documenting the optical sounds of '60s pop, Acid Punk & Psychedelia

A ’60s Sound Trip To Los Angeles – The Epicentre Of Jangle

L.A. Sounds 1965-1969 – Selected 100 Jewels

In 2010 I completed my list of 100 nuggets from Los Angeles. It was a list of some of my favourite records released during 1965-68, all of which have made a massive impression on me over the years.

I’m pretty sure that regular visitors to my site know the kind of music bag I’m into, especially my love for 12 string janglers, fuzz and farfisa combos, protest singers and folk rockers. Yeah, you get the picture – Destination COOL!! 

I decided to indulge myself with 100 jewels from Los Angeles (and the surrounding areas) and like before I will only list songs that I have on original vinyl or a decent vinyl reissue.

  • BYRDS – I’ll Feel A Whole Lot Better (CBS 201796) 8/65
  • LOVE – 7 and 7 Is (Elektra EK-45605) 7/66
  • DOVERS – People Ask Me Why (Reprise 0439) 11/65
  • STANDELLS – Mr Nobody (Tower 282) 9/66
  • BONNIWELL’S MUSIC MACHINE – The Eagle Never Hunts The Fly (Warner Bros 1732) 1967
  • SEEDS – Up In Her Room (GNP Crescendo 383) 1/67
  • HUMAN EXPRESSION – Optical Sound (Accent AC 1226) 9/67
  • SONS OF ADAM – Tomorrow’s Gonna Be Another Day (Decca 31887) 12/65
  • BEES – Leave Me Be (Mirwood 5503) 1965
  • ELECTRIC PRUNES – Are You Lovin’ Me More (But Enjoying It Less) (Reprise 0564) 4/67
  • BOBBY FULLER FOUR – I Fought The Law (Mustang 3014) 10/65
  • FLOWER POT – Black Moto (Vault V-935) 1967
  • W.C. FIELDS MEMORIAL ESB – I’m Not Your Stepping Stone (Mercury 72578) 6/66
  • GREEN BEANS – (Don’t Give Me No) Friction (Mercury 72504) 10/65
  • CARETAKERS OF DECEPTION – Cuttin’ Grass (Sanctus SS-12) 1967
  • HARD TIMES – Fortune Teller (World Pacific 77851) 11/66
  • DOORS – The Crystal Ship (Elektra EK-45615) 5/67
  • LEAVES – Girl From The East (Mira 222) 5/66
  • PALACE GUARD – All Night Long (Orange Empire Records OE-331) 8/65
  • SOMEBODY’S CHYLDREN – I’m Going Back To New York City (Uptown 727) 4/66
  • MIDNITERS – Never Knew I Had It So Bad (Whittier 504) 1/67
  • SEAN AND THE BRANDYWINES – Codine (Decca 31910) 1966
  • CLEAR LIGHT – She’s Ready To Be Free (Elektra EK-45622) 9/67
  • KNACK – Time Waits For No One (Capitol 5774) 2/67
  • RUMORS – Without Her (Gemcor 5002) 7/65
  • EAST SIDE KIDS – Close Your Mind (Orange Empire Records OE-500) 1967
  • ASHES – Is There Anything I Can Do (Vault V-924) 1966
  • ROOSTERS – One Of These Days (PSA 1151) 4/1966
  • DAVID – I’m Not Alone (VMN V716) 1967
  • BOBBY JAMESON – Vietnam (Tower DT-5083) 1967
  • PETER FONDA – Catch The Wind (Chisa CH004) 3/67
  • SONNY & CHER – It’s Gonna Rain (Atlantic AT4035) 7/65
  • NO-NA-MEE’S – Gotta Hold On (Era 3153) 11/65
  • STRAWBERRY ALARM CLOCK – Paxton’s Back Street Carnival (UNI 55093) 11/68
  • GIRLS – Chico’s Girl (Capitol 5675) 1965
  • AVENGERS – I Told You So (Star-Burst 128) 3/66
  • FLOWER CHILDREN – Mini-Skirt Blues (Castil Records 101) 3/67
  • PURPLE GANG – One Of The Bunch (MGM K13607) 10/66
  • GYPSY TRIPS – Ain’t It Hard (World Pacific 77809) 11/65
  • OPUS 1 – Back Seat ’38 Dodge (Mustang 3017) 5/66
  • SMOKE RINGS – Love’s The Thing (Prospect 101) 1966
  • HIS MAJESTY’S COACHMEN – I Don’t Want To See You (Gemini G-1004) 8/66
  • ASSOCIATION – Pandora’s Golden Heebie Jeebies (Valiant V-755) 11/66
  • SIN SHAY SHUNS – All My Lonely Waiting (Venett V-108) 1966
  • BECKETT QUINTET – (It’s All Over Now) Baby Blue (Gemcor 5003) 10/65
  • L.A. TEENS – Saturday’s Child (Decca 31813) 7/65
  • MONKEES – The Girl I Knew Somewhere (RCA Victor 66-1004) 3/67
  • PREMIERS – Get On This Plane (Faro 624) 11/66
  • TURTLES – She’ll Be Back (Decca DL 4751) 5/66
  • TERRY RANDALL – S.O.S (Valiant V-756) 12/66
  • LYRICS – ‘So What!!’ (Era Records 3153) 11/65
  • ADRIAN LLOYD – Lorna (Charger CRG-112) 1965
  • GLASS FAMILY – House Of Glass (Warner Bros WS 1776) late 1968
  • DIRTY SHAMES – Makin’ Love (Impression 112) August 1966 
  • DOVERS – The Third Eye (Miramar 123) 4/66
  • PREACHERS – Stay Out Of My World (Sundazed SEP 191) recorded 1965
  • LYRICS – Can’t See You Any More (Feather 1968) 2/68
  • TURTLES – Outside Chance (White Whale 234) 8/66
  • ELECTRIC PRUNES – You’ve Never Had It Better (Reprise RS 20652) 2/68
  • RISING SONS – I Got A Little (Sundazed) recorded 12/65
  • STANDELLS – Sometimes Good Guys Don’t Wear White (Tower 257) 6/66
  • CAL RAYE – I Cry (Runay Records RY-101) 1966
  • GENTLE SOUL – Tell Me Love (Columbia 4-43952) rec 1/67
  • FIRE ESCAPE – Love Special Delivery (GNP Crescendo 384) 1/67 
  • MERRELL & the XILES – Tomorrow’s Girl (Glenn 426) 4/67
  • GENE VINCENT – Born To Be A Rolling Stone (Everest Records CBR 1006) 4/67
  • BYRDS – My Back Pages (CBS 2648) 5/67
  • TURTLES – It Ain’t Me Babe (Pye International 7N.25320) 9/65
  • FANTASTIC ZOO – Light Show (Double Shot 109) 2/67
  • JEFFERSON LEE – Book Of Love (Original Sound OS-88) 7/69
  • POOR – Feelin’ Down (Decca 32318) 5/68
  • PEPPERMINT TROLLEY COMPANY – Spinnin’ Whirlin’ ‘Round (Acta 45-835) 1969
  • ZODIAC – Aries – The Fire-Fighter (Elektra EKL 4009) 5/67
  • MODERN FOLK QUINTET – Night Time Girl (Dunhill D-4025) 4/66
  • BEACH BOYS – Cabin Essence (Brother Records) recorded 1967
  • THINGS TO COME – Hello (Warner Bros 7228) 9/68
  • GIANT SUNFLOWER – February Sunshine (Take 6 -1000) 5/67
  • RIPTIDES – Last Wave Of The Day (Tower DT-5083) 1967
  • VENTURES – Ginza Lights (Liberty LBY 1323) 6/66
  • KALEIDOSCOPE – Keep Your Mind Open (Epic BN 26304) 6/67 
  • JAN & DEAN – Folk City (Liberty F-55849) 12/65
  • M.F.Q. – If All You Think (Warner Brothers 5481) 11/64
  • MAMAS & the PAPAS – Strange Young Girls (RCA Victor RD-7834) 9/66
  • ARROWS – Apache ’65’ (Sidewalk Records 1) 2/65
  • ROSE GARDEN – Next Plane To London (Atco 45-6510) 8/67
  • SHINDOGS – Yes, I’m Going Home (Viva V.601) June 1966
  • MONKEES – Words (first version) October 1966
  • DARIUS – Sweet Mama (Chartmaker CSG 1102) 1969
  • RICHARD TWICE – Generation ’70 (Philips PHS-600-332) 1970
  • BOSTON TEA PARTY – Words (Challenge 59368) 6/67
  • THE BUSHMEN – What I Have I’ll Give To You (Dimension D-1049) 6/65
  • PACIFIC OCEAN – 16 Tons (VMC Records V 738) 2/69
  • MAGNUM OPUS – Up From The Sea (VMC Records V 737) late 1968
  • OCTOBER COUNTRY – My Girl Friend Is A Witch (Epic 5-10320) 4/68
  • EDDIE HODGES – Love Minus Zero (Aurora 156) 10/65
  • BYRDS – The World Turns All Around Her (Columbia PC 9254) recorded August 1965
  • DEVONS – It’s All Over Now, Baby Blue (Decca 31822) 8/65
  • TOADS – Leaving It All Behind (Decca 318470) 9/65
  • TANGENTS – Hey Joe, Where You Gonna Go? (Impression Records 111) 4/66
  • TIME OF YOUR LIFE – Ode To A Bad Dream (Ionic Records 101) 9/66

THE LYRICS – ’So What!!’/’They Can’t Hurt Me’ (Era Records 3153) November 1965

Almost three years ago I exchanged emails with Ray Clearwater who wrote, sang and played harmonica on both songs on The Lyrics debut 45 released on Era Records. At the time Ray was a member of The Lyrics he was known as Christopher Gaylord.

My full interview with Ray can be found elsewhere on my site. The double exclamation marks in the title of ’So What!!’ was the deciding factor allowing this side to get the nod and become my Number One, LA Select of 2011.

ADRIAN LLOYD – ’Lorna’/’Got A Little Woman’ (Charger CRG-112) 1965

According to the liners of Back From The Grave – Volume 8, Adrian Lloyd was from England but relocated to Los Angeles. He then joined a surf/instrumental group called The Rumblers as their prime evil drummer, before forming his own combo Adrian and the Sunsets.

It’s not known if The Sunsets backed Adrian Lloyd on this incredible two sider released on Charger Records in 1965. ’Lorna’ is a terrifying listening experience due completely to Lloyd’s carnal screams over a crunchin’ Bo Diddley beat with surf guitar. An absolute amazing performance.

The more sedate but equally appealing flip ’Got A Little Woman’ is moody and intense, again with a surf twang. Lloyd’s vocals are full of edge and attitude. This guy is fucked off about something.

Few original copies of this record exist so it was with good fortune that I managed to buy a bootleg copy a few years ago when they were doing the rounds on eBay. Copies have since dried up.

THE GLASS FAMILY – ’House Of Glass’ (Warner Bros WS 1776) early 1969

’House Of Glass’ is the stone cold killer psychedelic lead off track from The Glass Family.

This superb piece of lysergia would have made a fabulous single but it was overlooked in favour of ’Guess I’ll Let You Go’/’Agorn (Elements Of Complex Variables)’ two other great songs that were taken from this overlooked album and released as a single, no doubt to promote it.
The music for the album ”Electric Band” was recorded late 1968 and released early 1969.

All cuts recorded at American Recording Studios in Studio City, California and produced by Richard Podolor, who has cropped up a couple of times on my site after working with other outfits.

THE DIRTY SHAMES – ’Makin’ Love’/’I Don’t Care’ (Impression 112) August 1966

Los Angeles group The Dirty Shames released this great two sider on the collectable Impression Records label out of Hollywood then disappeared. Not a great deal is known about them other than the fact that they recorded a version of ’Makin’ Love’, originally made by The Sloths.

The Sloths also recorded for Impression Records and it’s believed that this is how The Dirty Shames knew about the song and decided to record it themselves. ’Makin’ Love’ is an ’R&B’ howler with harp and a crunching fuzz break. Not a hint of the folk rock sound Los Angeles was famous for during the period mid 1965 to the end of ’66.

THE DOVERS – ’The Third Eye’/’Your Love’ (Miramar 123) April 1966

The Dovers were the legendary folk rock group from Santa Barbara that released four singles on the small Hollywood label Miramar without causing much of a stir, then were gone. That was until Pebbles #2 featured their first single, the outstanding ’She’s Gone’ and The Dovers were vogue at last.

’The Third Eye’ under the spotlight, was The Dovers third single on Miramar and although no credits are displayed on the label I’m confident that it was written by leader Tim Granada, the group’s singer/songwriter and rhythm guitarist. Like their earlier 45 releases it was probably recorded at Gold Star Studios.

This exquisite, eastern tinged 12 string killer is one of the earliest excursions into psychedelia, and seemingly recounts an acid experience. According to the liners of The Dovers retrospective LP on Misty Lane, in early 1966 The Dovers underwent some line-up changes and group members started to experiment with LSD.

