Sunday, January 3, 2021

Stuck in the Psychedelic Era # 2102 (starts 1/4/21) 

    This week's show features 33 songs from 33 different artists, including an Advanced Psych segment that includes never-before played tracks from Steven Cerio and the Claypool Lennon Delerium.

Artist:     Monkees
Title:     Peter Perceival Patterson's Pet Pig Porky/Pleasant Valley Sunday
Source:     CD: Pisces, Aquarius, Capricorn and Jones, LTD.
Writer:     Tork/Goffin/King
Label:     Rhino (original label: Colgems)
Year:     1967
     The album version of Pleasant Valley Sunday differs from the single version in two ways. First, the mix is different, with the background vocals more prominent on the stereo album mix. Second, on the original LP Peter Tork's spoken piece Peter Perceival Patterson's Pet Pig Porky precedes the song on the album and is considered part of the same track (although the CD version assigns the two different track numbers). In honor of the original album I'm playing the entire combo. Besides, Tork's piece is fun to listen to and it only lasts 27 seconds.

Artist:    Jefferson Airplane
Title:    How Suite It Is
Source:    CD: After Bathing At Baxter's
Writer(s):    Kantner/Casady/Dryden/Kaukonen
Label:    RCA/BMG Heritage
Year:    1967
    The second side of After Bathing At Baxters starts off fairly conventionally (for the Airplane), with Paul Kantner's Watch Her Ride, the first third or so of something called How Suite It Is. This leads (without a break in the audio) into Spare Chaynge, one of the coolest studio jams ever recorded, featuring intricate interplay between Jack Casady's bass and Jorma Kaukonen's guitar, with Spencer Dryden using his drum kit as enhancement rather than as a beat-setter. In particular, Casady's virtuoso performance helped redefine what could be done with an electric bass.

Artist:    Byrds
Title:    Moog Raga
Source:    CD: The Notorious Byrd Brothers (bonus track originally released on CD: Never Before)
Writer(s):    Roger McGuinn
Label:    Columbia/Legacy
Year:    Recorded 1967, released 1989
    One of the first rock musicians to experiment with the Moog synthesizer was Roger McGuinn of the Byrds, who as early as 1967 planned to release an entire album's worth of Moog music. After completing one track, however, he abandoned the idea due to its lack of commercial potential. That one track was Moog Raga, recorded in November of 1967. As the title implies, Moog Raga is an original McGuinn composition done in the style known as raga-rock (that the Byrds themselves had helped popularize) performed entirely on a Moog synthesizer. The song sat on the shelf for over 20 years before being included as a bonus track on the CD version of Never Before, a compilation of outtakes and alternate versions of previously issued songs that is now out of print. It is currently available as a bonus track on the CD version of The Notorious Byrd Brothers.

Artist:    Chambers Brothers
Title:    Time Has Come Today
Source:    CD: Even More Nuggets (originally released on LP: The Time Has Come; edited version released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Joe and Willie Chambers
Label:    Rhino (original label: Columbia)
Year:    1967 (edited version released 1968)
    One of the quintessential songs of the psychedelic era is the Chambers Brothers' classic Time Has Come Today. The song was originally recorded and issued as a single in 1966. The more familiar version heard here, however, was recorded in 1967 for the album The Time Has Come. The LP version of the song runs about eleven minutes, way too long for a 45 RPM record, so before releasing the song as a single for the second time, engineers at Columbia cut the song down to around 3 minutes. The edits proved so jarring that the record was recalled and a re-edited version, clocking in at 4:55 became the third and final single version of the song, hitting the charts in 1968.

Artist:    Superfine Dandelion
Title:    Crazy Town (Move On Little Children)
Source:    Mono British import CD: All Kinds Of Highs (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Collins/Musel
Label:    Big Beat (original label: Mainstream)
Year:    1967
    The Mile Ends were a Phoenix, Arizona band that were regulars at a local teen club called the Fifth Estate, which was run by a guy named Jim Musil. Musil became the group's manager, booking studio time to record a drinking song called Bottle Up And Go in 1966. Not long after that the group, now consisting of guitarists Mike McFadden and Ed Black, along with drummer Mike Collins, began calling themselves the Superfine Dandelion for a studio project sponsored by Musil. The group recorded an album's worth of material that came to the attention of Bob Shad, who was looking for material to issue on his Mainstream label. Shad bought the tapes, releasing the album in November of 1967. Shad chose Crazy Town (Move On Little Children) as a single, but a lack of interest by both radio and the record buying public brought the story of the Superfine Dandelion to a close by mid-1968.

