It's Psychedelic Baby Magazine

It's Psychedelic Baby is an independent music magazine. We are covering alternative, underground, non-commercial and non-mainstream artists in variety of shapes and genres. Exclusive interviews, reviews and articles. A place where musicians can express themselves. We serve an international readership.

Dragonfly interview with Randy Russ

From The Legends to Dragonfly. Here is the original story behind the band by Randy Russ, their guitarist. Sunbeam Records recently reissued their LP.


I'm glad we are having your with us, Randy. You were a member of The Legend and Dragonfly. You were growing up in Texas. What was the scene back then there? Did you visit or even play in the Vulcan Gas Company along side with the rest of Texas psych crew?

Back in the 60's, El Paso was way behind the world as far as the music scene. El Paso only had 2 AM stations, and they both were playing corny music. But late at night we could pick up Wolf Man Jack and KOMA in Oklahoma for some good music. And we would go over to Juarez and check out the music over there. The Lobby had Long John Hunter. Him and Elvis were my first inspirations. I had never heard of the Vulcan Gas Company.

What would you say influenced you the most?

That Sunday night that I first saw Elvis was it for me. I wanted to play guitar. Didn't care about signing, I just wanted to play guitar. My dad had an F hole Melody guitar and showed me 5 chords. But learning was hard for me as I'm dyslexic and have a learning disorder. And like I said, I would go over to Juarez and watch Long John, go home and try to remember the licks he was doing. I would even sneak out on a school night in my parents car. Trying to play under my covers soft enough that my parents wouldn't hear me.

Were The Legends your first band or were you involved with any other bands while you'd still been in Texas. How about other members of The Legends?

A friend down the street from me Doug Neal, started out playing piano told me to come with him to a rehearsal. The guitar player who was kind of running the show, lent me this guitar that only had four strings on it showed me some stuff and we did a battle of the bands. We were called the Emeralds. The group that won, Bobby Fuller was playing drums. Later on, Doug and I started up a group called The Instigators. We changed some members and that was called The Infants of Soul. After that, the group broke up.

I heard, there were three from Texas and two from Colorado and you formed in Durango, Colorado. How did that happened?

I was working at a shoe store and got a call from two guys from El Paso that had gone to Durango Co and joined up with two guys from there. They wanted another guitar player and I jumped at it. We practiced a couple of months and started playing in the area. That group was called the Lords of London. That name was change the The Jimmerfield Legend, which was shortened to The Legend.

The Legend recorded and released an LP back in 1968 on Megaphone Records. What are some memories from recording it?

The Legend was playing all over Colorado, breaking all kinds of attendance records and beer sales at clubs we played at. We had heard that a record company was looking for a group to sign up. We played a couple of more gigs, saved our money and headed out for LA. When we got there, we found out that the record company was auditioning groups and trying to steal different members to make up their own group. They wanted our drummer, Barry, who turned them down. Gerry had been out in LA a couple years previous and knew of these two guys that were managers, said he would give them a call, but he warned us about them. They came over and heard us and said they could do something with us. But they wanted us to sign a contract, which we did. One of the managers, Tony Sepe, had a brother who owned a Chicago based company. He talked him into backing a record company. Thus the birth of Megaphone records. Stolen idea of the RCA dog logo listening to the megaphone. We went into the studio and recorded a few songs. 

We had run out of money and couldn't play in LA because we weren't in the union. Tony and Marty Brooks(the other manager) would drop by our motel and give $10 to $12 a day to live on. We were eating bologna sandwiches three times a day. A lot of times, we would buy the bread and cigarettes and one of us would steal the bologna. Speaking of the motel, one of those run down slime pitts on Sunset Strip, two of us would sleep in the bed, some would sleep in our converted bread truck, and I would sleep in the 396 Chevelle. We needed money, so we went back to Colorado to play some gigs, make some money and eat. When we came back, Tony and Marty had hired some studio musicians and Gene Page, a producer, and the basic tracks were done on the Legend album. We had no idea that this was going to be done and when we confronted them, they just laugh us off and said that this is the way it was done.  We put on the vocals and different guitar parts. It was put out as the Legend. One day at the studio, we wanted Jack Duncan to come in and do some parts and he couldn't be found. He was in the hall way talking to this real cute chick. He introduced me to Sally Fields. What a treat.

Did you play any concerts?

Like I said, we weren't in the union and couldn't play in LA. Later on, Tony and Marty got in the Waco Texas union and they got us a gig outside of LA, and we got fired for being too loud. But we did come to El Paso and played a concert at the Coliseum. For that night, I played through 3 Vox Super Beatles and a Fender Super Reverb. Most of our gigs were at bars and clubs.

What happened, that you changed your name from The Legend into Dragonfly? The lineup was still the same, right? And why did you choose the name "Dragonfly"?

