30 August, 2011

23. THE ZODIAC - ARIES - The Fire-Fighter


THE ZODIAC - 'ARIES - The Fire-Fighter' (Elektra EKL 4009) May 1967

'Cosmic Sounds' was a completely original album of  pioneering electronic music by Mort Garson who composed, arranged and conducted all tracks with lyrics by Jacques Wilson. Ex MFQ member Cyrus Faryan provided narration.

Each song focused on the signs of the zodiac with album opener and moog/psych rock cross-over 'Aries - Fire-Fighter' an instant winner. Infact the moog and weird sound effects dominate the whole LP. Of course, this strangeness could only have happened in the late 60s.  

Astrology has become a religious force in our time.
And in this extraordinary album, the ancient signs of the zodiac
are hauntingly evoked in a celestial fusion of poetry, music and electronic effects.
This is the love sound of the future.

THE ZODIAC - ARIES - The Fire-Fighter


Billboard advert May 1967


Billboard July 1967


Billboard June 1967

29 August, 2011

24. M.F.Q. - NIGHT TIME GIRL


M.F.Q. - 'Night Time Girl'/'Lifetime' (Dunhill D-4025) April 1966

This is the second MFQ single in my 2011 Los Angeles select 50. Check out their early release 'If All You Think' at number 32.

'Night Time Girl' is adventurous folk/raga rock with a sound several groups were experimenting with during 1966/67. Here, the MFQ utilize a five string banjo and a Bouzouki to get that authentic eastern feel. The single sold reasonably well and got a mention in Billboard during April 1966 as a regional break out single.

The song was arranged and produced by the in demand Hollywood face Jack Nitzsche.



Dunhill publicity pic 1966


KRLA Beat - November 1965

25. THE BEACH BOYS - Wonderful


THE BEACH BOYS - 'Cabin Essence'/'Wonderful' (Brother Records)

Brian Wilson called 'Smile' his "teenage symphony to God" but the 1967 project was never completed and eventually got shelved as Brian's life and mind became increasingly more frazzled.

However, between dropping acid, playing with his bucket and spade in his sand pit built inside his Los Angeles mansion and stuffing his face with too many snacks between meals, he created some memorable tunes with the help from his friend and lyricist Van Dyke Parks and Hollywood's finest session players.

'Cabin Essence' at 3:30 minutes is a little too long to post so here's the flip 'Wonderful' from the 45 given away with a collectors edition of Mojo magazine last month.

Mojo: You spent time at Brian's house during the Smile sessions. Brian told me he was having fun, and didn't think there was any eccentric behaviour.  

Al Jardine: "It was a very drug induced environment and very alien to me, nauseating and uncomfortable. It was Brian's slippery slope. I wasn't trilled with Brian's excursion into the world of acid."

THE BEACH BOYS - Wonderful



28 August, 2011

26. THINGS TO COME - HELLO


THINGS TO COME - 'Hello'/'Good Day' (Warner Bros 7228) September 1968

The heavy psychedelic rock a la Cream is in evidence on the second and last Things To Come 45 on Warner Bros. Their first outing on this label was the excellent 'Come Alive'/'Dancer' produced by the in demand Dave Hassinger.

'Hello' is a sublime slow burner, written by bass player Bryan Garofalo and notable for some subtle psych guitar leads. Both sides were produced by David Crosby before he put together Crosby, Stills & Nash.
Garofalo went on to become a successful session player in the 70s and played with the likes of Jackson Browne, John Stewart, B.B. King and David Cassidy as well as many more performers.

I did some diggin' on the net and found an online interview with Bryan Garofalo conducted in 1976.
Full interview can be found here

Here's an extract where Bryan talks about his time with Things To Come:

How did you meet up with Russ Kunkel to get into your group I'd never heard of ?

Well, Things To Come, the name came after.  We both lived in Long Beach.  The guy who was playing keyboards in the group I was with said, "I know this drummer.  You've got to hear him. He's really great.  Let's go over and see him."  We went over to Russell's house, an apartment house, and he set up his drums outside and started to play for us.  He blew me away.  Did this crazy solo for about 20 minutes.  

