In the spring of 2011, less than one year after Stuck in the Psychedelic Era became a syndicated program, I received word that WEOS (where Stuck in the Psychedelic Era is produced) would be soon vacating the wood frame house on Hamilton Street in Geneva, NY that it had occupied since the early 1990s. The problem was that nobody seemed to know just where the station was moving to. Nonetheless, I decided that it would be a good idea to record some backup shows, just in case the station found itself without functioning studios for a few weeks. However, nobody could agree on an acceptable location for the new WEOS studios and the entire move was put on hold. As it turned out I ended up needing a couple of those backup shows in December of 2012, when I found myself temporarily incapacitated by the good doctors at the Buffalo VA hospital. There are still, however, several more of these backup shows parked on various hard drives, which is a good thing, since the promised eviction of WEOS from the house on Hamilton has finally come to pass. Happily, a location for the new studios that was acceptable to all involved has been found. Not so happily, the new studios are nowhere near functional (and in fact are still under construction at this point). This of course means it's finally time to pull out those backup shows, starting with this one, which was recorded on June 9, 2011. The official catalog number for this week's show is B3, although it will now and forever be remembered as show # 1432 as well. Enjoy!
Artist: Rare Breed
Title: Beg, Borrow And Steal
Source: Mono CD: Nuggets-Original Artyfacts From The First Psychedelic Era (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Label: Rhino (original label: Attack)
Rare Breed was one of the first bands signed to the Kasenatz-Katz stable of artists and one of the first to leave that organization as well, citing a stifling of creativity. The band left the fold shortly after the release of their only single, Beg, Borrow And Steal, and was never heard from again, at least as Rare Breed. Jerry Kasenatz and Jeff Katz, however, would become quite successful the following year as the primary architects of the "bubble gum" movement, so it's not difficult to see why a legitimate band would have problems with them.
Artist: Eric Burdon And The Animals
Title: A Girl Named Sandoz
Source: Mono CD: The Best Of Eric Burdon And The Animals (originally released as 45 RPM single B side)
Label: Polydor (original label: M-G-M)
The original Animals officially disbanded at the end of 1966, but before long a new group, Eric Burdon And The Animals, had arrived to take its place. Unlike the original Animals, this new band wrote nearly all their own material, with credits going to the entire membership on every song. The first single from this new band was a song called When I Was Young, a semi-autobiographical piece with lyrics by Burdon that performed decently, if not spectacularly, on the charts in both the US and the UK. It was the B side of that record, however, a tune called A Girl Named Sandoz, that truly indicated what this new band was about. Sandoz was the name of the laboratory that originally developed and manufactured LSD, and the song itself is a thinly-veiled tribute to the mind-expanding properties of the wonder drug. It would soon become apparent that whereas the original Animals were solidly rooted in American R&B (with the emphasis on the B), this new group was pure acid-rock.
Artist: Vanilla Fudge
Title: Moonlight Sonata/Fur Elise
Source: LP: The Beat Goes On
Writer(s): Ludwig Van Beethoven
The mid-1970s saw a proliferation of art-rock bands that incorporated elements of classical music. Most of these bands, such as Emerson, Lake and Palmer and Yes, were European in origin. They were predated, however, by a group of Long Islanders calling themselves Vanilla Fudge. Although they played around with snippets of classical pieces on their debut LP, it was on the follow-up, a concept album called The Beat Goes On, that the band took the full plunge, creating a rocked out medley out of two of Ludwig Van Beethoven's best known piano pieces, Moonlight Sonata and Fur Elise. Roll over Beethoven indeed!