Artist:    Janis Ian
Title:    Society's Child
Source:    Mono CD: Songs Of protest (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Janis Ian
Label:    Rhino (original label: Verve Folkways)
Year:    1966
    Janis Ian began writing Society's Child, using the title Baby I've Been Thinking, when she was 13 years old, finishing it shortly after her 14th birthday. She shopped it around to several record labels before finally finding one (Now Sounds) to take a chance on the controversial song about interracial dating. The record got picked up and re-issued in 1966 by M-G-M's "underground" label Verve Folkways, an imprint whose roster included Dave Van Ronk, Laura Nyro and the Blues Project, among others. Despite being banned on several radio stations, especially in the southern US, the song became a major hit when re-released yet another time in early 1967. Ian had problems maintaining a balance between her performing career and being a student which ultimately led to her dropping out of high school. She would eventually get her career back on track in the mid-70s, scoring another major hit with At Seventeen, and becoming somewhat of a heroine to the feminist movement. Ironic, considering that Society's Child ends with the protagonist backing down and giving in to society's rules.

Artist:    Kinks
Title:    Big Black Smoke
Source:    Mono British import CD: Face To Face (bonus track originally released as 45 RPM single B side)
Writer(s):    Ray Davies
Label:    Sanctuary (original US label: Reprise)
Year:    1966
    The Kinks had some of the best non-album sides of the 60s. Case in point: Big Black Smoke, which appeared as the B side of Dead End Street in November of 1966. The song deals with a familiar phenomenon of the 20th century: the small town girl that gets a rude awakening after moving to the big city. In this case the city was London, known colloquially as "the Smoke".

Artist:    Simon And Garfunkel
Title:    Flowers Never Bend With The Rainfall
Source:    LP: Parsley, Sage, Rosemary And Thyme
Writer(s):    Paul Simon
Label:    Sundazed/Columbia
Year:    1966
    Although most of the songs on the third Simon And Garfunkel album, Parsley, Sage, Rosemary And Thyme, were new compositions, there are a couple of exceptions. The international hit single Homeward Bound had appeared on the British version of their previous LP, Sounds Of Silence, but had been left off its US counterpart. Another tune, Flowers Never Bend With The Rainfall, had already appeared as the B side of yet another single, I Am A Rock. The song itself starts and ends slow, with a faster middle section that almost sounds like bluegrass.

Artist:    Love
Title:    The Castle
Source:    Australian import CD: Comes In Colours (originally released on LP: Da Capo)
Writer(s):    Arthur Lee
Label:    Raven (original label: Elektra)
Year:    1967
    Considering that both of their first two LPs had cover photos taken against the backdrop of Bela Lugosi's former residence in the Hollywood Hills (known as Dracula's Castle), it is perhaps inevitable that Love would have a track called The Castle on one of these albums. Sure enough, one can be found near the end of the first side of 1967's Da Capo, an album that was all but buried by the attention being given to the debut LP of Love's new labelmates, the Doors, which came out at the same time. The song itself is an indication of the direction that Love was moving in, away from the folk/garage-rock of their first LP toward the more sophiscated sound of Forever Changes, which would be released later the same year.

    And speaking of castles...

Artist:    Jimi Hendrix Experience
Title:    Castles Made Of Sand
Source:    CD: Axis: Bold As Love
Writer(s):    Jimi Hendrix
Label:    MCA (original label: Reprise)
Year:    1967
    When I was a junior in high school I used to fall asleep on the living room couch with the headphones on, usually listening to pre-recorded tapes of either the Beatles' Revolver album or one of the first two albums by the Jimi Hendrix Experience. One song in particular from the second Hendrix album, Axis: Bold As Love, always gave me a chill when I heard it: Castles Made Of Sand. The song serves as a warning not to put too much faith in your dreams, and stands in direct contrast to the usual goal-oriented American attitude.

