Artist

FLEA ON THE HONEY / FLEA / ETNA

Antonio Marangolo - Tony (vocals, keyboards, flute, harp)
Carlo Pennisi - Charlie (guitar, vocals)
Elio Volpini - Nigel (bass, guitar, vocals)
Agostino Marangolo - Dustin (drums, percussion, vocals)

This band released in fact three albums with different names, the first as Flea in the Honey, with the members only identified with English nicknames, then as Flea, and later as Etna.
A group from Sicily, but based in Rome, they were one of the many bands taking part to the very influential (and often mentioned in these pages) Viareggio 1971 Pop festival, and in the same year their first album was released by RCA subsidiary Delta, with short songs, a style influenced by hard rock and totally sung in English. 
Band members were hidden under pseudonyms and the label probably wanted to promote them as one of the many English bands coming to Italy in search of success. There are some good thing, though, like Mother Mary that was also released as a single with Louise (my little ship) (a song that was also recorded by Cyan and Middle of the Road), but generally the album still shows a lack of personality.

After some more live appearences (like in the Rome Villa Pamphili festival) the band shortened its name to Flea and released their second album on Fonit, moving towards a progressive sound. 
Topi o uomini is a more mature and much better work than the previous one, with side A comprising the 20 minutes long title-track and three shorter tracks on side B.
The band's sound is much more original here, with good Italian-sung vocals and long instrumental parts, mainly dominated by guitar.

After Topi o uomini, Elio Volpini left to join L'Uovo di Colombo, and was replaced by Fabio Pignatelli (from the Rome group Le Rivelazioni), who played with Flea on two tours but left to form Cherry Five and then Goblin.

The original quartet reformed in 1975 as Etna, releasing an eponymous album with another radical change of style. 
Etna
is a good jazz-rock inspired work, with seven all instrumental tracks, showing strong influences by the likes of Mahavishnu Orchestra and coming close to the work of similar Italian bands like Nova or Il Baricentro.

Soon after the album, drummer Agostino Marangolo joined Goblin and had a successful later career as sessionman, Pennisi briefly played with Mediterraneo.

 

 

FLEA ON THE HONEY

LP
Flea on the Honey Delta (ZSLD 55026) 1971 gatefold cover


CD
Flea on the Honey Mellow (MMP 190) 1994 reissue of 1971 album
  BMG (82876-65934-2) 2004 as above with mini gatefold cover - now deleted
  BMG (82876-65934-2) 2011 as above with mini gatefold cover


SINGLES
(with picture sleeve)
Louise (my little ship)
Mother Mary
Delta (ZD 50154) 1971 both tracks from the first album

 

 

FLEA 

LP
Topi o uomini Fonit (LPQ 09070 1972 laminated single cover 
  Fonit / Vinyl Magic (LPP 437) 1991 non-laminated single cover 
  BTF/Vinyl Magic (VM 093 LP) 2009 glossy single cover 


CD
Topi o uomini Fonit Cetra (CDM 2030) 1989 reissue of 1972 album - now deleted
  Warner/Fonit (82053-2) 90's as above- now deleted
  BTF/Vinyl Magic (VMCD 093) 2004 as above, with mini LP gatefold cover

 

 

ETNA

LP
Etna Catoca (CTL 1002) 1975 laminated single cover 


CD
Etna Mellow (MMP 209) 1994 reissue of 1975 album

 

 

All the albums are now rare, especially Topi o uomini on the elusive Fonit LPQ series.

Flea on the Honey, on Delta (as usual with RCA, many copies around were white label promos), has a thin delicate gatefold cover with the record inserted from the center, on the left side of the cover. It's difficult to find good copies with an intact cover.
Topi o uomini has a single cover, fully laminated.
Etna had a single cover, and was released on the small Fonit-distributed Catoca label.
No counterfeits exist nor foreign issues.

The first two albums have been reissued on CD in 2004, both with mini-LP gatefold covers. Topi o uomini, whose vinyl original issue had a single cover, also includes the lyrics in the inner and has the nice illustrated booklet as all the BTF/Vinyl Magic reissues, being probably one of the best in this series.

Flea on the Honey - gatefold cover

Flea on the Honey - inner gatefold

 

Flea on the Honey - LP label, standard and promo

Louise - 7" single cover

Topi o uomini - front and back cover

Etna - LP

 

 

Drummer Agostino Marangolo has his own website at http://www.baroneago.it 

 

 

Thanks to Zeev Barkai and Nicola for some of the scans in this page