Crystal Syphon interview

June 12, 2012

Crystal Syphon interview

You were from Merced, California. What was the scene back then? Any bands or halls for young to play and hang out while listening to local bands?
Jim: In the early 1960’s, Merced had a population of about 15,000.  Unlike major cities, Merced had a limited “scene”.  We were on the Highway 99 corridor and had many of the original rock and roll and R&B groups come through on their way between San Francisco and Los Angeles.  These tours were mostly held at the American Legion Hall in Merced or at the Fairgrounds.
If memory serves me correctly, Jerry Lee Lewis was one of those early Rocker’s that played Merced but I don’t remember seeing him.
The Merced Blue Notes were the first local and somewhat famous bands I heard in my early teens.  Fire Chief George Coolures lived a couple of blocks away from our house and we local kids would head over on our bikes and hang out and listen to them.  That was my first recollection of wanting to play in a rock band, but at that time I only knew how to play Clarinet and that wasn’t an instrument any rock band seemed to use.  And I never liked saxophone.
I wanted to play drums, or guitar.  As fate would have it, when I was a Junior or senior in high school,  several of my friends had guitars, acoustics and electrics.  John Rohde was one of my buddies whose dad was in the Air Force.  They transferred to Merced’s Castle Air Force Base from Guam, or Japan, or some Far East Air Force installation.  John had a Japanese knock-off Fender style guitar that had more pick-ups on it than NASCAR parking lot, as I recall.
John knew how to play Wipe Out.  The opening riff was my first triumph of learning something on guitar.  He had an amp with Reverb and Tremolo…we hung out sometimes after school for hours playing that one song.
The American Legion Hall on weekends was a venue that we high schoolers frequented where local bands including the Tokay’s and Fresno Rock and R&B Bands were promoted by Mag.   Local bands played at after-game dances at the High School.  I was a football player and would go often, but it was the girls and soaking up the accolades for a good game or commiserating with my teammates about a bad game (we most often were on the losing end of games).
The Hootenanny phase of folk music was the rage for most of my high school years and we had some pretty good local musicians that would play at Talent shows .   A classmate of Jeff and I’s, Bob Hesse, Jeff, David Gresham and Justin Brink had a folk group for a while, I think called The Four, who played a couple of talent shows and maybe even a party or two…Brother Bob Sanders and Hesse wrote most of our original repertoire.  Hesse played guitar.  That was the only instrument in that group.  But Hesse started showing me guitar chords and let me borrow his acoustic guitar to practice with sometimes.
The Brogues were the first local band that “hooked” me solidly into rock following Beatle Mania.  We could catch them on some Friday or Saturday nights weekend at the Women’s Club House in Merced or at the Legion Hall.
By the summer of 1965 I was a High School graduate, working that summer driving tractor in the peach orchards in the northern part of the Merced County, which gave me some free time in the afternoons and evenings.  I hooked up with a couple of guitar players, Steve Chastain and Dan Cresci and would jam around.  I learned to play Louie, Louie, and, of course wipe-out and a few other very easy rock tunes and we played a couple of parties that summer.
Then, by chance, I met up with Tom Salles at a record shop called Record Rendezvous.  I had seen Tom play with a group at the High School talent show before school was out.  We were both after the same Beatles Album and struck up a conversation, soon got together to tinker around a bit and began our collaboration and became the embryo for the Morelochs .  The Morelochs first real gig, other than parties or high school dances was in April of 1966 with a band called the Golliwogs…who disbanded shortly after that gig and metamorphosed into Creedence Clearwater Revival a year or so later.
From about 1963 through 1970, the Merced “scene” solidified as a series of “Dance Concerts” that brought the likes of the Doors, the Airplane, Quicksilver, Country Joe, Big Brother and just about every major rock act short of the Beatles and the Stones.  These shows were promoted by Vince Lavery (VJ Productions) Richard DeLong and his Underground Explosion Calliope Company, and a host of other locals and out of town promoters hoping to make money on the growing rejuvenation  of the New Age of Rock-Post British Invasion.
Dave: Before we got started there was a very popular and talented all black group called the Blue Notes.  Years later we met Sonny Bono when we were recording at Gold Star Studios, he asked where we were from,  we told him and he said “Wow, I used to play back up piano for the Blue Notes”.  That’ how he met Cher. Small world ! We had a place called American Legion Hall where most concerts were played.  When we started the Beatles and Rolling Stones were the thing.  We had four guys that could sing so we became popular performing their songs.  After a couple of years we quit performing and rented a big building in downtown Merced and locked ourselves in !  Our goal was to create at least two sets of our own music, change our name and come back out of hiding by throwing a concert at the fairgrounds with County Joe and the Fish.  Crystal Syphon was advertised with Country Joe and when we came out for our first set, everyone in the audience was like “Hey, it’s the Morelochs”!   That same night, Vince Lavery threw the “Doors” at the American Legion Hall.  Three people showed up and we had roughly fifteen hundred.  My brother-in-law was doing the light show for the Doors, and he ended up coming over to our place.  By the way, “Light My Fire” had not yet been released !
Jeff: Merced in the early sixties had a remarkable number of live venues for a city of 20,000.
The Morelochs played in:
The Circus Room of the Hotel Tioga (a bar, or maybe an additional room attatched to a bar, where none of us should have been legally allowed since we were under 21)
The Legion Hall (500?)
The Italo-American Hall (300)
The Masonic Hall (Job’s Daughters dances, 200?)
The Fish and Game Club (200?)
The Women’s Clubhouse (300?)
The Pavilion at the Merced County Fairgrounds (500?)
The Merced High School Gym (dances almost every week during football season, and additional dances throughout the year).
There were also live local bands at the county fair and at downtown events leading up to the county fair.
The Merced Blue Notes were a local band with records out, and they played a lot locally, especially before the British Invasion copy bands and San Francisco bands arrived.  Bands from Fresno and Modesto would also be booked at these same venues.
In the mid 60s, a weekend without a live band (or two, or even four) playing somewhere in town for several hundred teens was very rare.  I probably saw almost a hundred live band performances even before I started thinking about being in a band.  From then on I paid a more competitive attention to the bands. 
Before dances and concerts became more peaceful with the San Francisco influence, we rarely played a gig or attended one, other than school dances, that did not include at least one serious fight in the audience that would literally stop the show.  As a practical matter, we tried to develop a strategy for dealing with fights.  Should we stop playing until the fight stopped, or continue playing as if it wasn’t happening?  We tried both, but it is hard to compete for audience attention against real violence.  Sometimes we would waste our best song, if we happened to be playing it as a fight started.  The song became background music for the fight, and got little attention from the crowd.  It was frustrating, and it happened regularly.  There was a family of teen-age brothers who apparently came to dances only to start fights.  From the stage, at gig after gig for about a year, we could see them stalking and assaulting their victims.  It was more than a little weird.
We also had some experiences with violence against the band.  At one gig out in Gustine (a smaller town in Merced County) we had to stand off some angry cowboys at the edge of the stage and the stage door with the ten-pound cast iron bases of our microphone stands ready to be used as giant hammers.  The height of the stage and the weight and length of the stands were persuasive against the locals.  At another gig in Gustine (or was it the same one?), our roadie (really just a friend of Dave’s who came with us that night) went outside and didn’t come back.  Dave went outside looking for him, and Dave didn’t come back either.  Several of us went out and found that some local toughs were punching out everyone from the band who came out alone.  They drifted away when the numbers weren’t in their favor.  I don’t think we ever returned to Gustine. 
Tom: There was an interesting scene that I missed out on because I was too young. Merced is home of the Merced Blue Notes. They were one of the first rock and roll bands to come out of Central California. Even though they were better know for their original Blues and R and B, they were a band with electric gear. I had an uncle that would tell me about the packed Blue Note gigs at the halls in and around Merced.They started in either 1959 or 60. I mention this because every one who came out of this area was influenced by the Blue Notes. One of the first songs every Merced guitar player learned was “Rufus” and all it’s variations. I also rode the same school bus as the brothers of Blue Note’s drummer Carl Mays. They would keep me updated about the band and we’d play beats on our school books, as if they were conga drums, as we rode home. I grew up on a family farm in south Merced and the south Merced school bus was the bus that nearly all the black kids rode to and from my school.
