This week's show starts off with a whole bunch of attitude that doesn't entirely disappear over the course of two hours, but does get tempered with things like a Beatles set, some philosophical musings and a bit of psychedelic storytelling. Yeah, just a typical episode of Stuck in the Psychedelic Era.
Title: Sometimes Good Guys Don't Wear White
Source: Mono LP: Nuggets Vol. 2-Punk (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s): Ed Cobb
Label: Rhino (original label: Tower)
If ever a song could be considered a garage-punk anthem, it's Sometimes Good Guys Don't Wear White, the follow-up single to the classic Dirty Water. Both songs were written by Standells' manager/producer Ed Cobb, who might be considered the record industry's answer to Ed Wood.
Artist: Music Machine
Source: Mono British import CD: The Ultimate Turn On (originally released as 45 RPM single B side and included on LP: Turn On The Music Machine)
Writer(s): Sean Bonniwell
Label: Big Beat (original label: Original Sound)
Sean Bonniwell was a member of the mainstream (i.e. lots of appearances on TV variety shows hosted by people like Perry Como and Bob Hope) folk group The Lamplighters in the early 60s. By 1966 he had morphed into one of the more mysterious figures on the LA music scene, leading a proto-punk band dressed entirely in black. Bonniwell himself wore a single black glove (Michael Jackson was about seven years old at the time), and was one of the most prolific songwriters of the time. His recordings, often featuring the distinctive Farfisa organ sound, were a primary influence on later LA bands such as Iron Butterfly and the Doors. One of the first Music Machine tracks to appear on vinyl was Wrong, which was released as the B side of the band's first single and included on their debut LP.
Title: He's Waitin'
Source: Mono LP: Nuggets Vol. 8-The Northwest (originally released on LP: Boom)
Writer(s): Gerald Roslie
Label: Rhino (original label: Etiquette)
If you were to ask a punk rock musician about his or her influences, one name that would certainly be near the top of the list is the Sonics. Formed in Tacoma, Washington in 1960 by guitarist Larry Parypa, the group began to take off with the addition of keyboardist Gerry Roslie, who took over lead vocals in 1964. Their first single, The Witch, released in late 1964, became the biggest selling locally produced single in the history of the entire Northwestern US, despite a lack of airplay due to its controversial subject matter. An LP, Here Are The Sonics, soon followed, along with several more singles on the local Etiquette label. Throughout 1965 the band continued to record new material between gigs, releasing a second LP, Boom, in February on 1966. I highlight of the album was He's Waitin' a song written to an unfaithful girlfriend. The final lines of the song make it clear just who "he" is:
"You think you are happy, I got news for you
Well, Satan found out, little girl, you're through"
Title: The Pusher
Source: CD: Easy Rider Soundtrack (originally released on LP: Steppenwolf)
Writer(s): Hoyt Axton
Label: MCA (original label: Dunhill)
While AM radio was all over Born To Be Wild in 1968 (taking the song all the way to the # 2 spot on the top 40 charts), the edgier FM stations were playing heavier tunes from the debut Steppenwolf album. The most controversial (and thus most popular) of these heavier tunes was Hoyt Axton's The Pusher, with it's repeated use of the line "God damn the Pusher." Axton himself did not record the song until 1971, by which time the song was already burned indelibly in the public consciousness as a Steppenwolf tune.
