Dick Domane's daughter adds her own touch to the final album cover design.
DICK DOMANE, Dick Domane LP (1970, Map City)
Ignore the horrible cover, which looks like half the cast of Sigmund and the Sea Monsters threw up on it. And ignore Dick’s muttonchops, which beat up Mike Nesmith’s in a fistfight. It might not look like its got anything going for it (which is probably why it’s been ignored for nearly 40 years), but Dick Domane’s 1970 LP on the Map City label is actually a pretty nifty little slice of sunshine pop psych, if you can believe it. Your first clue is that label – Map City, home of such well-regarded (and rare) albums by the Yesterday’s Children, the Purple Image and the Blue Jays - who, by the way, back Dick up on this one. Yet those albums have been reissued, while poor Dick himself has gotten…well, Dick. Only one of his songs, “Bad Dreams,” made a compilation (Mystic Males), and that ain’t even his best song. Yet everyone who’s heard his album compares it favorably to other big orchestrated baroque popsike solo masterpieces like Del Shannon’s Adventures of Charles Westover, which, by the way, has also been reissued. So why is everyone Dicking around on Dick Domane?
Maybe it’s the green jello mold cover. Or the Mike Nesmith-on-steroids muttonchops. But it ain’t the music, that’s for sure. “Hey Don’t You Know” is a killer catchy pop song riding a whirlybird calliope rhythm, much like Tommy Roe’s “Dizzy,” and that was a big hit. “Sane One” is the kind of slinky soul pop number that would work magic on a dancefloor, while the orchestrated ballad “I’m Only Dreaming” sounds like a cross between a big Bee Gees number and a 1967 single by British freakbeat champs the Creation, thanks to a half-asleep swaying fuzz guitar which adds a bit of credence to the title. Let’s face it - the boy really does do a lot of dreaming.
So the next time you get up in front of the crowd at the Des Moine Bowl-a-Rama and someone yells out, “You’re a Dick!” – say thank you. And tell them if you can be only half as good as Dick, you’d consider that a compliment. Then, as you’re leaving the stage, dump a bright green Grasshopper on him, smack him on the head with a Mike Nesmith album and say, “Hey! Now who’s the Dick?”
SQUID POP METER SEZ: A somewhat queasy 6 out 10.
BEST TAKEN WITH: Pepto-Bismol, Dramamine and Two Catholic Priests from Brooklyn