Love Can't Be A One Way Deal/Guaranteed Love

MR 7351EP MR 7351EP

In California in the mid-sixties, with the British Invasion raging, having an authentic Englishman as the lead singer of your band was an ace in the hole that gave you an edge over the competition. Such was the case with Limey & the Yanks a quintet from Buena Park in Southern California's Orange County. Limey was young Steve Cook, and his Yanks by 1965 were guitarists Gregg DeLorto and Tim Gunne, bass player Bob Batman and drummer Wes Hunsinger. With his blonde Keith Relf-style hair, Steve was a striking front man who fortunately also possessed a decent voice, and with his father managing the group they were soon making waves throughout the area. A victory at a Battle of the Bands at the Hollywood Palladium put them on the map in Los Angeles, attracting the attention of producer Gary Paxton. By this time Wally Downing had joined on lead guitar, replacing Gregg DeLorto who had defected to the Spats. Paxton produced their debut single in late 1965, and it was released in January of the following year on his Starburst label. Paxton's business partner in Starburst was Lloyd Johnson, and the single's A-side was written by Lloyd's son Ken, who also recorded for Starburst with his group Ken & the Forth [sic] Dimension. Paxton had already produced a version of "Love Can't Be A One Way Deal", a couple of years earlier with the Rev-Lons, a girl group from Bakersfield, but the version by Limey & the Yanks took a completely different approach, turning it into a lovelorn garage number with a sound pitched somewhere between the Beau Brummels and the Beach Boys, with bright harmonies, mournful harmonica and a melodic twangy guitar solo. Swinging on a guitar hook based on Bobby Parker's "Watch Your Step", "Guaranteed Love", took a bluesier approach with a confident Limey vocal, stinging fuzz guitar, a concise harp solo and a rousing Bo Diddley-fied groove. The single was not a hit, but it added heft to the group's growing reputation. A second single, "Out of Sight, Out of Mind", was released in October, but it would be the group's last, although they did continue, through several lineup changes, into 1967. Limey's legacy lives on...