Tony and Marty had no idea what they were doing. The Legend album had no distribution to speak of. They were skimming as much money as they could out of the record label. They even had custom made alligator brief cases made. Things like that made us angry. We weren't getting anything. Marty had heard us play at The Family Dog in Denver. Bob Cohen of the Family Dog liked the band. Marty told Tony that we were good enough to do our own recording. So we started the second album and things were getting worse with the band and Tony and Marty, so in the middle of the album we told them we weren't going to record any more until they let us out of our contract. They agreed. We finished the album. They found this acid freak that had done this painting and they bought it from him and Tony saw the Dragonfly on the picture and decided to call it that. Their plan was to find some musicians, have them learn the songs and put them out on the road. But one day Tony and Marty went to the office, and locks had been change and the company in Chicago had shut down Megaphone Records. That's why you don't see our name anywhere on the album.

The next LP was released in late 1968, these time with much harder sound. What are some of the strongest memories from producing and releasing this LP?

During the time the first album was done, we were developing our sound. Trying different things on stage and we were starting to gel. By the time we did Dragonfly, we were pretty comfortable with each other. The difference between the two albums is the first we were restricted by harsh comments and brow beating by Tony and Marty. By the second album, we were confident and would not let them tell us how to play. Remember the first album, The Legend was partly done by studio musicians. But let me tell you, when I was in their doing my overdubs and I knew something was coming off pretty good, I would feel so good. It would be a total rush.

What gear did you guys use?

Jimmerfield would use a Gibson 335 and 1956 Gold Top Les Paul, which I now own. He used a Blonde Fender  Bassman. I would use for rhythm a 1965 Fender Telecaster through a 1965 Fender Super Reverb, which I still own. For leads, I used a 1959 Les Paul SG through a Vox Super Beatle With 4 Altec Lansing. That thing would scream. I used the internal effects and Maestro Fuzz. Jack the bass player got the richest sound out of this Japanese bass. Don't remember the brand name.

What can you say about the cover artwork and perhaps how many copies were made? Was there any airplay/distribution?

Like I said earlier, Tony and Marty conned some acid freak out of his artwork and I heard that when he was in the office to sign the release for his artwork, he didn't talk, he made animal noises. As far as how many many were pressed, they didn't share that kind of matters with us. They did what they wanted. I heard that 5000 copies were sent to Australia. Casey Cassum played Enjoy Yourself in New York. There was really no push behind it, they didn't know how to and they had such a bad reputation, that the honest people in business didn't want to deal with Tony and Marty. Enjoy Yourself got a little mention in music magazine called Cashbox.

Please comment each song from your LP.

A1          Blue Monday
Blue Monday was fun song to do. Jack Duncan and Barry Davis wrote this one day.

A2          Enjoy Yourself     
Barry Davis, the drummer and myself wrote that at the kitchen table drinking hot coffee. Kind of a summary of life's bummers and where an acid trip can take you. The opening drum part had to be recorded in parts to get the high hat on one side and the snare on the other and the bass in the middle. To me watching it, it looked hard as hell to do.

A3          Hootchie Kootchie Man  
Is song that Duncan wanted to do. We used to do it live and had some good times doing it. Richard had told me a section of my lead was going to be backward, so I had to figure out how to start high and end up in the low register to be in place for the regular forward section. It's hard to describe.

A4          I Feel It   
Another song Duncan wrote. He just came to the session and had the song. I don't remember the particulars. You got to remember, this was 44 years or so ago. And since then there's been a lot of brain cells destroyed. 

A5          Trombodo          
Trombodo was done by our producer, Richard Egizi, who Tony and Marty had to hire cause they were in way in over their heads and far as record production. Richard did all on trombone, recorded at different speeds. Richard is one those musical geniuses. He is really the one that kept us going with that project. He was so full of ideas. At the session they asked me how do you say trombone in Spanish, I didn't know so I just said Trombodo.   

A6          Portrait of Youth   
Gerry came in one day with an idea and we all pitched in and came up it.
B1          Crazy Woman  
Jack and I wrote that. I had some chord structures and Jack had some words and some chord structures, so it just came together.  
B2          She Don't Care               
Written and sung by Jimmerfield. He wanted me to get as freaky as I could on the lead. When I listen to it now, it's not so freaky. I don't know who the song is about, but he wanted everybody just to freak on their instruments. The engineers had hard time getting the right delay that we wanted on the voice part. Got hand it to them, they did a good job.

B3          Time Has Slipped Away 
Another Duncan song. I really got into the chord changes. And the lead is wild, man.
B4          To Be Free        
One more Duncan song and don't remember the details of this even after listening to it again.

B5          Darlin'               
 Jimmerfield only had this one little section and we had smoked a little, so we did it. And then the laughter came.

B6          Miles Away
Duncan was trying to get this thing together at last minute. We were stumped, and it just started coming together. The line " Purple flag half mast on a Tuesday" was just a filler line that I liked and he left it. Richard did bring in some singers to help us with the background on the album, cause the parts Richard was hearing would have taken us forever to do. There's 9th's and 13th's or some crap like that in there somewhere. I would never been able to do that.

Where all did the Dragonfly play and with who?

Like I said earlier, Dragonfly wasn't a real band. It was a concept of our managers. The Legend played in Ft. Collins Co. with Question Mark and the Mysterians and at the Family Dog with The Soul Survivors and The Box Tops at one gig. And we played a lot with a group, American Standard with Tommy Bolin as the guitar player at The Family Dog. We only did one concert in El Paso and the rest were clubs and bars. The Family Dog was a huge building that probably could get 3 thousand people in.