So we just started playing, and we've been together ever since.  It used to be called The Satin Five, we were The Barons, it was nuts.  Then we got this crazy guy named Steve Runolfsson, a very far out person, he came up with the name Evil.  So, for a while, that's what we were called.  Then, when we left Long Beach, we left Steve behind, and the four of us became The Things To Come and reopened The Whisky A Go Go.  At the time we went up in '68 it was all black, soul music. 

Then Elmer Valentine decided to change it back into rock 'n' roll and The Byrds, which at that time still included Chris Hillman and David Crosby, the original band, opened-up the changeover.  We were the opening act for The Byrds, Electric Flag, Traffic, Cream, we were the resident band.
After we moved out, Chicago moved in as resident band.  At that time they were called C.T.A. 

Then there was Hourglass, who went on to be The Allman Brothers, and Duane was there.  All these people staying in these little, shabby apartments and playing at The Whisky.  This dumpy motel down the street.  Bought our black leather pants!  That whole thing was really neat for a while.  We played all our own stuff, all original material, and very hard rock 'n' roll.  Real loud!  Marshall stacks.....we purchased the amplifiers from Cream, actually.  When they left they sold them to a musical service and we picked them up from them.  CREAM printed on the back.  Turn it up to ten and scream.....

Was it through this residency that Warners picked you up?

Let's see, how did we get that deal?  There was a girl at Warner Brothers, Pat Slattery, who was a friend of my wife to be. Pat took some people from Warner Brothers to see us at The Whisky. They said, "Give us a demo tape."  We did that and they said, "That band's great but the songs stink." We said, "Thanks!"  We looked around for material and they gave us this producer, Dave Hassinger, and we cut some things with him and released a single.

Was this your first experience of the studios?

No.  We had been recording all the time we had been in Long Beach.  A good friend of ours, Dale Davis, had set up a studio at a place in Claremont, and we'd go up there, so we basically had some experience in there.  We'd go up and try things, cut some stuff, but it still takes a lot of getting used to.  Then, somehow, the guy that was managing Things To come (whose name remained nothing at the time), he was managing David Crosby and Peter Fonda. 

He picked us up and that's how we got turned on to David.  He listened to our stuff and he really thought some of it was good, so he said he would like to produce a couple of things on us.  Warner Brothers was definitely into that, so we did a couple of cuts with David.  The problems started with Stephen Stills.  David was going to produce an album of us, then he got hung up with Stephen, and then they put together the Crosby, Stills and Nash thing.  It has worked out for the best.  Russell still works with David, and I still see him, but we never did do an album.  

We just did four songs for them. I wrote one of them called, 'Hello', Russell wrote another one called 'Come Alive', the other two were obscure pickup tunes that we had done to appease the publishing people at Warner's.

Could you listen to them now?

Sure, oh yeah, it doesn't bother me.  It's terrible, disgusting, but it brings back great memories for me, all that stuff.  I've still got all those demo tapes at my house, and every once in a while I get out of it and go and listen to these things and think, 'Oh, my God, listen to that stuff, would you believe it?'  Great times.  It's like listening to John's records, you know.  They're wonderful. His songs are wonderful.  We did these four or five days up at Lake Tahoe.  Henry Diltz played banjo and harmonica, Russell played drums while I played bass and John played guitar.  We'd go skiing all day, drink red wine and get totally shit faced, ski back down again, come back in and play in this lodge just for room and board.  God, it was awful.  Get sick, go home with no money, bad cold.....''We had a great time, dear!"

Eventually, your group ran its course.....

Yeah, it really did, it couldn't go anywhere but into debt.  We didn't have any management.  I don't think it was ever really meant to be.  There were so many outside influences on the whole thing that it had to stop.  Russell and I both got married, and we really wanted to play, do other things, so we.....I shouldn't say "we". 

It was independent of each other, but it happened that we both split to get out there to see if we really could do it on our own.  We started cutting demos for 15 dollars a song, that kind of stuff. People liked the way we played and that's all it takes.  If you can get heard, you can get the chance, and if you can do it, then you've got half a chance.

