Litter/ Lightning News

March 2001


The Litter have been on hiatus for most of 2000 while Zip Caplan was busy putting the finishing touches on his solo CD project. The new album entitled "Monsters and Heroes" ­ Zip Caplan and Cast of Thousands, has a projected release date of May 8, 2001 and will be available through mail order and in selected stores. The CD features numerous guest artists including Nokie Edwards of "The Ventures", Jim McCarty of "The Yardbirds and Joey Molland from "Badfinger" backing up Zip on instrumental rock versions of classic old Serial, TV Series and Horror movie Soundtrack scores.

The Litter having cancelled their original plans to release a new album in 2000 is now making arrangements to move forward with that project. Look for a new CD release sometime in late 2001 or early 2002, but donšt expect to catch the band live anytime soon as it has been decided they will concentrate on writing and recording rather than performing.

January 2000

Sorry it's been a while since the news page has been up-dated but The Litter has been on hiatus this fall while Zip Caplan has been working on his solo CD. The Litter has also taken this opportunity to write new material for the upcoming Distortions 2000 CD that will hopefully be a late 2000 release. The next Litter show will be at Lee's Liquor Lounge Sat. Jan. 15th at 9pm (this time is approx.) in Mpls. and there is a tentative date at the Minnesota Music cafe sometime in early 2000 with a Pepper Fog and Karma reunion.

The Litter also wants to officially welcome to the group their current drummer Joe Scanlan who actually started with the band back in Aug. at the Medina Ballroom benefit for Underbeats drummer Tom Nystrom. Joe is an old friend who has been in the music business a long time and besides being an excellent drummer he also has an amazing feel for the bands sound and style. The Litter has recently hooked up with a new booking agency so 2000 should be a year with a lot more Litter shows than in the past. Keep posted to this news page for the latest gig information as it will always be made available as soon as it comes in.

July 1999

The Litter will be performing at a benefit concert for Underbeats drummer Tom Nysrom who is recovering from a cancer operation. The event takes place on Sunday Aug. 29th at the Medina Ballroom from 2pm--8pm and also features The Underbeats, Del-Counts, Accents and many other Mpls favorites. The Litter will take the stage at 3:30pm for a half hour set.

On Sat. Sept. 4th this years Mill City Festival begins with an incredible line up of Minnesota groups from all eras. There will be a seperate stage outside on First Ave. for each decade represented from the 60's thru 90's. The Litter will appear inside the Fine Line Cafe at approx. 8pm Sat. night.

The current re-issues of both Distortions and $100 Fine are now available in stores and the sound quality is excellent. Arf Arf did a great job on re-mastering the CDs from the original master tapes and with all the extra bonus tracks these CDs are a bargain at the price. The Get-Hip vinyl re-issues of the original Distortions and $100 Fine are now available along with 2 45rpm's from Get--Hip with alternate versions of Action Woman and Somebody Help Me plus I'm a Man and the previously unreleased Hey Joe ( which is also a bonus track on the Distortions CD).

April 1999

The Litter have been in the recording studio lately working on the the next Litter album tentavely titled Distortions 2000. The concept is to get back to the same type of sound and material that made the original 1966 Distortions so popular with fans. With some new originals and covers of Who and Yardbirds tunes previously only heard at live Litter shows back in the 60's it should be an album worth waiting for since no release on this project is likely until well into next year.

Also in the studio throughout 1999, Zippy Caplan will be working on his first solo effort. The album will feature a literal who's who of Twin Cities musicians backing Caplan up on instrumental rock versions of old Serial and Horror movie soundtrack scores. The project is quite involved and Zip expects to finish and get it released sometime in 2000.

The next Litter performance will most likely be a show at the Medina Ballroom sometime in early summer and they will definately be appearing again at this years Mill City Festival held Labor Day weekend, this year playing a full 45 min. set.

The new re-issues of both Distortions and $100 Fine are now in stores and the quality of sound on both CDs is great. Distortions with 20 tracks and $100 Fine with 28 tracks are a bargain at the price considering all the previously unreleased bonus cuts included on both. Also due out this month from Get-Hip are newly pressed vinyl editions of Distortions and $100 Fine reproduced exactly as they originally appeared in 1966 and 1968. Soon to follow from Get-Hip are a couple of 45 vinyl editions of old Litter material including an alternate version of the bands signature tune Action Woman.

November 1998

The Litter will be one of the featured bands at the Cabooze on Sat.Dec. 12th for a Minnesota Hit-Makers Showcase. Also performing will be The Stillroven, Gypsy and in one of their last gigs before disbanding--Crow. Doors open at 7pm and music begins at 8pm The Litter are scheduled to go on at 10 pm.

