Year of Release: 1967
Jimmy Gordon's 1963 surf instrumental "Buzzzzzz" is one of the more sought-after records of its genre, having an absolute overload of fuzz guitar and riff-ridden drama. Much bootlegged and compiled and blogged since, not much more needs to be added about its existence.
The 1967 follow-up single "Test Pattern/ 1980", on the other hand, has been given rather more short shrift. As a sucker for all things remotely whiffing of television testcards, the track's title sucked me in. Rather than featuring a sinister screeching noise throughout its duration, or any reference to nervous girls with chalky fingers playing noughts and crosses with evil clowns, it's yet another instrumental with a twangy, fuzzy edge to it. By 1967 this surely felt slightly like old hat and its failure to hit the charts won't have been a surprise, though it has worked its way on to a compilation for psychedelic instrumentals since. So perhaps not...
The flip "1980" has more of a mellow, jazzy vibe to it, but pretty much stays true to the formula. Both sides are worth your time, with neither one really having the edge over the other in terms of quality.
There's some confusion about the identity of Jimmy Gordon. Some have argued that he's Jim Gordon, a session drummer who later worked with Eric Clapton in Derek and the Dominoes and went to jail for murdering his own mother in 1983 during a schizophrenic episode. It seems much more likely, however, that this single is actually the work of a session bassist with the same name who periodically worked with Dave Burgess of The Champs (and "Tequila" fame) who is also credited here. Certainly, while "Test Pattern" does feature drums prominently in places, there's nothing going on that showcases them in particular. I'm sure someone will be able to put me right on this if my assumptions are incorrect, however.