Tim Granada’s haunting vocals deliver the lines,

”Unlocked by the key and now I am free” as well as ”No wings for my flight, I drift through the night”

THE PREACHERS – ’Stay Out Of My World’/’Who Do You Love’/’Hey Joe’ (Sundazed SEP 191) 2009

’Stay Out Of My World’ first appeared in October 1965 on (Moonglow 5006) and is a tough record to track down but thankfully Sundazed re-issued the cut on 45 a couple of years ago complete with a fabulous picture sleeve. There’s no reason why readers of my blog should be without their own copy.

The Preachers got together in early 1964 and played the local bars in Manhattan Beach, moving on to be a resident band at the Casbah Club in Canoga Park. They quickly became very popular in the San Fernando Valley before eventually performing regularly on the Sunset Strip by mid 1965.

The original lead vocalist Richard Fortunato was replaced by John English who wrote the lyrics of ’Stay Out Of My World’, the folk punker under the spotlight. John had no music to his words so organist Rudy Garza came up with that groovy organ riff to bring the whole thing together. Listening to his organ runs, I can’t help but think of the riff Ray Manzarek used for ’Soul Kitchen’.

Richard Fortunato and bassist Zeke Jim Camarillo went onto The Vejtables, Fortunato then joined W.C. Fields Memorial Electric String Band with Preachers drummer Steve Lagana. Lead guitarist Hal Tennant may have been with The Bees at some point.

THE LYRICS – ’Can’t See You Any More’/’Wake Up To My Voice’ (Feather 1968) February 1968

By the powers of the internet I’ve had the pleasure of exchanging emails with two members of The Lyrics over the years and exclusive interviews with Dan Garcia and Ray Clearwater (previously known as Christopher Gaylord) can be found on my site. Dan sent me a load of Lyrics photos and ephemera some of which I’ve posted today for the first time on ’Flower Bomb Songs’. 

The Lyrics hailed from the San Diego area but spent much of their existence recording and gigging in Los Angeles, often supporting The Doors.

This amazing and hard to find garage psych record was probably cut at Gold Star Studios in Hollywood where they had previously recorded the earlier 45 ’Mr Man’ / ’Wait’ released on GNP Crescendo. They also used the same production team of Harlan Peacock and Don Ralke.

The A-Side appears to have been The Doors influenced ’Can’t See You Any More’ written by lead guitarist Bill Garcia . The flip might be recognisable to some because it was compiled on Highs In The Mid Sixties Volume 3. The sound quality on this comp is atrocious mainly because a beat up copy of the disc was used that has clicks and pops all over it.

’Can’t See You Any More’ was listed as a ’Hit Bound Sound’ on the Santa Barbara Radio KIST music list, week ending 10th February 1968.
’Wake Up To My Voice’ written by singer Craig Carll is a magical example of garage psychedelia. It’s been a firm favourite of mine ever since I first heard it in the mid 80s and is clearly a classic of it’s genre.

Related trivia:
Don Ralke produced and arranged many records during the great 66/67 period. As well as being employed by The Lyrics he also worked with Ty Wagner of ’I’m A No Count’ and ’Slander’ fame as well as arranging the vocals on songs by The Sunrays. He also wrote several songs recorded by William Shatner on his ’The Transformed Man’ LP from 1968.

THE TURTLES – ’Outside Chance’/’We’ll Meet Again’ (White Whale 234) August 1966

Yet another blog entry for The Turtles, I love this group! and surely ’Outside Chance’ had the class and pop charm to be a big hit but the record somehow bought a ticket to nowheresville and sank without trace making it one of the most sought after Turtles 45s to collect.

’Outside Chance’ was written by Warren Zevon who at this point in time was a White Whale label stablemate and part of duo Lyme & Cybelle. Here, The Turtles offer up a folk punk version with tough 12 string guitar and an electric piano break.
The song was covered by Sounds Like Us. 

THE ELECTRIC PRUNES – ’Everybody Knows You’re In Love’/’You’ve Never Had It Better’ (Reprise RS 20652) February 1968

Recorded in late 1967 at American Recording Co studios in Hollywood, the flip of this record ’You’ve Never Had It Better’ catches The Electric Prunes in a raunchy mood. The song is in complete contrast to the plug side ’Everybody Knows You’re Not In Love’ which is a soft pop number written by Lowe and Tulin.

But it’s the psychedelic rocker ’You’ve Never Had It Better’ that gets my nod and entry in my L.A. Select list. Check out the pulsating buzzsaw-fuzztone opening riff, straight away you know you’re in for a heavy ride – settle down and take that fuzz trip.

THE RISING SONS – ’I Got A Little’ (Sundazed) recorded December 1965

Somehow, The Rising Sons never made it as a hit group outside of Los Angeles although on the Sunset Strip they became one of the legendary groups with memorable performances of potent R&B and country blues.

The good people at Sundazed Records released a stunning vinyl only release of material recorded by The Rising Sons during 1965/66, all of the cuts never saw the light of day in the 60s apart from the sides used as their only single ’Candy Man’ and ’The Devil’s Got My Woman’.

’I Got A Little’ is a group original written by Jessie Lee Kincaid and is a rush of uptempo blues with jangle guitar that works real well. Short and sweet medication.

After their demise in mid 1966, Taj Mahal and Ry Cooder became famous in their solo careers and drummer Kevin Kelley joined The Byrds.

THE STANDELLS – ’Sometimes Good Guys Don’t Wear White’/’Why Did You Hurt Me’ (Tower 257) June 1966

The Standells hit the big time with ’Dirty Water’ and followed that memorable rock n’ roll raunch with the equally hip ’Sometimes Good Guys Don’t Wear White’ in the Summer of ’66.

But it’s the unheralded and forgotten ’Why Did You Hurt Me’ on the flip that gets my blog action and entry into this years 2011 Los Angeles select 50. The song was recorded at Kearnie Barton’s Audio Recording Studios in Seattle (also used by The Sonics) during April 1966 while The Standells were on the road touring outside L.A. on the back of the smash ’Dirty Water’.

’Why Did You Hurt Me’ is a gritty performance and could easily have been a single in it’s own right. Dig that combo organ, probably a Vox Continental played by Larry Tamblyn and the snotty punk vocals. It’s certainly one of my favourite Standells cuts.

CAL RAYE – ”I Cry” / ”Can I” (Runay Records RY-101) 1967

Most of Cal Raye’s solo material is crooner, MOR pop and falls outside my radar but the garage raga rock winner ’I Cry’ is certainly worthy of investigation. Cal Raye a.k.a. Jerry Raye signed to DeVille Records after this release on the obscure Runay label and ’I Cry’ was re-released with a different flip side ’The Devil Is A Woman (You Tell Such Lovely Lies)’

Cal Raye hooked up with a local L.A. folk rock group called Fenwyck and their most famous recording is ’Mindrocker’ which has seen several compilation appearances over the years. Other songs from that merge are quite stunning such as ’I’m Spinning’, ’Away’ and ’State Of Mind’.

With it’s flipped out eastern fuzz guitar leads ’I Cry’ could have been a contender but remains in the undiscovered shadows.

THE GENTLE SOUL – ’Tell Me Love’/’You Move Me’ (Columbia 4-43952) rec January 1967

Pamela Pollard and Rick Stanley had been playing clubs together on Hollywood’s Sunset Strip for about a year before Byrds producer Terry Melcher got them into the studio, first to record Pamela Pollard’s ’You Move Me’ in September 1966 followed by a session in January 1967 to lay down the Rick Stanley original ’Tell Me Love’.

The name of the group came about when Riley Wyldflower was smoking joints in their Hollywood apartment and blowing the hash smoke into the face of their cat. Riley said the cat didn’t mind because he was a gentle soul….hence The Gentle Soul.

This debut 45 by The Gentle Soul is not on their studio album from mid 1968 and as such is a recommended single to track down. But not only for that reason! ’Tell Me More’ is quite simply ’blissful’ with it’s ornate production by Melcher and beautiful arrangement by Jack Nitzsche, the song really soars with layers of perfect harmonies and baroque psych touches……GLORIOUS….

At this point in time, The Gentle Soul were a four piece including guitarist Riley Wyldflower who would go on to release an obscure 45 ’The Smog Song’/’Electric California’ on Beacon Records. I’ve only ever heard ’The Smog Song’ which is hippie blues.

Drummer Sandy Konikoff played in several Buffalo, NY groups before linking up with The Gentle Soul including The Ravens and The Hawks who backed Bob Dylan during Feb/March 1966.

THE FIRE ESCAPE – ’Love Special Delivery’/’Blood Beat’ (GNP Crescendo 384) January 1967

’Love Special Delivery’ or as it’s billed on the front of The Fire Escape ’Psychotic Reactions’ album, ’L.S.D’ is a fierce garage psych assault with fuzz and a totally wired mid song rave-up in the best tradition of The Yardbirds.

Of course ’Love Special Delivery’ is a cover of Thee Midniters song and here The Fire Escape do the original recording justice and add to it with that certain Sunset Strip vibe.
Not a great deal is known about The Fire Escape. They were most likely a studio outfit put together by producers Larry Goldberg and Hank Levine. They even have the flip ’Blood Beat’ and ’Journey’s End’, on the album credited to themselves.

According to the liners on the back of the album Hollywood whiz-kid Michael Lloyd arranged musical proceedings adding weight to my theory that The Fire Escape, as a group, did not exist.

MERRELL & the XILES – ’Tomorrow’s Girl’/’When I Get Home’ (Glenn 426) April 1967

This was The Exiles final 45 in the Spring of 1967 after which Merrell Fankhauser would disband the group and return as Fapardokly with a new line-up.
Merrell & the Exiles or as shown on this label as Xiles enjoyed some degree of local popularity, even performing on Dick Clark’s American Bandstand and ’Tomorrow’s Girl’ certainly entertains with it’s raga rock rhythms, fuzz and lyrics about a girl with a fondness of hash.

”She is a girl who has everybody’s needs

While she sits and smokes her $20 weed”

’Tomorrow’s Girl’ and the flip ’When I Get Home’ were recorded at Audio Arts Studio, Hollywood during March 1967 with the following line-up:

Merrell Fankhauser (vocals/guitar)
Mark Thompson (organ)
Larry Willey (bass)
Randy Wimer (drums)

GENE VINCENT – ’Born To Be A Rolling Stone’ (Everest Records CBR 1006) rec April 1967

Every garage fanatic will know Gene’s hard rockin’ 60s swinger ’Bird Doggin’ but several other cuts from his Challenge years are worthy of investigation, including the folk rock jewel ’Born To Be A Rolling Stone’.

By the mid 60s Gene Vincent was in his early 30s, no longer hip and without a record contract.  Enter Challenge Records, who signed him up to record some sessions at Sunset Sound Recorders in Hollywood, backed by The Champs and other notorious session men including Larry Knetchel and David Gates as an arranger and backing singer.

Sadly all three single releases on Challenge Records sank and a proposed album in America was never released. However, Gene Vincent always had a loyal following in England and France where the album did find a release on London Records.

10 songs from the Challenge sessions were re-issued in 1984 on Everest Records.

THE BYRDS – ’My Back Pages’/’Renaissance Fair’ (CBS 2648) May 1967

Forty four years ago, The Byrds released one of their finest ever singles. The top side being the impressive version of Dylan’s ’My Back Pages’ backed with the staggering psychedelic jewel ’Renaissance Fair’.

It’s safe to say that The Byrds have been my favourite group for almost 30 years ever since I bought my first Byrds LP titled ’The Byrds – the original singles 1967-1969’ from Boots in Sunderland sometime in 1982. I remember being hugely disappointed with the country side which I just didn’t get. To me the songs sounded like background music I’d heard on some episodes of Dallas, probably when the Ewing’s hosted the ’Oil Baron’s Ball’

But I was completely in awe of the psych side. Listening to this side with songs of the calibre of ’Have You Seen Her Face’, ’Lady Friend’, ’Goin’ Back’ and ’Change Is Now’ quite simply CHANGED MY LIFE.
At 16 years of age I had found my musical heroes and I set out on a mission to own everything they ever recorded.

’Renaissance Fair’ was one such song on that album that made my head spin with it’s glorious sound and mystical words. I could only imagine what The Byrds looked like because no photo of them was on either side of the cover.

Renaissance Fair was the name of one of the very first Love-Ins in Los Angeles and this is Crosby’s vivid account of this medieval type festival of music. His song describes the event in a dream like sequence, focusing on the individual senses of hearing, smell and sight to convey his sensation of wonderment.

Anyone who has ever experienced an acid trip will no doubt know where Crosby is coming from.

It was a hit in USA (released March 1967) but sank without trace in the UK.

I think that maybe I’m dreaming…

I smell cinnamon and spices
I hear music everywhere
All around kaleidoscope of colour
I think that maybe I’m dreaming.
Maids pass gracefully in laughter
Wine coloured flowers in their hair
Flags call from lands I’ve never been to
I think that maybe I’m dreaming.