I got to see the Blue Notes at the Merced Fair a few times but was too young to get into their dances at the halls. My uncle would tell me about the crowds and the all the fights that would break out. It sounded like a complete blast to me. I was just starting to play guitar in 1962 and Folk music, Ray Charles, The Beach Boys and all the surf music was what I had to listen to including whatever Blue Notes 45’s I could get.
That was about the extend of the scene before the Beatles songs were on the radio and all the British Invasion bands were being played. After that things started to open up. This was about 1963 and 64.
I had just graduated from the 8th grade and wanted to be in a band. The following school year I got together with some guys I met in high school and we’d do covers at party’s. There were dances at downtown halls but we weren’t good enough yet and didn’t have enough music to do them. The local Catholic school had weekly Knights of Columbus sponsored dances and they became known as simply KC dances and there was the American Legion Hall, The Italo Hall, Women’s Club House, Big Party’s, Merced High dances, a weekly Saturday afternoon gig that was broadcast live on the local radio station KYOS. There were a lot more bands then aside from the Blue Notes. Some I remember were The Tokays, The Pendulums, Jesse and the Jades, and The Rhythm Blenders to name a few.
A few months later some young entrepreneur opened a teen club in the basement of the local Pizza Parlor that was called the Pit. Of course the Pendulums played there a lot. The Pendulums drummer was Greg Elmore who became the drummer for Quicksilver.
One band more well known was the Brogues, with Gary Duncan and Greg Elmore among others in it.
Dave: Yes, very talented group and they ended up joining Quicksilver Messenger Service.
Jeff: Whatever “star quality” is, Gary Duncan had it at that time.  He had the ability to take over a stage and a room by some magic that didn’t exist for other local performers, although I don’t remember that there was anything especially distinctive about his voice or guitar.  Greg Elmore was an extremely precise, hard-hitting drummer.  His parts were so simple and fitting for songs that I could play some of them for you now.  The band as a whole was good, but I didn’t have enough experience of good bands at the time to have a reliable opinion of how they would rank with other good bands.  They seemed to me to be far and away the best local band in the period after the Blue Notes.  They played mostly copy material, but selected songs that gave the band an identity at the rougher edge of radio music.  That sounds stupid now, but in the mid-sixties there was a lot on the radio that was relatively raw and bluesy.
Tom: The Brogues came out of the British invasion period. They were extremely popular in this area because they were playing all the music the young people were hearing on the radio. They covered the Stones, Animals, Kinks and other names of the period. They captured the sound of the time and soon were playing all the venues available in Merced and packing them in. I was in high school then and had an opportunity to see them as well as the other bands I mentioned.
Merced would celebrate what were called Mercy Gulch Days as a pre-promotion for the yearly Merced Fair it was held on main street at night during the summer. The Brogues played there on the back on a flat bed trailer. I remember the crowds, hundreds of teenagers packed around the stage to watch them play. I walked around the back of the trailer to watch them. I could see that Greg Elmore had his front bass drum head that had The Pendulums printed on it and had moved it to the back beater side so he wouldn’t be advertising his former band to the crowd.
Gary Duncan was from the Modesto area where he was known as Gary Grubb. The rest of the band were local guys.
They were the main band around here for about a year and a half. They had some original recordings and releases that sold well in Merced and were played on the local radio station. They also had some signing opportunities but broke up because the lead guitarist Eddie Rodriguez got drafted. Vietnam was in progress then.
They were also harassed by the local law enforcement. They had loud party’s and looked like threatening long haired freaks to society during that pre-hippie period. I was rumored that Gary and Greg were escorted to the county line by the police department and told to never come back. That was probably the best thing that could have happened to them. Later we would have our problems with the Merced Police Department wanting us to get the hell out of Dodge but if Gary and Greg hadn’t left, they’d probably wind up in jail here.
Your band was formed quite early back in 1965. How did you guys came together and what are some memories from rehearsing together?
Dave: In my sophomore year in high school I sang “Girl From Epanema” and “Hey Jude” in the class assembly which was basically a talent show each class put on for the rest of the school.  A couple of days later I was approached by our drummer, Andy Daniel, who said they were putting together a group and wanted me to join.  Our first practices were in a girl friends parents house.  That didn’t last long and we ended up permanently at Jeff and Jim Sanders parents house.  We practiced in their living room while mom and dad sat reading their newspapers.  To this day it is incredible to me how much patience they had !
Jeff: We have a surprising range of opinions about how and in what order the original band came together.  I’ll leave that to others.  My favorite memory of our early rehearsals still cracks me up, because it shows how naive (and arrogant) I was at the time.  We were playing some song, and I thought Tom’s guitar amp was a little too loud, so I went over and turned it down… without speaking to him about it.  It never crossed my mind that he would have a problem with that.  Of course, he had a BIG problem with that.  I think the only reason I didn’t get a fist to the head is that it was obvious that I had no idea how seriously I had invaded his artistic and physical space.
That incident probably also hinted that I might become an audio engineer, already having full confidence even then that I knew exactly how loud that guitar should be and what the balance of parts should be.
I think one of the elements of music that we may have managed better than some other bands was the idea of balance and dynamics.  It is apparent in the relatively unmanipulated recordings on the Crystal Syphon LP that most parts you should hear are prominent, and there are deliberate dynamic and instrumental changes within songs.  That’s an element I still enjoy each time I listen to the live recordings.  That goes back to our first rehearsals, and probably beyond that to the years that some of us sat in elementary and middle school bands where those elements were stressed and dissected.  A lot of extremely gifted rock instrumentalists have had their careers suffer from never learning that playing quietly or not playing at all in certain passages can be a great musical choice.
We spent a lot of time in rehearsals working on vocals and harmonies, in part because during performances we had to sing them “blind” without stage monitors.
Tom: Jim Sanders and his brother Jeff were in a folk band with their friend Bob Hess and Justin Brink. Since folk was fading out and the music scene was changing, they wanted to get a rock band going. I entered about his time but varying opinions exist about this. I remember that I met Jim at the local record store when we were both rummaging through Beatles albums. He had either seen me play at a high school assembly before that or after that meeting. He asked me if I was interested in being their guitar player. We had some varying rehearsal places where most of out time was spent hauling equipment around or trying to find a ride until the Sander’s parents gave us their living room. I don’t remember Bob Hess or Justin Brink being in the band when I arrived. I don’t think rock and roll was what they wanted. I do remember our first bass player, Rodger Henry. Dave played keyboards and Andy Daniels who was our first drummer.  Seems like Jeff and Jim were in the band when I arrived.
For practice space, the Sander’s parents gave us a curfew at their house 9 or 10 o’clock because their mother mother, Anna, was studying for her teaching credential and Marvin, their dad, was active in insurance. Other than that, they were very supportive and often let us keep our equipment set up and they’d live around it.
Early rehearsals and gigs were a challenge at first, We didn’t have adequate equipment. Really cheesy guitars and amps and what good stuff we did have was usually borrowed for the day, I remember taking the day before a gig and hitting up everyone we knew to borrow what we needed to pull the gig off. We started to get good quickly, we had 4 good singers and most bands at the time had one or sometimes 2 but we had 4 that could sing harmonies as well as solo. We liked Beatles, Byrds, Beach Boys and most of the songs that were being played at the time.
Bob Sanders was Jim and Jeff’s older brother and offered to manage us. He’d been a DJ and had some contacts. He helped pull us together as a business got us to focus on origional material and recording. He also helped finance some badly needed equipment. We got fender amps and better guitars and started playing for some of the local promoters.
Jeff, Jim, Dave and I started writing songs or getting together with snippets of ideas to bounce off each other. Bob also was part of this effort. He was good with lyrics. All the Sanders brothers were good with lyrics. I primarily came up with melodies and chord changes with Jim.
Before this you were called the Morlochs?

