The Baroques: Brace for the Obscure (60s rock)! — August 18, 2022

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

555) The Baroques — “Mary Jane”

From the lone single (’67) and the lone album by Milwaukee’s Baroques comes a classic psych/garage track “Mary Jane” that was banned for being a pro-marijuana song. But was it? Matt Kessler calls the song “a stand-out track which immediately grabs your attention with infectious electric piano . . . . accompanied by . . . vocals (that sound as if [the] voice box had been spliced with that of a bumble bee’s!) make this a truly unique listening experience. . . . of rhythmic ecstasy.” (https://moofmag.com/2018/01/05/album-review-the-baroques-1967/)

As to impact of “Mary Jane”, Sonic Hits reports that:

The Baroques formed in 1966. In January 1967 they signed a contract with Chess Records. By June 1967, both the album “Iowa” and single “Mary Jane” were released and banned in the same week. The ban was imposed by some local DJs whose stations directors thought “Mary Jane” was a pro-drug song about marijuana. [It was actually] an anti-drug song but no one got it. Instead The Baroques became infamous as “acid-heads” due to the “far-out” sounds on the record. At this point, [songwriter, singer and lead guitarist] Jay [Berkenhagen] had never tried drugs in his life. That soon changed and the band found itself pulling stunts at their live shows involving catapults, baby doll parts, and lip-synching onstage.

https://sonichits.com/video/The_Baroques/Mary_Jane

Matt Kessler adds that “local radio DJs. . . . wrongly assumed that “Mary Jane” was a pro-drug song, which was not at all the case. However, the band fed off this reputation, and began pulling wild and daring stunts during their concerts.”

As to the album as a whole, Jay Millar calls it “the perfect record. It takes elements of both garage and psych rock and is sort of the happy medium in between. It’s just so strange, and it has the charm and lyrical angst that can only be found in youth.” (https://www.jsonline.com/story/entertainment/music/2017/11/22/fifty-years-after-break-up-milwaukee-band-baroques-ready-rediscovery/889709001/)

Richie Unterberger adds that:

Popular only on a regional level, the Milwaukee group (originally called “The Complete Unknowns,” until someone probably realized how dangerously self-fulfilling it could be) was dominated by the morose compositions and low, odd vocal range of . . . Jay Berkenhagen . . . . With a slight garage feel, their unusual, occasionally oddball material was built around electric (sometimes “baroque”) keyboards and fuzz guitar riffs, which occasional detours into uplifting folk-rock and freak-out jamming. . . .

https://www.allmusic.com/artist/the-baroques-mn0000033563/biography

And Bob Koch adds that:

[The album] is somewhat of an anomaly when compared to many of the era’s more famous psychedelic touchstones; there’s nothing specifically mystical in the lyrics, or any coded drug references, or epic extended jams. . . . [It] is also notable for being released by Chicago R&B titan Chess Records. At the time Chess was looking for a way to break back into the rock market, a place they’d been largely absent from since The Beatles changed the rules of the game a few years before. It would end up being one of only a couple post-Fab Four rock albums on Chess . . . . [I]t sold fairly well regionally at the time . . . . It’s one of the more unique sounding garage-era albums, featuring an unconventional mix of mopiness and wackiness, hard-edged guitar and subtle harpsichord, droniness and catchiness. . . .

https://isthmus.com/arts/vinyl-cave/vinyl-cave-the-baroques-by-the-baroques/

Matt Kessler opines rapturously that:

[T]he [album’s] self-titled acid drenched magnificence .. . is extremely unique. . . . Their psychedelic/garage/pop hybrid was done by others, but the essence of darkness that is represented in this album makes their sound its own entity. . . . Some of these songs would undoubtedly fit perfectly inside movie scenes where a character may meet his or hers unfortunate demise…Extremely atmospheric, and filled with a moody fuzz guitar tone that segues into the bashing chorus where drummer Dean Nimmer lets loose with all of his might, finishing with an otherworldly psychedelic freakout.

“Girl, take a look around you. See how this place has found you. . . . But if you come with me, you are going to see how happy your life will be with me, you’ll see. Oh Mary Jane, take me away from all this. Mary Jane, take me away from all this. A new name and a new life for us. A new world will be waiting for us. And I know it will be a world [before?] you and me and oh how happy we’ll be when we are free. Oh Mary Jane, take me away from all this. Mary Jane, take me away from all this. A new name and a new life for us, a new world we will find.”

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Dave Berry: Brace for the Obscure (60s rock)! — August 17, 2022

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

554) Dave Barry — “Its Gonna Be Fine”

Dave Berry brings to buoyant life a Barry Mann/Cynthia Weill composition that wasn’t done justice by Glenn Yarbrough (who reached #54 with it in ’65) or the New Christy Minstrels. Richie Unterberger says it “sound[s] very much like a mid-1960s uptown Philly soul production”. (https://www.allmusic.com/album/this-special-sound-of-dave-berry-mw0000836814) I say, if this song doesn’t banish your blues and put a skip in your step, you are truly in an uptown funk.

Nostalgia Central gives us a grounding:

In 1961 [Berry, born David Holgate Grundy] assumed his stage surname when invited to front The Cruisers . . . . [They] flogged a predominantly Chicago blues repertoire . . . [including] Dave’s idol (and namesake), Chuck Berry. . . . Berry’s big break came when Mickie Most . . . saw him perform . . . and [then] supervised a demo recording session for submission to Decca . . . . [Berry’s] stage presence was almost unclassifiable, and it was not enough for him to simply stand and sing a song. He made a point of appearing from behind pillars (it may take a full five minutes for him to emerge completely) and staring straight ahead while making strange beckoning arm-movements. These abstract hand-ballets would have seemed sinister were it not for the subtle merriment in his oriental eyes. . . . The Crying Game took Berry into the Top Five in September 1964 . . . . [and a] cover of Bobby Goldsboro’s Little Things restored Dave to the UK Top 10, but – apart from a disinclined 1966 recording of the sentimental Mama – this was his last bite of that particular cherry.

https://nostalgiacentral.com/music/artists-a-to-k/artists-d/dave-berry/

Richie Unterberger adds:

Briefly a big star in Britain in the mid-’60s, Dave Berry faced the same dilemma as several other British teen idols of the era: R&B was obviously nearest and dearest to his heart, but he needed to record blatantly pop material to make the hit parade. It was also obvious that Berry was in fact much more suited toward pop ballads than rough-and-tumble R&B, regardless of his personal preferences. At his peak, his output was divided between hard R&B/rockers and straight pop. Help from ace session players like Jimmy Page and John Paul Jones notwithstanding, his smooth voice was frankly ill-equipped to deliver the goods . . . on the bluesier items. He made a rather good go of it, on the other hand, with romantic pop/rock ballads . . . . [H]e never made the slightest impression on the U.S. market . . . .

https://www.allmusic.com/artist/dave-berry-mn0000959279

“Baby I know we got troubles, ’cause these ain’t easy times. Seems this whole world’s gone crazy. But there ain’t no need crying. It’s gonna be fine. (chorus: “It’s gonna be fine.”) It’s gonna be fine (chorus: “It’s gonna be fine.”) It’s gonna be fine. Hey, don’t you let it get you down now. It takes a long time dying. But there’s a new sun rising. And when we see it shine, it’s gonna be fine. (chorus: “It’s gonna be fine.”) It’s just a matter of time. (chorus: “It’s gonna be fine.”) And it’s gonna be fine. A peaceful road’s a long hard road to climb. But don’t despair, ’cause gal I swear, we’re gonna get there if we keep on trying. And it’s gonna be fine. (chorus: “It’s gonna be fine.”) It’s just a matter of time. (chorus: “It’s gonna be fine.”) And it’s gonna be fine. Hey don’t you let it get you down now. It takes a long time dying. But there’s a new sun rising. And when we see it shine, hey, it’s gonna be fine. (chorus: “It’s gonna be fine.”) It’s just a matter of time. (chorus: “It’s gonna be fine.”) And it’s gonna be fine. (chorus: “It’s gonna be fine.”) It’s gonna be fine (chorus: “It’s gonna be fine.”) It’s gonna be fine. (chorus: “It’s gonna be fine”).”

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Here is Glenn Yarbrough:

Here are the New Christy Minstrels:

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Ihre Kinder: Brace for the Obscure (60s rock)! — August 16, 2022

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

553) Ihre Kinder (Your Children) — “Hilf Mir” (“Help Me”)

John Lennon asked for “Help” and a year later Ihre Kinder pleaded “Help Me” — a wonderful folky psychy song with a killer electric guitar solo (think “Sound of Silence”). From the first album (’69) by the first German rock band to sing exclusively in German, and the beginnings of Deutschrock and Krautrock.

