Friday, May 16, 2014

The Sight Of A Touch Or The Scent Of A Sound

Upon awakening from my slumber the song "Granny Takes A Trip" by The Purple Gang was running through my head and I pondered the quaintly marketed idea of producing sound recordings that were not only intended to be appreciated while Tripping Out or under the influence of any mind expanding substance(s) but also to aurally reproduce the effect to anyone curious enough in an unaltered state who cared to listen, this of course is still done today but was rife in the later half of the 1960s when the counter culture at large was experimenting Psychedelic alteration.

Also of interest is the fact that while many of these Musicians, Producers, Writers, Engineers and Interns had tried the Lysergic Acid all the way down to a few innocent puffs of *weed* they were not necessarily under the influence while catching this "Vibe" on tape, this of course comes down to minutiae and who remembers or even really cares (aside from the odd Syd Barrett story or three) as everyone was Stoned.

Here are a few Favourites of mine.

Granny Takes A Trip was the name of a boutique (clothes store) in the Kings Road, Chelsea, London in the 60s and inspired the title of this Classic Psych track by The Purple Gang from 1967/8.

Trivial Fact - The Pink Floyd were also recording their debut single "Arnold Layne" in the same studio at the time.

While this is hardly a Psych tune it was the second one that came to mind as my fading Dream fragmented before me as I gained consciousness and most likely due to the fact that it has the most Dreamlike quality both in the lyrics, production and instrumentation put across. The line "Beatles and Bolan's" came to mind and as this was 1973 Marc Bolan's star was just on the wane. The outbreak of "T. Rextasy" in England was only comparable to "Beatlemania" nine years previous so strong words indeed from King Crimson lyricist Pete Sinfield on whose first solo outing this song featured, Vocals shared with Greg Lake who was also hugely successful at the time with Emerson, Lake & Palmer.

The last track that entered my mind before I fully awoke was the Classic "My White Bicycle" by Tomorrow, this comes as no surprise since I have been thinking about the Tomorrow LP for months now meaning to give it a listen, Just a Great record overall. The "White Bicycle" in question according to their Drummer John "Twink" Alder was inspired by an idea put into use at the time in Amsterdam where there would be White Bicycles for free use to the public, you would get where you were going and leave the Bicycle for the next person. Speaking of Twink read on.

Twink (John Alder) is one of the legends of Psych Rock through Osmosis if nothing else. He was the Drummer for Tomorrow, The Pretty Things, The Pink Fairies, Mick Farren, Pinkwind and Stars (featuring Syd Barrett) amongst many others all the while hobnobbing with the legends. "Ten Thousand Words In A Cardboard Box" is to me one of those perfect Psych songs from start to finish and the LP "Think Pink" which this is taken from is truly a watermark. This was previously recorded by another of Twink's bands The Aquarian Age but his solo version actually frightens me.

Simon Dupree & The Big Sound would later morph into the band Gentle Giant but their song "Kites" to me always captured the feel of a brilliant Psychedelic single with its haunting melody, otherworldly instrumentation and calming lyrics which altogether seem to float along just like Well,... a Kite.

This posting was inspired by a Dream wherein I was questioning the inclusion of some of my Psych CDs on display versus other candidates of the genre.