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Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Mike Crawford - Texas Psych Posters

Texas Psych Posters
Texas Psych Posters
Texas Psych Posters
Texas Psych Posters

Check out these sick Texas Psych posters from fellow Texas Psych Group member - Mike Crawford! These will be instantly recognizable to the cognoscenti of this genre of music/poster art. These babies are framed up for the wall too! In that "group" picture, with Mike, that's (probably) in excess of twenty-five thousand dollars worth of posters. Many of those are coveted Vulcan Gas Company posters which were printed in lots of 100 and hung around town. Not many examples of each survive. Those Vulcan posters featured art by Gilbert Shelton of the Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers, Wonder Warthog, Fat Freddy's Cat, more... fame.

Mike has lots and lots of images to share. I will be posting some of these on the blog as we go.

Great work Mike!

Contact Mike Crawford here: rockmountain54@att.net



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Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Great Doug Walden Photo

doug walden

Check out this picture of my late friend Doug Walden. Doug is the one wearing the South Texas Psychedelic Cattleman's Association tee shirt. Doug and I bought those and I still have mine.

Doug was an original member of the Houston, Texas band United Gas and the late, great, Houston band - Christopher. Doug was the bass player. Doug Tull, of Christopher, also was a member of the Houston group Josephus.

In addition to his musical achievements Doug was also an original member of the Roky Erickson Yahoogroup. This became the Texas Psych Yahoogroup which later became the Texas Psych Googlegroup. Doug was a funny guy who had a really interesting, first-person, take on Texas Psychedelic music. Doug was a gentle soul too who never took sides in all of the wars fought on the list. And there were some Great Conflicts.

Awhile back, Doug and his wife visited me in my Phoenix home while on a trip. We had an, all-too-brief, visit before they had to get back on the road. I'm posting this because I came across this great photo of Doug and I wanted to say that the Texas Psych Group misses you Doug. It's not the same place without you.


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Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Moby Grape Vulcan Gas Company Pictures

Vulcan Gas Company
Moby GrapeVulcan Gas Company
Vulcan Gas Company
Check out these pictures of Moby Grape live at the Vulcan Gas Company in Austin! That’s Jerry Miller- guitar, Bob Mosley- bass from the May 24, 25, 1968 gig. The Vulcan Gas Company (at 316 Congress Avenue) was Austin’s psychedelic ballroom. Thanks to Chris Dysart for the pictures. For good measure I’ve included an image of the poster for that Moby Grape Vulcan Gas Company gig. Now, if only the long lost “Vulcan Stash” of tapes can be found!


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Thursday, April 8, 2010

The Green Fuz


The Green Fuz - Randy Alvey Interview

“Here we come, baby, and you’d better run. We’re The Green Fuz!”

60sgaragebands.com (60s): How did you first get interested in music?

Randy Alvey (RA):I can’t ever remember not being interested in music. I was exposed to music from a very early age. My maternal grandmother loved to play the piano, and I loved to watch and listen. My first instrument was a slide trombone at about age ten or so.

60s: Was The Green Fuz your first band?

RA: The first band I was in was called The Psychedelic Reactions. Mike Pearce, the drummer, and I were good friends and started this short-lived venture in 1967 or so. Later, with a few personnel changes, the band became The Green Fuz.

60s: Where was The Green Fuz formed?

RA: The band was formed in 1968 (?) in Bridgeport Texas. Mike, R.E. and I started the band.

60s: Our archives list the band line-up as:
Randy Alvey - Vocals
Mike Pearce - Drummer
Jimmy Mercer - Rhythm guitar
Les Dale - Lead guitar
R.E. (Buck) Houchins - Bassist

Is this correct?

RA: Yes. There were no lasting /major changes during this time, although we did switch instruments for different songs.

60s: Is it true that the band was named for a green fuzz box that you used?

RA: Yes. Leslie Dale got a very ugly green fuzz box, and the rest is a matter of record!

60s: When the band performed, was it billed as "Randy Alvey & The Green Fuz" or simply "The Green Fuz"?