Sun splash on a soda of prism
Bright jewels on the ladies flashing
Eyes catch on a shiny prism

Hear ye the crying of the vendors
Fruit for sale wax candles for to burn
Fires flare soon it will be night fall
I think that maybe I’m dreaming.

THE TURTLES – ’It Ain’t Me Babe’/’Almost There’ (Pye International 7N.25320)  September 1965

As everyone knows The Turtles are the undisputed kings of sunshine/harmony pop music but do not discount their folk rock period of 1965/66 and in particular the ferocious Kinks inspired garage rocker of ’Almost There’ written and sung by Howard Kaylan.

The Turtles didn’t have the cool, beautiful people image of say The Byrds or Love but they had the cutting ’now sound’ of ’65 alright. ’It Ain’t Me Babe’ transforms the Dylan original for the Sunset Strip crowd and I’m sure most of the kids back then would have been hip to the punky ’Almost There’ – fantastic double-sider to seek out and enjoy!

Pictured is my copy of the UK release and as you can imagine it’s a tough 45 to find, set your sights on the USA White Whale release which is easier to locate but now getting quite sought after.

THE FANTASTIC ZOO – ’Light Show’/’Silent Movies’ (Double Shot 109) February 1967

The Fogcutters, a popular group from Denver, Colorado, cut some singles that did some action locally then sometime in 1966 the group relocated to Los Angeles or perhaps only members Don Cameron and Eric Karl and renamed themselves The Fantastic Zoo.

What is known is that veteran L.A. producers Hal Winn and Joseph Hooven produced all of The Fogcutters sides. Perhaps they persuaded the group to sign for their newly formed Hollywood label Double Shot.

The first Fantastic Zoo record released in December 1966, was the small L.A. hit and novelty ’Midnight Snack’, although the far superior side is the psychedelic folk of ’This Calls For A Celebration’ on the flip.

By now the small independent record label had a huge national hit on their roster with ’Psychotic Reaction’ by The Count Five so I’m sure Hooven and Winn were focusing all of their efforts on this. However, the second and final Fantastic Zoo 45, the ultra trippy, ’Light Show’ was released in early February 1967 but appears to have sank.

For every 500 copies of ’Silent Movies’ you’ll be lucky to find a copy of ’Light Show’ – it’s a very scarce record to locate suggesting few copies were manufactured.

Eric Karl wound up in Bodine who recorded an album for MGM. He wrote the majority of the songs on that long player.

Hopefully someone will get in touch about The Fogcutters and The Fantastic Zoo as they appear to have an intriguing history.

JEFFERSON LEE – ’Book Of Love’/’Sorcerella’ (Original Sound OS-88) July 1969

In the late 60s Jefferson Lee was an up and coming producer from Atlanta who signed to Hollywood label Original Sound and released two sought after singles. The Monotones cover, ’Book Of Love’ was the first from the Summer of ’69 but it’s the fuzz driven and Music Machine influenced flip ’Sorcerella’ that wins out.

The intense fuzztone bass is just insane and the weird lyrics add to the songs overall creepiness. I didn’t know much about Jefferson Lee so did a little digging. It turns out that he exclusively managed and produced Joe South in the late 60s early 70s.


’Book Of Love’/’Sorcerella’ (Original Sound OS-88) July 1969

’Bubble Gum Music’/’Pancake Trees’ (Original Sound OS-93) May 1970

THE POOR – ’Feelin’ Down’/’Come Back Baby’ (Decca 32318) May 1968

The Poor were regulars at clubs and venues on the Sunset Strip playing at the legendary Ciros, PJ’s and The Whisky etc but seem to be one of those groups that still don’t get much praise and recognition. An earlier 45 ’She’s Got The Time’ got close to becoming a hit but subsequent material fared less well including this final single on Decca.

’Feelin’ Down’ from mid ’68 shows The Poor in a good light with the punchy bass and stabbing background organ. Some pleasant Association harmonies add to the sunshine pop sound. The song was written by Michael Brewer in 1966 while he was a staff writer for A&M Records. It was also recorded by The Black Sheep and released in January 1967 on Columbia.
The Poor broke up after this 45 flopped with Randy Meisner, Allen Kemp and Pat Shanahan joining Rick Nelson in Rick Nelson and the Stone Canyon Band. Meisner then went on to Poco, then The Eagles. Kemp and Shanahan later joined New Riders Of The Purple Sage.

THE PEPPERMINT TROLLEY COMPANY – ’New York City’/’Spinnin’ Whirlin’ Round (Acta 45-835) 1969

There’s several sites on the net devoting space to The Peppermint Trolley Company and by now everyone who is a regular visitor to my site should own the Now Sounds CD release ’Beautiful Sun’ which compiles most of the Trolley sides plus rare and obscure 45s by their teenage garage outfits The Mark V, The C-Minors and The Intercoms.

By 1969 it was all over for the original members of The Peppermint Trolley Company. According to the CD liners, relations between the producer (Dan Dalton) and the band became strained and the Trolley decided to leave Dalton and reconvene as Bones.

That did not stop Dan Dalton recruiting Hollywood singer songwriter Bob Cheevers and session guitarist John Beland to continue under the guise of the Trolley and two further 45s on Acta were released in 1969.
The last record was ’New York City’ backed with the super cool sunshine pop masterpiece ’Spinnin’ Whirlin’ ’Round’ which was probably never heard at the time as it was lost on the B-side.

Sadly, this gem was not compiled on the Now Sounds CD at the request of the original Trolley members.

THE ZODIAC – ’Aries – The Fire-Fighter’ (Elektra EKL 4009) May 1967

’Cosmic Sounds’ was a completely original album of  pioneering electronic music by Mort Garson who composed, arranged and conducted all tracks with lyrics by Jacques Wilson. Ex MFQ member Cyrus Faryan provided narration.

Each song focused on the signs of the zodiac with album opener and moog/psych rock cross-over ’Aries – Fire-Fighter’ an instant winner. In fact the moog and weird sound effects dominate the whole LP. Of course, this strangeness could only have happened in the late 60s.  

Astrology has become a religious force in our time.

And in this extraordinary album, the ancient signs of the zodiac

are hauntingly evoked in a celestial fusion of poetry, music and electronic effects.

This is the love sound of the future.

M.F.Q. – ’Night Time Girl’/’Lifetime’ (Dunhill D-4025) April 1966

This is the second MFQ single in my Los Angeles select 100. Check out their early release ’If All You Think’ at number 32.

’Night Time Girl’ is adventurous folk/raga rock with a sound several groups were experimenting with during 1966/67. Here, the MFQ utilize a five string banjo and a Bouzouki to get that authentic eastern feel. The single sold reasonably well and got a mention in Billboard during April 1966 as a regional break out single.

The song was arranged and produced by the in demand Hollywood face Jack Nitzsche.

THE BEACH BOYS – ’Cabin Essence’/’Wonderful’ (Brother Records) 1967

Brian Wilson called ’Smile’ his ”teenage symphony to God” but the 1967 project was never completed and eventually got shelved as Brian’s life and mind became increasingly more frazzled.

However, between dropping acid, playing with his bucket and spade in his sand pit built inside his Los Angeles mansion and stuffing his face with too many snacks between meals, he created some memorable tunes with the help from his friend and lyricist Van Dyke Parks and Hollywood’s finest session players.

’Cabin Essence’ at 3:30 minutes is a little too long to post so here’s the flip ’Wonderful’ from the 45 given away with a collectors edition of Mojo magazine last month.

Mojo: You spent time at Brian’s house during the Smile sessions. Brian told me he was having fun, and didn’t think there was any eccentric behaviour.  

Al Jardine: ”It was a very drug induced environment and very alien to me, nauseating and uncomfortable. It was Brian’s slippery slope. I wasn’t trilled with Brian’s excursion into the world of acid.”

THINGS TO COME – ’Hello’/’Good Day’ (Warner Bros 7228) September 1968

The heavy psychedelic rock a la Cream is in evidence on the second and last Things To Come 45 on Warner Bros. Their first outing on this label was the excellent ’Come Alive’/’Dancer’ produced by the in demand Dave Hassinger.

’Hello’ is a sublime slow burner, written by bass player Bryan Garofalo and notable for some subtle psych guitar leads. Both sides were produced by David Crosby before he put together Crosby, Stills & Nash.
Garofalo went on to become a successful session player in the 70s and played with the likes of Jackson Browne, John Stewart, B.B. King and David Cassidy as well as many more performers.

I did some diggin’ on the net and found an online interview with Bryan Garofalo conducted in 1976.
Here’s an extract where Bryan talks about his time with Things To Come:

How did you meet up with Russ Kunkel to get into your group I’d never heard of ?

Well, Things To Come, the name came after.  We both lived in Long Beach.  The guy who was playing keyboards in the group I was with said, ”I know this drummer.  You’ve got to hear him. He’s really great.  Let’s go over and see him.”  We went over to Russell’s house, an apartment house, and he set up his drums outside and started to play for us.  He blew me away.  Did this crazy solo for about 20 minutes.  

So we just started playing, and we’ve been together ever since.  It used to be called The Satin Five, we were The Barons, it was nuts.  Then we got this crazy guy named Steve Runolfsson, a very far out person, he came up with the name Evil.  So, for a while, that’s what we were called.  Then, when we left Long Beach, we left Steve behind, and the four of us became The Things To Come and reopened The Whisky A Go Go.  At the time we went up in ’68 it was all black, soul music. 

Then Elmer Valentine decided to change it back into rock ’n’ roll and The Byrds, which at that time still included Chris Hillman and David Crosby, the original band, opened-up the changeover.  We were the opening act for The Byrds, Electric Flag, Traffic, Cream, we were the resident band.
After we moved out, Chicago moved in as resident band.  At that time they were called C.T.A. 

Then there was Hourglass, who went on to be The Allman Brothers, and Duane was there.  All these people staying in these little, shabby apartments and playing at The Whisky.  This dumpy motel down the street.  Bought our black leather pants!  That whole thing was really neat for a while.  We played all our own stuff, all original material, and very hard rock ’n’ roll.  Real loud!  Marshall stacks…..we purchased the amplifiers from Cream, actually.  When they left they sold them to a musical service and we picked them up from them.  CREAM printed on the back.  Turn it up to ten and scream.

Was it through this residency that Warners picked you up?

Let’s see, how did we get that deal?  There was a girl at Warner Brothers, Pat Slattery, who was a friend of my wife to be. Pat took some people from Warner Brothers to see us at The Whisky. They said, ”Give us a demo tape.”  We did that and they said, ”That band’s great but the songs stink.” We said, ”Thanks!”  We looked around for material and they gave us this producer, Dave Hassinger, and we cut some things with him and released a single.

Was this your first experience of the studios?

No.  We had been recording all the time we had been in Long Beach.  A good friend of ours, Dale Davis, had set up a studio at a place in Claremont, and we’d go up there, so we basically had some experience in there.  We’d go up and try things, cut some stuff, but it still takes a lot of getting used to.  Then, somehow, the guy that was managing Things To come (whose name remained nothing at the time), he was managing David Crosby and Peter Fonda. 

He picked us up and that’s how we got turned on to David.  He listened to our stuff and he really thought some of it was good, so he said he would like to produce a couple of things on us.  Warner Brothers was definitely into that, so we did a couple of cuts with David.  The problems started with Stephen Stills.  David was going to produce an album of us, then he got hung up with Stephen, and then they put together the Crosby, Stills and Nash thing.  It has worked out for the best.  Russell still works with David, and I still see him, but we never did do an album.  

We just did four songs for them. I wrote one of them called, ’Hello’, Russell wrote another one called ’Come Alive’, the other two were obscure pickup tunes that we had done to appease the publishing people at Warner’s.

Could you listen to them now?

Sure, oh yeah, it doesn’t bother me.  It’s terrible, disgusting, but it brings back great memories for me, all that stuff.  I’ve still got all those demo tapes at my house, and every once in a while I get out of it and go and listen to these things and think, ’Oh, my God, listen to that stuff, would you believe it?’  Great times.  It’s like listening to John’s records, you know.  They’re wonderful. His songs are wonderful.  We did these four or five days up at Lake Tahoe.  Henry Diltz played banjo and harmonica, Russell played drums while I played bass and John played guitar.  We’d go skiing all day, drink red wine and get totally shit faced, ski back down again, come back in and play in this lodge just for room and board.  God, it was awful.  Get sick, go home with no money, bad cold…..’
’We had a great time, dear!”

Eventually, your group ran it’s course…..

Yeah, it really did, it couldn’t go anywhere but into debt.  We didn’t have any management.  I don’t think it was ever really meant to be.  There were so many outside influences on the whole thing that it had to stop.  Russell and I both got married, and we really wanted to play, do other things, so we…..I shouldn’t say ”we”. 

It was independent of each other, but it happened that we both split to get out there to see if we really could do it on our own.  We started cutting demos for 15 dollars a song, that kind of stuff. People liked the way we played and that’s all it takes.  If you can get heard, you can get the chance, and if you can do it, then you’ve got half a chance.

