Monday, March 25, 2013

The Day After The Sabbath 86: Master of My Fate (roadburn2)

Download from [mf] or [mg]
unzip password:  tdats
TDATS 86 is another collaboration with fellow vintage rock aficionado Walter, organiser of the annual Roadburn festival in Tilburg, Netherlands. Being one of the best events in the world for seeing current bands that are keeping the memory of the good old sounds alive, plus a few of the actual good old bands themselves (The Pretty Things are playing this year), It's really cool for TDATS to be associated with the fest. Take it away Walter!

Walter (arm raised) partying with the
crowds on the Roadburn dance floor
"We at Roadburn Festival are avid followers of The Day After The Sabbath! It's great to relive the heavy 70s through Rich's collections of obscure rock, and we're glad the festival inspires him as much as his comps inspire us in our work. Last year, Rich did the first TDATS Roadburn compilations with his volumes 63 and 64, and we're truly honored that he has come up with another compilation for this year's festival. What Rich has done here is collect a bunch of tracks by contemporary bands that have played at Roadburn, using their covers of 70s songs. On top of that he's added another selection of cool Dutch 60s/70s obscurities. We're currently swamped in the organisational affairs, and 'Master of My Fate' will help us to keep on track, otherwise we'd be losing it!"  -- Walter / Roadburn.

Jan Hollestelle
The comp opens with a single from Jan Hollestelle, who cut his teeth as a bass player in Hilversum's beat combo "The Torero's" with his guitarist brother Hans Hollestelle. The brothers both played on the Dutch production of the musical Hair. They were in a few other groups together, including The Tower, which appears on here later, and fusion band Spin. Jan recorded an instrumental single called 'Creepy' in 1973 and here it is. I have cut it into two parts to use as the intro and outro for the set. From 1971 he became a highly-demanded session musician and also works on classical compositions.


The Atomic Bitchwax (live 2001)
Next up is The Atomic Bitchwax. They are a well-known stoner rock band which originated as a side-project of Monster Magnet lead guitarist Ed Mundell, ex-Godspeed bassist/vocalist Chris Kosnik, and drummer Keith Ackerman. Ed Mundell's place has now been taken by Finn Ryan (ex-Core). They first played on one of the early editions of Roadburn in 2001 with the founding lineup. I found a mini-review here and only 3 bands were on the bill, a number that is slightly smaller than the 60+ that have been billed over the 3 day event in recent years! This track is from that performance, during which they played 'Play The Game', which first appeared on a 1970 Atomic Rooster single.

Track 3 is from Amsterdam's Temple, which was a small project by members of other bands. They only made two singles, the most interesting track by far was the b-side, 'Triple Guitar", from the second one. Aad van de Kreeft was in Blue Planet and the George Cash band, Ron Meyjes was in Livin' Blues and The Knack, Cees Meerman was previously in Bismarc and John "Johnny" Frederiksz was also in Livin' Blues. 'Triple Guitar' is awesome, it has a really metallic feel. A third single was released under the name 'Johnny Fredericks & Temple'.

Josiah
We move on to Josiah, who were an English stoner rock/hard rock band from Leicester that played at Roadburn in 2005 and 2007. They went their separate ways in 2010 and in their ten-year existence they made four albums and three EPs. Originally comprising Mathew Bethancourt (vocals, guitar) now with Cherry Choke, Sie Beasley (bass, vocals) and Keith Beacom (drums), Bill Darlington took to the drums for a single in 2003 which had a b-side cover of Grand Funk Railroad, which is the track I have included here. It was also available on a gig-handout CD called 'Rare Cuts'.  Bill is in two other bands that appear in this volume of TDATS, so he'll be mentioned again soon... Josiah also recorded another wicked cover, of Bufallo's Dead Forever. It was included on their last album, 'Procession'.

Next up is The Hague's Big Wheel, founded by producer Hans van Hemmert, and Peter Vink, who was the bass player in classic Dutch garage group Q65 (see Vol63). They released five singles between 69 and 71, and they had a great, catchy but heavy glam sound like this. I have used a b-side called 'Upside Down' which is pretty simple and short, it's a spontaneous jam with a basic verse, but it has the raw and joyful feeling of a great moment caught in time, never to repeated. They definitely had the skills to make a good album so it's a shame they did not. Hans produced and co-wrote songs for many bands, including others I have used before, like Q65, The Motions and Group 1850. The rest of Big Wheel was Cyril Havermans (vocals), Rob van der Zwan (guitar), Shell Schellekens (drums) and Peter Seilberger. Havermans and Schellekens were both in Brainbox (see Vol20) just after.

Gorilla 2010
Track 6 is from Gorilla, a UK band that made three albums last decade. They have been on recording-hiatus since other bands have been taking up the member's time, but they still play live now and again and they played Roadburn fest in 2006. They are due to get out the heavy equipment again this year for Maximum Festival 2013 in Italy. John 'Johnny Gorilla' Redfern (gtr,vox) and Sarah Jane Russel (bass,vox) have been the constant members since the 90s and at various times Richard Guppy, Malt Jones, Sammy Forway and Bill Darlington have been on drums. John has been rocking since the 80s, including Brighton heavy psych bands The Morticians and Cherokee Mist. I found some Morticians info online here:  "The Redfern Bros. began to play in the mid-80s as The Giant Sunhorse; at the beginning of 1986 they found bassist Ben Jackson and changed name to The Morticians, releasing this delicious sweet at the end of next year ["Freak Out With The Morticians"]. An explosive punk side (those who don't know one original at least, lift up their own hand) and a visionary psych-side made few lucky owners happy... the first pressing of 500 ran out very soon and so did the second one of little more than a thousand, but Ben's leaving caused dissolution. At the end of 1988 a compilation of early recordings (demos and live sets) titled "She's Like Heroin" came out on Distortion Records.

The Morticians LP (1987)
Part of the 80's wave of UK Neo Psych and Garage Punk, The Morticians made one of the best lost UK psych-punk albums of that era. It's a combination of '60s styled garage punk and West Coast/Pink Fairies like acid guitar rock. Heavy distorted fuzzed out guitar solos, swirling keyboards and a really stoned atmosphere pervade this little gem that's long gone on vinyl. Includes uniquely heavy versions of "Action Woman" & "Song Of A Baker", "Blackout Of Gretely" and a totally over the top lysergic version of the Country Joe & The Fish classic "Section 43". Dave Goodman's production is raw , drenched in reverb and somehow (only God knows) he managed to hold this monstrous creation together."

In 2006 Gorilla recorded a nice fuzzed-up cover of Motorhead's 'Limb from Limb' (from 'Overkill' LP, 1979) which is what I have used in this comp. Bill D. played briefly in Josiah (as mentioned earlier), currently he and Johnny are playing in the Admiral Sir Cloudesley Shovell, who appear on this volume later so there's some more Gorilla/Josiah/ASCS info coming up soon...

Hilversum's The Playboys seem to have mainly been a working showband, but they did record two singles. Their song 'Snoopy' was recently used in the movie 'Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist' and back in it's time it was used as the theme music on radio VARA's 'Sport Show' and 'Hollands Glorie' . The band was Paul Natte (keys,trumpet), Peter van den Meulenn (sax, vox), Frans de Wit (gtr, vox), Reinout Weidema (bass) and Ted de Jong (drums). I have used the b-side of their second single here, "I'm The Looser" is a great little pop song that could have been a hit world-wide. Later, Paul Natte, along with Rein van Den Broek of symphonic prog band Ekseption, made the theme tune for the Dutch coverage of the Tour de France, which was used for years. Peter van der Meulen later became a owner of The Smugglers nightclub in the town of Bussum.

The Tower - 'In Your Life' (1968)
We reach the half-way point with The Tower, who recorded two studio-only singles and have many band members listed on RYM: but I am not sure exactly who or how many of them are playing on the track I am using here: 'Slow Motion Mind'. They included Boudewijn de Groot on guitars and vox, who appears to have had a successful solo career and became a producer of some bands that I have already used before, including Kraayeveld who are coming up. Other names were gutarist Eelco Gelling who was also in Cuby + Blizards (see Vol35) and later Golden Earing, Jan Hollestelle who I mentioned previously, Jay Baar (drums), Herman Deinum (keyboards), John Schuursma (guitar), Willem Schoone (bass), Hans Jansen (Hammond organ, piano) and Kees Kraanenburg (drums). They had a keys-heavy sound that is reminiscent of Procol Harum.

Danava on stage
Danava are from Portland, Oregon. I have used a Slowbone (see Vol40) cover that appears on their 2011 album 'Hemisphere Of Shadows'. They have been around since the early 2000's and they played at Roadburn in 2008 and 2012. There have been three Danava albums to date, reveling in a mix of stoner rock, space rock, glam and all things good about heavy 70s metal. I have seem them twice and can confirm they are the real deal live; a full-on guitar bombast attack band. Tempered with the occasional moog-out, they're as close as you're going to get to going back in time to the days of the best stuff. Their current line-up is Gregory Meleney (voxs, guitar, synth), Zachariah Dellorto Blackwell (bass), Matt Oliver (drums) and Andrew Forgash (guitar).

