In April 2008, Paddy and I went on our second USA road trip. After visiting Santa Fe, Las Vegas (NM), Durango (CO), Monument Valley and Flagstaff, we ended up staying in Culver City, Los Angeles for a few days. One day we took a five mile bus journey to Venice Beach. After exploring the two and a half mile promenade and dipping our feet in the Pacific Ocean, we retired to a coffee shop for a well earned lunch. We were told by a friendly customer that Los Angeles was the only city in the world that actually consisted of a number of different towns. Being polite Englishmen, we concurred although we later agreed that probably every city in the world is exactly like that. As we left the café, we searched for the bus stop for the journey to our next stop: Hollywood, which was 15 miles away. We walked up a couple of residential streets but couldn’t locate it. We saw an African-American guy, leaning on a fire hydrant, eating a pastry. This next part of the story doesn’t reflect well on me. I hurried past him but Paddy stopped and asked him the way. The guy could not have been more helpful, escorting us to a bus stop a quarter of a mile away. The truth is that I was apprehensive. Whether my excuse was that I had watched too many American cop shows or that I was born in a white area of North London in the 1950s, my inbuilt prejudice surfaced at that moment and, on reflection, I was, and I still am, ashamed.
In April, 2014, Pete and I drove from Las Vegas (NV) to Los Angeles. We intended to find a baseball match to see and were pleased to see that the Los Angeles Angels were playing Oakland Athletic. We tried to find a hotel near the stadium and eventually found a room at a Comfort Inn which was one and a half miles from the Angels stadium and the same distance from the Disney California Adventure Park. We walked to the stadium in the evening and saw a brilliant match in which a crowd of 34 000 saw Oakland Athletic win 10-9. The score was 9-9 after nine innings but baseball doesn’t do draws so the game carried on into the 11th innings. After the game, Pete, who has always supported Oakland Athletic, wanted to celebrate with a coffee at a nearby Denny’s. I was reluctant because it was now 11:30 pm and quite cold (we had been given blankets on the way in) but I acquiesced. On the walk home, along the wide West Katella Avenue, I was expecting my life was about to end, as I just assumed that Pete and I would be victims of a drive-by shooting. As it happened, that didn’t happen and we got back to our hotel by 12:30. Once again, I imagined that Los Angeles was a dangerous place and we would be lucky to get out alive.
According to the FBI, Los Angeles is now the 5th safest city in the USA, with 35 million visitors each year. The latest tourist advice is to avoid Skid Row, with 20 000 homeless people (can that be correct? Blimey!). Other places to avoid are Culver City and Venice Beach. Oh.
As this box set demonstrates, some of the best Sixties music emanated from Los Angeles. In 1965, some great folk-rock and garage punk music was created and within a few years, the city was home to the best sunshine pop and psychedelic rock, which came roaring out of nowhere. The Monkees, The Mamas and Papas, Love, Sonny & Cher, The Mothers Of Invention, Captain Beefheart, Tim Buckley, The Beach Boys, Spirit, The Byrds, The Association, Buffalo Springfield, Steppenwolf. That’s a pretty amazing list and they are all represented on this fantastic 3-disc, 90-track box set. Equally impressive are songs by more obscure bands like The Misunderstood, West Coast Pop Art Experimental Band, Kaleidoscope and Merrell Fankhauser & H.M.S. Bounty. These are all heroes. The villains of late Sixties Los Angeles are probably best exemplified by Charles Manson, who formed a friendship with Dennis Wilson of The Beach Boys and The Byrd’s producer, Terry Melcher. Another member of the cult leader’s “family” was Bobby Beausoleil, who had, at one time, been a member of Love.
“I’ve been in this town so long that back in the city, I’ve been taken for lost and gone and unknown for a long long time.”
A BBC reporter gave this account of a “Love-In” at Griffith Park in 1967. “In Griffith Park Los Angeles, hippie tribes gather 20,000 strong for a Love-in. The new waves come bearing beads and blossoms and bells, looking for a new experience and new magic, wandering the woods like children of the children’s crusade, leaving only a trace of gentleness in their wake. For the Love Generation, it’s just the beginning. Their numbers grow, their philosophies spread. If you can stand, or understand, this flowering segment of the younger generation, there’s little point in getting cross and calling it names. There’s no point at all in just wishing it would go away. You will go away first.” Or, to put it another way, “Your old road is rapidly aging. Please get out of the new one if you can’t lend your hand.” Maybe the reason I am so infatuated with the music of the late Sixties is because it reflects optimism and hope for a future which leaves a “trace of gentleness” behind it.
