The Rose Garden: Brace for the Obscure (60s rock)! — July 30, 2022

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

536) The Rose Garden — “Here’s Today”

To my mind, the best thing this Byrds-obsessed L.A. group ever did was “Here’s Today”, the B-side to their final single (and one of their only self-penned songs). Michael Doherty calls it “a really cool folk-rock song” (http://michaelsmusiclog.blogspot.com/2018/07/the-rose-garden-trip-through-garden.html?m=1), and Mark X calls the song “very Byrds-like” with “a fab chorus and nice 12-string guitar signature riffs.” (https://audiophilereview.com/audiophile-music/byrds-family-n-friends-rose-garden-cd-gene-clark-lp-tidal-streams-reviewed/) The moral of the song? Seize the day!

Joe Marchese says it is “a surprisingly commercial track that could have held its own as a A-side” and goes on give some band history:

The Los Angeles-area band (John Noreen, Jim Groshong, Bruce Bowdin, and Bill Fleming) was enamored with The Byrds . . . . With the addition of singer Diana De Rose, The Blokes gained a gal and rechristened themselves The Rose Garden (a play on their newest addition’s surname.) A showcase at hot spot Gazzarri’s on the Sunset Strip landed the still-underage band a deal with Buffalo Springfield managers Charles Greene and Brian Stone. They got The Rose Garden signed with the Springfield’s label, Atco, and set about producing their first album.

https://theseconddisc.com/2018/08/13/reviews-gene-clark-and-the-rose-garden-return-from-omnivore/

All But Forgotten Oldies adds:

The Rose Garden was a short-lived male-female folk rock quintet formed in Los Angeles in 1967 . . . . best remembered for the evocative and wistful “Next Plane To London,” a ballad about a frustrated singer in Hollywood who hopes to find success in London but has mixed feelings about leaving her boyfriend behind. The Rose Garden began in 1964 as a Byrds cover band known as The Blokes. They also performed and recorded as the Giant Sunflower for “February Sunshine” which became a minor hit. After West Virginia native De Rose joined the group in 1967, they became known as The Rose Garden and signed with Atco Records. The Rose Garden made its chart debut in late 1967 with “Next Plane To London” which became a Top 20 hit.

https://www.allbutforgottenoldies.net/rose-garden.html

Richie Unterberger chronicles the band’s final days, including its “flop” final single:

[T]he group only released one subsequent single, the non-charting “If My World Falls Through” . . . before splitting. “I felt that the band was watching out for the band, Diana was watching out for Diana, and that created some problems with the record company,” says Noreen. “At the same time, Jim and Bruce were called by Uncle Sam. We were dead in the water with all that going on.” The B-side of the non-LP single, the extremely Byrdsy “Here Today” — co-written by Noreen and roadie Phil Vickery — was probably the truest representation of what the Rose Garden’s music could have evolved into, away from the demos they were being fed.

http://www.richieunterberger.com/rosegarden.html

“As the brightness of the day and it’s light and night are crossed. While today flows into yesterday, tomorrow may be lost. You musn’t dwell upon your past, there’s a new world in the dawn. When the silent night has passed, at last you’ll remember what has gone. It’s up to you to do it. If you wish you can sit right through it. You can take it and break it. Here’s today and it’s yours. So why don’t you make it? It could be cancelled. So take today and shape a memory. Make of it what you will. You’re the master of the past that only you can fill. And it’s up to you to do it. If you wish you can sit right through it. You can take it and break it. Here’s today and it’s yours. So why don’t you make it? It could be cancelled.”

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