THE BLUE SPECTRUM – ’Wake Up Girl’/’Love Is Gone’ (G&T GT-101) 1968
Undocumented and unknown garage psych 45 by The Blue Spectrum. I’m at a loss with this one so if anyone knows anything about it get in touch. The label shows an El Monte., California address so I’m presuming this outfit were from the West Coast.
’Wake Up Girl’ is a slow paced fuzztoned psycher with some cool touches of organ. The production by Goodman-Tetreault is excellent on both sides of the disc. ’Love Is Gone’ sounds a more commercial prospect starting as it does with sunshine pop ’bah, bah, bah’s over weaving Ray Manzarek style organ runs. Very cool pop tune.
(Since posting this 45 on 08/09/08 MTM has supplied copyright information confirming that Robert Goodman resided in Compton, CA, Tetreault in El Monte reg. Oct 30, 1968)
Since my Blue Spectrum post I have been contacted by Craig Niece, they keyboard player from the group. Craig shared kindly information about The Blue Spectrum and sent me a rare promo picture of the band.
Craig, thanks for getting in touch. I LOVE The Blue Spectrum 45, it’s a very rare item and cost me about $180 a couple of years ago. I bought it from a records dealer on eBay. He posted a snippet of the songs and I just had to have it as I collect 60s psychedelic singles. I live in England by the way!
01. I’d love to know more about The Blue Spectrum, such as other group members…I know you can’t recall the names, but you never know…your memory might be ’jogged’.
Where was the record recorded? studio etc.
Any more songs recorded but unreleased?
Did the group play any gigs?
I take it you were all still teenagers at the time?
Craig: I was pleased to see that you’ve posted an old record of mine on your website, ”Opulent Conceptions” My band was The Blue Spectrum and the 45 was ”Love Is Gone” and ”Wake Up Girl.”/ ”Love is Gone” was supposed to be the ”A” side.
We were all High School kids from Redlands and Yucaipa, chosen by Goodman and Tetrault from a bunch of other local bands. The vocals and guitars are from a couple of brothers whose names elude me right now. We also had bass, drums and organ; I was the organist. I left California right after the release, which I believe was June 6th, 1968.
It was around then because I remember calling the local station to play it and being told to have some respect because Robert Kennedy had just been assassinated.
What a hoot! I’m so happy you enjoy the recording. It is a rare one. Here’s what I remember (I’m 61 now and that was a long, long time ago). My parents and I had just moved to Southern California during the summer of ’67, The Summer of Love.
We came from Albuquerque, New Mexico and the cultural shift was as strong as if I would’ve travelled to your town. It hit me hard and I was playing in a band (The Chocolate Lightbulb) by autumn. We were popular enough to do school gigs and play at the local university. I was approached after a gig about making records.
Goodman and Tetrault put the band together (or at least asked me aboard) to promote some of their songs. We had hoped to debut at Disneyland! They set-up the recording sessions in West Covina, California. My family moved again, right after the record release, and I had to leave everyone behind. We actually made other recordings but I left before anything went much further.
02. You mentioned The Chocolate Lightbulb. I’m aware of an Uplands, CA group called The Chocolate Lightbulbs. They released a 45, I’ll Forgive You Girl”/”Poor Little Girl” on Lennan Records. The label number was 1263. This is also a rare record and the last last one I know about sold for approx $130. It doesn’t show up that often. I wonder if this outfit were your old group and maybe recorded and released the record after you moved on? I’d be surprised if there were two groups with such a weird name..
Craig: I was only sixteen when my family moved to Arizona and i just didn’t keep up with the folks in California. I had only lived there a year, but what a year: Southern California in 1967 & 1968! So, one of the guys might have kept the ’Lightbulb moniker and I wouldn’t have known about it.
By the way I was playing a Farfisa Combo Compact organ back then, I actually rented it from month to month (it’s funny, my current keyboard can imitate the sound perfectly).
Here’s an original publicity picture. From left to right is the drummer. He was actually kind of famous because his adoptive parents wrote a best-selling book about their multi-racial, adopted family titled, ”The Family That Nobody Wanted.” In the back are two brothers, who were the vocalists and guitarists. The gentleman on the far right played bass. I’m the sullen teenager in the front.
It is so cool that the little 45 found its way across the Atlantic!
update from group member Kevin Culhane on 16th February 2016:
I saw your page on this record. The Blue Spectrum is a band that my brother Dan and I put together when we were teenagers in Yucaipa California. I am the second from the left in the picture and Dan is the third. He played the lead guitar and I played rhythm guitar.
The record was produced by Bob Goodman and Norbert Tetrault. Tetrault has a high background vocal on ”Love Is Gone”. We also recorded another record called ”Better Not Cry.” I have the master. I later went away to Law School; Dan to Med School. We both still play for fun. Dan and I wrote the songs and you can see our names on the record label.
”Better Not Cry” was mastered but never released. My brother and I learned playing Kingston Trio and Brothers Four folk songs as grade schoolers, he played acoustic guitar and I played a tenor banjo. Everything changed with the arrival of the Beatles. So in high school we always had a band, and Craig Niece filled in things from there.
We played a lot of gigs at military bases and colleges, but we were just kids. I was 16, and Dan was 15, when ”Love Is Gone”/”Wake Up Girl” was recorded. That’s just California in the 60s. I think I said in my last email that Dan and I wrote both, but it might have been Bob Goodman. Believe it or not, I actually remember being in the studio when that record was made.
All these years later, I still take lessons every week.