Did hallucinogens have any impact on the sound?

In 1968, I think, the Legend along with about 10 other people did acid for the first time in the middle of this green pasture surrounded with pine trees. There was even pond with beavers and man what a trip. Jack, Barry and myself only did acid around 10 or 12 times. Gerry and Ernie, I think, did it more. Gerry would go on about this thing that we could get up on stage and all of us would play anything and because we were really gelling, it would all come together. I really didn't understand that idea and kind of freaked me out. Jack and Barry and I would look at each other not knowing what the hell he was talking about. One night, coming down from an acid trip, I came to the realization that if I kept on playing and practicing I could be as good as anyone. I had an inferiority complex.. So you might say the acid helped my confidence. But we by any means, weren't doing it like some of our musician friends.

What happened next and what were you doing through all these years?

After the Legend broke up, I went back to El Paso and did some different things here and there. I formed a group with my old friend from that first group, Doug Neal. That group was called Gorilla. We warmed up Steve Miller one time and then ZZ Top. Billy Gibbons and Dusty Hill came down to our dressing room and Billy and I jammed. He played my '56 Gold Top and I played his famous Tobacco Sunburst Les Paul. They were real nice guys and treated us with respect. They didn't have to to do that. That's always stuck in my head. Then in "72 Jack, Barry and I got back together with Andre, a drummer from El Paso and Jack W., a guitar player from El Paso. We called that group Bubba Jo. We wagon wheeled from Denver and played all over the mid west and southwest. We played all the A rooms in Denver. Once again, went to LA and did an album, all originals that we came up with at rehearsals. But we couldn't get any of the labels to jump on it. So I came back to El Paso. In'75, I think, I got a call from Jimmy Carl Black. The former drummer for The Mothers of Invention. He was raised in Anthony Texas. We got a group together with Big Sonny Farlow, the revolving member of the Sir Douglas Quintet. We did all cover with just a few originals. We formed our own record company and put out and album on the Con Safo label and it was called Big Sonny and the Loboys In Heat. We had this idea of our faces on the dogs playing poker. Everything was done here in EP except the pressing of the records. Artwork, recording, everything. Time went by and I tried a few other things, but in 1999, I put together a group with my daughter Michelle singing lead, my wife, Linda doing harmonies, Dave the bass and Frank on Drums. We were called Russ T. Nails. We did a little demo and the TV show Rock Star heard it and invited Michelle to come to Austin and try out. It was the year INXS was looking for a singer, but I think they were looking for a male and she didn't make it. I am so proud my wife and daughter's talent. Their harmonies are better than most. Now I'm playing with this group called Twisted Hams. We have a website. Haven't done a lot of gigs. All original, except for a few covers. I play a'78 Hamer through a Fender Blues Jr. and use only two effects. Chorus and Wha-wha. I still have my '65 Fender Reverb and my '56 Les and use them on special gigs.

Thank you very much. Would you like to send a message to It's Psychedelic Baby readers?

To everybody reading Psychedelic Baby Magazine, hope all of you enjoy the stories of the up and downs for the bands and musicians.When we were doing Dragonfly, sometimes I felt so out of my element and the sometimes I would be on top of the world. But I'm extremely glad I got to be part of it. When I get around my old musician friends, we just laugh and laugh about some of the stuff that happened to us. I have stories of guns stuck in my face,  mexican unrest in Kearny, Nebraska and the cops had to escort us to our motel after we played, and on and on. And the music goes on. Peace brother.

Interview made by Klemen Breznikar/2013
© Copyright

Janko Nilovic interview

When someone mentions "Library Music" most of us think about composer Janko Nilovic. His career was and still is a very rich one. From the early start as a jazz musician to the 70s where he recorded and produced amazing amount of albums. He was always ahead of everyone; adding various influences from traditional art and combining them with what was popular at the times, psychedelic rock. In the late 60's his career began to explode and there were series of albums released, which are credited as the best in the genre. We spoke with Janko and he kindly shared his memories and stories with us.


It's a great pleasure to have you on It's Psychedelic Baby, Janko. How are you?

It's always a pleasure to become acquaintance with new fellows all over the world, particularly with young people. I feel good, never considering my age and always working on plenty of projects.

What I had in mind for this interview is a quick overview through your rich career, so let's start. You were born in Istanbul in French residence to a Greek mother and a father from Montenegro. Where did you grow up and what inspired you to get involved in music from the very early stage of your life?

It is a fact that some people write wrong things, news about me. But you are right! This is the real story. Mother Katina was Greek. Father Prenca from Crna Gora. He lost his first son in MNE and so deceit, out of spite for that, so he leaved MNE to Turkey called by his brother (Luka) which was working at the British Embassy in Ankara. My father rejoined his brother around in 1918. He found a job immediately at the French Embassy (Istanbul & Ankara ). He worked there for 35 years. That's why I was born in Istanbul in French territory. Four sisters were born before me. Father (born in 1893) was playing all flutes and GUSLA; the Montenegrin special instrument. He was playing and singing at the same time. I grew up with this image. At five, he gave me a Pan-Flute & Harmonica. I played it by ear. At seven, he offered me a violin but I forsaked this instrument! Father died when I was about 12 years old. My elder sister which saw my sadness, offered me a piano. My God, it was great! I started to play (self-taught) and took lessons from Marthe Papazian, a great player & teacher. In the meantime, I was fascinated by DANCE, especially the Tap-Dance & Academic. Later I won the first price on dance competition with my partner, my younger sister. At the same time, I was captivated by literature, particularly by poetry (Croatian, Serbian, Russian etc.). At 15, I was poet, musician and dancer. Things changed suddenly at this moment...

