Strange rhythms and fuzztones

THE PURPLE GANG – ’Bring Your Own Self Down’/ ’One Of The Bunch’ (MGM K13607) Oct 1966 

Some groups take their name then base their whole image around that name. Take North Hollywood’s Purple Gang for instance. Someone decided that it would be cool or different or way out for all of the band members to wear purple shirts with puffy sleeves. Bass player Marty Tryon even came up with the concept of wearing a purple glove on one hand for added purpleness. So the image is corny, what of the music?

Both sides on this disc are real growers, the strange rhythms and fuzztones will slowly absorb into your mind. Sadly, The Purple Gang only released two singles before the players drifted off to other projects.  The first to go was rhythm guitarist Mark Landon.

He joined The Music Machine and took the single glove idea with him. Bass player Marty Tryon joined The Lamp Of Childhood and also worked with W.C. Fields Memorial Electric String Band. Alan Wisdom (lead guitar) and Harry Garfield (farfisa) eventually moved on to a later line-up of The Music Machine whilst singer Bob Corff stayed with MGM Records and released a single under the name of The Ark. 


Too bad the drummer (me) never gets mentioned. Although it wasn’t all my fault. The engineer (Bones Howe) wanted to mute my drums to the point where I felt I was beating on tubs full of rice.

I sure wish the band would have held out for a while longer. Everybody jumped ship, just because we didn’t produce a hit single out of the gate. We were up against solid competition, but I think we could have made some headway, had we stuck with it. – Chris Roberts (drummer-Purple Gang) (20/01/14)

originally posted on 12/06/10 – L.A. Sounds #38

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