Prog Archives notes that “[t]heir music combined influences from the American protest song (Bob Dylan), white blues music from England and – in a cautious way – the typical German electronic rock music of the early 70s to a progressive und unique mixture.” And they did it in German. (http://www.progarchives.com/artist.asp?id=1925) Silly Puppy explains:

Ihre Kinder . . . introduced the then radical notion of crafting rock songs in its own German language. The band was a continuation from the earlier pop band Jonah & The Whales . . . . After releasing an all but ignored [cover of] “It Ain’t Me Babe,” the band called it quits[. After] assembling a new team of noise makers vocalist/keyboardist Sonny Hennig and financier Jonas Porst . . . created a new band from scratch. . . . [Ihre Kinder] was one of the pioneers of German language rock and was met with great skepticism for having done so. . . . [Record labels] were [not] interested in this strange style of rock sung in German and [the album had to be] release[d] independently. Despite all efforts this debut album was met with little interest and the newly gestated Deutschrock had to wait a few more years for cultural acceptance.

http://www.progarchives.com/artist.asp?id=1925

Edgar Klüsener gives us more history:

They played acoustic folk and rich blues, oriental-tinged psycho-pop and rock-hard rock . . . [m]usically, the[y] . . . hardly differed from other German rock bands of the late sixties.  And yet they were the beginning of a revolution.  Because [they] sang exclusively in German . . . .  In the early 1970s, the German language was still a sacrilege in rock music.  Anglo-American idiom was cool, German, on the other hand, was discredited as the tongue-lashing of the escapist Musikantenstadl yodels and shallow-pink pop romanticism.  Anyone who was self-respecting as a German rocker sang in English . . . .  [The Kinder] . . . relied on poetic lyrics, a kind of psychedelic German beat lyrics, but could also be very clear and precise when they took up political topics.  In 1970, the readers of the magazine "Musikexpress" voted the group the best German blues band.  By then, at the latest, the band was well known even to high school students from the laboring suburbs . . . .  

Nuremberg was . . . the city of Photo-Porst.  In the 1960s, Hannsheinz Porst was at the head of the family business.  He was a dazzling figure, a communist dressed as a capitalist . . . [who] turned the market-leading photo discounter into an employee company. . . . [and] had undisguised sympathies for the [Soviet Union].  [T]he German press liked to describe [him] as a madman, a spy, an ideological arsonist, a crackpot or a traitor to the homeland who was dangerous to the public.  [H]is son Jonas. . . . played the impresario and put his father's dough into a recording studio that was to become the important nucleus of German rock culture - and he put it into the band "Your Children". The group's first album, financed and produced by Jonas . . . was initially rejected by German record companies as far too uncommercial.  The prevailing opinion in the recording industry was that the English and Americans were much better at rock music.  Who wanted to hear German lyrics? . . . .  In the end, a record company showed courage.  Philips released the album, but so half-heartedly that it almost went under without a word. 
https://www.spiegel.de/geschichte/popmusik-a-949347.html (courtesy of Google Translate)

I don’t think Silly Puppy liked their first album:

[Ihre Kinder] capture the zeitgeist of the beat era of the mid-60s while adding only small doses of the more contemporary sounds that were developing in the world of Krautrock. Honestly if it weren’t for the album’s status as first Deutschrock album [it] would be considered by most as utterly forgettable as the production is horrendously amateur, the pop hooks are bland and the singers sound like they got very drunk at a beer hall and jumped up on stage for the first time. . . .

http://www.progarchives.com/artist.asp?id=1925

“Ich hab’ große Angst
Vor meinen eigenen Augen
Wem kann ich noch vertrauen
Wer vertraut mir
Alles was ich weiß
Erzähl’n dir meine Hände
Und sie sprechen Bände
Tag für Tag mehr
Hilf mir
Ich bin allein
Und weiß nicht wo
Wo ich bin
Wird niemand froh
Sieh mich richtig an
Was kann ich dir erzählen
Es würde dich nur quälen
Mehr kann es nicht
Nächtelang tanz’ ich
Mit silbernen Laternen
Hinauf bis zu den Sternen
Hilf mir
Ich bin allein
Und weiß nicht wo
Wo ich bin
Wird niemand froh
Hilf mir
Ich bin allein
Und weiß nicht wo
Wo wo ich bin
Wird niemand froh”

"I'm very afraid.  In front of my own eyes Who else can I trust?
Who trusts me all I know tell you my hands.  And they speak volumes more every day.  Help me I'm alone and don't know where I am.  Nobody gets happy look at me properly.  What can I tell you?  It would only torment you.  It can't do more.  I dance all night with silver lanterns up to the stars.  Help me I'm alone and don't know where I am.  Nobody gets happy.  Help me I'm alone and don't know where I am.
Nobody gets happy."(courtesy of Google Translate)

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The playlist includes all the “greatest songs of the 1960’s that no one has ever heard” that are available on Spotify. The playlist will expand each time I feature an available song.

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Kaleidoscope: Brace for the Obscure (60s rock)! — August 15, 2022

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

552) Kaleidoscope — “Flight from Ashiya”

Kaleidoscope was one of the great unsung (until years later) U.K. pop psych bands (see #154, 336) and “Flight from Ashiya” was its first A-side. As Vernon Joynson relates, it was “an amalgam of pop and psychedelia, it told the story of the pilot of a crashing aeroplane. It picked up quite a lot of airplay but failed to chart.” (The Tapestry of Delights Revisited) Mike Stax calls it “a fabulous example of pop-psych storytelling . . . . [though] it is difficult to discern exactly what is happening . . . [involving] an ill-fated airplane trip and a stoned pilot. A deliberate sense of confusion reigns throughout. Is the flight doomed? Or is it a case of mass paranoia brought on by the smoke?” (liner notes to the Nuggets II comp) David Wells describes the song as “[p]redominently a lyrical rehash of The Bee Gees’ recent hit New York Mining Disaster (protaganist delivers in neurotic warble his thoughts on being cut off from the rest of civilization following a tragic accident). Flight from Ashiya was nonetheless a superb release that deserved to make more of a mark than it actually did.” (Record Collector: 100 Greatest Psychedelic Records: Hight Times and Strange Tales from Rock’s Most Mind-Blowing Era)

Dave Thompson writes that:

Between 1967 AND 1972, Kaleidoscope were one of the most adventurous, and intriguing, bands on the U.K. psych scene as they morphed into prog, folk and a wealth of other structures. . . . Signed initially to Fontana Records before shifting to the label’s prog imprint Vertigo, Kaleidoscope/Fairfield Parlour released some of the most glorious records of the era, three albums and a clutch of glorious 45s [including] “Flight From Ashiya,” [and] “A Dream for Julie[.]”

https://www.goldminemag.com/music-history/kaleidoscope-reignite-the-heady-days-of-u-k-psych-rock

Regarding the Bee Gees’ influence, Kaleidoscope singer and lyricist Peter Daltry recalls that:

[T]he Beatles’ Revolver changed everything. “Tomorrow Never Knows” was the catalyst. I was never entirely happy as the lyricist writing endless soppy love songs. The Beatles showed us all the way, followed closely at the time by the Bee Gees who wrote amazingly weird songs like “Lemons Never Forget” and the flawless “New York Mining Disaster 1941”. It didn’t kick start me into writing songs like “The Murder of Lewis Tollani” and “Dive into Yesterday”, as I used to assume; I have since found out that “Horizontal” came out after we were writing such songs – but it did show we were heading in the same direction. But don’t forget that psychedelia was very short-lived. It lasted not much more that eighteen months. It was that truly magical period between late ’66 to early ’68. 

https://bigtakeover.com/interviews/AConversationwithPeterDaltreyofKaleidoscopeUK

Daltry laments regarding Fontana, the band’s record label, that:

Fontana said they were going to give [“Flight”] a massive boost. It was the first single they’d ever put out in a colour sleeve, and I think its failure was our biggest disappointment. We were really expecting very big things . . . . It was a great track, and I still love it now. (Record Collector: 100 Greatest Psychedelic Records) [Regarding the band’s future single “Jenny Artichoke”: W]e all looked at one another and said, ‘Bloody hell, that’s a hit record, and the radio … because it was so limited in those days … they never stopped playing it. You could literally walk down the street and hear window cleaners whistling the thing. But the distribution arm of Fontana was absolute rubbish. They never got on board, they never got in tune with anybody else. It was never in the shops, and it didn’t get the sales.” (https://www.goldminemag.com/music-history/kaleidoscope-reignite-the-heady-days-of-u-k-psych-rock)

Might the song have been inspired by the ’64 Yul Brynner film Flight from Ashiya? —

Featuring an all-star cast and on-location shooting in Japan, where the story is set, three US Air Force rescue pilots must overcome their personal problems and differences to embark upon a dangerous mission to save raft-bound Japanese survivors from a murderous storm-tossed sea. As they head for their location, the film flashes back to chronicle the pasts of each pilot to make clear their mixed feelings about their upcoming assignment.

https://letterboxd.com/film/flight-from-ashiya/

Well, that’s not what they told the BBC (see the video below), but???

