Wax Poetics, the National Geographic of record collectors has released a 10 minute documentary on the funk combo East of Underground. Six drafted service members stationed in Germany made up the band. They tied for first place in a talent show performing tight covers of funk and soul tunes. They recorded in a radio station. Only a couple copies of the record were pressed by the Army. The vinyl was discovered, coveted and then shared thanks to a re-release by Wax Poetics in the late 2000s.
East of Underground from Wax Poetics on Vimeo.
A few thoughts about the video.
–> Lewis Hitt, the guitar player is the only band member who has come forward. He provides some cool insights. I liked his story about the lead singer’s Afro and a visiting general.
–> Given that Hitt implies that most of the songs were chosen because the band was critical of the war in Vietnam, it is interesting that the Curtis Mayfield cover:”(Don’t Worry) if there’s Hell below, we’re all gonna go” gets a four minute video accompanied by helicopter gunship footage.