Rainy Daze: Brace for the Obscure (60s rock)! — August 3, 2022


540) Rainy Daze — “Blood of Oblivion”/”Fe Fi Fo Fum”

Fab ’67 A-side was no Apaculco Gold, but much tastier, a great pop-psych track that deserved so much more. Billboard said in July of ’67 that it was a “hot follow-up” and an “interesting rocker with off-beat lyric matter [and a s]trong dance beat.” Gordon Skene calls it “a great almost totally unknown track by a band that quick got pigeonholed as a One-Hit Novelty Act.” (https://colomusic.org/profile/the-rainy-daze/) He goes on to say that:

[I]t didn’t fare well for the band and the single went almost nowhere. I remember hearing it once when it first came out via my local Top-40 station, and then it was never heard from again. . . . [T]his is one of the many overlooked classics that are hidden away on the b-sides of singles, or the dusty tape shelves or the initially poorly received follow-up singles. It’s all history, it’s all music and it often makes no sense.


Gordon, thank you. You pretty much sum up the ethos of Brace for the Obscure: “It’s all history, it’s all music and it often makes no sense.”

Anyway, about the Daze and the Gold, Jason Ankeny tells us:

Psychedelic pop combo the Rainy Daze formed in Denver, CO, in 1965. . . . [T]he group started as little more than a covers act, nevertheless parlaying a string of frat party gigs into a local television appearance that reportedly caught the attention of famed producer Phil Spector, who extended a management contract. A massive publicity campaign was in the planning stages when the spectacular failure of his magnum opus, Ike & Tina Turner’s “River Deep, Mountain High,” left Spector’s career in shambles; the Rainy Daze were among the collateral damage, and only in 1967 did their debut single, “That Acapulco Gold” — written by [guitarist and singer] Tim Gilbert in collaboration with his college roommate John Carter — appear . . . . When the single caught fire locally the fledgling UNI label snapped up national distribution rights, but with “That Acapulco Gold” at number 70 on the Billboard charts, the bottom fell out. Once radio programmers finally intuited the song’s pro-marijuana content, it was pulled from play lists coast to coast. The Rainy Daze quickly resurfaced with “Discount City,” which went nowhere. The follow-up, “Fe Fi Fo,” was quickly deleted and reissued under the new and improved title “Blood of Oblivion,” even securing a U.K. release but still failing to crack pop radio.

After an LP . . . UNI dropped the group. However, by this time Gilbert and Carter were earning notice as a crack songwriting duo, and . . . earned a crack at revamping a demo track cut by an unknown psych-pop outfit known as Thee Sixpence. [They] added lyrics and a new melody, titling the finished song “Incense and Peppermints.” Thee Sixpence cut the new tune, renamed themselves the Strawberry Alarm Clock [see #127, 272] . . . and in late 1967 topped the Billboard pop charts. No doubt the success of “Incense and Peppermints” contributed to splitting the Rainy Daze in early 1968 . . . . Carter . . . later wr[ote] for Sammy Hagar and the Motels. He also produced two songs on Tina Turner’s . . . Private Dancer before moving into artist management.


The Colorado Music Experience adds:

“We were a working band,” lead singer Tim Gilbert said. “The idea wasn’t to get rich and famous, although the availability of young women was way up on the list of reasons to do it. The whole idea was to play and make money . . . . A band’s identity was more determined by the covers you played than anything else. You had to play some Beatles, but we were more Stones, Yardbirds and Who, so people thought we were ‘edgy.’ We would periodically go into the studio and try to record an original song and become stars so that the pool of available women would grow!” Originals were written by Gilbert and fellow Denver South High School student and . . . John Carter. “Everybody was going to the University of Colorado,” Gilbert said. “John was a roommate . . . . When it became important to write original music, with people in Hollywood saying, ‘If you’re going to be anything, you’ve got to write your own music,’ we looked at each other and said, ‘Shit, who can do that?’

[“Acapulco Gold”] was 180 degrees from all the music we were playing.” . . . [N]ational sales and airplay went up in smoke once word got around about the song’s real inspiration. . . . According to Gilbert, “KHJ was the ‘boss’ radio station in Los Angeles at that point. Every week, they’d print the Top 30 weekly survey. At one point, ‘Acapulco Gold’ was No. 1 with an asterisk next to it that said, ‘Not suitable for airplay.’ Stations didn’t think it was inappropriate until . . . Bill Gavin wrote in his tip sheet that if you played this record on the air, you did stand a chance of losing your license, because it did proselytize drug use. Which was fairly obvious . . . . George Carlin came up and shook our hands and said, ‘You’re the most courageous people in the United States.’ . . . We had our 15 minutes of fame. It was a happy accident, or an unhappy accident—ultimately, the song broke up the band. We got pigeonholed into that kind of a sound, and nobody wanted to play that music.”


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