RA: It was simply The Green Fuz. For some reason the record label added the name to the front.

60s: Where did the band typically play?

RA: We played at school dances and pep rallies. We also did private parties and openings, etc.

60s: How far was the band's "touring" territory?

RA: Not too far at first! Remember that we were very young and most of us didn’t even have a driving permit!

60s: Did you play any of the local teen clubs?

RA: We were pretty much regulars at the Bridgeport Teen Club, as were bands like The Chocolate Moose and The Last Sun Down. We used the building as a rehearsal hall during the week.

60s: Did The Green Fuz participate in any battle of the bands?

RA: Oh yes! Those things were pretty much mandatory for a local band! We enjoyed them, though. The Chocolate Moose and The Last Sun Down above were most always there, as was a band called The Ripe Olive. We all were friends and the competition many times turned into a giant jam session.

60s: How would you describe the band's sound?

RA: We had a very dirty, bottom driven sound. Besides the British Invasion, bands such as The Kinks and late soul icon Wilson Pickett come to mind. Man…we could do “Mustang Sally” all night! “Midnight Hour” was also a crowd pleaser!

60s: How popular locally did The Green Fuz become?

RA: We were pretty much in demand for a while. We seemed to have a fairly big local following. Some of our peer age group was extremely jealous of the band’s popularity. This made us out to be either celebrities or villains, depending on whom you talked to.

60s: Did you ever work with a manager?

RA: We went through a few managers; Shorty Hendrix comes to mind. He was also the producer of our 45. He was a great salesman, but was really used to promoting country music. He was likely to show up at a gig wearing a sequined cowboy jacket…or something! It was really pretty comical.

60s: How did the band become associated with the Wash-Tex label?

RA: We were recruited by Shorty, who was co-owner of the label along with his brother in Seattle.

60s: Legend has it that the single was recorded in an empty cafe.

RA: The deserted café was located on Hwy 199 and FM 920. It was a native stone building and had this funky echo about it. We had to play at a much lower volume than normal due to this characteristic. The drums had to be muffled with towels.

60s: Whose idea was it to record the single in the cafe? And what was your immediate reaction when you heard the pressing for the first time?

RA: I think Shorty set it up. We were under whelmed. It was a pleasant surprise when others were impressed. I wish I could tell you how many of those records we used as clay pigeons for shotgun practice by the band! Ha Ha!

60s: Do you recall the inspiration behind the writing of "Green Fuz"?

RA: We thought we needed a signature or theme song for whatever reason. It seemed that a lot of local bands did that at that time.

60s: R.E. wrote the flip, "There Is A Land". What are your thoughts on that song?

RA: Personally, I never was fond of that song. It was R.E.’s lyrical creation, and some people liked it. I never was much for any “ballad”-type tune. I played bass on that one.

60s: Did The Green Fuz write many original songs?

RA: We were all creative dreamers, and all originals were group efforts.

60s: Do you recall any of the titles?

RA: Not really. They were short lived as we were constantly changing!

60s: Did you ever perform "Green Fuz" live?

RA: Sure! It was our “theme,” so we played it often as an opener and closer. I think the local faithful really got stuck on it.

60s: Do any other Green Fuz recordings exist? Are there any vintage live recordings, or unreleased tracks?

RA: I hate to start rumors, but I’m almost sure that some lost tracks are out there. We were always messing around with reel-to-reel four-track.

60s: Did the band make any local TV appearances?

RA: No TV.

60s: What year and why did the band break up?

RA: The band seemed more to morph than break up. As our interests as individuals changed, so did our musical tastes.

60s: What did the band morph into?

RA: The Fuz more or less evolved into a band known as Natchez. Again, Mike Pearce and I were in this band as was Houchins. We met up with a great guitarist named Larry Branson. At one time we had two drummers playing at once. Our music took on a louder acid rock kind of sound. Our touring area grew and with it our popularity as a party show band type of operation. Personnel changed frequently as the gigs became more and more demanding.