Artist:    Left Banke
Title:    Evening Gown
Source:    LP: Walk Away Renee/Pretty Ballerina
Writer(s):    Brown/Feher
Label:    Sundazed/Smash
Year:    1967
    Although the Left Banke was known for their "baroque pop" sound, much of that sound was achieved by the use of studio musicians, particularly a string section brought in by producer Harry Lookofoski, himself an accomplished violinist (and father of keyboardist/bandleader Michael Brown). In fact, keyboardist Michael Brown, who was Lookofsky's son, was the only member of the Left Banke to actually play on every song on the group's first LP, Walk Away Renee/Pretty Ballerina. The full band did play on a few songs, including (probably) Evening Gown, which sounds like it was played by a garage band with a harpsichord (trust me, that's a compliment). Unfortunately, Evening Gown is also the shortest track on the album itself, clocking in at one minute and forty-six seconds.

Artist:     Rolling Stones
Title:     Congratulations
Source:     Mono CD: Singles Collection-The London Years (originally released as 45 RPM single B side)
Writer(s):    Jagger/Richards
Label:     Abkco (original label: London)
Year:     1964
     Congratulations was one of the first Jagger-Richards compositions to be released on 45 RPM vinyl. The A side was Time Is On My Side, the first Rolling Stones song to hit the US top ten. 

Artist:    Turtles
Title:    Eve Of Destruction
Source:    Mono LP: It Ain't Me Babe
Writer(s):    P.F. Sloan
Label:    White Whale
Year:    1965
    Like most 1965 albums by American pop-rock bands, The Turtles' It Ain't Me Babe is made up mostly of cover versions of then-current hits. Among them is P.F. Sloan's Eve Of Destruction, which was a huge hit for Barry McGuire that year. In 1970, White Whale Records responded to the Turtles' disbanding by reissuing the 1965 LP track as a single. Five months later White Whale went out of business.

Artist:    13th Floor Elevators
Title:    You're Gonna Miss Me
Source:    Mono CD: Nuggets-Original Artyfacts From The First Psychedelic Era (originally released as 45 RPM single and included on LP: The Psychedelic Sounds Of The 13th Floor Elevators)
Writer(s):    Roky Erickson
Label:    Rhino (original label: International Artists)
Year:    1966
    If anyplace outside of California has a legitimate claim to being the birthplace of the psychedelic era, it's Austin, Texas. That's mainly due to the presence of the 13th Floor Elevators, a local band led by Roky Erickson that had the audacity to use an electric jug (played by Tommy Hall) onstage. Their debut album was the first to use the word psychedelic in the title (predating the Blues Magoos' Psychedelic Lollipop by mere weeks). Musically, their leanings were more toward garage-rock than acid-rock, at least on their first album (they got rather metaphysical on their follow-up album, Easter Everywhere). Their only charted hit was You're Gonna Miss Me, released in mid-1966, but their subsequent West Coast tour inspired many a California band to take up psychedelics.

Artist:    Doors
Title:    Unhappy Girl
Source:    LP: Strange Days
Writer(s):    The Doors
Label:    Elektra
Year:    1967
    After the success of their first album and the single Light My Fire in early 1967, the Doors quickly returned to the studio, releasing a second LP, Strange Days, later the same year. The first single released from the new album was People Are Strange. The B side of that single was Unhappy Girl, from the same album. Both sides got played a lot on the jukebox at a neighborhood gasthaus known as the Woog in the village of Meisenbach near Ramstein Air Force Base in Germany, where I spent a good number of my evening hours.