“Bursts of white cotton passing the window. Everyone talking, oh, so very low. And Captain Simpson seems to be in a daze. One minute high, the next minute low. Nobody knows where we are. Nobody knows where we are. Cigarettes burning faster and faster.
Everyone talking about the ever after. And Captain Simpson seems to be in a daze. One minute high, the next minute low. Nobody knows where we are. Nobody knows where we are. Nobody will ever know why. Nobody will ever know why. Visions of childhood rush past my eyes. In seat number 30 somebody cries. And Captain Simpson seems to be in a daze. One minute high, the next minute low. Nobody knows where we are. Nobody knows where we are . . . .”

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Here is a “live” version from French TV:

Here it is actually live from the BBC:

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The playlist includes all the “greatest songs of the 1960’s that no one has ever heard” that are available on Spotify. The playlist will expand each time I feature an available song.

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Willie Mitchell: Brace for the Obscure (60s rock)! — August 14, 2022

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

551) Willie Mitchell — “Everything Is Gonna Be Alright”

“Alright” is the A-side of one of my favorite double threat R&B singles, hitting #126 in November ’65. I featured its B-side a while back (see #181). No need for a shotgun wedding! “Everything is gonna be alright, alright, alright, alright. Here comes the preacher. There’s gonna be a wedding here tonight, alright, alright, alright, alright.”

As David Nager writes, “[i]f Al Green was the sanctified sex symbol of Memphis Soul, Willie Mitchell was its Hollywood matinee idol. Suave and dapper, impeccably attired and sporting a stiletto‑sharp pencil‑thin moustache, Mitchell was the courtly King of Sophisticated Funk, cutting a striking figure in the Mid‑South music scene from the 1950s [on] . . . . (https://memphismusichalloffame.com/inductee/williemitchell/)

Greg Prato gives some history:

After he was discharged from the Army in 1954, Mitchell moved back to Memphis, where he soon became a popular, local trumpet-playing bandleader — Elvis Presley hired his big band to play several private parties. By 1959, Mitchell had turned his attention to studio work and signed on with Hi Records; he is often credited as being the creator of the oft-copied and instantly recognizable Hi sound (churning organ fills, sturdy horn arrangements, a steady 4/4 drumbeat, etc.). Throughout the ’60s, Mitchell became a popular concert attraction on U.S. college campuses and he scored several moderately successful soul/dance hit singles, issuing a steady stream of solo releases . . . . When the founder of Hi Records . . . died in 1970, Mitchell suddenly found himself in charge of the label. [A] year [earlier], Mitchell had signed an up-and-coming soul singer named Al Green to the label. Under the guidance of Mitchell, Green’s career would soon skyrocket and he became one of the ’70s top soul artists, with Mitchell co-producing and engineering all of [his] albums from 1970 through 1976.

https://www.allmusic.com/artist/willie-mitchell-mn0000684830

David Nager adds that:

Most famous for producing Green’s stunning string of sweet‑and‑funky soul classics, Mitchell had already had several successful musical careers and was a star of the Memphis scene long before their paths met. . . . By . . . his teens [he] was a featured player in local bands . . . . [S]oon after his 1954 discharge Mitchell was leading his group at the Manhattan Club and other area spots. He later took over the house band at the Plantation Inn in West Memphis, one of the area’s top nightclubs and a place where young, white Memphis developed a taste for genuine R&B, paving the way for the music revolutions to come. There, Mitchell honed his leadership skills as well as learning the finer points of showmanship, arranging, management, and more. He was also playing band gigs on Beale, sweetening his sound at cotillions for the old cotton-money crowd and writing lead sheets and arrangements for Sun and other Memphis studios. . . . Observing his crowds from the bandstand every night, he knew what people wanted to hear and exactly what made them dance. . . . For much of the ‘60s, Mitchell kept a hectic schedule as a bandleader in clubs and as a session leader/musician/arranger at Hi. . . . In 1968, Willie Mitchell’s multiple musical personalities – arranger, bandleader and engineer – were in perfect harmony for the crossover hit “Soul Serenade” (#10 R&B, #23 pop). . . . [Later, a]long with Green, Mitchell built a lineup that turned Hi into the premier Southern soul label, with Ann Peebles, O.V. Wright, Otis Clay and Syl Johnson. 

https://memphismusichalloffame.com/inductee/williemitchell/

By the way, there is a great cover of the song, done in French by French rock star Dick Rivers! Jon O’Brien explains:

Dick Rivers is widely regarded as one of the first musicians to introduce France to the sounds of rock & roll. Born Herve Fornieri . . . he developed a love of Johnny Cash, Gene Vincent, and Elvis Presley from a young age, naming himself after the latter’s character in the 1957 film Loving You. After recording over 100 songs with the influential outfit Les Chats Sauvages, he went on to pursue a solo career in the early ’60s, scoring hits with the likes of “Baby John,” “Tu N’es Plus La,” and “Rien Que Toi,” before heading to Alabama in 1967 to work with some of America’s biggest blues musicians . . . .

https://www.allmusic.com/artist/dick-rivers-mn0000516428/biography

“Put up your shotgun, papa. Everything is gonna be alright, alright, alright, alright. Put up your shotgun, papa. Everything is gonna be alright, alright, alright, alright. Here comes the preacher. There’s gonna be a wedding here tonight, alright, alright, alright, alright. I’m not gonna try to run, I know it ain’t no use. So you can tell your brothers to turn me loose. Put up your shotgun, papa. Everything is gonna be alright, alright, alright, alright. Here comes the preacher. There’s gonna be a wedding here tonight, alright, alright, alright, alright. I didn’t want to marry but now let’s tie the knot. ‘Cause something’s made me realize what I really got. Put up your shotgun, daddy. You don’t got to worry bout a thing, no no, no no, no no.”

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Pacific Drift: Brace for the Obscure (60s rock)! — August 13, 2022

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

550) Pacific Drift — “God Has Given Me”

Manchester United! — Pacific Drift was a brief stopover point for members/members-to-be of Wimple Winch, Sponge and Blodwyn Pig. The Drift’s sole album (’70) was, as David Wells describes, “a sparkling, West Coast-influenced amalgam of post-psychedelic pop and early progressive rock, skillfully weaving [together] wistful hippie laments and riff-laden rockers”. (http://rockasteria.blogspot.com/2011/03/pacific-drift-feelin-free-1970-uk.html?m=1) “God Has Given Me” is indeed sparkling, wistful, hippie, West-Coast (and we ain’t talkin’ Liverpool) -influenced prog rock.

All Music Guide notes that:

This UK band, formed in the late 60s, comprised Barry Reynolds (guitar/vocals), Brian Shapman (keyboards/vocals), Graham Harrop (bass) and Lawrence Arendes aka Larry King (drums). King, formerly of Liverpool’s Wimple Winch [see #49, 384], founded this new quartet from the ashes of Sponge, a jazz rock unit that imploded when saxophonist Jack Lancaster left in 1968 to join Blodwyn Pig. The quartet’s debut single, a version of Spirit’s ‘Water Woman’, was followed by a self-titled album in 1970. However, although they appeared live at the requisite underground haunts and festivals, Pacific Drift were unable to sustain a career and split up by the end of the year.

https://www.allmusic.com/artist/pacific-drift-mn0001169392

David Wells adds:

Released to widespread indifference back in January 1970, Manchester band Pacific Drift’s album Feelin’ Free surely deserved a better fate. . . . Though their sole album wouldn’t emerge until the dawn of the Seventies, Pacific Drift had been around for some while by that point. A product of the highly incestuous Manchester group scene of the mid-to-late Sixties, they had first come together in 1967 as the Sponge – essentially an updated, psychedelic-era version of the Tony Merrick Scene, with singer Merrick and guitarist Graham Harrop involved alongside other musicians, including an Asian drummer. But there were several early personnel changes, culminating with Merrick leaving in early 1968 to form a new Manchester ‘supergroup’, Sweet Marriage. Barry Reynolds . . . quit in late September to link up again with Jack Lancaster in Blodwyn Pig, Pacific Drift duly imploded. Brian Chapman hooked up with Chicken Shack, Graham Harrap reunited with a couple of his old Toggery Five colleagues in Young & Renshaw, and Larry Arends left the full-time music scene to move into photography.

http://rockasteria.blogspot.com/2011/03/pacific-drift-feelin-free-1970-uk.html?m=1

“God has given me two lips to kiss you with. Two lips in love with what they kiss. God has given me two arms to hold you with. Two arms in love with what they hold. And when you smile, get a feeling so warm. I’m like a child, got to be where you are. God has given me two hands to touch you with. Two hands in love with what they touch. And when you smile, get a feeling so warm. I’m like a child, got to be where you are. . . . God has given me two eyes to see you with. Two eyes in love with what they see, with what they see . . . .”

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The playlist includes all the “greatest songs of the 1960’s that no one has ever heard” that are available on Spotify. The playlist will expand each time I feature an available song.