The color photo was taken in November, 1965 shortly after the Morelochs line-up was done, consisting of Tom Salles, Jim Sanders, Jeff Sanders, Dave Sprinkel, Roger Henry and Andy Daniel.  This photo was taken at a Hotel we performed at for the Merced High School Marching 100 who were participating in the annual Long Beach Band Review.  We all pretty much had our “High School Athlete” hair cuts and pre-hippie look.  On the Botto row from Left, Jeff Sanders, Tom Salles, Jim Sanders.  Middle, Roger Henry, Dave Sprinkel, top is Andy Daniel.  ~ Jim

Jim: I really don’t know how we came up with the name.  Being in the middle of the re-discovery of Eastern philosophies, charms, talismen and trinkets, Crystal was not the name for a street drug in the 60’s.  A lot of my free-thinking friends dove into books about the lost continent of Atlantis.  According to legend, and science fiction movies, Atlantis powered their civilization by the use of crystals.  Using some type of force on large crystals produced electrical energy.  The physics of the old “crystal radio’s” and the piezo electricity that powered them was a small scale version of the Myth.
Jeff, Tom and I had all grown up on farms, and the idea of siphons in irrigation canals was a principle we all grew up with.
So, however we got the name, I always thought of it as a physics term, drawing energy from a high point in the crystal and syphon-ing it using some kind of pressure to a lower level.
Whenever I began talking about stuff like that, Jeff would always change places on the couch an sit to my right so I would return to a more rational person!!  It has never worked…!
As far as the archives go, Marvin joined the group in early 1967.  It might have been his first gig with us, or one of the first two or three.  He was very green, but competent.
We were playing at the Merced Fairgrounds Pavilion playing the second act with Big Brother and the Holding Company with Janis.
David Getz, drummer for Big Brother, and know at the time as “Big Brother” took a twenty-minute drum solo at the end of their first set.
Marvin was beside himself and didn’t really want to even go back out for our second set.  Be we had to play.  We ended our set with I think “Fuzzy and Jose” which ended with a vocal kind of death march.
One-by one, we each left the stage. Except Marvin.  The crowd was expecting a solo.  Marvin did three short rolls, threw down his sticks and walked off the Stage.
Dead silence.  Then the crowd got it and erupted in cheers and applause.
I think that gig showed us we were a pretty good original band.  We were six guys with some songs.  Crystal Syphon…
FROM A PR PIECE by Richard Delong and Lynne Meridith
“Marvin: on drums:  lost in the half-shadows of the background:  intensive at his work: conveniently ignored: mechanically animated: politely interested: good timing, no technique: describes his drumming and his lifestyle.
Dave:  on organ: strongly sexual: cast away to the side: he looks quite out of place: straight, if you prefer: everyman: solid okie background and other experiences make an interesting mixture.
Tom:  on lead guitar:  sings:  youngest of them all:  abused:  unsure of his capabilities: countenance is dark: foreboding: dismal: was rescued from Buck Owens music at the tender age of 15:  writes misty-type music:
Jim:  on rhythm guitar:  earnest: intent: gentle: perceptive: acute: agile: expression of dedication to an excellent sound: listens to obscure 15th-century French fugues:  builds pipe organs in spare time.
Bob: on bass:  confident: harsh: clever: superior: very assuming: alone unto himself: been to Detroit, Brooklyn, Chicago: was great influence on his playing: studies Philosophy:
Jeff:  the singer:  he’s there:  void of emotion: quick: aristocratic:  persistence: sensual: sinister: quiet and piercing: pensive: also plays organ:  writes lyrics to most music played by group: the great cynic-romantic conflict.
Dave: Yes, we must have all been watching the movie, “The Time Machine” at the same time.  I was home and I can’t remember who I called, I think it was Jim.  I asked, “what do you think about the Morelochs”?  He said that he was watching the same movie and let’s talk to the guys.  A couple of the others were watching it too and agreed.  Looking back, that was a pretty funky name!  It created a lot of conversation though.  Mostly along the lines of “What does that mean”?
Jeff: …or however it’s spelled… We needed a name, we saw the movie, we had a name.  Band names are a pain in the ass, but almost any name becomes OK if the band is OK.
Tom: The band took the name from the orgional movie The Time Machine. I don’t remember why that name struck a chord with us but it did. The movie had played one night on the TV and the next day we were the Morelochs. The Morelochs became very popular in the Merced, Modesto, Fresno area. Not that we were as good as the Brogues but they had split up and we were able to fill the niche they had created as the band in the Merced. That worked to our disadvantage later because there were other bands trying to get gigs then but we were getting all the gigs. It caused some resentment. I’d like to think that we all as musicians could come together and be supportive of each other but no. No one could compete with us vocally and out of necessity the other bands were doing single singer or 2 part harmony songs. Most of that type of material was from the Stones and other heavily blues influenced artist. They started bad rapping us and in time it had an effect. I can remember getting posters for a Morelochs gig and having some of these people offering to pass out a couple of hundred to supposedly help us. Then I’d get these reports that they were throwing them in the trash and not handing them out at all.
It got to the point where we were still very popular out of town but not so in our home town Merced. As a result we started doing more stuff out of Merced. That was hard for me. I knew what was going on but could barely believe it. I knew we were good because folks out of town were very receptive but it got so bad in Merced that we could hardly get gigs any longer. Some of these locals were brutal with their band wagon garbage. It wound up being good for us because we learned that if anything was going to happen we had to get out of where we were.
We also had a fall out with a local promoter who did business as VJ productions. His namd was Vince Lavery. He had hired us to to play atr the Legion Hall with The Gollywogs. They had a record out then titled ‘Brown Eyed Girl.’ It was a good show. I remember after the gig I wanted a card from the band and they wanted ours. We spent the rest of the time talking and exchanging band cards.
We signed each other’s cards also. They were a great group of guys. Later members of the band emerged as Creedence.
Anyway, Lavery wanted us to hire us for some return gigs but Bob, our manager, wanted more money. Lavery got upset and said if we didn’t sign we’d never work for him again. We didn’t sign and he lepy his promise. He tried to come off as some powerful promoter guy but he was very small time. We still had good gigs but not with him. A couple of years later he was out of the picture, attempting to get into politics in Fresno. He did bring the Doors to Merced but I never saw them. he had seen them before they were recorded. The first date they played there was about 25 people in the audience. We were at the Fair Grounds playing with Quicksilver and the hall was packed. Vince had signed a 2 date contract with the Doors and they were scheduled to come back a couple of months later. Just before they returned for that second date, Light My Fire was released and a hit. His second Legion Hall gig was a sell out. To this day I’m amazed they kept their contract with him. We missed the show because we were playing out of town. I do wish I had seen them at the Legion.
We also played with Bo Diddly at the Legion. That was cool and a real honor for me. Bo was Bo with his horn rimmed glasses and cigar box shaped guitar and that classic Diddly rhythm. Good lookin band in suits, processed hair, and very hot steamy back up singers in red tight red dresses. It was a great show.
B&W photo was taken by Larry Holland at the street fair prior to the Merced County Fair in July of 1966.  It was known as Mercy Gulch Days.  Band performed from the back of a trailer or flat bed truck.  We had just purchased most of our gear…from left, Dave Sprinkel, Tom Salles, Center, Jeff Sanders, right, Jim Sanders, Roger Henry…behind out of sight was Andy, and he was the best looking!!!  Sorry Dave! ~ Jim
We were so fresh we were shiny!  I forgot that Roger also sang, so we had five voices in the Morelochs.
Other things I didn’t remember. In the photo, it appears to me that the two outside mics are the EV 664s and my mic (middle) is a Shure 565.  So we had both at the same time.  Also, the bass cabinet is a blonde Showman, but the head is a black Bassman.  You can barely see our unfinished home-built vocal cabs with JBL speakers in the extreme left and right of the picture.  Under the Farfisa is our Bogen PA amp sitting on (I think) the rented or borrowed amp head that drove the extra Fender cab next to the Showman (for the organ).  There were no stupid equipment choices on that stage! ~ Jeff