THINGS TO COME - Hello

25 August, 2011

27. THE GIANT SUNFLOWER - FEBRUARY SUNSHINE - an update from group member Margo Phillips


THE GIANT SUNFLOWER - "February Sunshine" / "More Sunshine" (Take 6 -1000) May 1967

One of the most intriguing releases of 1967 was 'February Sunshine' by The Giant Sunflower. This folk rock song was written by Pat Vegas and Val Garay, two musicians based in Hollywood. The hot new sound in Los Angeles at this time was pleasant laid back sunshine rock with the groups often fronted by a good lookin' flower chick with long hair and love beads.

'February Sunshine' has that pure L.A. sunshine sound and is just perfect '67 fodder for the radio. The song was recorded by studio musicians and released on Take 6 Inc with the non-existent group name of The Giant Sunflower.

The recording was quickly snapped up by Lou Adler's Ode label who got the song re-recorded. Out of interest The Rose Garden also recorded 'February Sunshine' at Gold Star Studios, Hollywood and their version can be found on their album.

The new recording of 'February Sunshine' was then released on Ode in USA. Lou Adler had a deal with Columbia Records to distribute his Ode product in other countries around the world.

John Noreen from The Blokes/The Rose Garden confirms that Charlie Greene and Brian Stone, who were managing Sonny & Cher, became involved with his group and got them the deal to act as The Giant Sunflower for promotional purposes and the odd gig because the record was receiving lots of airplay and Ode needed a group to go with the record.

*** to add to a confusing and somewhat conflicting story, Patti Phillips aka Margo left a message on the old G45 Central site stating that she was a member of the original Giant Sunflower along with Val Garay, Terry Clements, Eddie Hoh and Rick Dey. The latter was previously a member of The Wilde Knights and wrote 'Just Like Me' which was recorded by Paul Revere and the Raiders who had a huge hit with it.

During the month of July 2015 I was in contact with Margo Phillips via email who kindly sent me information about The Giant Sunflower as well as some clippings published in a teen magazine during 1967.

Margo:
The Giant  Sunflower was a real band and we  performed live. Val Garay (who co-wrote February  Sunshine  with Pat Vega) put the  band  together. Val (rhythm  guitar, vocals), Terry  Clements  (lead guitar, vocals) me (vocals), Eddie Hoh (drums) & Ric  Dey (bass).

Eddie  was also the drummer for  The  Mamas  &  Papas  at the  same  time. I think  that's  how  we ended  up  at  Lou Adler ' s house to audition. Lou was sitting  on  his  couch with two of The  Mamas  &  Papas--Denny & Cass. Val, Terry  and I  sat on the  floor  and sang a song or two. Lou decided to  produce  us and signed  the band (all five of us) to his  new label, Ode Records, part of the Columbia  Records conglomerate.

We performed often at The Whisky (a Go Go) on the Sunset  Strip  in Hollywood. Lou was co-owner of  the  club (with  Elmer  Valentine) so he booked  us there  as the opening  act for Van Morrison & Them, Eric  Burden & The  Animals, Steppenwolf.

We also did a concert  with  The  Buffalo  Springfield. We were  the opening  act, followed  by  The Moby Grape  and then The Springfield.


concert poster for Buffalo Springfield (featuring Neil Young and Stephen Stills) appearing with the Soul Survivors (Expressway to Your Heart), People and Giant Sunflower at the San Jose (CA) Civic Auditorium on 29th December 1967. 

We performed at some sort of festival  on the Santa  Monica  Pier with The Turtles, Jose  Feliciano, The Leaves or The Grass Roots and The Association (I  think they were there)  and other bands I  don't recall (Val would know).  So don't quote me on that line-up!

Anyway, all this to say, no, we were NOT a studio band.

I  think  I may know  how  that was misconstrued. Lou Adler DID use the hottest studio musicians on both our singles--February  Sunshine  and What's  So  Good  About  Goodbye .  They were known  as  part of the "A-List" called  The  Wrecking  Crew.  We (The Giant Sunflower) were in the studio for all the sessions but Lou only let Terry Clements play with these guys. Val, Terry  and  I  did ALL the vocals.