THE RIPTIDES – ’Last Wave Of The Day’ (Tower DT-5083) 1967

During last years countdown of the Los Angeles music scene 1965-69 I included ’Vietnam’ by Bobby Jameson from the Mondo Hollyood film soundtrack but I wanted to feature an obscure surf cut by The Riptides from this LP for my 2011 select fifty.

The Riptides were a group of teenagers from Burbank. The following information is from Riptides keyboard player Bob Bennett.

”The Riptides were first formed from a band that was initially called The Mai Tai Five.  It was composed of Bob Bennett, Phil Kasper, Ron Record,  Tommy Howell, and Tom Rockriver.  The basic musical content was surf music (note that most early surf music used saxophones-hence Tom Rockriver) and local garage band music.  

We played some junior high dances at Jordan and elsewhere.  But when we discovered that we could sing, and the Beach Boys were becoming popular we formed The Riptides after Rockriver left the band for a different type of music.  Bob Bennett on piano/keyboards, Phil Kasper on Fender Jazzmaster guitar, Ron Record on Gibson ES 335 guitar, and Tommy Howell on a Ludwig kit.  When we ran into a kid named Steve Schoen, who played bass, we were introduced to his mother who was a Hollywood type who had just written a song for a Christmas Supremes album.  

She heard us and liked us.  She said that she knew a guy who was just beginning to make it in the L.A music scene.  He had just written two songs for Honda-”You Meet The Nicest People On A Honda” and ”The Worlds Biggest Seller Is A Sporty Little Street Machine”.  His name was Mike Curb.

Steve’s mother set up a meeting at her house and Phil and I played some songs that I had written and recorded on Ron’s Sony Reel to Reel.  Curb liked what he heard and thus began  a new direction for The Riptides.  Curb wanted us to record a Beach Boy song because he had produced the hit song ”Little Honda” by The Hondells on Mercury.  

So he gave us a demo of one of the future Three Dog Night singers, Danny Hutton.  It was from an album by The Beach Boys and the song was ”Farmers Daughter”, written by Brian Wilson.   We had a recording date set up and we practiced the song 897 times.  When we went to the studio it was the studio that had recorded all of the Steppenwolf  and Three Dog Night albums and hits.  It was recorded in four track.  The guitar solo in the middle of the song was performed by Richie Podolor who was also the engineer.  He was married to Pricilla Paris at the time and did the solo on a Rickenbacker 12 string.  Absolutely fantastic, probably the best recorded song was our first.  Perfect, but nothing happened. 

Next song was ”I Couldn’t Love You Again” written by Curb writer and friend Harley Hatcher.  Hatcher’s name appears on a lot of the songs in street gang movies that were popular at the time.  Our next effort was our only single released on Curb’s Sidewalk label. ”Sally Ann” which was a ”Barbara Ann” knock off  written by Curb.  The B side was called ”April” and was written by Curb writer friend Ron Abeyta.  It was also recorded in four track and included a dubbed in horn section.  The single bombed but it did make the John Burroughs Cafeteria juke box.  

We recorded a song for the movie called Mondo Hollywood called The Last Wave Of The Day.  It was written by Curb and it was a great song.  The album was released on Tower, a Capital subsidiary.

After the bass player moved on to a low-rider band there was no bass in the song and it suffered as a result.  We also had some background parts for that movie which included the sidewalk surfing/skateboarding scenes.  The movie was terrible and very controversial at the time.  Curb’s reputation suffered but not enough to stop him from eventually becoming California Lieutenant Governor. 

Next we did two songs for the movie The Golden Breed.  Curb had the backing tracks already done but he had Phil Kasper record a song called ”The Golden Breed” and  Bob Bennett recorded a song called ”Hey Girl, What Turns You On”.  The album was released in stereo on Capital.  That was our last involvement with Mike Curb. 

The Riptides would eventually break up, Ron Record got married at age 17, Phil and Bob went on to college and Tommy Howell went off into the sunset.  Great times, fun stuff.  Some of it still available on DVD.”

THE VENTURES – ’Ginza Lights’ (Liberty LBY 1323) June 1966

According to the liners on the back of The Ventures LP ’Go With The Ventures’, they’re described as the world’s number one instrumental group. I’m not gonna argue with that, I don’t know enough about instrumental groups to have an opinion.

This 1966 album has it’s moments and I especially like The Ventures original ’Ginza Lights’ which sounds like a surfadelic spy theme tune played on those Mosrite guitars The Ventures were famous for.
One look at the credits on the back cover confirms that Bruce Botnick performed engineering duties. He was of course The Doors and Love’s engineer. He also co-produced ’Forever Changes’ with Arthur Lee.

KALEIDOSCOPE – ’Keep Your Mind Open’ (Epic BN 26304) June 1967

The Kaleidoscope were one of the most enigmatic and mysterious groups from Los Angeles whose music came across like a gypsy ensemble on acid. They utilized exotic instruments like saz bouzoukee, dobro, dulcimer, caz, oud and layered the Persian sound with keyboards, 12 string guitars, banjos and fiddles.

When I bought my first Kaleidoscope album in the mid 80s (the Edsel collection called ’Bacon From Mars’) I must admit I was perplexed and just didn’t understand where Kaleidoscope were at apart from some instant psychedelic jewels like ’Pulsating Dream’ and ’Keep Your Mind Open’.

’Keep Your Mind Open’ is from their debut album ’Side Trips’ and is one of their most instant songs with it’s laid back trippy sound and lysergic production. The song was written by bass player Christopher Darrow who also wrote the previously mentioned and classic acid/folk rocker ’Pulsating Dream’.

Although ’Side Trips’ was released in June 1967, the songs were recorded much earlier at Columbia Square, Los Angeles during November and December 1966.


One of the most intriguing releases of 1967 was ’February Sunshine’ by The Giant Sunflower. This folk rock song was written by Pat Vegas and Val Garay, two musicians based in Hollywood. The hot new sound in Los Angeles at this time was pleasant laid back sunshine rock with the groups often fronted by a good lookin’ flower girl with long hair and love beads.

’February Sunshine’ has that pure L.A. sunshine sound and is just perfect ’67 fodder for the radio. The song was recorded by studio musicians and released on Take 6 Inc with the non-existent group name of The Giant Sunflower.

The recording was quickly snapped up by Lou Adler’s Ode label who got the song re-recorded. Out of interest The Rose Garden also recorded ’February Sunshine’ at Gold Star Studios, Hollywood and their version can be found on their album.

The new recording of ’February Sunshine’ was then released on Ode in USA. Lou Adler had a deal with Columbia Records to distribute his Ode product in other countries around the world.

Modern Folk Quartet

JAN & DEAN – ’A Beginning From An End’/’Folk City’ (Liberty F-55849) December 1965

Jan & Dean were a successful duo from Los Angeles who recorded the surf hit ’Surf City’ in 1963, a brilliant song about a mythical place in Southern California full of beautiful girls, hot rods and rock ’n’ roll groups. By 1965 the kids on the Strip had moved on and the ’in’ sound was edgy protest/folk rock and Brit Invasion sounds. Jan & Dean’s response was ’A Beginning From An End’ which flopped, not even entering the Billboard Top 100.

The obscure and never mentioned flip ’Folk City’ is an apt entry into my Los Angeles select 50. The song is a re-write of ’Surf City’ with different lyrics, more akin with the musical shift in L.A from surf to folk rock. This would have made a much better A-side.

”I got a Hohner harmonica and a Vox 12 string,
Folk City here we come.
You know there’s lots of protest songs that I want to sing,
Folk City here we come.”

Both songs were included on the 1966 Jan & Dean LP ’Folk ’n Roll’

M.F.Q. – ’If All You Think’/’The Love Of A Clown’ (Warner Brothers 5481) November 1964

The Modern Folk Quartet were a group of pre Beatlemania folkies that formed in Honolulu but relocated to Los Angeles sometime in early 1963. Their popularity rose among the folk crowd and two albums followed on Warner Bros (I’ve not heard these). By late ’64 they were simply called M.F.Q. and had a more electric folk sound.

The sublime ’If All You Think’ sounds like a proto-type Association with some great harmonies and an arrangement from Don Ralke that I consider to be ahead of it’s time. Songwriter Jerry Yester was a well known face in Hollywood during this time and would later join The Lovin’ Spoonful when M.F.Q. disbanded in 1966.

THE MAMAS & the PAPAS – ’Strange Young Girls’ (RCA Victor RD-7834) September 1966

The Mamas & the Papas were the commercial face of the Los Angeles male/female vocal outfits and popularized the harmony folk rock and sunshine pop sounds from that region. Their popularity has probably meant that many underground 60s aficionado’s have snobbishly overlooked their greatness because songs like ’Monday Monday’ and ’California Dreamin’ are probably fixtures on Oldies Radio (I’m guessing this is so because I’ve never listened to the radio since the mid 80s)

Take the sublime psychedelic folk of ’Strange Young Girls’ for instance. It’s a brilliant observation of the sights, sounds and LSD on the Sunset Strip in 1966 and it would surely garner plaudits had it been recorded by more hip male/female vocal groups….too many to mention but you’ll all know where it’s at.

Check out these lyrics:

”Walking the strip
Sweet, soft and placid
Offering their youth
On the altar of acid”
”Colours surround them
Be-jeweling their hair;
Visions astound them,
Demanding their share.”

’Strange Young Girls’ can be found on The Mamas & the Papas second studio album recorded during the Summer of  ’66. Instrumentation was provided by Hollywood’s elite session musicians. Hal Blaine (drums), Larry Knechtel (organ) and Joe Osborne (bass).

THE ARROWS – Apache ’65’/’Blue Guitar’ (Sidewalk Records 1) February 1965

The first record released on Mike Curb’s Sidewalk label, outta Hollywood, was this hard to find 45 by The Arrows. It eventually got a release on (Tower 116) and became a Top 100 Billboard hit.

On this disc Davie Allan hasn’t yet discovered the fuzz, instead he fires up his surf guitar to great effect. It’s an uptempo and loose version of ’Apache’ which was a number 1 hit for The Shadows in England during the Summer of 1960.

THE ROSE GARDEN – ’Next Plane To London’/’Flower Town’ (Atco 45-6510) August 1967

The Rose Garden were originally called The Blokes, a young group of Byrds obsessives going nowhere in the crowded Los Angeles music scene. Some time in late 1966 a young girl singer called Diane DeRose joined their ranks and a name change to a more  ‘in’ name occurred.

The sunshine pop of ’Next Plane To London’ proved to be their only hit record, reaching the Top 20 on Billboard at the tail end of 1967. It’s a song notable for the ’airport voice’ instead of a guitar solo. The gimmick obviously worked although I’m not a great fan of the song. Far superior is the flip ’Flower Town’ recorded at the famous Gold Star Studios in Hollywood.

’Flower Town’ is a rewrite of ’Portland Town’, a traditional folk song, given to them by Kim Fowley after a chance meeting in his Los Angeles office. He managed and produced The Belfast Gypsies who recorded ’Portland Town’ so he knew the song well. My guess is that ’Flower Town’ is probably Los Angeles.

Further reading can be found here 

John Noreen (lead guitar)
Jim Groshong (guitar)
Bruce Bowdin (drums)
Bill Fleming (bass)
Diane DeRose (vocals)

THE SHINDOGS – ”Who Do You Think You Are” / ”Yes, I’m Going Home” (Viva V.601) June 1966

I don’t think I could have a Los Angeles teenage rock exposé without including The Shindogs, who were the ’house band’ on TV Show Shindig!. They had an ever changing line-up but when Shindig! was cancelled during January 1966, The Shindogs settled on a regular line-up and released some singles that were commercial failures although this 45 did break into the lower reaches of the Billboard Top 100.

’Who Do You Think You Are’ had the potential to be a real sunset strip garage swinger but the vocal arrangement, for me, really subdues the power and the song just fizzles out. Far superior is the 60s pop ’Yes, I’m Going Home’ on the flip.

James Burton (lead guitar) and Glen D. Hardin (organ) eventually went on to become part of Elvis Presley’s backing band.

THE MONKEES – ’Words’ (first version) October 1966

This is an alternate version of ’Words’, a Monkees B-Side recorded during October 1966 but never released until this take appeared on The Monkees CD ’Missing Links – Volume 2’ in 1990.

This original version differs from the released remake with it’s use of a flute solo instead of the Hammond B-3 organ and a psychedelic backwards tape section reminiscent of The Leaves recording from their debut studio album.

DARIUS – ’Sweet Mama’ (Chartmaker CSG 1102) 1969

I remember buying a bootleg copy of the Darius album back in the mid 80s and being decidedly disappointed with it but I suppose during that time I was only interested in 60s garage. I just did not know where Darius was at, yeah he looked a cool cat on the sleeve with his long hair and dressed in black but his music just wasn’t my scene.

Thankfully, over the years my tastes have changed somewhat and I highly recommend this set, full of Darius original songs and played beautifully by Hollywood’s finest session musicians, including Jerry Scheff (bass), Toxey French (drums), Ben Benay (lead guitar) and Mike Deasy (guitar) in other words Darius was back by Goldenrod. Check out their psych fest album also on Chartmaker.