Around 1967 there were some lineup changes, right?

Dave: Yes, our drummer and bass player opted out and we acquired Bob and Marvin Greenlee.  We now had to sets of brothers, too bad Tom and I weren’t brothers, that probably would have been a first !

Jeff: Roger Henry, our original bass player, just seemed to lose interest.  When he started reading magazines while playing songs during rehearsals, it was obvious the clock was ticking.  He joined the navy and Bob Greenlee joined the band.  Andy Daniel, our original drummer, was fairly conservative.  He had plans to be responsible, get married and support a family.  Sensible stuff, but not compatible with the direction the band was headed.  He withdrew, and we were stuck for a while.  Merced was very short on drummers at the time.  Marvin Greenlee, Bob’s brother, decided to be a drummer, and learned to play while joining the band.

Tom: Andy and Rodger left. The others have explained this fairly well. I remember Bob had this Hofner violin bass. He also looked like a Rock and Roll guy. Since we were all Beatle Freaks, we thought the Hofner bass was cool.

When and where did you first recorded your songs? Why the recordings weren’t released?

Dave: I’m going to have to let Jeff answer this one.  I think we may have done our first round in a small studio if Fresno.

Jeff: We recorded first at a garage studio in Stockton, and at Dick Tersian’s studio in Fresno.  Our very first studio recordings were unreleasable because they were simply horrible.  We THOUGHT we were ready, but our first recordings informed us that we weren’t.  We had work to do on songwriting and performance, but there was also ignorance of the art and science of recording involved in our lackluster early studio product.  There is unending complexity in recording and mastering, and I had to become a mastering engineer eight years later before realizing specifically why our demos didn’t sound as good as label releases.  Being prone to self-doubt, I had assumed that the fault was with the band, either in writing or performance.  In hindsight, our very best studio recordings were only demo quality, and were not mixed with any seriousness.  Our acetates were just flat transfers to disc of those mixes on medium-quality mastering equipment.  The thought that someone could or should optimize each step and polish our mixes, or make an acetate that was competitively loud or bright never occured to us.  that was another instance of our distance from any center of recording knowledge hindering our progress.
Tom: Our first recording weas done at some cheesy studio in Stockton. This guy had it in his garage. I don’t remember the studio name but it wouldn’t surprise me if it had no name. I remember I was really disappointed with my guitar sound. I was playing a fender jazzmaster then and the guy made my solos sound like I was playing on fence wires. thunky attack with no decay. We recorded later at Victory in Fresno, then Paramount and Gold Star in L.A. There were other studios as well.
What gear did you guys used?
Jeff: Like every band without rich daddies, we started with cheap crap.  I was, as a non-instrumentalist, originally entirely ignorant of most of the very early equipment the guitarists had.  For vocals, the Shure 55 was the standard PA microphone for schools in the area, so we became familiar with that.  It was a good quality, rugged mic with a typical Shure mid-forward sound.  In buying our own vocal mics, we had some good input from my older brother Bob, who was an on-air radio personality since 1958.  We purchased some Electro-Voice 664s for vocal mics.  The were comparable in most respects to Shure’s SM58s, which were not available that early.  The main drawback of the 664 was not it’s sound, which was excellent, but the fact that it was not designed to be handheld, and had an unusual appearance.  We went on to use Shure 565 mics (essentially the same as SM58s), a Shure 4×1 mixer, a Dynaco stereo preamp (for EQ) and a Dynaco 120 solid state amplifier.  The Dynaco stuff was so much quieter and cleaner than typical (Bogen) PA stuff that it was a major advantage to have it.  We bought JBL D130 full range 15″ speakers and mounted them in our own cabinets.  The number of speakers on each side and the size of the cabinets varied over time.  Later, we bought knock-off empty Voice of the Theater cabinets and loaded them with JBL D140 15s, Atlas Banshee horns for mids, and JBL high frequency drivers and horns to give the detail that was above the range of the Banshees.  I can’t find the names and numbers of the crossovers and drivers, but that was a loud, clear, and relatively bulletproof vocal PA system.
At one point the Morelochs’ backline had two Fender Deluxe Reverb guitar amps and a Fender Showman as a bass amp.  Those amps are classics now, but we didn’t know that then.  As they started to seem too small for larger places, we traded them in on three Vox Super-Beatle amplifiers, which weren’t going to become classics, for good reason.  They were loud, but were solid state and had none of the pleasant qualities of tube amps.  They had a protection circuit that briefly turned the amp off when it kicked in (always at the worst-possible moments), and it turned out that the amp wasn’t made or designed by Vox at all, but was actually a Rickenbacker US amp that was made under a Vox branding license.  I saw a Super Beatle belonging to another band burst into flames at a Fish and Game Club show.  The guitarist was rumoured to have tried to bypass the limiter circuit.  We did some interesting things with those amps in the very last incarnation of Crystal Syphon by linking and sharing the amps onstage so that the gutar played through two amps, the bass through two amps and the keyboard through all three.  We rented a Farfisa organ for a while, but I don’t think we purchased it.  We bought a Vox Continental organ that remained with us until the band broke up.  If you powered it off while holding a note or chord, it would fade out while climbing rapidly in frequency.  That is the end of “Are You Dead Yet?” on the LP.  Some of the live recordings on the LP were done with a classic B3 organ and Leslie combination, which was provided as standard backline equipment at the Fillmore and some other venues.  Unfortunately, neither Dave nor I knew how to best operate the B3 drawbars or cycle the Leslie, and I was really uncomfortable with an unfamiliar keyboard, so the B3 didn’t improve our sound much.  At a much later gig where we shared backline equipment, Tom played through a good tube amp and decided he’d had enough of the Super Beatles.  He went back to a Fender tube head.  I don’t remember what happened to the Super Beatle amps.  Maybe Tom Petty has them.
Tom: Jeff answered this well. We went from borrowed amps and guitars to owning our own various axes, Fender amps and then a back line of Vox Super Beatle amps. Later we went back to Fender tube amps. My favorite was a Fender bassman head.
What happened next. I know you toured the whole coast and played with artists like Cannead Head and Big Brother & The Holding Company, Grateful Dead, Quicksilver Messenger Service, Country Joe & The Fish and many others. There is acutally also a live recording from the Fillmore West…
Tom: Many of the songs on the album were recorded at the Fillmore shows on their equipment.
From the archives. The letter with line up for the HAMC May 1968 Gig. ~ Jim
What are some memories from those gigs?

