MAD RIVER TAPE SURVEY
Few 1960s bands' music has aged as well as that of Mad River. Even today it sounds uniquely ahead of its time, filled with strange, contradictory moods that define the psychedelic experience. Unfortunately, their legacy hasn't been terribly well cared for, which is why there are no retrospective releases apart from straight reissues of the LPs and the rare EP.
Below I've tried to nail down precisely what unreleased material exists, and while there isn't much, and the sound quality isn't all that good, it's undoubtedly interesting. The demo tapes in particular are likely to see an official release sooner or later.
Apart from brief liner notes, I don't think much has been written about the band after John Platt's big piece in Comstock Lode #2 back in 1978.
Any additions to this list are most welcome.
v 1.1 info added to the 1966 live tape & the March 1967 demos February-2005
ANTIOCH COLLEGE, 1966 (Yellow Springs, OH; pre-Bay Area)
- Lovin' cup
- I just wanna make love to you
- Little fly [my suggested title]
14 mins in total. Sound quality is Fair.
The title "Little Fly" was apparently used by some band members as well. In fact, it's "The Fly," a William Blake poem from Songs of Experience. Lawrence Hammond wrote the music for it, & it was one of the earliest original things they added to their set lists. Thanks to David Biasotti for this additional info.
MARCH 1967 STUDIO DEMOS (Dayton, OH)
- Jerry's tune
- Leave her alone
- Wind chimes (early vers.)
17 mins in total. Sound quality should be excellent, if you have the real tapes or close. The copies in circulation are Fair+ to Good. The 3 first tracks can be found on the recent "S F Odds and Ends" boot.
David Biasotti recently revealed to me that these demos were recorded in Ohio shortly before the band left for the westcoast. This is a fact of some historical importance, as it shows that the band already had much of their unique sound developed before they got to the Bay Area.
SAN JOSE 1967-Oct-8 (Dr Sunday's Medicine Show, Santa Clara Co Fairgrounds)
- spoken intro
- Wind chimes
- Snitson [?]
- War goes on
31 mins in total. Audience tape. Sound quality is Fair+. The tape is completely ruined during the first half of "Snitson" making it unlistenable. This track is introduced as "Snitson" (or close) by the band and seems to be an unreleased number. "Wind chimes" and most of "War goes on" can be found on the old "California Easter" compilation.
Note: I've seen references to an August-1967 live tape, but on closer inspection it turned out to be the San Jose tape with the day and month reversed.
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© LamaSivartDoz 2003