...being an Akashic Library of Ancient Teachings by Patrick The Lama, whose
more recent space explorations can be found in the Eternal Now...
Captain's Log, Star-date: May 2007
Folks, I have seen the future of rock and its name is the FOUR O'CLOCK BALLOON! Yes, 45s is where it's at this month, as obscure long-players seem to bring more rewards when auctioned off on the Bay than at my portable Sesame Street record player. Franz Kafka knew the score -- temporary feelings of spleen, fatigue and weltschmerz can be avoided simply by readjusting your perpendicular focus from 12 to 7 inch vinyl. Or vice versa.
Not that obscure 45s is a game to be taken lightly either. Recently while I was grooving with the non-LP 45 greatness of AZITIS, the thick glass frontpiece to my stereo rack slid off its hinges, toppled around in slowmotion before my eyes, and then crashed to the floor in dozens of long and very sharp glass pieces (see below). You will observe two things: AZITIS aka HELP is a Christian 45, and the glass splinters arranged themselves in scary, meaningful patterns. What does this mean? Could it be...?
Partly as an effect of my current 7-inch phase, I became involved in the fun little list below, brainstormed & hammered out at garagepunk.com from an original draft by rare 45 maestro Mark "Boss Hoss" Taylor. The individual ranking among the 20 discs will differ depending on who you ask, but at least from my perspective this list covers most of the essential classics from the acid-punk and early psych era (1966-68). As you can tell from the price estimates, this field is as challenging and competitive as pure garage 45s and rare psych LPs.
A POSSIBLE TOP 20 OF EARLY US PSYCH 45s
1 - Human Expression - Optical Sound (Accent, $2000)
2 - Dovers - Third Eye (Miramar, $600)
3 - Stereo Shoestring - On The Road South (English, $1500)
4 - Remaining Few - Painted Air (Askel, $2000)
5 - Caretakers Of Deception - Cuttin' Grass (Sanctus, $750)
6 - Teddy & His Patches - Suzy Creamcheese (Chance, $300)
7 - Perpetual Motion Workshop - Infiltrate Your Mind (Rally, $750)
8 - Scorpio Tube - Yellow Listen (Vita, $2500)
9 - Dirty Filthy Mud - Forest Of Black (Worex, $750 with ps)
10 - Bees - Voices Green And Purple (Liverpool, $2000 with ps)
11 - Mystic Tide - Frustration (Solid Sound, $500)
12 - Third Bardo - I'm Five Years Ahead Of My Time (Roulette, $350)
13 - Something Wild - Tripping Out (Psychedelic, $400)
14 - Orange Wedge - From The Womb To The Tomb (Blue Flat Owsley Memorial, $750)
15 - Spontaneous Generation - Up In My Mind (Fevre, $600)
16 - Psychotrons - Death Is A Dream (BCP, $3500)
17 - Park Avenue Playground – The Trip (USA, $750)
18 - Electric Prunes - Shadows (Reprise, $2000)
19 - Brother L Congregation - Bringing Me Down (Kumquat, $1500)
20 - Sound Apparatus - Travel Agent Man (Black & Blue, $1200)
However, if you move just one or two years beyond garage and early psych, interest and going rates take a nose-dive. Most of the big 45 collectors have no interest in hairy hardrock, and the guys who do collect hairy hardrock want LPs, not singles. But of course there were good local 45s cut in 1969 and 1971, just as there were 5 years earlier. To test the validity of this hypothesis I recently aquired a stack of period 45s on the COAST and STARSHINE labels respectively, and subjected them to rigorous scientific testing. Here are the results.
THE GREAT NON-EXPENSIVE STONER HARDROCK 45 BATTLE!
Vancouver B.C had a rather impressive freak scene going in the late 1960s. Bands such as My Indole Ring, Papa Bears Medicine Show, Mock Duck, along with other essential ingredients such as psychedelic clubs (like The Retinal Circus), underground magazines, and even top-class poster art (Bob Massey) all combined to create a credible local variation on what was going on in bigger scale in San Francisco; perhaps similar to how the local head scene down in Austin, Texas developed.
I don't know too much about the Coast label, but their catalog presents a selection of 45s from bands who were happening at the time. Some of you may have seen the CBC video clips of the SEEDS OF TIME doing a Procol Harum cover & a few more tracks live, led by a good vocalist with a definite methedrine vibe. They managed to get banned in various cities, which speaks in their favor. The two 45s up for scrutiny here are the total sum of their output, as far as I know. "My Hometown" is a solid, ballsy rocker, based on a headbanger riff somewhat similar to "Spirit In The Sky", but with a more direct & gritty presentation. It's All Meat at their rootsiest is one possible reference. Not psychedelic in any way, but good cruising music for sure. The flipside is a jugband throwaway that didn't even make it through one full play here.
On their next 45 "Cryin' The Blues", the band added a piano for an obviously Stones/Faces-influenced sound, and a quite good one too. Jeff Eddington's raw vocals are right on the money, and the whole thing reeks of early 70s dirty rock moves. The flipside continues in the same style and isn't much inferior. These two Seeds Of Time 45s aren't druggy or even hippie-sounding, but it's too bad the band didn't leave more recordings (or a full album) behind, because they had a rather convincing thing going.
It's hard to work up a similar enthusiasm for their Coast colleagues SPRING. Released immediately before the first Seeds Of Time 45, "As Feelings Go" is an enjoyable but somewhat bland take on the westcoast vocal harmony hippierock trip, sort of like Crosby Stills & Nash with emphasis on the Nash bit. It's a well-written tune with a strong bridge and a nice, somewhat derivative hook. There's good Hammond and some fuzz leads lurking in the background. Like the Seeds Of Time 45s, this was a minor hit, and it sounds like it. The flipside is even more Nash-like, a bouncy Brit-pop ditty that sounds almost like the Hollies except for the slight weakness on the vocals (ditto for the A-side). Spring would go on to release several more 45s, including one more for Coast.
Incidentally, all three A-sides discussed here have been comp'd in the "History Of Vancouver Rock'N'Roll" series. More on the Seeds Of Time can be found here.
The Warren, Ohio-based Starshine label is perhaps best known for the classic and quite good MORLY GREY album from 1972. This LP was actually the last gasp from the label, which was founded by one Floyd Phillips in the Fall 1970. The three 45s presented here were all released as an outcome of a local Battle Of The Bands.
The earliest in the series comes from the little known TRAVIS band, who have a period James Gang/Grand Funk groove hardrock sound. "Lovin' You" is based on a simple 3-chord riff, with meaty drums and half-assed vocals delivering horny lyrics. All over pretty similar to the "Dirty Woman" 45 by Merlin from Texas. The strong guitar break should have been longer; as it is the 45 is mainly a concern for Ohio specialists. The flipside is a weird, long and somewhat chaotic version of Steve Miller's "Living In The USA".
Next up is a rather excellent 45, the psychiest one in this whole shebang, and one easy to recommend. The STARS & STRIPES do vintage late 60s drug-rock sounds on "Listen", which sounds like a lost track from a 1969 Mainstream label album. Classic Cream/Butterfly moves display a good guitar-organ flow, stoned vocals, and a strong wah-wah break. This track made it onto a recent DJ Shadow mix so a lot of people have heard it, whether they know it or not. Quite good, and odd that it's remained buried so long. The B-side is strong too, more in the expected raw Ohio hardrock style, with good riffs and an intense tempo-shift for the guitar break. It's about as good as the A-side, in a different way.
Finally we come to BIGGY RAT, which upon scrutiny turns out to be a pre-POOBAH outfit. Buckeye guitar legend Jim Gustafson joins forces with a raw female vocalist who belts her way through two hardrock numbers. The B-side is an old Peggy Lee tune by Leiber-Stoller which despite some super-heavy guitar riffing and two dynamite solos is probably too rootsy for most people, including me. The A-side is an original titled "Look Inside Yourself", and like Stars & Stripes it has distinct traces of a westcoast hippie sound, this time in a mid-period Janis/Big Brother bag. Ballsy femme vocals and a sharp solo by the Grand Poobah makes for an enjoyable 140 seconds; a little like Touch from St Louis or Stone Circus on Rockadelic.
By the way, the winners in the aforementioned Battle Of The Bands were FREEMAN SOUND, who had a retrospective album out from World In Sound recently. Their Starshine 45 is pretty decent, but not as good as the label's best. In 1971-72 Starshine was mainly a Morly Grey vehicle, cutting two 45s with the band (all tracks also on their "The Only Truth" LP) as well as a couple of unreleased tunes that were given a posthumous release in the 1990s -- they're funky hardrock in a less sophisticated style than the album; for completists mainly. There was also a 45 by Michigan band Ormandy (#7203, The Banker / Living Alone) which I have yet to hear.
Some of this info has been lifted from the excellent Ohio music website, "Buckeye Beat".
Hope you had an excellent BICYCLE DAY! Here's how global hero Albert Hofmann spent the original manifestation, 64 years ago:
"...We went by bicycle, no automobile being available because of wartime restrictions on their use. On the way home, my condition began to assume threatening forms. Everything in my field of vision wavered and was distorted as if seen in a curved mirror. I also had the sensation of being unable to move from the spot. Nevertheless, my assistant later told me we had traveled very rapidly".
Somewhat related to this is a new edition of the classic "Brotherhood Of Eternal Love", originally published in the mid-1980s. Written by two British journalists, the book looks at the story of LSD from an organized crime & law enforcement angle, although we also get the basic storyline from Hofmann to Altamont. The closer it sticks to its core subject -- the Orange County-based Brotherhood ring of LSD dealers, and their cousin organization in Britain -- the better it gets, although the massive cast of characters and somewhat superficial journalese writing fails to fully grab you. Nevertheless, a mandatory read with lots of colorful personalities and interesting behind the scenes revelations. Despite the massive busts made in the mid-late 1970s, several of the main LSD ringleaders -- such as Owsley, Ron Stark and Billy Hitchcock -- came out with their hands relatively clean. Watch for an upcoming Lama article on a story with some immediate connections to the Brotherhood Of Eternal Love.
What's in the bag this month? Well, a new GEORGE BRIGMAN release for one thing. "Rags In Skull" (CD Bona Fide) is a solid trip for Brigman fans, who like any American underground icon does what he's always done, and as good as ever. Is it punk? Is it garage? Is it hardrock? Who knows. It's got a wicked edge, lots of grungy guitar, and George's ultra-cool vocals. The lyrics are as intense as ever, with lines like "Some of my best friends are snakes" and "Suicide... it's not what it's cracked up to be". More modern day sounds come from neo-psych/prog favorites DUNGEN, with their brand new album "Tio Bitar" (="Ten Cuts"). Only played it a couple of times but can tell right away that I like it more than the preceding album; flowing Nordic westcoasty 70s-flavored rock with top-level musicianship (including an awesome saz break) and Gustav's strong songwriting. Caveat: I'm a bit biased here, but then again, not exactly alone in digging this band. Should also throw in a word for the recent PEACE BREAD & LAND BAND reissue from RD Records, which I'd rate as among the top 3 I've heard on the label, up there with the Spikedrivers (a precursor to this band) and the old Bob Smith box set. It's hippie folkrock with a strong political edge and an Eastern undercurrent; accessible sounds for most psych heads, with the bonus of two outstanding unreleased tracks from 1969.
The new issue of UGLY THINGS magazine should be out soon, and will feature a Lama piece on a typically bizarre story from the musical underbelly. Connected to the main story is a tangent on tax scam labels and their often amazing releases. I'm no expert on the subejct, but someone who's spent a lot of time and money on these obscure rock & funk swindles is Acid Archives co-author Aaron Milenski. Check out this interview with Aaron for more on the tax dodge rock trip.
Dat's all for now. Next time we'll meet it'll be Summer!
Captain's Log, Star-date: April 2007
Depending on what calendar you follow, the proper soundtrack for this week is either "Easter Everywhere", "Rites Of Spring", or "April 1, Day Of Fools". OK, I made that last album title up. I can't think of anything clever to say, so let's get on to the music right away. I've bought a bunch of crap as usual, taking advantage of a clearance sale as a somewhat controversial British record label went defunct. Obscure titles worth mentioning were GOLGOTHA "Old Seeds", which was very pro-sounding 70s jammy studio rock with some sax & a Little Feat sound, not bad if you can dig the genre; RAIN "Live Christmas Night", a typical unoriginal 70s local bar-rock outing with lots of loud guitar and little of subtlety -- the CD reissue has no track list and a completely blank back cover, because that's how the original looked!; MOONSTONE from Canada was kind of cold and cerebral on the first play, but opened a few doors into its soul on repeat plays and would make as passable double bill with PTARMIGAN. I also revisited, with some delight, the murky 19th Century potato cellar realness of VULCAN'S HAMMER, which is the kind of Brit-folk I enjoy... I'm trying to get back into the UK folkies after a too long absence.
