Recording some new music, then, was just a logical part of the continuum.
"Chris and I decided pretty early on to start writing originals and recording," Jordan recalls. "Each time we got back together for a tour and rehearsed we got into the recording studio, too. It definitely came together gradually, in spurts. Two or three songs at a time. We started about two and a half years go, and the last session for the album was a week's worth of work in October, and here it is."
Fantastic Plastic comes out Sept. 22, and Jordan considers "What The Hell's Going On" to be a slice of what most would consider classic Groovies sound. "We love the Rolling Stones and we loved the Beatles, so we tried to get inspired by those two realms of British music -- the pop side and the R&B/rock side," Jordan explains. "I figured, let's get started with a Stones-type tune from a guitar point of view, namely around the period of Exile On Main St. The idea of the song, basically, was 'What the hell IS going on?' Nobody knows what's going on. It's a real good phrase, an old-fashioned phrase from way back, but the way things are in the world today, I thought it was appropriate to say something like, 'Hey, things are pretty weird, what the hell IS going on.'"
Jordan painted the cover illustration for Fantastic Plastic as a homage to Mad magazine's late resident artist Jack Davis. The album features founding Groovies bassist George Alexander and latter-day drummer Victor Penalosa, along with Tubes drummer Prairie Prince and members of the Fabulous Thunderbirds, as well as covers of NRBQ's "I Want You Bad" and the Beau Brummels' "Don't Talk To Strangers." When the Groovies hit the road, meanwhile, Jordan and Wilson will be joined by bassist Chris von Sneidern and drummer Tony Sales, grandson of the late Soupy Sales. "Those guys are really, really professional," Jordan says. "We get along really well and they're having a ball and they know the tunes. Everybody sings in the band, so it's really good right now." The tour kicks off Aug. 22 in Worcester, Mass, with two U.S. legs and a European tour, and if Jordan has his way the group will remain a going concern for the foreseeable future.
"This is a big deal; We've been working towards this moment for, like, 50 years," Jordan says. "Basically we're doing what we've always been doing, trying to make a better record than the one we made before. When we started this thing up again we were obligated to do certain songs, but we're now at a point where we have a whole new set of original stuff, and I'm real excited about it. We've got more originals in the set now than we've had, ever. More people have been noticing us, too. We've been getting a lot of young girls at our shows in places like Sweden and Hollywood and the Midwest. As soon as the young kids se it and hear it they go, 'Oh, yeah, this is great.' That's very strange to us -- like, what the hell IS going on?' But we like it."
Flamin' Groovies Tour Dates
Tues., Aug 22 WORCESTER, MA Ralph's Diner
Wed., Aug 23 NEW HAVEN, CT Cafe Nine
Thurs., Aug 24 PHILADELPHIA, PA Johnny Brenda's
Fri., Aug 25 BROOKLYN, NY Rough Trade
Sat., Aug 26 WASHINGTON DC Hill Country Live
Thurs., Aug. 31 MALMO (SWE) (venue TBA)
Sat., Sept. 2 ROSKILDE (DK) Gutter City Festival
Mon., Sept. 4 LA CORUNA (SP) Garufa Club
Wed., Sept. 6 AVILES (SP) Niemayer
Thurs., Sept. 7 BILBAO (SP) Cafe Antzokia
Fri., Sept. 8 MADRID (SP) Sala Caracol
Sat., Sept. 9 SAIT BOIX (SP) Festival Altaveu
Tues., Sept. 12 TOULOUSE (FR) Connexion
Wed., Sept. 14 PARIS (FR) La Maroquinerie
Fri., Sept. 15 NANCY (FR) Chez Paulette
Sat., Sept. 16 MONTBELIARD (FR) Atelier Des Moles
Tues., Sept. 19 MANCHESTER (UK) Ruby Lounge
Wed., Sept. 20 BRISTOL (UK) The Fleece
Thurs., Sept. 21 LONDON (UK) Under the Bridge
Fri., Sept. 22 AMSTERDAM (NL) QFactory
Thurs., Oct. 19 CHICAGO, IL S.P.A.C.E. in Evanston
Fri., Oct. 20 NEWPORT, KY Southgate House Revival
Sat., Oct. 21 CLEVELAND, OH Beachland Ballroom
Wed., Oct 24 NASHVILLE, TN Basement East
Thurs., Oct 25 ST. LOUIS, MO Ready Room
Fri., Oct 26 KANSAS CITY, MO Knuckleheads