Artist: Mahavishnu Orchestra
Title: Open Country Joy
Source: Stereo 45 RPM single
Writer(s): John McLaughlin
John McLaughlin. Billy Cobham. Rick Laird. Jan Hammer. Jerry Goodman. All were destined to become jazz-rock fusion stars by the end of the decade, but in 1971 the term fusion, as applied to music, was not yet in use. Yet fusion was indeed the most appropriate word for the Mahavishnu Orchestra, whose five members came from five different countries: England, Ireland, Panama, Czechoslovakia (as it was then known) and the US, respectively. The members came from a variety of music backgrounds as well. McLaughlin (who wrote all the group's material) and Cobham had met while working on Miles Davis' Bitches Brew album, while Goodman had recorded two albums with the Chicago-based Flock. The Mahavishnu Orchestra was known for its ability to quickly shift between music styles on such tracks as Open Country Joy, which appeared on the group's second LP, Birds of Fire, as well as being released as a single.The original group disbanded after only two albums, but McLaughlin would later revive the band with a different lineup in the 1980s.
Title: Dead End Street
Source: 45 RPM single
Writer(s): Ray Davies
The last major Kinks hit in the US was Sunny Afternoon in the summer of 1966. The November follow-up, Dead End Street, was in much the same style, but did not achieve the same kind of success in the US (although it was a top five hit in the UK). The Kinks would not have another major US hit until Lola in 1970.
Artist: Steve Miller Band
Title: Going To The Country
Source: LP: Anthology (originally released on LP: Number 5)
The Steve Miller Band started recording for Capitol as part of the San Francisco explosion, but didn't achieve true stardom until the mid 1970s with the release of The Joker. In the intervening years they cranked out a series of fine albums that got most of their airplay on progressive FM stations. Among those was their fifth LP, appropriately titled Number 5, which included the tune Going To The Country.
Artist: Grateful Dead
Title: Dark Star (Excerpt)
Source: LP: Zabriskie Point soundtrack
Writer(s): McGannahan Skjellyfetti
Label: 4 Men With Beards (original label: M-G-M)
Zabriskie Point is generally considered by critics to be among the worst films ever made. At the same time the soundtrack album for the film is a cult classic, with an eclectic mix of music from such diverse artists as Pink Floyd, Patti Page, John Fahey and Jerry Garcia, both with and without the rest of the Grateful Dead. Although Garcia's solo tracks were written specifically for the film, it is likely that the short (less than three minutes) excerpt from Dark Star was lifted from the 1969 LP Live Dead, although documentation to prove it is pretty much nonexistent. Still, it sounds like the Live Dead version...
Title: White Room
Source: LP: Progressive Heavies (originally released as 45 RPM single and on LP: Wheels Of Fire)
Label: United Artists (original label: Atco)
In order to get songs played on top 40 radio, record companies made it a practice to shorten album cuts by cutting out extended instrumental breaks and extra verses. This version of the Cream classic White Room, clocking in at just over three minutes, is a typical example.
Artist: Jimi Hendrix Experience
Title: Voodoo Child (Slight Return)
Source: LP: Electric Ladyland
Writer: Jimi Hendrix
Although never released as a single in the US, the last track on the Jimi Hendrix Experience's last album, Electric Ladyland, has become a staple of classic rock radio over the years. Voodoo Child (Slight Return) was originally an outgrowth of a jam session at New York's Record Plant, which itself takes up most of side one of the Electric Ladyland LP. This more familiar studio reworking of the piece has been covered by a variety of artists over the years.
Source: CD: Greatest Hits (originally released on LP: The Birds, The Bees And The Monkees and as 45 RPM single)
The last Monkees top 10 single was also Michael Nesmith's least favorite Monkees song. Valleri was a Tommy Boyce/Bobby Hart composition that the group had first recorded for the first season of their TV show in 1966. Apparently nobody was happy with the recording, however, and the song was never issed on vinyl. Two years later the song was re-recorded for the album The Birds, The Bees And The Monkees and subsequently released as a single. The flamenco-style guitar on the intro (and repeated throughout the song) was played by studio guitarist Louie Shelton, after Nesmith refused to participate in the recording.
Source: LP: Nuggets Vol. 2-Punk (originally released on LP: Here Are The Sonics)
Writer: Gerry Roslie
Label: Rhino (original label: Etiquette)
From 1965 we have a band that maintains a cult following to this day: the legendary Sonics, generally considered one of the foundation stones of the Seattle music scene. Although the majority of songs on their albums were cover tunes, virtually all of their originals are now considered punk classics; indeed, the Sonics are often cited as the first true punk rock band.