60s: What did Les Dale do once the rest of you morphed into Natchez?

RA: Les had returned to California with his family.

60s: How long was The Natchez together?

RA: First let me say that there was no “the” on the band name. We recorded several masters at a studio called Star Recording in Ft. Worth in about 1972. The studio closed and then was destroyed by fire before we got the tapes. These were to be used as demos, and they included covers of “I’m a Man”, “Funk49”, and a couple of untitled originals.

60s: Do you still perform?

RA: We don’t play in public at this time...but there may be a change in that soon. I have been married to my best friend Debby for 32+ years now. We raised three great sons and I love playing with my four grandchildren. Debby and I vacation in the Caribbean as much as possible.

60s: “At this time”? It sounds like you might be considering a Green Fuz reunion performance?

RA: Jimmy, Mike and I are currently in touch. We may get together and discuss this possibility. Time and money are always a factor - time out of our everyday lives, and the money for equipment, etc. If we do it we want to do it right. But I can tell you that jam sessions are planned…

60s: When did you first learn about the cult reputation of "Green Fuz"? Was this prior to or after the Cramps released their cover version?

RA: I guess at about the same time as that great tribute by the Cramps came out. Collectors and affectionados about that time stormed me. I never would have believed it. I found out about Pebbles and the U.K. popularity after that.

60s: How do you best summarize your experiences with The Green Fuz?

RA: That was a really happy time in our lives. We would have never even cared if we recorded or not. We were privileged to express ourselves through our music. This made us very happy, and hopefully it made and continues to make some other people happy, too.

"Copyrighted and originally printed on www.60sgaragebands.com by Mike Dugo".
"Listen live, online to their music at Beyond The Beat Generation, 60's garage and psychedelia".

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Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Great Charlie Prichard Picture!

charlie prichard
charlie prichard

Check out this great picture of Charlie Prichard; lead guitar player of the Conqueroo. Charlie joined Cat Mother and the All-Night Newsboys in 1970 and moved to Mendocino, a little coastal town 150 miles north of San Francisco. This is a photo of "Fat Charlie" backstage at one of Cat Mother's outdoor boogies. Anyone notice the resemblance to Fat Freddy of the Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers? Charlie has been back in the Austin music scene since the mid seventies, and was named to the Texas Music Hall of Fame a couple of years ago.

Gilbert Shelton has said that the likely candidate for Fat Freddy was Charlie Prichard. I've also included an image of Fat Freddy of the Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers.

Here's an interview fragment about Charlie's time with Cat Mother concucted by Carlton Crutcher and courtesy of http://www.terrascope.co.uk/Features/Conqueroo_interview.htm :

CC I have that album, Cat Mother’s ‘The Street Giveth and the Street Taketh Away’

CP Oh yeah that’s the one Jimi Hendrix co-produced it with them, it’s the only thing he ever produced as far as I know. It was their first album, they were just finishing up their second album when I met them. They’d moved out to California and were lookin' for a guitar player. So I came and brought my Little Champ amp and then a few weeks later got the call to do the Atlanta Pop Festival. You know, five hundred thousand people!

CC I have a video of Jimi Hendrix from that… So you joined Cat Mother and that was while they were recording their second album, so you played on that second album?

CP No, I played on the third album. They were just finishing the second album when I met them. I played on the third and helped them get the music together for the fourth but they were going back to New York. They were taking a school bus and were all going to stay on the Bowery in New York, because of this tie with Michael Jeffrey who was Jimi Hendrix’ manager.

CC Right

CP You know I just said “no I’m not going to New York.” We picked up this guitar player in England, Charlie Harcourt, who was a great guitar player, a great guy. Geordie lad, from Newcastle way. So they had a good guitar player so I just said “this is where I get off” And they went back to record their fourth album.

CC What was that third album called, do you remember?

CP I think it may have been called just Cat Mother.

CC They shortened their name to just Cat Mother?