What would you say were some of the major influences in your carrier?

While persevering on those three disciplines (Classic music, poetry and dance, I started to play "Boogie-Woogie" & Blues) on the piano and entered at the Istanbul Conservatory studying Oboe & Percussion. I didn't stay a long time. The reason is BIG! Stroke of luck, one day I heard Elvis Presley, Bill Halley, Fats Domino and some others on the radio. I was astonished by this new music! I couldn’t buy the records because my family was poor; but high school friend of mine lend them to me. You cannot imagine my joy! 1955 what a year! It's done, I immediately create my first band. Me, as pianist & singer, 4 saxophones, guitar, bass and drums. After that, I left the school and became a professional pianist & singer at the Jazz Club of Istanbul, with one of the best bands. The repertory was Jazz & Afro Cuban. At 17, I took up a new career, composing and arranging on different styles from jazz-classic- rhythm'n'blues. All world music influenced me from this year forward. At 19, I left Turkey for France (Paris).

You are for sure one of the leading artists of genre called "Library Music". I always find this phrase a bit confusing. How would you define it?

1960 Paris! The first six months were really hard. I accompanied several singers on the piano, gave lessons (piano & singing) and finally played in different clubs in Paris. In the meantime, I took lessons with a very known teacher (Harmony-Counterpoint - Fugue - Composition ) Julien Falk. I started serious compositions and arrangements (classical & jazz) but this consecration was not paying enough to live in Paris. While accompanied singers (French-Americans), I tried to get in Show Business and by chance, I met some people. Davy Jones (American singer & writer) with whom I created my label; “Ju Ju” Records and produced several records. After that, I met the owner of Montparnasse 2000 and this was my new career in Musical Library. I composed about 60 LP's. This let me be comfortable materially. My first record was Psyc' Impressions

You started recording in late 60's and one of the very early LP's was with Hervé Roy. What can you tell me about this very first albums till "Psyc' Impressions"?

At the same time I was playing Hammond organ & percussions every night in the Musical Hair in Paris. The musicians and the singers of the company collaborate in this first album. At that moment, everybody was exclaiming “Psychedelic”! So, on the spur of the moment (big mood) I composed this music.

Well, "Psyc' Impressions" is for sure one of the peak's in your carrier. Montparnasse 2000 signed you up and you started to work on this album. It became pretty popular. What can you say about it?

Yes, "Psyc' Impressions" had a large success. The Radios, TV's, movies and advertising people seized this music. Believe me, it was an HOLD-UP! I was really happy. My wife, my two sons Sacha & Jovan and me were in heaven! I can tell you that I bought my first house six months later.

"Vocal Impressions" (w/ Dave Sucky) and for instance "Supra Pop Impressions" show us, you had free hands so you could basically do whatever you'd like on the album…

From "Vocal Impressions" to "Supra Pop Impressions" I used all my musical knowledge. I know why those records had a success. It's because in 1969 the Background music was a back and old numbers. When I arrived, I quietly revolutionized the kind of work. After my last record “Balkan Impressions” (Belgium), I stopped because a lot of musicians & composers copied my works and saturate the market. During my contract with MP 2000, I was completely free concerning the choice of the style, compositions and the arrangements. That was a real advantage.

In 1974 two amazing albums followed. "Rythmes contemporains" and "Soul Impressions". You had a big band of 45 musicians for the "Rythmes contemporains". What did you have in mind while writing this absolutely amazing piece of music. I find it amazing, you managed to mix together so many different influences from acid rock to soul and jazz. That's just incredible!

In 1970, I yearned for a Big Band Jazz. I composed, arranged and conduct this band called Janko Nilovic Band - Giant ( 45 musicians ). We had a good success on concerts and finally we recorded the LP in 1972. Giant and later titled Rythmes contemporains by MP 2000. This record was a big success internationally. I bought a bigger house + sport car! Once again, I used my eclectic experience. However, my impressions was present in any kind of music (classic-jazz-rock…).

Are the albums conceptual and if so what are they about?

The conceptual idea is my way of work, my origins and my total freedom of thoughts. Other thing; I'm not a fervent listener of music. My favorites are classical, jazz, ethnic, but I never have a time to listen. I’m a strenuous worker on my piano & desk.

While recording you were living in Paris and I believe you still do. What would you say was the scene there in the late 60's and 70's for an artist like you?

60s & 70s were a beautiful spring-board. All kind of feelings gave birth at this epoch: Rock-Funk-Groove-Jazz rock- R&B-Blues etc... The melodies were in the top! I'm happy to have some great LP's at home like Elton John, Gino Vanelli, Supertramp, The Who, Pink Floyd, King Crimson, Stevie Wonder , George Duke etc. The melodies and the arrangements are sublime. I was IN!

