Jug band music abounded in the early Sixties as an offshoot of the then-booming folk scene and Ged Thumpkin’s Jugglickers might have been the best of them all. But all that changed in 1965 when Ged heard Dylan go electric at the Newport Folk Festival and knew that jugband music had to go alternate current as well.
This necessitated disbanding the Jugglickers, staunch jugband traditionalists who would never record with so much as an electric lamp on and replacing them with a bunch of sideburned hooligans handing around in the east village. He dubbed them Thumpkin’s Whereabouts since this project was top secret and Sing Out! Magazine kept running “Where is Thumpkin” articles. Highlight Magazine also ran several “Where is Thumbkin” articles as well but they turned out to be unrelated nonsense about a face drawn on a thumb and withheld from children behind someone’s back.
Fans didn’t have to wait too long for their answer— this debut single, about a rather gross crush Thumpkin developed on veteran actress Tallulah Bankhead after seeing her on The Mike Douglas Show one afternoon—was released in the fall of 1965, just as folk rock was taking over the pop airwaves. The ire from the jugband music community was deafening, mostly because of the amplified jug heard one minute and forty-four seconds into “If Tallullah Were Mine”. Today, the controversy seems much ado about nothing, especially since the 2006 Goldmine interview where Thumpkin revealed, “It wasn’t even a corn liquor jug we used. It was an African clay pot!”
As for the song’s object of adoration, Thumpkin confirms that Squash Records’ publicity department sent Miss Bankhead a copy of the song and that “she wrote back and told us we’d spelled her name wrong.”
Two years before every rock star worth his weight in love beads was jetting off to India for spiritual enlightenment, Thumpkin’s Whereabouts cut this BONUS B-SIDE OF DUBIOUS DISTINCTION to curry favor with the Eastern market, a song called “I Prefer”. But notes Ged Thumpkin, “We weren’t there to embrace Indian mysticism so much as bang some Bollywood chicks. I mean, they sing and dance in the pouring rain, for crying out loud!”