Your  blog got it right about  the  lawsuit. It killed our first single, February Sunshine--which was on it's  way  up the charts. Our second single, What's  So  Good  About  Goodbye, didn't  have the  same promotional "steam" behind  it. My guess is that I think Columbia lost  its  enthusiasm  about our band after the million dollar  lawsuit. They  didn't  need the legal problems  from a brand-new  group that hadn't  made them any big money yet.  Again, Val Garay may have  more  info  on this.

So, that should  set some  of  the  story  straight. I can go into the band break up.

As for how The Rose Garden took over our band's name and went out performing February  Sunshine-- I have no idea. I joined a Buddhist group (cult?) during that time and disappeared  from the music scene. (I did get "accidentally" signed to  Warner Bros. in 1980s as a solo artist under my married  name, Patti  Fisher. That single was also destined to be a hit but also killed  by dirty music biz politics. Obviously, it was not  my fate to be famous  and ironically, I never wanted to  be. But music is in my blood and in my soul and I was blessed with many experiences with  some most  excellent  musicians.


You can check out a few tunes I wrote & produced (or co-wrote & produced) from the  90s. And a Tracy Chapman  cover in 2009. On YouTube under Margo  Silver  Phillips. I know, I  have lots of names...

Anyway, I hope you  enjoyed the music trivia!

Best regards,

Margo  




"February Sunshine" can be found on 'Highs In The Mid Sixties - Volume 3' - a vinyl comp of 60s recordings from Los Angeles released in the early 80s. 
  
the Giant Sunflower at number #10
 
including members of The Giant Sunflower, Buffalo Springfield, Merry Go Round, Hearts And Flowers,
 
rare Italian CBS release of "February Sunshine" in unique picture sleeve
left to right, standing--Eddie Hoh, Patti Phillips (Aka Margo), Terry  Clements, Rick  Dey. Sitting -- Val Garay.






Canadian release on Columbia Records 




During May 1967, Billboard printed three articles about the conflicting interest between the labels Take 6 and Ode Records which make for fascinating reading.








THE GIANT SUNFLOWER - 'What's So Good About Goodbye'/'Mark Twain' (Ode ZS7-104) October 1967

A follow up 45 by The Giant Sunflower was released some months later in October 1967 and again the record perfectly demonstrated the flower power, sunshine pop moves that Los Angeles was increasingly becoming known for. The record got a mention in Billboard but despite the groovy sound appears to have had little or no impact on the charts.


   

21 August, 2011

28. THE RIPTIDES - Last Wave Of The Day


THE RIPTIDES - 'Last Wave Of The Day' (Tower DT-5083) 1967

During last years countdown of the Los Angeles music scene 1965-69 I included 'Vietnam' by Bobby Jameson from the Mondo Hollyood film soundtrack but I wanted to feature an obscure surf cut by The Riptides from this LP for my 2011 select fifty.

The Riptides were a group of teenagers from Burbank. The following information is from Riptides keyboard player Bob Bennett.

"The Riptides were first formed from a band that was initially called The Mai Tai Five It was composed of Bob Bennett, Phil Kasper, Ron Record,  Tommy Howell, and Tom Rockriver.  The basic musical content was surf music (note that most early surf music used saxophones-hence Tom Rockriver) and local garage band music.  

THE RIPTIDES - Last Wave Of The Day


We played some junior high dances at Jordan and elsewhere.  But when we discovered that we could sing, and the Beach Boys were becoming popular we formed The Riptides after Rockriver left the band for a different type of music.  Bob Bennett on piano/keyboards, Phil Kasper on Fender Jazzmaster guitar, Ron Record on Gibson ES 335 guitar, and Tommy Howell on a Ludwig kit.  When we ran into a kid named Steve Schoen, who played bass, we were introduced to his mother who was a Hollywood type who had just written a song for a Christmas Supremes album.  
She heard us and liked us.  She said that she knew a guy who was just beginning to make it in the L.A music scene.  He had just written two songs for Honda-"You Meet The Nicest People On A Honda" and "The Worlds Biggest Seller Is A Sporty Little Street Machine".  His name was Mike Curb.
 