Here's a few questions I fired at Gregory, founder of the band, for this comp:

Q1. Hi Greg. Can you give us a brief account of the early formation of Danava, and which member(s) lead the way at the beginning?

Gregory
"The original core of the group relocated from various parts of Illinois to Portland in 2002 in hopes to begin playing together, which we did by way of a Goblin cover group for a Devil's Night party. Enter Rosy Cross the Portland addition. From there we did the usual thing and it became Danava. And as a concept, musically, I'm afraid I'm the one to blame."

Q2. Where does the name Danava come from? It's sounds familiar yet original at the same time.

"Danava for brevity's sake is a demon. A race of demons to be exact in ancient Hindu mythology. Rosy Cross named us and I'm really grateful he gave us this name because of it's absolutely fantastic nature within vs the all to quick, unfamiliar and easily overlooked quality it has. Donovan? no Danava! Haha! it immediately goes in one ear and out the other. Everyone looks to Christianity for names of an evil nature. I think it ran it's course long ago and I'm glad we got the chance to embrace something far more ancient and magical, in my opinion, than your typical archetypes of the dark side. Danavas were fascinating beings. We actually don't deserve the name but I'm proud of how it's led us about for these last ten years."

Q3. You merge a more diverse range of styles than most bands. Do you treat this as a priority when you write? Or is it just what happens to come from the band's chemistry when playing together?

"Honestly a little of both. I write the music with a sense of where I come from, under the influence of what I grew up listening to. All those great fucking bands man. The real turning point is whether or not it has our own imprint within. Our voice is firmly intact. That and the fact that we love so many different musics I suppose."

Q4. Regarding the last question, are there any band members who are particularly responsible for encouraging particular elements in your sound? If so who and how?

"Yeah, like I said before it's me. I'm the instigator and I put it all together with the help of my brothers."

Q5. I have visited Portland myself, it seems to have a strong scene with a lot of great like-minded bands. What unique influence do you think Portland has had on Danava, compared to say if you had got together in Seattle instead?

"That's a tough question. Honestly Portland absolutely didn't play any role in our sound beyond just living here. If anything, the small town nature of Portland allowed time and space to keep doing what we do. Seattle would have killed us. Not our kind of town. No offense of course."

Q6. Have any other Portland bands, old or current, had a strong influence on Danava? Could you recommend some to check out?

"Oh sure one name comes to mind and that's Fred Cole (of Zipper, see Vol44). That man deserves so much more, yet I love him right where he is. I don't have the space to tell you how I feel about that guy really. Absolutely inspiring fella that one. Beyond Fred there's Stepson, XINR....the underdogs. We carry this torch for the underdogs."

Q7 & 8. Clearly you guys appreciate the lesser-known bands, having performed two covers of great bands I have used in TDATS comps so far, namely Stray and Slowbone. Could you also tell us why you chose Stray and Slowbone and if it's just a coincidence that they are both British? Can you name 3 more similarly unknown bands that you dig and why, maybe ones you would also like to cover?

"Now that's an undertaking. We've covered lots of shit live over the years. We've done The Deviants, Broughton, T2, Aeroblus, Pink Fairies and classics like Sabbath, etc. There are, as you obviously know, way too many great songs from the underground over the years. I know, for me personally, I've always wanted to do No Witch At All or Mr Longevity by Hard Stuff, Irving by Three Man Army and Just A Game by Dirk Steffens but not sure if it'll ever happen. Ah there's just too many man.

Our shining moment was performing Bullets by Zipper with Fred singing and Greg Shadoan on bass. It's on youtube, THAT was fucking incredible for me. We chose Slowbone and Stray for the fact that it's great, underground and fits our style. Another lesser known reason would a man called Steve Harris."

Q9. What does the foreseeable future hold for Danava?

"New record and more touring as usual. Never stops but we definitely like to slow down and allow the space to get our head around the music rather than keep up with the business of it all."

Thanks Gregory!
------------------------------
Warehouse - Powerhouse LP (1972)
The next track is from an album which I have only just found out about, and was pleasantly surprised by, as it's a horn rock album with some quite rocking moments, a real rarity to come from Holland. It's by a mysterious band called Warehouse from Friesland, and there is very little information available. I am indebted to Marc Joseph, guitarist in band Vitamin X, for alerting me to this album and finding extra information for me. It was produced by Tim Griek who was previously the drummer in the symphonic prog band Ekseption.


The Crash
The players are listed as Harry Zijlstra (gtr, vox), Quido Hereman (vox, percussion, gtr), Jan De Jong (Bass), Jan De Lang (percussion), Klaas Bootsma (keys), Jaap Van Der Veer (sax) and Andries Zijlstra (trumpet, vox). The album sounds quite commercial but it has some good tracks like 'It's life', and 'Wild one' sounds like a baby Deep Purple with the addition of spritely brass. Most of Warehouse were in a 60s beat band called The Relays, who later formed The Crash. The Crash made a 7'' called ''Last Week / One Rainy Day'' in 1969 which sold more than a 1000 copies within 3 months of release.

Warehouse
Warehouse developed from The Crash in 1969, partly as a reaction to Dizzy Man's Band (from Volendam) which was a band to also feature a brassy soul-rock vibe. Warehouse made one album, from which I have used the track 'Wild One'. The record company (Imperial) wanted them to go commercial/professional but they refused and didn't get a contract. Around 1972 John Eskes joined who was previously in Art461/Canyon. In 1974 some members had to commit to their family lives and Warehouse split, but 3 of them (Jan de Lang, Quido Hereman, John Eskes) started Zig Zag Trio, later called Zig Zag Band. John Eskes is still active and the leader of Big Band Leeuwarden 73.

       Louis             Johnny          Bill
The Admiral Sir Cloudesley Shovell played at Roadburn last year (2012). They are a favourite live act of mine to watch here in London and I wrote an intro for them already on another site so I will use that here as it describes them as well as I think I am able to; "All right, Tinkerbell. You're nicked!”. Welcome back to a time when Jack Regan had the scum on the run, and gaggles of disgruntled half-naked clothing assistants had Benny Hill on the run. Luckily for us running isn’t so easy in flares and platform shoes, and sideburns cause even more drag, so this debauched admiral of the fleet will not be escaping the crowds hungry for groovin’ power-trio rock perfection.


Don't Hear It...Fear It LP (2012)
Hastings’ own Admiral Sir Cloudlesley Shovell (try saying that after 9 pints of Double Diamond) have been belting out their honest, no-nonsense swagger-filled rock ‘n‘ roll for a few years now and the world is taking notice. They played a storming set at Roadburn last year, which this devout scribe was more than happy to suffer ‘Sleep’ deprivation to experience, and their debut album “Don't Hear it... Fear it!!” is just out on Rise Above Records. ASCS are Louis Comfort -Wiggett, Bill Darlington and Johnny Gorilla. Many of you will know Bill and Johnny’s other band Gorilla, who have been pumping out their Blue Cheerful vibes since the late nineties.

If 70’s proto-metal is your thing; Sir Lord Baltimore, Budgie and Buffalo get you all hot under your giant pointy collar, and you can handle a big psychedelic dose of garage punk into the bargain, then make sure you dig the Shovell!"

For the comp I have used a brilliant Buffalo cover which is the final track on Cloudesley Shovell's recent debut album "Don't Hear It...Fear It" (Rise Above Records). I have taken this opportunity to ask Bill Darlington a few exclusive questions, as he has drummed for all three of the UK bands I have used in this volume, it seemed a good idea:

Q1. Hi Bill. Could you tell us how, why and where you got into being a rock musician?

Bill
"I started playing the drums when I was 18 and from the off I was in a psych band called 'Vibraphone' with Louis (now in Admiral Sir Cloudesley Shovell) funnily enough! I like all styles of music but rock was where I wanted to be. I always wanted to be a drummer so I would get inspiration from the rock greats such as...Bonham, Moon, [Mitch] Mitchell."

Q2. Why did you choose drums? Have you played other instruments?

"Drums are my main instrument although, I do play a bit of guitar and bass. Like I said, I always wanted to be a drummer from an early age. I can remember at school I was pissed off that the music teacher chose a popular kid in my class to play the drums in a school play instead of me. I left home at 17 and lived with my then girlfriend in London. I've always been a tapper and she used to get so fucked off with it she threatened to get me a drum kit which she did for my 18th birthday. My neighbors hated me!"

Q3. What bands were you learning from back then?

"When I picked up the sicks for the first time I was trying to play along with The Who and Sabbath. I would have to say that Bill Ward's drumming was a massive help to me as it was easier to play along with than Moonie, as Bill is more direct and not all over the place. Two very different drummers but equally as cool!"