A third night has been added to the Cave Stomp 3 60's Retro Show in New York. Featured bands on Fri. nite Nov. 20 are ? Mark & The Mysterians and The Chesterfield Kings. Sat. nite Nov. 21st featured bands are The Litter and The Remains. The third nite added is Sunday Nov. 22nd and the headliner is The Pretty Things.

Look for The Litter to play The Minnesota Music Cafe in Jan. '99-- the tentative date is Jan. 14th ( Thursday night). If this date changes it will be posted on this page. The gig is a CD release party for the new and definative re-issues of both Distortions and $100 Fine which were originally set to be released in Oct. with Live At Mirage and Re-Emerge but were delayed until after the first of the year. The two re-issues should be in stores and available through mail order by mid Jan.

The two new Litter CDs The Litter Live At Mirage 1990 and The Litter Re-Emerge are now out and should be in stores around the country. It has been brought to our attention however that in some areas people are having trouble finding copies. This hopefully will be remedied soon. In the meantime anyone wishing to purchase copies of these CDs can do so through this web site. Check our Merchandise page for details on ordering.

September 1998

The Litter will be featured Artists at Cave-Stomp 3 (the 3rd annual 60's Retro Show) in New York City on Nov. 21st 1998. Second billed to The Remains, The Litter will perform a 1 hr show at 10:30 pm Sat. night at the East Village venue Coney Island High. Also appearing for the event are ? and the Mysterians, The Chesterfield Kings, The Loons and 5 other bands. This show will be recorded and as with previous shows will be released on both Vinyl and CD- probably in the early part of 1999.

In Minneapolis coming up in Nov. or early Dec., The Litter will be at the Cabooze for a special showcase along with The Stillroven, Jokers Wild, Crow and Gypsy. The exact date will be posted on this page as soon as it is known. Litter fans can also look for an up coming date at Lees Liquor Lounge.

August 1998

As part of their Nuggets series, Rhino Records is releasing a 4 CD box set on September 15th which includes: Action Woman by The Litter. The project features over 100 groups from the 60's like The Electric Prunes, The Nazz, The Standells, Music Machine, Iron Butterfly and also includes The Castaways and Gestures..
June 1998

"The Litter Blues Band" is almost ready to begin playing clubs in and around the Twin Cities area. For any Litter fans who wish to hear the group play, the dates and venue names will be posted on this page as they become available. "The Litter" will also be playing at this year's Mill City Festival at the Target Center in downtown Minneapolis on September 6, 1998. (the Sunday before Labor Day) Other vintage bands appearing will be the "The Castaways", "The Underbeats", "The Escapades", "Froggy and His Friends", "The Fendermen", "The Trashmen", "The Hot-Half Dozen", "The High Spirits", "Stillroven" and many more.
June 1998

This summer sees the release of Volume 6 in the series of books on the Upper Midwest bands from the Golden Age. This series, called Lost and Found, is written by record collector and historian Jim Oldsberg. Vol. 6 has a complete chapter on both "The Litter" and Tom"Zippy" Caplan with never before seen photos and a recording history. Keep watching the Merchandise page on our site for availability and price.
May 1998

This fall will see the release of four new CD's from Arf Arf - the independant label that specializes in 1960's rock bands. All 4 CDs are by "The Litter"
  • the long awaited 1990 Mirage Re-union concert (also currently available on video)
  • the 1992 new studio album Re-Emerge
  • and the definative re-issues of both Distortions and $100 Fine which will once again be remastered this time to capture the original analog sound of the early vinyl LPs and will include all unreleased tracks by "The Litter" including the never before heard Larry Loofbourrow tapes recorded at Goldstar Studios in LA and Kaybank Studios in Minneapolis.

April 1998

Simitar has announced two new CD releases sometime later in 1998.

The first is called The Soma Story or The Best Of Soma Records. It will feature a lot of songs by the groups that made the label successful.

  • The Underbeats
  • The Accents
  • Gregory Dee and the Avantis
  • The Chancellors
  • The High Spirits
  • The Castaways
  • ...and more...
It features the early recordings of these groups previously only available on 45 rpm records and the highly collectable Big Hits of Mid-America series which are hard to find vinyl gems.

The Second release is the authorized re-issue of the original "Lightning" album released on vinyl in 1970 on P.I.P. Records. In addition to all the original tracks (re-mastered and re-mixed) bonus tracks will include the never before released 5-piece version of The William Tell Overture heard on this release for the first time plus a couple of surprises. This CD will be available thru this web site - keep watching the Merchandise Page.

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