Ted Neeley — “Autumn Afternoon”: Brace for the Obscure (60s rock)! — January 2, 2022


689) Ted Neeley — “Autumn Afternoon”

This ’67 and ’68 B-side (https://www.45cat.com/artist/ted-neeley) by the future Christ figure is “simply one of the best blends of Association-styled harmony pop and lysergic influences you’re liable to ever hear” (http://badcatrecords.com/NEELEY.htm) and “sounds like a long-lost follow-up to the Association’s ‘Never My Love,’ [which were both written by the Addrisi Brothers]. (https://theseconddisc.com/2010/08/27/review-various-artists-book-a-trip-the-psych-pop-sounds-of-capitol-records/) Well, the Association also recorded a version (not released at the time), as did the Sandpipers.

The liner notes to the Book a Trip: The Psych-Pop Sounds of Capitol Records comp tell us that:

The Teddy Neeley Five . . . were fixtures of Sunset Strip nightclubs and elite Hollywood parties. . . . [T]hey were playing gigs at the Red Velvet, The Trip, The Daisy, and even The Cocoanut Grove, which was considered a coup for a rock act at that time. Personally signed by Capitol president Alan Livingston, the band cut several singles prior to their 1967 LP, simply titled Teddy Neeley (although the entire band is on the cover). “Autumn Afternoon” was not included on the LP, but Capitol must’ve had faith in the track since it appeared on not one but two 45 releases.


For a little more history on Ted, Steve Leggett writes that:

Ted Neeley came to the public’s attention when he played and sang the title role in . . . Jesus Christ Superstar, both on-stage and onscreen, and then followed it up with a role in the original theatrical production of the Who’s Tommy.  A singer, drummer, actor, composer, vocal arranger, and record producer, Neeley . . . . signed his first record deal in 1965, at age 22, with Capitol Records, releasing an album, the self-titled Teddy Neeley, on the imprint with his group the Ted Neeley Five. [He p]ossess[ed] a baritone singing voice that could rise octaves into a controlled, on-pitch rock-era scream when necessary . . . . Neeley released a solo album . . . in . . . 1974, then took the role of Billy Shears in Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band on the Road. He continued doing musical theater, acting as well in various television dramas during the 1970s and 1980s, including Starsky and Hutch . . . . Meanwhile, he performed live shows with his band Pacific Coast Highway.


Here is the Association:

The Sandpipers:

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