Artist: Quicksilver Messenger Service
Source: CD: Love Is The Song We Sing: San Francisco Nuggets 1965-70 (originally released on LP: Revolution soundtrack)
Writer: Buffy Sainte-Marie
Label: Rhino (original label: United Artists)
Buffy St. Marie's Codine was a popular favorite among the club crowd in mid-60s California. In 1967, L.A. band The Leaves included it on their second LP. Around the same time, up the coast in San Francisco, the Charlatans selected it to be their debut single. The suits at Kama-Sutra Records, however, balked at the choice, and instead released a cover of the Coasters' The Shadow Knows. The novelty-flavored Shadow bombed so bad that the label decided not to release any more Charlatans tracks, thus leaving their version of Codine gathering dust in the vaults until the mid 1990s, when the entire Kama-Sutra sessions were released on CD. Meanwhile, back in 1968, Quicksilver Messenger Service were still without a record contract, despite pulling decent crowds at various Bay Area venues, including a credible appearance at the Monterey International Pop Festival in June of 1967. Not long after that the producers of the quasi-documentary film Revolution decided to include footage of three as-yet unsigned Bay Area bands, one of which was Quicksilver Messenger Service, who performed Codine in the film. Rather than use that performance for the soundtrack album, the producers chose to have the band re-record the song, making Codine the group's first officially released studio recording.
Artist: Ultimate Spinach
Title: Baroque # 1
Source: LP: Ultimate Spinach
Writer(s): Ian Bruce-Douglas
Of the half dozen or so major US record labels of the time, only two, Decca and M-G-M, failed to sign any San Francisco bands in the late 1960s. Decca, which had been bought by MCA in the early 60s, was fast fading as a major force in the industry (ironic considering that Universal, the direct descendant of MCA, is now the world's largest record company). M-G-M, on the other hand, had a strong presence on the Greenwich Village scene thanks to Jerry Schoenbaum at the Verve Forecast label, who had signed such critically-acclaimed artists as Dave Van Ronk, Tim Hardin and the Blues Project. Taking this as an inspiration, the parent label decided to create interest in the Boston music scene, aggressively promoting (some would say hyping) the "Boss-Town Sound". One of the bands signed was Ultimate Spinach, which was led by keyboardist Ian Bruce-Douglas, who wrote all the band's material, including Baroque # 1, an instrumental that shows the influence of West Coast bands such as Country Joe And The Fish.
Artist: Crazy World Of Arthur Brown
Source: British import CD: Spirit Of Joy (originally released on LP: The Crazy World Of Arthur Brown and in UK as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s): Arthur Brown
Label: Polydor (original UK label: Track)
One of rock's first "theatrical" performers, Arthur Brown first began to get noticed in Paris, where he spent a year developing his stage show and unique vocal style with his band the Arthur Brown Set, which was formed in 1965. On his return to England he joined up with keyboardist Vincent Crane. By 1967 the Vincent Crane Combo had changed its name to The Crazy World Of Arthur Brown and was becoming a major force on London's underground music scene. In late 1967 the band went to work on their self-titled debut LP, which was released in the UK on the Track label in June of 1968. Spurred by the success of the single Fire, the album was picked up for American distribution by Atlantic Records that same year. The people at Atlantic, however, felt that the drums were a bit off and insisted on adding horns and strings to cover the deficiency. The result can be heard on tracks like Prelude/Nightmare, which opens the album.
Title: Let Me Be
Source: CD: 20 Greatest Hits (originally released on LP: It Ain't Me Babe and as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s): P.F. Sloan
Label: Rhino (original label: White Whale)
The Turtles were nothing if not able to redefine themselves when the need arose. Originally a surf band known as the Crossfires, the band quickly adopted an "angry young men" stance with their first single, Bob Dylan's It Ain't Me Babe, and the subsequent album of the same name. For the follow-up single the band chose a track from their album, Let Me Be, that, although written by a different writer, had the same general message as It Ain't Me Babe. The band would soon switch over to love songs like Happy Together and She'd Rather Be With Me before taking their whole chameleon bit to its logical extreme with an album called Battle Of The Bands on which each track was meant to sound like it was done by an entirely different group.
Title: Just Let Go
Source: LP: A Web Of Sound
Label: GNP Crescendo
After listening to Just Let Go, from the second Seeds album, A Web Of Sound, it's easy to see why there were some in Los Angeles that were convinced that the band was actually from another planet. An acid-rock classic.