Q4. What UK bands were you watching live early on that influenced you?

"I have two older brothers that are musicians. My oldest brother Jay plays keyboards and my other brother Spud plays the bass. From about the age of 13 I used to go watch them rehearse or play live in London. They both played in a 60s garage band called Tilt-a-Whirl. That band was another influence on me to play the drums. When I started to play I was older and living in London and seeing a lot of bands that were actually very shit so it was hard to be influenced by anything live. 

One band that had a big impact on my drumming was The Morticians (both John and Louis from The Shovell). They were super heavy and loud!! John's brother Simon played a double kit and he produced a huge sound that reminded me an engine with the throttle jammed on!"

Q5. For each one, could you tell us a little about how you came to play with these three bands:

a) Josiah
"I played with Josiah first out of all three bands but only for a short while as they were based in Leicester and I am all the way down in Hastings and that's a long walk! I guess it came about as they needed a drummer at short-notice so they contacted me. I did a bunch of gigs with them and recorded a single."

b) Gorilla

"I ended up in Gorilla as they were having trouble with drummers at the time (exploding incidents, alien abduction, bizarre gardening accidents, pre opp, post opp etc...) and I had been friends with both John and Sarah for a while. It just seemed like the done thing as we all had the same musical interests and I loved Gorilla's sound. Heavy, loud and dirty!"

c) Admiral Sir Cloudesly Shovell

"ASCS came about by Louis, John and myself having a few beers one night and talking about putting a band together for something to do other than drinking beer and talking about putting a band together so that's what we did!! We started off playing a few covers like The James Gang - Walk Away and Mountain - Mississippi Queen. It sounded good and right so we decided to write our own and here we are."

Q6. What do you see as some of the notable musical differences between those three?

Bill & Tony McPhee
 of Groundhogs
"Josiah and Gorilla were tarred with the term "Stoner Rock" but I think that's a shit way of explaining this type of music as it's a bit lose. The term should probably be "Sabbath Rock" as that's what people are really referring to me thinks?!!

Josiah and Gorilla were similar in their direction but were quite different in sound as Josiah reminded me of Sabbath but Gorilla reminded me of Sabbath with the higher octane feel of The Who or The MC5. Gorilla are more Sabbath Rock - on speed!! I used to think that playing in Gorilla was like running a marathon and having to carry your drum kit home after!! Fuckin' knackering.

ASCS to me are like no other band I've been in. We are more into the likes of Sir Lord Baltimore, Dust, Bang etc than just Sabbath or MC5. It has a mixture of everything I have done in the past with the other two bands, but tighter. It has the thick riffs of Sabbath and the messy rawk n roll of The Stooges, MC5 with a huge dollop of the craziness of Sir Lord Baltimore. I guess I learnt a lot with the other two bands, but with ASCS I can put it all (and then some!) into practice."

Q7. The Shovell have made one excellent album so far, and had a lot of great support slots with the likes  of The Groundhogs, Orange Goblin and Uncle Acid & the Deadbeats. What's the plan for ASCS from here?

"Yeah, it's been a great couple of years with The Shovell! We've had a single and LP out that has had a lot of thumbs up from people across the globe, made us proud! We've also had the pleasure of some ace shows supporting some top bands. We never set out to do all of this wonderful shit but I'm mighty glad we have!

We're currently rehearsing new material for our 2nd LP which we hope to have out in the Autumn. It's sounding meaty as hell and I can't wait to get it down while it's still fresh. We have a few shows in Spain coming up next month and some locally. Also, we're playing at The Desert Fest (I'm going as Spotted Dick and Custard!!) Checkout our Facebook for more gig info."

Thanks Bill!
------------------------------
Kraayeveld were a spin-off from a long-running band called The Bintangs who sounded a little like The Netherlands' answer to The Rolling Stones. After initial success with some singles, founding members Frank Kraaijeveld (bass, vocals) and Arti Kraaijeveld (guitar, vocals) left Bintangs to form their own band Kraayeveld, and the track I have used here is a live studio recording of them jamming a Bintangs track 'Hound is on the Run'. I think this version is far superior to the Bintangs one, it's rawer and heavier, which is also how the main difference between Bintags and Kraayeveld in general is usually described. Later, Kraayeveld changed it's name back to The Bintangs, to confuse matters, and now-days the only original member left in The Bintangs is Frank Kraaijeveld. Apologies for the not so great sound quality. I had to use the youtube audio, I have asked the contributer for the file but no luck as yet... but thanks to him anyway, and thanks to Walter himself for showing me this wicked track.

Smok Smoczkiewicz -  Bill Steer - Ludwig Witt
Firebird (final album lineup)
Track 13 is another cover, this time from the UK's Firebird. The band was masterminded by Bill Steer in 1999, who's career started out whilst a teenager in the 80s, in the extremely influential metal bands Napalm Death and Carcass. He remained the only constant member of Firebird, which has had a rotating lineup of musicians from similarly-minded bands like Cathedral, The Quill, Spiritual Beggars and Blind Dog. Carcass still plays and is recording new material right now, but Bill's time in recent years has been equally taken up in classic/retro bands like Firebird, Gentleman's Pistols and a recently re-formed Angel Witch. Firebird split in 2011 but during their 10 years plus they played Roadburn thrice, in 2003, 2009 and 2010. For this comp I have chosen a storming cover of a Humble Pie classic, Four Day Creep, which was on Firebird's fifth album, 'Grand Union' (2009). The term 'Four day creep' derives from the phrase 'fore day creep, which was a line in the blues standard 'Outside Woman Blues' originally recorded by Blind Joe Reynolds in 1929. 'fore day meaning at night (before day), and the creep being an untrustworthy lover up to no good, creeping around at night. 'Outside Woman Blues' was covered by Cream on their second album Disraeli Gears.

For the final track, which gives this comp it's title, I have used something I heard on a fantastic compilation of rare Dutch psych 45s called 'Fantasio Daze', which I totally recommend. Opus made this cover of The American Breed (link) in 1969. It was released on Vinyl in 2000 and has since had a CD edition too. I have adapted the liner notes from the LP/CD and found a little more info via RYM: "Opus, not to be confused with the Nijmegan group of the same name, spent the years '66 to '69 on the verge of breaking through nationally, along with another Maastricht band called The Sharons with which they shared members Pierre Beckers, Jo Robeers and Frans Theunisz. Much of the Opus appeal was due to the composing and singing talent of [Englishman] Tom Winters and successful singles included 'Gotta Get High' and 'Baby, Come On'. Other members included Chrit Mandigers (keys), Rob Schaade (bass) and Frans Theunisz (drums). Following the departure of Winter, the band unfortunately did not succeed any longer. Members of both The Sharons and Opus re-appeared soon after as 'Windmill' and released a few singles on the Limburg-based Killroy label. In the late 70s Tom Winters made some solo singles, and another band appeared with Pierre Beckers and Erwin Musper of Windmill, called Partner".

'Master of My Fate' is a great song, with a lot of Beatles-ish pop sensibility and it has great guitar lines I think would sound awesome in a heavier cover, if anybody is up for it...

Thanks for listening, Rich.

Tracklist:

01. Jan Hollestelle - Creepy [Intro] (1973)
       single
02. The Atomic Bitchwax - Play The Game [live Atomic Rooster cover] (2001)
       live at roadburn festival 2001
03. Temple - Triple Guitar (1971)
       single
04. Josiah - Got This Thing On The Move [Grand Funk Railroad cover] (2005)
       single, and fan album 'rare cuts'
05. Big Wheel - Upside Down (1970)
       single
06. Gorilla - Limb From Limb [Motörhead cover] (2006)
       compilation 'wild sound from the past dimension'
07. The Playboys - I'm The Looser (1970)
       single
08. The Tower - Slow Motion Mind (1968)
       single
09. Danava - The Last Goodbye [Slowbone cover] (2011)
       album 'hemisphere of shadows'
10. Warehouse - Wild one (1972)
       album 'powerhouse'
11. Admiral Sir Cloudesley Shovell - Bean Stew [Buffalo cover] (2012)
       album 'don't hear it...fear it'
12. Kraaijeveld - Hound is on the Run (1971)
       studio jam
13. Firebird - Four Day Creep [Humble Pie cover] (2009)
       album 'grand union'
14. Opus - Master of My Fate (1969)
       single
15. Jan Hollestelle - Creepy [outro] (1973)
       single
references

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Thursday, March 21, 2013

The Electric Lounge of Aural Ecstasy - Flute Players Are Hot!