The album was recorded at Harmony Studios, Hollywood sometime in 1969

Darius has a vocal style similar to Arthur Lee on some tracks and was obviously influenced by the Love sound. It’s a shame that the album sank without trace and even today Darius is largely unknown. German label World In Sound reissued it in 2001 with some bonus cuts. 

RICHARD TWICE – ’Generation ’70 (Philips PHS-600-332) 1970

The obscure Los Angeles singer/songwriting duo Richard Atkins and Richard Manning, collectively called Richard Twice released a fascinating harmony/pop psych drenched long player in early 1970, most likely recorded at the back end of ’69.

’Generation ’70 leads off the album as the first track on side 1 and it’s a curious fuzz interlude that could have been quite heavy but the overall sound is mostly delicate with soft rock touches of harmonies and brass. It was chosen as the single to promote the album but I doubt it faired that well.
Not a great deal has been written about Richard Twice, although ’If I Knew You Were The One’, from this set was compiled on one of those Fading Yellow CDs.

One look at the credits on the back cover shows some heavyweight backing musicians with Drake Levin (Paul Revere and the Raiders) adding guitar and Mark Tulin (Electric Prunes) providing bass. Notable Hollywood sessionmen like Larry Knechtel, David Cohen and Rusty Young also provided their services.

The producer, Alex Hassilev was also the studio guy who produced the weird ’Cosmic Sounds’ LP by The Zodiac and The Electric Prunes connection continued with James Lowe being listed as associate producer and engineer. The music was recorded at Alex Hassilev’s Studio in Hollywood.

THE BOSTON TEA PARTY – ’Words’/’Spinach’ (Challenge 59368) June 1967

The Monkees version of ’Words’ was also released in most markets during June 1967, although they first recorded the song way back in October 1966. The demo version from Boyce & Hart was recorded even earlier during August ’66.

The Boston Tea Party version of ’Words’ probably pre-dates The Monkees hit having an earlier release on the small Los Angeles label Big Boss before being picked up by Challenge. Maybe the label should have considered ’Spinach’ on the flip, as their plug side as it’s a psych highlight with a freakadelic organ sound.

The Boston Tea Party originated from Burbank and were successful enough to release a few more 45s and an album on Flick Disc. I’ll probably write about the group again at some point but until then hear their ’Words’.

Mike Deperna (keyboards)
Richard Deperna (bass)
Travis Fields (vocals)
David Novogroski (drums)
Mike Stevens (guitar)

THE BUSHMEN – ’What I Have I’ll Give To You’/’Baby’ (Dimension D-1049) June 1965

Next entry in my Los Angeles select is this powerful double-sider from The Bushmen on the short lived Dimension label. They released records from 1962-65. The Bushmen were a four piece that included William D Lincoln and Hamilton Wesley Watt. David Potter may have been the drummer but I’m not 100% certain.

Check out the European picture cover of this 45, The Bushmen looked a motley crew. ’Baby’ is a raucous R&B blast of sonic bliss that screams outta my speakers and is a version of a song The Sorrows released in England during April 1965. Somehow The Bushman obtained a copy of this record and expertly recorded it adding a seedy mix of L.A. swagger.

The jangler ’What I Have I’ll Give To You’ sounds like a different outfit as the music is poles apart. This time around The Bushmen are in folk rock mood and produce another winner more in keeping with what was happening on the Strip.

William D Lincoln and Hamilton Wesley Watt also recorded material together in The War Babies, The Word and Euphoria. William D also wrote songs for The East Side Kids and collaborated with Bernie Schwartz on his studio album ’The Wheel’.

PACIFIC OCEAN – ’16 Tons’/’My Shrink’ (VMC Records V 738) February 1969

Another obscure psychedelic rock 45 released on VMC Records was this one by Pacific Ocean, both tracks having been culled from their album ’Purgatory’. It’s an album I’ve not heard but gets decent enough reviews on the net.

’My Shrink’ is a group original and is a short blast of late 60s groovy rock by a power trio with a certain charm (ie) not pretentious in any way. Gotta love that keyboard sound and psych guitar frills, reminds me of another Los Angeles outfit The Hook.


Tony Carr
Steve Rusty (drums)
Tony Harris
Ron Hensless
Edward James Olmos (keyboards/vocals)

MAGNUM OPUS – ’Up From The Sea’/’Nothing But Time’ (VMC Records V 737) late 1968

Here’s a very obscure psychedelic record by Magnum Opus on Los Angeles label VMC Records, a subsidiary of Vance Music Corp established by Steve Vail during late 1967. Their roster always recorded at Hollywood Sound Recorders.

However, I know nothing about Magnum Opus and bought this record years ago because The David recorded for the same label, so I decided to take a chance. ’Up From The Sea’ is a pleasing psych rock performance with hippie lyrics with the repeated line,

”We’re recently up from the sea.”

John Guess is credited on both sides of the label as arranger, producer and songwriter. So maybe no band existed and the fruits of labour on this 45 are a John Guess solo studio recording. He is probably the same person who engineered a VMC album by Dennis Olivieri called ’Come To The Party’. He is also credited as the engineer and producer of the 1971 album by Sundance.

OCTOBER COUNTRY – ’My Girl Friend Is A Witch’/’Just Don’t Know’ (Epic 5-10320) April 1968

This Los Angeles group had regional success with their debut 45 ’October Country’ (also recorded by The Smoke) and had in their corner Michael Lloyd of WCPAEB & The Smoke fame who wrote the majority of their songs, arranged, produced and played on all of their recordings.

Most of October Country’s music is lush orchestrated pop, a Michael Lloyd trademark of course, but ’My Girl Friend Is A Witch’ is something of a departure and a rather cool psych rocker. Lloyd re-recorded ’Witch’ in 1969 for feline cartoon Cattanooga Cats.

EDDIE HODGES – ’Love Minus Zero’/’The Water Is Over My Head’ (Aurora 156) Oct 1965

Eddie Hodges is probably better known as being a child actor from the late 50s/early 60s but having moved to Hollywood to be at the heart of the movie industry he found himself in Folk Rock City just at the right time and was signed up as a recording artist releasing several records that fall below my radar.

His cover of Dylan’s ’Love Minus Zero’ proved popular enough to get him an appearance on Hollywood A Go Go, the clip has survived and has been uploaded to You Tube. Eddie looks really neat and tidy and fairly uncomfortable to me as go go dancers weave their magic behind him.

Far superior is the surf styled folk rock beat of the flip ’The Water Is Over My Head’ written by Al Kooper and Irwin Levine. This tune would have been better suited as the plug side as it was for The Tokens and The Rockin’ Berries who had a Top 40 hit with it in England.

THE BYRDS – ’The World Turns All Around Her’ (Columbia PC 9254) recorded August 1965

Soon after arriving back home in Los Angeles after their 1965 UK tour The Byrds were in Columbia Recording Studios, Hollywood laying down tracks for their second LP.
One of the first songs they recorded was ’The World Turns All Around Her’, another Gene Clark gem that is a sadly neglected masterpiece. I always marvel at just how perfect The Byrds sounded on record and this song is simply pop at it’s purist.

’The World Turns All Around Her’ was released in December 1965 on the album ’Turn Turn Turn’ but somewhat surprisingly overlooked for 45 status.

THE DEVONS – ’It’s All Over Now, Baby Blue’/’Are You Really Real’ (Decca 31822) August 1965

The Devons were another likely Gary Usher studio project, he arranged and produced both sides, even writing the flip ’Are You Really Real’, a Dylanesque folk rock protest jewel.

The often recorded ’It’s All Over Now, Baby Blue’ has a sweet arrangement with some solid guitar and vocals, sounding a lot like The Searchers. It was a Billboard Chart Spotlight in the last week of July 1965 but appears to have gone unnoticed after this. Both sides have yet to see any compilation action and every reference guide I have fail to even mention The Devons. Something of an enigma.

THE TOADS – ’Leaving It All Behind’/’Babe, While The Wind Blows Goodbye’ (Decca 318470) Sept 1965

According to FA&F, The Toads originated from San Mateo, California but this 45 has the folk rock sound of Los Angeles all over it and was almost certainly recorded in L.A.

’Leaving It All Behind’ was written, arranged and produced by Gary Usher. Indeed he was also responsible for the Dylanesque flip ’Babe, While The Wind Blows Goodbye’ which was co-written by Raul Abeyta, a songwriting collaborator during his early sixties surf days. Maybe The Toads were one of his fictitious groups?

Whatever the true story, ’Leaving It All Behind’ is killer folk rock with resplendent jangle that appears to have been ignored for decades until the song was compiled and given title honours for a Misty Lane release.

THE TANGENTS – ’Hey Joe, Where You Gonna Go?’/’Stand By Me’ (Impression Records 111) April 1966

Folk rock standard ’Hey Joe’ was performed and/or recorded by countless 60s groups particularly outfits from Los Angeles. The Tangents were one such band who offered their version in April ’66 on the hip Hollywood label, Impression.

It’s been decades since The Tangents had any comp action, the last time was on Highs In The Mid Sixties #2. Their take is a straight forward folk rock interpretation with no frills. I’d like to have heard some tambourine in the mix for instance, but at least it’s way better than the horrendous version by The Byrds.

I’ve recently been in contact with Tangents bassist Terry Topolski and he kindly sent me this promo picture of the group from 1966. Terry confirmed The Tangents line-up as:

from left: Bob Shelton, rhythm guitar & lead singer; Terry Topolski, bass guitar; Warren Brodie, drums; and Jim Janesick, lead guitar

TIME OF YOUR LIFE – ’Ode To A Bad Dream’/’You Make Me Feel So Good’ (Ionic Records 101) Sept 1966

Time Of Your Life were an obscure group of teenagers from Long Beach, California whose claim to (none) fame was this super cool garage psych swinger on Ionic Records outta Hollywood. It has been confirmed from several online sources that the drummer in this combo was John Christensen who was also a member of Opus 1 of ’Backseat ’38 Dodge’ infamy. That record made my Los Angeles select 50 in 2010.

According to the liners of Fuzz, Flaykes & Shakes #1, the flip of this 45, a version of The Zombies tune ’You Make Me Feel So Good’ was actually by another group called The Town Cryers, but a mix up with the record labels meant that Time Of Your Life were credited with both sides.

This mistake was confirmed by noted garage expert MTM when I posed the question on the G45 Forum recently. He interviewed John Christensen some years ago and he suggested that The Town Cryers could have been an earlier Bob Renfro group. The latter wrote ’Ode To A Bad Dream’.

THE BYRDS – ’All I Really Want To Do’/’I’ll Feel A Whole Lot Better’ (CBS 201796) Aug 1965

The second Byrds 45 coupled a Bob Dylan composition ’All I Really Want To Do’ with the all time folk rock classic ’I’ll Feel A Whole Lot Better’ by Gene Clark and I think it’s only right that this Byrds monster is number 1 on my L.A. mix.

’All I Really Want To Do’ is a different mix than the one that appeared on the LP ’Mr Tambourine Man’. Surprisingly, this 45 sold poorly in America especially after the million selling debut record. Soon after the single was released the B-Side was promoted as the A-Side with DJ copies issued on red vinyl. Maybe because Cher’s version of ’All I Really Want To Do’ was out selling The Byrds version?

The British seemed to dig it more and it reached number 4.

LOVE – ’7 And 7 Is’/’No. Fourteen’ (Elektra EK-45605) July 1966

The last ever recording session with the original line up of Love resulted in the cataclysmic ’7 And 7 Is’
Arthur Lee wrote the song at the Colonial Apartments in Hollywood after rising early one morning while the rest of his cohorts were still asleep. The mystifying lyrics seem to touch on his childhood but I’ve read in some liners that it’s a song about an old girlfriend.

Johnny Echols once described ’7 And 7 Is’ as ”controlled chaos” and I must say I can hear why. The backbeat is so fast that drummer Alban Snoopy Pfisterer had to make over 20 takes to get it right.

When I was still a teenager (early 80s) I somehow discovered the music of Love and excitedly took the LP ’da capo’ to my friends house who was havin’ a beer and dope party. Everyone hated the record especially ’Orange Skies’, She Comes In Colors’ and ’7 And 7 Is’ because this piece of greatness had the improvised jazzy fade. The muppets just didn’t get it. Side Two never got played!

THE DOVERS – ’I Could Be Happy’/’People Ask Me Why’ (Reprise 0439) Nov 1965

The Dovers from Santa Barbara were virtually ignored back in the mid 60s and their fragile sounding folk rock was probably never heard by anyone except their loyal fanbase (if they had one). Lack of any promotion and decent gigs meant that The Dovers’ perfect moody teen jangle wouldn’t even be a footnote in the history books.

This twin spin, recorded at the famous Gold Star Studios was first released on the tiny Miramar label based in Hollywood. It was released on Reprise some weeks later. Frontman and songwriter Tim Granada had the talent and his band of Dovers had thee sound but it seems that Los Angeles and the important movers and shakers in the record industry were oblivious.

