Sunday, May 15, 2022

Stuck in the Psychedelic Era # 2221 (starts 5/16/22) 

    This week Stuck in the Psychedelic Era partakes in a new investigation of an old blues legend. His name was J.B. Lenoir, and on May 20th, Little Village is releasing The Lenoir Investigation, a new album by guitarists Rome Yamilov and Henry Kaiser. Our entire Advanced Psych segment features tracks from the album, along with short excerpts from a recent interview with Henry Kaiser himself. Of course there is plenty more to hear on this week's show, including a Rolling Stones set and half a dozen other tracks that have never been played on Stuck in the Psychedelic Era before.

Artist:    Beau Brummels
Title:    Laugh Laugh
Source:    Mono CD: Nuggets-Original Artyfacts from the Psychedelic Era (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Ron Elliott
Label:    Rhino (original label: Autumn)
Year:    1964
    It was difficult for an American band to get a hit record in 1964. Some, such as San Francisco's Beau Brummels, decided the best way was to beat the Brits at their own game. Laugh Laugh, their debut single, was released in December of that year as one of the first singles on popular local DJ Tom Donahue's Autumn label. Ultimately, the decision to emulate British rock worked against the Brummels, as they were never really considered part of the blossoming San Francisco music scene.

Artist:    Byrds
Title:    Wait And See
Source:    LP: Turn! Turn! Turn!
Writer(s):    McGuinn/Crosby
Label:    Columbia
Year:    1965
    Considering how prolific a songwriter David Crosby has been over the past five decades, it might be had to believe that he did not have a single writing credit on the Byrds' debut LP, Mr. Tambourine Man. In fact, Crosby's first official writing credit was on a song he co-wrote with Roger McGuinn called Wait And See, which was buried toward the end of side two of the second Byrds album, Turn! Turn! Turn! It was not as if Crosby wasn't writing songs at that point; he had brought two of his own tunes (Stranger In A Strange Land and the Flower Bomb Song) to the recording sessions, only to have them rejected by McGuinn and the band's manager, Jim Dickson, as well as by producer Terry Melcher. This was the beginning of tensions between Crosby and McGuinn that eventually led to Crosby's being fired from the band in 1967.
Artist:    Simon & Garfunkel
Title:    Leaves That Are Green
Source:    LP: Sounds Of Silence
Writer(s):    Paul Simon
Label:    Columbia
Year:    1966
    When The Sound Of Silence became a surprise hit in early 1966, Paul Simon, who had moved to England the previous year, hastily returned to the US and reunited with Art Garfunkel (who had gone back to college) to record a new Simon & Garfunkel album called (naturally) Sounds Of Silence. To expedite the process, the duo chose to include new recordings of several songs such as Leaves That Are Green that had been released the previous year in the UK on an album called The Paul Simon Songbook. The lyrics to one more of those songs, The Side Of A Hill, would be reworked into a piece called Canticle, which was sung as counterpoint to Scarborough Fair on the next Simon & Garfunkel album.

Artist:    Tol-Puddle Martyrs
Title:    Time Will Come
Source:    Mono CD: Tol-Pubble Martyrs (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Peter Rechter
Label:    Secret Deals (original labels: Pacific/Spiral)
Year:    1967
    The Tol-Puddle Martyrs' Time Will Come was originally released in Bendigo, Victoria, Australia on the Pacific label, until the owner of the Pacific label was informed that there was already a Pacific label operating in Melbourne. At that time the label was hastily changed to Spiral, with the record having the same catalogue number. Although not a popular release at the time, both Time Will Come and its B side, Social Cell, are now considered classic examples of garage-rock, Australian style.

Artist:    Steppenwolf
Title:    Desperation
Source:    CD: Steppenwolf
Writer(s):    John Kay
Label:    MCA (original label: Dunhill)
Year:    1968
    A close listen to the first Steppenwolf album reveals a band still looking for its signature sound. As a result, the album includes songs from a greater variety of genres than on later efforts. Among those is the slow love ballad, as represented by John Kay's Desperation.