One of the most interesting releases of 2007 so far is undoubtedly JOHNNY LUNCHBREAK, a local pre-punk/power-pop outing from a bunch of Connecticutans, who cut an acetate in 1975 and then left it in a bargain bin where Mike from Zero Street found it 30 years later. And it was great! Fans of Jonathan Richman or the early Flamin' Groovies need to check this out, which is damn cool, well-written and quite refreshing among all the wristslashing loners and belligerent headbangers of 70s reissue land.
The only known photo of Johnny Lunchbreak
Meanwhile, over in San Francisco a historical event, of sorts, recently occurred when the comeback kid numero uno ROKY ERICKSON was reunited with his old songwriting buddy and Elevator elder TOMMY HALL, for the first time in about 30 years. Considering the expanded state of both these minds, contact highs must have sparkled in a 30-feet radius from their conversation, which was properly documented and witnessed by many, since the event was a Roky concert. Watch for more disturbances of the aethereal balance when Mr Erickson hits the European rock festival circuit this Summer. The Alien is back & it's scary!
OK, some more 50 mcg capsule reviews since we failed to deliver 500 mike jobs for them in the ACID ARCHIVES book: JAIM "Prophecy Fulfilled", a wholly soft & commercial late 60s top 40 sound with orchestrations and vocal harmonies, so "lyte" that it makes Sage & Seer sound like Morgen; down in Texas ROBERT MARCUS delivers smooth loungey 70s melodic rock that could sound like D R Hooker if you're in a generous mood, but otherwise is oddball marginalia for lounge-rock fans -- the label is Ankh but he ain't no Damon; TIM EMERY's "Red Garrett" is late 1970s pro-sounding bluesy rock with strong guitar leads and vocals and a mystical Corpus-"Creation A Child" type vibe on the best tracks, rather impressive; I expected agreeable 70s Dead moves from the CARDINALI BROS, but it was bland and disappointing, recommended only to those who think Good Dog Banned is a great LP; PEP PERRINE "Live" is fairly worthless bar-band rock with bad comedy angles, the kind of self-depreciating humor that requires many rounds of beer to seem appealing; another disappointment was PURPLE SMOKE, a straight lounge/nightclub band from circa 1970 with femme vocals, of no particular merit -- kinda like High Treason but without any band originals; the rare 21ST CENTURY SOUND MOVEMENT turned out to be a post-garage club band with covers of things like "The Weight" and "Hey Jude", some fuzz, off-key vocals and a fun ego-tripping drummer can't rescue this one from being a bit of a disappointment, not to mention a lot later than people have claimed; and finally the CHAIND 2-LP set, which had been described to me as "Canned Heat-like", which it is, but better than I expected white man stoner boogie and blooz and occasional rural jamming -- the band is tight, there's lots of non-trad guitar soloing, and nice use of Hammond. Not bad early 70s local... the Bear sez OK, and the Blind Owl is nodding before nodding off.
People from all over the world are writing us asking: who is the Lama? What does he want? Why does he have a fake religious title when he's just a goofy record collector? Valid questions all. Some of these may be answered in a recent interview I did with the French rock'n'roll zine "Dig It!"... and for those of you who don't speak French, I've uploaded an English language version of the interview here.
Beware of copy-cat Lamas. For best spiritual results,
always ask for Lama Sivart Doz
There's also a new and substantial addition to my KEN KESEY & THE MERRY PRANKSTERS chronicles, since the article I wrote for Ugly Things magazine a couple of years ago is now available on-line. Read all about the previously undocumented Acid Test in Houston 1967, and get a load of background data and some rare clippings here. Speaking of UT, a new issue should be out shortly with yet another "back pages" contribution by yours truly... and this one is really weird. Editor Mike Stax claims that there will be 2 issues published this year, but he's said so for decades!
After this self-promotional interlude, back to the recent records & stuff. The BABY GRANDMOTHERS release I mentioned earlier is pretty heavy -- there's two long tracks totalling 30 minutes in the middle that will leave many mouths hanging open. Not just because they are creative and atmospheric acid guitar excursions, but because they were recorded as early as October 1967. Lining this up against contemporary sounds coming out of London (such as Cream) and the westcoast (such as Quicksilver) it's simply a fact that these local Swedish stoners were on a world-class level. Over the decades I've heard a lot of reverential local talk about FILIPS, the Stockholm underground club where these tunes were taped, and hearing them in 2007 makes the legends seem true. Between this and Parson Sound, it must have been unreal then & there, and even more so if you consider that Swedish pop bands like Tages and Shanes were still going strong at this point. Other recent releases that should be of interest include unreleased material (2 long instrumental jams) from the Meltzers aka SERPENT POWER, and a bunch of recordings including the rare LP by SILMARIL (see Acid Archives review); both these out on Locust Music and hopefully to be reviewed more in detail once I've picked up copies. Shadoks in Germany have given the outstanding bayou cabin fever private press classic RAYNE another spin on the wheel, but it's so new that the detailed reports aren't in yet... the rule of thumb for the label seems to be that master-tape sourced releases (like Wildfire) sound good, while those that come from vinyl (like Pete Fine or Michael Angelo) may be Cedar noise-reduced into blandness... being an informed buyer is a must with $45 albums.
Here's some new and shocking info on Eternal Now mentor PALMER ROCKEY, forwarded to us by skilled sleuth Matvei in L.A, in turn quoting a Hollywood insider: "All I know is that Palmer died in the 90s. He told me that he had burned all his films after moving to L.A., but a Hollywood film lab guy told me around the same time that Rockey actually was still renting a projection room from them and having them show him his 'Scarlet Love' film every weekend -- ostensibly he was still 'working on it' even then. But he's been dead for many years now so there's a good chance that the lone print of 'Scarlet Love' is gone. Ya never know, though. I have the soundtrack album -- he was handing them out at the theater for free, when he four-walled the film in 1982 or whenever that was." In the same spirit, it appears that Palmer would visit the post office and read his "mail from Hollywood" out loud for passers-by. The year of Mr Rockey's passing seems to be 1996. A posthumous Walk Of Fame star outside Mann's Chinese Theatre is certainly in order... huh? It's already in place? Well, I guess there is some justice after all.
Palmer Louis Rockey
D.O.B 17 November 1921, Washington State
D.O.D 24 April 1996,
Enlisted US Army 16 May 1945, Fort Lewis, Washington
4 years high school
Civil occupation listed: Airplane fabric and dope worker [sic]
Discharged 7 November 1946
Married Mary Ann Carson, age 21, on 2 June 1968
Divorced 20 June 1977
Captain's Log, Star-date: March 2007
To my surprise it appears that some people actually read these Eternal Now pages, which means I should try and get my spare time priorities sorted. Less time spent shooting the breeze on chat forums, and more frequent updates to the anti-blog now before you. This is not a promise. In any event, all kinds of weird artifacts have been piling up here between Winter Solstice and Ash Wednesday, and I'd like to share some of them with y'all.
Wanna play a game? What you see above, to the right and below is one of my favorite acquisitions within Drug Education, the only field that I "collect" in the classic sense. Yep, "Mainline To Nowhere" is screwed up alright, and can be seen more in detail at my Permanent Exhibition, which even comes with soundclips now that I've paid some $$ to get on broadband.
Continuing this <cough> cultural tangent, this month's ACID ARCHIVES BOOK plug excuse is to inform you that the 2nd printing is now almost sold out, and that a 3rd run has just come off the printers. In case you're still missing your copy and can't find one right now, don't despair -- 100s of books will be up for grabs around mid-March and onwards. Lots of dealers in US & Europe carry it, and if you're an eBay hound you can find copies on sale there too on a regular basis. Reviews are pouring in from cool & hip people around the world, such as Terrascope Online, Turntable Lab, Next Big Thing, and last but not least Foxy Digitalis, who also have an interview with yours truly.
Enough Lama naval-gazing for now (don't worry, there's more below), let's move on to some happening psychedelic music. Veteran psych-heads have muttered out of the corner of their mouths that maybe the recent 3-LP set by the VALLEY OF ASHES isn't half-bad, and since this is about as close to ecstatic recognition a contemporary psychedelic band can get with jaded trippers, I decided to check it out. The packaging is mysterious and almost totally devoid of info, but it seems to be some sort of music collective in Kentucky who have released a few more albums under various disguises. Inside & spread across the 6 sides of shiny black vinyl is semi-improv drone acoustic-electric underground head jams on a consistently appealing level. Comparisons to BEAT OF THE EARTH and AMON DUUL II have been made and make sense; I was even more reminded of CHRISTIAN YOGA CHURCH (except there's less organ) and Denmark's great FUREKAABEN, who cut two albums of acid drone in the early 1970s. Worth checking out if these names trigger Pavlovian drool in your mouth.
Another new (inside the Lama cave, anything after 1990 is "new") psychedelic thingy I'm grooving with is England's global-ambient duo LOOP GURU, who back in 1994 cut one of my all-time favorite pieces of music, an exhilarating dervish trip titled "Diwana". I finally got around to picking up their whole album from this time (they've cut about a dozen altogether), and am playing it as I type these lines. Apart from the world beat & ambient heritage, the guys cite all kinds of classic 60s psych LPs like "Easter Everywhere" as an influence at their blog-site, and at least to my ears they catch the key psychedelic characteristics -- mystique, joy and creativity -- as good as any modern artist I can think of. Ram Dass and William Burroughs also credited... it's hip stuff, maaaan.
Still in England, but long ago, a man named CLIVE PALMER set out on a mystic journey to find the meaning of music, and the music of meaning. This quest would lead to some of the finest albums laid down on the Isles, and thanks in no small part to the merry men at Sunbeam, the Palmer-related universe keeps expanding. The rare LAZY FARMER album, featuring Clive buddy Wizz Jones and ex-C.O.B magician John Bidwell, has been reissued on a Sunbeam CD and turns out to contain terrific 70s folk with good vocals, exquisite string-work, and some mighty fine tunes... not as trad as you would believe, but warm and very much alive. A definitely more challenging experience is Clive's "lost" 1967 solo project, "Banjoland", now also out on Sunbeam for the first time. If the buzz-words "Edwardian banjo music" don't spook you out, maybe this perfect hype/disclaimer from producer Peter Eden will: "A lot of people will find it obscure. Then again, it's Clive Palmer, so what do they expect?". Those familiar with the banjo track from the first C.O.B album know what to expect. Still, it's not all for Clive-manics only, as some bonus live BBC tracks display excellent contemporary folk sounds. There's also a swell recent photo of Clive in the booklet, smilingly benignly into the camera much like Ian McKellen in "Lord Of The Rings"... I'll see if I can find a JPEG of it to show you all. The third and final C.O.B-Sunbeam druid monolith this time around is an updated reissue of "Moyshe McStiff", which has been expanded to include several unreleased vintage tracks in their typical style... and some of them are pretty damn good. A must if your ears are shaped pointy like mine.
Some interesting albums I've run into recently that are covered only in passing in the Acid Archives include J W FARQUHAR, a fringe basement PA psych weirdo in the classic 1970s private press style, with strange lyrics, strange vocals, primitive acid guitar leads, an intense atmosphere, Dylanesque harmonica and even a drum machine... not for everyone, but it will be recognized as a "find" by most senior heads, I believe; also KAUFMANN & CABOOR, a rural folk & s-sw trip that was omitted from our book since the release date is 1984, but that looks almost like a typo, since the sound is totally early 1970s and quite appealing... not many notches below WILCOX-SULLIVAN-WILCOX, as an example; then we have the intriguing story of MISTRESS MARY, a self-confessed CA "housewife" and "artisté" (her spelling) who did a nice-looking & very charming 1969 vanity press of supposed country music, although the atmosphere is often closer to late 60s femme soft-rock... amazingly enough she recruited Roger McGuinn and the BYRDS to provide the backing on a couple of tracks; and last but not least someone's managed to find a previously unknown Christian 70s rock LP that is actually good, a band called BRIDGE (no relation) whose "Jesus Is The Bridge" delivers a mixed bag of garagey rockers and folkrockers, with the classic DIY sound, some female vocals, an arresting atmosphere, and even incredibly strange vibes via a bizarre spoken word dialogue. Mistress Mary and Bridge both have flew by on the 'Bay (=eBay), so no accusations of elitism, thank you. On a related note, a skillful young tracker has managed to find the long MIA DAVE BIXBY of "Quetzalcoatl" LP fame, this being one of the very best loner folk albums around, and hopefully to be reissued complete with story & additional material this year.