Artist:    Max Frost And The Troopers
Title:    Lonely Man
Source:    CD: Shape Of Things To Come
Writer(s):    Paul Wibier
Label:    Captain High (original label: Tower)
Year:    1968
    The first thing you need to know about Max Frost And The Troopers is that they were a fictional rock band featured in the film Wild In The Streets. Sort of. You see, in the movie itself the band is never actually named, although Max (played by Christopher Jones) does refer to his followers as his "troops" throughout the film. The next thing you need to know is that Shape Of Things To Come was a song used in the film that became a hit record in 1968. The song itself was written by the Brill building songwriting team of Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil (whose writing credits included We Gotta Get Out Of This Place, Kicks and many other 60s hits) and was recorded by studio musicians, with vocals by Paul Wibier. The song, along with several other Barry/Weil tunes used in the film, was credited not to Max Frost and the Troopers, but to the 13th Power on the film's soundtrack LP, which was released on Capitol's Tower subsidiary label. After Shape Of Things To Come (the song) became a hit, producer Mike Curb commissioned an entire album by Max Frost And The Troopers called, naturally, Shape Of Things To Come. The band on this album was, based on songwriting credits, a group fronted by vocalist Paul Wibier (yeah, him again) originally known as Mom's Boys that had appeared on a handful of Curb-produced movie soundtrack albums before changing their name to the 13th Power (yeah, them again) and releasing a single called I See A Change Is Gonna Come on Curb's Sidewalk label in October of 1967. The album Shape Of Things To Come was released in 1968 on the Tower label, and featured mostly songs written (or co-written) by Wibier himself, such as Lonely Man. It seems pretty obvious that Mom's Boys, the 13th Power and Max Frost And The Troopers were all actually the same band that consisted of Paul Wibier, Dale Beckner, Stewart Martin, Barney Hector and possibly someone who last name was McClain.

Artist:    Lovin' Spoonful
Title:    Nashville Cats
Source:    LP: Homer (soundtrack) (originally released on LP: Hums Of The Lovin' Spoonful)
Writer(s):    John B. Sebastian
Label:    Cotillion (original label: Kama Sutra)
Year:    1966
    After the success of their debut LP, Do You Believe In Magic, The Lovin' Spoonful deliberately set out to make a followup album that sounded like it was recorded by several different bands, as a way of showcasing their versatility. With Hums Of The Lovin' Spoonful, released in 1966, they did just that. Songs on the album ranged from the folky Darlin' Be Home Soon to the rockin' psychedelic classic Summer In The City, with a liberal dose of what would come to be called country rock a few years later. The best example of the latter was Nashville Cats, a song that surprisingly went into the top 40 (but did not receive any airplay from country stations) and became a staple of progressive FM radio in the early 70s.

Artist:    Claypool Lennon Delerium
Title:    Captain Lariat
Source:    LP: Monolith Of Phobos
Writer(s):    Claypool/Lennon
Label:    Ato
Year:    2016
    Fans of alternative rock are no doubt familiar with a band called Primus, led by bassist Les Claypool. One of the more colorful characters on the modern music scene, Claypool was once rejected by Metallica as being "too good" for them. Claypool himself has said that he thought James Hetfield was just being nice when he told him that, but the fact is that Claypool is indeed one of the most talented bass players (if not the best) in rock history. Sean Lennon is, of course, the son of John Lennon and Yoko Ono. Unlike his half-borther Julian, Sean has never had to prove anything to anyone, and, thanks in large part to his mother's influence (and let's be honest here, money), has always felt free to pursue his own artistic path without having to bow to commercial pressures. The two of them met when their respective bands were on tour and they immediately recognized that they had a musical connection. That connection manifested itself in the album Monolith Of Phobos (a title inspired by Arthur Clarke's works), released in 2016. Captain Lariat, from that album, shows the artists' more playful side.

Artist:    Residents
Title:    Loser≅Weed
Source:    45 RPM single B side
Writer(s):    The Residents
Label:    Ralph
Year:    1976 (?)/1978
    Loser≅Weed is the B side of a single released on gold colored vinyl in 1978. The text on the back of the sleeve of that single claim that the record, featuring an avant-garde version of (I Can't Get No) Satisfaction, had originally been released in 1976, but knowing the Residents' reputation for deliberately obscuring the truth, I have to take that claim with a grain of salt, since none of my sources have any info regarding a 1976 issue. The sign ≅ that appears between the words "loser" and "weed", incidentally, is known as a congruence, or isomorphic sign, essentially meaning, in this instance, "structurally identical".

