's hot online? Guess not.So they continue to go down the tubes. Max, thank you for posting Lotti Golden. Can't wait for her Wikipedia page!

2:23 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just found the interview. Really enjoyed reading it. BTW, Max's comments about the LP are right on target.

9:13 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just saw Lotti Golden's interview in the 2010 Oct-Dec issue of the online zine Helmet Hair. Amazing! Thanks for being one of the first to introduce Motor-Cycle, a unique album--a veritable time capsule, and a fascinating window into the late 60's counterculture. There's a lot to be gleaned from Golden's lyrics. Max-you are a visionary!

6:12 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Max--hope all is well! Just want to let you and fans know that Lotti Golden has a Wikipedia page. It's very informative--cool photos! Check it out. Maybe you can write something about it.

9:43 PM  
Blogger Varkola said...

I recently discovered Lotti Golden's "Motor-Cycle" LP. I'm in love.

10:43 PM  
Blogger limboseed said...

I second your comment, Varkola. I'm pretty blown away by Ms. Golden's album. I recently listened to "Motor-Cycle," from the first song to the last; it was like reading a great book--a real page turner.

9:27 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Lotti Golden's "Motor-Cycle" is really like no other rock LP. I'm lucky to own a copy which is of excellent sound quality. Lately, some songs like "Motorcycle Michael" have been uploaded to YouTube and there seems to be no regard for the quality of sound. I'm sure the ones who upload are well-intended, but they should try a little harder to represent the true quality of artists.

11:48 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Check out the new rock photo journalism book by Rolling Stone's first photographer, Baron Wolman, "Every Picture Tells A Story--The Rolling Stone Years." There are wonderful photos from Mr. Wolman's private collection of Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, Mick Jagger, and guest what--a gorgeous photo of Lotti Golden! The book is an all access pass to the music that changed the world.

10:27 AM  
Blogger trotonski said...

Hey Max. You were one of the first to post on Lotti Golden's "Motor-Cycle." Just heard the whole LP and yes, it is that good! Thanks.

2:23 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Motor-Cycle" is a great LP--just discovered--had been told a lot. Lives up to its outrageous reputation. You see the movie in your head the whole time. Great material for a film

12:20 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

As good as anyone says it is. It is. "Motor-Cycle" great music that would work as a movie. The stories are coo. Unique.

12:22 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great album, unique in rock of the late 60's, still works in 2013. I think it would make a cool film. Lots of potential for capturing a new generation.

12:27 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

its still a good link..get it!

11:05 AM  

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