The Common Cold — “Come Down”: Brace for the Obscure (60s rock)! — October 13, 2022


608) The Common Cold — “Come Down”

There is Beatlesque, and then there is Invasion of the Beatles Snatchers-level Beatlesque. Of course, there is “Lies” by the Knickerbockers. That was early-Beatles snarching. Well, here is a Beatles psychedelic phase snatch that is simply glorious. Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds has come down with the common cold in this magical ‘67 A-side that would be almost entirely unknown if not for the fine people at Rhino Records.

Alec Palao tells the tale:

By late 1967, guitarist Bill Rinehart had been in his share of groups. Founding The Leaves in 1965 and moving on to work with ex-Byrd Gene Clark’s The Group, Rinehart spend much of 1966 and early 1967 in Emitt Rhodes’ The Merry-Go-Round. A fight with Merry-Go-Round manager Eddie Shaw landed Rinehart back on the market. Soon after, Sonny Bono took an interest in Bill’s writing and secured him a deal with Ahmet Ertegun and the Atco label. Released under the name The Common Cold, “Come Down” is essentially a Rinehart solo project. “It was very Beatle inspired,” says Rinehart. . . . Sadly, this gem is so obscure that Bill was convinced it was never released.

Where the Action is! Los Angeles Nuggets 1965-1968

The Clarkophile adds:

Bill Rinehart, a pivotal, if largely unheralded figure in L.A.’s Sunset Strip scene during the 1960s . . . . played a key role in the founding of the Leaves . . . . During his tenure with The Leaves, Rinehart struck up a friendship with Gene Clark, who shared his love of sports cars, music and girls. After his departure from that band, Rinehart jumped at the chance to join Gene’s first post-Byrds effort, the Gene Clark Group (also featuring Chip Douglas and Joel Larson). Rinehart contributed guitar and co-wrote two songs (‘Keep on Pushin’ and ‘Elevator Operator’) on Gene’s solo debut album, Gene Clark with the Gosdin Brothers, released in February 1967. Rinehart’s next project saw him joining forces with his former bandmate from the GC Group, Joel Larson, along with Gary Kato, in the Emitt Rhodes-led Merry-Go-Round. Rinehart was eventually fired from the group after punching the band’s notorious manager, Eddie Shaw. Sonny Bono, with whom Rinehart had struck up a friendship during this time, thought enough of his talent to have him produce/arrange Sonny & Cher’s reflective chamber-pop waltz,  ‘A Beautiful Story,’ (which, oddly enough, bears an uncanny resemblance to Gene’s ’67 demo of ‘Down On the Pier’, from Gene Clark Sings for You). In 1968 Bill recorded a 45 under the moniker The Common Cold, Come Down/Dream World . . . . Further production work followed (Fields self-titled album; The Aquarians Jungle Grass, both from 1969), plus an unreleased solo album from 1973. Bill’s songwriting was strong enough to earn him composing credits in films, including 1972’s The Hot Rock (starring Robert Redford) and 1984’s Falling in Love, with Meryl Streep and Robert De Niro.

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2 thoughts on “The Common Cold — “Come Down”: Brace for the Obscure (60s rock)! — October 13, 2022

  1. I apologize if this is the incorrect procedure for leaving a comment.

    I just wanted to tell you about a track I just stumbled over:

    An all-female band on International Artists (a different label from the Texas outfit), this flip of their only single is a Ramonesish rocker with an overwhelming bass line. It shows up on one of the Girls In The Garage comps.

    She-cat Maureen O’Connor had a web site:
    This page has a complete version of “The Fool” (the YT upload cuts off early)

    Sadly, Maureen passed away in 2014. Here is her obituary page:

    Perhaps you could rewrite all this jumbled incoherence into a post.

    Really enjoy your website.


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