Dave: That was back in the “Free Love” era and I can only add that we had many good times !  One memory that I’ll never forget, we were playing with Canned Heat and I think Gateful Dead at the Speedway in Golden Gate Park, San Francisco.  It was a very narrow and long meadow in the park.  There must have been ten thousand people there.  Our stage was about ten feet in the air and right below us in the front row sat a 350 pound topless woman !  We were all like “ will somebody cover her up “!
Jeff: Ahhh, the wandering through California!  We played more or less everywhere; on the beach in Marin County, at Lake Beryessa (sp?) in between Sacramento and the North Bay, in some anonymous strip club in the San Fernando Valley, at UC Davis, UC Irvine, teen fairs everywhere and at the Avalon and Fillmore in San Francisco.  One of my favorite odd memories is from the Stanislaus Fairgrounds in Turlock.  We were politely reaming the Grateful Dead’s roadie for setting all of their equipment in front of ours while we were out for some food.  We had to play first, so our equipment needed to be in front.  The very nice, apologetic and helpful roadie was busting his butt to move all of their drums and equipment all by himself when we realized that the guy wasn’t a roadie, he was Jerry Garcia.  We knew him only from the pictures on their first LP, where he was clean-shaven.  He had since grown a beard and had his hair tied back.  That was an incredible gig in many ways, because in a fairgrounds building in a town of less than fifteen thousand people, we played on a bill with the Grateful Dead and with Big Brother featuring Janis Joplin, both bands at their peak with those particular players, and probably the audience members got in for three dollars or less.  On another Saturday in Merced, we shared a bill with the Jefferson Airplane at the fairgrounds exhibition building, and finished in time to get over to the American Legion Hall where the relatively unknown Doors were still playing.  We became very spoiled for a little while in the north-central San Joaquin Valley.
Tom: Bob has a good story about playing with the Dead and we thought Jerry Garcia was the roady. It was my amp that he needed to move equipment for. He was really a nice guy.
It got to the point where we would pack up and leave Merced, seemed like, every Thursday and head off to the gigs we were booked at in the state. I remember one of these shows we had rooms booked at some motel near Sacramento. This may have been the Youngbloods gig. The night before Buffalo Springfield had stayed in the same rooms the night before. I suppose the maids hadn’t done a through job
Because we found some note pad sheets with lyrics scribbled on them. I don’t remember what happened to them or if anybody even bothered to keep them.
I was in my senior year of high school then and I missed a lot of school and assignments because of shows.
I remember playing with Big Brother. We all shared the same dressing room. I was walking in to find Janis sitting quietly sipping her bottle of Southern Comfort. I talked with her some and was thinking how pale her complexion was and how her off stage demeanor was so different from how she was on stage. Off stage she was quiet and plesant. On stage she was on fire.
We played with Canned Heat at Speedway Meadows in San Francisco. It was amazing how they simply played that boogie beat for what seemed like forever and the crowed just ate it up. They were a hot act at a club in souther Ca. Called the Kalediscope. They showed up to the gig and were unhappy with the microphones they had to use. Bear asked us if he could use our sm 58’s and he would get us a gig at the Kalediscope. We let him use them and I think he broke one. We never did get our gig.
Back stage at the Fillmore one night we were tuning up and in walks Gary Duncan, Carlos Santana, and Jack Cassidy. They had been out and about and decided to walk in to simply check it out.
I was a big fan of Quicksilver and very much impressed by John Chippolina’s guitar style. So much so, I went out and got an SG guitar with a whammy bar like his and even incorporated some Banshee horns in my rig to project more highs like he did.
After one gig with them we went to a coffe shop and sitting a few booths down were all the guys from Quicksilver. John Chippolina motioned for me to come over talk. He complimented my guitar playing, I guess I’d tributed him to his satisfaction, then gave me his phone number and invited me to some jam sessions at his house.  I was totaly blown away. I was young, shy and obvioulsy dumb because I never called him. To this day I have great regrets that I never followed through with the missed opportunity that open door may have brought. It seemed like I’d learn my lesson here but in the late 80’s I was in a band that opend for Lacy J Dalton. We struck up a conversation because she lived in Sant Cruze and I had lived there also for a time. She gave me her number and invited me to come and work on songs with her. Don’t ask. All I can say is I don’t know except that I didn’t want to upset my dear wife.
The readers might keep in mind that during this time in the 60’s, these performers were just people to us. They were notable but no one knew the legend they would all become. Living in the midst of the time made it all seem like just life to us. Had I realized how important that time period would become, I would have at least kept every poster I ever had access to in acid free covers and in a cool dark place. I could sell them all now and damned near retire.
You got some interesting offers from labels, but never signed up. Why?
Dave: We mostly got the standard five year, fifty thousand in advance type offers and they wanted publishing and artistic control.  When you look at it realistically, that’s ten thousand a year guaranteed, split that between six guys and that’s not much.  I personally was willing to take the chance, but we were a team so I went along with our managers.