Speaking of reissues, MICHAEL JAMES "Runaway World" is out from World In Sound on a very good-sounding CD reissue, with liner notes that incorporate an interview I did with Michael some years back... opinions are mixed on the album, but I liked it quite a bit when hearing it this way, and the addition of some surprisingly good bonus recordings of recent making must lead to two thumbs up from a somewhat biased Lama. The almost exact, limited, band-released repro of the legendary first INDEX album also landed here, and proves once for all that the severely noisy nature of the old Voxx bootleg was Voxx-specific... it's still a crude and deeply atmospheric recording, but the acetate-like noisiness of the Voxx is history... so get this new one while supply lasts. Continuing on the slightly biased note, our friends at Subliminal Sounds have come up with a CD release that is already causing some excited noises, being the first ever album release of legendary Swedish 60s underground band BABY GRANDMOTHERS. This was a pre-Mecki Mark Men outfit who released just one rare 45, played extensively live at the same local freak clubs as PARSON SOUND, and stand as one of the relatively few physical links between the beat & psychedelic eras in our arctic wasteland.
Know what is fun? Buying originals of rare psychedelic classics! This may not be news to you, but after the extensive work of putting together entries for 4000+ obscure private pressings for our book, I realized how special and precious those truly great local/privates are, amidst all the good-but-not-great titles that make up 99% of the "rare psych" pasture. Recent aquisitions include an upgrade of the amazing DENNIS THE FOX album, a lounge-rock-psych-anything extravaganza which is spun from the same colorful yarn that has brought us greats like Jade Stone & Luv, John Ylvisaker and even the Kaplan Brothers. Dennis (photo at left), you're the man!
A trade brought me an original gatefold copy of STEVE LINNEGAR'S SNAKESHED, my favorite album from Africa, even if it was made by some Boers in 1980. This was a trendy title a dozen years ago, but seems to have disappeared from the radar screen for some reason... terrific flowing westcoasty 70s rock with deep psych atmospheres on the 17-minute "Desert"... a new reissue may be in progress, I'm told. But there are also cheaper thrills to be had -- such as the "Early Writings" LP credited to ZAGER & EVANS. One side of this White Whale budget album is early Z & E (average pre-Beatle pop from their mid-60s band the Eccentrics), but side 2 turns out to consist of 5 tracks from the classic J K & CO album, which has very little or nothing to do with "The Year 2525". Weird, huh? Copies can be had for $7 or so, if you want to hang out with "Fly" and "Speed" on original vinyl. Thanks to Greg Petrovato for the tip on this odd bird.
Hmm... that's all for now in the Eternal Now... time for a talk with the clergyman!
Captain's Log, Star-date: January 2007
I postponed my log updates until the holidays were over so I wouldn't have to bother with Merry this and Happy that and yada yada yada, for which I'm sure you are very grateful. The final laps of 2006 were nevertheless a cause for merriment, due in no small part to our ACID ARCHIVES book being finally out & briefly available & sold out & reprinted & at least for the moment available again. The second run is actually larger than the first, as an effect of the surprising interest and demand out there. Thanks y'all!
The dime-store Lama meets a true life Guru -- Patrick watches while Michael Bowen adds psychedelic colors to a page of his own 1970 book, "Journey To Nepal".
One of the most exciting events of the past year was hooking up with beat artist and globetrotting scenemaker MICHAEL BOWEN. I had been conducting a sporadic interview with Michael via e-mail over a long period, until he in passing mentioned that he was now living in "Stockholm, Sweden". Since I had figured he was in Hawaii, and he had no idea where I was, the synchronicity of us living a few miles apart was jaw-dropping. Believing that signs should be taken seriously (I even quoted Bowen's old friend Ram Dass; "there are no coincidences") a visit from Michael and his young wife and son to the Lama cave was swiftly arranged. Meeting this icon in real life was quite a trip, and a lot of additional ground was covered via phone after our pow-wow. I won't try to summarize all the mindboggling stuff that came up, such as the fact that one of Michael's earliest and dearest friends was Jim Baker aka FATHER YOD, on which he shared some extraordinary stories from the pre-Source days in the 1950s. Of course, we also got into the things that Michael Bowen is best known for today, apart from his terrific art, which is starting the S F ORACLE, arranging the HUMAN BE-IN, and governing the huge protest outside PENTAGON. A lot of facts about these events are not yet fully known, or have been inaccurately presented, due partly to the hippie-leftists writing the history books. Michael Bowen's perspective, then and now, is less partisan and more intelligent. I hope to find time to put together a web-page for Michael over at our "Feed Your Head" website, for now let's just say that it was an afternoon I will remember for as long as I live.
Meeting Mr Bowen also directed me towards a couple of Timothy Leary-related DVD releases I hadn't really bothered to check out. "Timothy Leary's Dead" is pretty interesting but marred somewhat by several awkward interview scenes, although the stock footage is cool. However, and this is the reason to get it, there's an hour or so worth of bonus material on the DVD (not on the VHS) with long chats with RAM DASS, MICHAEL BOWEN, RALPH METZNER and others that is of great interest, both for Leary fans and those wanting to hang out with vibes from the original LSD scene. While ordering this, I also got "Timothy Leary's Last Trip", a DIY documentary from the MERRY PRANKSTER homestead in Oregon, with about equal doses Tim & Ken Kesey, produced by KEN BABBS' son. I wrote a review of this at Amazon.com and the IMDB, if you're interested.
Maybe there should be some year-end top lists here too. To be frank, I was kind of burned out on "rare local private press real people psych" after we finished the Acid Archives book, and the recent months have been spent listening to something quite different, namely 1950s cool jazz. STAN GETZ, GERRY MULLIGAN & CHET BAKER, MILES & even DAVE BRUBECK -- those cats knew how to swing, dig? Between this, my yuletide obsession with NAT KING COLE and the recurring regimen of GOA PSY-TRANCE, I may be ostracizing myself from the psychedelic in-crowd, except that there is no psychedelic in-crowd -- any real acid crowd is out in the cosmic ether, man. This ties in with my weekend Buddhism getting upgraded to a 3-day shift, so that my sadhak work begins Thursday afternoon, 5 o'clock, which is when I punch out from reality. I've been hanging out with LAMA SURYA DAS of late, partly because his sanskrit guru name spells "L.S.D" (just like mine -- Lama Sivart Doz -- but he's a real guru, and I'm more of a dime-store, fake guru), but also because he's written some books that bring the old East-West RAM DASS tradition into the 21st century.
OK, but there's still and will always be great music to trip out with. Sunbeam's mighty fine and first-legit-ever reissue of MIGHTY BABY's masterly "Jug Of Love" album offers warm and luxurious support for any type of meditative practices, you don't even have to go on a Sufi bender like the Babe guys did. Wonderful album, now with the quite hard-to-find non-LP 45 track added. The extended "Neti Neti" Eastern jam Martin Stone helped lay down for the SOUTHERN COMFORT album was exhumed by Sunbeam last year and is a must-hear for Babe fans. On a less sublime, in fact exceptionally crude note, the legendary INDEX album is out on legit reissue from the Index guys themselves, now in better (well, it's hard to make it worse) sound than Greg Shaw's old 80s repro. I've seen this reissue priced really high, but patience and cojones usually leads to better prices down the line.
Another buzz ticket of late has been PAT KILROY, who appropriately was christened "inventor of acid folk" in our Acid Archives book, just as Kilroy's name was popping up in various other places, much like JAKE HOLMES did a few years back. Weird about all these synchronicity things, unless you believe that JOHN LILLY figured the plot out when he reported back from 100 straight days on Ketamine that we're all under the careful micro-management of ECCO, Earth Coincidence Control. ECCO rolled the dice and it came up "Kilroy" for 2006 & 2007, and apart from the general buzz there is an album in the pipes from the diligent Swiss clockmakers at RD Records featuring unreleased recordings from NEW AGE, Pat Kilroy's avant-folk trio. An interview, article, or such, will also appear on printed matter. Too bad Pat himself passed away back in 1967 (maybe "Lovely Rita" broke his will to live), but I bet he's smiling up in acid folk heaven, with Syd Barrett patting his back.
Let me be a real geek for a paragraph or two. Some of youse folks may have seen references to vinyl discs being "VPI cleaned" with fancy record dealers, and wondered what that is all about. Well, all tech scoops aside, I recently decided to submit this technology to scientific tests, by having three old albums with three different types of sound defects cleaned on a VPI machine. Audio images of "before" and "after" were created, and donning my white lab coat, I scrutinized the empirical evidence. The results were pretty impressive. There was an overall improvement of fidelity (cleaner sound) on all three discs. Specimen A, a clean-looking disc that didn't play as good as it looked due to a poor UK Polydor Folkmill tax-dodge pressing, improved noticably throughout, with passive noise much reduced. Now I don't need to upgrade it anymore, woo! Specimen B had what you call "mystery noise", which means that the disc looked alright on both sides all over, but for some reason played noisy on the second half of side B. We will never know what caused that noise, but gone it is after the VPI elfs scrubbed it over. And finally Specimen C, which one might call a beat up & dirty disc, lost almost all the smudge type noise and improved a whole step on the Goldmine scale play-grade, even though the noise from visible scratches was naturally left intact, and in fact made even more noticable due to the overall cleanliness of the wax.
Conclusion: dirt, smudges, mystery filth and overall vinyl dust films will definitely be removed via a VPI cleaning, and the difference is such that I think any record hound is going to be impressed. Here's some VPI machines, my source tells me the cheapest one may actually be preferrable.
And on that geeky note, I withdraw into contemplation until next time you ring the bell.
Woody Allen sez: "I used to be a geek too, but all that
changed when I became an alcoholic!" ==>
No wait, here's a last-minute review of the new BEATLES CD. I got this "Love" thing from Santa and have played it 3 times so far. It's strongly geared towards the psychedelic-minded Beatles fans, which means that yer supposed to drop acid and listen to it... as such, it's pretty cool. It's not a "remix" as much as a collage from multi-tracks, so you get to hear things like "While my guitar gently weeps" with only George's vocals and an acoustic guitar... which is pretty interesting. The most successful trip is taking the drum beat from "Tomorrow never knows" and overdubbing the vocals from "Within you without you"... the worst part I've picked up is the "Mr Kite" track from Sgt Pepper without all the studio gadgetry, so you hear how bad Lennon's vocals are, and how lame the tune is (I used to like it).
There's also some earlier tracks with a somewhat dubious selection, unless you rank "Drive my car" and "I wanna hold your hand" very high (I don't). Some tracks are presented in their entirety and with no or minimal changes, but the top-flight re-mastering still makes them sound different, much like the great "Yellow Submarine Songbook" from a few years back. There's only one new overdub on the whole disc, all the rest is from official version tracks.
Conclusion: George Martin is still an acidhead.
Captain's Log, Star-date: October 2006
That was one long Summer, wasn't it? Of course, I spent a good half of it working on the ACID ARCHIVES book manuscript, which reached a final (yeah, right) stage at the end of August, and is currently given the old Gutenberg treatment at a printing firm. 300 pages of ecstatic rants over forgotten and truly marginal moptop, stoner & hippie outings will be available with your local pusher soon... let's say November. Watch Lysergia.com for more as the moment of birth approaches. The other half of my Summer was spent with the blinds drawn to watch the Football World Cup, and I don't regret either of these two pastimes one iota, despite a vampire paleness to my complexion and a strange lack of truly memorable games, not to mention an embarrassing performance by my home squad. Still, seeing the Italians come through with a mix of heart & class was a delight.
Let's follow up on some old Eternal Now cases! After a Lama-supplied connection those CA-TX migratory birds in WILDFIRE have signed with Germany's upscale SHADOKS label to produce a gatefold reissue of their quite rare and quite good "Smokin'" LP from 1970. Should be out before year-end, and will be preceded by a CD reissue from the band themselves. Check out their website for more on customized amp jobs and stoner fashion tips. While in Austin, mention should be made of the recent DELL Computer TV ad, which uses a snippet of the ELEVATORS "You're Gonna Miss Me" and once more will have millions of kids embarking on the Quest to find out what "the funny little noise" is. Armed with Dell laptops -- like the one I'm typing this very sentence on -- they will hopefully be able to Dismiss People Who For The Sake Of Appearances Take On Superficial Aspects Of The Quest, such as filesharing P2P (parasite-to-parasite) freeloaders. And yeah, since everyone's asking, ROKY did get paid for the ad & along with Sumner and the new gang he's keeping the Erickson spaceship afloat the required 30 feet above the ground.
URL Of The Week award goes to Mike Heitkotter in NYC, who directed us to this terrific gizmo, which allows you to find out what those "99.7%" feedback guys on eBay really are good for. It's nothing but negative feedback! I've already had use of this, which solves one of several problems associated with eBay, and which they don't give a fuck about correcting. Another, even bigger one, is the fact that a seller can with-hold feedback for a buyer to retaliate if he gets a negative, which means that a lot of negatives never get posted. What, may I ask, can a buyer do wrong after he's paid? Yet eBay fails to distinguish between the vast seller responsibility and the simple buyer responsibility, thus keeping crooks and clueless bozos afloat who should have been shut down long ago. I could tell you some stories... but since this isn't "Psychedelica", I'm not going to.
