Brace for the Obscure (60s rock)! — November 21, 2021

257) Kaleidoscope — “Please”

No, Ashiya, not that Kaleidoscope. This is a ‘67 single from an American band founded by multi-instrumental super-session player (and future leader of El Rayo-X) David Lindley.

Lindsay Planer says in All Music Guide that:

[Kaleidoscope] synthesized rock & roll with roots and world music, first yielding Side Trips [on which today’s song appeared] arguably the most diverse effort of 1967. . . . . The mid-tempo ballad “Please” was picked as the single . . .

Arnold Shaw’s liner notes describe the album as:

It’s inventive, imaginative, intense and an amalgam of many divergent influences — sounds that range from old-time ragtime blues to exotic, drone-and-bells, minor-keyed music of Greece and Turkey, and even incorporate a Cab Calloway-Eddie South imitation of Minnie the Moocher. It’s music that is off-beat, far-out, and as unbuttoned as their comments about themselves.

According to Discogs, Lindley plays the acoustic and electric guitar, upright and electric bass guitar, banjo, lap steel guitar, mandolin, hardingfele, bouzouki, cittern, bağlama, gumbus, charango, cümbüş, oud, weissenborn, and zither, among other instruments. Lindley indicates on Side Trips’s liner notes that he dislikes: “cool girls, unenthusiastic-about-anything phonies, bigots, hypocrisy, death/war, drugs, self-centered masses, what greed makes people do.” Did he think he was giving Playboy a centerfold quote?

“Searching”’s lyrics should be required reading in any “How to Be a Good Friend” class. They obviously come from a very personal place:

I know you mean to help when you’re giving me advice but don’t you realize that you can’t live my life. I’ve got to get me up and fly. I can’t breathe down here. And if I crash keep standing by. I’m just gettin’ into gear. Stand by me. You don’t need to say a word if I stumble or I fall or I can’t see the writing on the wall. Please don’t say nothing at all. Just stand by me. Just stand by me. Don’t tell me about how I’m doing right or wrong. I don’t need no advice on how to sing my song. I’ve got to find my own way and do my own thing. And if you wanna be my friend let me push my own swing. Stand by me.”

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