Jeff: My take on it is that I don’t know if we got any interesting serious offers from legitimate labels.  We got some bogus offers, including what amounted to a personal service contract from the Mattel Toy heir, who did have his own label.  We got a few polite replies from labels that didn’t end up leading anywhere.  The window for San Francisco bands to sign contracts wasn’t open for very long, and we were not close enough to the center of that at the right moment.  When Cream, Pink Floyd, Led Zepplin and the Who led the second wave of very showy British bands, and Tower of Power and Santana broke the mold of laid-back San Francisco bands, any label interest in us just died.  Charles Manson changed the general feeling about hippie-looking people, and the world moved on.  Fairly suddenly there was no “San Francisco scene” outside the confines of the Fillmore itself, and we couldn’t quite break in at the Fillmore.
Tom: We did get offers but I felt much like Dave did except that I was the youngest member of the band. The decisions were in the hands of management and the older members. I have regrets about that now and realize that you can’t get on the road unless you actually choose a vehicle. I disagree with some things that Jeff said. Jeff is and has always been the skeptic in the band. Even though he spent a lot of time going through tapes and doing what he could to make them presentable for mastering. He had doubts the music would be received as well as it has.
Jeff stated that we didn’t get any serious offers to sign but we did. Some were not as good as others and none gave us the complete artistic control the management and older members wanted. I remember sitting in one meeting with Ken Handler, the owner of Yellow Balloon Records and aire to The Mattel Toy Co. and yes, his sister was Barbie. Handler was very interested in signing the band but ultimately had some conditions we weren’t going for. That story is a whole chapter in itself but not going into it now.
We had scheduled some meetings with a few record companies and Handler was the first. After we talked he said he wanted to go with us to our other interviews. Big mistake. We went to the record company who was doing the Music Machine. They even played us some cuts from their new album. They asked what we wanted to sign and our manager, DeLong told them, and they said that was acceptable. Then Handle jumped in and proceeded to take over the meeting as if whatever they were offering, he would do us better. We though OK man, this is it. We’re going to be signed. He invited us to dinner at his house, we met his wife and the this guy’s next door neighbor was Clayton Moore (The Lone Ranger). We saw Clayton him having a BBQ in his back yard without his mask. Since I grew up watching the Lone Ranger, this was cool.
Over the next few months we had correrspondence and Handler came to Merced to give us a contract and  get us to move to LA but among other things the artistic control or advance money wasn’t up to par as we had understood it and the deal ultimately didn’t pan out. I guess it might be what one considers a serious offer but they were there. I think I still have the contract and some correspondence from Handler and other record companies. That was a few storage investigations ago so can’t say I can put my hands on it immediately.
Around 1968 there was another lineup change…

Dave: I believe this is the time I left the group.  It was a Saturday and we didn’t have a gig so we were practicing.  Our managers were in L.A. meeting with Capitol Records.  Our hopes were all pretty high and they came home that night and told us they did not accept the offer.  We were scheduled to practice the next day and I said “I’m going snow skiing”.  That was it for me.
Jeff: We lost a manager, Jim had to quit the band due to indirect issues generated by the draft, and Dave left the band.  Dave had the innate abilty to do things in such a casual manner that I don’t clearly remember when or under what circumstances he left.  There wasn’t any drama about that.
I had an insane loyalty to groups, so I stayed in as long as there was a band.  I inherited a keyboard I couldn’t really play, and our four voices were cut to two.  That version of the band was loved in Modesto.  We wrote some interesting songs and have some decent recordings, which may show up in the future, probably depending on how Family Evil is received.
Tom: Maybe 69 was the time. Jim and Dave left. Dave got tired of our management turning down deals and Jim got married and had to get his married life together. Jeff, Bob, Marvin and me decided to retool and keep on. It left us with only 2 singers. We continued to get gigs and played the Fillmore one more time before we gave up the ghost. I think we had just peaked out. We weren’t writing any new stuff and I was getting tired of playing the same songs over and over. Gig opportunities were less available because the scene was changing. As in the lyric It was time to ‘Try something different or die.’
In 1970 you decided to break up and then some members formed Boogeyman. Would you like to share a story about this?
Jeff: Boogeyman was a bar band formed by Tom and Bob Greenlee.  When the original drummer was jailed for non-payment of child support, there were zero drummers in Merced old enough to play in a bar who weren’t already in some other bar band.  Tom talked me into trying to learn drums by playing in a bar band.  Somehow we got away with that.  Boogeyman was a fun group to play in, and it provided me with some income while I finished college.  I think Tom is the only person who has ever included me in a working band as a drummer, which means he is a better judge of talent than are most people, or….
Tom: Maybe it was 71. Boogeyman started out as an effort with myself and Bob Greenlee, guitarist John Fox, and Gabe Romo on drums. Gabe was an old friend of mine and the drummer I first worked with when I was 13. We also had a female singer, Lucille Boyer, who was a friend of John’s.
I sat down with Bob and wrote Old Styx River. We decided to retool a Syphon song, ‘There is Light There,’ and record a 45 ourselves.
We returned to Victory and asked Jeff to come along  to help with the production. The record got some regional air play in California and back east but didn’t take off. Our local station, KYOS, had it on their play list a few days but promptly pulled it because they said too many people were calling in to request it. They thought we had masterminded a campaign to make this happen but we didn’t. Prior to it’s release we had a few successful gigs and I believe that no local band had a song on the radio since the Brogues and people were just being supportive. Oh well.
Do you have any particular crazy or groovy experiences that happened in those clubs playing with other bands. Please share one or two for us!