Artist:    Grateful Dead
Title:    Death Don't Have No Mercy
Source:    LP: Live Dead
Writer(s):    Rev. Gary Davis
Label:    Warner Brothers
Year:    1969
    Prior to 1969, the recording quality of live albums was noticably inferior to that of studio recordings by the same artist, particularly among rock bands. The Grateful Dead, however, set out to change all that with their 1969 double LP Live Dead. The band's previous album, had gone way over budget, and the band's label, Warner Brothers, wanted the band itself to help pay for it. By providing a double-LP live album at virtually no additional cost, the Dead would be able to give Warner three discs for the price of one, getting themselves out of debt in the process. The fact that the album itself sold quite well certainly didn't hurt the band's relationship with the label, either. Much of the credit for the album's success was due to the efforts of the band's legendary soundman, Owsley "Bear" Stanley. Bear began by asking electronics designer Ron Wickersham to come up with a microphone splitter that could feed signals to the PA system and the recording console simultaneously without any loss in sound quality. Just as important was the availability of a new state-of-the art Ampex 16-track recorder. Live Dead would be the first live performance ever recorded using 16-track equipment.The album was recorded over a period of about a week at two locations: the Avalon Ballroom and the Fillmore West. The fourth side of the album, which includes the Dead's version of Rev. Gary Davis's Death Don't Have No Mercy, was recorded on March 2, 1969 at the Fillmore West, the final recording date.

Artist:    Rolling Stones
Title:    Have You Seen Your Mother, Baby, Standing In The Shadow?
Source:    45 RPM single
Writer(s):    Jagger/Richards
Label:    London
Year:    1966
    By mid-1966 there was a population explosion of teenage rock bands popping up in garages and basements all across the US, the majority of which were doing their best to emulate the grungy sound of their heroes, the Rolling Stones. The Stones themselves responded by ramping up the grunge factor to a previously unheard of degree with their last single of the year, Have You Seen Your Mother, Baby, Standing In The Shadow? It was the most feedback-laden record ever to make the top 40 at that point in time, and it inspired America's garage bands to buy even more powerful amps and crank up the volume (driving their parents to drink in the process).

Artist:    Rolling Stones
Title:    Gomper
Source:    CD: Their Satanic Majesties Request
Writer(s):    Jagger/Richards
Label:    Abkco
Year:    1967
    Probably the most overtly psychedelic track ever recorded by the Rolling Stones, Gomper might best be described as a hippy love song with its references to nature, innocence and, of course, pyschedelic substances. Brian Jones makes one of his last significant contributions as a member of the band he founded, playing the dulcimer, as well as tablas, organ, pan flutes and various percussion instruments on the song.

Artist:    Rolling Stones
Title:    Who's Driving Your Plane
Source:    45 RPM single B side
Writer(s):    Jagger/Richards
Label:    London
Year:    1966
    By 1966 Mick Jagger and Keith Richards were writing everything the Rolling Stones recorded. As their songwriting skills became more sophisticated the band began to lose touch with its R&B roots. To counteract this, Jagger and Richards would occasionally come up with tunes like Who's Driving Your Plane, a bluesy number that nonetheless is consistent with the band's cultivated image as the bad boys of rock. The song appeared as the B side (mistitled on the label as Who's Driving My Plane) of Have You Seen Your Mother, Baby, Standing In The Shadow.
Artist:    Procol Harum
Title:    Understandably Blue
Source:    British import CD: Procol Harum (bonus track)
Writer(s):    Brooker/Reid
Label:    Salvo/Fly
Year:    Recorded 1967, released 2009
    Recorded only weeks after A Whiter Shade Of Pale, Understandably Blue was originally written to be given to Dusty Springfield, but instead ended up being recorded by the original Procol Harum lineup. That version, as well as the other sessions featuring guitarist Ray Royer and Bobby Hamilton, was eventually scrapped when new members Robin Trower and David Knights were brought in to record Procol Harum's debut LP, but during the sessions Brooker cut a solo version of Understandably Blue, which was later enhanced with strings arranged and conducted by Tony Visconti and issued as a bonus track on the 2009 CD release of the Procol Harum album.