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Barry Booth: Brace for the Obscure (60s rock)! — August 12, 2022

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

548) Barry Booth — “He’s Very Good With His Hands”

Before “The Lumberjack Song”, before “Always Look on the Bright Side of Life”, before Monty Python, there was an “ode to a shy but dexterous model maker who is taken by a girl, but more at home with his wooden trains and aeroplanes.” (http://www.popgeekheaven.com/music-discovery/lost-treasures-barry-booth-diversions). Michael Palin and Terry Jones collaborated with Barry Booth, writing the lyrics to “a commercial flop [that] over the years . . . has gained a cult following and a reputation as a lost classic of British psychedelic chamber pop.” (https://www.barryboothmusic.com/biography)

Pop Geek Heaven tell us that:

Barry Booth is a most unlikely artist to have recorded one of the great lost chamber pop albums of the ’60s. When . . . Diversions!, was released in 1968, he was already thirty years old and had never recorded an album or even a single as an artist. Indeed, he had never intended to record Diversions! either. He was merely hoping to place some of the songs with other artists. That is, until iconic British producer Tony Hatch (The Searchers, Petula Clark, Jackie Trent) fell in love with the material and insisted that Booth record the album. Further evidence of his reticence is the fact he never again recorded as an artist . . . . Booth’s roots were in classical music and he studied composition and piano at the Royal Academy of Music in the late ’50s. Though accomplished, he was not a virtuoso pianist and, following a stint in the National Service playing in military orchestras and dance bands, Booth began to work as the bandleader for Roy Orbison in the mid-’60s. While working with Orbison, he began to collaborate with two young actors and comedians, Michael Palin and Terry Jones, whom he had met while working as the musical director for the British television series Five O’Clock Club. Booth commissioned the future Pythons to write some lyrics which Booth would then set to music. The resulting songs provided the entirety of the material on Diversions!. Booth brought some of the songs to Orbison and later to Hatch. While Orbison passed, Hatch was charmed by both the material and by Booth’s restrained and heartfelt vocal style. He talked Booth into recording the songs himself, with Booth arranging and conducting and Hatch producing. . . . The lyrics are whimsical, typically narrative, and often reflect a British Music Hall sensibility. . . . Two singles were released . . . [including] “He’s Very Good With His Hands” b/w “The King’s Thing” . . . . [It did not] chart[], though [it] was played by John Peel’s on his popular Top Gear show. . . .

http://www.popgeekheaven.com/music-discovery/lost-treasures-barry-booth-diversions

BarryBooth.com adds:

[At] the Royal Academy of Music in London. . . . [Booth] studied composition, harmony . . . counterpoint . . . and pianoforte . . . while flouting the Academy’s rules by playing professionally in the city’s jazz clubs by night. . . . In the early 1960s he worked on back-to-back national pop tours, as a bandleader and piano player for various acts including . . . Roy Orbison . . . .

[H]e put his classical training at the service of one of the support acts when he offered a simple solution to a vocal harmony line they were having trouble figuring out. He proposed that they use an inverted pedal-point, sustaining a single high note in harmony with the descending melody line. The proposal was accepted and consequently can be heard in the verses of the Beatles’ early hit Please Please Me. (Many years later, Elvis Costello would remember noticing it as a 9 year old boy. As described in Craig Brown’s One Two Three Four, he ‘listened intently to the disc as his father played it over and over again. He was startled by the vocal harmony line; the second singer seemed to be singing the same note repeatedly against the lead singer.’)

Orbison, the original inspiration for that song, was sufficiently impressed by Booth’s abilities to hire him as his musical director and piano player in his backing band . . . taking him on tours of Europe and North America. Booth first entered the US illegally, smuggled by Orbison over the Canadian border in the boot of a car after a work permit had failed to arrive on time. Booth continued to serve Orbison in this position for several years, before going on to enjoy a long career as a highly versatile musical director, arranger, composer and pianist . . . .

Diversions! consisted of musical settings of fourteen lyrics he had commissioned from two young writers he’d worked with in television: Michael Palin and Terry Jones . . . . Pitching the songs to producer Tony Hatch in the hope of landing them with established singers, Booth had inadvertently landed a deal to record them himself. . . . [It] is an example of how ambitious and inventive popular music was becoming at the time . . . . It is uniquely charming, whimsical, often cryptic and sometimes slightly sinister . . . .

https://www.barryboothmusic.com/biography

“I saw him in the corner shop buying balsa-wood and glue, asking the assistant for model-kit number two. Then, happy as a sandman, run, running to his hobby-room. High above the pretty people busy making friends, busy making friends. He can build aeroplanes, make little wooden trains. That’s the life he understands. His scene is a shelf that he’s made by himself. For he’s very good with his hands. He’s very good, very very good, very good with his hands. There’s no need to laugh when you see him, ‘cause he’s very good with his hands. Hе’s very good, very very good, very good with his hands. I took a girl from Wimbledon to watch him make a chair. He seemed a little taken with the colour of her hair. Then, happy as a sandman, run, running from his hobby-room. She goes around the smartest places telling everyone, telling everyone he can build aeroplanes, make little wooden trains. That’s the life he understands. His scene is a shelf that he’s made by himself. But he’s very good with his hands. He’s very good, very very good, very good with his hands. There’s no need to laugh when you see him, ‘cause he’s very good with his hands. He’s very good, very very good, very good with his hands.”

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The Who: Brace for the Obscure (60s rock)! — August 11, 2022

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

547) The Who — “Glittering Girl”

Who-didn’t do it — why was this wonderful song left off The Who Sell Out? Glittering indeed!

Plus, thanks to Iowgens2:

This rare 1967 footage, excerpted from the German TV documentary Die Jungen Nachtwandler – London Unter 21 (which aired on July 3rd 1967 and was directed by Edmund Wolf) sees Pete Townshend running through an obscure and unreleased Who track named Glittering Girl in front of managers Kit Lambert and Chris Stamp at at his Wardour Street flat, and then with his bandmates (including a bare-chested Keith Moon) at the Saville Theatre.

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=x-cYFPgUfm4

“She wasn’t a fool, that glittering girl. She followed the rules, that shimmering pearl. Said the rules mama preaches go down when they break. The things mama teaches you just gotta shake. But she wasn’t a fool, that slender love figure. She followed her rules and made money bigger. She wasn’t a fool, that shining young woman. She followed her rules. She’s crying for no man. Said the rules mama teaches l go down when they’re broken. She explodes into peaches and cries when I’ve spoken. She wasn’t a fool, that goddess of hell. There are no mother’s rules, she makes them herself. And I was down upon my knees to beg her surrender up to me. Something inside her told her she shouldn’t. Tried and enlight her, but the girl wouldn’t. She wasn’t a fool. But love flowed from her face. She’s not scared of me, she’s afraid of disgrace. She wasn’t a fool, that female for our world. She followed her rules, that glittering girl. That glittering girl. . . .”

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Here is the live ‘67 footage:

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The Pickwick Papers: Brace for the Obscure (60s rock)! — August 10, 2022

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

546) The Pickwick Papers — “You’re So Square”

B-side of the Papers’ only single (‘66) is a cover of a number that Elvis did in ‘57 for the Jailhouse Rock movie — and it works. I guess the moral of the story is — you can garageize Leiber and Stoller, but don’t name your garage band after a Charles Dickens’ novel!

This is an oft-covered song— Buddy Holly, John Lennon, Joni Mitchell, Cee Lo Green, etc. (https://secondhandsongs.com/performance/20093) — but nobody beats the Papers’ version. I just wish I could find out more about this Michigan garage band.

Per Song Facts:

This was one of the songs written by Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller for Elvis for the film Jailhouse Rock.  It was one of four songs written during the famous Aberbach episode. . . .  Leiber and Stoller were in their motel room enjoying breakfast at the leisurely hour of 1 P.M. when Jean Aberbach, Elvis' music publisher, showed up to ask whether they had the songs for Jailhouse Rock yet.  When they admitted that they hadn't, Aberbach said that he was not leaving without them, and pushed the sofa against the door of the hotel room and went to sleep on it.  Leiber and Stoller wrote the songs and woke him up.  After handing him the songs, only then would he let them go!  By the time Elvis recorded "Baby I Don't Care," Elvis and Leiber and Stoller had really hit their stride working together.  Jerry Leiber reminisces, "The fourth song was the most fun because by then Elvis was deep into our producing style.  Our style wasn't anything more than being loose and having fun.  Elvis' initial shyness had totally melted away and he was completely in the spirit of the music."  Note the movie scene in the video to the right, where Elvis performs the song for a pool party.  Have you ever seen such a quiet, still, well-mannered audience of ladies in your life?  Of course, the filming was happening with Elvis lip-syncing . . . .

https://www.songfacts.com/facts/elvis-presley/youre-so-square-baby-i-dont-care

“You don’t like crazy music. You don’t like rockin’ bands. You just wanna go to a movie show and sit there holdin’ hands. You’re so square. Baby, I don’t care. You don’t like hotrod racin’ or drivin’ late at night. You just wanna park where it’s nice and dark. You just wanna hold me tight. You’re so square. Baby, I don’t care. You don’t know any dance steps that are new. But no one else could love me like you do, do, do, do. I don’t know why my heart flips. I only know it does. I wonder why I love you, baby. I guess it’s just because you’re so square. Baby, I don’t care. Baby, I don’t care. Baby, I don’t care . . . .”