1 PLEASANT VALLEY SUNDAY (single version) – The Monkees
The Monkees’ sixth single was the first on which they played the instruments. Mike Nesmith’s opening guitar riff consolidated their reputation as a sophisticated Beatles tribute band. The song was written by Gerry Goffin and Carole King after they moved from New York City to West Orange New Jersey but found a suburban life very suffocating. The lyrics make reference to “charcoal burning everywhere” in “status symbol land“.
2 KICKS – Paul Revere and The Raiders
Gerry Goffin’s unhappiness at moving to the suburbs disguised a deep rooted unhappiness. He turned to LSD and mescaline which caused him to be hospitalised and treated with lithium and electroshock therapy. Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil wrote “Kicks” as an open letter to their friend, urging him to clean up. David Crosby dismissed the song as “that dumb anti-drug song“. He should know, I guess.
3 LET HER DANCE – Bobby Fuller Four
“I Fought The Law” by The Bobby Fuller Four reached Number Nine in the national charts in 1965. The band appeared in “The Ghost in the Invisible Bikini”, which was the seventh and last of a series of “beach party” films although there is no sign of a beach in the film, which was released in 1966. Wikipedia describes the film like this: “Besides the usual bikini-clad cast, random singing, silly plot line, musical guests, and ridiculous chases and fight scenes, the continuity linking this to the other beach films is the Rat Pack motorcycle gang led by Eric Von Zipper”. Yes, Eric Von Zipper. That was the character’s name, played by Harvey Lembeck. Bobby Fuller was found dead in his mother’s car in July 1966. Many of his friends suspected he had been killed by mobsters but the police ruled his death as suicide.
4 BUT YOU’RE MINE – Sonny and Cher
Sonny And Cher’s fourth single reached Number 17 in the UK Charts. Lyrically, it was similar to the ubiquitous “I Got You Babe”. A hippie couple don’t care what other people feel about their clothes, hair or beauty. These people are on the outside looking in. “You’re not real pretty, but you belong to me.”
5 TOMORROW’S GIRL – Merrell and The ‘Xiles
Merrell Fankhauser released four singles in 18 months before a six week booking at a loggers’ nightclub in sub zero temperatures in Portland caused his band, Merrell and the ‘Xiles, to split. See Disc 2 Track 6 and Disc 3 Track 12
6 SAND – Lee Hazlewood with Suzi Jane Hokom
Lee Hazelwood’s biggest success came when Nancy Sinatra recorded his composition, “These Boots Ain’t Made For Walkin'”. Amidst this success he started LHI Records with his girlfriend, Suzi Jane Hokom, with whom he had recorded “Sand”, a duet between a couple who find each other irresistible. The International Submarine Band later signed with LHI Records and when their lead singer, Gram Parsons, recorded vocals for The Byrds’ seminal “Sweetheart Of The Rodeo“, it was Lee Hazelwood who insisted that his vocals be removed and overdubbed by Roger McGuinn. See Disc 3 Track 20.
7 ACID HEAD – The Velvet Illusions
“Acid Head” was a cautionary tale about drug abuse which was banned by local radio stations because of the title, rather than lyrics such as “She wakes up in the morning, taking pills that she don’t need. The poor girl’s merely living in a dream.”
8 ALONG COMES MARY – The Association
Members of The Asosciation had played in folk groups with Cass Elliott, David Crosby and Frank Zappa. “Along Comes Mary” was written by Tandyn Almer and produced by Curt Boetcher. It was a Top ten hit in July 1966, despite “Mary” being street slang for marijuana. See Disc 3 Track 25 for more on Tandyn Almer. see Disc 2 Track 5 and Disc 2 Track 20 for more on Curt Boetcher.
9 DON’T SAY NO – Ruthann Friedman
“Rocket To Stardom” was a TV talent show which ran for 18 hours every weekend on Los Angeles television channels, KTTV and KHJ. Contestants displayed their talents on the showroom floor of a car dealer whose top seller was The Oldsmobile Golden Rocket, a two-seater show car. When she was 12 years old, Ruthann Friedman appeared on the show. “Don’t Say No” has remained unreleased until now but her song, “Windy” was later recorded by The Association. See Disc 3 Track 10.
10 TWELVE THIRTY (YOUNG GIRLS ARE COMING TO THE CANYON) -The Mamas and The Papas
John and Michelle Phillips were living in Laurel Canyon when this song became the band’s final Top 20 hit. Terry Melcher (producer of The Byrds first two albums) and Dennis Wilson (drummer with The Beach Boys) would regularly invite John Phillips to party with Charlie Manson’s harem of subservient young hippie girls who had, indeed, come to the canyon. John Phillips recalled, “I’d just shudder every time and say no, I think I’ll pass”.