Download from: [mf] or [mg]
Unzip pass:  tdats
On Saturday 9th of March 2012, Scott Sroka (aka DJ Cheesus) and co-host Star Gazer dedicated an 'Electric Lounge of Aural Ecstasy' show on Core of Destruction Radio to rock music involving the flute. During the show he interviewed flautist Ian Andeson from Jethro Tull, and played only cool 70s tracks with lots of rocking flute. Included among his picks were all the tracks I used on a previous TDATS comp: Vol78: I Was Only Dreaming. As usual, he and Star Gazer have shed some more light on them, like the fact the Fashion Pink's "I'm a Man" is a cover of a Stevie Winwood/Spencer Davis Group classic. In this download I have included the entire show, in three parts. The third part is the Ian Anderson interview spot, during which Scott also played some Anderson/Tull classics and newies. Ian gives a great interview about all things Tull, along with news of his current world tour.

Star Gazer, Scott & and
one of their pesky groupies... 
Scott, currently living in São Paulo, Brazil, has been presenting on Core of Destruction for over a year. He was a contributor to the excellent stoner rock community blog 'Sludge Swamp', that sadly closed its doors a while ago. Sludge Swamp helped me out in making a name for TDATS back when I started doing this, and also hosted demos for a few of the New Zealand bands that are joined up on the forum I started up when I was over there: www.stonerdoom.co.nz.

Scott broadcasts his show on a weekly basis, full details of which can be found here. He covers all eras of rock and metal with a different theme each week. He also maintains his own blog where he posts all his previous shows as podcasts, and has a Facebook group here.

The next TDATS comp is well under way, and will be another Dutch-flavoured set with a few surprises, including a couple of interviews with current bands that keep the torch burning for the sounds we love...

Thanks for listening, and thanks Scott!
Rich

Part 1
Osanna - Introduzione
Gravy Train - Can Anybody Hear Me?
Genesis - Get 'em Out By Friday
The California Earthquake - Friday: 3 P.M.
The Purple Soul Brothers - Zero O'Clock
Hubert Laws - Let Her Go
Rahsaan Roland Kirk - Ain't No Sunshine
Traffic - Rainmaker
Shag - Gypsies In The Forest
Jade Warrior - A Prenormal Day at Brighton
The Moody Blues - Don't You Feel Small
Camel - Song Within A Song
The Hunt - I Was Only Dreaming
Heat Exchange - Reminiscence
Herbie Mann (w/Duane Allman) - Man's Hope
Fashion Pink - I'm a Man
Quintessence - Notting Hill Gate

Part 2
Goliath - Maajun (A Taste Of Tangier)
Rufus Zuphall - Prickel Pit
Gong - Flute Salad
Gong - Oily Way
Gryphon - Estampie
Tako - Minijatura
Progresiv TM - Rusinea Soarelui
Tomorrow's Gift - Tenakel Gnag
Dug Dug's - Smog [english version]
Janko Nilović - Drug Song
Plum Nelly - The Demon
De De Lind - Fuga e Morte
Steel Mill - A Forgotten Future/a Future Past
Railroad Gin - The End
Leo Wright - The Wiggler *Bonus Track

Part 3 - Local Spotlight with Ian Anderson
Thick As A Brick (Madison Square Garden 1978) - Jethro Tull
Old School Song - Ian Anderson
A Change Of Horses - Ian Anderson
Adrift And Dumbfounded - Ian Anderson
Last Train to San Fernando - Johnny Duncan & Bluegrass Boys *Local Spotlight Only Exclusive
What-Ifs, Maybes And Might-Have-Beens - Ian Anderson

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Saturday, March 9, 2013

The Day After The Sabbath 85: Demons Fairies & Wailin' Guitars

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unzip pass:  tdats
TDATS 85 is inspired by a book, written by Ra'anan Chelled who lives in Tel Aviv, Israel. 'Demons Fairies & Wailin Guitars: The best 100 obscured rock acts 1968-1976' is a compendium of 100 of his favourite lesser-known acts from the 60s and 70s, that he has translated from his original Hebrew version. If you are interested further after reading this post, Ra'anan can be contacted directly via facebook to order the paperback. He also has e-reader versions on Amazon and a website: www.demonsfairies.com.

The tracks I have used in this volume are from 15 bands that I have not used before and was not familiar with until reading about them in the book, so it's been a great digging session for me that has resulted in a nice fresh batch of killer tunes for you guys! There are a few publications available now that cover a lot of the artists that he does, but what sets this book apart is the amount of detail he has gone into for each act. Clearly a labour of love, he often lucidly describes a record song-by-song, and uncovers previously unknown facts, acquired by Ra'anan himself directly from the artists or people closely connected. A lot of the new information comes from exclusive interviews, which many of the articles end with, and they are all well-decorated with colour photos of LPs and artists.

Book Front Cover
The book covers the full range, from relatively well known entries like Budgie, Leaf Hound and Captain Beyond, to ultra-obscurities that were new to me like The Plastic Cloud, The Wizards From Kansas and J. Rider. One great example of the value of what he's achieved here is the story on 'Stonewall'. It's a great album (on a 'tax scam' label called Tiger Lily) that there has never been concrete information on, even what year it was made or what the album was actually called. Ra'anan clears it all up with an interview with Ray Dieneman, the recently-found bass player. An awesome discovery I have just made is that Ra'anan was inspired by one particular conversation thread on the now dead forum site Stonerrock.com; exactly the same thread that I found, and used, to begin my researches back in the mid 2000s. It was called 'Vote: greatest obscure heavy albums' and just after SR.com died I recovered most of the thread from web caches, posting it all on TheObelisk.net here.

I fired Ra'anan a few questions recently, so let's hear the rest from the man himself :-


Q1. Can you tell us some of the major events and influences in your life that lead you to write this book?
Ra'anan Chelled
"I was a teenager when Grunge broke out and that's where my real interest in Rock began. When Grunge coughed its last cough, naturally my interest had to migrate to somewhere else and without anything new and exciting (at least to my knowledge back then) my attention shifted backwards in time. I fell in love with the usual suspects - Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, Sabbath, King Crimson, The Doors and the such, but at some point I felt like I've probably scraped the bottom of the barrel and there wasn't anything else really great left to discover of that era.

Then, in the early 2000's I've stumbled somewhere online (I think it was on the late, great StonerRock.com) upon a poll of "the best obscure Classic Rock albums". I decided to give a chance to one of the albums on that poll - Leaf Hound's Growers of Mushroom. It... blew my mind. I thought to myself: "If something THIS good escaped the ears of the masses, what else is out there?". And I was soon the discover that there is plenty.

In 2003 or 2004 I wrote a piece for my university weekly titled ‘The Best Bands You've Never Heard About’, which got some good feedback. So from then on I occasionally wrote about another obscure band for the paper, never coming short with a new one, till finally it hit me that it's a pretty rad idea for a book."

Q2. How did you choose this particular 100 artists? Did you suffer much indecisiveness while trying to reduce it down to that number?
"First I had to determine what is considered obscure enough to be in the book. Is Ten Years After considered obscure enough for instance? So I made a little poll among my Rock loving friends. You'd notice that there are several bands in the book which are not really obscure like Hawkwind, MC5, Wishbone Ash and several more. These bands, while obviously can't be lumped together in obscurity level with bands like Zerfas or Orang Utan, are still almost completely unknown for the average Rock fan, who rarely stray from the shallow waters. So these were the easy picks. After that I had to decide among the truly obscure acts. During "the research phase" for the book I listened to over 1000 bands and assessed their material. I had a strict criteria: Originality, quality of material and its execution and the ratio between good to mediocre/poor songs in an album. That's not to say that I haven't had countless changes of heart and mind, and I continually discovered new stuff too. I probably wrote entries to 150 bands and toyed with them till I found a 100 list that I felt comfortable with.

That was not the end though. 5 years separate between the old Hebrew version which was published in 2007 to the new English version (which is superior in every way), and I changed about dozen bands for the new one. So I guess the struggle never ends..."

Q3. What can you tell us about the reaction of friends, and the public, to the book so far?
"The book has gotten very favoring reviews thus far which pleases me to no end. Check out this review on the Paranoid Hitsophrenic blog Made me blush.

Friends and people who already swim the waters of obscure Rock, among them some great contemporary musicians, also gave their collective thumb up. This means a lot to me, as I really value their opinion. Not to say the book doesn't have its minor flaws. I translated and edited it myself, so there must be a few grammatical errors and clunky phrases here and there. I don't think it harms the book too much though, as quite a few people who bought a copy enjoyed it so much that they bought more copies to give as gifts."

Q4. Was it hard to reach the point of having the finished book in your hands? What useful advice could you offer other rock fanatics who may be considering writing a book of their own?
"Oh man, writing a book is hard. I now have all the more respect for people who do that. It's very time and resources consuming, especially when you opt for the do it yourself path like I have. But then again, when they put that first copy out from the pressers in your hands, still warm, it makes it all the more worth while.

the most useful piece of advice I could give is probably that writing a book isn't something you do an hour here and there. You need to set yourself a real frame of work each day to keep a good momentum going. When I wrote the Hebrew version I was able to put in about 6 hours a day and I finished writing it within a year. The English version however, despite having most of the material already written, took about 3 years to finish, due to regular day job time constraints and you know, life..."

