Monday, April 13, 2015

Southern California Spotlight: The Magic Mushroom - I'm Gone/Cry Baby

We jsut keep spinning more records for our SoCal region of the Battle of the Garage Bands. 

Last week (or was it 2 weeks ago?) we spun San Diego's The Lyrics performing the Chris Gaylord penned ravers from the Summer of '65, So What!! and They Can't Hurt Me. Shortly after recording those two legendary numbers, Chris Gaylord and lead guitarist Mike Allen were fired from The Lyrics. The two wandering minstrels joined with John Buell and Gary Williams to become one anew as The Magic Mushroom. The Magic Mushroom (not to be confused with the Philadelphia band of similar name) recorded only one solitary, single and released that blistering 45 in the Summer of '66 on Warner Bros. records. I believe it was released on a smaller local label, Coastline, under the name The Sons.

The A-Side of this Magic Mushroom rocker is the John Buell composed I'm Gone. Gaylord's Harmonica is front and center in this snotty number about a girl who runs around and fails to realize that she's got a good man right in front of her. But damn, she's going to miss him when he's gone! This song appeared on the legendary What A Way To Die comp. Yep, it's that good.

The Flip-Side is the Gary Williams composed Cry Baby. This number is nearly as good as the A-Side. I would go so far as to say that this had hit potential. Jangling open chords and lush harmonies augment a beautifully restrained lead guitar. 

The band traveled to New York to strike it big, recorded some numbers of Gaylord's at Les Paul's house in New Jersey, but nothing ever came of them. This is it. Can't even find a picture of the band. So enjoy what they left us. We're not even convinced that Gaylord and Allen appear on this recording. See the comment section below. 

Until next time, we'll see you On The Flip-Side!

10 comments:

  1. When I interviewed Chris Gaylord and Mike Allen back in the ’80s they were a bit vague about whether they actually played on this record. Since then I’ve figured out that they most likely didn’t join the Magic Mushroom until after this single had been recorded and released as the Sons. The Sons made two previous singles as the California Sons and members included Gary Williams, Rocky Lucia (now a famous radio personality as Ray Lucia), and John Buell. Gary recalls that the harmonica on “I’m Gone” was played by a member of the Seeds — could it have been Sky? I think more likely a Seeds associate. I will have to unravel the whole Sons/Magic Mushroom saga for a future issue of Ugly Things.

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    1. Good info Mike. Was that UT #3? That was a watershed issue for all. Sadly my copy got lent out to never return. I may have to go to the UT webstore to fix this gap.

      I kinda wondered if Gaylord was actually on this based on his comment in another interview that he had never heard of The Sons. Vague memories at best.

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  2. Phenomenal. Both sides are just phenomenal. And thanks for the download

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  3. Pure greatness. Cry Baby has a distinct surf sound to it and the refrain reminds me of a Beach Boys song. Perhaps the refrain to Fun Fun Fun.

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    1. I hadn't really thought of Cry Baby as a surf song, but you are right. The drums are vintage Wipe Out. The chorus very lush and, while I personally don't hear Fun, Fun, Fun, have a tight connection to that very California sound of surf.

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    1. I was lucky enough to pick this record up in a store in San Diego back in the 80s. Probably had to shell out a whole $2 for the mint copy.

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  5. I've got a copy. Anyone interested?

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  6. I've got this as a 45 marked "PROMOTION NOT FOR SALE". Anyone interested?

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