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15 May 2014
Vancouver City... there are so many stars
Now Playing: Timothy Leary "You Can Be Anyone" LP
Topic: Minor change or comment

Thus sang Ptarmigan many moons ago, and rightly too. I have developed a certain fascination with the Vancouver scene over the years, in fact one of the very first "obscure" psych LPs I ever bought from Paul Major was the first Mother Tuckers Yellow Duck LP (a $20 title a the time). Picking up the rare pre-LP version of "One Ring Jane" on Duck yesterday closed a cycle of sorts, though I'm not sure what kind or why. In any event, this most interesting freak scene could have been what Boston failed to become, i e: the next San Francisco. I'm far from an expert on the subject, but would venture that Vancouver was in the crosshairs for a music business make-over around 1968-69. Learning fast, the industry knew to look for a sizable town with a strong regional influence, a substantial college student body, and an active local music scene with genuine freak bands that were locally respected. The icing of the cake, and the hard nut to crack which I think really killed Boss-Town, was a credible commercial group who could sell millions of records but still be considered underground. This is what the Airplane did for SF, and the Doors did for LA. No band did it for Boston because those band couldn't write hits!

My belief is that the band poised for this key role in Vancouver were the Collectors, and I also think that the relative failure of the Collectors is what caused the music biz to leave Vancouver after only a half-hearted try, as evident in the remarkable rarity of the second Mother Tuckers LP as an example. Had the Collectors lured the buyers with their ambitious artrock it would have been different, but the basic problem was the same--there was no "Light My Fire" or "Somebody To Love" in there.

And so the Collectors filled cut-out bins and a very promising band like Mother Tuckers were left to fade out by Capitol management, and true freaks like My Indole Ring, Mock Duck or Seeds Of Time didn't even have time to get the record contracts waiting upon them if the signs for Vancouver's many stars had been right. 

That's my theory anyway. Here's a bunch of intense video material to back it up:

Some of the great Vancouver acid rock footage that was on Youtube has been removed (like the live Mother Tucker's show), but I was startled to find a sequence of My Indole Ring which is completely different from the old CBC/Retinal Circus material. This is hosted by Lulu, who expounds on 'psych rock' and 'acid' before the band kicks in. You can tell the difference instantly because the singer isn't wearing the weird hat he had on the other clips. As a bonus, I think the sound may actually be better than the Retinal Circus show (which I think was used for the Shadoks release).

Serious interview with Country Joe explaining hippies, 1968... and a bunch more looks at Vancouver's emerging freak scene... brief clips from the local Be-In '67.

This one has a live performance by the Northwest Company doing long raga fuzz rave-up versions of "Hard To Cry" and "Get Away From It All"... not. Alas, we get the opposite of that, with an awful blue-eyed soul number introduced as "their latest hit". You have been warned. On the upside are 5-minute interviews with Vanilla Fudge (not too common) and Jimi Hendrix. Again, presumably all unique material to "Let's Go"/CBC.



Posted by Patrick at Lysergia at 20:40 MEST
Updated: 15 May 2014 20:42 MEST
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24 December 2017 - 17:10 CET

Name: "Michael"

Ironically, The Collectors had lots of hits when they became Chilliwack.  They also were The Electric Prunes band for Mass in F Minor.

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