Bohemos – Life Goes On (Space Records, 1979)
It’s been over a decade since I first shared the self-titled album by Marc Mundy with my readers. The obscurity from 1971 tugged at my heartstrings and I became an immediate fan/champion of it. I would preach the gospel Marc Mundy at every opportunity. On the Cargo Culte Audio Filed Report, I sang its praises. I bought every used copy of the CD that popped up around town and sent them to friends. When I opened a Discogs account it was the first item I placed in my “Wantlist”. I cannot speak more highly of that album. It’s heartwarming and heartrending in equal measure. It has the unusual distinction of being able to vacillate — sometimes within the same verse — between hopeful and devastated. And it definitely skews towards the tragic, with song titles ranging from the despondent “Our Love Can Never Be” to the scorned “Don’t Love Me Anymore” to the reconciliatory “I’m Crying Your Name.” It’s a perfect album. There, I said it.
You can imagine my stunned surprise, then, when I recently came across an unusually obscure album. I stumbled upon it while going through some records that belonged to friend-of-the-blog AZ.
“Bohemos,” I thought myself. “Looks dumb.”
I figured I’d give it a quick check to see if the album had any monetary value.
“Like Marc Mundy on Prozac?!” I was immediately smitten. As I didn’t have a turntable handy, I had to settle for a YouTube video of an old single somebody transferred. The first minute or so was pretty “meh,” but once “Mia” started (around the 1:15 mark of that video) I was hooked. There was no way this album wasn’t coming home with me to make a digital transfer.
“Mia, this name is light of my life / Mia, it gives me strength to live / Mia, this name is joy of my life / Mia, it’s fire in my heart / I know the girl whose name I always say / Once to myself / Once to my friends / I always say that happy name / All the time / I want to think of you / Your sweet name / I want to say to you / Mia…”
It’s perfect. It sounds like a Eurovision Song Contest entry, with an elementary-school-at-best grasp on the English language. And these guys, the Ceha’s (Walter and Jerry) actually come up with some really cool chord changes or vocal/guitar/organ melodies. They’re fleeting, though. In the aforementioned “Mia,” the frenetic energy of the “All the time…I want to think of you” lines over the rushed drumming and repeated chords make for a cool little transition back into the verse melody. Those moments pop up all over this album. Just when you think you’re listening to some goofy Eurovision tune you’ll hear something that makes you think, “Yes! This actually rocks!” It’s like hearing “Substitute” by Clout for the first time, over and over again.
So, yeah. The main players here are Jerry and Walter Ceha. Walter gets all the writing credits, as well as organ, bass, guitar, and vocals. Jerry is listed as the drummer, guitarist (acoustic and electric) and shares vocalist duties. The liner notes are riddled with run-on sentences and unusual punctuation. They state, “Although today’s music scene may already have a great enough variety of artists and their music to satisfy most young fans, we think that this album — first from Bohemos — is well worth attention from all who simply love music, as well as from those who listen to enrich their musical experience. Bohemos, Walter on organ and Jerry on guitar, both of whom play the other instruments heard here as well, have a highly individual approach toward the contemporary sound, yet one which is easy to assimilate. Whether its a real rocker or a soft tune there is always something there that makes it a little more than a simple song. Indeed, Bohemos’ versatility as musicians, songwriters and arrangers, is what makes this album, in its own very special way, quite an unusual musical happening. Just relax and listen — hope you’ll enjoy it every time you put it on!”
Other than that, what do we know about this? Nothing! Try Googling the names of the Bohemos and you’ll likely find what I quickly found — there sure is a lot of porn on the Internet. There’s nothing on “Space Records Corporation” at 521 Fifth Avenue in New York (now home to Urban Outfitters and a 39-story office building). The only two people involved who we know actually exist are photographer Sheila Abramson and engineer Simon Andrews. You’d best believe I’m tracking those two down for more information.
Check it out. Let me know what you think. Is it as good as I think it is? Am I insane? Do you know more about this album? Leave a comment and let’s gush about how much we love Bohemos.
Life Goes On
(Space Records, 1979)
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