Title: Grim Reaper Of Love
Source: Mono CD: Where The Action Is: L.A. Nuggets 1965-68 (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Label: Rhino (original label: White Whale)
The Turtles had some early success in 1965 as a folk-rock band, recording the hit version of Bob Dylan's It Ain't Me Babe and PF Sloan's Let Me Be. By 1966, however, it was getting harder and harder for the group to get a hit record. One attempt was Grim Reaper Of Love, co-written by Turtles lead guitarist Al Nichol. Personally I think it's a pretty cool tune, but was probably a bit too weird to appeal to the average top 40 radio listener in 1966. Grim Reaper Of Love did manage to make it to the # 81 spot on the charts, unlike the band's next two singles that failed to chart at all. It wasn't until the following year, when the Turtles recorded Happy Together, that the band would make it back onto the charts.
Artist: Electric Prunes
Title: I Had Too Much To Dream (Last Night)
Source: LP: Nuggets Vol. 1-The Hits (originally released on LP: I Had Too Much To Dream (Last Night) and as 45 RPM single)
Label: Rhino (original label: Reprise)
The Electric Prunes biggest hit was I Had Too Much To Dream (Last Night), released in early 1967. The record, initially released without much promotion from the record label, was championed by Seattle DJ Pat O'Day of KJR radio, and was already popular in that area when it hit the national charts (thus explaining why so many people assumed the band was from Seattle). I Had Too Much To Dream (Last Night) has come to be one of the defining songs of the psychedelic era and was the opening track on both the original Lenny Kaye Nuggets compilation and Rhino's first Nuggets LP.
Artist: Big Brother and the Holding Company
Title: Down On Me
Source: CD: Love Is The Song We Sing: San Francisco Nuggets 1965-70 (originally released on LP: Joplin In Concert)
Writer: Trad. Arr. Joplin
Label: Rhino (original label: Columbia)
Big Brother And The Holding Company's first album, featuring the single Down On Me, was recorded in 1967 at the studios of Mainstream Records, a medium-sized Chicago label known for its jazz recordings. At the time, Mainstream's engineers had no experience with a rock band, particularly a loud one like Big Brother, and vainly attempted to clean up the band's sound as best they could. The result was an album full of bland recordings sucked dry of the energy that made Big Brother and the Holding Company one of the top live attractions of its time. Luckily we have this live recording made in early 1968 and released in 1972 that captures the band at their peak, before powerful people with questionable motives convinced singer Janis Joplin that the rest of the group was holding her back.
Artist: Uriah Heep
Title: All My Life
Source: Stereo 45 RPM single B side (originally released on LP: Demons And Wizards)
Uriah Heep is a hard band to define. Their roots were firmly in the psychedelic era, yet they are often identified with both progressive rock bands like Yes and early heavy metal bands such as Black Sabbath. The band's best-known tune was Easy Livin', a single taken from their 1972 Demons And Wizards LP. Perhaps even more typical of the group's sound at that time was the song chosen for the single's B side, All My Life (also from Demons And Wizards).
Artist: Chambers Brothers
Title: Fallin' In Love
Source: CD: The Time Has Come (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s): Willie Chambers
The Chambers Brothers were an eclectic band with a gospel music background that dated back to the mid-50s, when oldest brother George finished his tour of duty with the US Army and settled down in the L.A. area. His three brothers soon followed him out to the coast from their native Mississippi, and began playing the Southern California gospel circuit before going after a more secular audience in the early 60s. After signing to Columbia in 1966 the group got to work recording several singles for the label, including an early version of the song that would eventually make them famous, Time Has Come Today. Columbia refused to release the song, however, and instead went with a more conventional tune written by Willie Chambers called Fallin' In Love. The record was released in early 1967 but failed to make a splash.