Would you like to share a few words about your relationship with Montparnasse 2000 Records?

I think I told you some things about MP 2000. All I can say is that I gave all my energy to produce the  “Impressions". It was a big job but I did it very seriously. Unfortunately, the Boss sold the company to incapable persons. Now the owner is Universal.

One of your most famous pieces is "Drug Song". May I ask if you experimented with any hallucinogens/psychedelics?

No. I just amused myself by doing this kind of pieces.

Another highlight in your carrier is for sure "Funky Tramway". Would you like to share a story about it?

A Belgian group called me saying that they want to record an LP in Brussels with my compositions. I agreed and composed "Funky Tramway". It was really amazing. The musicians were fantastic. The cover was illustrated by my wife (Yohana). I produced six records in Belgium.

Your albums always came out with an absolutely stunning cover artwork. Who made them?

Most of the covers were realized by different persons. It was not my special preoccupation. My wife painted some like "Un Couple Dans La Ville".

What happened in the 80's?

In the 80's I decided to write exclusively classical music and my Big Band Jazz. I created my publishing company "Symphony Land" in Paris. After that, I wrote a fiction, a novel titled "A Piano In Space". I went to Hollywood trying to find some producers for an eventual movie. I also tried Canada- Japon- New York but the project didn't lead. Actually I modernized the manuscript. This subject have a different facets: Novel-Movie-Musical-Animated cartoons-Comics. I am very patient and enduring. I am waiting the right person at the right time...

Are you still active as musician these days? What else besides music occupies your life?

Right now, I have some concerts and festivals with my Jazz-Trio. In the meantime I don't stop composing. I recorded an CD with Paul Godfrey (Morcheeba) which will be released soon. I composed a song named "Days After Days" for Beyonce; I am waiting the recording.

Any future plans?

Future Plans:
1. A Piano In Space
2. Concerto for Piano & Orchestra
3. New CD for my Trio
4. Musical Book Method (3 tomes) - A Jazz Club in MNE BUDVA, of course is JAY Z ( Universal - D.O.A ) send me my money (I' m waiting that for 2 years! SACEM, French & America lawyers try to help me.) We will see!

What is on your turntable/CD player and what are you reading?

Actually, my CD's are: Dave Brubeck& Paul Desmond, which I met in Istanbul on 1957. They were preparing the legendary LP / EURASIA ( Take Five – Blue Rondo a la Turk...) - The trumpeters : Arturo Sandoval who played once in my Big Band – Jon Faddis, a friend of mine - James Morisson, a fantastic Australian player - The Piano Concertos of Sergeï Rachmaninof - Cuban Music etc... As I told you, I am swimming between all kind of music and styles. Resolutely I am an eclectic composer! Anyhow I am a world-citizen. About my readings: BIBLE - Different international novels – Historic works...Actually I'm Studying the ex-Yugoslavian languages.

Interview made by Klemen Breznikar/2013
© Copyright

It's Psychedelic Baby presents: A special Dopelord performance

Doom Metal band Dopelord did an exclusive performance for It's Psychedelic Baby Magazine. This is the beginning of exclusive performance series. They are performing "Evil Cult".

Special thanks to Hunter Gatherer.

Bonniwell Music Machine - Ignition (2000) review

Bonniwell Music Machine “Ignition” (Sundazed Records 2000)

Chiefly remembered for “Talk Talk,” a top twenty hit single from late 1966, the Music Machine may not have been much of a threat to the Beatles or the Rolling Stones as far as dollar signs went, but they definitely reign supreme as one of the very best bands of the decade. Or any decade, if you will. The Los Angeles band exploded with imagination and were probably just too futuristic for the general public to swallow.

What we have here is a disc of previously unreleased material, which is just as riveting as the stuff the Music Machine officially issued on vinyl. The band clearly had a unique identity, pronounced by sizzling fuzz guitars, peculiar arrangements, wheezing organ passages, slashing hooks and lead singer Sean Bonniwell’s dark and disturbing vocals. None of these brooding, but oh so catchy songs, sound dated all at, which testifies how timeless the Music Machine’s missives are. The band played hard rock with a cryptic punk slant long before such a style was formulated.

The very last interview Sean Bonniwell gave before he sadly passed can be found here

Review made by Beverly Paterson/2013
© Copyright

Brainticket - Psychonaut (1972) review

Brainticket - "Psychonaut"(Esoteric Recordings, 2010)