Artist: 13th Floor Elevators
Source: British import CD: Easter Everywhere
Label: Charly (original US label: International Artists)
The first album by the 13th Floor Elevators has long been considered a milestone, in that it was one of the first truly psychedelic albums ever released (and the first to actually use the word "psychedelic" in the title). For their followup LP, the group decided to take their time, going through some personnel changes in the process. Still, the core membership of Roky Erickson, Tommy Hall and Stacy Sutherland held it together long enough to complete Easter Everywhere, releasing the album in 1967. The idea behind the album was to present a spiritual vision that combined both Eastern and Western religious concepts in a rock context. For the most part, such as on tracks like Levitation, it succeeds remarkably well, considering the strife the band was going through at the time.
Artist: Mad River
Title: Amphetamine Gazelle
Source: CD: Love Is The Song We Sing: San Francisco Nuggets 1965-70 (originally released as 45 RPM single and on LP: Mad River)
Writer: Lawrence Hammond
Label: Rhino (original label: Capitol)
By 1968 acid was no longer the drug of choice on the streets of San Francisco. In its place, crystal meth was beginning to dominate the scene, with a corresponding increase in ripoffs and burns. The local musicians often reflected this change, with some, such as Canned Heat, declaring that Speed Kills and moving south to Laurel Canyon. Others, such as Mad River (originally from Yellow Springs, Ohio, but Bay Area residents since early 1967), attempted to use ridicule to combat the problem, but with no appreciable success, speed freaks not being known for their sense of humor (or any other kind of sense for that matter).
Title: Children Of The Sun
Source: Mono CD: Nuggets II-Original Artyfacts From The British Empire And Beyond 1964-1969 (originally released in UK as 45 RPM single)
Label: Rhino (original label: Fontana)
Year: Recorded 1966, released 1969
Formed in Riverside, California in 1965, the Misunderstood relocated to London in 1966, where they soon became one of the top bands on the local underground scene. Unfortunately, the band was plagued by issues involving draft eligibility, resulting in original rhythm guitarist and primary songwriter Greg Treadwell returning to the states soon after arriving in the UK. This turned out to be a blessing in disguise, as his replacement, Londoner Tony Hill, teamed up with vocalist Rick Brown to write even better songs, augmented by the talents of Glenn Ross Campbell, who played his leads on a pedal steel guitar. The band soon signed with Fontana, releasing a single in December of 1966 before once again running into problems with the draft board, this time concerning Brown. With their frontman gone, the Misunderstood soon disbanded, with the remaining American members returning to California. Two years later Fontana released a second single by the Misunderstood, Children Of The Sun, which has since come to be regarded as a classic example of garage-flavored psychedelic music.
And now for something completely different:
Artist: Grateful Dead
Title: Friend Of The Devil
Source: LP: American Beauty
Label: Warner Brothers
The Grateful Dead spent three years and four albums trying to capture the energy of their live performances on vinyl. Having finally succeeded with the 1969 Live Dead album the group began to focus more on their songwriting capabilities. The result was two outstanding studio albums, both released in 1970: Workingman's Dead and American Beauty. Of the two, American Beauty is made up almost entirely of songs played on acoustic instruments, including pedal steel guitar, which was played by Jerry Garcia. One of the best-known tracks on American Beauty is Friend Of The Devil, which lyricist Robert Hunter referred to as "the closest we've come to what may be a classic song." Not to take anything away from Friend Of The Devil, but I'd have to say that at least three other songs (Ripple, Sugar Magnolia and Truckin') on American Beauty also qualify as classics.