11 I CRIED MY EYES OUT – The Misunderstood
The Misunderstood were formed in Riverside, California in 1963, originally as a surf group called The Blue Notes. They changed their name from The Misunderstoods and, in 1966, came to the attention of a British DJ who was in America, using his Englishness to pretend he was a Beatles expert. John Peel’s ear was caught by the band who were playing “the most unbelievable stuff I’d ever heard” at a gig to mark the opening of a new shopping centre. He arranged for them to cut a single in Hollywood’s Gold Star Studios but with neither fame nor fortune imminent, he suggested the group head to London. He said that the band could stay at his mother’s house but he forgot to tell her that. Guitarist Greg Tredway recalled, “John told us that his mom would be expecting us and that we could stay at her flat until we were settled. In fact she knew nothing about it. We stood in front of her flat for eight hours with with all our equipment whilst she called John back in the States to find out ‘what these four long hairs were doing outside’“. See also Disc 2 Track 8.
12 OUR LOVE SHOULD LAST FOREVER – The Whatt Four
The Whatt Four disbanded after two of the band were drafted.
13 WANTED: DEAD OR ALIVE – The Rogues
“Wanted: Dead Or Alive” was written as an answer to “Hey Joe”. The Rogues would change their name to The Laughing Wind, and with the addition of Bob Markley, became The West Coast Pop Art Experimental Band. See also Disc 1 Track 19, Disc 3 Track 4 and Disc 3 Track 24.
14 THE WIND BLOWS YOUR HAIR (demo version) – The Seeds
A year after the release of “The Wind Blows Your Hair”, The Seeds released their third album, “Future” which marked a change from the gritty sound of their earlier work. These days, it is regarded as a seminal work of flower power psychedelic rock.
15 MY BABY’S BAREFOOT – The Syndicate
This song was inspired by the girls in Huntingdon Beach, where The Syndicate lived.
16 POINT OF NO RETURN – The Music Machine
The Music Machine’s first single, “Talk Talk”, reached the Billboard Top 20 in 1966. Lead singer and guitarist, Sean Bonniwell, later said “Rock’n’Roll was a teenager in the ’60s, and I used that climate to express my confusion, my anger, at the injustice of the world.”
17 CHICANERY – The Royal Teens
Members of The Royal Teens were teenagers when “Chicanery” was released. The “B” side was “Tears In My Eyes” (Disc 2 Track 13).
18 KEEP YOUR MIND OPEN – Kaleidoscope
Jimmy Page claimed that Kaleidoscope was his favourite band of all time. Members of the band included Chris Darrow (who was a member of The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band when they recorded “Uncle Charlie And His Dog Teddy“) and David Lindley (who has played with Jackson Browne for years, excelling on the sixth best album of all time, “Late For The Sky“).
19 A CHILD’S GUIDE TO GOOD AND EVIL – West Coast Pop Art Experimental Band
Bob Markley was the adopted son of a very wealthy oil tycoon. He grew up in Oklahoma in the 1930s and having hosted a local music TV show he travelled to Los Angeles in 1960 to attempt to become famous. He got a contract with Warner Brothers and released a few unsuccessful singles. In 1965, The Yardbirds were on tour in the USA. They had booked some appearances on TV but they had not completed the proper paperwork to obtain visas. By this time, Bob Markley was “a washed up wannabe Hollywood Star who was living a rich life due to his family’s money but was far from successful.” Hearing of The Yardbirds’ predicament, he offered to host a private party in his mansion and invited The Yardbirds to play. The event was very successful with a whole range of local celebrities attending, including a local group called The Laughing Wind. Bob Markley offered to manage and finance the band whilst they would write the group’s music. This sounded fine to the others but the catch was that Bob Markley also wanted to appear on stage with them. Thus The West Coast Pop Art Experimental Band was formed. See also Disc 3 Track 4 and Disc 3 Track 24.
20 FLOATING DOWNSTREAM ON AN INFLATABLE RUBBER RAFT – The Second Helping
Kenny Loggins was a teenager when he formed The Second Helping with four friends from Alhambra. As half of Loggins and Messina, he recorded seven highly successful albums in the 70’s. He was a prolific songwriter and “House At Pooh Corner” is one of the best songs on The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band’s magnificent “Uncle Charlie And His Dog Teddy“
21 LET’S LIVE FOR TODAY – The Grass Roots
“Let’s Live For Today” sold over two million copies in the USA, hitting Number 8 in June 1967. It was especially popular with American servicemen serving in Vietnam with lyrics such as “When I think of all the worries that people seem to find and how they’re in a hurry to complicate their minds by chasing after money and dreams that can’t come true, I’m glad that we are different. We’ve better things to do. May others plan their future, I’m busy loving you.”