European psychedelic rock scene was shining and growing during the seventies. Brainticket is one of those bands, who`s influence was very high during the development of psychedelic rock music in Europe. The band was formed by jazz pianist Jöel Vandroogenbroeck, who was influenced by artists like Amon Düül II  Can and Tangerine Dream. Together with guitarist Ron Byer and drummer Wolfgang Paap they were the first formation of Brainticket. Accompanied with additional musicians, they released their first album “Cottonwoodhill”, in 1971. Shortly after, Bryer passed away and Vandroogenbroeck moved to Italy, where he met new collaborators and musicians.
Powered with new band formation, consisting of: Jane Free (lead vocals, tbilat, tambourine, slide whistle, sounds), Jöel Vandroogenbroeck (organ, piano, flute, sitar, sanze vocal, rumors, generator, arrangements), Rolf Hug (lead guitar, acoustic guitar, tablas, vocals), Martin Sacher (electric bass, flute), Barney Palm (drums, percussion, strange sounds) and Carole Muriel (additional vocals) band released their second, probably the most successful album – “Psychonaut” in 1972.
Opening with chilled-out, psychedelic tune “Radagacuca”, which starts off with some trippy organ and echoed flutes is one of the best examples of how band wanted to make this album sound totally opposite and less electric than their debut. Seven and a half minutes of absolute relaxation of entering into the atmosphere of “Psychonaut” album. It gently crosses to “One morning” - epic psychedelic song, composed and performed in the best manners of flower-power generation. How the sounds of nature and rain are combined with piano and percussions reflects the thriving production of this album and this beautiful song about mind-opening and life insights.
“Watching You” is probably the most hard rocking track Brainticket ever recorded. Raw sound of drums and guitars with heavy solos are fantastic background for Jane Free`s aggressive but neat vocal. If you ever watched movie “Almost Famous”, it will probably take you there, as the song represents the golden age of sex, drugs and rock `n roll. Fourth song “Like a Place in the sun” with spoken and sang vocals is a pure progressive masterpiece, that band recorded. Hippy-trippy sounding “Feel the wind blow” is nice, aid-back acoustic tune, beginning with people talking (and probably smoking something). Outstanding wave of relaxation.
“Coc`o-Mary"`s flute riff reminds of "Black Sand" from their previous LP. The instrumental has good Jethro Tull style vibe, placed at the end of the album to finally blow your mind out with good jam and inspiring sounds, creating psychedelic atmosphere.

This album is not as extreme and crazy as the previous, without long-lasting hypnotic tunes, that makes it less psychedelic. However it is more acceptable musically wide, because band`s experimentation has already began with their debut. “Psychonaut” is the part of band`s tradition to make each album sound unique and different, than any other they recorded.
This Brainticket`s experimental release is not only a “must-have” album for any "krautrock" admirer, but surely for all classic rock fans who enjoy good and intelligent albums, and who`s souls are being fed by great music.

Review made by Andrija Babovic/2013
© Copyright

Can Am Des Puig "Book Of Am" interview

Can Am Des Puig formed back in early 70's and released a very interesting album, which they recorded on an island in Spain. Now Juan Arkotxa, Leslie McKenzie and Carmeta Mansilla have joined forces with Will Z (Cosmic Trip Machine) to finish project The Book Of Am. A few years ago Wah Wah released the book including the only LP that was originally released back in the seventies (Part I) plus adding an extra LP (Part II) which had been recorded in the same era while the book was written, but as the book itself hasn't been previously released. Now, thanks to the help of Will Z, original Can AM des Puig (the name of the house which recorded The Book of Am) residents Leslie and Juan, plus original contributor Carmeta have joined forces again to finish what was left unfinished. More in the following interview with original members and Will from Cosmic Trip Machine.

Can AM Des Puig formed back in early 70s in Scotland and then moved to Spain to an island where you recorded "The Book of Am" LP, which was released by Celluloid Records in probably very small quantity.

Juan / Leslie : Can AM des Puig was the name of our house in Ibiza and we decided to use the same name for the group that made the recording of the LP in 1977 because the house where we lived and recorded the music was in the top of the hill (Puig in catalan) in Deia (Mallorca).

Would you like to tell us the story behind making your LP?

Juan / Leslie : During our two years of travel through India our music and art grew strong. We were able to keep developing this in Ibiza, by playing every day. We developed an improvisational style based around the words of what was to be the Book of AM. At first we never recorded anything since we did not have any electricity, not even batteries, except for torches.  The move to Deia and the contact with professional musicians, the acquisition of recording equipment and the access to electricity made it possible to add more instruments, refine techniques and put the material onto tape. 
In Deia we started recording on a two Track Uher with up to 7½ i/s speed and simple effects like reverb and echo.  Daevid Allen and Gilli Smyth encouraged us and Daevid sold us his old 4-track TEAC. We used tunes we had already evolved for some of the songs and improvised new ones on the basis of the words and our raw musical ideas. 

What influenced you?

Juan / Leslie : Buddhism was the unifier – it was like the awakener into the Void and the Mind. No other religion gives such a clear study of the mind and its tricks.
From Islam we loved the music – Kabir and Persian miniatures and skies.
Christianity had the most overlays for us – all that suffering and blood – but underneath we found the forty days in the desert – the mystic and ascetic core, the alchemists and the transmutations.  And what came before it in Europe?  We had to be interested in that – with our Scottish and Basque roots. Robert Graves firmly opened that door – and it keeps on opening.
In India we were deeply impressed by the Indian Saddhus – because theirs’ is a living tradition – anyone can join them on the road and the Indian territory is covered with spiritual places for them to stay in and follow the eternal cycle of the Naad (Sound) from beginning to end.
The ancient Egyptians had power over the cosmology of Time; they were ready for it and lived their lives accordingly.
Then we loved the Northern Icelandic poetry since it was such an opener into the land of dreams and ice and wit and violence and magic.
We did not become religious practitioners as such – no one religion could grab us enough. We did not want to be followers; we wanted to be at the creative centre of our own world. That was why we created the Book of AM.