THE STANDELLS – ’Why Pick On Me’/’Mr. Nobody’ (Tower 282) Sept 1966

During 1966 The Standells could do no wrong with a big hit in ’Dirty Water’ and a sell out tour supporting The Rolling Stones. Their final release of ’66 was this great two sided punk gem, full of attitude and full of fuzz and that’s two of the main ingredients that ’Flower Bomb Songs’ constantly craves.

However, flip the hit’Why Pick On Me’ over and become charmed by the instant raunchy fuzz punk of ’Mr Nobody’. This record has been an ever present on my turntable since the 80s. Being the outsider loner type I pretty much embraced ’Mr Nobody’ as my personal 60s punk anthem. I was that guy…Mr Nobody.

I know all of The Standells music has been re-issued and is easy to get but I’m surprised that ’Mr Nobody’ was never compiled (still hasn’t) back in the 80s heyday of garage compilations.

THE BONNIWELL MUSIC MACHINE – ’The Eagle Never Hunts The Fly’ (Warner Bros 1732) 1967

Pictured is my 80s bootleg LP of the second Music Machine album simply titled ’The Bonniwell Music Machine’. It’s a perfectly sounding copy in stereo, so much so that I’ve never felt the need to upgrade to an original.

The killer tune from said artifact is the breathtaking and innovative garage rock of ’The Eagle Never Hunts The Fly’ which is apparently about world poverty. Not only was Sean Bonniwell ahead of the game with his music he was 20 years ahead of Sir Bob Geldof’s ’Feed The World’ shindig.

’The Eagle’ has everything that any lysergically minded hipster would want from three minutes of music, pounding bass (natch), fuzztoned guitars (absa fuckin’ lutely), eerie organ (too right) and manic vocals (oh yeah!).

This great song was recorded by the original line-up of The Music Machine but after the band signed to Warner Bros, Bonniwell must have decided to apply his surname to proceedings.

”The eagle never hunts the fly,
Listen and I’ll tell you why.
lives on the bottom of the sky
That’s why”

THE SEEDS – ’Mr Farmer’/’Up In Her Room’ (GNP Crescendo 383) Jan 1967

Most copies of this Seeds release came with ’No Escape’ on the flip but this version had ’Up In Her Room’ on the other side of ’Mr Farmer’ as well as a picture sleeve if you were lucky.

Whenever I’ve seen clips of The Seeds on You Tube from various 60s TV Shows I’ve always been surprised at how weird Sky Saxon is. His performances and movements are strange to say the least. Maybe this was the appeal of The Seeds to many. I just knew he was different and The Seeds sound coloured my world back in the 80s.

Everyone knows their big hit ’Pushin’ Too Hard’, some may be even aware that ’Mr Farmer’ is the coolest but has anyone ever noticed or realised just how GREAT ’Up In Her Room’ is? The whole of The Doors first album appears to based on the bluesy ’organ heavy’ rush of this classic.

THE HUMAN EXPRESSION – ’Optical Sound’/’Calm Me Down’ (Accent AC 1226) Sept 1967

Having formed an alliance back in Westminster High School, south of Los Angeles, The Human Expression were still teenagers when they recorded their three classic 45s. ’Optical Sound’ was their follow up to ’Love At Psychedelic Velocity’.

’Optical Sound’ shows this teen band at the very limits of their capability, each musician stretching themselves as far as their ability will take them. The result is a magnificent broody acid psych masterpiece, full of strange and weird waves of sound, reverb and other worldly experimentation.  

The Human Expression did not play that many gigs. According to the liners of the Collectables CD, they played the odd set at Gazzari’s on the Sunset Strip and a ’Battle Of The Bands’ contest.

THE SONS OF ADAM – ’Tomorrow’s  Gonna Be Another Day’/’Take My Hand’ (Decca 31887) Dec 1965

The Sons Of Adam could have been serious contenders for the Los Angeles royal throne had they stayed together longer than the brief period that they were a recording act. Guitarist and singer Randy Holden would quit the Sons after an argument (according to his website) and the band eventually fizzled out with drummer Michael Stuart turning up in a future line-up of Love. Holden of course went on to The Other Half then progressed to Blue Cheer.

’Tomorrow’s Gonna Be Another Day’ captures The Sons Of Adam in rockin’ mood. The flip ’Take My Hand’ is another cool side with a neat guitar break which should have been a whole lot louder.

Although they were based in Los Angeles, The Sons Of Adam were regular visitors to San Francisco and gigged often at the Fillmore Auditorium and the Avalon Ballroom playing with the likes of Love, The Charlatans, Big Brother and the Holding Company and Quicksilver Messenger Service.

THE BEES – ’Leave Me Be’/’She’s An Artist (She Belongs To Me)’ (Mirwood 5503) August 1965

Here’s a rather nice double sided folk rock 45 to track down on Mirwood Records. Both sides are perfect examples of this genre and really it’s where it was at in L.A. circa 1965 after The Byrds and The Turtles started hitting big. 

The Bees came from Los Angeles, California and became quite a popular live attraction around the L.A area playing local venues and private parties. They even were broadcast on TV show ’Hollywood A Go Go’ but I don’t know what song they played, so if anyone knows let me know.

Members of The Bees included George Caldwell and Robert Zinner who would go on to form W.C. Fields Memorial Electric String Band, John York played bass (he was in a later line up of The Byrds), Cary Slavin played drums (he later played in The Factory), Ron Reynolds (12 string guitar) and Peter Ferst.

The top side of their first 45 was the uncompiled ’Leave Me Be’ written by Robert Zinner. This one is a very pleasant up beat folk rocker with jangle. The flip is an excellent cover of the Bob Dylan song ’She’s An Artist” (She Belongs To Me). This has been covered many times before of course and perhaps my favourite ever version is by English band The Masterminds.

Their version can be found on the Sequel CD An ’Immediate Alternative’.The Bees version can be found on Ya Gotta Have Moxie Volume 1. Produced by Norm Ratner.

A reader sent me the following update about The Bees… I have been doing a lot of research on the HOLLYWOOD A GO GO TV show and have the answer as to what songs the Bees performed on their only show performance on Nov. 9, 1965.

The second and third numbers they performed were ”She’s An Artist” and ”Leave Me Be” which were the A and B sides of their 45 single on Mirwood 5003.The first song they sang was the George Caldwell penned ”Mimi’s Song” which is of interest because George married Mimi who was a Gazzarri go-go dancer on the show.

THE ELECTRIC PRUNES – ’Get Me To The World On Time’/’Are You Lovin’ Me More (But Enjoying It Less) (Reprise 0564) April 1967

The third single by The Electric Prunes and follow up to the smash hit ’I Had Too Much To Dream (Last Night)’ was the ultra catchy ’Get Me To The World On Time’….which is basically psychedelic effects (mind bending oscillations and tremolo) over a Bo Diddley beat.
For once this greatness was rewarded with another hit record. It even managed to climb the charts to number 42 in England.

The flip ’Are You Lovin’ Me More (But Enjoying It Less’ is just as good and has always been a firm EXPO67 favourite. Unless I get injected with monkey gland serum, change personality and start buying techno records, I should think that The Electric Prunes will remain in my top 5 groups of all time.

THE BOBBY FULLER FOUR – ’I Fought The Law’/’Little Annie Lou’ (Mustang 3014) Oct 1965

Bobby Fuller hailed from El Paso, Texas but sometime during 1964 made the decision to relocate to Hollywood to try for the big time in the music business. His band achieved some success before Bobby Fuller died in mysterious circumstances.

Fuller was found dead with a petrol soaked rag stuffed in his mouth in July 1966. The LAPD ruled his death as a suicide, citing ’no evidence of foul play’.

’I Fought The Law’ wasn’t an immediate hit but the record slowly crawled up the charts and became an all time classic. The clean cut Bobby Fuller who shunned the ’long hair’ of the beat and folk rock groups had the appeal of a young Elvis Presley and had such a great voice.

For readers who don’t know the music of The Bobby Fuller Four you just gotta seek out the music because it’s all highly rated and I would say exceptional 60s rock and roll.

THE FLOWER POT – ’Black Moto’/’Mr. Zig Zag Man’ (Vault V-935) 1967

Songwriter and session man on many L.A records, Mike Deasy cut loose on his own with two 45s billed as The Flower Pot on Vault Records. You’ll also find releases by Friar Tuck and The Ceyleib People with heavy Mike Deasy involvement including his usual array of session cohorts a.k.a ’The Wrecking Crew’.

The flip of the record ’Black Moto’ is an LSD infused eastern raga drone heavily influenced by the more psychedelic and experimental efforts by Donovan. Quite what it all means, I don’t know. I’ll leave it up to the listener.

’Mr Zig Zag Man’ is a pleasant psychedelic pop song.

THE W.C. FIELDS MEMORIAL ELECTRIC STRING BAND – ’I’m Not Your Stepping Stone’/’Round World’ (Mercury 72578) June 1966

I’ve given ’Flower Bomb Songs’ exposure to the groups other releases in the past so check out the archives for more information. This was their debut 45 and is a rockin’ early version of ’Stepping Stone’ produced by the erstwhile Norm Ratner who’s name crops up on many Los Angeles recordings.

The flip ’Round World’ is a folk rock gem.

This release was a Billboard spotlight release in a June 1966 edition.

THE GREEN BEANS – ‘(Don’t Give Me No) Friction’/’Superstition’ (Mercury 72504) Oct 1965

Whenever my girlfriend asks me to help her with the housework this cool song by The Green Beans comes into my head. ‘(Don’t Give Me No) Friction’ was produced by Mike Curb and according to Davie Allan’s official website he confirms that he played session guitar on both Green Beans 45s.

’Friction’ was famously covered by Australian cavemen The Missing Links.

The Green Beans released a follow up on Tower Records ’Who Needs You’/’Knock On My Door (Tap On My Window)’ and some copies came housed in a picture sleeve showing this outfit looking like 50s throwbacks with dodgy green rocker hair.

CARETAKERS OF DECEPTION – ’Cuttin’ Grass’/’X+Y=13’ (Sanctus SS-12) 1967

First of all, what a fucking GREAT name for a group!!! So it’s fingers crossed that such a fantastically named combo had the sound to match and I’m pleased to say that our forgotten heroes certainly had that.

The Caretakers Of Deception are believed to come from the Los Angeles area (at least the record label Sanctus guides me to L.A.) ’Cuttin’ Grass’ is an awesome garage hymn with manic surging hallucinogenic organ, primitive guitar and pissed off vocals. These opening lines are spat out by the vexed singer:

”It’s hard enough for me to see
When you’ve taken my eyes from me.
Thrown them in the filth on the street
You crush them on the floor”

The flip and cryptically named ’X+Y=13’ calms things down slightly but it’s still edgy 12 string folk garage of the highest order with lavish farfisa moodiness. I feel honoured to be able to listen to this greatness albeit via my bootleg from the ’garage greats’ 45 series.

THE HARD TIMES – ’Fortune Teller’/’Goodbye’ (World Pacific 77851) Nov 1966

Originally from San Diego, The Hard Times relocated in ’66 to Laurel Canyon in the Hollywood Hills and took up residence in a house owned by Denny Doherty from The Mamas and the Papas.
They quickly established themselves on the Sunset Strip getting regular gigs at The Sea Witch eventually becoming the house band at The Whisky A Go-Go then at The Cinnamon Cinder.

The Hard times were also regulars on TV Show ’Where The Action Is’ and there is currently a lip synched performance of ’Fortune Teller’ from that show on You Tube as we speak.
’Fortune Teller’ reached the Top 100 in the Billboard chart at the end of December 1966 but no further success followed despite a well received studio album in ’67.

THE DOORS – ’Light My Fire’/’The Crystal Ship’ (Elektra EK-45615) May 1967

Being led by someone as mysterious and enigmatic as lead singer and front man Jim Morrison meant that The Doors could never fail. ’Light My Fire’ sold in millions making them a household name but were they any better as a unit than many of the other groups I’ve featured so far in this Los Angeles mix. The answer is no of course, The Doors were lucky to have Jim Morrison, he made the difference it’s as simple as that.

The flip ’The Crystal Ship’ has always had the knack to cast my mind adrift mainly because of the opening lyrics that set the tone for this strange and beguiling tune. ’The Crystal Ship’ would be perfect for a funeral.

”Before you slip into unconsciousness
I’d like to have another kiss
Another flashing chance at bliss
Another kiss, another kiss”

THE LEAVES – ’Hey Joe’/’Girl From The East’ (Mira Records 222) May 1966

Los Angeles group The Leaves hit the big time with their version of ’Hey Joe’ which they recorded three times, each one distinctly different from the other – the promo single, the stock single and the Mira 222 release (also the same version on their hastily released studio album).