Steve's mother set up a meeting at her house and Phil and I played some songs that I had written and recorded on Ron's Sony Reel to Reel.  Curb liked what he heard and thus began  a new direction for The Riptides.  Curb wanted us to record a Beach Boy song because he had produced the hit song "Little Honda" by The Hondells on Mercury.  

So he gave us a demo of one of the future Three Dog Night singers, Danny Hutton.  It was from an album by The Beach Boys and the song was "Farmers Daughter", written by Brian Wilson.   We had a recording date set up and we practiced the song 897 times.  When we went to the studio it was the studio that had recorded all of the Steppenwolf  and Three Dog Night albums and hits.  It was recorded in four track.  The guitar solo in the middle of the song was performed by Richie Podolor who was also the engineer.  He was married to Pricilla Paris at the time and did the solo on a Rickenbacker 12 string.  Absolutely fantastic, probably the best recorded song was our first.  Perfect, but nothing happened. 

Next song was "I Couldn't Love You Again" written by Curb writer and friend Harley Hatcher.  Hatcher's name appears on a lot of the songs in street gang movies that were popular at the time.  Our next effort was our only single released on Curb's Sidewalk label. "Sally Ann" which was a "Barbara Ann" knock off  written by Curb.  The B side was called "April" and was written by Curb writer friend Ron Abeyta.  It was also recorded in four track and included a dubbed in horn section.  The single bombed but it did make the John Burroughs Cafeteria juke box.  

We recorded a song for the movie called Mondo Hollywood called The Last Wave Of The Day.  It was written by Curb and it was a great song.  The album was released on Tower, a Capital subsidiary.

After the bass player moved on to a low-rider band there was no bass in the song and it suffered as a result.  We also had some background parts for that movie which included the sidewalk surfing/skateboarding scenes.  The movie was terrible and very controversial at the time.  Curb's reputation suffered but not enough to stop him from eventually becoming California Lieutenant Governor. 
 
Next we did two songs for the movie The Golden Breed.  Curb had the backing tracks already done but he had Phil Kasper record a song called "The Golden Breed" and  Bob Bennett recorded a song called "Hey Girl, What Turns You On".  The album was released in stereo on Capital.  That was our last involvement with Mike Curb. 
 
The Riptides would eventually break up, Ron Record got married at age 17, Phil and Bob went on to college and Tommy Howell went off into the sunset.  Great times, fun stuff.  Some of it still available on DVD." 


20 August, 2011

29. THE VENTURES - Ginza Lights


THE VENTURES - 'Ginza Lights' (Liberty LBY 1323) June 1966

According to the liners on the back of The Ventures LP 'Go With The Ventures', they're described as the world's number one instrumental group. I'm not gonna argue with that, I don't know enough about instumental groups to have an opinion.

This 1966 album has it's moments and I especially like The Ventures original 'Ginza Lights' which sounds like a surfedelic spy theme tune played on those Mosrite guitars The Ventures were famous for.
One look at the credits on the back cover confirms that Bruce Botnick performed engineering duties. He was of course The Doors and Love's engineer. He also co-produced 'Forever Changes' with Arthur Lee.

THE VENTURES - Ginza Lights

18 August, 2011

30. THE KALEIDOSCOPE - Keep Your Mind Open


KALEIDOSCOPE - 'Keep Your Mind Open' (Epic BN 26304) June 1967

The Kaleidoscope were one of the most enigmatic and mysterious groups from Los Angeles whose music came across like a gypsy ensemble on acid. They utilized exotic instruments like saz bouzoukee, dobro, dulcimer, caz, oud and layered the Persian sound with keyboards, 12 string guitars, banjos and fiddles.

When I bought my first Kaleidoscope album in the mid 80s (the Edsel collection called 'Bacon From Mars') I must admit I was perplexed and just didn't understand where Kaleidoscope were at apart from some instant psychedelic jewels like 'Pulsating Dream' and 'Keep Your Mind Open'.

