#Love Potion No 9

I took my troubles down to Madame Rue
You know that gypsy with the gold-capped tooth
She’s got a pad down on Thirty-Fourth and Vine
Sellin’ little bottles of Love Potion Number Nine

I told her that I was a flop with chicks
I’d been this way since 1956
She looked at my palm and she made a magic sign
She said “What you need is Love Potion Number Nine”

She bent down and turned around and gave me a wink
She said “I’m gonna make it up right here in the sink”
It smelled like turpentine, it looked like India Ink
I held my nose, I closed my eyes, I took a drink

I didn’t know if it was day or night
I started kissin’ everything in sight
But when I kissed a cop down on Thirty-Fourth and Vine
He broke my little bottle of Love Potion Number Nine


I held my nose, I closed my eyes, I took a drink

I didn’t know if it was day or night
I started kissin’ everything in sight
But when I kissed a cop down on Thirty-Fourth and Vine
He broke my little bottle of Love Potion Number Nine
Love Potion Number Nine
Love Potion Number Nine
Love Potion Number Nine



The Searchers, a beat group from Liverpool, had a hit with Love Potion No 9 in the UK and US though it had already been popularized in the United States by the do-wop band The Clovers [1959] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qTjs7a9l0hM


Leiber and Stoller [circa 1970s]

The song writing team of Leiber and Stoller who began writing together in 1950 at aged 17, were writer/composers that penned Elvis’s  early hit “Hounddog” and the Beatles cover “Kansas City” [original sung by Little Willie Littlefield in 1952]. They also wrote I’m A Hog For You (Baby) recorded by several groups including the popular Scottish group, “Johnny and the Copycats” https://scotbeat.wordpress.com/tag/johnny-and-the-copy-cats/. Don’t have the Copycat’s version currently but another group they liked sharing a billing with covered the tune around the same time: The Kinks [1964]  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EqvBgTtq_eg

The writers played an important part in the “birth of British blues rock… When you hear about early British bands playing early American rock & roll before the Beatles broke, Leiber-Stoller songs were a great part of what they played. This included the Beatles themselves whose recording debut in January 1961 (famously rejected by Decca) included covers of the Coasters’, “Searchin” and “Cool Cats”, both written in the 50s, as mentioned, by Leiber-Stoller.” http://paulmerryblues.blogspot.co.uk/2014/09/perhaps-greatest-rock-roll-song-writers_5  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jerry_Leiber_and_Mike_Stoller

Love Potion No 9 came to mind for me years after the Searchers release it…

I knew a long-haired vegan guy who digested some “magic” mushrooms at a music festival and began dancing about next to the stage where an African group was performing at an outdoor folk festival. He was amongst a crowd of spectators who were asked to back up by police according to a safety rule at the event. When the cop approached, my somewhat intoxicated friend had his hands up doing a Sufi “twirl” and instead of complying, gave the officer a kiss and hug. Perhaps the officer was not amused… He didn’t get his “love potion” broken but spent a night in the “pokie” [a jail cell] where he slept it off…



My research began in 2007 as a visitor to the north of Scotland. Growing up a few miles from San Francisco, I would frequent the active music scene on weekends besides being a fan of British BEAT music and never missing Shindig! on television. When first visiting the small community of Elgin in 2007, I was surprise to learn how the Beatles and many other vocalist and musicians came to perform during the early days of their careers. In the early 1950s, Albert Bonici began promoting dances though it had been an ambition since his teenage years. When he and Henry Robertson co-organized a string of jazz dances in the north Scotland, they could not have predicted the enormous success of the venture. Albert Bonici became one of the most respected promoters in the UK having arranged a high volumn of music venues throughout the north of Scotland which delighted music lovers during the height of the jazz and beat music era. Whilst known for booking the Beatles at the beginning of their 1963 tours, Albert Bonici brought most of the top British acts to north-east Scotland besides working with Scottish musicians to boost their careers. SCOTBEAT was created to share a bit of history about the BEAT years in Scotland and also a tribute to a man with a vision who, with the help of his family and staff, created a happening that is still fondly remembered by those who attended dances and concerts. Albert A Bonici hosted many up and coming bands who went on to gain international acclaim for their contributions. Besides other local resources and interviews, SCOTBEAT presents exclusive photos, adverts, and documents from the A Bonici Archives [circa 1960s]. Unless otherwise agreed, materials are not to be used for financial gain and ask that you respect the terms below. Materials presented are not to be used for financial gain without consent. © 2014-2019 SCOTBEAT.wordpress.com. All rights reserved. No part of this web site may be copied, redistributed, broadcast or published in any form without crediting this blog and/or copyright websites mentioned. All correspondence, flyers, programs, and photos from the Bonici Archives are not to appear in print other than through the propietor of SCOTBEAT. Use of the site signifies your agreement to all of these terms without condition. Please reference https://scotbeat.wordpress.com when sharing materials found here as the site is continuously updated to present the subject matter accurately and as a historical resource. Thank you.

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Posted in 1960's pop music

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