The first version was cut as far back as November 1965 but for me it’s their 3rd attempt complete with a wild Bobby Arlin fuzztoned guitar break that is the winner. The flip is ’Girl From The East’, a pleasant folk rock ballad written by Hollywood face Bobby Jameson. He also cut his own ’Girl From The East’ and this choice original can be found on the Chris Lucey a.k.a Bobby Jameson album ’Songs Of Protest And Anti Protest’.

THE PALACE GUARD – ’All Night Long’/’Playgirl’ (Orange Empire Records OE-331) Aug 1965

Now for my favourite musical genre (ie) folk rock/12 string janglers and none better than this gem by The Palace Guard who mixed merseybeat with folk rock to rather great effect on ’All Night Long’ and achieved a deserved local hit in Los Angeles but remained unknown beyond southern California.

They were a big attraction in L.A, becoming the house band at the Hullabaloo Club in Hollywood despite wearing ridiculous Buckingham Palace style guard uniforms.

SOMEBODY’S CHYLDREN – ’I’m Going Back To New York City’/’Shadows’ (Uptown 727) April 1966

These teenagers from Los Angeles were originally known as The Offbeats and were led by whizz kid David Clark Allen. The band changed their name to the more happening Somebody’s Chyldren sometime in ’66 and released this fine 45 on Uptown.

’I’m Going Back To New York City’ is a powerful garage pop mover with some neat lead guitar, heavy bass and excellent production. The flip ’Shadows’ is a sweet psychedelic folk tune.

Somebody’s Chyldren had two songs, ’I’m Up’ and ’Marionettes’ on the ’Hellcats’ soundtrack released on Tower Records in 1967.

They were also Mae West’s backing band on her ’Way Out West’ LP. I’ve not heard the latter but I’ll be surprised if the resulting music is worthwhile.

Most of the members of Somebody’s Chyldren went on to form Marianne in the late 60s.

Somebody’s Chyldren were:

David Clark Allen
Dennis Trerotola
Paul Dobies
Ricky Cameron

THEE MIDNITERS – ’Never Knew I Had It So Bad’/’The Walking Song’ (Whittier Records 504) Jan 1967

East Los Angeles had a host of great 60s groups and perhaps the most well known were Thee Midniters. They had a command of a wide range of musical styles but it’s their uptempo garage ravers that make the EXPO67 playlist.

’Never Knew I Had It So Bad’ is classic garage rock medicine complete with a snarling fuzztone tirade. The song has sadly evaded compilers apart from an outing years ago on ’A Journey To Tyme Volume 2’

SEAN & the BRANDYWINES – ’She Ain’t No Good’/’Cod’ine’ (Decca 31910) January 1966

Little is known about Sean and the Brandywines, indeed they only left this one Gary Usher produced 45 behind. According to ’Teenbeat Mayhem’ they were from Tujunga, California.

’She Ain’t No Good’ is a choice cover version originally recorded by London mods The Knack. The latter group were signed to Decca records in England so it’s not inconceivable that the song was given to their American associates for consideration.

Another London outfit The Clique also recorded ’She Ain’t No Good’ in 1965.

The other side (not sure which was the top side) is a fine folk rock rendition of ’Cod’ine’.

By the way, if you look at the picture of the 45 you’ll see a price tag of 5 cents. I paid a lot more for it a couple of years ago!

CLEAR LIGHT – ’Black Roses’/’She’s Ready To Be Free’ (Elektra EK-45622) Sept 1967

Los Angeles group Clear Light were previously called The Brain Train and under this moniker cut a rare 45, including a much rougher/garage version of ’Black Roses’ on Titan Records.

Maybe they decided to change their name to the hipper Clear Light (after a potent brand of LSD) because they started wearing longer hair, weird beards and love beads. Whatever the reason, their manager Bud Mathis touted the groups sounds around L.A. record labels and Elektra signed them up.

During the recording sessions with Elektra founding member Robbie Robison departed. However, he did play on perhaps their finest moment ’She’s Ready To Be Free’ which was recorded during April 1967. He’s also listed/credited on the back of the Clear Light album cover as Robbie Robison ”guru”.

’She’s Ready To Be Free’ was given exposure in the movie ’The President’s Analyst’ where Clear Light have a cameo appearance.

THE KNACK – ’I’m Aware’/’Time Waits For No One’ (Capitol 5774) Feb 1967

Capitol Records had high hopes for Los Angeles group The Knack, even dubbing them the ’American Beatles’ at one point and spending a fair bit of money promoting this debut single in trade magazines which came in a modtastic colour sleeve.

’Time Waits For No One’ is a catchy pop tune with a strong hook and melody and seems to have been the plug side, although ’I’m Aware’ was a hit in it’s own right in several states.

THE RUMORS – ’Hold Me Now’/’Without Her’ (Gemcor 5002) July 1965

IMO the best release on the short lived Gemcor label and it proved to be The Rumors only release which is a shame because they had obvious talent and a special garage pop sound. The mix of vox organ and surf tinged guitar are a heady brew but sadly nobody else thought so and the single went un-rewarded.  

’Hold Me Now’ can be heard on the Nuggets box set from the 90s, the flip ’Without Her’ sounds even better.

THE EAST SIDE KIDS – ’Take A Look In The Mirror’/’Close Your Mind’ (Orange Empire Records OE-500) 1967

Popular Los Angeles group The East Side Kids played all of the major clubs on the Sunset Strip yet despite a clutch of 45s and an album on UNI they remain relatively unknown. Perhaps this double sided winner on the obscure Orange Empire label was their best release. It’s certainly their most psychedelic.

’Take A Look In The Mirror’ and ’Close Your Mind’ were co written by future Comfortable Chair member Bernie Schwartz. The East Side Kids (or at least most of the band) recorded a 45 as The Sound Of The 7th Son.

THE ASHES – ’Is There Anything I Can Do’/’Every Little Prayer’ (Vault V-924) 1966

Los Angeles folk rock group The Ashes formed in 1965 and polished their sound with a residency at a club called The Waleback in Santa Monica. By early 1966 they were signed to Vault Records, a small label owned by Jack Lewerke.

The Ashes cut several songs at Gold Star Studios, Hollywood all of which were produced by Richard Delvy from The Challengers. From these sessions ’Is There Anything I Can Do’ was selected as their debut 45. The full production sound with it’s Phil Spector meets The Byrds arrangement should have been a big hit but it didn’t sell and The Ashes had drifted apart by mid ’66, eventually morphing into The Peanut Butter Conspiracy.

THE ROOSTERS – ’One Of These Days’/’You Gotta Run’ (Progressive Sounds Of America PSA 1151) April 1966

Flower Bomb Songs favourites The Roosters hailed from Westchester, a suburb of Los Angeles. According to lead singer Ray Mangigian, this group of teenagers were hugely influenced by The Byrds and The Hollies in equal measure.

It’s not hard to hear how that influence created some fantastic folk jangle with beautiful harmonies. ’One Of These Days’ is the perfect embodiment of the Sunset Strip sound. The flip ’You Gotta Run’ is more 12 string jangle but this time is a mournful ballad of sorts. Both sides are KILLER all the way!

When I exchanged emails with Ray last year he claimed that their best moment as a group was performing as the backing band for Sonny & Cher in ’66 at Reb Foster’s Revelaire Club. Such was this Hollywood couple’s fame, they arrived at the Club’s parking lot by helicopter.

THE DAVID – ’I’m Not Alone’/’Sweet December’ (VMC V716) 1967

The David were a very talented group of teenagers based in the Los Angeles area led by singer/songwriter Warren Hansen. They had earlier 45 releases on 20th Century Fox before their manager Steven Vail created his own label VMC.

By all accounts The David album ’Another Day, Another Lifetime’ was a very costly affair with a big budget and songs that included elaborate string arrangements and eastern style orchestration. Favourable comparisons with The Left Banke have ensured that The David have enjoyed a cult following since the 60s.

Both cuts on this 45 were taken from the studio album and both feature their more garage sides, in particular the driving fuzz and farfisa led ’I’m Not Alone’.

BOBBY JAMESON – ’Vietnam’ (Tower DT-5083) 1967

Hollywood antagonist Bobby Jameson could have been a contender but his ability to piss the ’wrong’ people off meant that he’d be left in the shadows of obscurity when his talent was far greater than many of those who succeeded in the music business during the Los Angeles folk rock and psych explosion.

’Vietnam’ is a very powerful anti-war protest song with a great Bo Diddley beat and furious vocals by Jameson. He sounds so fucking angry I believe every word he’s spitting out.

’Vietnam’ was released as a single but probably only as a promo and in very limited numbers. The label was Mira Records 208 – and is virtually impossible to find. In fact several noted record collectors have never even seen a copy.

Fortunately the song was included on the soundtrack album of ’Mondo Hollywood’, Carl Cohen’s cult film from late 1967.

PETER FONDA – ’November Night’/’Catch The Wind’ (Chisa CH 004) March 1967

Here’s an obscure single by actor Peter Fonda on the equally obscure Chisa label set up by jazz trumpeter Hugh Masekela and Stewart Levine. Both had a hand in producing some Peter Fonda sessions and enough material was recorded for an album, although only these two songs were ever released.

’November Night’ was written by Gram Parsons and can be found on ’Where The Action Is’, the 4 CD release of Los Angeles nuggets on Rhino. The other side is a cover of Donovan’s ’Catch The Wind’.

SONNY AND CHER – ’I’ve Got You Babe’/’It’s Gonna Rain’ (Atlantic AT 4035) July 1965

A Los Angeles retrospective would be laughed at without the inclusion of a Sonny & Cher song so flip over the mega hit ’I’ve Got You Babe’ and spin the B-Side ’It’s Gonna Rain’. The latter has a wonderfully incessant bass line that bursts through my JAMO dynamic d4e speakers and Bono’s gruff folk punk vocals really shine.

THE NO-NA-MEE’S – ’Gotta Hold On’/’Just Wanna Be Myself’ (Era Records 3153) Nov 1965

Fantastic double sided garage mayhem from The No-Na-Mee’s who are thought to hail from the Los Angeles area although that could be down to the label they were signed to. Era Records were a small indie label located in Hollywood and of course released genre defining moments by The Lyrics and Ty Wagner as well as lesser known delights by The Chocolate Tunnel and The Wizards.

information from a reader: My brother, Cliff Davis was in this band, he played rhythm guitar. Other members were Clayton Ice on keyboards, Rod Williams on drums, Doug Wareham on lead guitar, his brother Duane Wareham on bass. I hope I spelled everyone’s name correctly after all these years.

Yes they were from Modesto California. I remember how excited they were when they got back from L.A. after this recording. A highlight of this trip was when they were eating lunch and in walked Sonny and Cher! They also did a recording around this time as backup players for a duo, Jerry and Jan. I have all these records.

Judy Raney: Doug and Duane Wareham are my cousins. I spent many times either sitting in on their practices and going to performances. They were from the Modesto, CA area. I just chatted with Doug 2 days ago. They were an extremely talented group of musicians.

STRAWBERRY ALARM CLOCK – ’Sea Shell’/’Paxton’s Back Street Carnival’ (UNI 55093) Nov 1968

By late ’68 their turned on pop hits had all but dried up but Strawberry Alarm Clock continued to release records but with less fanfare than before and of course lower sales. That didn’t mean the quality of their music had dipped. I really dig the smooth vocals and sunshine pop of ’Sea Shell’ but this 45 is a must have for the flip ’Paxton’s Back Street Carnival’.

’Paxton’s’ was recorded back in 1967 as part of the album sessions after the big hit ’Incense And Peppermints’. For some strange and lazy reason it was resurrected as the B-Side for this 1968 flop. I say strange because Strawberry Alarm Clock had moved on musically and their personnel had undergone some changes, so using old material was a tad regressive.

’Sea Shell’ must have been a major none seller because it’s probably the most difficult SAC 45 to find. But you gotta seek it out for the mono flip. Way better that the stereo cut on the debut album.
’Paxton’s’ is a pure celebration of a psychedelic street carnival, the lyrics describing the trippy atmosphere and spirit of the hippie mood and frame of mind.

”Your eyes are sparkling
Your mind is moving fast
No need to hurry
The world won’t be floating past.
It will wait for you.”

THE GIRLS – ’Chico’s Girl’/’Dumb Song’ (Capitol 5675) 1965

It’s time for some girl garage action and none better than East Los Angeles combo The Girls who were teenage sisters ’discovered’ by Capitol Records and sponsored by Fender guitars.
They caused quite a stir in and around Hollywood with their tuff rock sound and played several high profile birthday gigs for ’A’ list celebs. The right contacts also enabled them to appear on TV Shows Hullabaloo and Hollywood A Go Go but sadly no tapes of these performances have surfaced on You Tube yet.

’Chico’s Girl’ has got a full production, it could be said that it’s a garage ’wall of sound’. The subtle use of fuzz is a great touch. The song was written by New York songwriting couple Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil.

THE AVENGERS – ”I Told You So” / ”Shipwrecked” (Star-burst Records 128) March 1966

One of the many delights of having a music blog, mostly dedicated to 60s garage and psychedelic groups, is that sometimes one of the members of a 45 I review gets in touch with me. Over the years I’ve been fortunate to have made contact with Greg Likins, Gerry Blake and Gary Bernard from the mighty Avengers.