Tell us about the time spent in Spain and if there is any original concept to the LP?

Juan / Leslie : That time was quite a follow up to our travelling years since we managed to keep our life style very simple, almost like when travelling: no electricity, no news and very few belongings. That is the original basic concept of the LP, a very close relationship with nature and the life basics in all its universal values.

A few years ago Wah Wah released the book including the only LP that was originally released back in the seventies (Part I) plus adding an extra LP (Part II) which had been recorded in the same era. While the book was written before it hadn't been previously released as the book itself. Now, thanks to the help of Will Z (of Cosmic Trip Machine), original Can Am des Puig residents Leslie and Juan, plus original contributor Carmeta who all joined forces again to finish the great project ''The Book Of Am''. Will, how did the idea come to realization?

Will : For me, this fantastic adventure began when I listened to the original "Book of AM" albums and discovered the book. It was a shock: the discovery of a new world. I decided to work on the same kind of concept when I composed Cosmic Trip Machine third album, The Curse of Lord Space Devil. When I collected material for the opus, I found a forgotten demo of a track I wrote ten years ago called "Hear the Voice of the Bard" inspired by William Blake poetry (same words than the Book of AM song). That's how I realized I was connected with the book… even when I didn’t know it. I changed the lyrics and my track became "Hear the Voice of the AM" because Juan and Leslie were my “new” bards and their influences on my vision of the music were strong. I sent to Leslie and Juan (I found them on the net) a copy of the finished album. They loved the result and they asked me to help them to finish the unreleased Parts 3 and 4. It was a great honor to be a part of this incredible project.

What's left to be finished?

Juan / Leslie : We have recorded the whole book in four parts/LPs: Dawn, Morning, Afternoon and Evening. It could be a final part, Night, which is not even included in the book itself but it seems like it is waiting for it to be done. In the other hand we are at the moment recording, along with Will Z and his group, Cosmic Trip Machine, two LPs: “My Immortality” and “Moon Goddess Magic” which are the core of the Book of Intxixu that we wrote in 1978.

The main body of Parts III & IV is formed by those songs written back in 1970's Ibiza and Mallorca that never reached the recording stage. You have also written part of the music, and have helped with all arrangements. What can you tell me about that? Was it hard to respect the musical feel of the original sound?

Will : Juan and Leslie sent me the demos recorded in Deia during the 70’s. I began to record new demos and then basic tracks on guitar acoustic, working on the demos structures, trying to be as close as possible to the original albums and using the same kind of arrangements. It was funny because Juan and Leslie were less obsessed than me by the respect of the original sound. For example, they asked me to add bass on every track, like we used to do on Cosmic Trip Machine albums. They told me they wanted to have bass on the original Book of AM project but it was impossible at that time, due to the limits of the four tracks machine they used. The main idea was to follow our intuition and awareness.

How did you actually get together and got an idea to record?

Juan / Leslie : We did the Book of AM in the years 1975/76 and we used to sing the songs from the book accompanying them with our music. Once we finished the whole book with all its engravings and watercolours we decided to move to Deia (Mallorca) to record the songs.  There we did quite a few sessions with local musicians: Pat Meadows, Stephanie Shepard, Phil Shepherd and Lally Murray plus, later, the appearance of Jerry Hart with whom we did most of the arrangements, the catalan singer Carmeta Mansilla and finally Jean Paul Vivini with his synthesizer completed the recording group.

When will the album come out and what can we expect from it?

Juan / Leslie : The double Album Part III and IV will come out for spring, March 2013, released by Wah-Wah Records (Barcelona) and it will have same singers as in 1977, Carmeta and us, with the addition of Will Z, as singer and musician. I think that by having the four of us singing, the sound is more harmonious and compact than in the parts I and II from 1977. Also we have added bass and violin plus several percussions. 

Is there any chance you will hit the road and play a couple of concerts?

Juan / Leslie : Will Z and the Cosmic Trip Machine are young and they do quite a few concerts so, who knows?

Interview made by Klemen Breznikar/2013
© Copyright

Various Artists “Legend City” review

Various Artists “Legend City” (Dionysus Records 2000)

Between the years 1965 and 1967, Loy Clingman produced a ring of records for bands based in Phoenix, Arizona, and that’s what “Legend City” focuses on.

Pop aficionados will drool all over their CD players upon getting an earful of the Wild Flowers, a band that included future Alice Cooper guitarist and keyboardist Michael Bruce. Songs such as “More Than Me,” “A Man Like Myself” and “One More Chance” don’t hide the fact the Wild Flowers were trying their best to imitate the Beatles. Picture perfect harmonies, glossy textures and intricate hooks envelope these tunes, making them appear as if they were outtakes from the “Revolver” album.

Grazed with flaming fuzztone fumes, “Top Of The Morning” by the Hobbit is an equally magnificent track featured on “Legend City,” while another one of the band’s cuts, “Why Don’t You Grow Up” proves to be quite esoteric, as it blends purebred country and western cacklings with a dab of hippy dippy raga rock influences. Captained by stomping rockabilly surf styled rhythms, “Hi-Fi Baby” from the Door Nobs further weighs in as a mighty fine number.

