GRASSFIRE – AN INTERVIEW WITH ED GALLAGHER

“Smell Of Incense”

GRASSFIRE – ’Smell Of Incense’ / ’Aunt Morley’s Wheatcakes’ (Steamboat) 1969

I don’t know anything about Grassfire that I can say with accuracy. The buyer who sold me this 45 said that they were from Minnesota. However, the u-spaces group compiled ’Aunt Morley’s Wheatcakes’ on Psychedelic Arch Volume 7 and they claimed that the disc had a 1970 release and that Grassfire were from Superior, Wisconsin.

Hmmn, so if anyone out there knows for sure get in touch.

’Smell Of Incense’ is an even slower take than the original by West Coast Pop Art Experimental Band and less bombastic than the Southwest F.O.B. cover. I dig the cool guitar sound that Grassfire have laid down giving the song an acid psych touch.

The other side ’Aunt Morley’s Wheatcakes’ is rather a silly song title for an excellent psychedelic rocker. The song title conjures up some kind of twee pop psycher but it’s not. This side really rocks out in a late sixties kinda way. Cool stuff all round.

Updates:

Since I wrote my record review I have been in contact with Grassfire drummer Ed Gallagher. I sent Ed a load of questions but he never got back to me, he did however, send me this promo photograph of the group.

Many good questions and it’s going to take me a while to answer all of them, so please be patient.  I will contact the rest of them to make sure I get the picture correct from you.  It definitely was a surprise to see the record on the internet after 40+ years and especially hitting England.  We have all been bussing about it and thank you for that. 

We had a reunion 3 years ago, it was a great band at the time.  Our name to fame was our song selector Bob Peterson who was a music collector in the 60’s.    He would go to radio stations and pick up albums the DJ’s didn’t want, such as Hendricks, Led Zepplin, Cream, Deep Purple and he would talk us into learning them.  When those bands finally became big in the Twin Ports (Superior/Duluth area) we were instant stars because were playing their music live months prior to them being played on the radio. 

Needless to say, we were hot and we  were the only band in the area that had full time rodies who were ex-musicians who would set-up, tune and tear down and haul are equipment.  It was truly a fun group.  I will get back to you once I compiled the information unless you want a little at a time. 

The band consisted of:

Bill Forseth – lead guitar
Roger Lynn – Bass
Gary Lynn – Keyboards
Jerry Edwards – Vocal
Ed Gallagher – Drums.

One last note “Aunt Morley’s Wheatcakes” was the original A-Side and Smell of Incense was our B-side.  We decided to put each members name on the record, therefore, all five of us is mentioned.  Dave Zimmerman came along and mixed the record for us and we all felt he didn’t do the song justice,  But that’s another story in itself.  Thanks for your interest. Ed

He is my father, Jerry Vernon Edwards. He and his band mates grew up in Duluth, MN and Superior,

Hello all – Bill Forseth here. I wrote the music for Grassfire originals, and Jerry wrote the words. Wheatcakes was recorded in a one-day session, and when it was over we were given a thousand copies of the 45. If anyone has an original, I’d say it’s rare indeed. Except for a 5 year hiatus I played in bands from the mid-60’s up until the late 80’s, when I gave it up and went back to school. Even continued to play when, like many, I sobered up. Bill

9 thoughts on “GRASSFIRE – AN INTERVIEW WITH ED GALLAGHER

  1. Interesting version, but I kept wanting it to speed up. Sounds like what would happen if Vanilla Fudge decided to cover a song that was already slow and intense!

  2. I was contacted by friend who found this 45 on the internet. I was the leader, organizer and drummer to the group. If anyone has any questions regarding this 45and our video (we are the aother people) I would be very happy to share all information with them. My name is Ed Gallagher and I'm on the A side called Aunt Morleys Wheatcakes. We made sure everyone in the band had their name on the 45. Smell of Incense was our flip side. Believe it or not, they worth more today then they were back then. The band consisted of Bill Forseth-lead guitar, Roger Lynn- Bass, Gary Lynn – Keyboards, Jerry Edwards – Vocal and Ed Gallagher – Drums.

  3. Hello EdThanks for dropping by. I'd like to ask you several questions about Grassfire.If you're up for it email me at colinlsd1967@msn.com and I'll send you a list of questions.I'll update this blog entry about grassfire accordingly.thanksEXPO67

  4. I know who one of the band members is. He is my father, Jerry Vernon Edwards. He and his bandmates grew up in Duluth, MN and Superior, WI. As far as I know all 4 of the bandmembers are still alive–but don't quote me on that. If you would like more info on my dad or the band go ahead and email me atjj83077@yahoo.comJessica O'Shea

  5. Hello all – Bill Forseth here. I wrote the music for Grassfire originals, and Jerry wrote the words. Wheatcakes was recorded in a one-day session, and when it was over we were given a thousand copies of the 45. If anyone has an original, I'd say it's rare indeed. Except for a 5 year hiatus I played in bands from the mid-60's up until the late 80's, when I gave it up and went back to school. Even continued to play when, like many, I sobered up. ED – you still drumming? You actually weren't too bad of a drummer when we could get you to stop screwing around. JESSICA – tell your dad I said Hi, and I hope he's doing well. If anyone would like to e-mail me directly I can be gotten at bforseth_100@yahoo.com

  6. I saw Ed in a band last year, here in Superior, WIPretty good band and a nice crown. Ed was the bestmusician there but that was no surprise. Ed was theonly one who loved playing music .. the rest were just waiting to get paid. He is in good shape and looking for a band now who really care for music.John Harris 58Th Street Studioby the way.. Hello Bill, haven't seen you since we toured together .. Your band was Gusto Flash. And oh .. I still want my Valium back ! LOL 🙂

  7. I believe Ed Gallagher was also on that same tour. His band was called Trinity Freak. I was the MC and Solo entertainment during the break between bands. This was maybe 1980 or before. I am waiting for Ed to email back.John Harris 58Th Street Studio Superior,Wi

  8. I saw Grassfire play at UWS(Superior) in about 1969 & was completely impressed (OK -I was 13 yrs old) & went to Nicholson's Music & signed up for guitar lessons & yauzah! Billy Forsythe was my teacher, what a very very good player, taught music theory, chords & melody, etc., no hacker here, an excellant musician. Hey Bill, from Brad Davis.

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