The Incredible Expanding Universe
Brain Shadows is a series dedicated to rediscover great pieces of music which never reached the popularity they deserved in their own time.
For further information consult the books of Tom Tourville upon Wisconsin, Iowa, Minnesota, Chicago, North & South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas and Oklahoma
The Flower Power: An interview with Joe Rolison
Since I wrote my Flower Power entries I have been contacted by former member Joe Rolison who kindly sent me the following information about his psychedelic group.
”The Flower Power formed in October 1967, I was 15. The band came together from members of popular local bands. Craig Ferguson, guitar and lead vocal from The Soul Survivors, Robert Weathersby, guitar and Gregg Giuffria, organ from The Telstars. David Mcintosh and Sandi Craig from Sandi and the Gang Band, Joe Rolison from The Varments on bass.
Our age was from 15 to 17 years old. We played local gigs on the Mississippi Gulf Coast. Soon after we met Tom and Paul Kaimser in New Orleans looking for gigs in the parking lot of WNOE Radio Station.
After hearing a demo tape we made they became our Managers, Tom’s father in law, Joe Banasak, owned Tune-Kel and we signed a contract with them in early 1968.
FLOWER POWER RECORDINGS
The first single, ’Bye Bye’ was recorded at Cosmos Studio in Nola. The line up was the original as mentioned.
David Mcintosh left the band and was replaced by Johnny Rand from The Soul Survivors. Robert Weathersby also left and was replaced by Randall Currie also ex Soul Survivors.
The next two records were with this line up. We did a lot of shows as an opening act with the Krimser Management as a back up band for B.J.Thomas. We also performed shows with Jimi Hendrix, Sly and the Family Stone and many others.
’Mt Olympus’ was recorded with this line up. Randall Currie left the group in August 1968 and was replaced by Ted Tierce from The Substantial Evidence who had a single called ’Death Angel’ and were popular in the region.
Johnny Rand left the band and was replaced by Dickie Burnet on drums early 1969. Ted Tierce left after 5 months and we decided to stay as a five piece.
In July 1969 we went to Houston. Texas to open for The Nazz, Todd Rundgren’s band.
On Sunday, August 31st we were the opening act at the first New Orleans Pop Festival, a two day event with Janis Joplin, Santana and The Grateful Dead plus many more.
We recorded a lot of material in Houston, Texas, nothing released and the songs were never mixed but there was some test pressings on vinyl. Sadly, I don’t have one. The Flower Power rolled on into 1970 and played the second Atlanta Pop Festival in Georgia that July. This was the last gig we played together.
I played locally until 1985.
Thanks for your interest in my old band. There’s lots of crazy stories that I could tell.” (Joe Rolison, 2013) ** since I wrote this piece Joe died in 2022.
THE FLOWER POWER DISCOGRAPHY:
’You Make Me Fly’ / ’Sunshine Day’ (Tune-Kel 608) 1968
’Mississippi Delta’ / ’Bye Bye Baby’ (Tune-Kel 611) 1968
’Trivialities’ / Mt. Olympus’ (Tune-Kel 612) 1968
’Don’t Burn My Wings’ / ’Sailing Around The Sun’ (Tune-Kel 613) 1969
’Stop! Check It’ / ’Orange Skies’ (Tune-Kel 614) 1969
The Lyrics: My interview with Dan Garcia
1. It was interesting to read those press cuttings on your myspace page. I was intrigued to read that an album was due to appear. Did the band cut any demos in the studio for the album or did any studio time for an album not happen in the end?
I believe “Why Did He Go” was the last song we recorded
2. Also it was mentioned that Craig Carll had more than 30 original songs. Can you recall any titles that you may have recorded as demos or played live at gigs?
Songs we were working on and playing live , “I’m Missing You” “Dr Trips Medicine Band” “Teach You To Love” “ Night Flight” ??
3. How much of an effect did it have on the band when singer/songwriter Chris Gaylord left after the ‘So What!’ record. Michael Allen also left. That must have left a big hole. Did the remaining Lyrics consider all quitting at this time?
No not at all. I remember it being a relief in a way, Chris and Michael were hard to manage and it was just a matter of time before Chris left the group to do his own thing. Me, Billy Garcia and Craig Carll were going in a different direction.
4. Did you ever play the Sunset Strip. If yes, can you recall the names of the Clubs/venues. Names some other bands you shared the stage with. Any stories to share with regard to gigs. Any that went badly? What kind of reaction did the crowd give the band?
Yes we played a club called The Hullabaloo across the street from The Whisky A Go Go, we played with “The Byrds” “The Yellow Payges.
We also went on a TV show called the “The Woddy Wood Berry Show” I remember we were on with Betty White, singer Vic Danon and a comedian from Canada.
The crowd was great we had a large following and had a fan club. We also went on another TV show called ‘The Groovy Show’ I believe. A guy named Mike Blochet was the MC it was done outside in a park.
5. What cover versions did The Lyrics perform live?
Ray Charles, Doors, Vanilla Fudge, Hendrix, lots of groups.
6. Where was the promo picture taken of The Lyrics used for the Japanese sleeve for ‘Mr Man’ ….it’s also used for the poster circa 1967.
That picture was taken in Torrey Pines State Park in La Jolla.
7. What was your bass guitar of choice. Did you have any bass players you admired or were influenced by?
My Epiphone , Gibson EBO, Fender P-bass.
Players that I admired Jack Bruce from Cream , Harvey Brooks from Electric Flag, Tim Bogart from Vanilla Fudge.
8. I find it a little sad in a way that The Lyrics never made it beyond your locality because I rate ‘Wake Up To My Voice’ an awesome slice of raga(esque) psychedelia. Way ahead of anything The Doors came up with and you guys were ‘supporting’ them in some shows. Maybe you should have wore some tight leather jeans….ha ha ha.
I think if we would have changed the name Lyrics and like you said wore tight leather we may have had a better chance. It was a great experience.
KIRIAE CRUCIBLE – ”The Salem Witch Trial” / ”Complain” (Night Owl J-6836) March 1968
USA: Hyghe Knyghte status achieved by Madison, Wisconsin group of teenagers Kiriae Crucible. ”The Salem Witch Trial” is quite an intense number notable for the audio oscillator effect – Yeah, hang those witches.
The group were popular locally and were supported by WISM who gave the single regular spins. Sales were steady especially in Madison. These days though the record hardly ever shows up for sale and will probably sell upwards of $400 if you’re lucky enough to locate a copy. (30/12/17)