While waiting for the new sample copy of the ACID ARCHIVES book (second plug) to arrive we've spent some time updating the various Lysergia websites, FEED YOUR HEAD in particular. This website, devoted to psychedelic literature and art (like books & stuff, y'know) is like that small ugly child for which you have a special place in your heart, and I honestly believe that this is where I will put most of my energies 10 years from now. After some prodding from the occasional reader, several sections have been fleshed out with scans and presentations of rare DRUG material from the days of old; amusing government brochures and eye-popping magazine features in particular. Wanna read a LIFE magazine piece on LSD from 1954 (that's "1954")? Want to know why the creativity you experience under LSD is just a phony illusion that will ruin your life? Wanna read a 5-page interview with David Crosby from 1967 about the Byrds and acid? OK -- so maybe you don't. But someone else might. It's all there at FEED YOUR HEAD, the "Web 2.0" version.
Snapshot from a typical BYRDS recording session
Out there in the real world, the really real world, it's as ugly as ever. Most psych-heads are now probably clued into the sad fact that Adam Gadahn, the US kid turned islamic terrorist, is the son of BEAT OF THE EARTH and RELATIVELY CLEAN RIVERS legend Phil Pearlman. A few astute journalists have followed this bizarre thread back to its origins, which means that you can read about Phil's rise to fame in the psychedelic underground in mainstream, acid-free newspapers like the Orange County Register and the New York Daily News. There is a sad yet extraordinary story in here, of course, with the father's laid-back hippie naturalism and the son's dogmatic, vicious islamism. Maybe they'll make a movie of it someday, although I think everyone would be better off if the whole bad story just faded away.
So, any good music around then? Well, I've spent considerable time listening to GOA aka PSYCHEDELIC TRANCE the last few months, regurgigating onto the CD tray the 30-odd comps I purchased back in '95 when the scene was peaking and finding the whole mess still surprisingly tasty; creative, mysterious, fun & quite druggy. A retread back another 3-4 years into Old-Skool techno (the old Belgian 1991 Ecstasy T-99 R & S rave madness) was however less appealing, and it's interesting to note how differently these musical siblings have aged. So, PsyTrance still kicks major butt, as verified by the PAUL OAKENFOLD 2CD Goa headtrip I recently bought cheap off eBay -- an unofficial release of a late 1994 mix broadcast on British radio that even Oakie himself calls one of the best things he's ever done. It's pretty amazing... if you want to check the whole fluoro-neuro-sponge way-past-sunrise scene out, that is a very good place to start.
Yeah, but is there any good music around, asks the restless "rock" dinosaur between clenched teeth. Beats me. Well, I did get a new CD release from those weathered Texan heads the OXFORD FILES, a cousin to the TOMMY HALL SCHEDULE (see below), but with all original material and a very appealing mix of genuine acidelia and timeless Texas pro-level rock music. I've found myself humming the title track to "Clear Light Carnival" every day the last week, and there's plenty more good stuff on-board, with the occasional Tim Leary tribute to spike yer diluted 2006 sugarcube. Contemporary psychedelia lives, in case there was any doubt.
Back in geek-land, a copy of DENISE KAUFMAN'S unspeakably rare pre-ACE OF CUPS 45 recently popped up on eBay out of the blue, and after some strange twists ended up staying in the Bay Area for a meagre $10.000 (ten thousand dollars). This is the highest price registered for a "garage" era 45 so far, though I'm sure it will be surpassed the way some of those moptop crazies are hunting crude grooves 24/7.
I tried consoling the disillusioned auction losers by pointing out that the DENISE track "Boy What Will You Do Then" (an admirable anti-Jann Wenner rant) in fact lacks a guitar break, but to no observable effect.
Denise K aiming to shoot the tube while the gremmie 45 auction spins out of control ->
And let it be known, since I failed to mention it in my Ace Of Cups piece for Shindig! magazine: the top deck is credited to "Denise" while the B-side, an instro take on the same tune, is credited to "Denise & Co", the company being members of local punks THE ANSWER and Wee label mastermind Lonnie Hewitt. Between this and the incredible MAD RIVER EP, Hewitt's r'n'b label has substantial acidhead cred. Hey, here's a brand new piece on Mad River & their connection to famous counterculture writer Richard Brautigan. And while hovering over the Bay Area with Ms Kaufman still in sight, here's a reasonably new KEN KESEY & THE MERRY PRANKSTERS item, a tribute issue of "Spit In The Ocean", 25 years after the last one (the great "Cassady" issue, which also is a must).
And finally, to celebrate the completion of the ACID ARCHIVES book (third and final plug) I kind of lost control on my vinyl-spending and during a few weeks, lost in a feverish haze, aquired pricey originals of PLASTIC CLOUD, STONE HARBOUR, MORLY GREY and NIGHTSHADOW "Square Root Of Two". I think I found the key on how to score the Big Elephants of psych-land -- you just lose your mind and keep on losing it. What's next?
Captain's Log, Star-date: May 2006
Springtime forever, lonely hearts in disarraaaayyy... as the KAPLAN BROTHERS once sang! I'll spare you the details on how my busted knee got even worse after clueless surgery performed by a young lady doctor who probably got her MD degree via a telemarketing offer, so that I now have to go under the knife again, in a few weeks. At least there's lots of funny opioid pills to keep you happy in the interim; like William Burroughs would say, it's only a question of finding the exact right level for your needs. Music has seldom sounded as good to me as these last few months, whether revisiting old favorites or striking up new relationships. A dozen old Lama vinyl wants flew in via a package deal out of Cleveland, and I tell you there ain't nuthin as cool as looking at a stack of old longplayers waiting next to the phonograph. I find CDs increasingly less attractive, and have in fact begun another round of eBaying out anything on shiny disc that isn't absolutely core to collection.
Mary Anne Paterson puts Sunbeam's best face forward
Somewhat contrary to this development I've been checking out the new and rather excellent SUNBEAM record label out of England. Founded by Richard Morton Jack who was also involved with the terrific C.O.B reissue last year (see below), this label is recycling lost and semi-lost folk, folkrock and rock LPs from the vintage years, mainly British acts but also foreigners like soft-folkie Roger Rodier (Canada) and hippie sitarists Oriental Sunshine (Norway). One favorite in the catalog was the obscure 1969 album by GORDON JACKSON, of which I have a review coming up in the next Ugly Things issue, and is recommended to fans of the great rural stoner Albion rock sound of MIGHTY BABY and HELP YOURSELF.
Another good one on Sunbeam is the one I'm playing right now, the Brit femme folk of MARY ANNE, who I've been curious about ever since spotting her rather appealing visage in one of the "Record Collector Dreams" books. Well, she's a looker for sure, which shouldn't obscure the fact that her LP is very good moody, slightly spooky quiet folk with definite psych and ethnic strands -- like Vasthi Bunyan's elder and less cartoonish sister. Don't miss...
I am sad to announce the previously undocumented passing of Harold Moore, Sr, legendary burlesque puppeteer and father of the infamous JR & HIS SOULETTES, Oklahoma City's $15 wrong side of the tracks answer to the Jackson 5, whose 1974 LP "Psycho-delic Sounds" has been destroying brain cells among garage, funk and psych fans alike. The story of Mr Moore Sr:s unusual form of home entertainment that involved a sock puppet dressed up like a pimp getting it on with exotic OKC ladies of the night is probably not yet -- may in fact never be -- fit to print in a conservative publication such as the Eternal Now. However, it appears that when Moore Junior was recently informed of this routine, he simply commented that "it sounds just like something dad might do". Search the Net for details on this new dimension of progressive theater, as well as the rather excellent LP, and find joy in the possibility of a legit reissue of the album from the intense Frantic label down the line. Everyone must hear the unique "wah wah organ" put to use on songs like "Momma Love Tequila". Everyone!
Up there in cyberspace interesting events are afoot, too. The legendary Austin, Texas recording studio of SONOBEAT has put up an impressive website, which not only documents most of the bands that recorded there in the 1966-1975 timeframe, but also offers soundclips of unreleased material. As far as local and regional music goes, the Bill Josey Sr & Jr conglomerate nurtured a world class herbarium, including acts such as the Sweetarts, Thingies, Mariani, Johnny Winter, et al. Early support and occasional overtures were given to the 13th FLOOR ELEVATORS, who undoubtedly would have gone with Sonobeat if they hadn't signed with International Artists. A few years later a legend of currently rapidly growing stature was planted when the Bill Miller Project, a k a COLD SUN was brought into the Josey embrace for a long series ambitious recording sessions in 1970-71. Many aspects mentioned in my old Cold Sun article appear in greater detail at the Sonobeat website, which is one of my favorite web finds of 2006.
Have I mentioned WILDFIRE here earlier? Can't remember, man.... in any event, they tie in nicely with the Sonobeat story as it turns out that their legendary mystery album from 1970 was in fact recorded at the Josey Studio, i e: the same place and almost same time as Mariani and Cold Sun! This seems almost too good to be true, but it turns out that Wildfire became popular around Austin and UT in particular, and would spend substantial time playing around town, before returning to their South California homebase. When time came to cut a "demo" LP, they opted for Sonobeat's well respected operation. Although only a handful of copies of "Smokin'" have been found, not less than 1000 were pressed, and are probably sitting around in TX and SoCal bridal chests waiting to be found. The band's previously unknown Texas tenure can also be spotted on a few concert posters from the time, which shows them playing the Armadillo HQ and other venues. The Wildfire gang is back together again, and plan to put up a website as well as reissuing the "Smokin'" LP, which is excellent guitarpsych/hardrock, in fact one of the very best in the style from anywhere.
Cut out and chew the piece of
paper above; in some cases it
Captain's Log, Star-date: March 2006
This is supposedly my Springtime Forever instalment, but since icicles are still weighing down the Lama eye-brows, I guess it's an Endless Winter lament instead.
A great man who has lived through more winters and summers than most of us can hope to is LSD grandfather numero 1, ALBERT HOFMANN, who recently turned 100. Seems a diet of mexican mushrooms and Mutterkorn-alkaloide absorbed through the skin will keep you going long after the last Nancy Reagan has bitten the dust. And isn't it a promising sign that Albert Hofmann has greater brand name recognition than Abbie Hoffman these days?
Big Al's centennial has been duly recognized and celebrated around the world, and a timely bonus is the new translation of Hofmann's acid biography "LSD - My problem Child", which was originally published 1980 and is notoriously hard to find. The new edition is a beauty, including a color inlay with great photos from the 1930s up to the present time. A must. Here's to you, Al!
Speaking of books, I guess at least some of you have heard about a new and potentially exciting project likely to keep me busy for the major part of 2006, namely a BOOK version of the Acid Archives, our annotated discography of underground sounds from the 1960s-70s. Revisions and additions are in full swing and right this minute the letter "J" is being scrutinized from all possible angles. Watch for the book in a few months, full details and ordering info will be available as we approach the publishing date.
Admittedly, plowing through review CD-Rs of $300 "dreamy acid folk" albums from 1973 that turn out to be dreadful Cat Stevens copycats takes its toll, and it was obviously major synchronicity at play when I stumbled upon the Shroom Music website recently. This was the remedy -- obscure TX hardrock reissues from the 1970s with blazing guitars and basement fidelity galore. I got in touch with label founder Rich Patz and picked up CDs of Honest John, Blown Free and FALSE PROPHET; the latter in particular was an intense acid guitar-fest of the highest order, like Mahogany Rush zooming off on crystal meth. I was also blessed with another album from my old backwoods stoner faves ORACLE, now operating under the name SKÜLDEDOG, yet still delivering their same inimitable brand of severely spaced out guitar-psych asking the musical question "What is the missing link between Yahowha 13 and 'Ruler Of The Universe' by the Strange?". Rameshwar knows the answer, and via the two long tracks on the Skuldedog CD from Shroom he'll let you in on the secret. Nataraja da nada!
It's been kind of slow on the reissue front, at least along these Sylvan Shores, so I've been filling idle time by crossing out obscure titles on my want list, including a couple of dawn-of-time spoken word hallucinogen albums, such as the MUSHROOM CEREMONY OF THE MAZATEC INDIANS, a Gordon Wasson-coordinated field recording of Oaxaca curandera (witch-doctor) Maria Sabina as she drops some shrooms and soars off into weird spaces, rapping and humming as she goes. Dating back to 1956, it's the earliest recording of people under the influence of psychedelics that I know of, and a cornerstone in any genre collection. Folkways has a CD reissue ready for those who can't find the original vinyl (which is rare, but not impossible). Similarly, I finally scored a copy of ALDOUS HUXLEY's most lysergically oriented album, "Visionary Experience", a recording of a lecture held in 1962 but not released until several years later by Huxley's widow Laura. Aldous is in great form, superbly eloquent and humorous, constantly pushing the envelope for our notions of the human potential. Inspired by these recent aquisitions we've given the LSD Documentaries website a face-lift, and will be adding sound-clips and more down the line.