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Here’s Elvis:

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London Phogg: Brace for the Obscure (60s rock)! — August 9, 2022

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

545) The London Phogg — “The Times to Come”

A-side of the Phogg’s only single (’68) is a sunshine pop supernova. As Richard Cameron says, it is a “unique juxtaposition of pop harmony vocals and fuzz guitar psychedelia”, a “kind of a sub-genre – “Sunshine Psych.” (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XLbHXRVuFr4). This could have been a contender against “I’d Like to Buy the World a Coke” — “That Coke on earth at last has come and now at last a new world has begun.” What do you say, Don Draper?

A bit about the band:

This Las Vegas ensemble formed in 1968 and was originally called the London Fog before they issued their one and only single. . . . The group won the 1968 Teen Scene Battle of the Rock & Soul Bands competition at the Las Vegas Ice Palace, which gave them the opportunity to record and issue their 45 (‘The Times To Come’ b/w ‘Takin’ It Easy’) on the A&M label in late 1968.

https://techwebsound.com/artist/?artist=319

“I sat down to watch the local station. Men were there from every nation. I ran out to read the morning paper and the news was just as great there. That peace on earth at last has come and now at last a new world has begun. The sky is filled with gentle doves. This is the morning of the times to come. In the place at noon I stood dumbfounded. In the hills were guns it sounded. Little children laughed and gathered flowers. Steeple bells rang on for hours. Soft music filled the wind each night. The gentle lamb lay sleeping in the sun. Let every man love everyone. This is the morning of the times to come. Let every heart be filled with love. Let everyone be cared for by someone. Let every man love everyone. This is the morning of the times to come.”

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The playlist includes all the “greatest songs of the 1960’s that no one has ever heard” that are available on Spotify. The playlist will expand each time I feature an available song.

All new subscribers will receive a Brace for the Obscure 60s Rock magnet. New subscribers who sign up for a year will also receive a Brace for the Obscure 60s Rock t-shirt or baseball cap. See pictures on the Pay to Play page.

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George Harrison: Brace for the Obscure (60s rock)! — August 8, 2022

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

545) George Harrison — “Circles”

Unlike The Who’s “Circles”, George Harrison’s “Circles” is no instant party, but rather a haunting and groovy meditation on reincarnation! George wrote the song in Rishikesh and demoed it — with whispered voice and harmonium — at Esher, both in ‘68, but didn’t release it till ‘82.

As it is etched into the Beatles Bible:

“Upon their return from India, all four Beatles gathered at Kinfauns, Harrison’s Esher bungalow. They recorded demos of 27 songs, to be put forward as potential titles for the White Album. . . . One of the discarded titles was ‘Circles’, seemingly recorded alone by Harrison with just an organ accompaniment. . . . One of Harrison’s more philosophical songs . . . . Harrison eventually released a version of ‘Circles’ on his 1982 album Gone Troppo. It was recorded with a full band – including Billy Preston on organ and piano – and with largely different lyrics to those written in 1968.” (https://www.beatlesbible.com/songs/circles/)

Eager was not your grand mother’s bungalow. As Rob Sheffield describes:

“[T]hey met at George’s hippie bungalow in the Surrey countryside, decorated in the grooviest Indian style. . . . On the tape, you can hear them relax in an informal setting – they sit around the living room, banging guitars or tambourines or shakers, breathing in the joss stick. They recline on leather cushions – George and Patti don’t have anything so square as chairs.” (https://www.rollingstone.com/feature/the-beatles-esher-demos-the-lost-basement-tapes-that-became-the-white-album-630425/amp/)

Jordan Runtagh was not impressed:

“‘Circles’ . . . is an exceptionally dreary affair. . . . [that] utilizes what Richie Unterberger evocatively describes as ‘an eerie organ that seems to have been dragged out of a dusty, disused church closet.’ Harrison taped two tracks on the instrument – likely a harmonium – sketching a sparse, almost ghostly arrangement. The mood isn’t brightened by the solemn lyrics, which find Harrison contemplating the cyclical nature of humanity and the Hindi concept of reincarnation in a voice that barely raises above a whisper.” (https://www.rollingstone.com/music/music-lists/the-beatles-revelatory-white-album-demos-a-complete-guide-629178/)

Per owl.apps.net:

“The theme of the lyrics is reincarnation. The composition reflects the cyclical aspect of human existence as, according to Hindu doctrine, the soul continues to pass from one life to the next. . . . While some find it overly gloomy, others recognise the track as a highlight of a generally overlooked album. . . . ‘Circles’ was composed on an organ . . . as most of Harrison’s Indian-inspired melodies since 1966 had been . . . . [Simon] Leng writes of ‘fugue-like keyboard parts’ on the song and ‘bass figures’ that partly recall the works of Johann Sebastian Bach. The song’s lyrical theme is reincarnation, in keeping with Harrison’s immersion in Hindu philosophy. . . . Theologian Dale Allison highlights ‘Circles’ as the only Harrison song to use the term ‘reincarnate’ . . . . Harrison also quotes from the Chinese philosopher and author Lao-Tse, whose work Tao Te Ching inspired his 1968 composition ‘The Inner Light’ . . . . The choruses include the lines from Lao-Tse: ‘He who knows does not speak / He who speaks does not know’ . . . . On the released recording, Harrison concludes with a statement on how to break the circle of repetition: ‘When loss and gain and up and down / Becomes the same, then we stop going in circles.’ Allison interprets this conclusion, and Harrison’s worldview generally, as espousing the need to recognise the illusory nature of the material world, saying . . . ‘opposites are not opposites. To understand that up is down and that gain is loss is to be … on one’s way to escaping from the material world.’” (http://www.owlapps.net/owlapps_apps/articles?id=34611251&lang=en)

Wow, this is no “Savoy Truffle”!

“Friends come and friends go as I go round and round in circles.  Love warms and love colds as I go round and round in circles.  He who knows does not speak.  He who speaks does not know.  And I go round in circles. Life comes and life goes as we go round and round in circles.  He who knows does not speak.  He who speaks does not know as I go round in circles.  Life comes and love goes as we go round and round in circles.”

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Here it is from Gone Troppo:

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McCully Workshop: Brace for the Obscure (60s rock)! — August 7, 2022

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

544) McCully Workshop — “Rush Hour at Midnight”

A cool boss’s nova rock track . . . from South Africa?! McCully Workshop, Inc. (’70) was the “superb South African band’s stunning debut album.” (The Forced Exposure website, https://mccullyworkshop.wordpress.com/about/) “Of all the albums we’ve heard from South Africa this one is topscore. What a beautiful masterpiece. Pepper-influenced underground music with great songs, lovely vocals, strong harmonies, great distorted guitarwork.” (Psychedelic-Music.com, https://mccullyworkshop.wordpress.com/albums/mccully-workshop-inc/)

Brian Currin writes that:

McCully Workshop is arguably one of South Africa’s finest pop rock bands. They started way back in the ’60’s, dominated the South African airwaves in the ’70’s, continued through the ’80’s and ’90’s and in the 21st century are still going strong.

https://mccullyworkshop.wordpress.com/about/

Currin provides some more history:

The McCullagh brothers, Tully . . . and Mike . . . . started as a folk-rock trio [in ‘65] with Richard Hyam and called themselves the Blue Three. Richard had been in a folk duo, Tiny Folk, with his sister Melanie. . . . “I had my own studio in the garage since I was 12” remembers Tully. . . . The brothers’ father, radio personality Michael Drin (his stage name), painted the name “McCully Workshop, Inc.” on the garage wall. “McCully” was an easier-to-spell version of McCullagh and the “Inc.” was a tongue-in-cheek addition. . . . Mike McCullagh [says] “In 1969 I was 22 and Tully was 16, along with Richard Hyam, his sister Melanie and Allan Faull the group started.” . . . Tully wrote ‘Why Can’t It Rain’ in the middle of the night and this became a hit single putting McCully Workshop on the charts for the first time[ and] dr[awing] the attention of the Gallo label, and they said they wanted an album. McCully Workshop signed probably the first independent licensing deal with a major label in South Africa. The ‘Inc.’ album shows a variety of styles and influences including The Beatles, Frank Zappa and Pink Floyd. “’Sgt Pepper’ was very important, as were the pop charts at the time”, recalls Tully. Another big influence, according to Tully, was The Moody Blues ‘Threshold Of A Dream’ which was released in April 1969.

https://mccullyworkshop.wordpress.com/albums/the-best-of-mccully-workshop/

“Rush hour. Rush hour. . . . Everybody rushes out to see the sun, lighting out the moon as it goes on its run. This is probably the greatest thing tonight. . . . Where’s it go? Where’s it go? Where’s it go? Where’s it go? . . . That’s were it goes. That’s where it goes. That’s where it goes. . . . Rush hour at midnight. Rush hour at midnight.”