'Keep Your Mind Open' is from their debut album 'Side Trips' and is one of their most instant songs with it's laid back trippy sound and lysergic production. The song was written by bass player Christopher Darrow who also wrote the previously mentioned and classic acid/folk rocker 'Pulsating Dream'.

Although 'Side Trips' was released in June 1967, the songs were recorded much earlier at Columbia Square, Los Angeles during November and December 1966.

THE KALEIDOSCOPE - Keep Your Mind Open





16 August, 2011

31. JAN & DEAN - Folk City


JAN & DEAN - 'A Beginning From An End'/'Folk City' (Liberty F-55849) December 1965


Jan & Dean were a successful duo from Los Angeles who recorded the surf hit 'Surf City' in 1963, a brilliant song about a mythical place in Southern California full of beautiful girls, hot rods and rock 'n' roll groups. By 1965 the kids on the Strip had moved on and the 'in' sound was edgy protest/folk rock and Brit Invasion sounds. Jan & Dean's response was 'A Beginning From An End' which flopped, not even entering the Billboard Top 100.

The obscure and never mentioned flip 'Folk City' is an apt entry into my Los Angeles select 50. The song is a re-write of 'Surf City' with different lyrics, more akin with the musical shift in L.A from surf to folk rock. This would have made a much better A-side.

"I got a Hohner harmonica and a Vox 12 string,
Folk City here we come.
You know there's lots of protest songs that I want to sing,
Folk City here we come."

Both songs were included on the 1966 Jan & Dean LP 'Folk 'n Roll'

JAN & DEAN - Folk City


14 August, 2011

32. M.F.Q. - IF ALL I THINK


M.F.Q. - 'If All You Think'/'The Love Of A Clown' (Warner Brothers 5481) November 1964

The Modern Folk Quartet were a group of pre Beatlemania folkies that formed in Honolulu but relocated to Los Angeles sometime in early 1963. Their popularity rose among the folk crowd and two albums followed on Warner Bros (I've not heard these). By late '64 they were simply called M.F.Q. and had a more electric folk sound.

The sublime 'If All You Think' sounds like a proto-type Association with some great harmonies and an arrangement from Don Ralke that I consider to be ahead of it's time. Songwriter Jerry Yester was a well known face in Hollywood during this time and would later join The Lovin' Spoonful when M.F.Q. disbanded in 1966.


11 August, 2011

33. THE MAMAS & the PAPAS - Strange Young Girls


THE MAMAS & the PAPAS - 'Strange Young Girls' (RCA Victor RD-7834) September 1966

The Mamas & the Papas were the commercial face of the Los Angeles male/female vocal outfits and popularized the harmony folk rock and sunshine pop sounds from that region. Their popularity has probably meant that many underground 60s aficionado's have snobbishly overlooked their greatness because songs like 'Monday Monday' and 'California Dreamin' are probably fixtures on Oldies Radio (I'm guessing this is so because I've never listened to the radio since the mid 80s)

Take the sublime psychedelic folk of 'Strange Young Girls' for instance. It's a brilliant observation of the sights, sounds and LSD on the Sunset Strip in 1966 and it would surely garner plaudits had it been recorded by more hip male/female vocal groups....too many to mention but you'll all know where it's at.

Check out these lyrics:

"Walking the strip
Sweet, soft and placid
Offering their youth
On the altar of acid."

"Colors surround them
Bejeweling their hair;
Visions astound them,
Demanding their share."

'Strange Young Girls' can be found on The Mamas & the Papas second studio album recorded during the Summer of  '66. Instrumentation was provided by Hollywood's elite session musicians. Hal Blaine (drums), Larry Knechtel (organ) and Joe Osborne (bass).

MAMAS and the PAPAS - Strange Young Girls


picture taken from the John Phillips appreciation Facebook page





07 August, 2011

34. THE ARROWS - Apache '65


THE ARROWS - Apache '65'/'Blue Guitar' (Sidewalk Records 1) February 1965

The first record released on Mike Curb's Sidewalk label, outta Hollywood, was this hard to find 45 by The Arrows. It eventually got a release on (Tower 116) and became a Top 100 Billboard hit.

