Saturday, January 9, 2016
A somewhat rough but none the less a great documentation of live music from a very short lived SF - Berkeley band. Thanks to the original poster for this little piece of work.
Mad River - Live & Unreleased 1967/1968
Dr. Sunday's Medicine Show, Peoples Park,
Santa Clara, October 8th 1967.
Wind Chimes +
The War Goes On *^
You Just Don't Leave Her
Antioch College, June 1966.
I Just Want To Make Love To You
A Man Like Me Set
Bonus Track.....San Francisco International Pop Festival
Alameda County Fairgrounds, CA, USA
26 October 1968
Bio from Acid,Fuzz,and Flowers....
This unique band were fronted by Lawrence Hammond, who was born in Berkeley, but spent much of his childhood in Nebraska. Bluegrass music was his main musical influence. The band was formed by Hammond (harp, vcls) and a series of fellow medical students (Robinson (gtr), Manning (bs), and Dewey (drms)), who all attended Antioch College in Yellow Springs, Ohio. They were originally known as The Mad River Blues Band - Mad River being a small tributary of the Ohio. The band, minus Manning, then moved to Washington D.C. for a while. In this period they began to write their own material and secured gigs at very disreputable dives. They then returned to Yellow Springs where Manning rejoined the band and Rick Bochner was added on guitars. In the Spring of 1967 the band quit college, headed for San Francisco, and soon became based in Berkeley. Soon afterwards Sam Silver, a friend of Ed Denson, manager of Country Joe and the Fish, became their manager. Consequently, they secured a number of gigs with The Fish. The band were befriended by Lonnie Hewitt and in 1967 recorded their legendary Wind Chimes (EP) on his Wee label (10021). It's an interesting record, not easy to obtain, which contains an early version of Amphetamine Gazelle (simply called Gazelle on the EP), Wind Chimes and Orange Fire. The first two are on the first album. Orange Fire is a non-LP track.
By the end of 1967 they had played a number of Fillmore and Avalon gigs and were signed to Capitol along with The Quicksilver Messenger Service and The Steve Miller Band. Their debut album was issued in 1968. Extremely uncommercial it was particularly noteworthy for Lawrence Hammond's distinctive quavering vocals and some superb interweaving acid guitar work (particularly on The War Goes On and Eastern Light. It has later transpired that during its making the recording and playback speeds were not the same - so everything came out higher and faster than they had played it!
Prior to the recording of their second album, Manning left the band and they got a new manager, Harry Sobol. They also asked Jerry Corbitt (of The Youngbloods), an acquaintance from their Yellow Spring days, to produce it. The album was an amalgam of different styles - short country rock tracks like Paradise Bar and Grill, Love's Not The Way To Treat A Friend and Cherokee Queen appear alongside a couple of long acid influenced tracks, Leave Me Stay and Academy Cemetery. This album was greeted with more enthusiasm than their debut by the critics, but Capitol did nothing to promote it and did not release it in Britain.
Inevitably, then, Mad River split up in 1968. Bochner went to run a homestead in Canada. Dewey worked on Jerry Corbitt's first album and later had a spell with Country Joe and the Fish, Grootna, Eggs Over Easy and Bodacious D.F.. Robinson became a building contractor and Manning did occasional work for him and some session work.
Lawrence Hammond later formed The Whiplash Band, a bluegrass/country music outfit. Supported by this outfit (Alan Lane (bs), Janet Bryson (vcls), Al McShane (drms), and James Louis Parber (lead gtr)), Hammond recorded a country rock album Coyote's Dream (Takoma C 1047) in 1976. Fellow Mad River members, Dewey and Robinson also made guest appearances on the album.
As tor Mad River - their output is essential for any collector of psychedelia.
(Vernon Joynson / Max Waller / Stephane Rebeschini)