Boogie Knight — Paul Major on Toy Tiger, Hikes Point and points beyond

(Photo by Jeff Winterberg)

A short interview I conducted with the one-and-only Top Dollar, aka Paul Major of Endless Boogie, ran in this week’s LEO Weekly. Check it out here:

Louisville native, record dealer and guitar genius Paul Major of Endless Boogie chats with LEO Weekly about growing up in Louisville and about Endless Boogie’s second full-length record, Full House Head, due out July 20.

LEO: Talk a little bit about what memories you have of Louisville, especially concerts you saw or buying records.

Paul Major: One of my earliest memories is the sadly gone Toy Tiger sign at Bardstown Road and Goldsmith Lane. I grew up near there. I was in grade school (when) I heard my first fuzz guitars in 1966. As a kid, I went nuts, and my entire gear shifted. So every Saturday with my lawn-mowing money, I’d head up Bardstown Road and go to the head shops and the used record stores. Like Rivertown Records, I remember being one of the first ones. Just went up there and bought every obscure, weird-looking record I saw that might simulate what it was like to be trippin’ out. I remember getting my first copy of (the 13th Floor Elevators’) Easter Everywhere for 27 cents.

But the main difference back then was radio. That was a time when every genre of music competed on Top 40 radio, and you’d hear Deep Purple next to Frank Sinatra next to the Mamas & the Papas next to Claudine Longet. I remember that (Texas International recording artist) Bubble Puppy had a No. 1 hit in Louisville with “Hot Smoke and Sassafras,” and that was kind of a dud elsewhere. I used to sit with the AM transistor radio with little notebooks, and I had all these different categories for tones of the fuzz guitars.

LEO: Tell us about the new record, Full House Head. It’s not a huge departure from the first Endless Boogie record, Focus Level, which means it’s a good rock record.

PM: (One difference with Full House Head), it builds up a little bit with the guitar parts. It’s a little more just being totally spontaneous, but then throwing in some other stuff, with a couple of catchier numbers on there. It’s on No Quarter, so we’re looking forward to that. I just saw the cover art when I got back from Europe. People that have heard it so far are enthusiastic. (It’s an) all-time record for Endless Boogie: only two years to get something done.

Full House Head comes out on July 20th, on No Quarter. The full transcript of the interview will be posted soon.

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