22 SHE SENDS ME – The Roosters
Similar to the fate of The Whatt Four, The Roosters disbanded after two of the band were drafted.
23 (CAUSE) YOU DON’T LOVE ME – The Odds and Ends
The Odds And Ends were from Los Angeles and are not to be confused with a band of the similar name from New York.
24 HELP YOURSELF – The Sanctions
“Help Yourself” was written by Jimmy Reed who was a huge influence on British R’n’B bands of the Sixties. His songs were covered by The Rolling Stones ( “Ain’t That Lovin’ You Baby”, “The Sun Is Shining”, “Bright Lights, Big City”, and “Shame, Shame, Shame”), The Yardbirds and The Animals (both groups covered “I Ain’t Got You”) and Them (“Bright Lights, Big City” from “The Angry Young Them” and “Baby, What You Want Me to Do”). Bob Dylan released a song called “Goodbye Jimmy Reed” on “Rough And Rowdy Ways“
25 I’M GOING BACK TO NEW YORK CITY – Somebody’s Chyldren
When Somebody’s Chyldren’s first single was released, David Clark Allen was the oldest in the group, aged 15. See also Disc 3 Track 26.
26 THE TRIP – Kim Fowley
In June 1965, Kim Fowley walked into a recording studio where a house band had recorded a backing track but were short of vocals or lyrics. He told the engineers to turn the tapes on and he made up the lyrics to “The Trip” on the spot.
27 SAY WHAT YOU MEAN – Glad
The bass player in Glad was Timothy B. Schmit who went on to join Poco and The Eagles.
28 COME LOOKING FOR ME – Diane Hildebrand
Diane Hildebrand wrote the lyrics to “Goin’ Down”, the B side to The Monkees version of “Daydream Believer”, written by the great John Stewart and included on his magnificent album “The Lonesome Picker Rides Again“.
29 WHERE DO WE GO FROM HERE – The New Wave
The New Wave were a duo who were supported by Van Dyke Parks, Carol Kaye and Jim Gordon on their only single. Drummer Jim Gordon went on to play on “All Things Must Pass” by George Harrison and “Layla” by Derek And The Dominos. However, he started to suffer from schizophrenia in the early 1970’s and he once ended his relationship with Rita Coolidge by punching her in the face. In 1983, he murdered his mother and was sentenced to 16 years in prison. He has been denied parole and is still a resident of a medical and psychiatric prison in California, 38 years later, being deemed to dangerous to release.
30 NEW HARD TIMES – Stone Poneys
Linda Ronstadt’s early group, before her illustrious solo career, released three albums, which were all produced by Nik Venet, the producer of John Stewart’s “California Bloodlines”.
1 HUNGRY FREAKS, DADDY – The Mothers Of Invention
“Hungry Freaks, Daddy” is the first track on Side One of “Freak Out” and is a surprisingly enjoyable rock song with a subversive attack on America’s education system with lyrics such as They won’t go for no more great mid-western hardware store. Philosophy that turns away from those who aren’t afraid to say. What’s on their minds, the left behinds of the Great Society.” The Great Society was a set of domestic programs in the United States launched by Democratic President Lyndon B. Johnson in 1964 with the main goal of eliminating poverty and racial injustice. However, if you didn’t fit the requirements for assistance in programs introduced, one could theoretically be “left behind” while the great society was moving forward. The Great Society, with Grace Slick as lead singer, had been active in San Francisco before this song was recorded.
2 ZIG-ZAG WANDERER – Captain Beefheart and His Magic Band
Pete Frame started Zigzag magazine in 1973 because, as he said “None of the English music papers wrote about the music I liked. They all concentrated on popular acts, but I was interested in the Underground scene. So I decided to start a magazine for people who liked the same kind of music I did. I called it Zigzag after the Captain Beefheart track “Zigzag Wanderer” and also the cigarette papers, which were used for rolling joints.” In 2019, “Zigzag Wanderer” was used in a Hyundai car commercial.
3 COMPUTER GIRL – Urban Renewal Project.
Urban Renewal Project consisted of Ronnie and Russsell Mael along with Fred and Ronna Frank. “Computer Girl” was recorded in an hour in the Fidelity Recording Studios, Hollywood, in 1967 but was unreleased until 2006. It consisted of a poem about an early IBM computer set to music and addresses the issue of computer dating. The Mael brothers went on to form Sparks in 1971 and two years later, their Number Two single with “This Town Ain’t Big Enough For Both Of Us” ignited a career that has seen them release 24 albums.