Title: Psycho Daisies
Source: Mono CD: Roger The Engineer (bonus track originally released in UK as 45 RPM single B side)
Writer(s): The Yardbirds
Label: Great American Music (original British label: Columbia)
Happenings Ten Years Time Ago was the only single released by the Yardbirds to feature both Jeff Beck and Jimmy Page on lead guitar. The US version of the single featured a track from the band's 1966 LP Over Under Sideways Down (aka Roger The Engineer) on the B side, while the British single featured a unique recording of a song called Psycho Daisies that featured Beck on lead guitar, Page on bass and Jim McCarty on drums. Although credited to the entire band, Psycho Daisies was reportedly written about a woman that Beck was in love with at the time, and features a rare lead vocal performance by the guitarist.
Title: Take It Back
Source: Mono European import LP: Disraeli Gears
Label: Lilith (original US label: Atco)
After seven years of serving in the Air Force liason office at Fitzsimmons Army Hospital in Aurora, Colorado, my dad got transferred to Weisbaden Air Force Base in Germany. Standard practice at the time was for the married GI to go on ahead of the rest of the family and find a place to live "on the economy." My dad, already having quite a bit of time in the service, was able to instead get a spot in a place called Kastel, which was a group of WWII Panzer barracks that had been adapted for use by American military with families. When the rest of us arrived in August I was happily surprised to find that my dad, in addition to finding us a place to live, had bought a state-of-the-art Akai X-355 Tape Recorder using money he had won at Lotto, along with a pair of Koss headphones. I of course had to go to the Base Exchange to look for pre-recorded tapes. Already having experience with reel to reel machines, I knew that tapes recorded at 3 3/4 ips had more tape hiss than those recorded at 7 1/2 ips, so I was resolved to only buy tapes recorded at the faster speed. Unfortunately several albums I wanted were only available at the slower speed. The problem was resolved a year later when my dad finally got a Dual turntable to hook up to the tape recorder. I immediately went out and bought a reel of blank tape; the first album I made a copy of was Cream's Disraeli Gears. I would often fall asleep listening to that tape, which meant I ended up sleeping through the last songs on the album, including Take It Back. I must have done some kind of sleep learning, though, since to this day I can quote the lyrics of the entire song.
Artist: Jelly Bean Bandits
Source: British Import CD: All Kinds Of Highs (originally released on LP: The Jelly Bean Bandits)
Label: Big Beat (original label: Mainstream)
Of the various albums released on Bob Shad's Mainstream label from 1966-1969, one of the most fully realized was the first (and only) album by the Jelly Bean Bandits. Formed as the Mirror in 1966, the Bandits built up a following in the native Newburgh, NY and surrounding areas over a period on months. The particularly brash move of tearing pages out of the yellow pages and showing up unannounced at the offices of various record labels led them to a meeting with Shad at Mainstream's New York offices. After listening to the band's demos Shad offered the Jelly Bean Bandits a contract to record three albums, but, sadly, only one was released. One of the highlights of that album was Tapestries, sung by drummer Joe Scalfari. The Bandits immediately got to work on a second album, but a combination of internal and financial difficulties, coupled with lack of promotional support from their label, led to the group's early demise.
Artist: Peanut Butter Conspiracy
Title: Captain Sandwich
Source: CD: Is Spreading/The Great Conspiracy (originally released on LP: The Great Conspiracy)
Writer(s): John Merrill
Label: Collectables (original label: Columbia)
The second album by the Peanut Butter Conspiracy saw the band asserting its independence from producer Gary Usher, whose Brian Wilson influenced production style had included bringing in studio musicians to make the band sound more commercial. The Great Conspiracy, however, was a much more psychedelic album, although in some cases, such as Captain Sandwich, the psychedelia borders on the excessively bizarre.