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The Lomax Alliance: Brace for the Obscure (60s rock)! — August 6, 2022

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

543) The Lomax Alliance — “Try As You May”

A-side of the Alliance’s only single (’67), which, per Steve Leggett, “combine[s] blue-eyed soul with a kind of British Invasion template.” Why wasn’t this a hit? Leggett also noted that:

Jackie Lomax . . . has always had a soulful voice, a bit like his contemporary Steve Winwood . . . (the two actually also look strikingly similar), but his considerable talent never translated . . . into international commercial success.

https://www.allmusic.com/album/lost-soul-lomax-alliance-solo-singles-demos-1966-1967-mw0002002690

This lack of success baffled the Beatles, who try as they may, couldn’t make Jackie Lomax (see #164, 425) a star, and it baffles me.m too. Brian Pendreigh writes that:

A lot of people thought Jackie Lomax should have been a big star. He had moody good looks, a great bluesy voice and a decent backing band that had considerable success in their own right under the name The Beatles. . . . Bill Harry, author of The Ultimate Beatles Encyclopedia, said his lack of chart success baffled The Beatles.

https://www.scotsman.com/news/obituaries/obituary-jackie-lomax-singer-1561004

And Bruce Eder writes that “Jackie Lomax should have been one of Liverpool’s homegrown rock & roll stars — that’s what the Beatles believed, and George Harrison and Paul McCartney both thought enough of his talent to back him variously as producers and record company executives at a critical juncture in all of their careers.” (https://www.allmusic.com/artist/jackie-lomax-mn0000130486/biography)

The Guardian gives some history:

Lomax had known the Beatles since their early days at the Cavern club and in Hamburg, when he was the singer and bass guitarist with the Undertakers, a popular Mersey Beat band noted for their energetic stage show, in which the musicians wore the frock coats, and sometimes top hats, appropriate to funeral directors in the wild west. . . . [T]he son of a millworker, the teenaged Lomax and his friend the drummer Warren “Bugs” Pemberton left their first band, Dee and the Dynamites, to join the Undertakers in January 1962. Like the Beatles, their stage act was developed during residencies at the clubs in and around Hamburg’s Reeperbahn . . . . [A] contract with Pye Records had produced four singles . . . but no hits [so] they tried to capitalise on the British invasion of the US charts by moving across the Atlantic. Left stranded and penniless in a motel in Canada, they disbanded and in 1967 Lomax and Pemberton formed their own group, the Lomax Alliance.

https://www.theguardian.com/music/2013/sep/17/jackie-lomax

Anorak Thing takes up the story:

[When the] Undertakers went belly up. . . . Lomax and drummer Bugs Pemberton hooked up with some NYC locals and began playing as The Lost Souls . . . and in early ’66 Brian Epstein saw them play in Greenwich Village and convinced them to come back to England where under the name of The Lomax Alliance they cut several tracks, in fact nearly an album’s worth . . . .

http://anorakthing.blogspot.com/2013/11/jake-holmes-via-jackie-lomax.html

On this Day in Music wraps it up:

[Lomax recalled] “Epstein ended up in New York with the Beatles for the Shea Stadium concert, and we went to Shea with the Beatles, and hung out with them at the Warwick Hotel. Epstein wanted to take me back to London as a singer, but I told him to listen to the whole band, and the entire Lomax Alliance went back to London.”

They had recorded some tracks in New York before crossing the Atlantic and Brian Epstein arranged for them to record more titles to complete an album . . . . Epstein [brought them] to London’s Saville Theatre, and arranged for a single and an album to be recorded. . . . In Britain, the only Lomax Alliance single, “Try As You May” b/w “See The People,” proved no more successful than the Undertakers’ releases in spite of Brian Epstein’s backing. Unfortunately Epstein’s untimely death intervened and no further Lomax Alliance recordings were released. The band were ‘inherited’ by Robert Stigwood who was too preoccupied with the BeeGees to pay any attention to the Lomax Alliance. The group went back to America but disbanded soon afterwards . . . .

https://onthisdaymusic.com/2021/09/17/september-15-2013-jackie-lomax-died/

“You in your chair will judge without care. Search every word in your conscience. Open your mind and see that you’ll find a trace of the bind that once joined us. Take from the past things that will last. Think of the goodness that I gave you. You will try as you may but you won’t find a day. When you can say you regret it, you can’t change the fact that I did love you back. Say thanks for that and not for leaving. I don’t see a crime in changing my mind. Don’t you waste your time on grieving. You can try as you may but you won’t find a day when you can say you regret it.”

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The Garden Club: Brace for the Obscure (60s rock)! — August 5, 2022

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

542) The Garden Club — “Little Girl Lost and Found”

One of the greatest early pop psych tunes, sung by the writer of “Windy”, with lyrics perfectly balanced between twee and weeeee! Funky16corners says it ‘s “cool . . . early, sing-song popsike . . . that sounds like it was recorded on a merry go round.” (https://ironleg.wordpress.com/2016/05/29/the-garden-club-little-girl-lost-and-found-bw-i-must-love-her/). I’d love to hear Noel Gallagher do this one!

Brewer and Shipley’s website lets us know that:

The Garden Club was a one single studio group comprised of Ruthann Friedman and Tom Shipley.  At the time of this recording Tom was on the verge of forming Brewer & Shipley, and Ruthann was just about to write “Windy” for The Association. . . . [Tom Shipley says] “We recorded a song, “Little Girl Lost and Found” written by the guy [Tandyn Almer] who wrote “Along Comes Mary.” 

http://www.brewerandshipley.com/Songs/Covered/GardenClub.htm

funky16corners adds that:

The Garden Club . . . only ever existed for this one 45. The principle members of the group were singers Ruthann Friedman and Tom Shipley. Friedmann, who recorded a groovy 45 (with Van Dyke Parks) and a very cool album is also known as the composer of ‘Windy’, one of the biggest hits of the 1960s . . . . Shipley went on to be one half of Brewer and Shipley, who made some excellent folk rock and had a big hit with ‘One Toke Over the Line’. The composers were Daniel Walsh (who went on to write a bunch of pop stuff in the 70s, like ‘Temptation Eyes’ for the Grass Roots) and none other than Tandyn Almer. Almer hit the jackpot with ‘Along Comes Mary’ for the Association, as well as ‘Shadows and Reflections’ (with Larry Marks) for the Action, among others. . . . [W]ith that remarkable provenance, the single is pretty cool, too.

https://ironleg.wordpress.com/2016/05/29/the-garden-club-little-girl-lost-and-found-bw-i-must-love-her/

Peter & the Wolves (led by John Pantry) also did a great version (see #494), though Steve Elliott says derisively that “[t]he circus beat and adolescent story . . . comes off as bubblegum Bee Gees.” (https://somethingelsereviews.com/2013/08/02/forgotten-series-the-factory-peter-and-the-wolves-others-upside-down-world-of-john-pantry-1999/)

“Alice in Wonderland walking though hallways followed closely by little tin men. A man made from rusted old buckets holding a musket he’s trying to mend. They are all searching for clues to the whereabouts of the girl with the polka dot eyes who ran down the street at the top of her lungs mourning Little Jack Horner’s demise. . . . Little Miss Muffett she knows how to rough it. She’s been on her own ever since she was nine. She has joined forces with the ones running the courses trying to find. Little girl lost and found, walking the streets in her tattered gown. Everyone passes the blame around for little girl lost and found. They are all searching for clues to the whereabouts of the girl with the polka dot eyes who ran down the street at the top of her lungs mourning Little Jack Horner’s demise. . . .  Tinker toy tractors and animal crackers are all stacked up in a line. The town crier shouted the news. They’re the only clues that she left behind. Little girl lost and found,
walking the streets in her tattered gown. Everyone passes the blame around for little girl lost and found. . . .”

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Here are the Wolves:

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Los Blops: Brace for the Obscure (60s rock)! — August 4, 2022

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

541) Los Blops — “Los Momentos” (“The Moments”)*

A stunning folk rock song from Chile that “would become a classic of Chilean popular music” (http://losblops.blogspot.com/) and for Los Blops — the band’s name “inspired by the sound of a drop of water hitting the ground[ — it would be] their great legacy to Chilean popular music.” (https://www.musicapopular.cl/grupo/blops/)

The song was from the “[d]ebut from the experimental folk/rock band in the revolutionary days of the late 60’s in Chile” (http://www.progarchives.com/artist.asp?id=1496) — so revolutionary that Los Blops were booed by right-wing audiences, considered “sh*tty hippies”, but at the same time viewed with distrust by the Communists because of “their rather hippie orientation, their open sympathy towards marijuana, and their lack of greater commitment”! (https://www.musicapopular.cl/grupo/blops/)

Jorge Leiva recounts Los Blops’ history and legacy:

[It] was one of the few bands of the time that was able to transcend its Anglo-Saxon inspiration to give way to original creations with a powerful identity of their own. . . . After its dissolution, in 1973, its three albums constituted a lost heritage until the personal effort of its members allowed its reissue, in 2001. Their history includes . . . classic on the scale of “Los Momentos” and an impact that, although never massive, had a deep impact on a sector of the public and the Chilean music community.