Artist:    Steven Cerio
Title:    The Mind That Makes Sugar
Source:    CD: The Magnificent Pigtail Shadow
Writer(s):    Steven Cerio
Label:    Wowcool
Year:    2012
    Steven Cerio is a multimedia artist originally from Liverpool, NY, who is credited with setting the stage for the new-psychedelic revival in New York City. A graduate of Syracuse University, Cerio wrote and directed the indy film The Magnificent Pigtail Shadow in 2012. The following year a soundtrack album for the film, which is narrated by Kristin Hirsch of Throwing Muses. The CD also contains several tracks that were written for, but not used in, the film itself, among them a piece called The Mind That Makes Sugar.

Artist:    Seeds
Title:    Pushin' Too Hard
Source:    Simulated stereo LP: The Seeds
Writer(s):    Sky Saxon
Label:    GNP Crescendo
Year:    1966
    The Seeds' Pushin' Too Hard is generally included on every collection of psychedelic hits ever compiled. And for good reason. The song is an undisputed classic.

Artist:    Castaways
Title:    Liar Liar
Source:    CD: More Nuggets (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Donna/Craswell
Label:    Rhino (original label: Soma)
Year:    1965
    The Castaways were a popular local band in the Minneapolis area led by keyboardist James Donna, who, for less than two minutes at a time, dominated the national airwaves with their song Liar Liar for a couple months in 1965 before fading off into obscurity.

Artist:    P.F. Sloan
Title:    Halloween Mary
Source:    Mono CD: Where The Action Is: L.A. Nuggets 1965-68 (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer:    P.F. Sloan
Label:    Rhino (original label: Dunhill)
Year:    1965
    If there is any one songwriter associated specifically with folk-rock (as opposed to folk music), it would be the Los Angeles based P.F. Sloan, writer of Barry McGuire's signature song, Eve Of Destruction. Sloan also penned hits for the Turtles in their early days as one of the harder-edged folk-rock bands, including their second hit, Let Me Be. In fact, Sloan had almost 400 songs to his credit by the time he and Steve Barri teamed up to write and produce a series of major hits released by various bands under the name Grass Roots. Sloan himself, however, only released two singles as a singer, although (as can be heard on the second of them, the slightly off-kilter Halloween Mary) he had a voice as powerful as many of the recording stars of the time.

Artist:    Phil Ochs
Title:    I Ain't Marching Anymore
Source:    CD: There But For Fortune (originally released on LP: I Ain't Marching Anymore)
Writer(s):    Phil Ochs
Label:    Elektra
Year:    1965
    Phil Ochs' I Ain't Marching Anymore didn't get a whole lot of airplay when it was released in 1965 (unless you count a handful of closed-circuit student-run stations on various college campuses that could only be picked up by plugging a radio into a wall socket in a dorm room). Ochs was aware of this, and even commented that "the fact that you won't be hearing this song on the radio is more than enough justification for the writing of it." He went on to say that the song "borders between pacifism and treason, combining the best qualities of both." Ochs also recorded a folk-rock version of the song (that reported included contributions from Al Kooper and Danny Kalb of the Blues Project) that was released as a single in the UK in 1966, but copies of that version are no longer available in any form.

Artist:    Beach Boys
Title:    Pet Sounds
Source:    Mono CD: Pet Sounds
Writer(s):    Brian Wilson
Label:    Capitol
Year:    1966
    Originally titled Run James Run, Brian Wilson's instrumental Pet Sounds was intended for a James Bond film, but instead ended up as the title track of the Beach Boys' most celebrated album (although it actually appears close to the end of the album itself). The track somewhat resembles a 60s update of the Tiki room recordings made by Martin Denny in the 1950s, with heavily reverberated bongos and guiro featured prominently over a latin beat. Although credited to the Beach Boys, only Brian Wilson appears on the track (on piano), with the remainder of the instruments played by various Los Angeles studio musicians collectively known as the Wrecking Crew.