Title: Back In The USSR/Dear Prudence
Source: CD: The Beatles
Label: Parlophone (original label: Apple)
The day it appeared in the Ramstein AFB Base Exchange, I bought a numbered copy of The Beatles (aka the White Album) without ever having heard a single track from it. I took it home, unwrapped it from the cellophane and put it on the turntable. My first thought when I head the album's opening track, Back In The USSR, was "this sounds like the Beach Boys!" The song was, according to Paul McCartney, written from the point of view of a Russian spy returning home to the USSR after an extended mission in the United States, and that he intended it to be a "spoof" on the typical American international traveller's contention that "it's just so much better back home" and their yearning for the comforts of their homeland. The song ends with the sound of a jet plane that cross fades into John Lennon's Dear Prudence, a song written with the intention of bringing Mia Farrow's sister Prudence out of her shell while they were all in India to study with Maharishi Mahesh Yogi.
Title: Getting Better
Source: CD: Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band
Label: Parlophone (original US label: Capitol)
Following their 1966 North American tour, the Beatles announced that they were giving up live performances to concentrate on their songwriting and studio work. Freed of the responsibilities of the road (and under the influence of mind-expanding substances), the band members found themselves discovering new sonic possibilities as never before (or since), hitting a creative peak with their 1967 album Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, often cited as the greatest album ever recorded. The individual Beatles were about to move in separate musical directions, but as of Sgt. Pepper's were still functioning mostly as a single unit, as is heard on the chorus of Getting Better, in which Paul McCartney's opening line, "I have to admit it's getting better", is immediately answered by John Lennon's playfully cynical "can't get no worse". The members continued to experiment with new instrumental styles as well, such as George Harrison's use of sitar on the song's bridge, accompanied by Ringo Starr's bongos.
Title: I'm So Tired
Source: CD: The Beatles
Label: Parlophone (original label: Apple)
Somehow I can't help but thinking of the Firesign Theatre's Further Adventures of Nick Danger every time I hear this song. I guess that's better than thinking of Charles Manson's group, which some of the other songs on the "white album" make me do.
Artist: Country Joe And The Fish
Title: Away Bounce My Bubbles
Source: LP: Together
Writer(s): Chicken Hirsh
The third Country Joe And The Fish LP, Together, was the group's most commercially successful album, despite the fact that Country Joe McDonald himself had left the band not long before sessions for the album started, returning in time to appear on the album's first track, along with most of side two. As a result, only two of the album's eleven tracks are credited solely to McDonald as a songwriter. Chicken Hirsh, whose previous contributions had been limited to co-writing one song with David Cohen and participating in a couple group compositions, had five writing credits on Together, including Away Bounce My Bubbles, one of two solo compositions from the drummer (who also sings on the track).
Artist: Bob Seger System
Title: Death Row
Source: 45 RPM single B side
Writer: Bob Seger
I like to play Bob Seger's Death Row, written from the perspective of a convicted murderer waiting to be executed, for fans of the Silver Bullet Band who think that Turn the Page is about as intense as it gets. I consider myself lucky to have stumbled across this rare single at a radio station I used to work for. Even better, the station had no desire to keep the record, since the A side, the equally intense anti-war song 2+2=?, never charted. Their loss.
Artist: Deep Purple
Title: One More Rainy Day
Source: LP: Shades Of Deep Purple
The last song to be recorded for Shades Of Deep Purple was a song called One More Rainy Day. Quite honestly, I find it to be the weakest track on the album, but that still puts it ahead of 90% of what was being played on top 40 radio in 1968. The song also appeared as the B side of the Hush single, which made the top 10.
Artist: Simon and Garfunkel
Title: The Dangling Conversation
Source: CD: Collected Works (originally released as 45 RPM single and on LP: Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme)
Writer(s): Paul Simon
The first Simon and Garfunkel album, Wednesday Morning 3AM, originally tanked on the charts, causing Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel to temporarily pursue solo careers. Simon went to England, where he wrote and recorded an album's worth of material, while Garfunkel went back to school. Meanwhile, producer Tom Wilson, fresh from producing Bob Dylan's Like A Rolling Stone, went into the studio with the original recording of the song Sound of Silence and added electric instruments to it. The result was a surprise hit that led Paul Simon to return to the US, reuniting with Art Garfunkel and re-recording several of the tunes he had recorded as a solo artist for a new album, Sounds of Silence. The success of that album prompted Columbia to re-release Wednesday Morning, 3AM, which in turn became a bestseller. Meanwhile, Simon and Garfunkel returned to the studio to record an album of all new material. Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme was yet another success that spawned several hit songs, including The Dangling Conversation, a song Simon described as similar to The Sound Of Silence, but more personal. The song was originally released as a single in fall of 1966, before the album itself came out.