On this disc Davie Allan hasn't yet discovered the fuzz, instead he fires up his surf guitar to great effect. It's an uptempo and loose version of 'Apache' which was a number 1 hit for The Shadows in England during the Summer of 1960.

THE ARROWS - Apache '65

06 August, 2011

35. THE ROSE GARDEN - FLOWER TOWN


THE ROSE GARDEN - 'Next Plane To London'/'Flower Town' (Atco 45-6510) August 1967

The Rose Garden were originally called The Blokes, a young group of Byrds obsessives going nowhere in the crowded Los Angeles music scene. Some time in late 1966 a young girl singer called Diane DeRose joined their ranks and a name change to a more 'in' name occurred.

The sunshine pop of 'Next Plane To London' proved to be their only hit record, reaching the Top 20 on Billboard at the tail end of 1967. It's a song notable for the 'airport voice' instead of a guitar solo. The gimmick obviously worked although I'm not a great fan of the song. Far superior is the flip 'Flower Town' recorded at the famous Gold Star Studios in Hollywood.

'Flower Town' is a rewrite of 'Portland Town', a traditional folk song, given to them by Kim Fowley after a chance meeting in his Los Angeles office. He managed and produced The Belfast Gypsies who recorded 'Portland Town' so he knew the song well. My guess is that 'Flower Town' is probably Los Angeles.

Further reading can be found here 

Line-up:
John Noreen (lead guitar)
Jim Groshong (guitar)
Bruce Bowdin (drums)
Bill Fleming (bass)
Diane DeRose (vocals)

THE ROSE GARDEN - Flower Town












05 August, 2011

36. THE SHINDOGS - YES, I'M GOING HOME



THE SHINDOGS - "Who Do You Think You Are" / "Yes, I'm Going Home" (Viva V.601) June 1966

I don't think I could have a Los Angeles teenage rock exposé without including The Shindogs, who were the 'house band' on TV Show Shindig!. They had an ever changing line-up but when Shindig! was cancelled during January 1966, The Shindogs settled on a regular line-up and released some singles that were commercial failures although this 45 did break into the lower reaches of the Billboard Top 100.

'Who Do You Think You Are' had the potential to be a real sunset strip garage swinger but the vocal arrangement, for me, really subdues the power and the song just fizzles out. Far superior is the 60s pop 'Yes, I'm Going Home' on the flip.

James Burton (lead guitar) and Glen D. Hardin (organ) eventually went on to become part of Elvis Presley's backing band   


Billboard advert - June 1966





image provided by Greg Prevost



04 August, 2011

PROOF OF THE PUDDIN' - FLYING HIGH



PROOF OF THE PUDDIN' - Flying High'/'Color Wheel' (RCA Victor 47-9332) September 1967

I've had an obscure psych 45 by Proof Of The Puddin' for some time and it's recently stirred up some interest when I compiled both sides on a couple of freebie comps. Keith Bickerton liked the 45 so much he did some research on the group and here are his findings.

The group came from Columbus, Indiana, but had moved to Boston when they signed with RCA Victor and they were still known as The Shakers then. They released their lone 45 in September 1967, and the A side "Flying High" was written by Harry Palmer who would later lead the group Ford Theatre (he wrote most of their material including their most well known song "Jefferson Airplane").

"Color Wheel" was written by George Goehring who plays the harpsichord, the group did not play on this side, but just provided the vocals. The group did record other self written material, but the tapes have been lost.
Harry Palmer was not a member of the group, just a friend, and the line up was: Ross Hubler lead guitar / Dave Groves bass / Tirk Wilder guitar / Mike Moody drums / Ken Rider guitar. All members sang and it was Mike Moody on lead vocals on "Flying High".

I do not think that anyone in the group made any more records, Ross Hubler passed away recently.
I recently received news that Ken Ridler died 22/09/15.