Q5. Do you have any further plans regarding your love of lesser-known rock music; any more books or other types of project in mind?
"I have been toying with the idea of putting together a book about the best lesser known Prog Rock albums. Since Prog is such a huge sub genre, it easily could have taken a much too big chunk of my book, so I had to give it somewhat of a back seat and concentrated on mostly guitar oriented Prog. But there is so much more great lesser known Prog out there which deserves to be recognized. I mean, the Italian Prog alone can yield at least 25 amazing albums."

Q6. Can you tell us something about being a psychedelic rock fan in Israel? Is there much opportunity to see old bands or old-style bands? And are there any bars or record shops etc that would be good to check out for anyone who finds themselves in Tel Aviv?
"There's a small community of Psych fans in Israel, but Prog is a more popular genre here as far as a niche goes. However, old classic Rock is quite big in Israel and bands like Pink Floyd, The Doors and Led Zeppelin are still huge in here even in this day and age. 
There was great record store here dedicated to 60's-70's Rock called "A Little Different" which was the local haven for Psych heads, but unfortunately it closed down about a year ago. "The third Ear" is also a good place to score CD's and Vinyl of 60's-70's goodness.
We don't get many old bands coming our way but some of them do venture here occasionally. Jethro Tull, Deep Purple and Uriah Heep to name a few."

Following now is the track list and information on the 15 artists I used, the text is all taken directly from Ra'anan's book, in a very abridged form. I have tried to keep some salient points, and included a couple of small quotes from interviews where there was space.

Tracks

01. Ladies W.C. - Searching for a Meeting Place (1970)
       from album 'ladies w.c.'
02. Rodriguez - Only Good for Conversation (1970)
       from album 'cold fact'
03. D.R. Hooker - I'm Leaving You (1972)
       from album 'the truth'
04. The Plastic Cloud - Shadows of Your Mind (1968)
       from album 'the plastic cloud'
05. Cressida - Mental State (1969)
       from album 'trapped in time: the lost tapes'
06. Gandalf - Never Too Far (1969)
       from album 'gandalf'
07. J. Rider - Sunday's Hero (1979)
       from album 'no longer anonymous'
08. Fraser & DeBolt - Old Man on the Corner (1970)
       from album 'fraser & debolt'
09. Morgen - Welcome to the Void (1969)
       from album 'morgen'
10. La Revolución de Emiliano Zapata - Still Don't (Not Yet) (1971)
       from album 'la revolución de emiliano zapata'
11. The Wizards from Kansas - Freedom Speech (1970)
       from album 'the wizards of kansas'
12. Almendra - Aire De Amor (1970)
       from album 'almendra ii'
13. The United States Of America - Hard Coming Love (1968)
       from album 'the united states of america'
14. The C.A. Quintet - Underground Music (1968)
       from album 'trip thru hell'
15. Tomorrow - Revolution (1968)
       from album 'tomorrow'


Ladies W.C.
Stephen Scott was a young born-in-Venezuela American who lived in Caracas but studied in New England since his parents thought that the education in the US was better. In his breaks from school however, he returned to Caracas. During these breaks, Scott hooked up with several local musicians who were into the new and exciting western Rock of the late Sixties, and together they recorded one of the finest albums to see light in South America. "Ladies W.C." was completed in mere two and a half days and was originally pressed in 500 copies, 300 of them being translucent color vinyl and the rest usual black. All copies were immediately snatched by area fans. $1200 wouldn't be too steep to ask for one of those copies today.
The opening track "People" sets the tone for the rest of the album, being dominated by Casta's fierce Fuzz guitar, one which we will be able to hear even more fiercely in "And Everywhere I See the Shadow of that Life". Wah Wah is also aplenty and Hendrix fans will be getting their groove on with "Searching for a Meeting Place" which keeps a psychedelic atmosphere despite having a slightly heavier sound. "I can't See Straight" is a Garage Rock with great dual guitars Acid solo while "To Walk on Water" and "The Time of Hope is Gone" slow the pace down for some quieter moments with delicate vocal harmonies. The obligatory bluesy tracks, "Heaven's Comin' Up" and the instrumental "W.C. Blues", add harmonica and create psychedelic Blues-Rock not entirely different and definitely on par with what was played in the UK and the northern America. Between tracks the band threw in sound effects like toilet flushing (which obviously is justified here given the name of the band), sea waves, sirens, crying babies, screeching breaks, cars crashing and more. All the songs are sung in English.

Unfortunately for Ladies W.C., Scott had a mistress band located in South Carolina which he played with – Speed Limit 35. He had to choose wether to stay with his Venezuelan compadres in a country which was literally impossible to break out in playing such an underground music, despite having a fantastic album under their belt, or to try his luck with his American band, which at least on paper, had more chance of making it. Scott chose to head up north of the border, thus immediately eliminating Ladies W.C..

There follows an interview with Walter Stephen Scott in the book, here is a small part:
Why did you call the band Ladies W.C.? "We did not know what to call ourselves.  In a restaurant one day, we saw a sign on a door that said "Ladies WC".  As I did not understand what that meant, I was told it meant "Ladies Bathroom". So, it was simple enoungh to name our band "Ladies WC".  It was an odd name, did not represent anything to us; just an odd name; something that "stood out" if you will."

Who wrote the material for the album and how much time did you work on it as a band? "Adib and I got together one day at his home and he showed me some songs he had been working on - just the music - no words yet. Well, he asked me to write the words to the musical ideas he had and the task was done; I was the "poet" behind the lyrics.  There were two exceptions: one had been written by App Wiltsee from Homer and the Dont's days which was "I Can't See Straight" and one was written by me. We presented the music to Mario and Jaime and presto!!"

Did you have much time practicing it? "We really took no time practicing them - we were tight already as a group and the new music was easy for us to learn."

Did you perform a lot? "We performed quite a bit. Understand that the days we played in were very turbulent, what with the psychedelic movement, Vietnam War, Integration and other factors of general rebellion of our generation. I still don't know how we got away with it, but we did "get away with it". Listening to parts of the songs now, we were very fortunate not to be put to silence for the music and lyrics.
What did you think about the Venezuelan rock scene of those days? Was there any?
The times we played in produced quite a few rock bands in Venezuaela actually, be they blues oriented, psychedelic, etc."
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Rodriguez 
An incredibly interesting life story Rodriguez has, or in his full name – Jesus Sixto Diaz Rodriguez. Too bad almost none of it is true… Until today, 40 years after its release, "Cold Fact" is one of the most celebrated albums in South Africa and Rodriguez is one of the most lovable singers there, if not the most lovable singer. Somewhat of a national consensus. Fans and admirers of his work can be traced even in the magical continent of Australia, in its even more magical neighbor New Zealand and even in Zimbabwe, of all places.

In the early Seventies this Rodrigues character, who no one seemed to know where he is or where he came from, issued two magnificent albums and suddenly seemed to have vanished from the face of the earth. This mysterious disappearance supplemented him with a mythical dimension and upgraded him from a talented singer/songwriter to a genius/mad-man status. This evanescence circulated different rumors, among them the obvious premature death by overdose or suicide (one version even claims he had set himself on fire on stage!), not such a groundless act if you take account of his sorrowful songs he wrote. The story I've heard, which was accepted by many, especially in South Africa, was that Rodriguez got fed up with the empty urban life he led till then and fled to the jungles, to lead there a simpler life in total solitude.

For years, each of these speculations were considered to be indisputable truth, depends on who you had asked, until in 1997 a devoted Rodriguez fan from South African Cape Town decided to take upon himself the national mission of finding out what did happen to the man. After pulling many strings and using private detectives Rodriguez was eventually located… (drum roll). The book continues the story…
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Strolling on the dunes right outside of town, the guitar holding Jesus gazing at you from the cover of the album "The Truth" is Donald R. Hooker (D.R. Hooker), one of the most mysterious musicians rural America has ever sprung. Even the first name of the man was still an enigma until recently, but this talented young man's album is definitely one of the most decisive proofs that great albums don't have to come from the big record labels.

"The Truth" was recorded in Dynamic Recording studios in New Haven, Connecticut with the help of session men. Out of two hours of live recorded material, Hooker edited and cut it down to 40 minutes of brain melting Psychedelia. The album, which Hooker dedicated to his mother, was issued in a private pressing in 1972 in limited copies which were mainly designated to be handed to his friends and family.

It's difficult to label his album as Psychedelic in the classic sense of the word but it has unmistakable psychedelic quality to it, perhaps even a bit Progressive one, as Hooker approaches the material with a Lounge-like reverence. The album starts with sounds of waves crashing down and fog horns. Soon enough a furious synthesizer creeps up into the mix, finally bursts into the song "The Sea" – one of the most impressive openings to an album which leads to an amazing song talking about Hooker's longing to the sea and featuring some exceptionally trippy guitar.