Title: There Was A Time
Source: LP: Wear Your Love Like Heaven (also released on LP: A Gift From A Flower To A Garden)
Writer(s): Donovan Leitch
Following the success of his Sunshine Superman and Mellow Yellow albums and a subsequent pair of hit singles, Donovan released a boxed double LP set called A Gift From A Flower To A Garden in December of 1967. His US label, Epic, had reservations about the public's willingness to shell out the money for a package that included extensive lyric sheets in addition to the two discs, each of which carried its own subtitle. To hedge their bets Epic decided to release each disc as a separate album as well. The first, entitled Wear Your Love Like Heaven, used studio musicians to back up the singer/songwriter and was more in line with his previous albums musically. Lyrically, though, Donovan had changed his tune concerning drug use, having seen too many friends become addicted to harder drugs as well as doing some jail time himself for marijuana possession. For the most part the songs on the Wear Your Love Like Heaven disc are shorter than on his previous two albums. There Was A Time, which closes out the album's first side, runs a second short of the two minute mark and yet is only the third shortest track on the ten-song LP. In fact, the entire album runs less than 24 minutes, making it even shorter than a typical US Beatles album.
Artist: Masters Apprentices
Title: Theme For A Social Climber
Source: Australian import LP: The Master's Apprentices
Writer(s): Michael Bower
Formed in 1964 by guitarists Mick Bower and Rick Morrison, drummer Brian Vaughton and bassist Gavin Webb, the Mustangs were an instrumental surf music band from Adelaide, South Australia that specialized in covers of Ventures and Shadows songs. In June of that year the Beatles came to Adelaide and were greeted by the largest crowd of their career (around 300,000 people). The popularity of the Beatles among the locals prompted the Mustangs to add vocalist Jim Keays and switch to British-influenced Beat music. In late 1965, having been introduced to the blues through records by bands like the Yardbirds and Rolling Stones, the band changed its name to the Masters Apprentices, with Bower explaining that "we are apprentices to the masters of the blues—Chuck Berry, Bo Diddley, Jimmy Reed, Elmore James and Robert Johnson". The band decided to relocate to Melbourne in early 1967, taking on Steve Hopgood as the band's new drummer when Vaughton decided to stay in Adelaide. The group had already released their first single, Undecided, in late 1966, and soon after the move to Melbourne followed it up with a four song EP. Undecided ended up peaking at #13 on the Australian charts on its 16-week run, prompting the band's label, Astor, to ask the band for enough more songs to fill an entire album. The band responded by recording five cover songs and two new originals by Bower. The shorter of the two was Theme For A Social Climber, a song lamenting the loss of a girlfriend to upward mobility. Unfortunately, Bower suffered a nervous breakdown in September, and the band was left without a songwriter. By the end of 1967 the band was on the verge of disintegrating, which led Keays to reorganize the band in January of 1968 with several new members, retaining only Gavin Webb from the original Mustangs lineup. He also ended up leaving the group due to stomach ulcers in April of 1968.
Artist: Lamp Of Childhood
Title: No More Running Around
Source: Mono CD: Where The Action Is: L.A. Nuggets 1965-68 (originally released as 45 RPM single)
Label: Rhino (original label: Dunhill)
I've often wondered how it was that a somewhat raunchy rock band like Steppenwolf ended up on the same pop-oriented record label (Dunhill) as the Mamas and the Papas, the Grass Roots and 3 Dog Night. It turns out the Dunhill connection was from the man who produced Steppenwolf, Gabriel Mekler. Mekler was a member of the Lamp Of Childhood, a group that also included Cass Elliot's husband James Hendricks. Although the Lamp had a solid pop sound, they never really caught on and by the time their third and most successful single, No More Running Around, was released, the members had already moved on to other things (like, for instance, producing Steppenwolf records, or in the case of drummer Billy Mundi, joining the Mothers Of Invention).
