Very few people outside of the inner circle of the music industry's elite understand the significance of the all-too-short career of the Cocktail Nuts. The midwestern jazz quintet toured relentlessly throughout the mid-50's and, with an LP's worth of original material on tape and a national distribution deal with the Planters label (a major contender at the time), the group seemed poised for success if not for the untimely death of singer and song-writer Pat Stachio due to a boating accident in Kansas during early 1958. The group, whose members' personalities were none too stable to begin with, soon disbanded with the loss of their leader.
The Planters tapes remained undisturbed until 1963 at which time they were shipped to London after Planters was purchased by the behemoth rock-and-roll label, Hickory. Around 1968 a hot new producer with the label, Al Monjoy, was given the assignment to help shape the initial recording efforts of the newly formed group The Teetles (they soon changed their name to Led Zeppelin) into something that was fresh, invigorating and simply earth-shattering. Although ten years later his production experiments would be hailed as the very first Disco recordings, in 1968 Monjoy's bosses declared that he had failed miserably and proceeded to unceremoniously fire him.
Not much is known about Monjoy afterwards except that he absconded with an armful of master tapes labeled "Planters" from the back of the Hickory vault, probably out of revenge, and that he lived lavishly from past earnings over the next decade, throwing wild parties on both sides of the Atlantic and befriending both established and rising Rock and Punk stars. As the pace of the parties accelerated and Monjoy descended into the hell-hole of alcoholism he began to show-off his stolen tapes and force his guests to listen to them. Monjoy probably did not even notice that the tapes were gradually disappearing one at a time, and by the day of his death from an overdose of screwdrivers (on the same date as John Bonham's similarly tragic death... truth really is stranger than fiction), Monjoy's tapes were unaccounted for.
It is only now, in the year 2000, that we may fully appreciate the impact the Cocktail Nuts had upon the Rock and Punk scenes over the last three decades. It seems that in 1998 the New York Rap label Shell Shocked bought the nearly defunct (or "defunked" as they claim) Hickory label for mere peanuts and hired a team of experts to inventory their purchase. These experts happened upon a set of tapes labeled "Cocktail Nuts 1958 - Backup" and soon realized that they had discovered a musical gold mine worth millions to their employers... for upon scutiny of the tracks on these tapes it was clear that every song had been later recorded, without proper credit, by the Rock and Punk icons of our era! Lawsuits are now weaving their way through the courts and decisions may be years away unless settlements occur. However, the final outcomes seem certain in favor of Shell Shocked since the songs' publishing rights accompanied the purchase of Hickory.
And what of the original Cocktail Nuts members.. are they destined to collect their due in some senior citizens homes in the midwest? Unfortunately not, for misfortune continued to hound the members... Cashew Crawford developed acute psychosis after Pat Stachio's death and lived in the nut house until his demise in 1972... Mac A. Damia was mudered by a blow to the groin in 1971 by the infamous Sledgehammer Serial Killer... Salty Sachse left music to work as a cook at the Waffle House and died a ghastly death by asphyxiating on peanut butter in 1972... and Johnny Brazille died from an allergic reaction to almonds during his honeymoon in Bastogne in 1964. It is hoped that this CD, compiled from the backup tapes of the original 1957 recordings, will in some sense allow the members of the Cocktail Nuts to live on through their original visions, albeit alongside the perverted and distorted popular versions of their songs as arranged, recorded, and performed by so many of the now classic Rock and Punk stars of our recent past.
NOTE: None of the preceding is to be taken as anything other than pure fiction, but if you pretend it's true while you listen to the music, you'll have more fun.