4 THE MOST UP TILL NOW – The Peanut Butter Conspiracy
Glen Campbell and James Burton (who played with Elvis Presley, Rick Nelson, Gram Parsons, John Denver, Merle Haggard etc.) were brought in by producer Gary Usher to boost the sound of debut album, “The Peanut Butter Conspiracy Is Spreading”. Gary Usher was the producer of “The Notorious Byrd Brothers”, “Sweetheart Of The Rodeo“, “Gene Clark With The Gosdin Brothers” (see Disc 3 Track 19) and he also co-wrote “In My Room” with Brian Wilson.
5 IT WON’T ALWAYS BE THE SAME – The Millennium
Gary Usher signed Curt Boetcher as a staff producer for Colombia Records in 1967. The Millennium consisted of a group of musicians that Curt Boetcher had worked with previously, including future Crabby Appleton lead singer, Michael Fennelly.
6 THE MUSIC SCENE – Fapardokly
Merrell Fankhauser formed The Impacts in 1962 and was convinced to record an album for which the band only ever received $1, thanks to the contract they had signed. Merrell Fankhauser subsequently formed The Exiles along with Jeff Cotton and John French (both of whom played in Captain Beefheart’s Magic Band). His next band was called Fapardokly, being an amalgam of the surnames of the members of the band. See Disc 3 Track 12.
7 JUST CAN’T WAIT – The Prophets Of Old
The single “Just Can’t Wait” was backed with a cover of a Frank Zappa song, “Go Cry On Somebody Else’s Shoulder” and the main memory that saxophone player, David Parsley, has of the single is a terrifying experience of meeting Frank Zappa to ask for his permission to use his song.
8 SHE GOT ME – The Misunderstood
The Misunderstood had changed their name from The Misunderstoods just before recording the first of two versions of the magnificent “She Got Me”.
9 MAKIN’ DEALS – The Satans
Sounding like The Rolling Stones, and predating Mick Jagger’s line about “Can you guess my name” by two years, “Making Deals” was the result of The Bainmen Six winning a Teen-Age Fair Battle of the bands competition at the Hollywood Palladium. The change of name was dictated by the lyrical nature of the song.
10 VIET NAM – Bobby Jameson
Bobby Jameson had just received his draft notice for Vietnam when he recorded this song. However, the Mira record label was reluctant to release an anti-war song and the track remained unreleased until last week.
11 WITH NONE SHOES – The Leaves
The Leaves were the first act to have a hit with “Hey Joe”. It was later covered by The Standells, Love, The Music Machine and Love before Jimi Hendrix recorded it. Bassist Jim Pons went on to join The Turtles.
12 BE HAPPY, BABY – The Odds and Ends
Lead vocalist Jon Acquarelli went on to form The Heros. See Disc 2 Track 29 and Disc 3 Track 7.
13 TEARS IN MY EYES – The Royal Teens
A group called The Royal Teens had a hit with “Short Shorts” but this Royal Teens is another band who, when they discovered their namesake, changed their name to The Candy Company. See Disc 2 Track 26.
14 SUNSHINE GIRL (promo-only stereo mix) – The Parade
The Parade were a studio project which included Fred Roberds and Murray MacLeod who had written a hit for a pre-Monkees Davy Jones in 1965. “Sunshine Girl” reached the Top 20 in the billboard Charts.
15 MR RICHLAND’S FAVORITE SONG – Nilsson
This sarcastic comment on the music business was John Lennon’s favourite Nilsson tune.
16 DO YOU LIKE WORMS (ROLL PLYMOUTH ROCK) – The Beach Boys
Intended to be an important component of “Smile”, “Do You Like Worms” was retitled “Roll Plymouth Rock” when the album was released in 2004, 38 years after it was recorded. It is about the recolonization of the American continent and contains lyrical references to the Sandwich Islands and “Bicycle Rider Back” playing cards
17 ALWAYS YOU – Roger Nichols and The Small Circle Of Friends
Roger Nichols teamed up with Tony Asher to write “Always You” although the song was not released until last week. Tony Asher wrote most of the lyrics for “Pet Sounds“. After the demise of The Small Circle Of Friends, Roger Nichols teamed up with Paul Williams to write “We’ve Only Just Begun”, “Rainy Days And Mondays” and other songs for The Carpenters.
18 CARNIVAL SONG – Tim Buckley
Magnificent. Outrageous. Awesome. Brilliant. Outstanding. Impressive. Sublime. Writing about music is like dancing about architecture. Taken from “Goodbye And Hello“, Tim Buckley’s second album.
19 FIRE ENGINE SKY – Michael Blodgett
In 1967, Michael Blodgett hosted a teen TV show called “Groovy” which was broadcast from Santa Monica beach, featuring bikini contests and pie fights. In the ghastly YouTube clip, The Merry Go Round (see Disc 3 Track 3) briefly appear at around 1:10. After releasing the anti-nuclear song, “Fire Engine Sky”, Michael Blodgett starred as a gigolo in “Beyond The Valley Of The Dolls”. His later career involved writing books and screenplays, including “Rent-A-Cop” and “Turner And Hooch”.
