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  • James Nolan and Kurt Page like this.
  • James Nolan They were certainly unique and had a lot of extracurricular musical threads in their past : Randy California's uncle was Ed Pearl, the founder of the Ash Grove folk club, and Randy (whose given name was Wolff) played in Jimi Hendrix's pre-fame band The Blue Flame. Hendrix gave him the nickname "California" to distinguish him from another musician in the band he nicknamed Randy "Texas". And it's utterly amazing that California was only 16 years old when Spirit recorded their 1968 debut album. Ed Cassidy, who is now 89 years old, played every conceivable style of music imaginable prior to Spirit : Jazz, Country, show bands, film soundtracks, Dixieland, with the San Francisco Opera, and with The Rising Sons (featuring Ry Cooder and Taj Mahal). Mark Andes played in surf bands and with Canned Heat as a teen (and was the son of actor Keith Andes, who had a pretty solid supporting role in the 1952 film Clash Buy Night--the Spirit song "Straight Arrow" was written about him). Jay Ferguson had studied Classical piano, while John Locke had played Jazz (I think--need more info please), so with such eclectic backgrounds it was bound to be an incredible meeting of the musical minds. Too bad, though, that their record label head at the time, Lou Adler, advised them against playing Woodstock (they were on a promo tour for the third Spirit album Clear, and Adler--who'd helped launch the Rock festival craze with the Monterey Pop Festival--actually believed Woodstock would be a bust). It's said Ferguson and Andes left the band citing the slow sales of The Twelve Dreams of Dr. Sardonicus album as a reason...time, however, validated that album as the classic it always was, and one shouldn't be harsh on Ferguson and Andes for their decision, as their early '70s band Jo Jo Gunne was one of the better, though underrated groups of that era.
  • The Los Angeles Free Press 60's Music Site Love Jo Jo Gunne.....what was it....Ride? They had two solid lp's. I still have them. The thinking man's Foghat. LOL. Twelve Dreams is one of my top ten favs of all time. 40 years ago yesterday, a friend of mine and I took chocolate mescaline and sat on a lifeguard stand waiting for the sun to rise on the gulf coast. We were near one of those marine world like theme parks and they started blasting john phillips sousa around 9. We split and started walking around and a really creepy guy started stalking us. We left the park, walked about 3 miles and crossed a bridge and there was the dude in his car making weird faces at us. We hopped through a hedge and took off down a side street to a friend's house and we were getting kind of edgy with the weirdo but we had given him the slip. Our friend was leaving for work, 12 Dreams had just come out, he said you've got to hear this. He put it on and brought us a laundry basket full of Furry Freak Brothers, Gilbert Shelton and the like. We wound up having a really cool time. The album holds a special place for me. It was my birthday. Adler really fucked up in the advice department. Almost makes you wonder if he was mad at them and gave them bum advice. A lot of people weren't invited to Woodstock as they were on the wrong record label...John Locke bears some scrutiny, eh?