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Everlovin’ Man (Lynch/Lovett/Clyne/Humphreys/Anderson) and Sad Dark Eyes (Humphreys/Lovett/Lynch/Richards/Anderson) – The Loved Ones 1966

The Loved Ones were an exciting, erratic, and musically inventive ensemble with a sound somewhere between the Rolling Stones, Them, and the Animals. Their debut hit The Loved One was at once engagingly simple and artfully beguiling, it astounded local fans. In Gerry Humphreys the band possessed a dimpled, demonic doyen, with remarkable flair and vitality whose growling blues baritone and keening vocals set standards his contemporaries could not match, he imbued their lyrics with carnality, an emotional intensity, and their songs literally crackled with electricity.

The inspiration for the band’s name had been the Evelyn Waugh novel the Loved One, and by the time they had written another instant classic in Everlovin’ Man, they had taken their follow-up to The Loved One into the top ten, for their second national hit.

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Guitarist Rob Lovett has recalled that at 1.00am on the day they were to record this song he had developed some chord progressions and a rhythm that would anchor the song, the feel was a 4/4 beat with a waltz-like triplet ambience, reminiscent of Waltzing Matilda! Gerry penned the lyrics and keyboardist Ian Clyne completed the arrangement; at Humphreys suggestion Clyne opened proceedings with a baroque electric piano piece, which was followed by an eerie silence, then punctuated by Gerry’s primal scream, and followed by the full backing of the band, it sounded like no other Australian record before, or probably since.  

A bluesy classic from Gerry and the Loved Ones

Everlovin’ Man was another urgent, insistent, frenetic and bluesy vocal performance by Gerry Humphreys built around insistent organ riffs, a jazz-inspired rhythm guitar and driving percussion that was markedly different from their contemporaries, the lyrics were again imbued with just the right amount of earthiness as conveyed by their unique front man “I don’t need your lovin’, I don’t want your lovin’/I won’t have your lovin’, oh baby no more.”

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The band charted a course that often bordered on the eclectic fringe of non-mainstream popular music, on this song Gerry Humphreys vocals would have surprised and even frightened those who were unfamiliar with the original versions of the black man’s blues, particularly the gutteral carnality of a singer like Howlin’ Wolf. The Loved Ones nevertheless demanded the collective attention of the record-buying public, throughout their brief (two years) but glorious career.

The first major lineup change occurred in late 1966 when keyboard player Ian Clyne was sacked, he had taken responsibility for the much of the promotional and organizational work necessary for the band to succeed, given the reluctance of his bandmates to assist in these areas. He unfairly lost the confidence of his bandmates, and was harshly judged to be too closely aligned with the band’s manager Peter MacKennal, he was replaced by Treva Richards, but returned 25 years later to join the band on a national reunion tour.   

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Sad Dark Eyes, along with The Loved One and Everlovin’ Man, completed the trilogy of bona fide Australian rock classics for The Loved Ones when it hit #27 in December 1966 after being released prior to their debut album Magic Box.

The band were enjoying a break in Adelaide for two weeks prior to the opening of Big Daddy’s Disco there, and during this downtime Bob Dylan’s new album Blonde on Blonde was played incessantly by Gerry Humphreys, particularly Dylan’s 11-minute epic  Sad-Eyed Lady of the Lowlands, inspired by Dylan’s first wife Sara Lowndes, and that along with vast quantities of marijuana, influenced the lyrics of Sad Dark Eyes. The lyrics were more cryptic, mysterious and well, Dylanesque – “rings, gypsy faces, Spanish lace, sad dark eyes, with your words likr rhymes, and your voice like dimes…”,  the song was also interesting in that unlike their previous two hits it did not have a chorus. It was another inspired combination of surging music coloured by Lovett’s 12-string assault and Humphrey’s neurotic wail, Lovett again devised the chord progression and rhythms and Gerry the lyrics, they would soon release their debut album Magic Box, which has become a collector’s item.

Low budget, unimaginative music vid, Gerry thrived in live performances but seemed uncomfortable and disconnected in stagey mime-only clips like this one, still a great song.

It was a not a themed album but rather an eclectic compilation of their three hit songs, plus several other notable originals – the baroque elegance of Love Song, the Gothic mystery of Lovely Car and the swelling ebullient pop of A Love Like Ours. Nine of the songs included the word “love” in the title and several covers rounded off the album – Blueberry Hill, Shake Rattle and Roll, and Muddy Waters I Want You to Love Me.      


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The band was touring incessantly, recording and writing songs at the same time, in an era when band management was less than completely professional, as the pressure built, and the anticipated financial rewards did not materialize, the group was destined to fall apart, but their recorded legacy was impressive. A final tour of Western Australia left the band broke, they were very popular, but W&G had failed to get records into the stores to capitalise on the release of their album and their sold-out tour dates in the West.

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Hoodoo Gurus lead singer Dave Faulkner was inspired by the band “When I was 21 I walked into Bleecker Bob’s in NYC, which at the time was probably the coolest record shop on the planet,” Faulkner recalled,” Bleecker Bob himself didn’t suffer fools gladly, and when he noticed my Aussie accent the first thing he said was “You’re Australian- do you like The Loved Ones?” Lucky for me, I gave the right answer, otherwise, I reckon he would have turfed me out into the street…the Loved Ones Magic Box is one of the best Australian records ever made. It was their only album and it has never been out of print since it was released in 1967.No one has beaten it yet in my opinion.” 

In 2010 the Loved Ones were inducted into the ARIA Hall of Fame along with the Church, John Williamson, the Models and Johnny Young. Gerry Humphreys sadly passed away in 2005.

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