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When considering Grimwood, it’d be a mistake to not also give thought to Microminiature Love. Recorded in ‘68 for Sire, MML languished unreleased until the spring of 2002, when we unearthed it swank on wax (later reissued as a Sub Pop CD). Called the greatest psych record of the 60s by more than a few, it’s no stretch to say that had it materialized, it would’ve altered the lay of the land. Though for various reasons still unclear, the deal fell apart and the band split. Perhaps this was the first in a seemingly endless series of cruel blows for Yonkers. He retreated, and recorded Grimwood.
As is said all too often about all too many recs, this is intensely private music. While not immediately recognizable as possessing the radical visionary qualities as MML, there is nevertheless a miracle at work. Usually there is a distance between singer / song. Here the distance is completely revoked. There is an immediate, definite coinciding between Yonkers and his Grimwood.
Yonkers suffered a debilitating back injury in a warehouse accident in ‘71 when a half-ton of scrap metal fell on him. He had strong allergic reactions to a chemical that was injected into his spinal cord in ’73, and he almost gave up the ghost. That caused a serious, life long condition called adhesive arachnoiditis. For awhile he retired from music. Though recorded in ’69, Yonkers privately released Grimwood in ’74, along with 3 other recs: Goodby Sunball (recorded in ’71), Michael Lee Yonkers (’72) and a duo with Jim Woehrle (‘73), Borders of My Mind. If they sold at all, they sold horribly. There is a photo inside Sub Pop’s MML CD of yonkers throwing copies of Grimwood up in the air, as they’d seemingly become disposable, as well as a heavy burden to lug around. Enterprising rec collectors have had a run on Grimwood for some time and it’s been impossible to affordably obtain. So here it is, remastered, digitized and priced for the people…