ROUNDING-UP MY LATEST TURNTABLE SPINS, CD SELECTIONS, FILMS AND OTHER EPHEMERA. LISTEN-IN, IT’S WHAT’S HAPPENING
This week I was contacted by Flower Power bass guitarist Joe Rolison. I’ve exchanged many emails with Joe over the years and in the past kindly answered some of my band-related questions which can be found here.
Joe sent me several unreleased studio Flower Power recordings which were found recently and digitized into WAV files. This music has lay dormant for decades and is unheard outside a small minority of contacts. All of the songs have their distinctive sound, mixing West Coast acid psych with experimental rock concepts.
The male / female vocal interchanges are hypnotic, capturing one’s complete attention. The songs are probing and inventive.
list of unreleased songs:
“Black Dawn”, “Child Of Evil”, “Doctors”, “Freedom”, “Go And Love That Man”, “I Sing The Body Electric”, “Love Is Dead”, “Midnight Dream”, “Midnight In My Country”, “One Eyed Dog” “Send Me My Release” and “You Can Lead A Horse”.
“Black Dawn”, “Child Of Evil” and “Go And Love That Man” are not by the band or written by anyone in the band, my only guess is they’re songs Sandi Craig sang on as for an album, that’s what these numbers are part of that were being pitched to the Astro label distributed by Atlantic. (Joe Rolison)
There is enough material available to put together a Flower Power retrospective compilation. Hopefully in the future one of the many re-issue labels will finally get around and unleash this formidable hippie rock music to a wider audience.
It was Blu-ray time this afternoon and I spent some time with “My Generation”, playing the film in full then re-watching some of the segments. There are many photos and archived film that I’ve never seen before including a clip of a young David Bowie, dressed in his Dandy gear, inside a London Boutique.
Back cover liners:
British film icon Michael Caine produces, narrates and stars in “My Generation”, the vivid and inspiring story of his personal journey through 1960s London. Based on personal accounts and stunning archive footage this feature-length documentary film sees Caine travel back in time to talk to some of the best and biggest icons of the ’60s.
From the worlds of fashion, art, photography and music – celebrating a golden age of creativity.
The film has been painstakingly assembled over the last six years by Caine working with Producers Simon Fuller and Fodhla Cronin O’Reilly, Writer / Producers Dick Clement and Ian La Frenais and Director David Batty to tell the story of the birth of pop culture in London, through the eyes of the young Michael Caine.
“For the first time in history the young working class stood up for ourselves and said, we’re here, this is our society and we’re not going away!”Michael Caine
My Prophets single “Playgirl” housed in a picture cover, is the French release. There is a date stamped on the head of one of the members – 5th February 1969.
The record was a regional hit in some American states and Thee Prophets were successful enough to have an album released, probably as a result of “Playgirl”.
The song is a bright and bouncy affair with orchestration and brass, kind of like The Buckingham’s sound. It looks like the boys were going heavy on the way-out psychedelic shirts. Interestingly the song was also recorded by The Knickerbockers.
On the flip there’s “Patricia Ann”, which has a basic and repetitive beat. It’s a bubblegum bounder with lots of “bah bah bah’s”- and for my particular taste, so much better than the top-side.
Puff were previously called The Rockin’ Ramrods but under the former guise embraced orchestrated pop and slightly psychedelic sounds. I’ve not heard their 1968 album on MGM, I don’t recall it ever being offered for sale on the dealer lists I get every few months.
“Looking In My Window” was not on their album so the 45 is worth tracking down for completists. It followed the album, with a release date of March 1969. The other side “Rainy Day” is a little more experimental with a bouncy rhythm section, not unlike any of those DDDBM&T singles – catchy pop aimed at the charts – but I doubt the hippie heads bought into it.
The commercial pop psych number “Looking In My Window” has been compiled on the Misty Lane LP “Bring Flowers To U.S.”
What a strange record by Purple Avalanche. Released during April 1969, the plug side “Oh-Bah-Um-dee-Dum” is bubblegum with fuzz and good caveman drum beat action. The downside, for me, is the annoying ‘cricket’ sound someone decided to add to the mix.
I suppose bubblegum music was aimed at the kids and they would probably go wild for the ‘cricket’ sound. When I had email exchanges with drummer Ernie Roig a few years ago he said that another version exists which is much more funky and less bubblegum.
The other side “When I Saw Her” is a low-key drum filled pop ballad.