Artist: Moody Blues
Title: Tuesday Afternoon (Forever Afternoon)
Source: CD: The Best Of 60s Supergroups (originally released on LP: Days Of Future Passed and as 45 RPM single)
Writer(s): Justin Hayward
Label: Priority (original label: Deram)
Tuesday Afternoon was the second single released from the Moody Blues' breakthrough 1967 LP Days Of Future Passed. At the insistence of producer Tony Clarke the album version of the song was retitled Forever Tuesday and was used as part one of a track called The Afternoon. When released as a single the following year, composer Justin Hayward's original title was restored to the piece, which was initially edited down to less than two and a half minutes for the 45 RPM pressing. The original album version of the song includes a separately recorded orchestral coda that segues directly into the next phase of the album, entitled The Evening. The version heard here includes the orchestral coda but does not segue into the next track.
Artist: Jimi Hendrix Experience
Title: Castles Made Of Sand
Source: CD: The Ultimate Experience (originally released on LP: Axis: Bold As Love)
Writer: Jimi Hendrix
Label: MCA (original label: Reprise)
Although born in Seattle, Washington, James Marshall Hendrix was never associated with the local music scene that produced some of the loudest and raunchiest punk-rock of the mid 60s. Instead, he paid his professional dues backing R&B artists on the "chitlin circuit" of clubs playing to a mostly-black clientele, mainly in the southern US. After a short stint leading his own soul band, Jimmy James and the Blue Flames, Hendrix, at the behest of former Animals bassist Chas Chandler, moved to London, where he recuited a pair of local musicians, Mitch Mitchell and Noel Redding, to form the Jimi Hendrix Experience. Although known for his innovative use of feedback, Hendrix was quite capable of knocking out some of the most complex "clean" riffs ever to be committed to vinyl. A prime example of this is Castles Made Of Sand. Hendrix's highly melodic guitar work combined with unusual tempo changes and haunting lyrics makes Castles Made Of Sand a classic that sounds as fresh today as it did when Axis: Bold As Love was released in 1967. The first time I ever heard this song it gave me chills.
Title: The End
Source: LP: The Doors
Writer(s): The Doors
Prior to recording their first album the Doors' honed their craft at various Sunset Strip clubs, working up live versions of the songs they would soon record, including their show-stopper, The End. Originally written as a breakup song by singer/lyricist Jim Morrison, The End runs nearly twelve minutes and includes the controversial spoken "Oedipus section" that reportedly lost the group their residency at the Whisky-A-Go-Go. My own take on the famous "blue bus" line earlier in the song is that Morrison, being a military brat, was probably familiar with the blue shuttle buses used on military bases for a variety of purposes, including taking kids to school, and simply incorporated his experiences with them into his lyrics. The End got its greatest exposure in 1979, when Oliver Stone used it in his film Apocalypse Now.
Artist: Peter, Paul And Mary
Title: Blowin' In The Wind
Source: 45 RPM single
Writer(s): Bob Dylan
Label: Warner Brothers
Just as knowing the chords for Van Morrison's Gloria was pretty much a prerequisite for being in a garage band, being able to play Bob Dylan's Blowing In The Wind was a must for anyone attempting to play folk music at a party in the mid-1960s. If there was more than one of you singing, you most likely used the Peter, Paul and Mary arrangement of the tune, with its three-part harmony. Their version was by far the most popular recording of the song, going all the way to the # 2 spot on the top 40 charts in the summer of '63.