20 I’M NOT LIVING HERE – Sagittarius
When Gary Usher asked Chad and Jeremy (see Disc 3 Track 23) to record a version of John Carter‘s song “My World Fell Down”, they refused, calling it a piece of crap. Gary Usher decided to record his own version and used a vocal line-up of Glen Campbell, Bruce Johnston (Beach Boys) and Terry Melcher (producer of The Byrds first two albums). It reached Number 70 in the charts and Colombia president, Clive Davis, instructed Gary Usher to sign the band that had recorded it. Unwilling to admit that he was cutting records in his spare time, Gary Usher recruited Curt Boetcher to record an album called “Present Tense”, using the name Sagittarius. See Disc 2 Track 4 and Disc 2 Track 5 for more about Gary Usher.
21 DON’T TURN THE LIGHT OFF – The Churchill Downs
The Churchill Downs were named after the racing complex that hosts The Kentucky Derby
22 NO SHAME – The Touch (Hunger)
The Touch released two singles simultaneously in April 1968. “She Let Him Continue” was attributed to Hunger and “No Shame” to The Touch. Neither single was successful.
23 UNCLE JACK – Spirit
“Uncle Jack” was the B side to Spirit’s first single, “Mechanical World”. It also appeared on the band’s eponymous first album, which included a song called “Taurus” which was written by Spirit’s lead guitarist and singer, Randy California. In 2014, 17 years after his death, his estate began a lawsuit against Led Zeppelin, seeking a co-writing credit for “Stairway To Heaven”. Six years later, the case was dismissed.
24 AUGUST MADEMOISELLE – Children Of The Mushroom
The members of Children Of The Mushroom were aged between 15 and 18 when this single was recorded.
25 LONG TIME – The Rose Garden
As The Blokes, members of The Rose Garden covered every song from The Byrds’ first three albums when they played gigs. They briefly changed their name to The Giant Sunflower before recording an album as The Rose Garden in 1968. By this time, they had befriended ex-Byrd Gene Clark, who gave them two of his songs, including “Long Time”.
26 RUN – The Candy Company
The Candy Company appeared in an episode of “The Felony Squad” (at 18:00). See also Disc 3 Track 25.
27 TOO MANY PEOPLE – Jim and The Lords
Before they became The Electric Prunes (“I Had Too Much To Dream (Last Night)”), this Los Angeles group were known as Jim And The Lords.
28 JUST WANNA BE MYSELF – The No-Nâ-Mees
Based in Modesto, The No-Nâ-Mees travelled to Los Angeles to record “Just Wanna Be Myself” and they claimed that the highlight of their trip was when Sonny & Cher walked in when they were eating lunch.
29 SAY IT WITH A SMILE – The Heros
“Say It With A Smile” copies the melody of “Like A Rolling Stone”. See Disc 2 Track 12, Disc 2 Track 29 and Disc 3 Track 7.
30 MOVE WITH THE DAWN – Mark Eric
Mark Eric was 18 when he recorded “Move With the Dawn”. After the single failed to chart, he turned to acting, appearing in “The Partridge Family” and “Hawaii Five-0”.
1 YELLOW BRICK ROAD – Captain Beefheart and His Magic Band
Ry Cooder left The Magic Band before their debut album, “Safe As Milk”, was released and this ruined the band’s planned appearance at The Monterey Festival. Taj Mahal played percussion on “Yellow Brick Road”. Ry Cooder and Taj Mahal had been members of The Rising Sons two years earlier and 55 years later they released an album of Sonny Tenny and Brownie McGhee songs called “Get On Board“.
2 SHE COMES IN COLORS – Love
Love released two albums in 1966, “Love” and “Da Capo”. “She Comes In Colors” is taken from the latter. The Rolling Stones heard Love play at The Whisky A Go Go and a few months later released “She’s A Rainbow” on “Their Satanic Majesties Requests“, which included the line “She comes in colours“. By the time this song was recorded, Bryan Maclean had joined Love, replacing Bobby Beausoleil, who became a member of Charles Manson’s community and murdered a music teacher named Gary Hinman.