Continuing on our literature theme, I'd like to plug the soon to be published (we all hope) TEENBEAT MAYHEM book by garage research guru Mike Markesich. This will probably be the final word on 1960s garage, the end result of decades of exploration into basement rehearsals, church dances and disastrous prom gigs across the American heartland. Something like 10.000 garage 45s have been identified, which is pretty amazing if you consider that the "era" was only a temporal blip between Mick Jagger on Ed Sullivan in '65 and Sgt Pepper coming out in June 1967. Moptop Mike and his brain trust of garage maniacs around the world are working 24/7 to classify, rate and scream along to some of the greatest music ever, and the end result should be a coffee-table book like no other.
Captain's Log, Star-date: December 2005
Ya-ho-ho-ho-ho on ya, my little kittens. Gentile or pagan, child of X-mas or Winter Solstice, the time for celebration is shortly at hand. I started early by aquiring a beautiful original copy of "Expansion" by the old LA crooner FATHER YOD, which means that I am now in possession of The Dual Mindfuck, as a vintage Higherkey 1973 "Contraction" already is in my hairy hands. I can't wait to tell my neighbors about this! In fact, I may even invite them over for a 2.5 hour session with YAHOWA & THE SOURCE FAMILY, as presented on the recently released DVD. It's pretty cool, and professional enough to be shown on a PBS type channel. The rock music part of the saga is about 10 minutes, beginning at the 90-minute mark if that's all you're interested in. Some of the ex-musicians (Pythias and Sunflower) speak of trying to get a major label contract then, and how the music was supposed to be the main channel for Yod's teachings. The decision to go to Hawaii came after Yod did some peyote and went into "dark spaces" -- a fact that was new to me. Some of the footage from the 1970s "Aliens From Spaceship Earth" documentary is re-used (but not all), and there is a brief interview snip with Yod that I've never seen before, but other than that it's mostly stock footage, still photos + the recent interviews. I bought my copy used at only 10 bucks, but at $25 it's still worth it for serious Yod-heads.
Some interesting new releases as the year draws to an end, including unreleased material from the legendary ORKUSTRA on RD Records, more comments once I get it. Another new one to watch out for is BEAUREGARD & AJAX, which I've played 2.5 times so far and it's one of Shadoks' best, no doubt. Actually it's a "no-label" job, an imprint you may remember from titles such as Stalk-Forrest and Michael Angelo, but all the kids know it's a Shadoks release anyway. I don't have the exact details, but it's an unreleased LP recorded for Del-Fi in LA in 1968. The 1-line review at this point is "Fredric with harder guitars" or "the missing link between Fapardokly & HMS Bounty, except better". Rounding out our trinity of rare stuff on pricey vinyl, there is a Rockadelic reissue out of the excellent KATH album from Maryland 1974, an atmospheric basement 60s-sounding time capsule that I rave on at length in the Acid Archives.
Another cool release out now is a 2-CD set of recordings from PA visionary TODD TAMANEND CLARK, including both the Eyes and Todd Clark Group albums, as well as 45-only and unreleased recordings from the mid-1970s onwards. His vocal recitations may be problematic to "square" listeners, but I believe there won't be that many squares buying this -- and the way I see it they fit perfectly into the suburban bedroom sci-fi experiment gone haywire that Todd's music radiates -- homemade drugs, electronic kit synths, "Dune" novels and confused rock star dreams. A photo of Todd next to a stunned-looking Ray Manzarek spells it all out for you, even if the music doesn't sound one iota like the Doors. The real thing. Out on Anopheles.
On the "who died this month" front we observe and mourn the passing of the great LINK WRAY, the father of modern guitar-playing. Link was so heavy they even wrote obituaries over him in the daily papers here, something usually reserved for blues legends. There is nothing about Link Wray in the nifty new magazine from Headpress titled "Lover's Buggers & Thieves", but I managed to come up with a link anyway, didn't I? This is a cool publication covering "underground" music with a 1960s/early 1970s focus, including pieces on the Sonics, Monks, Stooges, Charles Manson, Edgar Broughton Band and so forth. There was an essay on Beatles "fake-outs", i e: phony Beatles studio outtakes that appealed to the perverse geek in me, as did a retrospective on the good old days of vinyl live bootlegs. High point for me was a balanced and wellwritten account of Skip Spence's remarkable career from his earliest days up to the late 1990s. There's also some cool encyclopedia-style introductions to Australian garage and psych bands.
I guess there ought to be some year-end picks here too. 2005 could be summarized as a "roots" year for the Lama, which means Merseybeat, 1930s blues, early vocal groups, bluegrass, Jimmie Rodgers, and what have you. Whether this means I'm finding it harder to dig up great 1960s-70s music I cannot say, but here's a peek into that part of the universe anyway:
Delaware mid-1970s stoners still riding high as more and more people get into them and it's thumbs up almost everywhere. One of the very best of the local Dead jam combos, with instrumental excursions unfolding in all directions in a way those British "festival bands" could only dream of. A reissue from the band now exists and is recommended.
IKON RECORDS STORY
after one of the most drawn-out hypes in recent history, this 2CD/2LP 1960s teenbeat sampler finally appeared, and saying that it didn't disappoint should be praise enough. As made clear by those involved, this is not a "wild garage/psych" comp with "raw fuzz" but a pretty wide range of mid-60s sounds from a legendary studio in Northern CA. Don't worry, there's some frantic rockers on there too, but most of all it is a testament to the outstanding quality of this particular region and timeframe.
BEAUREGARD & AJAX
I may be premature in adding this to the list after only having been out a few weeks, but at this point it sounds terrific, and an eye-opener for those who thought that the only unreleased recordings left to reissue were bar-rock bands tuning their instruments. Classy, clever and creative melodic psych with roots in "Revolver" and looking towards "Abbey Road".
C.O.B "Moyshe McStiff"
Haven't I written enough about this already? Yes I have. One of the greatest LPs of all time, now out in a terrific remastering job courtesy Radioactive, Richard Morton Jack and the C.O.B druids themselves.
As for discovering new (to me) original LPs, 2005 wasn't a bad year actually. CD-Rs and tapes flew in from all over the world, and I'm in fact still in the process of digesting some of the meatiest sirloin steaks in there. The fertile field of UK folk hasn't brought as much belladonna trips this year, but this is mainly my own fault. I'll get more into them next year, that's a promise. In any event, here's a handful of titles that brought a surprised, beatific smile on my face the past 12 months:
HELLERS "Creative Freakout"
See the Acid Archives for the full lowdown on this rare exercise in zany 1960s cool, amazing not least for how modern it still sounds. I actually started seeing people in the advertising business in a more favorable light after repeated, voluntary exposure to this clever product. Who's got the other two 10-inchers to share?
WHISTLER CHAUCER DETROIT & GREENHILL
I know it's not rare and I know it's been reissued, but nevertheless this was an eye-opener for me, much like the first Perth County Conspiracy was in 2004. Excellent LP, ranging from classic psych to laidback 70s rural rock, and a substantial mystery how this has remained hidden for so long.
I spent a few months last Spring examining a stack of 1970s German psych (aka krautrock) LPs looking for that special basement drone semi-improv sound that I associate more than anything else with the LSD experience. While D.O.M "Edge of time" was an excellent album the search proved fruitless, and it wasn't until I stumbled onto the quite obscure Madrigal LP from NY/NJ that I got my kicks. It's two druggies sitting in what sounds like a boiler room equipped with a primitive drum machine and a few "rock" instruments, hotwiring themselves into the absolute flow of the lysergic Now with an atmosphere so thick it alone will make you stoned. May not be for the most, but will be the most for a few.
CONCRETE RUBBER BAND
And this unbelievable Christian underground rock LP from Kansas fits in quite nicely with Madrigal, murky basement electronics, deadpan vocals, and a strange pagan feel despite its lofty sentiments. My theory is that these guys practiced REAL Christianity, which hasn't really been seen since around 400 A.D. Nothing else remotely like it. There is a boot reissue on Radioactive with a sound that's close but no cigar.
So, what's up for 2006? Well, there's something quite substantial in store from us here at Lysergia.com, to which financial end I went out and sold my M- original of FACTORY "Path thru the forest". This remnant of a once glorious collection of Chocolate Soup/Perfumed Garden 45s has stayed with me through both cold rain and snow, but finally had to go, leaving no broken hearts. Our 2006 project will have to remain Classified for now, but should be of interest to visitors to our websites. Stay tuned for details once we're past the upcoming festivities. 'Til Then...
Captain's Log, Star-date: October 2005
The Summer had inhaled and held its breath too long, so I figured I'd drop a few notes on ya from the Eternal Now. Unfortunately this must open on a sour note, although ultimately all bad shit must pass. September has been a suck-ass month for several years now, and 2005 was no exception. You've all seen the footage and read the news on the Katrina disaster. We spent a couple of terrific days on the Bayou back in '96 and from what I hear much of what we saw and visited is simply gone now. On a personal level I recently managed to bust up my knee in a freak accident, and while generous access to codeine/morphine-based medication is a plus (current painkiller sounds include: the Companion LP, Byrds "Dolphin's Smile", HP Lovecraft "Moebius trip", anything with a warm, cozy, underwater feel) it can't quite balance the dullness of the current situation. Anyway, being impaired does give me the chance to hear lots of music and work on the websites, so here goes...
A couple of legendary albums have finally seen their legal reissue, these being the Baltimore grunge classic "Jungle Rot" by GEORGE BRIGMAN (CD Bona Fide/LP Anopheles), and the warm basement folk magic of VIRGIN INSANITY (LP Destijl) from Dallas. Both these are basically timeless underground pieces with substantial cross-over potential and may be purchased by actual people, not just record collectors. Watch for a Virgin Insanity CD version later this year with lots of bonus material and liner notes by yours truly. Speaking of Virgin Insanity, one of the persons once responsible for launching this obscurity, notorious NYC musicologist Paul Major, has now come out with an album (actually, 2 LPs) with his band ENDLESS BOOGIE. I haven't heard them yet, but as 500 ed private press LPs they're sure to sell for $250 in M- thirty years from now (ho-ho).
More contemporary music, or as contemporary as it gets in the Eternal Now. There's been a buzz round Austin for a couple of years surrounding the superbly named TOMMY HALL SCHEDULE, a band of veteran heads who are on a mission to play 13th FLOOR ELEVATORS songs the way the band played them live back then, especially the later, non-documented "Easter" era 'Vators. In other words, you get 12-minute versions of "Slip Inside This House" played by guys who have the moves and the feel down to a "T" as in "Texas Tripping". They're all great musicians, and Fred Mitchim's soulful vocals are as good as Roky's on some tracks. This is not really a cover band as they go into jams of their own, and in fact noone's quite sure what to call the TOMMY HALL SCHEDULE, except that they're psychedelic and cool. Certified by all serious Elevator-heads, including Tommy Hall himself, who provided the band name via his schedule to drop acid at three specific points per day, inspired by an old Dr Pepper commercial (as I recall)! There's been no official record release from the band, but the demos I've heard are terrific, and I in fact went out on a limb and proclaimed their version of "Baby Blue" better than the Elevators. Yep.
The two major 1960s-oriented fanzines managed to come out with new issues almost simultaneously, and I'll be damned if they're not among the best ones yet from both SHINDIG and UGLY THINGS. Lama contributions to the former include a big interview piece on the ACE OF CUPS and DENISE KAUFMAN that I worked on for several months, with plenty of support from the super-cool Denise, aka Mary Microgram. Indeed, I managed to sneak her into the new UGLY THINGS as well, as part of a piece on KEN KESEY & THE MERRY PRANKSTERS and a formerly unknown Acid Test in Houston. The new UT also takes us into the 1970s So Cal bar-rock scene mixed with discoveries of ruby mines and a big photo of GARRETT LUND, all in the extraordinary MISUNDERSTOOD saga, naturally. There's also a massive piece on the super-duper BELFAST GYPSIES by Richie Unterberger, more cool stuff from the Brum 60s scene, lots of garage, and reviews galore. Both Shindig and Ugly Things are must-haves for any 60s fan, especially now when there are so few zines still running.
What else is happening, beyond time and space? Well, FATHER YOD is always suspended in superstring creation, and his children have given proof of this via a DVD release, "Revisiting Father Yod and the Source Family", 2.5 hours worth of bearded vegeterianism a-go-go. Haven't picked my copy up yet but it seems promising. Among other releases I wanted to mention the oddball FREEMAN SOUND retrospective from World In Sound, a collection of old and not-so-old recordings from an obscure Ohio band. The release buries the fact that about 2/3rds of the album are modern recordings, yet some of these are good enough not to piss you off. Nothing spectacular but a fun little sideways mindgame that sort of worked. While on the subject of German deluxe reissue labels, I've been getting into TIME "Before There Was Time" recently and have to say that this is a terrific psych LP with lots of brains and talent, easily one of Shadoks best. It's disappearing now, so be sure to pick a copy up.
