Mojo — “New York City”: Brace for the Obscure (60s rock)! — April 21, 2023


802) Mojo — “New York City”

’68 sunshine pop A-side/’69 album track is a California tourist’s itinerary for New York City. “I want to go down to the Village . . . . take in a coffee shop or two.” NYC should have ditched “I Love New York” and picked this for an ad campaign! It could have persuaded Lou Reed to play it!

The Mojo Men were certainly fluid. They were great when they were all men (see #140). They were even better when singer Jan Errico joined from the Vejtables (see #84) (and they eventually dropped the “Men” to become simply “Mojo”). They were best (see #275, 720, 787) on their and Jan’s first and only album — ‘69’s Mojo Magic (including “NYC”). Jud Cost’s liner notes to the Mojo Men comp Sit Down . . . It’s The Mojo Men states, the album was “[s]addled with one of the most hideous album covers in music history — colored blossoms layered over a group mug shot [and it] sank without a trace.” The group folded soon after. A shame, because Mojo Magic is one of the most glorious sunshine pop albums ever released.

Richie Unterberger tells us that:

One of the earliest San Francisco rock bands, the Mojo Men had local hits on the Autumn label with “Dance With Me,” “She’s My Baby,” and a cover of the Rolling Stones’ “Off the Hook” in the mid-’60s. Their early sides displayed a raunchy but thin approach taken from the mold of British Invasion groups . . . . In 1966, after female drummer Jan Errico joined from the San Francisco folk-rock group the Vejtables, they moved to Reprise and pursued folky psychedelic pop directions, and had a Top 40 hit with a Baroque arrangement of Buffalo Springfield’s “Sit Down I Think I Love You” in 1967. In their later days, they developed more intricate arrangements and harmonies that reflected the influence of the Mamas & the Papas and Jefferson Airplane . . . .

Here is the single:

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