CP Yeah, when they moved from New York they dropped “the Allnight Newsboys”. I think the first one was called “the street giveth and the street taketh away” the second one was called “Albion Doowa” I believe.

CC So when you joined the band, is that when you went down and played that Atlanta Pop Festival?

CP Yeah. We actually toured opening for Hendrix, we were the opening band.

CC Wow, was that one of his last US tours? Must have been. Did you get to hang out with Jimi? What was he like?

CP He was a sweet guy.

CC A real spiritual person wasn’t he?

CP Yeah. I used to see Jimi Hendrix, back on TV in Austin in the ‘60s there was this show called Night Train on TV that was either out of Nashville or Knoxville I can’t remember. It was like a black R&B show. It was on at midnight, Friday nights. It was sponsored by the Victory Grill and the Sweet One Hour Cleaners and they’d have like Bobby Bland and Bobby Bland imitator or Jackie Wilson and the Jackie Wilson imitator all on the same show. Had this guy called Ironing Board Sam, and they had Little Richard’s Band and this was when Little Richard was with God you know. And there was this guy on the end and we’d go “oh man look it looks like a Black Bob Dylan.” And it was Jimi Hendrix sitting there playin' guitar and he’d throw his guitar up and it’d go do two or three flips in the air.

CC That footage would be worth a gazillion dollars now! Wow, it’s amazing. Opening for Hendrix must have been a trip.

CP You know he’s from Seattle?

CC Uh huh

CP So we went back there and played at this baseball field called Sicks Stadium. It was Cactus, which was some guys from Vanilla Fudge I think, playing first. We were supposed to go on next and then Jimi. But it was raining and we were on this big stage at a baseball stadium and “we ain’t going out there and playing in the rain.” You know playing electric instruments. But Jimi kinda had to play. I mean his dad was there and everything so he got out there and played and there were guys holding up tarps over his head while he played and the rain was in the tarps. Ya know it was really weird. (laughter) Talk about psychedelic - that was a psychedelic scene.

CC What did you think of Hendrix’s music and what did you think of those gigs?

CP Oh, what a treat, getting to hear him play. It was an education and I shoulda gotten more from it than I did, but I sure got a lot you know.

CC So you recorded that album with Cat Mother and then you said you worked a little bit on the next one, or putting the songs together that were going to be the next one?

CP Yeah, yeah.

CC Then you quit?

CP Well, when it came time to record it like I said I just couldn’t face another bus trip across country, “you know they have really excellent recording machines out here on the West Coast now fellas.” Plus I had this little R&B band to be busy with down in Santa Cruz with Jerry Miller the guy from Moby Grape.



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Monday, April 5, 2010

Avalon Ballroom All Texas Poster - Janis, Sir Doug, 13th Floor Elevators

Avalon Ballroom All Texas

Check out this Avalon Ballroom All Texas poster! It features Janis Joplin w/Big Brother and the Holding Company, the Sir Douglas Quintet and a "Surprise Visit on Sunday" by the 13th Floor Elevators.

As with so many bands from the sixties, the Thirteenth Floor Elevators headed for California in the summer of 1966 and stayed there in San Francisco for the remainder of '66. They performed at the Avalon ballroom four times and once at the Fillmore Auditorium.

Their first album was released during their time in California and this, plus the fact they performed a lot at the Avalon ballroom, led many to think of them as a San Franciscan band. The Elevator's time in California helped to forge important links between America's West Coast and the hitherto relatively isolated Texas psychedelic scene.

Here's a quote from the 10/17/66 Mojo Navigator about the 'Elevators' performance at this gig:

"... The most interesting group musically was the 13th Floor Elevators. They are a really freaky group. They look strange, they sound strange, and they are all good musicians, doing all original material. The lead singer, whose voice is truly odd, also plays lead guitar pretty well. The drummer is excellent. They have one guy who does nothing but boop-boop-boop with a jug. The songs they do are new and different, though they tend to have a sameness because of the unchanging quality of the jug sound and the singer's voice. They will have a new single out soon and an album."


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