Brit rockers send arctic blast from the past to Pennsylvania musician

Posted: Thursday, January 17, 2008

In the late 1960s, a Berks County, Pa., rock band called The Triumphs cut 20 or so songs on a four-track recorder in a tiny home studio, hoping to land a record deal and a hit on the charts.

In 1969, Diamond Records did release a couple of singles by Pat Farrell and the Believers (as The Triumphs were rechristened by label co-founder Joe Kolsky), but lightning didn't strike. That would happen 38 years later.

On Dec. 3, U.K. indie-rock act Arctic Monkeys included a cover of Pat Farrell and the Believers' "Bad Woman" on its single, "Teddy Picker," with ex-Pulp member Richard Hawley on vocals.

The composer of the song, Pat Sickafus, who later came to be known as country performer Pat Garrett, had never heard of the Arctic Monkeys until a couple of weeks ago, but he likes the Brits' version of "Bad Woman."

"Oh, yeah, it rocks!" says Garrett, who sang and played bass on the original. "They used our production, the big bass sound, even our drum lick in the middle."

Asked about the original's inspiration, Garrett says, "I was probably being treated poorly by some female. ... I came up with the bass lick - it's almost like 'Peter Gunn,' only different - and the guys in the band worked on the arrangement."

Garrett found out about the cover version through Erik Lindgren, who in 1998 put out a Pat Farrell and the Believers compilation CD on his Internet-distributed label Arf Arf Records.

"The first thing I said was, 'Who wrote that song?'" laughs Garrett. "But I was quite impressed (Arctic Monkeys) gave us credit on their Web site."

How Arctic Monkeys came to record "Bad Woman" remains unknown. "I've sent them e-mails and told them, 'Thanks for cutting my song. I'd love to hear from you sometime,' but they never got back to me," says Garrett, who has had six songs on the Billboard charts, including "Sexy Ole Lady" in 1981 and "Cruisin' " in 1982, and whose song "Old Timers" was recorded by Hoyt Axton.

(The Arctic Monkeys' publicist, Laura Sadai, said the band "isn't doing any press right now.")

"Still," adds Garrett, "it's nice to have something come out of left field, especially when you've been hanging around so long."



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