Artist:    Hollies
Title:    Signs That Will Never Change
Source:    45 RPM single B side
Writer(s):    Hicks/Clarke/Nash
Label:    Epic
Year:    1967
    The Hollies' first record to appear on the Epic label in the US was Carrie Anne, released in May of 1967. By this time the band's three songwriters, Allan Clarke, Graham Nash and Tony Hicks, had abandoned the "L. Ransford" pseudonym in favor of using their real names on their compositions, including Signs That Will Never Change, which appeared as the B side of Carrie Anne.

Artist:    Status Quo
Title:    Pictures Of Matchstick Men
Source:    Simulated stereo CD: The Best Of 60s Psychedelic Rock (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Francis Rossi
Label:    Priority (original label: Cadet Concept)
Year:    1967
    The band with the most charted singles in the UK is not the Beatles or even the Rolling Stones. It is, in fact, Status Quo, quite possibly the nearest thing to a real life version of Spinal Tap. Except for Pictures of Matchstick Men, the group has never had a hit in the US. On the other hand, they remain popular in Scandanavia, playing to sellout crowds on a regular basis (yes, they are still together).

Artist:    Velvet Underground
Title:    There She Goes Again
Source:    CD: The Velvet Underground And Nico
Writer(s):    Lou Reed
Label:    Polydor (original label: Verve)
Year:    1967    
    When the Velvet Underground first appeared, their fame was pretty much limited to the New York art crowd, among which their sponsor and primary financial backer Andy Warhol was a superstar in his own right. With talent like Lou Reed and John Cale in the band, however, the VU eventually attained legendary punk status of their own, albeit long after the band ceased to exist. One of the best tracks on the group's debut LP was There She Goes Again, a song that starts off sounding like the Rolling Stones' cover of Marvin Gaye's Hitch Hike, but soon moves into unexplored territory, especially in its subject matter (prostitution as a lifestyle choice).

Artist:    Music Machine
Title:    Double Yellow Line
Source:    Mono CD: The Very Best Of The Music Machine-Turn On (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Sean Bonniwell
Label:    Collectables (original label: Original Sound)
Year:    1967
    Sean Bonniwell was an early champion of bands that played their own original material as opposed to covering the hits of the day. His own group, the Music Machine, deliberately played tight, segued sets of originals so that nobody in the crowd would have time to yell out "Cherish" or "Last Train to Clarksville" or whatever else was popular on local radio stations at the time. Imagine his chagrin when he learned that his record label, Original Sound (!), had substituted a set of cover tunes that the Music Machine had recorded for a TV show for four of Bonniwell's originals on the band's 1966 debut LP Turn On. One of the four songs to be cut was Double Yellow Line, a tune that appeared the following year as a single.
Artist:    "E" Types
Title:    Put The Clock Back On The Wall
Source:    CD: Even More Nuggets (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Bonner/Gordon
Label:    Rhino (original label: Tower)
Year:    1967
    The E-Types were originally from Salinas, California, which at the time was known for it's sulfiric smell experienced by passing motorists travelling along US 101. As many people from Salinas apparently went to "nearby" San Jose (about 60 miles to the north) as often as possible, the E-Types became regulars on the local scene, eventually landing a contract with Tower Records and Ed Cobb, who also produced the Standells and the Chocolate Watchband. The Bonner/Gordon songwriting team were just a couple months away from getting huge royalty checks from the Turtles' Happy Together when Put The Clock Back On The Wall was released in early 1967. The song takes its title from a popular phrase of the time. After a day or two of losing all awareness of time (and sometimes space) it was time to put the clock back on the wall, or get back to reality if you prefer.

Artist:    Spirit
Title:    Uncle Jack
Source:    CD: The Best Of Spirit (originally released on LP: Spirit)
Writer(s):    Jay Ferguson
Label:    Epic
Year:    1968
    Despite nearly universal positive reviews by the rock press, the first Spirit album never really caught the imagination of the record buying public. Why this is the case is still a bit of a mystery, as the album is full of outstanding tracks such as Uncle Jack. Perhaps the album, and indeed the band itself, was just a bit ahead of its time.