While almost nothing was known about D.R. Hooker, it has become to my attention that he unexpectedly had died on January 2009 age 60. In the last 30 years he worked in the information technology industry, most recently at IBM.

While I was too late to interview Mr. Hooker, I was able to locate Carroll Yanni and Bob (Robert) Reardon from the line up who recorded "Armageddon" and interview them. Both shed some light on the band, the music and the man himself – D.R. Hooker. [There follows an extensive interview in Ra’anan’s book.]
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The Plastic Cloud
The Plastic Cloud was formed in Ontario, Canada in 1967. The band tried to bridge between the poppier sounds playing on the radio and the psychedelic sounds, which were just started to be played south of the border. They succeeded doing that beyond all expectations and became one of the most groundbreaking groups in Canada, creating one of the finest and most enjoyable psychedelic albums out at the time.

Musically, "The Plastic Cloud" draws inspiration from almost every psychedelic outfit that existed back then, starting from The Beatles and ending with the San Francisco dwellers. Lyrically, it is a combination of Hippie texts and Tolkien's mythology, which is sung in splendid vocal harmonies. Polished production, a spacy Fuzz guitar that accompanies roughly 90% of the album and courageous use of psychedelic effects turns the listening to a real experience. All the tracks were written by Don Brewer and all are exquisite bar none. "Art's a Happy Man" is the most poppish, while the following 10 minutes long "You Don't Care" provides a relentless Fuzz guitar. "Face Behind the Sun", despite the other tracks being top quality, is still in a whole other level and combines terrific vocal harmonies with super catchy guitar – a huge potential hit retroactively. "Epistle to Paradise", Bridge under the Sky", Civilazation Machine" – all great, all worthy of high praise.

Unfortunately, Canada of 1968 was still not ready for this kind of music, and with the lack of support from the radio and their small record label, The Plastic Cloud had to settle for this one only album and vanished into total obscurity. Their sole album is the crowning glory of Canadian Psychedelia in rarity as well and is worth no less than $1000. American Dollars, not Canadian.
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Cressida 
Cressida represented everything that was great about UK Progressive Rock. Delivering melodic yet elaborated Prog without any risk of being called pompous, it's a wonder these guys didn't get much more recognition. Cullen and Heyworth met up in March 1968 when Heyworth moved to London and played in the same band. That band was short lived and Heyworth moved in with Cullen, where both started writing songs together. In late 1968 they managed to form a band with McCarthy, Clark and a keyboardist named Lol Coker. The band was initially called Charge but soon it was renamed Cressida.

They began recording their eponymous album for Vertigo at the state of the art Wessex Studios in Highbury and started performing at regarded places such as The Speakeasy and The Marquee Club, where at one of their performances they received an initiation to play in a festival in Czechoslovakia, then part of the Soviet Bloc which was mostly closed to the West. That invitation was met with some skepticism, but law and behold, a month later Cressida topped a music festival in Bratislava, with the rest of the bands being from Eastern Europe. They were paid in Czech currency, which was worth close to nothing and they had to spend it all in special stores designated only for foreign visitors!

The band then returned to England and completed recording their debut, which was released on Friday the 13th February 70, a bit overshadowed by two other debut albums Vertigo had issued that day: Rod Stewart's and Black Sabbath's. "Cressida" is a laid back album, somewhat bi-polar (melancholic yet still somehow happy), which borrows from almost every genre available and dominated by the inventive keyboards work of Jennings and the intricate technical drumming by Clark. The unassuming warm vocals by Cullen and the vocal harmonies fit the music perfectly and the guitar is tastefully used. Surprisingly enough, most songs don't obey Prog fashion and clock around only 3-4 concise minutes.
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Gandalf 
This psychedelic band 'Gandalf', from New Jersey, was called The Rahgoos at first and acquired a reputation while performing in local bars and in some regarded bars in New York like the Night Owl Café in Greenwich Village. During one of their shows in New York they got acquainted with song writers Garry Bonner and Alan Gordon, who in turn introduced them to producers from Capitol Records. The producers were impressed with the band and an album contract was signed, in condition that the band would change its name. Initially they changed it to Gandalf and the Wizards based on the members strong affection to Tolkien's The Hobbit, but ultimately shortened it to just Gandalf. Under its new moniker, the band was shortly brought in to Century Sounds studios in New York and recorded the album "Gandalf", but the deal with Capitol fell through and the album was shelved. After a while the band members lost hope that the album will see the light of day and Gandalf folded. The album was finally released in early 1969, more than a year after it was recorded. The reviews were favoring, but with no band to promote it with shows and without proper support from the record company, the album soon sank into oblivion.

Peter Sando elaborates on the reasons behind the album's delay: "Our producers, Koppelman and Rubin, signed our band and planned to release our LP on their newly formed 'Hot Biscuit Disc Company' label which was distributed through Capitol. As we were finishing our recording, their deal with Capitol fell apart. Gandalf was put on hold, and in the interim, the band lost faith and also dissolved. Subsequently, K&R & Capitol agreed that two more LP's would be released on the Capitol label, and Gandalf was one of them. When I got the word that our LP would be released on Capitol, for a moment I had visions of an opportunity, but Gandalf got lost in the maze of new underground artists being released in 1969 and the timing just wasn't right". 'Gandalf' is a lethargic psychedelic album, dreamy yet somewhat dark, which combines Pop elements and Baroque tones, as you would expect from an album recorded at that time. Most of it consists of cover versions and it has only two original tracks which were written by Sando. Both of those tracks are the best of the album, and especially "Can You travel in the dark Alone", which its rare quality simply begs us to wonder why did the band settle for so many covers when they had such a great original material in their hands?

To this exact question Sando replies: "At that time we were mainly a New Jersey bar/cover band, but playing at the Night Owl Café in Greenwich Village really opened up my mind to songwriting. I was always tuned in to the 3 minute song experience, that is, being taken to another time and place in a song, no matter where you are or what you are doing. But working alongside such writers as James Taylor (The Flying Machine), Garry Bonner and Alan Gordon (The Magicians) and all the other great Night Owl bands that played mainly original songs, gave me the confidence to write my own songs. I had dabbled in songwriting before that, but now I wanted to write an album. Unfortunately, our chance at recording came before I had time to dream my dream and I only had two songs ready that I felt were good enough to include on the Gandalf album."
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J. Rider - 'No Longer Anonymous'
A recent interview with Anonymous/J. Rider guitarist Ron Matelic exists here at the Psychedelic Baby webzine. 'J. Rider' was the later-name of a band called Anonymous. Anonymous’s first release is quite simply just as good as any quintessential album by mid-70's bill toppers quality wise, despite still dwelling musically in the latter years of the previous decade. This might be the reason why, much like its name suggests, the band remained anonymous. And then again, maybe there's a bit more than that to the story…
The tale begins with Matelic and Medvescek who played together in a garage band called Sir Winston and the Commons when they were both in Indianapolis Northwest high school. The two continued playing together in several ensembles, one of which, Cock Robin, even recorded a number of songs but unfortunately those were lost. Jim Spencer, Matelic's childhood friend who used to write songs with him in the past, offered him to record an album on his tiny yet incredibly ironic and humorously named label "A Major Label". Matelic asked his friends to help him record the album and they were more than happy to oblige. The group rehearsed the songs for several weeks and then went for a one August 1975 weekend to Milwaukee.

Their first album "Inside the Shadow" sounds like a "Rumours" era Fleetwood Mac is singing on top of music co-written by Jefferson Airplane and The Byrds with an offhand touch of Beatles. Matelic and Rollings' harmonies sound so natural and complete each other wonderfully as if it was in fact one person with two voices, echoing from the deepest layers of the soul.

The group started rehearsing for the possibility of doing some live dates. A new guitarist named Justin Garriot joined the group, which was now going by the moniker J. Rider, named after the song from "Inside the Shadow". The band did perform a few times in their region but had trouble finding a spot where they could play original material, and thus, began to play more and more covers just so they could even get gigs. J. Rider were reduced to a three-piece, its members entered a recording studio to record demos financed by a friend named Norm Welch for the purpose of interesting major record companies. Nothing was done with those demos back then, but they were released in 1996 under the title "No Longer Anonymous", and let me tell you that these demos' quality don't fall much shorter than that of the songs in "Inside the Shadows". These are absolutely mandatory for the fans of Anonymous' album. The recording, despite being only a demo, is much better sounding and professional than that of "Inside the Shadow".
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     Daisy Debolt                              Allan Fraser
Allan Fraser and Daisy Debolt (Fraser & DeBolt) were two Canadian hippies who made Hippie Folk music seasoned with delicate Country. Despite having released their music on the big record company Columbia, their debut album is one of the brightest unknown gems of Rock history.