3 TIME WILL SHOW THE WISER (album version) – The Merry-Go- Round
Emitt Rhodes formed The Merry Go Round in 1966, when he was 16 years old. He wrote 11 of the 12 songs on their only album, including “Time Will Show The Wiser”. Fairport Convention’s cover of this song would be the first track on their first album. Emitt Rhodes went on to release four critically acclaimed solo albums between 1970 and 1973 before a dispute with his record company (who required six albums in three years – a schedule he couldn’t maintain) saw him retire from the music business for 43 years. “Rainbow Ends” was released in 2016 and included a guest appearance from Richard Thompson. Emitt Rhodes died in 2020. See Disc 2 Track 19.
4 JOHN WORKS HARD – The Laughing Wind
The West Coast Pop Art Experimental Band consisted of three members of The Laughing Wind (including Michael Lloyd) and rich playboy Bob Markley. When Michael Lloyd tired of Bob Markley’s antics, he left the band and resurrected the name of his former band to release a single. He was aged 18 when “The Bells” coupled with “John Works Hard” was released. Michael Lloyd became Head of A&R at MGM Records, when he was aged 20. He signed Lou Rawls and went on to produce hits by The Osmonds, Shaun Cassidy and Belinda Carlisle, as well as writing all the Latin music for the “Dirty Dancing” film. See also Disc 3 Track 24.
5 CALM ME DOWN (promo single version) – The Human Expression
The Human Expression recorded three singles. They were offered a song called “Born To Be Wild” but turned it down, finding the lyrics to be facile.
6 WHY (alternative version) – The Byrds
Between June 1965 and February 1967, The Byrds released four albums. “Why” was first recorded at RCA Studios on Sunset Boulevard in December 1965, but Colombia Records insisted that they re-record it in their own studios. The re-recorded version was the “B” side to “Eight Miles High”, released in March 1966. It finally appeared on The Byrds’ fourth album, “Younger Than Yesterday“, released in February 1967.
7 I CAN ONLY GIVE YOU EVERYTHING – The Heros
The original version of “I Can Only Give You Everything” was by Van Morrison on Them’s second album, “Them Again”. Backed by an assortment of session musicians, Van Morrison delivered one of his most aggressive, snarling vocal performances. It proved a popular song, being covered by The Heros, MC5, The Troggs and Richard Hell.
8 GOLDEN APPLES OF THE SUN – Grains Of Sand
Grains Of Sand were from Lomita, a suburb of Los Angeles near Long Beach. None of them played on “Golden Apples Of The Sun” which was performed by a band from Tacoma, Washington called The Wailers. No, not Bob Marley’s band.
9 YESTERDAY HOLDS ON – Moorpark Intersection
“Yesterday Holds On” was co-written by David Axelrod who later wrote an album called “Mass In F Minor”, released by the Electric Prunes although none of the band played on the album. The album consists of a musical setting of the mass sung in Latin and Greek and arranged in a psychedelic style and the complex arrangements were beyond the ability of the band to play and so members of The Wrecking Crew (Don Randi, Carol Kaye, Earl Palmer and Howard Roberts) were used instead. See Disc 3 Track 14
10 WINDY – Ruthann Friedman
When Signe Anderson left The Jefferson Airplane in 1966, the rest of the band considered asking Ruthann Friedman to join but opted for Grace Slick instead. She became friends with Van Dyke Parks and, through his association with The Association’s producer, Curt Boetcher. They co-wrote two songs and The Association subsequently had a hit with her composition, “Windy”. Her version of the song also appears on Milk Of The Tree. An Anthology Of Female Vocal Folk And Singer-Songwriters by Various Artists. Ruthann Friedman did not release any albums between 1970 and 2006.
11 DO I HAVE TO COME RIGHT OUT AND SAY IT – Buffalo Springfield
Buffalo Springfield were managed by Charlie Greene and Brian Stone who were described by bass player Bruce Palmer as “the sleaziest, most underhanded. backstabbing motherfuckers in the business”.
12 DRIVIN’ SIDEWAYS (ON A ONE-WAY STREET) – Merrell Fankhauser and H.M.S. Bounty
H.M.S. Bounty was formed after Merrell Fankhauser’s band, Fapardokly split up. The band were named after a bar on Wilshire Boulevard called H.M.S. Bounty. This is a brilliant song.
13 9 O’CLOCK BUSINESS MAN – The Peppermint Trolley Company
The Peppermint Trolley Company appeared on an episode of “The Beverley Hillbillies” and recorded the theme music for “The Brady Bunch”.
14 THE GREAT BANANA HOAX (extended mix) – The Electric Prunes
“The Great Banana Hoax” was released as a single and was based on the rumour that smoking a dried banana skin could get you high.
15 ISHA – Chris and Craig
Craig Smith’s song “Salesman” was the opening track on “Pisces, Aquarius, Capricorn and Jones”, The Monkees fourth album. Mike Nesmith helped the duo form The Penny Arkade before Craig Smith left for a solo tour of Europe. He subsequently traveled to South America and Asia, where he ended up in an Afghan mental asylum. A couple of years later he returned to Los Angeles and called himself Maitreya Kali, prophesising that he would be crowned King Of The World in the year 2000.