    This week we have a special Advanced Psych segment featuring three tracks from a brand new (release date 5/20/22) album by guitarists Rome Yamilov and Henry Kaiser called The Lenoir Investigation. The origins of the project can be traced back to Jim Pugh, who in 2014 started the Little Village Foundation to produce and distribute "culturally significant recordings made by individuals and groups that might otherwise not be heard beyond the artists' community or family". One of the first musicians he found was Mumbai-born blues harmonicist Aki Kumar. . Kumar, who now lives in San Jose, California, brought along drummer June Core and Russian-born guitarist Rome Yamilov (who has lived in San Jose since he was seven years old), to record the album Hindi Man Blues. Eventually Pugh suggested to Yamilov that he team with the legendary Bay Area "free improviser" guitarist Henry Kaiser to make a "crazy guitar" album. Pugh even had an idea for the subject matter: an exploration of the music of J.B. Lenoir, himself a blue legend who tragically died at the age of 38 from untreated injuries suffered in a car crash. With backup from Core, Kumar (who also sings the Hindi lyrics on Na Er Jeg E Form! (Play A Little While)) and bassist Kid Anderson (from Charlie Musselwhite's band), the two guitarists set out to deconstruct and then reimagine some of Lenoir's compositions. For those of you listening in stereo (especially if you have headphones on), Yamilov's guitar, which is rooted solidly in the blues, is on the left side, while Kaiser's work, which tends to be a bit more (dare I say it?) psychedelic, is on the right. In between the tracks we have a few words from Kaiser himself.

Artist:    Rome Yamilov/Henry Kaiser
Title:    How Long
Source:    CD: The Lenoir Investigation
Writer(s):    J.D. Lenoir
Label:    Little Village
Year:    2022

Artist:    Rome Yamilov/Henry Kaiser
Title:    God's Word
Source:    CD: The Lenoir Investigation
Writer(s):    J.D. Lenoir
Label:    Little Village
Year:    2022

Artist:    Rome Yamilov/Henry Kaiser
Title:    Na Er Jeg E Form! (Play A Little While)
Source:    CD: The Lenoir Investigation
Writer(s):    J.D. Lenoir
Label:    Little Village
Year:    2022

    Artist:    Donovan
Title:    The Trip
Source:    Mono LP: Sunshine Superman
Writer(s):    Donovan Leitch
Label:    Sundazed/Epic
Year:    1966
    Donovan had already established a reputation in his native Scotland as the UK's answer to Bob Dylan, but had not had much success in the US, where his records were being released on the low-distribution Hickory label. That all changed in 1966, however, when he began to move beyond his folk roots and embrace a more electric sound. Unlike Dylan, who basically kept the same style as his acoustic songs, simply adding electic instruments, Donovan took a more holistic approach. The result was a body of music with a much broader range of sounds. The first of these new electric tunes was Sunshine Superman, sometimes cited as the first top 10 psychedelic hit. The B side of Sunshine Superman was a song called The Trip, which managed to be even more psychedelic than its A side. Both songs soon appeared on Donovan's major US label debut, an album that was not even released in the UK due to a contractual dispute between the singer/songwriter and Pye Records.

Artist:    Luv'd Ones
Title:    I'm Leaving You
Source:    CD: If You're Ready! The Best Of Dunwich Records...Volume 2 (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Gallagher/Vinnedge
Label:    Sundazed/Here 'Tis (original label: Dunwich)
Year:    1966
    Although nearly all of the original material performed by the Luv'd Ones was written by lead guitarist/vocalist Char Vinnedge, rhythm guitarist Mary Gallagher got a co-writing credit on I'm Leaving You. The song was issued as the band's second single for the Dunwich label, and was reissued five months later as the B side of their third and final single, Dance Kid Dance.