The band emerged in 1964 . . . . its first repertoire with covers of bands like The Doors, The Who and the Rolling Stones. In the summer of 196[9] . . . . Eduardo Gatti joined . . . as guitarist . . . . [and] they made the decision to start composing their own songs. . . . Surprisingly, the Communist Party label, Dicap, was the only one that agreed to release an album by the Blops, despite the ideological mistrust aroused by their rather hippie orientation, their open sympathy towards marijuana, and their lack of greater commitment . . . . [T]he label gave them a few days of study, during which they recorded their first nine songs. At the end of those sessions, and almost accidentally, they decided to include a composition by Eduardo Gatti that they barely knew: “Los momentoes”. When Blops (1970) appeared, they never imagined that this song would be precisely their great legacy to Chilean popular music.

The band performed at the Viña del Mar Festival for three nights in 1971. They were part of the Dicap artists and were mercilessly booed by a[ right-wing?] audience that associated their name with the Unidad Popular [which Wikipedia describes as a left-wing political alliance in Chile that stood behind the successful candidacy of Salvador Allende]. . . . “As soon as the entertainer mentioned the name of the Blops, it was not necessary for the musicians to appear on stage for the public to boo them until they finished their presentation. The pure acoustic sound of the group was lost among the furious screams of the monster of the Fifth. Upon returning from the catastrophic performance, the dressing room awaited them with an eloquent line: “Get out of here, shitty hippies.” . . .

[Later,] part of the group lived as a community in an old convent on the border of the communes of Ñuñoa and La Reina (La Manchufela, they called it) . . . . After the recording of the[ir] second album, after reflecting on the festival experience, the band decided that they would not do any more lyrics, that they would abandon the acoustic instruments and that from then on they would be called Parafina. . . . [T]he band . . . could not survive the closing of spaces that followed the arrival of the military in La Moneda. The burning of their masters and the persecution of artists . . . forced them to withdraw. “There were no possibilities to continue,” confirms [bass player Juan Pablo] Orrego, who moved to Isla Negra for a few months with Eduardo Gatti . . . . What they thought would be a long stay of musical work ended up being cut short the following year, with the departure of all of them abroad.

https://www.musicapopular.cl/grupo/blops/

Erik Neuteboom adds that:

The evidence of the qualitative leap they took from playing covers to creating their own music is in that first vinyl which appeared in 1970, a year marked by social, cultural and political transformations in Chile. Released under Dicap label, a historic record label founded in 1968 by the Communist Youth Organization, the album was self-produced. As Eduardo Gatti points out: “We were the only producers. That’s how that bouquet of rather strange flowers came out. ” In Blops there’s also a synthesis of the musical influences of the time, including rock of course. Eduardo Gatti goes back to that point:

“We had already researched the playing of (Bob) Dylan, Keith Richards, Clapton, so making an interesting weave with guitars was quite fascinating. And there came a time when we didn’t play any more covers because it didn’t make sense: it was time for our stuff. As we all mature, all this information that we had processed decanted in Los Blops ”.

And Orrego agrees: “We had all those aspects, but a very own musical language began”. . . .

Gatti looks back at those previous years: “I think we were very happy. I think the fact of living in a community gave us such a different vision, like we put together a mini-society within this society that was dismantling itself, in which we continued with tremendous energy, very luminous in our case. And that made us somehow able to survive everything that came after. . . . It never ceases to amaze me. We were not in the Nueva Canción Chilena, in the political song. We, along with Los Jaivas and Congreso, were unclassifiable. And we were unclassifiable the entire time we recorded and played. I think that also gave a freshness to all this that people have appreciated more and more over time. And I think it is still without any classification”.

https://cargorecordsdirect.co.uk/products/los-blops-blops

“Tu silueta Va caminando Con el alma triste why dormida Ya la aurora no es nada nuevo Pa’ tus ojos grandes why pa’ tu frente Ya el cielo why sus estrellas Se quedaron mudos, lejanos why muertos Pa’ tu mente ajena Nos hablaron Una vez, cuando niños Cuando la vida se muestra entera Que el futuro, que cuando grande Ahí murieron ya los momentos Sembraron así su semilla why tuvimos miedo, temblamos why en eso se nos fue la vida Cada uno aferrado a sus dioses Producto de toda una historia Los modelan why los destruyen why según eso ordenan sus vidas. En la frente les ponen monedas En sus largas manos les cuelgan candados, Letreros why rejas.”

Here is an English translation courtesy of josevalqui:

“Your silhouete walks with a sad and asleep soul, The aurora is nothing new now for your big eyes and for your forehead. The sky and its stars have become silent, distant and dead for your estranged mind. They told us once, when we wrre children, when life shows itself fully, the future, when you are big, All moments dies there already, So they planted their seed and we were scared, we shivered, While life slipped away from us. Each one clinging to his gods, Products of all history, They model them and destroy them, And according to this they order their lives; They put coins on their foreheads, In their long hand they hang locks, signs and fences.” (https://lyricstranslate.com/en/moments-lyrics.html)

* All the quoted text (other than the song lyrics) is an English translation courtesy of Google Translate.

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Here they play live in 1980:

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

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

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.

https://pastdaily.com/2012/07/28/the-rainy-daze-1967-nights-at-the-roundtable/

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.

https://www.allmusic.com/artist/rainy-daze-mn0000388850/biography

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.”

https://colomusic.org/profile/the-rainy-daze/

“Fe fi fo fum, I smell the blood of oblivion. No sir, I’m not your son. Fortunes told in broken mirrors, reflections of a statue’s tears. Might as well chase the sun, the wind don’t know the way. Summer roses all soon to die. The night time has an alibi. Chemistry might be the one who listens when you pray. Fe fi fo fum, I smell the blood of oblivion. No sir, I’m not your son. Magic has a thousand faces crippled by lost lethal cases. [S]he holds a rusted gun so you won’t [feel the pain?]. Fe fi fo fum, I smell the blood of oblivion. No sir, I’m not your son. . . .”

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Black Merda: Brace for the Obscure (60s rock)! — August 2, 2022

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

539) Black Merda — “Got Me Running”

Here is an incendiary funk-rock out-take from Detroit’s legendary Black Merda (see #134, 467) If the song was a fine wine (which it is, and it gets even better with age), I would say that to my nose it displays notes of Hendrix and Zeppelin. If either of them had released this song, it would have been a billion seller (I know, know, Zep didn’t do singles!).

Eduardo Rivadavia opines that:

Black Merda[] . . . is what happens when a group of Detroit-based R&B musicians discover Jimi Hendrix and reinvent themselves as psychedelic rock ‘n’ soul explorers. Can you dig it? Guitarist Anthony Hawkins, bassist V.C. Veasey, and drummer Tyrone Hite began playing together in school before paying their dues as both session and backing musicians (usually billing themselves as The Impacts) for Motor City contractors like Fortune Records and Golden World Studios. By the late ‘60s, they’d backed major names like Jackie Wilson, Joe Tex, The Chi-Lites, and even cracked the Motown assembly line behind The Temptations, The Spinners, and hard funk pioneer Edwin Starr, who dubbed them The Soul Agents and made them his permanent support unit. But the trio had also fallen under the spell of cutting-edge British rock groups like Cream and The Who, plus transatlantic superstar, Hendrix, whose Are You Experienced? LP inspired them to cut one of the first known covers of “Foxey Lady” . . . . [T]hey officially became a self-contained rock band, flirting with the name Murder Incorporated, then Black Murder, and finally settling on Black Merda, because they felt it represented the African American slang and enunciation. . . .

https://vinylspinning.tumblr.com/post/677381255462092800/black-merda-black-merda-1970-black-merdas?is_related_post=1

Sylvain Coulon notes that:

In the electric atmosphere of late sixties Motor City, [Black Merda’s] abrasive sound, their hybridization of funk with voodoo blues and fuzzed up guitar parts, their eccentric get-ups and their virulent lyrics struck many minds. Their career was meteoric (1968-1972), marked by two albums, commercial failures both, which are now fetching amazing prices on e-Bay, even after their reissue by the New York record label Tuff City in 1996. And they owe their come back to a cassette compilation. In 2001, a collector from Chicago copies a few of Black Rock’s ultra-rare singles for a Memphis pal, who in turn runs countless copies of that cassette. Under the title “Chains and Black Exhaust”, the compilation soon is found all around the world as a bootleg CD. . . .  [T]heir[‘s was a] unique sound and colorful style (frilly shirts, necklaces, paladin hats or keffiehs adorned with jewels or pearls) . . . .