Out this very week is a snazzy-looking 2CD set from BENT WIND main man Marty Roth, who has collected everything recorded by the original band ("Sussex" LP + 45 tracks), added four terrific tracks from a 1970 live tape in a style similar to the album, and a bonus disc of recent recordings which are also quite enjoyable in a modern hardrock style. The CD is titled "The Lost Ryerson Tapes" but, again, does include the entire legendary LP in clearer sound than any of the bootlegs.
Not all obscure psychedelic music will remain obscure, as recent & unexpected breakthroughs into "hip" (aka mainstream) circles of 70s hash-folk wizard GARY HIGGINS and 70s nursery-folk wizardress VASTHI BUNYAN show. Exactly why these artists, among the 1000s of unknown talents we esoteric folks like to rant about, were selected by the music biz spin doctors for a wheel of fortune ride is anyone's guess, but I'm certainly happy for both Gary and Vasthi.
Captain's Log, Star-date: June 2005
Here's a few snips of data I've dug up regarding the great Hawaii jam outfit COSMIC TRAVELLERS, whose rare 1972 LP is a perennial favorite among acidrockers. The band was formed by ex-Raider Drake Levin and bass player Joel Christie (both on Lee Michaels' 6th album), who were vacationing in Hawaii and heard of an upcoming festival. They brought in Dale Loyola from LA on drums and managed to get the festival people to fly in guitar ace Jimmy McGhee from Florida, and thus the band was formed. The Cosmic Travellers show was such a hit (playing "like four fingers on the same hand") that an album was put together from a recording someone had made, and 1000 copies were pressed. The Oahu festival was a big deal with 55.000 people in attendance and Little Feat among the performers. Levin, Christie and Loyola have been found, but Jimmy McGhee's whereabouts are unknown -- in fact I've been unable to find any traces of other recordings featuring this outstanding player. Anyone know more, drop us a line. The recent reissue, although nice, was not legit and the band is contemplating legal action.
More important news: the known but seldom seen VELVERT TURNER album on Tiger Lily turns out to contain a variation on the contents of his "Family" label album, in a different mix and with one (reportedly killer) track not on the more common release. Since the Tiger Lily version is likely to date from around 1976 (like all Lilys), one can speculate whether this is an earlier or later variation on Velvert's vision. In any event, there are now three different versions to keep track of; the guitar mix, the soul mix, and the Tiger Lily mix. For details on the actual music, check out the Acid Archives of Underground Sounds.
The Haze -- HASIL ADKINS -- he's gone, man. Although he wasn't a young man, at least not by the calendar, I find this news oddly disconcerting. I guess we're so used to viewing the pop culture & underground legacy of the USA as existing outside of time, in some sort of permanent exhibition for madmen only, that anytime this intersects with "square" time there is a slight shift in the tectonic plates. There will be no re-runs of the Haze, for his achievement was so strange that it can never be repeated.
To avoid falling into sentimental ELVIS PRESLEY memorial type soliloquy here, I'd like to brag that I know where Hasil Adkins came from, at least literally, as a 3-hour detour on our first US trip back in '96 took us into Boone County, West Virginia & the town of Madison, which is where the Haze would descend from his shack out in the woods in his polka-dot Cadillac, scaring teen chicks with his crazy antics. This is among the poorest regions in the whole US, backwards in a way few West Europeans can imagine. While cruising Madison we listened to a DJ on radio announcing that families who were too poor to send their kids to camp could come down to the Police Station and sign up for a few subsidized camp spots donated by the local community. The old coal-mining town and surrounding hills seemed essentially unchanged since the 1950s... much like the Haze himself. It was a memorable experience, connected in more ways than one to our visit to Elvis' birthplace in Tupelo a few weeks earlier.
From the Haze to the garage is a small step for both man and mankind, and inside the garage we find some action stirring up the somewhat stagnant reissue grease puddle on the floor, via the long-awaited, much-hyped and now finally-available IKON RECORDS STORY (Frantic). This is a 2CD set covering an obscure Northern California studio who through some strange twist of fate managed to crank out a string of outstanding AND supremely rare 45s in the mid-1960s. If this set finds sympathy with moptop youngsters 'round the world, maybe there could be some more professional garage comps, instead of the unknown rarities going round on limited CD-Rs, which is the current case. There's still a bunch of good stuff out there, even after almost 30 years of demented archeology. Amazing but true.
Time for a change of pace! After years of looking I finally came across a copy of SUBURBAN TEENS ON ACID, a one-off comic mag from 1992 by Dennis Woorden with stories based on his experiences as a suburban dope-fiend in Orange County 1968- 1970. What's so cool about it is that Worden wasn't a hippie, or freak -- he was just a teen punk who liked acid, Hendrix and crazy adolescent ideas. There's a foreword where he makes this point clear. I find the mag very funny, and easy to relate to. If you wondered what the guys in BOHEMIAN VENDETTA or 20th CENTURY ZOO were like, this mag gives a credible idea, with cheesily decorated "trip" rooms in someone's basement, girlfriends freaking out on acid, low-level paranoia, PCP overdoses, guys running around naked at local rock festivals, etc. Not "hip" or "aware" guys -- but real teens on real acid! I've uploaded a few sample pages here. You'll OD laughing!
Finally, a parcel recently arrived to Lama's cave from New Orleans, containing not only a terrific hot sauce but additional musical evidence in the ghastly STEVE KACOROWSKI case (see below), so stay tuned for some thrilling expansions of the "Kacorowski File" down the line.
Captain's Log, Star-date: April 2005
This is not a blog. I'm not going to share some startling perspective on the price of oil that my nephew gave me at the barbecue last night. What I would like to share is the Strange Case of STEVE KACOROWSKI, a k a Steve Drake, The Kacz-man, The Big K. (He has also presented himself as "Steve Martin of the Left Banke", but this alias has not gained wide acceptance, for reasons that will be detailed below). In the last few months a bizarre enigma of almost Palmer Rockeyan dimensions has evolved around this seemingly timid young 1970s rocker from Long Island. A key term to unlock this enigma is karaoke. Today karaoke is a popular pastime across the world, but back then it was known only among drunk Japanese businessmen, except also, in a backward way, by Steve Kacorowski. Ah - so! It could even be argued that he brought the concept a new dimension, since the Big K rather than singing along with famous recordings at some local bar, released his karaoke performances on 3 LPs, claiming them to be his own music. Hai!
From various sources it appears that the Kacz-man created a very elaborate and almost entirely fictious image of being a successful rock star. In order to pull this scheme off no expenses were spared, including the manufacture of fake gold records to hang on his wall (true). The main tool to sell the swindle were three long-playing albums, one released under his real name and the others under his "rock" name, Steve Drake. Ring a bell?
Well, the STEVE DRAKE BAND LPs "Cold Sweat" and "Nature Intended" have been highly desired items among rare LP fans for years, although perhaps not for the proper reasons. What would you say if you discovered that an LP you paid $750 for consisted of some bozo adding his own vocals to existing music by various British hardrock bands? (Correct answer: "far out!"). To cut a long and still developing story short, these three 1971-76 albums consist mainly or wholly of little-known import tunes to which Kacorowski added his own vocals on top of the existing singing. He released them, claimed composer & musician credit, and in the case of the first LP, listed Robert Fripp and Nick Hopkins among his "buddy" session men, while on a later LP Chas Chandler supposedly handled the production!
30 years later the Kacz-man is still living out this massive mindgame, and when contacted recently he claimed these credentials to be accurate and on top of that, he confessed to be none other than "Steve Martin", the legendary Voice heard on "Walk Away Renée", "Pretty ballerina", and so forth. The person seen on the first LEFT BANKE LP sleeve was "some 30-year old guy" who sang on a few tunes but wasn't really in the band, unlike Kacorowski. The unique and distinctive vocals of "Martin" were actually achieved by running the K-Man's voice through an "oscillating voice transducer"... or so he claimed. Needless to say, this was all bogus claims on a grandiose scale, although it took a few weeks of research and confusion before this was ascertained. The unparalleled scope of Kacorowski's horseshit can be grasped when you realize that several of the songs used in his karaoke scheme came from an LP by ORPHEUS, where the songwriter was none other than -- you guessed it -- Steve Martin! The intricate logic behind this must be admired.
If you can't get signed with the big UA label,
you simply create your own UA label
However, even this pales before the Steve Drake Band album on Tiger Lily. If you take a few steps back and look at the overall picture, this is one of the most amazing releases known to man. On the one hand you have a con artist, a deluded man building a life-long lie on being a "rock star", and stealing other people's music to get there. On the other hand you have one of the most dishonest record labels of all time, a tax-loss sting that manages to rip off both artists and the IRS at the same time. Put these two vortexes of deception together and what do you get? "Nature intended". Maybe $900 for it isn't so outrageous after all. For lots more on this extraordinary story, check out our brand new & quite troubling Kacorowski File, which has images and a track-by-track breakdown for the whole karaoke scheme, and shows where the Kacz-man originally found the recordings. Onward through the fog!
On a less entertaining and in fact rather disappointing note, the "CHILDREN OF NUGGETS" box-set is out and boy is it ever a mess! I'd like to walk you through the entire track list with sarcastic notes on how at least 2/3rds of the tracks have nothing to do with either "Nuggets" nor 1980s garage bands, but it wouldn't be worth the effort, and Paisley Underground, Scallydelia and overaged 70s punk bands have no business here in the Eternal Now anyway. A certain scenemaker who would have been able to steer this ship in the proper direction bowed out halfway through, leaving the wheel in the hands of "indie / college rock" fans who obviously never stood drunk as skunks in Brian Jones haircuts at some Lyres gig in 1986 yelling out requests for "Leave My House" by the MODDS. Thumbs DOWN. The Nuggets box vol 2 sucked too, so maybe it's time to abandon this concept before Lenny Kaye's old brand has been completely covered in mud.
The three wise men of Kent -- Mick, John & Clive of C.O.B. Photo from rare Japanese-only insert to "Spirit Of Love", courtesy Karl Ikola
As far as non-disappointing reissues go, 2005 is off to a pretty good start. The long-awaited COUNTRY WEATHER retrospective on RD Records is out, and it's a double LP as thick and heavy as a Pizza Hut Veggie California Special with some tasty trimmings on top. The band's 1-sided 1969 demo LP is reproduced for the first time in its entirety and excellent sound, and there's also about 1.5 sides worth of terrific SF ballroom style acidrock, although I miss some of the superb unreleased tracks that have been going round on CD-R, such as "Confusion". Over in England the ever-controversial Radioactive label has raised its batting average recently, with the supercool mid-70s Delaware stoner jammer SNAKEGRINDER (esp recommended to fans of RAY HARLOWE & GYP FOX), a remastered STALK-FORREST GROUP that seems tailor-made after requests voiced in my old review of the Rhino Handmade version and is thus extremely good (ho-ho), and best of all there is a band-authorized, remastered and terrific-sounding reissue of "Moyshe McStiff & the Tartan Lancers Of The Sacred Heart" by C.O.B, a deep 1972 spiritual folk classic which I in a moment of ecstasy proclaimed "the best album ever recorded in England". The remastering brings out a whole new dimension from the music, esp for the bass and percussion, yet retains the warmth and presence of the original. After 33 years, the C.O.B ship has finally arrived and the band members are reportedly delighted and somewhat bemused.
Another of my old warhorses, those Texas peyote space cadets the 13th FLOOR ELEVATORS are also riding high these days. The long-awaited "Rokymentary" was shown at the SXSW music biz brouhaha in Austin recently, and should be something out of the ordinary judging by the initial response. It's an indepth look at ROKY ERICKSON's career and life, put together by Kevin McAlester who has managed to get a lot of previously locked vaults opened. Apart from dozens of interviews with startling facts, the rare 1966 American Bandstand clip (the Halloween 'jungle' one) of the band doing "You're Gonna Miss Me" is included. The copies in existence have usually been in poor quality and cut off as the Dick Clark interview begins, so it's a news item of no small proportion that (1) the "we're all heads" exchange DID occur on the air; and (2) the brilliant reply came from Tommy Hall (not Roky), just as has been speculated by yours truly and others concerned with such important matters. The screening schedule for the "Rokymentary" is currently being laid out -- if you live in a reasonably hip US city it's likely to come around, so keep watching the skies. A DVD release will hopefully happen down the line. More ELEVATORS news: a glossy photo book with vintage Guy Clark photos of the band from (mainly) the "Easter Everywhere" sessions has been published in Texas, I haven't yet gotten my copy but it's likely to be cool, albeit somewhat pricey. Google your way there. At the SXSW there was also a closed Roky performance as well as a panel meeting and debate on the Elevators with lots of venerable heads and a bunch of ex-members present, and the whole trip is finally reaching the serious level the band deserves, after decades of cheap ripoffs and clueless myth-mongering. ROKY is doing a lot better, and I think we can say now that the rock bottom that both he and the band's legacy hit some 15 years ago will become a distant memory. So far, 2005 is a great year for the Rokster & the 'Vators.
