Slip Inside This House: MP3s from S.J. and the Crossroads and the Six Pents
The history of white garage rockers influenced by black soul screamers and blues guitarists is as deep as the ocean: Elvis, the Rolling Stones, Zeppelin all made their mountains of cash off of black music, and most of them laid down tons of cover versions of the best songs they could find. Allen Toussaint’s “Get Out of My Life Woman,” about ending things with his devil-woman ladyfriend may be one the best examples.
Originally written and recorded by Toussaint, Lee Dorsey also had a hit with it, and garage groups like the Leaves and S.J. and the Crossroads loved to cover it. Still, Crossroads take on this tune has always stood out to me. No other version I know has the same piss and fire you might expect to hear in a song about telling your lady to hit the road.
The Crossroads were based in Beaumont, where they stayed busy playing around the Golden Triangle area and got regular local radio play. They became a mainstay at many local clubs and school dances and recorded six singles; 1968’s “Get Out of My Life” was their last. After numerous lineup shifts and draft card numbers being called, the Crossroads called it quits.
Losing your lady is generally not a good experience, so these kind-hearted Houstonians in the Six Pents recorded a garage PSA to warn other guys they better keep themselves in line or “You’ll lose your girl too.” Not to be confused with Thee Sixpence from California, or the Sixpence from Detroit, or Six Pence from Louisville (or, later, Sixpence None the Richer from New Braunfels and Nashville) released three singles, including the smoking “She Lied” on the Kidd label.
In 1967 the band changed its name to the Sixpentz to distinguish itself from the other groups and recorded two singles for the Brent label, including a version of Fever Tree’s “Imitation Situation.” That wasn’t exactly much of a change, so it then changed its name to The Fun and Games Commission. By that time the group had moved on to a poppier sound, recording the album Elephant Candy for Uni. Singer and guitarist Rock Romano went on to form both Dr. Rockit and Sisters of Mercy. – Brett Koshkin