Sunday, October 7, 2012


During the mid 1960’s, suburban garages across America rocked to the fuzz-drenched frenzy created by kids hoping to emulate THE SEEDS, one of the biggest and best bands to emerge from the phenomenon known as Garage Rock. The Seeds style was undeniably simple but nonetheless brilliantly original. Muddy Waters once called them, “America’s own Rolling Stones”.

The Seeds’ debut album arrived in April 1966. Saxon’s lyric’s were infected by a wondrous charm, while the blend of British and blues influences served notice that The Seeds were developing a sound quite distinct from that of their “Louie Louie” based rivals. “Evil Hoodoo” is a piece of high octane freak-beat that was as much a genuine slice of punk as anything the late seventies punk explosion threw up. This sentiment of primal angst, as defined in the classic “Pushin’ Too Hard”, is the reason why Joey Ramone started singing in the first place, as the now deceased founder of punk titans, The Ramones, expressed in an interview.

Best known for their rock and roll standard “Pushin’ Too Hard”, the Seeds combined the raw appeal of garage rock with a fondness for psychedelia. They were the creation of charismatic vocalist Sky Saxon who, along with guitarist Jan Savage, recruited Daryl Hooper on keyboards and Rick Andridge on drums to unleash The Seeds onto the world. They soon signed to record biz pioneer Gene Norman’s label Crescendo Records and debuted the 45 RPM, “Can’t Seem Too Make You Mine” (1965). This was a slow, driving’ number that highlighted Saxon’s unique vocal style, and their patented Combo sound, which for the record, pre-dated the Doors! This single earned the band appearances on all the major variety shows at the time including American Bandstand and Shebang. “Pushin’ Too Hard” was the anthem for a generation and hit number one in many cities across America including Los Angeles and New York and hit #36 on the Billboard national chart in 1966. It was based on a simple driving riff over which Sky vented and growled and was characterized by a masterful minimalism that would make the band a source of inspiration for countless bands to come (check out bands that have covered The Seeds). Their self titled debut LP had other great groovy stompers like “No Escape”, “Nobody Spoil My Fun” and “Girl I Want You”.

A second more adventurous LP, “A Web of Sound”, appeared in October 1966. The album brimmed with rockin’ mid-60’s classics, including the fourteen-minute “Up in Her Room”. Another smash on the American charts was the tightly grooving’, pro-pot / working class anthem “Mr. Farmer.”

The band then changed their garage style and threw the lot in with their emergent flower-power movement. The Seeds coined the term “Flower Power” only to watch it crumble in commercial media hype. The result was “Future” (1967). Saxon’s compositions contained a strong element of acid-tinged horticultural playful whimsy as in “Travel with Your Mind” and “March of the Flower Children”, while the band, like The Beatles, were innovators with Eastern-style instrumentation. Mega success seemed just around the corner, especially after their cameo appearance in the Jack Nicholson film “Psych Out” performing the song “Two Fingers Pointed at You” and a follow up 45, the moody, haunting, psychedelic rush of “Wind Blows Your Hair” (1967). At this point in their success the Seeds headlined over bands like The Doors, Buffalo Springfield, The Byrds, Vanilla Fudge, Jefferson Airplane, The Kinks, Four Seasons, Diana Ross and The Supremes and others. They also split bill with Jimi Hendrix in New York City. One has to realize that the Seeds far surpassed the Garage rock label, what other garage band can boast selling out the Hollywood Bowl!

The next LP was A Spoonful Of Seedy Blues (1967), released under the moniker Sky Saxon Blues Band and featuring sleeve notes and songwriting collaboration by blues giant Muddy Waters. The Seeds were back with the 1968 album “Raw and Alive: Merlin’s Music Box”. This exciting live LP was recorded in Orange County California at Merlin’s Music Box and produced a song that captured The Seeds at one of their most powerful moments, “I Can Satisfy You”, Jan’s scorching brilliant guitar and Daryl’s wonderful contrapuntal bass and keyboards demonstrate one of the bands most vital ingredients-Intensity. Originally a single, this song was a powerhouse live. In later years, some called The Seeds “the original punk rock band”. Although this was true as far as raw furor goes, their sophistication level was light years beyond this label, especially for the 60’s.

The Seeds
Melodyland Theatre Anaheim, CA
Audience recording
01. Mr. Farmer
02. Tripmaker
03. Cloud ride
04. Night time girl
05. Gypsy plays his drums
06. Pushin' too hard
07. Up in her room
08. Can't seem to make you mine
09. Nine hundred million people daily all making love
10. Satisfy you


Anonymous said...

Hi, one more time, a very nice graphic cover !
To my knowledge, there's only 2 live bootlegs of the 60's Seeds : this one & Hollywood Bowl 67 ???
For fans , it's a very very interisting document .
Bravo 24 Hours !

warlock said...

Hope all is well,Bill. What a time for me to check back in.Sky Saxon,the Seeds,Flower Power,and summer comin on.It don't get any better than this.Well,maybe if you could post a bottle of pagan pink Ripple perfection would be achieved.Until then,just one more thank you for all you have been doing for so long.Just like Mc D. I'm lovin it!

24HRDEJAVU said...

It is great to have returning friends posting again!!

john said...

Everyone should hear a flower punk at least once in their life. Thank you.

24HRDEJAVU said...

Thanks John for all your great comments. I grew up in the St Louis area and was always at the concert when any of the Coast bands played. My actual first Concert to ever attend was the Rolling Stones with The Standells on the bill as openers(1966) Somebody else played but cannot remember who. I do have a great memory of Brain Jones sitting on a chair guitar in his lap and him and Jagger played Lady Jane

john said...

I appreciate the time you put in making your blog visually exciting. Good job. The Seeds were much more than one hit wonders. Thank you for giving us some rare sounds. It sure was fun living in Los Angeles in the sixities.

Anonymous said...

there is a modern los angeles flower punk band heavily inspired by the seeds if you haven't heard it yet. It's called Cotillon.

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