Artist:     Grass Roots
Title:     Let's Live For Today
Source:     CD: Battle of the Bands-Vol. Two (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer:     Julian/Mogull/Shapiro
Label:     Era (original label: Dunhill)
Year:     1967
     This well-known 1967 hit by the Grass Roots started off as a song by the Italian band the Rokes, Piangi Con Mi, released in 1966. The Rokes themselves were originally from Manchester, England, but had relocated to Italy in 1963. Piangi Con Mi was their biggest hit to date, and the band decided to re-record the tune in English for release in Britain (ironic, considering that the band originally specialized in translating popular US and UK hits into the Italian language). The original translation didn't sit right with the band's UK label, so a guy from the record company came up with new lyrics and the title Let's Live For Today. The song still didn't do much on the charts, but did get the attention of former Brill building songwriter Jeff Barri, whose current project was writing and producing a band known as the Grass Roots with co-producer P.F. Sloan. Let's Live For Today became the first of many top 10 singles for the Grass Roots.

Artist:    Beatles
Title:    Flying
Source:    LP: Magical Mystery Tour
Writer(s):    Lennon/McCartney/Harrison/Starkey
Label:    Capitol
Year:    1967
    1967 was an odd year for the Beatles. They started it with one of their most successful double-sided singles, Strawberry Fields Forever/Penny Lane, and followed it up with the iconic Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band album. From there, after making history by premiering their next single (All You Need Is Love) via worldwide satellite broadcast, they embarked on a new film project. Unlike their previous movies, the Magical Mystery Tour was not made to be shown in theaters. Rather, the film was aired as a television special shown exclusively in the UK. The airing of the film coincided with the release (again only in the UK) of a two-disc extended play 45 RPM set featuring the six songs from the special. It was not until later in the year that the songs were released in the US, on an album that combined the songs from the film on one side and all the non-LP single sides they had released that year on the other. Among the songs from the film is Flying, a rare instrumental track that was credited to the entire band.

Artist:    Dantalion's Chariot
Title:    The Madman Running Through The Fields
Source:    Mono CD: Nuggets II-Original Artyfacts From The British Empire And Beyond 1964-1969 (originally released in UK as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Money/Somers
Label:    Rhino (original label: Columbia)
Year:    1967
    In the early to mid 1960s the US had literally hundreds of talented artists playing the so-called "chitlin' circuit", whose records appeared on the Rhythm & Blues charts, sometimes crossing over to the pop charts as well. In the UK, these artists were a distant legend, although their music was quite popular there. To fill a demand for live R&B in British clubs, several cover bands popped up throughout the decade. One of the most popular, and musically accomplished, bands on the London R&B/soul scene was Zoot Money's Big Roll Band. As the decade rolled on, however, public tastes started changing, and the Big Roll Band was finding it difficult to find steady work. Money responded to the situation by disbanding the group and forming the four-piece Dantalion's Chariot in 1967. The band soon gained a reputation for both their musicianship and their light show, and were considered, along with Pink Floyd and Tomorrow, to be the cream of the crop of British psychedelic bands. Unfortunately, the band had too much talent to survive long, and split up by the end of the year. Just how talented were they? Well, in addition to Money himself on vocals and keyboards, the band included a guitarist named Andy Somers, who would eventually change the spelling of his last name to Summers and form a band called the Police. Then there was the drummer, Colin Allen, who would soon resurface as a member of John Mayall's new band on the album Blues From Laurel Canyon. Not bad for a group that only released one single.

Artist:    Electric Prunes
Title:    About A Quarter To Nine
Source:    CD: I Had Too Much To Dream (Last Night) (original LP title: The Electric Prunes)
Writer(s):    Dubin/Warren
Label:    Collector's Choice/Rhino (original label: Reprise)
Year:    1967
    In the liner notes for the 2000 reissue of the debut Electric Prunes album (temporarily retitled I Had Too Much To Dream (Last Night)), rock critic Richie Unterberger characterizes About A Quarter To Nine as a "fruity Las Vegas-vaudeville-style number". This assessment pretty much explains why it is among the least-heard Electric Prunes songs on Stuck in the Psychedelic Era, or anywhere else for that matter.