The Avengers were from Bakersfield but recorded most of their music at Gary S. Paxton’s home studio in Los Angeles. ’I Told You So’ is a catchy garage rocker and deserved to be a hit. The label indicates a B-Side but the song appears to have been the favoured side. It was listed on the KAFY radio chart. It was written by Kenny Johnson who went on to form The Chocolate Tunnel.

’Shipwrecked’ sounds heavily influenced by Northern Ireland band Them, the vocal delivery is pure Van Morrison.

THE FLOWER CHILDREN – ’Mini-Skirt Blues’/’Marching Lovers’ (Castil Records 101) March 1967

With a group name like The Flower Children one would expect ’Mini-Skirt Blues’ to be soft flower pop with perhaps male/female harmonies. WRONG; these Flower Children, led by Simon Stokes have a punked up protest anthem on their hands, heavy on the organ, making the whole sonic concoction sound very Seeds like.

Mr Stokes has got his mini-skirt blues real bad. He’s almost spitting out the words in this rant. The flip ’Marching Lovers’ is more Sunset Strip groove with dumb lyrics and spooky organ.

The 45 also got a release on Allied Records. My copy on Castil Records shows 6 March 1967 stamped on the label. March ’67 may not have been the release date but it shows the record was clearly doing the rounds as early as this.

GYPSY TRIPS – ’Ain’t It Hard’/’Rock ’N Roll Gypsies’ (World Pacific 77809) Nov 1965

The Gypsy Trips were a folk rock duo comprising singer songwriter Roger Tillison and his vocal partner and sunset strip babe Terrye Newkirk. They both relocated from dullsville Oklahoma to the bright lights of L.A. and soon after cut the classic psych tinged folk rock winner ’Ain’t It Hard’ featuring the tripped out lyric:

”And your brother’s in the bathroom with acid in his head,
And there’s no place to go cos the town’s all dead.”

(I’ve read elsewhere that the lyric is ’acid in his hand’ but that’s not what Roger is singing in my mind)

’Ain’t It Hard’ was recorded by The Electric Prunes and released as their first 45 in May 1966.

OPUS 1 – ’Back Seat ’38 Dodge’/’In My Mind’ (Mustang 3017) May 1966

The cryptically named Opus 1 were a short lived, one single shot group outta Long Beach. Their star shone briefly over Los Angeles and their management even took out a full page advert announcing the release of ’Back Seat ’38 Dodge’ in a May 1966 edition of KRLA Beat.
This advert describes the new 45 on Mustang as ”Bewitching” and I can see why. It’s a swirling surf and garage punk mix with maximum echo in the production.

The flip ’In My Mind’ is just as good but this psychedelic medication is not as immediate. In the end though it didn’t matter because the single failed to sell in large quantities and today remains a sought after disc by 60s garage archivists.

THE SMOKE RINGS – ’Love’s The Thing’/’She Gives Me Love’ (Prospect 101) 1966

The Romancers were a very popular East Los Angeles group playing mostly soul and pop music. From the material I’ve heard by them they didn’t really ’pound’ too much, apart from this garage rocker titled ’Love’s The Thing’ written by the Uballez brothers.

The Romancers disc was released on Linda Records during September 1965 but curiously it was re-released on Prospect Records with a name change to The Smoke Rings. The disc also got distributed on Dot.
The flip ’She Gives Me Love’ has their usual soul pop overtones.
But it’s the killer ’Love’s The Thing’ that gets in my L.A. Sounds, Select 50 and quite rightly so.

HIS MAJESTY’S COACHMEN – ’I Don’t Want To See You’/’Where Are You Bound’ (Gemini G-1004) Aug 1966

This combo, reportedly from Los Angeles, are a complete mystery to me. They’ve rarely had anything written about them and Fuzz, Acid And Flowers even failed to mention His Majesty’s Coachmen.

’I Don’t Want To See You’ is a jangle pop delight and brings to my mind The Dovers. The flip ’Where Are You Bound’ is more jangle sweetness but this time with organ and vocal harmonies. According to Teenbeat Mayhem this 45 was released August 1967 but the record is highlighted as ’a hit bound sound’ on this radio sheet from August 1966.

Both sides were written by Dennis Tracy and produced by Dick Shepp at Columbia Studio in L.A.

ARSA has this song charting for one week in Santa Barbara (KIST) in August 1966. Maybe they ploughed the same fields, so to speak, as The Dovers!

THE ASSOCIATION – ’Pandora’s Golden Heebie Jeebies’/’Standing Still’ (Valiant V-755) Nov 1966

The Association were virtually unknown in England during the 60s only denting the charts once with ’Time For Living’ (it reached number 23) and that was in May 1968. In other words none of their American sunshine pop hits such as ’Windy’ or ’Cherish’ got noticed.

The ethereal, eastern tinged ’Pandora’s Golden Heebie Jeebies’ was a risky choice for a 45 to follow ’Cherish’, being about as far out as The Association ever got. I happen to love this song as well as The Association so would never do an ’L.A. selected 50’ without them being in it.

Pandora’s was recorded at Western Recorders, Hollywood but the flip ’Standing Still’ (and the more likely tune with hit potential) was taken from the album ’And Then…Along Comes Mary’ from July 1966.

According to the liners from the Warners/Rhino double Anthology CD set, writer and singer Gary Alexander is quoted:

”Contrary to previous reports, Pandora’s Golden Heebie Jeebies was not about the Sunset Strip night club Pandora’s Box, but rather about Eastern spirituality that fascinated me at the time.”

Shortly after the single flopped Gary Alexander quit The Association and went to India to meditate and smoke banana skins. He returned with a new name…Jules Alexander Heavy. ha ha ha….it could only happen in the 60s!!!


I had the pleasure of seeing the Association live a couple of years ago (and the smaller pleasure of the Lettermen on the same bill, and the even smaller still pleasure of Gary Puckett), and when I was having Russ Giguere sign my passport (I did not have anything useful for him to sign, and he said he would sign anything)

I asked him when the last time they had played Pandora’s Golden Heebie Jeebies live was. He seemed intrigued by the question, looked over to Jim Yester, they both stared at each other for a second or two, and he confidently responded ”about a million years ago.” So, there you have it. This song has not been played live since before the dawn of human history.

Lovely to run across this thread! I was in my late teens living in California during The Association’s brief but intense peak of creativity (i.e., their first two LPs). They were shunned by the hippies (as were the Beach Boys, their only rivals in the vocal harmony department).

That was the hippies’ loss. … I saw The Association play live twice — at the Monterey Pop Festival and at Foothill College in Los Altos Hills, Ca., both in 1967. They were fine musicians, despite the role of ”The Wrecking Crew” on some of their recordings, and the second album, ”Renaissance,” clearly shows a supremely talented group at the height of its powers across the board.”Pandora’s Golden Heebie Jeebies” is probably their most powerful single track, immaculately structured and one of the greatest musical depictions of the ego-death-and-transcendence themes associated with LSD.

I would go so far as to call it one of the most outstanding songs of the 1960s — no small distinction. It’s a great shame that it is so little known. Thanks for remembering it!

THE SIN SAY SHUNS – ’All My Lonely Waiting’/’Rain Drops, Tear Drops’ (Venett Records V-108) 1966

According to the liners on the back of their album ’I’ll Be There – Live! at P.J’s in Hollywood’, The Sin Say Shuns formed in late 1965 and quickly made waves as the resident band at P.J’s holding down a record six month stand.

The energetic and overlooked garage beat of ’All My Lonely Waiting’ was their second 45 on Venett Records, a small label from Hollywood. This is a fantastic tune with it’s driving rhythm and some pretty wild stick action from Bobby Cottle. This is the work of a very tight and efficient outfit.

The flip ’Rain Drops, Tear Drops’ is a slow ballad.

Clark Lunde was in this line-up, sometimes as the lead singer. That is him at the left in your photo. Besides being the resident band at P.J.’s in Hollywood for a record six months, they also performed at Pacific Ocean Park (P.O.P.), a popular amusement park located in Venice, CA and at several U.S.O. shows in Vietnam among other places.

THE BECKETT QUINTET – ‘(It’s All Over Now) Baby Blue’/’No Correspondence’ (Gemcor 5003) Oct 1965

 This combo were previously known as The Epics and gigged extensively in New Mexico (where they all came from). They even recorded some demos at the famous Norman Petty studios and sometime in early 1965, armed with these demos decided to seek the big time in Hollywood and look for a record deal.

Now calling themselves The Beckett Quintet they got a deal with a new Hollywood label called Gemcor and released this double sided winner in late ’65. The single must have gained airplay and shifted units because they were interviewed in KRLA Beat and picked up for national release by A&M. Strangely, the major label disc is very hard to find.

According to ARSA radio survey archive, the 45 managed to hit the top 30 on WLOF Orlando, Florida during October 1965.

The flip ’No Correspondence’ has been compiled several times (Pebbles, Garagelands, Journey To Tyme) and is a rudimentary garage classic. The top side and ’hit’ is a cover of ’Baby Blue’ and has that classic Los Angeles folk rock sound.

THE L.A. TEENS – ’All I Really Want To Do’/’Saturday’s Child’ (Decca 31813) July 1965

The L.A. Teens only released two singles, this one under review being the last. However, a Gary Usher website reveals that the band recorded these songs during May/June 1965 as well as three others that remain unreleased.

The titles of which are ’So Glad’, ’On The Road Again’ and ’Ann Marie’. It’s a shame that The L.A. Teens seemingly recorded material then broke up before the Sunset Strip action really took off because judging by the quality of songs I’ve heard they could have been contenders.

 ’All I Really Want To Do’, made more famous by The Byrds (they recorded their version in March 1965) is a pleasant enough folk rock version with jangly guitar (probably a 12 string) but I dig the moody punk protest of ’Saturday’s Child’ on the flip more.

THE MONKEES – ’A Little Bit Me, A Little Bit You’/’The Girl I Knew Somewhere’ (RCA Victor 66-1004) March 1967

I couldn’t select 50 songs from Los Angeles without including The Monkees. You can love them or hate them but there’s no denying that they made perfect pop records (apart from those sappy ballads sung by Davy Jones).

At the start of 1967 and a couple of million record sales under their wide buckled belts, The Monkees decided that they wanted to be taken seriously and be a fully fledged group in their own right. They got together at Gold Star studios in Hollywood during January ’67 and recorded Mike Nesmith’s original ’The Girl I Knew Somewhere’ notable for it’s inclusion of a blissed out harpsichord break played by Peter Tork. 

THE PREMIERS – ’Get On This Plane’/’Come On And Dream’ (Faro 624) Nov 1966

’Get On This Plane’ borrows heavily from the bass moves of ’I Can Only Give You Everything’ but the addition of fuzz transforms the beat into a powerful and hypnotic sting of aural pleasure. Just why records don’t sound as good as this any more fills my head with sadness.

Thankfully, forty years after the fact I can place this 45 on the turntable, crank up the volume and piss the neighbours off with some loud a gritty fuzztone guitar.

The Premiers hit big in 1964 with ’Farmer John’ but then slipped back down the pecking order. ’Get On This Plane’ was almost their last throw of the dice and was written by singer George Delgada and Max Uballez. Production was carried out by Standells member Larry Tamblyn and East L.A. face Eddie Davis.

The flip ’Come On And Dream’ written by Larry Tamblyn is a reflective piece with sweet background vocals, a clattering tambourine and acoustic guitar. I’m not sure why The Standells didn’t record this one?

THE TURTLES – ’She’ll Come Back’ (Decca DL 4751) May 1966

I’ve featured the marvellous Turtles on my site a couple of times before archives and they are without question one of the best ever groups from USA and in particular Los Angeles (you may have noticed that I’m gonna focus my attention for a while on L.A. bands or those from neighbouring parts of Southern California).

Here’s a long lost piece of brilliance called ’She’ll Come Back’ written by singer Howard Kaylan. It’s an essential raga folk rock gem with sombre jangle, a sound that some call ’moody’ but I just call ’class’. You’ll find it hidden away on the soundtrack of the film ”Out Of Sight”, a rather low budget beach movie.

”Don’t you worry my friend,
She’ll come back in the end”

TERRY RANDALL – ’S.O.S.’/’Tell Her’ (Valiant Records V-756) Dec 1966

Terry Randall is a bit of a mystery, although this killer protest 45 about the riots on Sunset Strip during November 1966 is a well known tune among garage hipsters. I first heard it on Highs In The Mid Sixties Volume 2 in less than stellar sound.

When I decided to collect original vinyl singles this record was one of the first on my ’wants’ list mostly because it’s got a swingin’ garage beat that I dig the most and there’s some great ’cop’ put down lyrics. And no youth digs the cops or the ’filth’ as they’re mostly known in the North of England…

’S.O.S.’ was a chart spotlight pick in Billboard trade magazine during December 1966.

The flip ’Tell Her’ is a teener ballad. Both songs were written by Randy Benjamin.

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