“That’s the Bag I’m In” Special Edition: Fred Neil/The Fabs/Buzzy Linhart: Brace for the Obscure (60s rock)! — February 6, 2022

Nobody’s talkin’, everybody’s singin’ “That’s the Bag I’m In.” Take one classic semi-comic song and listen to two radically different but fab and buzz-worthy interpretations.

344) Fred Neil — That’s the Bag I’m In”

This sly ‘66 album track was also a ‘68 B-side to Neil’s original version of “Everybody’s Talkin’”, which Harry Nilsson famously took to #6 in August ‘69. Matthew Greenwood writes in All Music Guide that:

Primarily known for introspective, emotionally deep songs that truly make Fred Neil the father of the singer/songwriter genre, it’s not always readily apparent that Neil had a sense of humor. “That’s the Bag I’m In” certainly shows that he indeed does. With its litany of trouble and depressing circumstances . . . it’s one of the few folk songs that can’t help but make you laugh. Guided by a simple yet effective bluesy groove, the song has a wonderfully funky quality that mirrors the lyrics.

Richie Unterberger writes in AMG that:

Moody, bluesy, and melodic, Fred Neil was one of the most compelling folk-rockers to emerge from Greenwich Village in the mid-’60s. . . . For all his tangential influence, Neil himself remained an enigmatic, mysterious figure. His recorded output was formidable but sparse.

“Every morning when I wake up I burn my fingers on the coffee pot. My toast is cold and my orange juice is hot. I could start over but I’d really rather not. ‘Cause it would only happen over again. That’s the bag I’m in. I never met a girl I thought could be my friend. The only money I got is Chinese yen. They’ll probably drop the bomb the day my ship comes in. I want a steady girl who can be tall and thin. That’s the bag I’m in.”

I have added a Facebook page for Brace for the Obscure 60s Rock! If you like what you read and hear and feel so inclined, please visit and “like” my Facebook page by clicking here.

Here is a live performance from ‘70:

345) The Fabs — “That’s the Bag I’m In”

The Fabs transformed the song into a formidable ‘66 garage rocker — the A-side of the only single by the Fullerton, California band. On the Flip Side says:

The Fabs . . . played the SoCal circuits with bands like The Seeds and The Arrows. They made one and only one single in 1967 . . . . The A-side of the double-sided gem is the superb cover of folkster Fred Neil’s That’s The Bag I’m In. The Fabs add a defining bass line that lifts this far above other versions and change some lyrics to highlight their teen angst LA lifestyle a bit more.

http://ontheflip-side.blogspot.com/2014/04/the-fabs-thats-bag-im-indinah-wants.html?m=1

Cosmic Minds at Play calls it:

Another humdinger, this time from Fullerton, California’s The Fabs. They take an already brilliant “everything I do seems to go wrong” song by legendary singer-songwriter Fred Neil and transform it from a subtle folk number into a garage stomper. Some of the lyrics are changed in the process; it seems The Fabs needed to address some of their own problems – like not being able to get the girl.

https://cosmicmindatplay.wordpress.com/2013/05/09/classic-singles-20-the-fabs-thats-the-bag-im-in-dinah-wants-religion-1967/

346) Buzzy Linhart: “That’s the Bag I’m In”

Buzzy recorded his friend Neil’s song with his band Music on the ‘70 album Music. Joe Viglione writes regarding the legendary asterix that:

Linhart auditioned for Tennessee Williams, and Williams’ office immediately called to invite [him] to be on staff as an actor . . . That same evening Linhart saw Fred Neil and Neil asked [him] to play vibes with him. “I called . . . Williams’ office the next day, I was young and didn’t quite realize what was happening . . . . I wanted to play with [Neil] so badly that I called [the] office back and said, ‘Could you please tell him I’m very sorry but I can’t work with him this season (laughing now at the absurdity of what he was doing) but I certainly would enjoy working with him some time in the future.'” So he joined the folk-rock scene “and started really starving.” He began hanging out with Tim Hardin, Fred Neil, Dylan. . . .

Here is a live performance by Buzzy from ‘69 at the Videofreex Loft in NYC:

Here he is live in ‘71:

2 thoughts on ““That’s the Bag I’m In” Special Edition: Fred Neil/The Fabs/Buzzy Linhart: Brace for the Obscure (60s rock)! — February 6, 2022

  1. Richie Havens did a great rendition of That’s the bag I’m in alongside Fred Neil’s The Dolphins and a few others on his self titled record. I’m a huge fan of Fred Neil and I’d never heard these covers you posted, thanks!

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