Sunday, August 13, 2006

People!

Most of you who will read this will not have any idea what I'm talking about. Grump however shares my love for 60's Psychadelic Rock so he'll appreciate my description of my weekend as I take a break from telling you how worthless Republicans are.

I saw a reunion concert of the 60's band People!. No, I'm not shouting they actually had an exclamation point in their name. Their only big hit came the year I was born and was a song originally performed by the Zombies. I never really liked the song however they had alot of other great songs.

The best part about the group is that they are a group that makes up the subtext of the era. Everyone knows the big names, but instead it's bands like Love, Moby Grape, and People! that describe the time more fully. I always love the band that becomes the footnote in any music genre discussion because they are generally the honest influence behind the chart toppers. These are the bands that changed the culture but didn't make nearly as much money.

I'd also like to add that I blame George W. Bush for the break-up of People! in the late 60's.

I'm going to sharing some new information about my upcoming and long overdue book...look for it.

1 comment:

Robert the Grump said...

It's regrettable that only the middle aged remember these bands because they defined their era and influenced everything that came after.

I fear that being in a psychadelic rock band leads to an early death, however. Note that Arthur Lee of Love died very recently, age 61. Love was the biggest band in Los Angeles back when the Doors were just another house band. Lee put together an integrated band that featured two black men from the ghettos of Memphis and three white guys, one who grew up in Beverly Hills. They did things that even the Beatles took note of. Besides Lee, Brian MacLean and Ken Forsi also died young. MacLean wrote, "Alone Again Or," the lead song on "Forever Changes" an LP that Rolling Stone ranked number 40 on the 500 greatest LP list. That album was powered by acoustic guitars years before MTV started unplugging bands. Forssi was a powerhouse bassist who's sliding note intro to "7 and 7 is" helped make it Love's biggest hit.

Skip Spence died in '99 in his mid-fifties. Spence was the original drummer of the Jefferson Airplane and a guitarist for Moby Grape. Fresh out of the nuthouse, he recorded the worst selling album in history, Oar, which is now considered a classic by critics. What other album that originally sold only a few hundred copies is still in print? He founded two seminal bands, and he died young after years of poor mental health and poverty.

Michael Knust died in '03, in his fifties. Knust was the guitar player of Fever Tree, who had the hit, San Francisco Girls. This is just about the most psychadelic song I've ever heard. I think Knust invented massively sustained guitar feedback. The dual guitar fade out to this tune still brings chills to my spine.

Before you blame all of these premature deaths on drugs, Lee, Forssi and Spence died of one form of cancer or another. MacLean had a heart attack. Only Knust died from an accidental overdose, while dealing with severe injuries from an automobile accident. I guess you could conjecture that LSD causes cancer, but who knows.

I salute these great artists, and hope that more of them actually live long enough to be appreciated.