Artist:    Blues Project
Title:    Wake Me, Shake Me
Source:    LP: Tommy Flanders, Danny Kalb, Steve Katz, Al Kooper, Andy Kuhlberg, Roy Blumenfeld Of The Blues Project (originally released on LP: Projections)
Writer(s):    arr. Al Kooper
Label:    Verve Forecast
Year:    1967
           After losing their original lead vocalist, Tommy Flanders, in early 1966, the remaining members of the Blues Project decided to concentrate on their improvisational and songwriting skills, splitting vocal duties between them. Rather than trying to rework the same songs they had been performing with Flanders, they instead began to work up new material, including keyboardist Al Kooper's rock and roll arrangement of an old gospel song, Wake Me, Shake Me. It was this arrangement that appeared on the group's next LP, Projections.
Artist:    Turtles
Title:    Outside Chance
Source:    French import CD: Happy Together (bonus track originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s):    Zevon/Crocker
Label:    Magic (original label: White Whale)
Year:    1966
    The Turtles' Outside Chance is distinctive for several reasons. First, it was the last single released before Happy Together, the song that would become the band's signature song. It was also their first single since It Ain't Me Babe not to hit the charts, which is kind of hard to understand, as it really is a well-crafted record with a catchy hook. Outside Chance is also notable for being co-written by Warren Zevon, making the record's lack of success even more unfathomable.

Artist:    Standells
Title:    Dirty Water (live version)
Source:    45 RPM single
Writer(s):    Ed Cobb
Label:    Sundazed
Year:    Recorded 1966, released 2014
    In October of 1966 the Standells were riding high on the strength of their hit single, Dirty Water, when they opened for the Beach Boys at the University of Michigan. Unbeknownst to the band at the time, the entire performance was being professionally recorded by people from Capitol Records, the parent company of Tower Records, whom the Standells recorded for. The recordings remained unreleased for many years; in fact, even the band members themselves were unaware of their existence until around 2000. Finally, in 2014, Sundazed released the live recording of Dirty Water on clear 45 RPM vinyl as part of their Record Store Day promotion. Enjoy!

Artist:    Aretha Franklin
Title:    Respect
Source:    45 RPM single (reissue)
Writer(s):    Otis Redding
Label:    Atlantic
Year:    1967
    So much has been written about Aretha Franklin's version of Respect, I really have nothing to add. Well, except to repeat the story that Otis Redding supposedly stole the song from Speedo Sims, who in turn had stolen it from an unnamed guitarist at Bobby Smith's recording studio in Macon, Georgia.

Artist:    Crazy World Of Arthur Brown
Title:    I Put A Spell On You
Source:    CD: The Crazy World Of Arthur Brown
Writer(s):    Jay Hawkins
Label:    Polydor (original label: Atlantic)
Year:    1968
    One of the most original records of 1968 was an album called The Crazy World Of Arthur Brown by the group of the same name. Arthur Brown was known for his stage show, which sometimes resembled a circus more than a rock concert, with band members wearing masks and Brown himself sporting flaming headgear. The music itself was more theatrical than your average rock band as well, as Brown's somewhat over the top version of Jay Hawkins' I Put A Spell On You clearly demonstrates.

Artist:    Santana
Title:    Evil Ways
Source:    CD: Love Is The Song We Sing: San Francisco Nuggets 1965-70 (originally released on LP: Santana)
Writer(s):    Clarence Henry
Label:    Rhino (original label: Columbia)
Year:    1969
    Evil Ways was originally released in 1968 by jazz percussionist Willie Bobo on an album of the same name. When Carlos Santana took his new band into the studio to record their first LP, they made the song their own, taking it into the top 10 in 1969.

Artist:    Savoy Brown
Title:    A Hard Way To Go
Source:    LP: Raw Sienna
Writer(s):    Chris Youlden
Label:    Parrot
Year:    1970
    A Hard Way To Go is the opening track of the fifth Savoy Brown album, Raw Sienna. One of the group's best albums, it was also the last to feature the lead vocals of Chris Youlden, who also wrote A Hard Way To Go. Sadly, Youlden's solo career has been less than stellar, although I suppose he makes a living at it.

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