Garage Gold #5: The Aldermen – House of Wax / In the Upper Room (1967)

Aldermen_labelThe Aldermen were from East Los Angeles, California and were part of the same scene as better-known acts Thee Midniters and Cannibal and The Headhunters.

The band would cover songs by the up and coming L.A. bands such as The Byrds and Love but were also influenced by the East Side sound that mixed R&B and doo-wop with a Latin sensibility.

Both sides of their 45 were composed by Chick Carlton, a song-writer and hustler who had also penned tunes for other local groups including The Sunday Funnies and The Enchantments, who offered his services after seeing The Aldermen play live in the hope that they could turn his songs into hits.

Aldermen_band‘House of Wax’ is a fuzz and Farfisa organ-fuelled swinger with great soulful vocals.

‘In the Upper Room’ is propelled along by a neat bassline and has a brief but cool keyboard break to finish. One thing you can say is that, on the strength of these two offerings at least, Mr. Carlton knew how to write a catchy song and The Aldermen did exemplary work in bringing his creations to life!

Reissues: the single has been reissued on vinyl; you can also find ‘House of Wax’ on East Side Revue Volume 2.

‘House of Wax’

‘In the Upper Room’

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2 thoughts on “Garage Gold #5: The Aldermen – House of Wax / In the Upper Room (1967)

  1. I (Greg Kricheff) played bass on “In The Upper Room”. I think “House Of Wax” was before I was in the group. Bruce Gilbert played the Farfisa and got me into the group when they needed a bass player. I had known Bruce since we were about seven. He still non-stop writes, records and performs. Getting into The Aldermen was a big thing for me. I think I was around sixteen or so and had been in awe of them for a while. Tad played lead guitar and it’s too bad that neither of these two songs really show him off. I remember how his work stood out — I was blown away by it before I was in the group. Performing somewhere in a band with that kind of lead guitar work was a big ego trip for me. Chick Carlton was a prolific writer, producer and performer. Super high energy — I always wondered how he got it.

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