http://digitfanzine.chez.com/digitarticlesenglishblackmerda.html

VC Lamont Veasey in person, founder member, bass guitarist and lead singer, recounts that:

[O]urs were about poverty, racism, hypocrisy, despair, freedom, separating reality from fantasy, consciousness raising and expanding and all of the bad shit that was befalling Black people and others on the everyday street level of experience back then. Our lyrics weren’t so much political as there were truthful and a light shining intensely on issues that people didn’t want to see but needed to see and needed to come to grips with in order to live a better, happier life and to help others do the same.

http://digitfanzine.chez.com/digitarticlesenglishblackmerda.html

“When I look into your eyes, I turn into your friend. Something comes over me and I’m not the man I used to be. You got me running after you. You got me running after you. You got me running after you. You got me running after you. When I get close to you, I smell your sweet perfume. It does something to me sense and I can’t keep myself in check. You got me running after you. You got me running after you. You got me running after you. You got me running after you. This is true. I can’t stop running after you. Can’t stop running, yes it’s true. I can’t stop running after you. I never used to go out for all that disco fun. But no matter what you want to do I’m always ready to go. You got me running after you. You got me running after you. You got me running after you. You got me running after you. Guess I’m running after you. I guess I’m running, you know it true. You got me running, guess it’s true. I guess I’m running after you. I can’t stop. I just can’t stop. I just can’t stop. I just can’t, just can’t, just can’t. . . . You look so good. I just can’t stop. You got me running after you. You got me running after you. . . .”

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Focal Point: Brace for the Obscure (60s rock)! — August 1, 2022

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

538) Focal Point — “Hassle Castle”

A magical, wistful song by Focal Point, one of my favorite bands of all time (see #4, 43, 198). Focal Point only released one single, but it all started out like a fairy tale when they cornered Paul McCartney walking his dog Martha in Hyde Park . . . . As co-founder Paul Tennant recalled:

It was . . . the summer of 1967 . . . . We knew which house Paul lived in due to the large amount of girls hanging about outside. . . . . Then all of a sudden the gates opened and a mini shoots out and away. Without a second thought we were on his tail, and there in the back of the car was a large sheepdog . . . . I never let it out of my sight . . . [W]e were at Hyde Park, the mini stopped and out stepped Paul, let the dog out and waved to the driver – Jane Asher and he was away walking the dog. Well Dave looked at me and I looked at him . . . . [W]e shouted to [Paul] and he turned around. We then told him . . . we were writing songs and didn’t know what to do with them, could he help? . . . . [H]e said to us “I could get you a recording contract just like that” and flicked his fingers. “But why should I?” It was then that he proved to be human by planting a finger up his nostril. Dave laughed and he laughed. Dave then said . . . “Because we are good, our songs are good.” It was just like that, Paul then wrote down . . . a phone number . . . . “Phone this guy and tell him I sent you[]” and he was then gone . . . . [W]hen we got back to Liverpool, Dave and I phoned . . . . Terry [Dolan] listened and told us Paul had told him we were going to ring and when could we go down to London. . . . Out came the guitars and we sang four of our best songs . . . . He said he liked our songs and would like to get acetate done of them. . . . “John loves your songs, he is absolutely going mad over them” said Terry. We were . . . gob smacked. He wants me to play them to Brian”. . . . “Brian agrees with John, your songs are fantastic” . . . . Brian and John . . . wanted to sign us to a five year publishing deal with Apple Publishing. Brian also suggested that we should form a band [and] call [it] Focal Point.

http://www.marmalade-skies.co.uk/focalpoint.htm

And then it all came crashing down. I often talk about the singer/songwriters and bands that became collateral damage in the collapse of Andrew Loog Oldham’s Immediate Records. Focal Point, however, fell victims to the Beatles’ Apple’s demise. To read about it, check out the rest of Paul Tennant’s fabulous interview at Marmalade Skies.

“The [?] was out of tune. Alone in a crowded room. Smoke-filled atmosphere tends to disappear. Place where nothing’s clear to me. Hassle castle, filled with dreams. Hassle castle, your magic schemes. The [terrible?], no one hears. They say that the walls have ears. Try to sing along, [true?] to sing a song, but the key is wrong for me. Hassle castle, filled with tears. Hassle castle, your magic fears. . . . The king with his shiny jewels old?]faces and all the fools. He talks about his past, when he was first, [?] made so fast for me. . . .”

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The playlist includes all the “greatest songs of the 1960’s that no one has ever heard” that are available on Spotify. The playlist will expand each time I feature an available song.

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The Rolling Stones:Brace for the Obscure (60s rock)! — July 31, 2022

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

537) The Rolling Stones — “Blood Red Wine”

A great unfinished song from May ‘68, apparently too rich for the Banquet, recorded at Olympic Sound Studios in London (Martin Elliott, The Rolling Stones Complete Recording Sessions 1962-2012). Jim Connelly says that: “Despite the fact that it was obviously unfinished, ‘Blood Red Wine’ packs both a musical and emotional wallop.” (https://medialoper.com/certain-songs-2046-the-rolling-stones-blood-red-wine/). And Dave Swanson says that: “What is there . . . sounds like the makings of a Stones classic.” (https://ultimateclassicrock.com/unreleased-rolling-stones-songs/). “Blood” is a precursor to Goat Heads Soup’s “Winter” and it seems to be all about Marianne.

Swanson goes on:

‘Blood Red Wine’ is an outtake from the ‘Beggar’s Banquet’ sessions. While it has the mood and feel of that period soaked into it, the track is obviously unfinished. . . . That melancholy feels so prominent on songs like ‘Sister Morphine,’ Moonlight Mile’ and others is all over this one. Another track ripe for nursing back to life for sure.

And Connelly adds:

[I]t starts with with Keith playing some lovely sad guitar, like he’s trying to find the right chords — which he may very well be — and eventually, he finds an even sadder lick . . . . It just struck me today that “Blood Red Wine” is quite possibly a lyrical precursor to future Certain Song “Winter” — recorded only four years but a million decades later — which also has a line about Mick wrapping his coat around someone. In the case of “Blood Red Wine,” it’s probably Marianne Faithfull who inspired the next verse.

“You say that every man you ever had has been obsessed with you and I want to prove an exception to the rule that you lay down. Babe, please don’t make me cry, because there’s a little pain inside. Yes, my darling, now you can’t expect me always to hide.”

It’s so tentative, his phrasing is so weird and off and real and sad and he’s totally making it up on the spot and I love it all so much, especially when they follow it up with another chorus filled with Nicky[Hopkins’] overmodulated piano and Charlies refusal to play anything but his toms. . . . the melody line of that chorus is as sad and pretty, it just makes the fumbling stumbling verses that much more real. . . . At this point, Charlie finally finds his snare drum, and plays a beat during the final chorus, which has gotten even grander and bigger.

“I got red blood, and I got blood red wine, which I bring you, when the snow lies heavy on the ground. If you get cold I wrap my coat, coat around. My, my, my, my don’t you stay on that, that snowy ground.”

And yeah, it doesn’t even matter that Mick is rhyming “ground” with “ground,” not now, not with the snow covering everything everywhere forever. Which is how it feels as Charlie makes footprints with his snare drum until it just ends. It’s too bad they never finished it, because it’s a pretty great song . . . .

“Dear, I love you dearly, but don’t forget trouble I, used to find, and it was, in your mind …yeah I got red blood, and I got blood red wine Which I bring you, when the snow is heavy on the ground If you say where go I’ll just, wrap my cloak around You say that every man you ever had Has been obsessed with you and I, want to prove an exception To the role, that you lay down Babe, please don’t make me cry, because there’s a little pain inside Yes my darling now you can’t expect me always to hide I got red blood, and I got, blood red wine Which I bring you when the snow lies heavy on the ground If you say we’ll go Why don’t you let me, let me, wrap my coat around Yeah, that’s right You see that every time well the lines must rhyme And every verse, be in the same old time Does it all, have to rhyme? But there go, and that’s a place that you will never You said to remind of the girl I used to know, and used to love, yeah I got red blood, and I got blood red wine Which I bring you, when the snow lies heavy on the ground If, you get cold I wrap my, coat, coat around My, my, my, my don’t you stay, on that, that snowy ground.”

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The playlist includes all the “greatest songs of the 1960’s that no one has ever heard” that are available on Spotify. The playlist will expand each time I feature an available song.

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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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The playlist includes all the “greatest songs of the 1960’s that no one has ever heard” that are available on Spotify. The playlist will expand each time I feature an available song.

All new subscribers will receive a Brace for the Obscure 60s Rock magnet. New subscribers who sign up for a year will also receive a Brace for the Obscure 60s Rock t-shirt or baseball cap. See pictures on the Pay to Play page.

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