Artist: Bob Dylan
Title: Tombstone Blues
Source: Mono CD: The Best Of The Original Mono Recordings (originally released on LP: Highway 61 Revisited)
Writer(s): Bob Dylan
One of the most influential albums in rock history was Bob Dylan's 1965 LP Highway 61 Revisited. Although he had experimented with adding electric guitar, bass and drums to some of the songs on his previous album, Bringing It All Back Home, Highway 61 Revisited was his first LP to feature electric instruments on every track. Of these, the most notable was probably the guitar work of Michael Bloomfield, who would soon come to prominence as lead guitarist for the Butterfield Blues Band. Bloomfield's work is most prominent on blues-based tracks such as Tombstone Blues, which follows the classic Like A Rolling Stone on side one of the original LP.
Artist: West Coast Pop Art Experimental Band
Title: Unfree Child
Source: LP: Volume II
For those who are not familiar with reel-to-reel tape technology, here's a quick primer. As with all tape tech, a recording is created by a magnetic head imprinting patterns onto magnetic tape. This tape travels across the head at a predetermined speed. There were actually several speeds used over the years, all of which were standardized by measuring the length of tape travelling across the head in one second. In addition, each standard speed was exactly one half of the one above it, with the fastest having the highest quality. The fastest known speed was 30 inches per second (only used by computers, as far as I know), with 15 ips being the standard speed for studio recordings. Radio stations generally had machines that ran at either 15 or 7 1/2 ips, while home units ran at either 7 1/2 or 3 3/4. Dictating machines, which were virtually useless for recording music, used 1 7/8 or even 15/16 (which had so much tape hiss you could barely hear the recording itself). The advantage of halving the speed (besides the obvious economic advantage) is that the original key of the music is the same, albeit an octave lower. This made it possible to deliberately record something at the wrong speed, then play that recording back at the regular speed in the same key (but at half or double tempo). As the technology developed it became possible to put multiple tracks onto the same strip of tape, with first two, then three, four, eight and even sixteen tracks running parallel along the tape. This is what made it possible to record overdubs (by putting the original recording on one track and play it back while recording more stuff on another one), and to record in stereo. Unfree Child, which starts off a set of 1967 tracks from L.A. bands, has an intro that was actually recorded at a higher speed then played back at the next one down, giving it a deep growling sound. This type of effect, combined with backwards masking (created by playing the tape back to front and recording something on one of the unused tracks) is what got some heavy metal bands into trouble for putting hidden "Satanic" messages on their records.
Artist: Ultimate Spinach
Title: Plastic Raincoats/Hung Up Minds
Source: LP: Ultimate Spinach
Writer(s): Ian Bruce-Douglas
If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, then Country Joe McDonald's ears must have been burning when the first Ultimate Spinach album hit the stands. Indeed, many of Ian Bruce-Douglas's compositions, such as Plastic Raincoats/Hung Up Minds, sound as if they could have been written by McDonald himself. Still, it was the 1960s and jumping on the bandwagon was almost a way of life (witness the dozens of Mick Jagger soundalikes popping up across the country in the wake of the British Invasion), so perhaps Bruce-Douglas can be forgiven for at least trying to copy something a bit more current. Unfortunately, M-G-M Records decided to tout Ultimate Spinach as part of a "Boss-Town Sound" that never truly existed, further damaging the group's credibility, and after a second LP, Bruce-Douglas left the band, which, strangely enough, continued on without him for several years, albeit in an entirely different musical vein.
Artist: Pink Floyd
Title: Interstellar Overdrive
Source: CD: The Piper At The Gates Of Dawn
Label: Capitol (original label: Tower)
Syd Barrett was still very much at the helm for Pink Floyd's first LP, Piper At The Gates Of Dawn, released in 1967. The group had already released a pair of Barrett-penned singles, Arnold Layne (which was banned by the BBC) and See Emily Play. Piper, though, was the first full album for the group, and some tracks, notably the nine-minute psychedelic masterpiece Interstellar Overdrive, were entirely group efforts. On the original UK version of the LP Overdrive tracks directly into a Barrett piece, the Gnome. The US version, issued on Tower records, truncated Overdrive and re-arranged the song order.
