Brute Force - I, Brute Force - Confections Of Love (October 12, 2010)
He wrote songs for the Chiffons, the Cyrkle, Del Shannon, and Little Peggy March. He sang in The Tokens, and once caused an international incident by trying to swim across the Behring Straits. He was signed to Apple Records by John and George of Beatles, but censorship crushed his dreams of show business glory.
His name is Brute Force, born Stephen Friedland, the son of a career politician in Jersey City, NJ. His "heavy/funny" compositions caught the attention of John Lennon and George Harrison, who signed him to Apple Records in 1967. But Brute Force's best known song, "King Of Fuh" ("I'm the King of Fuh, I'm the Fuh King") proved too controversial and forced Apple Records to shelve what would have been his breakout album. I, Bruce Force-Confections Of Love, Brute Force's debut release, became an underground legend, passed hand to hand among cult fans and bootleggers, until Bar/None released it in 2010. Shortly thereafter, Apple included "King Of Fuh" on Come And Get It: The Best Of Apple, alongside tracks by James Taylor, Badfinger, and Mary Hopkin. "They shut me down and locked me in a dungeon," Friedland says of the music industry "suits" who refused to release "King Of Fuh" back in 1967. Disillusioned and discouraged, Friedland left music for 30 years until he found a new generation of fans at Beatles conventions and record fairs in the early 2000's.
Brute Force: "It was very meaningful to have I, Brute Force, Confections of Love, released on Bar/None because the album has social value in the current American culture. Importantly, we added 5 bonus tracks and of those tracks, 'Hello Moskow' is a song written in Russian and English, and drawsattention to the fact that there is one borderline, the edge of Earth. Due to the omnipresence of media, the people of Earth are closer to each other than ever before. Consequently, the USA is closer to other countries, and singer /songwriters have the excellent opportunity to promote Peace. As 'Hello Moscow' says, 'Where is happiness people? Here and there and there and here.' Additionally, the bonus track 'King of Fuh,' which was censored in the 1960's, plays with the effect of language taboo upon the listener, and emphasizes individuality and beauty in the world. These are some of the reasons why I am very grateful that my music is 'out there,'and that people are listening to my songs."
At 76, Brute Force continues to perform, these days accompanied by his daughter Lilah, known as Daughter Of Force. They will be at Caffe Vivaldi (23 Jones St., NYC) on Saturday, June 18. Showtime is 7 p.m. and there is no cover.
A Brute Force Playlist:
Tapeworm Of Live
King Of Fuh
Tierra Del Fuego