Jeff: I don’t officially remember any of my most memorable experiences, and will deny that they happened if anyone else brings them up.
Bob: I do remember at least one thing that happened that you may find interesting. One time we were going to play with the Grateful Dead at the Turlock fairgrounds.  I think this was in Feb.; of 1968 because there’s a poster for this gig on the Merced, Musical Capitol of the World website.  Anyway, Richard DeLong was our manager then, and he was not exactly known as being always polite, which was good for us because the rest of us were pretty laid back.  We got there a little late and a few of us went in to check on the set-up.  The Dead were already there and had put their equipment on stage.  The stage was pretty much full and it didn’t leave much room for our stuff.  So someone went and told DeLong about this and he told us to go out and start bringing our equipment in and he’d take care of it.   A few minutes later, DeLong came out and said something like “I told some guy to move their gear so we can set up.”  Knowing DeLong, I’m pretty sure this request was performed with considerable cussing and brusqueness.  I remember rolling some our stuff in a few minutes later and noticing that Jerry Garcia was on stage by himself, moving the Dead’s equipment around!
Tom: John Fox got busted and was out of the picture. Gabe had to leave because his wife was pregnate and he felt he needed a real job and I don’t remember why Lucille left. Jeff had been trying to get us to do this club in Turlock that was across the street from the college he was attending. I knew thaT Jeff wanted to be a drummer and actually had demonstrated a talent for the instrument at various rehearsals during the Syphon period. I asked him to play drums. We had a brief stint with Jim on guitar but he still had marriage issues and had to leave again. We got this very good Guitar player from Ventura, Jimmy Shaw, to join up.
We played for maybe 2 years at this family pizza parlor called Manjos in Turlock at about 1973. We played a few Syphon songs but mostly The Stones, Beatles, and other danceable rock music we liked. We packed that house every night 4 nights a week. The club was becoming the place to be partly because they had an advantage over other clubs. They only sold beer and wine and after 9:00 p.m. they would close down the pizza room and turn it in to a dancing room. They would let girls in that were 18 and over. Most were from the college across the street. Guys had to be 21. The place was packed with women and the guys followed. The Turlock crowd also seemed to like us a whole lot. I have to say that that was the best summer of my life and I venture to say the rest of the band would agree with me. We also had the opportunity to do a few Theatre gigs that turned out well. Too many memories and I’d have to agree with Jeff that I would have to deny mostly all of it except I met my wife there and that was a very good event.
What happened after mid 70’s for you and what occupies your life these days?

Dave: I ended up working for Weyerhaeuser Company as a salesman.  I had some fun when at conventions with customers and bosses.  I’d get up and sing with whatever band was playing and enjoyed seeing the look on my customers’ and bosses face.  I’m basically retired now and live on forty acres in a very remote part of the mountains below Yosemite National Park.
Jeff: As clubs in the Merced area became more conservative in their booking of bands, Boogeyman had trouble competing with “uniform” bands and “show” bands for bookings.  Any hint of original music or departure from a rigid top-40 playlist was no longer considered an asset.  We were a little quirky and too casual onstage for the coming era.  The band stopped playing regularly.  I decided to try for some kind of music career in Los Angeles.  I had a couple of auditions as a drummer, and also interviewed for an entry position at a recording studio.  In April of 1974, I left Merced and started working at Crystal Recording Studios on Vine Street in Hollywood.  I started as a general “gofer” and worked my way into the studios as a second engineer, while also learning to operate a record-cutting lathe as a mastering engineer.  I had more aptitude for mastering, and made a career of that, first at Crystal, then at Kendun Recorders in Burbank, where I eventually became chief engineer at a multi-room studio, although my experience as a hands-on engineer was mainly limited to mastering.  If you search for “Jeff Sanders, album credits” you will find a list of my credits, but they will be mixed up with another Jeff Sanders who produced and sang on Bluegrass records.  Everything not bluegrass is mine.  In the mid-eighties I went on to work for two other studios.  Mastering was shrinking and dying out as a viable career because of the industry-wide switch to CDs.  I took classes beyond my college degree to qualify for a California teaching credential and took a job back in Merced, where I have taught reading or history in middle school since 1989.  I have also continued to do some live engineering, studio engineering, CD mastering and have briefly played drums in a couple of groups.  I have a good collection of PA equipment that no longer gets much use, and have a fully equipped recording studio in my house, where I have recorded many little projects and a few commercial CDs, most notably Mike Hammar and the Nails’ release, “Recipe for the Blues.”  I have a lovely and extremely talented wife, who is not the mother of my two lovely and talented children.  I am very happy to be related to all of them. 
Bob: While in Crystal Syphon, I had continued going to school.  I got my A.A. degree in 1967 and then went up the road to  Cal. State, Stanislaus where I got my B.A. in English in !970, all the while continuing to play in the band and commuting from Merced.  I started  grad school at Stanislaus,but Boogeyman was doing pretty well and I decided to drop school for awhile, but since I had student loans, I needed to do something to avoid starting payments so I went back to Merced College.and through connections there, about three months later,  ending up running their tutorial program.  In the meantime, Boogeyman was playing steady club dates, but getting home at 3 in the morning and then getting up at 7  was getting to me (I’ve been a diabetic since I was 11) and after about a year of this, I decided to leave the band.  Shortly after this, I got married and had my daughter, and so tried to settle into so-called normalcy.  I was transferred at Merced College and became an English Instructor and counselor and finished my M.A. in 1975. I quit playing altogether for a few years, but when my ex and i split up, bought some equipment and started playing again around town. None of the bands really amounted to anything but I was just in it for the fun of it anyway, so that was fine by me.  What I did care about  though was guitars so started collecting and being a bit obsessive-compulsive ended up with 150 guitars and basses while living in a one bedroom apartment.  About this time, my folks passed away and brother Marv had started having considerable health problems (I don’t know if anyone mentioned it, but he passed away form the complications of juvenile diabetes in 1999) so i opened up a little guitar store in Merced in 1984to give hime something to do and as a tax write-off for myself.  I quickly got fairly well known in the business and was lucky enough to be able through some connections to get into a cache of brand new ’60s gutars at the Eko distributors in Milwaukee.  I was getting burned out teaching (too many business majors) so in 1986 packed up Marv and his family and the store and myself and moved to Hollywood where I had a place across from Guitar Center on Sunset.  We did pretty well but Marv had to quit after a while because of health issues and when Istarted having health issues myself, sold the store in 1990 and moved back to Merced.  I played in a few club bands for awhile for the fun of it, while teaching part-time and working as a case manager for disabled people.  I did play in a country band with Tom named Wildfire for a while but more health issues started so needed to give this up.  To try to get through this quickly, got involved with a woman, bought a house, played a little bit, taught high school for a year, had a heart bypass in the middle of that year, got in the car business (about like the guitar business, if you work at an ethical place which I did ), broke up with the woman, moved to Minneapolis in 2004 to be close to my daughter who ended up there, moved back to California when that didn’t work out, returned to Minnesota in 2006 to try again with my kid and ended up meeting James and thus the record.  I didn’t think I could hack the winters in Minnesota so ended up back here in Merced last Fall and here I am.  Can’t work because of health issues, but am getting along OK and the record is coming out so all is good.  And, it’s never too late to be. . .  I sure haven’t followed the usual career paths and I know that’s true of some of the other guys as well
Tom: Manjos changed their format to hard liquor and couldn’t let women in any longer that weren’t 21. That was the demise of that magical period. The music scene had again changed so that such club bands were expected to wear uniforms and play funk and other top 40 songs of the day. Jimmey Shaw wanted to return to Venture to try and save his relationship with his girlfriend, Bob wanted to concentrate on his master and Jeff and I continued a bit longer with a great bassist, Mark Blythe, at other clubs until Jeff decided to try his hand in LA where he got a gig at Crystal Recording Studios.
I continued to play with other club bands including recording, thanks to Jeff’s contacts, with former members of a Crazy Horse/ A Tear and a Smile. There are some good recordings from that period as well.
Around 1988 I decided to go back to school and get a degree. I had a popular weekend warrior band that allowed me to work on the weekends and devote my week to school. I got my teaching degree in 91 but kept playing until 96. I couldn’t give it. Then I got a job teaching music and it took so much of my time, I quit playing altogether. I continued writing and bought some recording equipment to put tracks down. About 4 years ago Jeff, Jim and I got together with Tom Clarkson and Anthony Parber to play some Beatle songs. We decided to do some tribute gigs that have worked out well. Jeff got tied up with some of his teaching credential issues and Jim got side tracked with his business issues due to the bad economy and he left as well.
Presently I’m playing with Phillip Madayag who was the drummer for Tierra and Jeff Todd as well as Clarkson and Parber. Anthony Parber’s brother used to draw posters for us back in the day but unfortunately he died some years ago. Anthony was also surprised to find out that his half brother is Bob Wier. When Bobs mother died, he went on a trek to find the rest of his family who he knew nothing about since he was adopted.
I’m still teaching school and living on a family ranch in south Merced with my dear wife leslee and way too many dogs and cats. I’m grateful for them all. I’ve got 3 grown kids and thankful for them as well my grandchildren. My band mates are still me friends and life and memories are good.
Roaratorio label will be releasing your recordings and as far as I know from original tapes. Would you like to tell us more about this and also how do you feel, that after all these years the recordings will be released?