16 SIT WITH THE GURU – Strawberry Alarm Clock
Strawberry Alarm Clock had a Number One hit with “Incense And Peppermint” in 1967. They appeared on the first episode of “Rowan And Martin’s Laugh In”.
17 TRIP ON ME – The Forum
In 1960, Les Baxter formed a conservative folk group called The Balladeers and at one time both David Crosby (The Byrds, CSN&Y) and Jerry Yester (The Lovin’ Spoonful) were members. In an effort to cash in on the groovy psychedelic sounds that were topping the charts, he used members of the group to record a number of singles under the name of The Forum.
18 ROAD TO NOWHERE – Hearts and Flowers
Hearts And Flowers are generally credited as establishing the country-rock sound that would soon come to typify West Coast music in the late 60’s. Bernie Leadon (The Eagles) was a member at one time and Linda Ronstadt sings backing vocals on “Road To Nowhere”. The band split up just before the release of The Byrds’ venture into country music with “Sweetheart Of The Rodeo“.
19 SO YOU SAY YOU LOST YOUR BABY – Gene Clark with The Gosdin Brothers
Gene Clark had written a lot of The Byrds’ best early material but a fear of flying led to him leaving the band in 1966. His solo album, “Gene Clark with The Gosdin Brothers” included some strong playing from Glen Campbell and Leon Russell. Vern and Rex Gosdin sung backing vocals on all the songs and Vern Gosdin went on to have 19 Top ten Country hits between 1977 and 1990
20 LUXURY LINER – International Submarine Band
Lead singer Gram Parsons used a friendship with Peter Fonda to get The International Submarine Band a cameo in a film called The Trip, written by Jack Nicholson (you can briefly see them on stage from 2:18). Changing musical style from groovy psychedelic to country, they recorded just one album. Gram Parsons joined The Byrds and went on to record two sensational albums with Emmylou Harris who used “Luxury Liner” as the title track to her fourth album, released three years after Gram Parsons’ death.
21 RUNNIN’ ON BACK – Del Shannon
Del Shannon was born Charles Weedon Westover and “Runnin’ On Back” is taken from an album called “The Further adventures Of Charles Westover”. The song was co-written with Sharon Sheeley who had been Eddie Cochrane’s girlfriend until he was killed in a car crash near Chippenham. She had been in the same car and “only” suffered a broken pelvis.
22 SHE SLEEPS ALONE – The Parade
The Parade had a Top Twenty hit with “Sunshine Girl” but all subsequent singles, including “She Sleeps Alone”, failed to chart.
23 PIPE DREAM – Chad and Jeremy
Chad Stuart and Jeremy Clyde relocated to Los Angeles when “A Summer Song” became a Top 10 hit in the USA in 1964. However, in 1966, Catwoman stole their voices and they had to rely on Batman and Robin to restore them.
24 END OF THE LINE – Boystown
Michael Lloyd left the West Coast Pop Art Experimental Band to release a few singles before releasing “End Of The Line” as Boystown.
25 SUMMER MAGIC – The Paper Fortress
Members of The Candy Company adopted the name The Paper Fortress after two singles written by Tandyn Almer were released under this moniker. Tandyn Almer would go on to write “Sail On Sailor” with Brian Wilson.
26 CUT YOUR LAWN – The Chyldren
The Chyldren were also known as Somebody’s Chyldren. Lead singer David Clark Allen later joined the British progressive rock group, Carmen who, at various times, opened for Jethro Tull, ELO and Santana.
27 A GIRL I KNEW (single version) – Steppenwolf
“A Girl I Knew”, from Steppenwolf’s first album was also the band’s first single but it took the release of another song from the album, “Born To Be Wild”, for the band to achieve huge success. The Human Expression never recorded this song wither. See Disc 3 Track 5
28 FLOWERS AND BEADS – Iron Butterfly
The three minute single, “In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida” was an edit of a 17 minute song that took up one side of Iron Butterfly’s second album which spent 140 weeks on the USA album charts.. “Flowers And Beads” was the second song on Side One of the album.
29 BLACK ROSES – Clear Light
Clear Light appeared in The President’s Analyst”, a political satire released in 1967 and Starring James Coburn.
30 HIPPY TOWN – Georgy and The Velvet Illusions
Guitarist Randy Bowles recalled the inspiration for the lyrics of “Hippy Town”. “We walked down Hollywood Boulevard, dressed like hippies, and waved at passers-by. We were sort of like seven Monkees”.