the Muffets

Columbus, 1966-70 (from W. Virginia)

The Muffets, round 2, (if you don't understand this, please see the Muphets entry), started out as the Mojos in their original home towns of St. Albans and Hurricane, WV. The Mojos played teen dances at the local recreation center where they unveiled their own dance number, the Split Gut, which sadly failed to take the teen world by storm. In '65 the Mojos recorded a great two-side garage 45, "Go" b/w "What She's Done to Me", financed by the bass player's father. The record sold out it's 500 pressing (done at King) but the Mojos were able to play off it's success and get better gigs. In '67 they were caught at Chillicothe's Sugar Shack by Columbus talent swinger Scott Graves. Graves became their long distance manager, and provided the somewhat isolated Hurricaners with access to the latest sounds (by passing them new 45s) and equipment. After a few months Graves proposed that the band relocate to Columbus, and change their name to the Muffets. What the group didn't know was a 45 of Muphets recordings ("Cold Winds" b/w "My Money") had gotten some airplay and a band with that name could improve their booking status. The Mojos became the Muffets and learned to play the 45 as if it was their own. In the process of moving to Columbus, original bass player Paul Selan quit and Steve Farley joined. After re-establishing themselves, they recorded their next 45 for Counterpart down in Louisville. The breezy pop-psych "Heather Girl" was a big local hit, while the B side "Lost" gets a lot of action from 60s garage fans. "Heather" is never mentioned in the song, which was more or less a spontaneous lyrical creation, but was the name of Scott Graves' sister! The 45 got picked up for release by Laurie (but collectors take note - it was mot issued a Lauire catalog number, maybe some strange tax deal?). In '69 the Muffets recorded their 3rd 45 at Musicol. "Dance Dance Dance" was brought to the group by Scott Graves through some connection to the NYC songwriters. The flip, "Make It Alright", had been written by Joe Clatworthy back in a St. Albans bathroom during the Mojos period. The 45 is excellent on both sides - "Dance Dance Dance" borrows from "Little Bit O'Soul", perhaps a subconcious payback from NY to mid Ohio, and "Make It Alright" is the hardest rockin' Muffets track. Around this time Steve Farley left and Columbus native Gerald "Jerry" Rhodes replaced him. The Muffets played local clubs including Pandoras Box (hmmm, I think just about every town had a club with this name), the Hideaway, etc. The group recorded some additional songs, nearly an LPs worth, at Musicol in a more progressive style that were pressed onto acetate. Out of those recordings came two songs for a final Muffets 45s, but the band was going through some changes so they took A.G. Pym from a Poe story and became the A.G. Pyme Muffet Company. The recordings were released on Louisville's Rondo label. Mike Patterson, formerly of the Mayflower Proposition, joined on guitar and the group changed their name to Stone Jaw, a goof on a popular phrase of the time, "We're stoned y'all" (say it with a WV twang...). Stone Jaw marked the groups move from clubs to a hippie scene.