For their first staggering album they were joined by a violinist named Ian Guenther. All of the material was written by Debolt, but the collaboration of the three is no less than brilliant, whereas we're actually not talking here about a perfectly done collaboration but exactly the opposite. What makes this album so grand is in fact its very humane imperfections, imperfections which cannot be planned ahead or later recreated, but are a one-time display of ravishing humanity: starting from the slightly out of tune violin, through every miss in the going in for a vocal harmony and ending with every grating guitar chord – all of it creates a moving and unique musical performance. This is the perfection within the imperfection. With the exception of one, all the tracks in the album are backed by two acoustic guitars and violin only. The superb even if not perfect vocal harmonies are mainly thanks to the wonderful voice of Debolt, which reaches the highest of high tones and enriches this minimalism in an awe inspiring way.

This is Rock'n'Roll without bass and drums. A year had passed and Fraser and Debolt went to record their sophomore release, which was issued in 1973. As you might have expected, the new album was much more produced: not only that bass and drums were added, but a whole act named Pleasure now backed the duo, featuring keyboards and wind instruments. It was only logical that this would be the direction the couple go to, but the rich minimalism of the previous album was now lost, along with the enchanting songwriting and the accompanying vocal harmonies. This was the end of the duo. Allan Fraser remained in the music business and has worked as a solo artist, with several other people and even composed movie soundtracks. Daisy Debolt went on to a solo career as a Folk singer which stepped out of this book coverage boundaries and continuing even today.
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Morgen 
Once considered by error a solo album of guitarist Steve Morgen, this album, which combines a hard-rockish nihilism with crisp Psychedelia bordering Acid Rock, was indeed written entirely by Morgen but was released in 1969 by a full fledged outfit named Morgen from Long-Island, New-York. The album, which was in fact recorded in 1968 and released only a year later, is full of tremendous psychedelic Fuzz guitar and with strong drumming, and in spite of not being perfect, it constitutes as one of the better examples of the transitional period from the naive experimental Psychedelia to the harder edged Rock, whereas musically it tips slightly in favor of the former.

Lyrically, don't expect mind altering philosophy or flower power preaching, as Morgen prefers to sing about sexual frustration and it seems as if he plays with his guitar pedals to compensate for that frustration. The album's cover, a black and white reproduction of Edvard Munch's "The Shriek", really challenges the colorfulness of the era's album covers. It also came with a poster featuring the lyrics.

Opener "Welcome to the Void" is a fantastic strident psychedelic gem while "Of Dreams" is probably the best track on the album, when for a change Morgen's singing, which for the most part is pretty mediocre, matches his saccharine Fuzz guitar and creates something that resembles the quality of the poppier sides of the British Psychedelia, especially those of early Pink Floyd. The quite lengthy "Beggin' Your Pardon (Miss Joan)" contributes the obligatory bluesy moments every album released at the time had to provide (but still through a completely psychedelic prism) while the excellent "Eternity in Between" and "Love" make it clear that Morgen was a big The Who fan. Some The Doors influence is also detectable from time to time.

"Morgen" was the sole album by the band formed by Morgen and nobody knows what had happened to any of the members after that. All that is left as a testimony to their work is this single album which sells for about $350.
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The young locals of the Mexican city of Guadalajara gladly embraced the Rock music that arrived from England and from northern neighbor USA, and the culture and looks that accompanied it: long hair, sideburns, drugs (hallucinations inducing Peyote cacti were abundantly available at the area) and so on. There were no discotheques or clubs in the city, but the Rock scene was flourishing and the crowd was enjoying bands such as Los Spiders, La Fachada de Piedra, Blue Jeans and more. The Acid Rock outfit in question here stemmed from that scene and named themselves La Revolución de Emiliano Zapata after one of the leading figures in the Mexican revolution which burst in 1910. The band's frontman Gutiérrez even grew a fancy moustache like the one Zapata had. Early on the band performed in small communes in the woods and on the mountains but soon their name spread like wildfire and they gained fame all across Guadalajara.

The band's big break came while participating in a bands talent competition which was broadcasted on TV. The band won by a landslide and representatives from Mexico City record companies came rushing in to sign them, but the members refused the offers claiming they did not want to be told what kind of music to record, as it was usually done under the custody of the regime which was not an Anglo-American culture sympathizer. Eventually, Polydor sent someone who was able to coax them to sign a contract.

Their debut album, which sounds like it was freezed in San Francisco/Los Angeles/London of the late Sixties and then defrosted in the Mexican desert in 1971, was released several months after they signed the contract and is one of the best psychedelic albums to have been recorded in Latin America. The lengthy opener "Nasty Sex" sounds like a dirty version of Creedence Clearwater Revival and also features a Fuzz drenched jam. The single version of the song became the first Mexican song to ever chart on the American Billboard. "Melynda" serves as an exciting salute to the chilly British psychedelic scene, but a stupendous Acid guitar warms it up in the solo. "Si Tu Lo Quieres" ends side 1 with more fantastic Acid guitars and super sleazy bass line.

Five months after their debut hit the shelves the band performed in Avandaro Festival – the Mexican Woodstock. Even though contractually they were unable to perform there, they simply couldn't miss this enormous opportunity. The radio DJ who broadcast the event live, Felix Ruano Mendez, supplied the biggest compliment of them all: "From the moment Zapata took the stage, and the Mescaline started to affect me, I sat there with my jaw dropped and saw some amazing hallucinations. I've never heard such guitars before".
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The Wizards from Kansas
In opposition to the psychedelic music they played which had "California" written all over it, The Wizards from Kansas were indeed from southern Kansas. In 1968 four of this band's members formed a group named New West and started playing in clubs and in parties in the Kansas City area. Robert Manson Crain, a guitarist from California, soon joined the now five-piece that quickly changed their name to Pig Newton & the Wizards from Kansas. This was obviously an inside joke since there was no Pig Newton in the band, but that didn't deter them from coming up with all sorts of stories about him to confuse people. Pig Newton was actually a tounge in cheek reference to two things: the police, as pig was (and still is) a derogatory term for a cop, and Fig Newton was (and again, still is) a trademarked pastry filled with fig paste.

The band were invited to perform in the Fillmore East in the fall of 1969, a performance that entailed a flood of offers from record companies, but the band rejected all of them at first. However, when the year came to an end, Mercury managed to persuade them to sign a contract and also convinced them to lose the "Pig Newton" schtick in fear of getting sued by Nabisco – the maker of the Fig Newtons. And so, in July and August '70 the group ventured to San Francisco to record their only album.

Though from Kansas, but "Toto, I don't think we're in Kansas anymore". "The Wizards from Kansas" is a true psychedelic gem which is quite hard to believe that indeed arrived from a Southern and musically dormant state like Kansas. Delicate features of Hard Rock and Country creeps in almost without noticing to this fine album, which is without a doubt influenced by the San Franciscan scene. Two outstanding covers are here – the folky/psychedelic "High Flying Bird" that opens the album with Crain's divine guitar and "Codine" which makes a great use of vocal harmonies and evolves into a psychedelic jam. Among the originals, "912 ½ Mass" which again practices and excels the free psychedelic jam and the splendid solo in the somewhat Country-like "Freedom Speech" are definite highlights. Other praise worthy moments are "Misty Mountainside" – a dark melancholic Folk which resembles Black Sabbath's brief quieter moments; "Country Dawn", which is spiced with sophisticated guitar and a piano that create here a could-have-been-a-huge-hit and "She Rides with Witches", which despite a standard drum solo manages to rise up to a very high level of quality.

The sorcerers from Kansas had a brilliant album under their belt, much better than a lot of albums by groups who actually breathed San Francisco's Acid soaked air on a regular basis, but one week before "The Wizards from Kansas" was due to be released, Caplan and Menadier suddenly decided that they'd rather play Jazz over Rock and left the band in order to pursue their dream. This was The Wizards from Kansas' end. In the lack of a band that'll support the album, Mercury didn't bother to promote it at all and it sank into oblivion. In order to salvage a copy from there, you'd have to cough up about $200.
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'Almendra II' LP
Almendra was among the most important and famous Rock bands in late Sixties / early Seventies Argentina along with Los Gatos and Manal. Its influence on the South American psychedelic scene was tremendous, maybe only second to that of the legendary Os Mutantes. But in opposition to their Brazilian counterparts, Almendra remained relatively unknown outside of the continent. The band formed in 1968 after the collapse of 3 bands. Almendra's band members had played prior to that in – Los Sbirros, Los Mods and Los Larkins. The key figure in the new group was Luis Alberto Spinetta.