Artist: Rolling Stones
Title: She's A Rainbow
Source: CD: Their Satanic Majesties Request
Label: Abkco (original label: London)
The only song from Their Satanic Majesties Request to get significant airplay in the US was She's A Rainbow, released as a single in the fall of '67. Another song from the album, In Another Land, was released only in the UK and touted as the first Bill Wyman solo song (although still a Rolling Stones record). 2,000 Light Years From Home, the B side to She's A Rainbow, did get some international airplay as well.
Artist: Rory Gallagher
Title: It's You
Source: LP: Rory Gallagher
Writer(s): Rory Gallagher
Rory Gallagher was one of those people generally refererred to as a "musician's musician". His first band, Taste, never had any great commercial success, yet was well-known among their peers for its eclectic repertoire and superb musicianship. When Gallagher decided to put together a new band for his 1971 solo debut LP he first considered Noel Redding and Mitch Mitchell, jamming with the two former Experience members at a practice room in his native Belfast before deciding instead to go with two local musicians, Gerry McAvoy and Wilgar Campbell, instead. The album, like virtually every release by Gallagher, was only a moderate success, despite being filled with fine tunes such as the country flavored It's You.
Title: Put The Clock Back On The Wall
Source: Mono CD: Nuggets-Original Artyfacts from the Psychedelic Era (originally released as 45 RPM single)
The E-Types were from Salinas, California, which at the time was known among travelers along US 101 mostly for it's sulfiric smell. As many people from Salinas apparently went to nearby San Jose as often as possible, the E-Types became regulars on the local scene in the latter town, eventually landing a contract with Tower Records and Ed Cobb, who also produced the Standells and the Chocolate Watchband. Since the Standells were already known as a garage-rock band (although they were really a bar band), Cobb tried positioning the Watchband as a psychedelic band (they were really more of a garage band) and the E-Types as a pop-rock band (although they were probably the most psychedelic of the three), hooking them up with the same Bonner/Gordon songwriting team that would soon be receiving fat royalty checks from songs like Happy Together and She's My Girl, both hits for the Turtles. Put The Clock Back On The Wall was actually titled after a popular phase of the time. After a day or two of losing all awareness of time (and sometimes space), generally due to the influence of certain mind-altering chemicals, it was time to put the clock back on the wall, or get back to reality if you prefer. The song was originally released in early 1967, shortly before Happy Together hit the charts.
Artist: Paul Revere And The Raiders
Source: Greatest Hits
Kicks was not the first pop song with a strong anti-drug message, but it was the first one to be a certified hit, making it to the number four spot on the US charts and hitting number one in Canada. It was also the biggest hit for Paul Revere and the Raiders until Indian Reservation went all the way to the top
five years later.
Artist: Moody Blues
Title: Legend Of A Mind
Source: CD: In Search Of The Lost Chord
Writer(s): Ray Thomas
The Moody Blues started off as a fairly typical British beat band, scoring one major inteernational hit, Go Now, in 1965, as well as several minor British hit singles. By 1967 lead vocalist Denny Laine was no longer with the group (he would later surface as a member of Paul McCartney's Wings), and the remaining members were not entirely sure of where to go next. At around that time their record label, Deram, was looking to make a rock version of a well-known classical piece (The Nine Planets), and the Moody Blues were tapped for the project. Somewhere along the way, however, the group decided to instead write their own music for rock band and symphony orchestra, and Days Of Future Passed was the result. The album, describing a somewhat typical day in the life of a somewhat typical Britisher, was successful enough to revitalize the band's career, and a follow-up LP, In Search Of The Lost Chord, was released in 1968. Instead of a full orchestra, however, the band members themselves provided all the instrumentation on the new album, using a relatively new keyboard instrument called the mellotron (a complicated contraption that utilized tape loops) to simulate orchestral sounds. Like its predecessor, In Search Of The Lost Chord was a concept album, this time dealing with the universal search for the meaning of life through music. One of the standout tracks on the album is Legend Of A Mind, with its signature lines: "Timothy Leary's dead. No, no, he's outside looking in." Although never released as a single, the track got a fair amount of airplay on college and progressive FM radio stations, and has long been considered a cult hit.
