Wednesday, July 22, 2009

The Nite Cats and The Rickshaw Five

The Nite Cats
7547 - Skip School Flu
7548 - Jungle

This record is listed in the Rockin' Country Style website, but name of the band is listed (mispelled) as The Nite Kaps. "Jungle"has been compiled on CD : "Jungle Exotica, Vol. 2" (Crypt Records). One reviewer says :
Dominated by tribal drums, and accented with jungle chants, this seems to be a credible though night clubbie vision of jungle lands. Like pre-Osibisa, it thunders rhythmically with many different drums, but is thankfully lacking the horns. All percussion and chants.

Both titles are also found on Encore 72/73, with a Washington D.C. address! Artists credit goes to
The Rickshaw Five And Hoo Mei, a Mai-Lin production recorded in Hong Kong. Same titles. But are they the same recordings? I think that the answer is yes, even I didn't have the chance (yet) to hear The Rickshaw Five version. Judging from the (poor) picture, the label has "the typical Rite look". It could be a Rite pressing. Possible Rite numbers are 12043/4 or 12063/4.

One description said :
"Skip School Flu" is a garage/surf tune with vocals along the "Summertime Blues" line along with great guitar work. "Jungle" is an rather odd but great instrumental that reminds me of the drums/space break at a Grateful Dead show mixed with a little exotica. Again, great guitar and drums and some flute with feedback.
"Skip School Flu" seems to remain not compiled. Pre-Osibisa (?) or Grateful Dead show reminiscence (??), you decide :


  1. Hello, it's Jan. 2015, I just did a search on "Skip School Flu" and found your web site. I never heard the "Nite Cats'" version of this record (either side), but I know it's NOT the same as the Encore version, because I was the bass player on the later version! It was made in a commercial recording studio in an office building on the north side of K Street N.W. in Washington, D.C., in March 1964 (yes, I am now 74). It was NOT recorded in Hong Kong, and there was no established group called the Rickshaw Five, just a few local musicians put together by the producers and an Asian girl singer named Mei-Lin (as "Hoo-Mei?"). The only one I knew was the drummer, a black dude in his 30's named Teddy Porterchinko. He was the owner of a local coffeehouse where I used to hang out at night and play his stand-up bass in jazz jam sessions. He was asked to help with this recording, and had me bring along my German-made Framus electric bass (it was cheap, but all I could afford, which is why it sounds so "muddy" on the recording). The guitar player and singers had sheet music, but I only played by ear--you can hear me screw up the key changes in the bridge and the 3rd verse. When I asked for another take, the producer said "Don't worry about it, it's only rock & roll--nobody'll notice!" The flip side, "Jungle," was a total unrehearsed, unscored jam led by the drummer. The whole thing was a sham, and I never got paid (all I got was a copy of the record, later). I'm running out of space for this comment, but anyone who wants to know more details can contact me at:

    1. Hello, it's me the bass player again, with a correction: I just re-read my comment and realized I misspelled the name of the girl singer -- it should be Mai-Lin, as in "A Mai-Lin Production" on the record label. It's also that way on another contract I signed with them, to overdub a bass line in the same studio on a song previously recorded by her. That was the only one I got paid for--the others were conditional on them selling a certain number of records, but we were told they weren't released in the US, just Asia.