Not only is “Legend City” an essential examination of bands that worked with Loy Clingman, but it also contains songs that haven’t been dragged through the compilation mill three hundred and ninety-two times already.

Review made by Beverly Paterson/2013
© Copyright

It's Psychedelic Baby Magazine present: "Gathering Of The Clouds" 2013

There is something brewing in the sky above Denver, Colorado.  It’s back again!  If you look closely, it’s the Gathering of the Clouds.  I’m not talking about a treacherous storm, although Gathering of the Clouds is equivalent; I’m talking about a stellar music festival that’ll sweep you off your feet, and it keeps getting bigger and better every year, with more solid national acts, local favorites, more vendors, etc…  Festival contributor and Denver music pioneer, Kurt Ottaway (Emerald Siam) says “Let’s escape for three days into a world we created where all of our favorite sounds, thoughts and friends reside.  A moment in time where our memory will burn deep with the excitement and love for the future.” 

This year’s G.O.C. festival kicks-off Thursday, March 7, at Denver’s Walnut Room.  Even though this festival is in its junior years, the lineup is that of a well established festival that has been around for years.  G.O.C. is even mentioned on Black Rebel Motorcycle Club’s webpage!  Heavy-hitters like The Warlocks, The Black Ryder, The Vandelles, Wovenhand, Gliss, and Emerald Siam will be headlining as well as other great local acts and DJ‘s.  Throughout the weekend there will be plenty of good music, good vibes, good food, motorcycles on display, art and also an intimate room filled with positive energy.  In other words, you do not want to miss Gathering of the Clouds 2013. 

Interview: Gathering of the Clouds Contributors, Kurt Ottaway & Maggie Gulasey

Can you elaborate on what compelled you to start Gathering of the Clouds and when did it first start?

(Kurt Ottaway):  I used to throw warehouse parties and shows throughout the late 80’s and early 90’s.  At these shows, we would idealize the lineup, location, the fliers, and the sound system and create an environment that was more of a “Special event” than just your average everyday rock show.  Our budget was extremely thin so we had to be really creative about everything and most of the promotion would just travel by word-of-mouth.  It was just so much more rewarding doing it yourself, on your own terms, and it helped to create a memorable experience that many of my friendships are still based on today.  Gathering of the Clouds became the next natural step where we commandeered a venue for three days and brought-in some of our favorite national and local acts.  Even though the environment was a little more controlled, it enabled the bands to reach a more wider and more diverse crowd.  For example, we could mix like-minded acts with local acts that were releasing music and make a huge melting pot of really cool people. 

Since the first Gathering of the Clouds, how has this festival progressed and what can we expect in 2013?

(K.O.)  I feel as though the quality of the people involved is a statement on its own.  Folks that have been playing shows together for over 20 years are still fairly obscure by the world’s standards.  They are doing their own thing for the sheer love of doing it.  Nobody is really worried about stepping on each other’s toes for three days or the typical ego-elbowing that transpires at a lot of local gigs.  So, the progression is that they trust each other and that the music speaks for itself.  Three days where everybody feels comfortable doing what they love; just a really great vibe!

(Maggie Gulasey)  I have been lucky enough to assist with Gathering of the Clouds in one form or another since its origins.  With that being said, I have seen the admirable progression this festival has taken on.  It started out in Kurt’s own living space with many deserving local acts, to a large venue with a national headlining act (Spindrift) in 2012 and packed full of some of Denver’s best.  This year, we were able to book five national acts and some local bands that I adore.  In addition to the performers, I am excited about the venue.  G.O.C. 2013 will be held at The Walnut Room which is host to one of the best sound systems for such a humble room. 

2013 has some great headliners.  Who are you most excited to see and why?

(M.G.)  I can honestly state that I am overly excited to see each and every one of our headliners - that’s why we booked them!  They are some of our favorite acts and we are just as lucky that they decided to take part in our little festival.

(K.O.)  I am just a fan. 

What do you think is unique about G.O.C. compared to other music festivals?

(K.O.)  We have motorcycles.  We have rock n roll.  We have merchants.  We have projections.  We have love! 

(M.G.)  I think a unique aspect of the festival is the inclusion of the merchants.  We have a little bit of everything:  Coffee, motorcycles, crafts, jewelry, clothing, and a whole bunch of groups that may not normally cross paths.  The merchants do a nice job of rounding the festival out and I think it is a component that a lot of people look forward to. 

If you could choose any five bands, past or present, to perform at your festival, who are they?

(K.O.)  Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, Loop, Swerve Driver, The Chameleons (U.K.), and Jim Jones Revue.

(M.G.)  Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, The Jesus and Mary Chain, The Raveonettes, The Black Angels, and Can.

Are there any future plans to take G.O.C. on the road or are we safe to say Denver is home?

(K.O.)  Let the mystery remain a mystery.

Is there any additional information you’d like to provide about G.O.C.?

(M.G.)  I think people should come to Denver and check out Gathering of the Clouds.  It’s pretty cool here and you might be surprised.  All good vibes are welcome! 

For more information on Gathering of the Clouds and to purchase daily tickets and 3 day passes, feel free to visit and also visit their Facebook page.

Interview made by Shawn Butzin/2013
© Copyright