Title: Too Much Monkey Business
Source: LP: 16 Rock Guitar Greats (originally released in UK on LP: Five Live Yardbirds)
Writer(s): Chuck Berry
Label: Trip (original label: Columbia)
The first Yardbirds album consisted entirely of live tracks, most of which were covers of old blues and rock and roll tunes. It was the only Yardbirds LP released in the UK with Eric Clapton on guitar, although there were also several singles and an EP or two released by the same lineup. The album was not released in the US, although several tracks did appear on the US-only LP For Your Love in 1965. One of the tracks that never saw a US release was the album's opening song, a cover of Chuck Berry's Too Much Monkey Business that shows off Clapton's guitar and Keith Relf's vocals and harmonica work equally.
Artist: Dick Dale/Stevie Ray Vaughan
Source: CD: The Best Of Dick Dale And His Del-Tones (from the soundtrack of the movie Back To The Beach)
Although most people associate surf music with vocal groups such as the Beach Boys and Jan & Dean, the true king of surf was guitarist Dick Dale, who pretty much invented the entire genre. Dale was the first choice of Leo Fender to test out the new Fender Reverb amplifier, which he did while touring the West Coast extensively during the early 1960s. Although surf music itself was somewhat sidetracked by the British Invasion of 1964, Dale continued to play live gigs until forced into retirement by rectal cancer in the latter part of the decade. He was able to beat the cancer, thanks to the support of many friends (including Jimi Hendrix, whose famous line "never hear surf music again" was actually meant as words of encouragement), but did not become musically active again until the 1980s. In 1987 he teamed up with Stevie Ray Vaughan to record and perform a cover of the Chantay's Pipeline in the movie Back To The Beach, and in the years since has begun to receive the recognition for his contribution to rock music that he so richly deserves.
Artist: Blues Image
Title: Take Me To The Sunrise
Source: LP: Blues Image
Writer(s): Blues Image
Formed in Tampa, Florida, in 1966, Blues Image originally consisted of singer-guitarist Mike Pinera, singer-drummer Manuel "Manny" Bertematti, singer-percussionist Joe Lala, keyboardist Emilio Garcia, and bassist Malcolm Jones. They were later joined by keyboardist Frank "Skip" Konte when Emilio Garcia left the band to become a pilot. The band relocated to Miami in 1968, where they became the house band at the legendary club Thee Image. While performing at Thee Image, the members of Blues Image became friends with members of several bands that played there, including Cream, Jimi Hendrix, and the Grateful Dead. It was Hendrix that convinced them that a move to Los Angeles would be to their benefit, and sure enough the Blues Image landed a contract with Atco shortly after their arrival there. Their debut album, which starts off with the track Take Me To The Sunrise, was released in February of 1969. After two more albums and one hit single (Ride Captain Ride), Blues Image split up in 1970, although several of the band's members stayed active with other bands for many years.
Artist: Clefs Of Lavender Hill
Title: Stop-Get A Ticket
Source: Mono CD: Nuggets-Original Artyfacts From The First Psychedelic Era (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s): Travis & Coventry Fairchild
Label: Rhino (original label: Thames)
The Clefs Of Lavender Hill were a band from North Miami that featured not one, but two sets of siblings: the brother and sister team of Travis and Coventry Fairchild (both of which sang and played guitar) and the Moss brothers, Bill (bass) and Fred (drums). The first single from the band was a song called First Tell Me Why, but it was the B side of the record, a Beatlesque tune called Stop-Get A Ticket that became a hit on Miami radio stations. The song was picked up by Date Records and peaked nationally at # 80. Subsequent releases by the Clefs failed to crack the Hot 100 and the group (after several personnel changes) finally called it quits in 1968.