Friday, February 21, 2014

Song of the Week: The Caretakers - Hidden Steps

[editors note: please see comment section below for information on this band as reported by the composer and guitarist of the band]

Precious little known about this very rare record. Here is what we know.
  1. It is a record. The 45rpm 7" kind.
  2. It is on Worm Records.
  3. The band is called The Caretakers.
  4. The Flip-Side of this record -- which we are featuring today -- is called Hidden Steps.
  5. Jim Mora (probably not the football coach) wrote the number.
  6. Martin Ashley was the engineer.

After that it is all conjecture on my part. I have heard they were from a Sacramento, California suburb called Lincoln. But I have also heard that they hailed from San Bernadino, California. One source places this as being released in 1967. I know nothing else about this record other than it rocks seriously hard.

I picked this up in a Salvation Army in Yuba City, California sometime around 1988, not too far from Sacramento, so that would lend some credence to the Lincoln, California rumor. I also find it interesting (at best) that the song is actually 30 seconds shorter than what is published on the label. 

If you know ANYTHING about this record, please leave a comment below. Let's put this band back on the map. 


  1. The band from San Bernadino is a different band. I think there were actually many. According to Teenage Mayhem, this band was from Lincoln, California. It's a real lo-fi recording.

  2. Thanks for the feedback. Two other peeps who have street cred have said as much. Now if we'd only here from someone in the band to tell us more.

    And yes, very low-fi

  3. Hi, I am Jim Mora (lead). The Lead singer David and his Brother were from Lincoln, I was living in Auburn as a transplant from Chicago. The Bass player Doug still resides in Roseville, Ca. And yes that was a utterly low fi recording. I actually wrote the flipside. The band improved dramatically in short order and we opened for many of well known bands of 67 on. I have lived in Ojai for many years. This was the beginning of a great time in our lives. We soon became a house band in redwood city and often at South Shore Lake Tahoe at VFW hall. The early Grateful Dead spent a week with us up there. "Turn on your Love Light, Devil in the Blue Dress" was our opener that the the Dead later recorded. All I can say really it was a Great Time in 1967. The above song was "recorded" a year earlier I believe. We had abundant stage time after that and by summer 67 had tightened considerably as you would expect.

    1. Jim Mora! Thank you so much for giving some great background on this. It is so incredibly cool to hear from you as I've had this record now for about 30 years. Much speculation about who was behind this. And is often the case, speculation is often wrong. Over on 45cat someone claims that the band destroyed most of the records because of dissatisfaction with the recording quality. See comments here.
      Curious if that is true. One more question. Where did you record this record? Sacramento?

    2. Yes, It was recorded near Sacramento. No, we did not destroy the records which were mostly white label (although maybe we should have) ;-^) The band morphed into a pretty tight group. The first name change was to "The Velvet Chain" The drummer was nearly killed an and electrical accident and lost an arm. The replacement was a well respected Drummer from Tahoe. He drew Satana's intrest. My last go with the Band was when it was called "Empathy" We opened and closed the show at Sierra College in the outfield. Headliners were a then mature Dead and the Youngbloods. This is where the picture was taken on the YB "Together" album front cover. Bill Graham was driving the stage. Garcia played a half hour rendition of "Turn on You Love Light" and we traded smiles. Those were the days...

    3. Jimm, thank you for all the information! Are there any photos of the original band that recorded the single? Or of any incarnation of the band for that matter?