Their big break came after they met Ricardo Kleiman, a producer and radio DJ who played popular music from around the world on his show "Modart en la Noche". It was Kleiman who financed the recording of the first They performed in a festival in Lima, and in the Pinap Festival which was organized by "Beat" magazine, a festival which is considered to be the first Rock festival ever in Argentina. In November 69 Almendra released their wonderful debut album. An interesting story accompanies the album's beautiful cover art painted by Spinetta: It seems that the record company didn't like the painting as an idea for the cover art and a few days after the painting was submitted to them, they claimed that it was lost and instead they would use a group photo for the upcoming album's cover. The band members didn't give up, looked for the painting everywhere and ultimately found it broken in a trash bin outside the record company offices. Spinetta pulled an all-nighter to restore the painting and on the next day took it to the record company. This time, they had no choice but to issue the album with the original cover art intended by the band.

After Almendra dissolved, Spinetta formed Pescado Rabioso and Invisible, two other great and highly regarded bands. Molinari formed Color Humano, it too is whole heartily recommended, while del Güercio and García formed Aquelarre, which is also, how unsurprising, excellent.
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Joseph Byrd, the main man behind this experimental band from California called 'The United States Of America', was born and raised in Tuscon, Arizona. During his highschool years he played in Pop and Country bands, but when he enrolled to the University of Arizona he was already playing in a Jazz ensemble. After graduating he relocated to New York, where he associated with gifted and experimental composers. While there, he worked as a composer, as an assistant composer to Virgil Thompson and as a teacher. During this time his interest in experimental music grew. There is an interview with Joseph here at Psychedelic Baby webzine.

Deeply influenced and excited over what was happening in the west coast, Byrd left New York and took up a teaching assistant position in UCLA, but still found the time to study the history and psychology of music, acoustics and Indian music. Eventually, he left the college and decided to focus on music entirely. In order to record the psychedelic sounds he composed following his experience of 1967's "Summer of Love", he formed The United States of America, which included the talented singer Dorothy Moskowitz (his former girlfriend from New York), the radical political activist Michael Angello and bassist Stu Brotman. However, when the band entered the studios in December 67, Angello and Brotman already left and been replaced with Marron, Forbes and Woodson.

Their only and revolutionary album from 1968 is a showpiece of avant-garde Psychedelia, mostly radical and absolutely brain melting. This was one of the first attempts and most definitely one of the best to combine experimental electronic music with a Rock attitude, whereas the guitar is a less favored instrument here. The beauty of the lyrics is only matched by the sheer beauty of Moskowitz's voice.

Early on, it was designed that the cover will illustrate the US flag dripping with blood, but understandably Columbia decisively vetoed it. Despite the widespread support from music critics, "The United States of America" spent only couple of months in the lower regions of the charts (at its peak it reached the 181st place) and became a collectors item with mint copies fetching as much as $250. The band had difficulties performing the album's intricate songs live and some other problems on the road. In addition, tension was a constant between the band members and Byrd, which was somewhat of a control freak who tried to dictate the other musicians what to do.

In the end, when all the band members except Byrd and Moskowitz got arrested for Marijuana possession during a gig in Orange County, California, the two decided to turn to different places. Each of them popped up a year later in his/her own outfit. Byrd assembled a band called Joe Byrd and the Field Hippies that included 12 members, among them three female singers. This group recorded one album in 1969 which got the thumb down of both critics and consumers. Byrd didn't record music since then until 1975, when he issued a synthesizer solo album. He issued another synthesizer album in 1980 and since then he composed music for movies, television and commercials. Today he runs a hostel in north California and occasionally teaches music in the nearby college. Moskowitz got married and today teaches music to children.

2004 saw the release of a reissue to "The United States of America" that included 10 bonus tracks in addition to the original 10. These extra tracks are preliminary versions to the album's tracks, several tracks that didn't end up in the album and some that Byrd originally wrote for The United States of America, but due to its break up were ultimately used for the Joe Byrd and the Field Hippies' album.
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The C.A. Quintet
The C.A. Quintet started out as an ordinary Garage band with Pop/Soul elements, but changed its style according to the musical zeitgeist. Almost no one outside of Minneapolis, the band's home town, has heard of them when they were operating in the late Sixties. Only in the Eighties, when several bootlegs were made of their sole album "Trip Thru' Hell" (all of them had half of the Stereo mix missing), their name spread like wildfire among Psychedelia fans. Originally, only a little over 500 copies of the album were sold and today a copy fetches over $1500.

"Trip Thru' Hell" is a slice of gloomy Psychedelia, a truly rare bird, teeming with talent and unique like no other. A truly one of a kind album!

When I asked what prompted him to write such a unique album, Ken Erwin, who turned out to be one of the humblest persons I've met, musicians or not, replied: "I’m sure we didn’t set out to write a 'unique album'… we just set out to write a good album. We didn’t really care if the end product will fit in any kind of 'template' or even the music was going to be a 'hit'. We hoped it would sell enough copies to keep us going in the Midwest (Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa, North and South Dakota). I’m not sure where the inspiration came from to head in the direction we headed in the creation process. 

We certainly didn’t attempt to copy anything or emulate anything/anyone else that was popular at the time. Oh, for sure we were influenced by the music that was happening at the time and the musicians... like Jimi Hendrix and so forth, but I think we knew that this was probably our one and only chance to make an album. We probably knew in our hearts that the odds of us 'making it big' were slim, so we figured … 'what the hell, let’s just create the best damn thing we can and move on'. We didn't even consider whether it was unique or no. The only inspiration for me (and I can’t speak for the others) was, and still is, the search for what the heck is going on here".

The recent reissue by Sundazed is the only one authorised by the band and includes the Stereo channels missing from the bootlegs. It also includes 12 bonus tracks to the original seven – almost all them recorded before "Trip Thru' Hell" and although very good, they understandably do not match its quality.
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Tomorrow (1968)
Tomorrow could have been the poster boys of British Psychedelia, the crème de la Acid soaked crème, to share their fame with The Beatles, Syd Barrett's era Pink Floyd and Soft Machine, but somehow they fell through the cracks. Unlike Pink Floyd and Soft Machine who loved to stretch their songs live mostly, the more Pop oriented Tomorrow preferred to keep a short and reserved song structure, closer to The Beatles in arrangement, yet still retained a discernible influence of the rockistic vision of Pink Floyd, which turned the band's sound to particularly trippy. In their live shows however, they did not spare on improvisations.

Howe, West and Wood played together in The in Crowd, and R&B outfit which issued two singles in the mid-Sixties. Twink, or in his real name – John Alder, previously played in The Fairies, another R&B outfit. In 1965 he joined the three others and in 1967, after adopting the Twink moniker, the group changed their name to Tomorrow.

The band began playing regularly on the legendary UFO club and often shared bills with Pink Floyd and Jimi Hendrix, and despite the glittering names who performed there regularly, club owner Joe Boyd later argued that Tomorrow were the best band ever to perform there. In 1967 the band issued two singles, but neither of them managed to break into the market. The record company gave them a complete vote of confidence despite the singles failure and Tomorrow, still full of hope, entered Abbey Road studios to record their full length, exactly at the same time when The Beatles were recording at the very next room "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band".

Their self titled album was released in early 1968 to rave reviews and for a good reason. While the vocals are definitely not its strongest point, the rhythm section is excellent and resembles in quality that of early The Who. The songs vary from very good to simply amazing. Despite the favoring reviews and the massive support they received from legendary DJ John Peel, the album did not fare well. Today, its Stereo version (the American with the colorful writing) is worth about $150 while the British press (the black & white which was Mono) can fetch as much as $800.

Parallell to their work in Tomorrow, each of the band members also had an outside musical affair. West worked with the German composer and producer Mark Wirtz on a "Teenage Opera" which was never completed, but two tracks out of it, "Excerpt from a Teenage Opera (Grocer Jack)" and "Sam", entered the charts (the first one peaked at the second place!). The legend says that Pete Townsend from The Who was so impressed with these tracks that he decided to make a Rock Opera of his own – "Tommy". Years later, West admitted that the whole project was just a publicity stunt though.

Twink later formed The Aquarian Age which was active for a very short time and then joined The Pretty Things for the recording of their stellar Rock Opera "S.F. Sorrow", which too has inspired Townsend. In 1969 he left them behind as well and went on to form the Pink Fairies, which too couldn't keep him interested as he left in 1971. In the in between he recorded a highly recommended psychedelic album titled "Think Pink" with the generous help of Steve "Peregrin" Took and several other musicians from the Deviants. In 1972 he formed a group called Stars with Syd Barrett, but during one show in the Corn Exchange, this after already having performed successfully several times in Cambridge, Barrett left the stage mid-show in a typical hallucinatory confusion. The reviews slew the new band and Syd refused to play again. This was Barrett's last performance ever and the band obviously dissolved. After this fiasco, drugs and alcohol problems plus a marriage in 1974 kept Twink away from the music world until 1977.
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Many Thanks to Ra'anan, and I hope this was a good trip! Rich

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