Dave: I think it is great.  My kids and grandkids don’t know anything about it yet.  I’m going to wait until I get an album in my hands.  I’m having fun with it also, I’m telling all my old buddies that an autograph now would be free, but in six months, who knows !!
Jeff: I am astounded that James at Roaratorio has made this happen.  He selected the album songs from a larger selection of songs we submitted to him.  He decided that the songs not be edited, and any fades are only those on the original recording, or required by a stop on the original recording.  There are absolutely no overdubs, no add-ons, no pitch correction, not much in the way of tricks.  I did run the original recordings through some mastering hardware to adjust them a little to my current taste, subject to James’ approval.  Tubes lit up, EQ was employed, compressors were hit lightly.  His mastering engineer made some further small adjustments, which we approved on our end.  It remains very true to what the band was.  I’m pleased that someone else, somewhere else in time and location, might share the little thrill I always get from hearing, for example, when all the voices and instruments hit the change on the second, “.. and wiser…” in Winter is Cold.  I feel very good that we’re finally on record, especially after all these years.
Tom: I’m very thankful to James at Rotario for getting this out after 40 plus years. It’s nice to know someone thinks your music is relevant. There seems to be a resurgence of this type music. We only knew it as origional rock music back then but I’m glad the interest is there.
Thank you for your time! Would you like to share anything else? Perhaps a message for It’s Psychedelic Baby readers?

Dave: No matter how old you get, your youth will always be with you !
Bob: During the late ’60s, we were fortunate to not only be able to be a part of a vital music scene but also an important political movement, one that changed people’s perceptions about civil rights, women’s rights, and the equality of all people.  All of these seem to me to be relevant today  as unfortunately, many of these battles are being fought again; we, at least, had a great soundtrack for our story. I’m glad we were part of it that, and thanks to your readers, we can pass that along.  And, maybe a song like “Have More of Everything,”  if not itself important, can inspire a few more young musicians (since I don’t have a chance to listen to much new music these days, I’m not aware of bands now that may be somewhat activist) to get involved in the changes that are going on in the world.
Tom: If you’re reading this article and like the music of the Crystal Syphon then I wish I could meet every last one of you and shake your hand. Thanks to Psychedelic Baby for showing interest and for the budding flower children as well as the seasoned one’s out there, as Tiny Tim said at the end of A Christmas Carol and because it’s like Christmas to me finally having this album out, ” God bless us all.”
Tom Salles

Interview made by Klemen Breznikar / 2012
© Copyright http://psychedelicbaby.blogspot.com/ 2012
  1. SandersROCKS!

    Thanks for the Interview. I neglected to note that after leaving Crystal Syphon in 1969, my life became a quest to hold as many different jobs and positions as possible. From retail clothing, to bars and restaraunt management, to Human Resources director for a corporation, building pipe organs, rehabbing historic buildings and finally a long stint as the co-founder of a community non-profit which led me to become a Merced City Council Member from 2001 to 2009. I left music, but it never left me! I picked up a guitar again in 2004 and have been played with Tom and Jeff in the Beatles Project and look forward to, perhaps, polishing up or creating new Crystal Syphon tunes...the future is awash with possibility! Thanks, Jim Sanders, Merced, California June 2012

  2. SandersROCKS!

    Thanks for the Interview. I neglected to note that after leaving Crystal Syphon in 1969, my life became a quest to hold as many different jobs and positions as possible. From retail clothing, to bars and restaraunt management, to Human Resources director for a corporation, building pipe organs, rehabbing historic buildings and finally a long stint as the co-founder of a community non-profit which led me to become a Merced City Council Member from 2001 to 2009. I left music, but it never left me! I picked up a guitar again in 2004 and have been played with Tom and Jeff in the Beatles Project and look forward to, perhaps, polishing up or creating new Crystal Syphon tunes...the future is awash with possibility! Thanks, Jim Sanders, Merced, California June 2012

  3. Chris

    I bought the LP from Roaratorio and have started playing it on my show on WGXC here in the Hudson Valley. I'm so glad this is on vinyl. This was a great interview to accompany the notes on the LP.

  4. MileHighMusic

    We play the album on Psychedelicized and have added a page for you, with a link to this interview:


    Great tunes, great band! :-)

    Christy @ Psychedelicized
    Tune in:

  5. mickeyjhon

    Whether somebody pursuit of his vital thing, hence he or she desires to be accessible that at length, hence that thing is maintained over here.
    All-Star Cheer in Merced

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