Artist:    Circus Maximus
Title:    Wind
Source:    CD: Circus Maximus
Writer(s):    Bob Bruno
Label:    Vanguard
Year:    1967
    Circus Maximus was formed out of the chance meeting of multi-instrumentalist Bob Bruno and guitarist Jerry Jeff Walker in Greenwich Village in 1967. From the start the band was moving in different directions, with Bruno incorporating jazz elements into the band while Walker favored country-rock. Eventually the two would go their separate ways, but for the short time the band was together they made some of the best, if not best-known, psychedelic music on the East Coast. The band's most popular track was Wind, a Bruno tune from their debut album. The song got a considerable amount of airplay on the new "underground" radio stations that were popping up across the country at the time.

Artist:    Quicksilver Messenger Service
Title:    Dino's Song
Source:    CD: Quicksilver Messenger Service
Writer(s):    Chet Powers, aka Dino Valenti
Label:    RockBeat (original label: Capitol)
Year:    1968
    A few years back I picked up the DVD collector's edition of the telefilm that DA Pennebacker made of the Monterey International Pop Festival. In addition to the film itself there were two discs of bonus material, including a song by Quicksilver Messenger Service that was listed under the title All I Ever Wanted To Do (Was Love You). I spent some time trying to figure out which album the song had originally appeared on, but came up empty until I got a copy of the first Quicksilver album and discovered it was actually called Dino's Song. I suspect the confusion in song titles is connected to the origins of the band itself, which was the brainchild of Dino Valenti and John Cipollina (and possibly Gary Duncan). The day after their first practice session Valenti got busted and spent the next few years in jail for marijuana possession. My theory is that this was an untitled song that Valenti showed Cippolina at that first practice. Since it probably still didn't have a title when the group performed the song at Monterey, the filmmakers used the most repeated line from the song itself, All I Ever Wanted To Do (Was Love You). When the band recorded their first LP in 1968 they just called it Dino's Song.

Artist:     Canned Heat
Title:     Amphetamine Annie
Source:     CD: The Very Best of Canned Heat (originally released on LP: Boogie With Canned Heat)
Writer:     Canned Heat
Label:     Capitol (original label: Liberty)
Year:     1968
     By the end of 1967 the Haight-Ashbury scene had taken a definite turn for the worse. Most veterans of the street (i.e. those who had been there before the Summer of Love) placed the blame firmly on the influx of naive runaways that had flooded the area in the wake of calls to "go to San Francisco" earlier in the year, and on the drug dealers who preyed upon them. Methamphetamine (aka speed) was the drug usually singled out as the most destructive force at play. Back then it was the pill form of speed, such as white crosses, that was prevalent among users; the powdered crystal meth that has become a concern in modern rural America would not be used widely until the 1970s. Although originally from Los Angeles, Canned Heat had become closely identified with the San Francisco area following their appearance at the Monterey International Pop Festival and decided it was their civic duty to take a stand against the drug, declaring in the song Amphetamine Annie that "speed kills", a phrase that would show up as graffiti on various walls in the city as well. Ironically, by the time Boogie With Canned Heat, the album containing Amphetamine Annie, was released the band had returned to L.A.'s Laurel Canyon.

Artist:    Savoy Brown
Title:    Getting To The Point
Source:    LP: Getting To The Point
Writer(s):    Kim Simmonds
Label:    Parrot
Year:    1968
    Getting To The Point, the title track from Savoy Brown's second LP, is basically a blues jam with some blistering guitar work from Kim Simmonds. The group's first album had been made up almost entirely of cover songs, and, with the exception of bandleader Simmonds and pianist Bob Hall, featured an entirely different lineup. Getting To The Point, on the other hand, was made up mostly of original compositions, with new vocalist Chris Youlden's name appearing on over half of them. Two other new members, guitarist Dave Peverett and drummer Roger Earl, would stay with Savoy Brown for the band's next four albums, eventually going on to be co-founders of Foghat.

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