49th Parallel: Brace for the Obscure (60s rock)! — June 11, 2022

THE GREATEST SONGS OF THE 1960s THAT NO ONE HAS EVER HEARD

481) 49th Parallel — “Lazerander Filchy

Another song from Calgary’s 49th Parallel (see #367). This is the one and only psych classic about a creepy taxidermist (who might possibly be applying his craft to people) — which one would think to be a much more popular subject for lysergic inquiry. Anyway, it is totally awesome and sounds like it came straight ‘outta London.

Michael Panontin explains:

Calgary’s torch bearers in the great sixties rock sweepstakes were 49th Parallel, whose 1969 chart success, ‘Twilight Woman’, garnered them a few deserved rays of limelight. . . . With MGM affiliate Maverick agreeing to handle US distribution, the single managed to tweak a few charts south of the border. Which of course gave Maverick the leeway to issue an entire LP, The 49th Parallel, an oddly schizophrenic mix of sunshine pop, Anglo lysergia and the gruffer acid-rock sounds of the era. . . . The gentlest and ultimately most successful tracks on The 49th Parallel were written by a mysterious Don Hockett, like . . . the Tomorrow-esque psych of ‘Lazerander Filchy’. ‘

http://www.canuckistanmusic.com/index.php?maid=69

The Museum of Canadian Music adds:

[They] were originally known in the mid-60’s as a popular bar band by the name of The Shades Of Blond. With a stifling and musically limiting Calgary club scene they were never able to get farther than having one single — 1966’s “All Your Love”. . . . Throughout 1968 and parts of 1969 they toured throughout North America with an ever fluctuating roster. . . . [T]hey did hit and run recording sessions which bore several singles for Venture Records including “Twilight Woman” that managed seven weeks on the CHUM charts with a peak position of #16 in April 1969, and its follow-up, “Now That I’m A Man”, in September 1969 which managed a modest 3 week ride on the CHUM charts and a peak position of #22. . . . A full-length album was hastily assembled from singles and studio outtakes because the line-up was continually fluctuating and new recordings were impossible to conduct. . . . Eventually the band changed its name to Painter and released one album before mutating into the hard rock act Hammersmith who would finally succumb in the late ’70’s after two albums on Mercury Records.

Canada Pop Encyclopedia, http://citizenfreak.com/titles/264434-49th-parallel-st

“The rain is falling softly all around the garden, see the roses creep. The house is dark except for one small window glowing, he is not asleep. Working late as usual, sewing skins and making eyes. Reconstructing creatures on display to win a prize. Recreating every kind of beast. Using canvas blue and bits of wire underneath the hides. Beasts pieced together with such painful care, constructed everywhere he goes. [chorus: “Lazerander Filchy is his name, and taxidermy is his trade. Never does he make two of the same, his work is of the highest grade.”] He’s got it made. Time is sleeping while he’s prowling in the night, how stealthily he creeps. The taxidermist lies in wait for you and me, he always plays for keeps. Lurking in the murky glow, always cool, he went to school. Only hunting on the darkest evenings as a rule, he’s no fool. Soon he’s back he’s brought in from the night. On the laboratory specimen working by the candlelight reflected in his burning eyes. He isn’t otherwise disposed.” [chorus: “Lazerander Filchy is his name, and taxidermy is his trade. Never let him catch you in his game, you’ll end up in his dream arcade. Lazerander Filchy is his name, and taxidermy is his trade. . . .”]

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