And to round things off, a new issue of my favorite European zine, MISTY LANE out of Italy is out with a bunch of Elevators stuff, including my wayward friend Max F:s priceless chat with Tommy Hall on everything from Solomon Burke to the meaning of the "Mona Lisa". The zine also contains what I believe to be the first ever indepth article on H P LOVECRAFT, an excellent piece of writing and research courtesy of Nick Warburton which alone makes the mag a must. There is also great PRUNES and DAILY FLASH coverage, as well as bios for obscure 1960s garage / psych combos including such no-hit wonders as Canada's great FRINGE, the MONUMENTS from Oklahoma, Pebbles legends the SOUP GREENS and the PREACHERS, and dozens more. Looking for some ACID coverage, editor Massimo happily accepted my introductory piece on ALAN WATTS' amazing 1962 trip-out "This Is IT". There's also a free CD with some mighty fine music from bands both old and new.
Oh yeah, I did score the TOP DRAWER reissue... and the Acid Archives will reach "Z" in a matter of days... so I guess my New Year resolutions are already as old as Mick Jagger. Over & out, 'Til waiting is filled.
Captain's Log, Star-date: December 2004
That was the year that was, huh? As we progress deeper into the third millenium, the rusty old 20th Century seems increasingly like a mirage disappearing in the rearview mirror, even as my mind and ears spend a considerable time there each day. I'll skip on the heavy Walter Cronkite type year-end summaries, except that '04 felt better than '03, and after a bad start the 2000s just might get back on track again. Let's hope so.
The unexpected death of GREG SHAW caused substantial ripples throughout the whole retro music community, more so than anyone (including famous musicians) I can think of in recent years, and it seems we didn't realize how important Greg was until he was gone.
All the needed words have been said and written already, and I'll limit my contribution to the memory of the great man with this unusual item; a detailed presentation of the super-obscure, still not reissued and largely unheard THUNDERBIRDS album that the ever-prophetic Mr Shaw wrote way back in 1973, if you can believe that!
John Peel passed away just a few days after Shaw, and is perhaps best mourned by blasting "I Can Take You To The Sun" just like Peely used to do on British radio back in 1967. The mention of MISUNDERSTOOD leads us nicely to the new issue of Ugly Things magazine, looking fatter and glossier than ever. While almost all the original "garage" 1980s zines have retired into the great recycling container in the sky (it's down to UT, Shindig, and Misty Lane now), Mike Stax has managed not only to keep it alive, but expand his trip in various directions, and in the process become one of the very best -- perhaps THE very best -- 1960s-oriented writer out there. As someone who picked up issue #2 back in 1984 and has read every issue since then I am delighted to have my first article published in the newest incarnation, a 3-page examination of the strange and eerie MEL LYMAN FAMILY and the LPs it produced. There's also a couple of reviews from yours truly, and I managed to get a photo of FATHER YOD in there for the first -- but surely not the last -- time. This could NOT have happened in the moptop purist days of 1986, lemme tell ya. Apart from part III in the massive Misunderstood saga (as intriguing as ever) I found David Biasotti's interview with Ace "The Face" Kefford a delight to read. The 70s punk/DIY/KBD coverage is downplayed, and I ain't complaining.
But wait, here's what's playing here right now: "Fire Engine" (Elevators) with TELEVISION from 1975. Weird, huh? Well, wait 'til you've heard it. I don't give them much space, but Television is one of only two (Neil Young being the other) cases of major 1970s acts where the old rock critic hype seemed warranted to a tunnel-vision head like me. The Eno '75 demos are remarkable; apparently missing from the recent Television packages but available in "grey area" format such as the superb "Double Exposure" CD boot.
As far as commercial releases go, here are some Lama top reissue picks for 2004:
YAHOWHA 13: The Operetta
Everything we hoped for and more -- 4 LP sides of live broadcast from the edges of aural sanity!
HOMESTEAD & WOLFE
CD reissue of previously unknown westcoast femme vox folkrock/psych delight that has blown a lot of minds, esp as it's a totally professional sound, not some lost lo-fi basement rehearsal.
CHARLIE TWEDDLE & NEW CREATION
Also from the Bay Area comes Companion Records with a double whammy of Incredibly Strange (and how) reissues, each of which deserves a 200-page doctoral thesis for the strange cerebral buttons they push.
FINGLETOAD, STRANGE & SIHO
One of the most expensive reissues of all time, and one of the best of 2004, at least if your poison is westcoast-influenced 1970 rock and psychedelia with a warm live sound, a big wide-open heart, and acid guitar leads on top.
MISUNDERSTOOD: The Lost Acetates
I've raved on this earlier; what it did was to remind me what it's all about -- music that BLOWS YOUR MIND. Remember that feeling?
Thanks to the ever-expanding network of CD-R traders I've also been able to go through about 100 non-reissued, obscure, elitist psychedelic and folk albums of which a not negligible number had my eyes widen, jaw drop and a voice inside my head croak "whoaaa". Here's a few faves from 2004:
HENDRICKSON ROAD HOUSE
After Easy Chair, this is probably the rare psych album most in need of a reissue. Not because it's very rare (well, it IS very rare), but because it has a sound that 9 out of 10 psych fans will like, and this is NOT a common feature among unknown local LPs still left out there. I dug this sophisticated femme-vox folkrockpsycher so much I had to get an original.
Not all loner folk albums suck. Some of them are just as out there, real, tormented, as the Loner Folk Brigade would have you believe. This one hits every spot, from druggy testimonies over straitjacket laments and into shakey Christian praise, and does it with an obvious desire to communicate, even entertain.
At the opposite end of the folk spectrum we find this refreshing shower of crystalline vocal harmonies, upbeat and enticing melodies and overall feeling of someone at peace with the world and his beliefs, without ever getting dopey about it. I bet the Japanese love it, and they're usually 5 years ahead of everyone else.
BLACKBURN & LAUREN
Not that far removed from Dennis Ryder, except that this is an acid hippie folk couple in 1981, and their religion is love rather than religion. Like Hendrickson likely to blow away any psych fan who is reasonably soft in the head, and proof that there's 1980s trips out there waiting to happen. I'm sure we'll find more.
POP MESTARIT - various artists
Closer to our Scandinavian homefront I was introduced to this extraordinary, but unfortunately very rare, sampler of Finnish teenage hardrock bands from the early 1970s. Sung in English, the sound is as raw, non-pompous and direct as any Virginia hardrock private press you can hallucinate. If you want to pass out in the snow outside a steaming sauna with a quart of Koskenkorva in your hand, THIS album provides the soundtrack.
OK, so what's up for 2005? Well, the Acid Archives Of Underground Sounds will reach "Z" and worldwide peace will follow. Beyond that I intend to hang out with the kids, read obscure old music mags, update the websites and finally, definitely, incontrovertibly score a copy of the old TOP DRAWER bootleg reissue on Resurrection. That's a New Year's Promise.
Captain's Log, Star-date: October 2004
Now that's what I call a Summer vacation, 3 months gone and nothing to show for it. A lot of exciting events probably have occurred but due to temporary blurriness of vision (blame it on the belladonna) I've managed to miss most of them.
Skipping past obvious headlines such as the old-new "Smile" or the 13th stone added to the mysterious Craig Smith/Maitreya Kali temple via the Penny Arkade CD release, I've focused on things more immediately within the strange, echoey precincts I inhabit. One would be the re-release of the "Lucifer Rising" soundtrack by convicted murderer, Haight Ashbury hipster, Charles Manson hangaround BOBBY BEAUSOLEIL & THE FREEDOM ORCHESTRA. Although Kenneth Anger's magick invocation film to the spirits of Egypt once was summarized as "clips of Bobby Beausoleil in various weightlifter poses" by a skeptical movie connoisseur, the soundtrack is quite excellent 1970s psychedelia with ambient & avantgarde touches. Better still is the second disc, which has two tracks by the legendary, never-before-heard pre-It's A Beautiful Day ORKUSTRA, followed by 25 minutes of murky acid jams by the MAGICK POWERHOUSE OF OZ from a mysterious cult rite in SF 1967, and on top of this another 25 minutes of tremendous outtakes from the 1977-78 movie soundtrack sessions... recorded in prison, naturally. Covering all the key areas of historical importance, musical quality and fringe/freak appeal, this is one of the top 10 releases of the year.
Another top 10:er yearling, I am pleased to report, comes from our old friends FATHER YOD & THE SOURCE FAMILY, a k a YAHOWHA 13. Yep, "The Operetta" jam & rap session from San Francisco 1975 is out, it's a 2LP set with Father's picture everywhere, none of it has been released before, and it destroys acres of macrodynamic sprouts better than any pesticide... eternal cosmic bliss never sounded this Violent and Ominous before. It's everything you hoped for, and 5% more. Yod He Vau He!
After some nerve-wracking mishaps along the way, I've scored one of the most desired artefacts among the 6 or 7 people who follow the same screwed up path as I do through the history of rock'n'roll, namely THIS:
If you don't know what this is, I'm
not going to be the one to tell ya.
There have also been some new developments in the eternally open PALMER ROCKEY case, where a full page article from a Dallas newspaper from the time (1980) has been found. Apparently the Palmer flim-flam shenanigans were going on in a rather public way, and even before the premiere of "Scarlet Love" people were asking uncomfortable questions. Such as:
* Who is the woman pictured with Rockey in his newspaper ads and why doesn't she appear in 'Scarlet Love'?
* Why did the star belatedly decide that it was alright to "laugh with Rockey's keen satire, even laugh AT it"?
* Is 'Scarlet Love' really a virtual carbon copy of Rockey's 'It Happened One Weekend', which premiered Oct 11, 1974 and had a 2-week run at Richardson's Canyon Creek Cinema?
* What is Rockey's background in film circles?
* Where does he get his money -- from the "Rockey-feller" family, perhaps?
The handwriting that cashed a 1000 checks! "To
Amy from out of Chicago - Best Wishes - 'Rock'"
We need more KEN KESEY & THE MERRY PRANKSTERS talk in here! Here's one to break the ice: a previously unknown 45 from the "Acid Test" LP was recently discovered and auctioned off at eBay, probably the least commercially viable 45 in the Bay Area '66 before the ETHIX transferred their brain rot to vinyl. Apart from the Kesey 45 (with edits from the LP) the auction package contained a promo poster of a supersized LP front cover, and a promo letter from the record label explaining why this famous author was on the right trip when dressing up like a fool and talking crazy. Quite stunning to see, all of it, as the $2000+ closing price indicates. Thanks to the promo letter the release date for "The Acid Test" can now be nailed down as March 1966, which was about the precise time when all the main Pranksters had left for Mexico, which probably didn't help sales much.
Captain's Log, Star-date: June 2004
Eternal mystery man Garrett Lund -- no longer mysterious!
This story is still developing, but here's the basic scoop: most rare psych LP aficionados are familiar with the excellent "Almost Grown" 1975 outing by GARRETT LUND, a CA mystery figure whose identity has been the source of much speculation. Recently an innocous comment regarding the presence of one "Glenn Campbell" in the credits for the Lund LP caused various trails to finally intersect, and when the trackers compared notes the result was pretty mind-boggling. First of all -- yep, it's none other than the legendary MISUNDERSTOOD acid steel guitar virtouso Glenn Ross Campbell who provides leads on a couple of tracks on the obscure Garrett Lund LP. This is surprising, but not as surprising as the fact that during 10 years of Lund-hunting noone (including me) seems to have noticed this, until Richard Iwanicki in England mentioned it in passing. Furthermore, when I ran this "discovery" by Misunderstood biographer Mike Stax of Ugly Things magazine, he turned out to have the angles fully covered and intends to present the facts in the case once his multi-part Misunderstood story reaches the mid-1970s (this may be a while)... Mike did forward some juicy tidbits, such as revealing the identity of "Garrett Lund" as one Bruce Robertson, lead singer of Riverside garage band the CARETAKERS, who cut some fine 45s in the 1960s including a raw take on "East Side Story". The Caretakers were fans of local heroes the Misunderstood so when recording his solo LP several years later Robertson persuaded Glenn Campbell to supply some of his unique skills to the "Almost Grown" LP. The reason why Robertson took on the rather unpsychedelic name "Garrett Lund", and where he is today, remains obscure. Pretty far out, huh? Well, that's not all -- because between the Caretakers and the Lund LP, Robertson delivered another legendary piece of wax as TRANE, whose late 1960s 45 "One Way Street" is an amazing anti-drug epic that can be found on one of the Psychedelic Experience CDs.
