The Open Mind — “Cast a Spell”: Brace for the Obscure (60s rock)! — June 28, 2022


499) The Open Mind — “Cast a Spell”

Here is the spellbinding B-side to the band’s legendary ’69 A-side “Magic Potion.” (see #148)

John “Mojo” Mills says of the Mind that:

As a defining point of the U.K. psychedelic/progressive rock crossover, the Open Mind’s sole album is the perfect specimen. With a singing style rooted in the freakbeat era, rather than the operatic tenor screams hard rock ushered in, and acidic duel guitars, heavier than those of a typical psychedelic act, The Open Mind filled the gap between the beginning of one era and the end of another.

Let’s open the Mind. Gilesi tells us that:

This outfit from . . . South London . . . . played hip London venues such as The Electric Garden, UFO and Happening 44, and gained a residency at The Marquee where they were sometimes fronted by future Yes man Jon Anderson . . . . Boxing impresario Benny Huntsman landed the band a deal with Philips on the condition that his son Roger became their manager (though in effect it was Benny who ran the show), and their excellent self-titled album on that label was recorded in 1968, though not released until July 1969.

When asked about the origin of some of the Open Mind’s songs, bassist Timothy Dufeu explains that:

I wanted to get away from the soppy songs like “Dear Louise” and become more edgy. I had a set of French graphics Sci-Fi books. As I couldn’t speak French I used my imagination to think up the ideas for songs such as “My Mind Cries”, “Thor the Thunder God”, “Magic Potion”, “Horses & Chariots”, “Before My Time” and “Cast a Spell”. . . . Mick [Brancaccio] and Terry [Schindler] put the words to my ideas.

Dufeu then explains how the band got its name:

My mum chose it, really. I told her I needed to think of a new name for the band and was thinking up all sorts of weird things. She said “Why not call it The Open Mind” because she said she didn’t understand my way of life but had to have an open mind.

Thank God mom didn’t tell him “Why not call it The Never Calls because you never do!” Anyway, it is a cool name and a cool story, but Rob Horning thinks the band’s inspiration ran dry when it came to the album cover: “Largely ignored by the record-buying public in its day (perhaps because of its dopey cover, featuring the band crawling out of a statue’s cracked skull — get it?)”. (

Dufeu’s concluding reflection is that “Life’s too short for regrets! Only I wish I had kept my original copy of the LP – it’s worth a bit more that it was when released!” Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha.

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