This leads nicely into one of the year's most important releases so far, the "Lost Acetates 1965-66" CD by MISUNDERSTOOD, compiled and released by the same Mike Stax. This is not the proper forum for a review but I will say this -- it's everything you hoped for. Get this now or you will be sorry... see Ugly Things website.
The Goldtones: Randy Seol, Bill Ewing & Glenn Ross Campbell
-- '63 bowling alley teen kings of the Inland Empire!
I finally got my shit together and followed up on an old note I had regarding the super-rare BACHS garage album "Out of the Bachs". Last year someone suggested that the reissues of this LP were mastered too slow, then disappeared without giving actual stats. Well, here it is: both the Del-Val reissue on vinyl from 1992, and the subsequent European bootlegs on vinyl and CD are mastered 1.5-2.0% too slow vs the original. This may not sound much but adds up to about 20 seconds on a whole album side, and is enough of a deviation to be audible. This means that if you've only heard the reissue, you haven't actually heard the Bachs LP... a fact that hasn't kept it from gaining many fans. Massimo at Misty Lane has promised a real deal reissue, let's hope it happens.
Some news regarding Indiana 1972 college band HOI POLLOI (see Lama interview & review): while it seems unlikely that a vinyl reissue of the LP will happen, a CD reissue from master tapes released by the band themselves is available here. The webpage is minimalist to the extreme, but the guy behind it is John Schuerman who produced the original LP and is coordinator for Hoi Polloi matters in general. Worth checking out for any fan of early 70s melodic psych sounds.
Captain's Log, Star-date: May 2004
Easter now passed and the usual rituals of ecstasy (mainly listening to "Easter Everywhere") observed, we enter the ibogaine harvest season with a sound mind. Among recent psychedelic events the CD reissue (on Locust Records) of ALAN WATTS' legendary "This Is IT" album from 1962 must rank high on the trip-o-meter, jacking the vibe of this bohemian hallucinogenic freakout up a couple of more notches. Fifteen years from now it will be more famous than Sgt Pepper. Speaking of Sgt Pepper, while the debate continues among true psych aficionados on just how bad the LP is (is it really worse than "Let It Be"?), some "rock critics" out in square-land ran yet another Top 100 LP vote, and wouldn't ya believe it if Paul's confused music hall/singer-songwriter odyssey won! Man, I thought it was 20 years ago today that people realized that Pepper's qualities lay purely on a symbolic level. In any event, I asked some knowledgable folks to suggest LPs from 1967 that were better than Sgt Pepper, and a list of 50+ suggestions immediately arose, ranging from Captain Beefheart to Zodiac:Cosmic Sounds.
Somewhat less famous than the Beatles came another hot scoop recently, being the identification of mystery guy ARTHUR who did an excellent downer folk 1-sided demo LP on the Two:Dot label, and has puzzled 3 or 4 people ever since. Well, another copy was found and its details revealed him to be none other than ARTHUR GEE, who had two LPs on the Tumbleweed label in the early 1970s. These are not typos & I am not talking about the Arthur who did the "Arthur" album on LHI, or the "Arthur Lee Harper" LP on Nocturne, or even Arthur Lee who did the "False Start" LP on Blue Thumb... this is yet another Arthur, OK? Reissue of this rarest of all Arthurs is now out from RD Records in Switzerland... last track is a deeeep guilt trip of the highest order.
Sticking with unknown weirdoes, it turns out that before creating infamous ESP avantgarde/idiot-noise ensemble the GODZ, Jim McCarthy was a member of NJ teenbeat band DICK WATSON 5, who released an LP based on a Broadway play about Sherlock Holmes (look, I'm just passing this on) that is so rare that noone has seen it for sale in 10 years. After experiencing a live FUGS gig in 1966, McCarthy dropped out of Dick Watson's "cold clear world of the intellect" and formed the GODZ instead... in an equally strange twist the completely unknown $1500 garage 45 by DR SPEC'S OPTICAL ILLUSION is now being used in a TV commercial for world-wide clothing chaim H&M... apparently the band, who recorded this raw ditty 38 years ago before going on to college & the draft, now receive royalites for the only time in their "career"...
Captain's Log, Star-date: March 2004
One of the top stories currently has to be the revelation that current presidential candidate JOHN KERRY played and recorded with New Hampshire prep school rock band the ELECTRAS in the early 1960s. The Electras LP (no relation to the "Dirty Old Man" guys) has been known for decades among rare album collectors, but the Kerry connection came to light only the last month. Kerry plays bass and is pictured on the back cover. The LP is all covers and mostly instrumental, and represents one of the earliest -- as in pre-Brit Invasion -- examples of the prep-rock phenomena, which you can read more about here. Value of original copies has increased tenfold, naturally, and it was last spotted for over $2000. If Kerry wins the election even that price is likely to look cheap. Apparently, the Electras had ties to Phillips Andover prep band the SATANS, but this unholy pact hasn't damaged Kerry's successful campaign so far.
The prep-rock LP & the candidate
On a less entertaining note, one of the original acid avatars moved on to the big retinal circus in the sky after several decades in the lysergic service. British-Canadian academic HUMPHRY OSMOND will always be remembered for inventing the term "psychedelic" in 1956, but that was just one of his many contributions to the field. Read more in "Storming Heaven" or on the Net.
One of the founding fathers left us in February 2004
This month's 13th FLOOR ELEVATORS report concerns the legendary, hallowed (etc) French EP on the Riviera label from early 1967 or so. The EP is part of a larger reissue program of a whole bunch of these coveted picture sleeve items in a box set... as the EP features a unique version (OK, unique mix) of "Tried To Hide" not available anywhere else, this may be worth looking into for any jug-head out there... upon closer scrutiny it seems that the version of "Fire Engine" is also unique to the EP; both are stereo mixes different from anything by IA, probably done by the French themselves... regarding the ROKY movie, the great man is now in such improved shape that he recently gave an interview to a couple of Hollywood screenwriters working on the script, which Roky hopefully will steer in a "Curse Of The Fire Demon" direction.
The YAHOWHA 13 cult is growing exponentially, although the law of low numbers means it's still much too small... recent legal vinyl reissues of "I'm Gonna Take You Home" and "Penetration" boast excellent sound, apart from the overall greatness of the trip... the same source (Swordfish in England) has scheduled a first-ever release of the Yahowha 13 "Operetta", which promises to be something quite out of the ordinary. The original SOURCE FAMILY is surprisingly intact, although spread out geographically on the west coast and Hawaii... but lead-guitarist Djin and the record-keeper Isis are communicating with FATHER YOD fans around the world and making esoteric documentation available. The "Source Family Recipe Book" (which contains an extensive biography and tons of rare pics) was reprinted last year, and a limited run of Father's teachings in "Liberation" was done recently... I snagged a copy and am currently trying to grow long hair and beard really fast in line with Father's advise... contact Isis for any future reprints... but you're going to have to Google your way there. One more Yahowha bit: the rare Yod Ship Suite #3 album has now been revealed as 1973 recordings with the original Spirit Of '76 band, rather than some effort from the late 70s, when it was released... this explains why it sounds just like "Contraction".
"Allow each vibration
to complete its cycle, without
interference" - Father
One of the most hotly requested reissue titles of recent years has been Phil Pearlman's California desert icon RELATIVELY CLEAN RIVERS from 1976... now it's here, looking and sounding real good, courtesy of Radioactive records in England. Few albums have been traded so much on the CD-R/tape circuit, get the reissue and find out why. I also just heard that the reissue of the superb 70s folkrock SERENITY album from New Zealand is still in print with the Slightly Discoloured label from Belgium... ditto for the equally great 60s folkrock-psych SPIKEDRIVERS album from RD Records in Switzerland... both these blow away 99.3% of the crap floating around in the stagnant reissue well and must be purchased... if your dealer doesn't carry them, get a new dealer, or contact the labels directly.
Captain's log, star-date: February 2004
This new section is intended as a brain dump for psychedelic news and olds that float past our eyes and are too brief or scandalous to be converted into any major piece... expect anything and be prepared for the unexpected... the three dots that signify a drugged, casual mind at play (like these... or these...) will be put to plenty of use. Updated when the time is right & if the creek don't rise.
Been going through a stack of old DARK STAR:s recently that I hope to do an index of someday; this was one of those many 1970s British hippie/westcoast efforts straddling the fine line between a fanzine and an actual magazine, ZIG-ZAG:s offspring all of them... Dark Star is not as outstanding as COMSTOCK LODE but still with plenty of good pieces and that bizarre timewarp effect that you get from reading about a 1967 LP from a 1977 perspective in 2004... one bit I must share concerns DON JOHNSON, the pastel-clad doofus who enticed the messed-up world of 1983 in "Miami Vice"... as people recently have discovered, DON wanted to be a rock star before pretending to be an actor, and managed to release a 1969 psych/rock LP with HORSES which is actually highly rated by some... he combined his two fields of expertise when appearing in "Zachariah", a truly weird hippie western that also features CJ & FISH in a desperate bid for 1971 hipness... so, anyway, what I found in an old Dark Star (#11) was an interview with KINGFISH, a band mostly known for their Bob Weir connection; turns out that in an earlier incarnation these guys were stuck inside a Carter-Gilbert scheme to make Don Johnson a teen idol, which was in fact these same Horses, circa 1969... the Kingfish guy, one Matthew Kelly, has no fond memories of Mr Sockless Shoes: "...I really couldn't stand Don Johnson and none of us got on with him very well. I didn't like his singing at all although the basic tracks were nice [...] we finally got rid of our lead singer Don and carried on as a four-piece doing things that we were more into...". There's some more but that's the gist of it, the funniest thing being that this was uttered and written down in 1977, when Don Johnson was a complete unknown... Matthew the Kingfish guy has some more heavy credentials as his band SHANGO played at "NEAL CASSADY's wake" in 1968; an event at Big Sur that I've never heard of before: "...there were about 4000 people down there in the forest, it was one of the nicest events I've ever played, it was a whole weekend and we were top of the bill."
Moving upwards and then to the right we end up in Oakland, where a bunch of heads known as DIRTY FILTHY MUD held the population hostage with strange sci-fi music and even stranger behavior... their "Forest Of Black" 45 is one of the freakiest and most highly rated acid music 45s of all time, and thanks to info provided by Dave Baldwin I am able to reveal the following: 1) the blurry color design of their art sleeve is in fact a flashlight shining through a hippie shirt; 2) the band cut a whole bunch of unreleased tunes, incl an 11-minute version of "Forest Of Black" with acid guitar leads throughout... aargh... 3) the band were buddies with none other than the 13th FLOOR ELEVATORS during their Bay Area stay (Fall'66), and the amazing oscillator fx on "Forest" were in fact a tribute to TOMMY HALL's psychedelic jug... more proof that the Elevators did in fact invent psychedelia.
Another brief ELEVATORS bit: the wellknown "Avalon '66" tape that has been bootlegged by everyone and his attorney since 1978 derives from a broadcast of old ballroom live tapes on KSAN in the Bay Area; first mention of the Elevators tape I've seen comes from early 1978, suggesting the broadcast happened in late 1977; anyone know for sure?... the Elevators were just one of many vintage psych-era tapes broadcast by KSAN, and despite being traded for 25 years now most of these have never been properly released and they include killer stuff like '66 ragarock by the FINAL SOLUTION and of course hours of Airplane, Fish, Quick & the Dead... final ELEVATORS bit: in case you haven't heard it already, there are serious plans for a Hollywood treatment of the ROKY ERICKSON saga (which of course is far from over); "it" guy of the moment JACK BLACK wants to play Roky, very good casting & nice synchronicity if you recall that "High Fidelity" featured both Black and an Elevators tune in prominent positions.
Listening to "Brainwashed" by ALL SAVED FREAK BAND right now, an uneven but interesting Christian 1970s psych-rock band led by a post-PACIFIC GAS & ELECTRIC guy... this allows me to mention that a reference to the evils of "homosexuality" in the liner notes to the band's first LP has been changed to "sexual perversion" on the recent reissue, but this confusing act of political correctness falls flat as the spoken testimony on the LP still states that: "homosexuality... friends, I was more than a little strange"... here's more on the All Saved Freak Band: recent reports suggest that the full-price CD reissues offered by Hidden Vision can sometimes be CD-Rs, and sometimes come in thin slimline plastic cases, or have black/white xeroxed artwork... no wonder the CD-R trading market is growing exponentially.
© Patrick The Lama 2001-2011
Recent space explorations can be found in the Eternal Now
The Lama Workshop