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Where did psychedelic music come from - a comprehensive compilation of the roots of this genre would be incomplete if it excluded....

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Showing 1-25 of 28 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 1 Jul 2014 11:55:12 BDT
Three Choruses from Alice in Wonderland (first series): I. The Lobster Quadrille

Posted on 1 Jul 2014 13:48:03 BDT
T. Franklin says:
India - John Coltrane

One of the inspirations for Eight Miles High. I hope this is the right version, lol. 'twas the third performance at the Village Vanguard in '61 anyway, which was released on the Impressions album in 1963.

Posted on 1 Jul 2014 14:23:16 BDT
T. Franklin says:
I Hear A New World - The Blue Men

A Joe Meek project based on his fascination with the space programme. Only an e.p. emerged in 1960. Mostly instrumental, but lots of his trademark weirdness going on.

Posted on 1 Jul 2014 18:18:39 BDT
Interplanetary Music - the odd Sun Ra - jazz giant from Saturn

Full Moon Eden Ahbez who wrote 'nature boy' and also this tropical phantasm

In reply to an earlier post on 1 Jul 2014 18:20:50 BDT
hi T. Franklin - brilliant, Joe Meek - the Coltrane, is this version particularly anticipatory of psychedelia (I have to shame faced confess ignorance around the Giant that is John Coltrane, and will address this ignorance)

Posted on 1 Jul 2014 18:53:06 BDT
T. Franklin says:
Hi, KO - all I know on that is the Byrds were touring in America. They had a tape with Ravi Shankar on one side and two Coltrane albums; Impressions and Africa/Brass on the other, which got played repeatedly as that was all the music available. Listening to the whole of India you can hear where McGuinn got much of his famous solo from for Eight Miles High.

Psychedelia musically does have a lot of non-western musical influences in it - the drones much in evidence on Indian classical music for example, as well as western stuff outside the usual blues/country axis that makes up most (small r) rock music. So McCartney especially had listened to some Stockhausen and he took the idea of tape loops into the Beatles music (Tomorrow Never Knows and backwards tape on Rain, etc).

Lyrically there's a debt to the streams of consciousness pioneered by Dylan which he used initially biblical imagery (When The Ship Comes In, A Hard Rain's a-Gonna Fall) or talking blues for comedic effect (I Shall Be Free, Talking World War III Blues) and developed for songs like My Back Pages and Mr Tambourine Man and via his book Tarantula into Like A Rolling Stone and so on.

Dylan himself owed a debt to the Beat Poets (Ginsberg et al) and to jazz poets like Lord Buckley, and at a stretch the legend that is John Jacob Niles (check out Go 'Way From My Window, and I Wonder As I Wander).

Haven't even mentioned the real principle influence which was psychedelic drugs. That's why all subsequent attempts to revive psychedelia have been failures. It was the drug scene underpinning everything that gave it meaning.

Posted on 1 Jul 2014 18:54:03 BDT
T. Franklin says:
I was going to mention Sun Ra, but you beat me to it! :-)

In reply to an earlier post on 1 Jul 2014 19:59:16 BDT
really enjoyed reading your post - a whole herd of directions to go in. thanks for the Byrds story too. I've heard John Jacob Niles spooky wailing - Dylan clearly a fan, maybe Led Zeppelin liked him too - The Hangman, Or The Maid Freed From The Gallows - but they really liked Fred Gerlach version more - Gallis Pole

another influence, at least in England, may be the whimsical surreal Alice in Wonderland, Syd Barrett was marinated in old faerie stories. dub in Jamaica driven by shortage of cash but steeped in cannabis was like a black psychedelia, at least until psychedelic soul flowered.

Posted on 1 Jul 2014 20:02:01 BDT
FDJ says:
T. Franklin quote...... Haven't even mentioned the real principle influence which was psychedelic drugs. That's why all subsequent attempts to revive psychedelia have been failures. It was the drug scene underpinning everything that gave it meaning.

Well I have to disagree with you on that T.F. I buy most of my music nowdays through Bandcamp mainly because that is the best place I can get the stoner/doom/psych music I so love. One thing I have noticed is the rising number of bands that are experimenting with psychedelia. Ok it's never going to be like the 60's but there is a growing scene (fuelled by different drugs I grant you) but slowly gaining ground and very,very good.

Posted on 1 Jul 2014 21:45:23 BDT
Seven Dreams - A Musical Fantasy: The Sixth Dream - The Nightmare

Faces In The Jazzamatazz - the odd word poet ken nordine

Improvisations - Ravi Shankar - I love the moment on the Concert for Bangladesh when Ravi sits for a moment quietly strumming and tweaking the complex sitar.....the audience, god love them, applalaud and cheer - the great man polite and perplexed comments 'well, if you enjoyed the tuning up we hope you enjoy our music more'

Posted on 1 Jul 2014 21:50:15 BDT
T. Franklin says:
Hi FDJ, I'd agree it's quite possible to ape the sounds but that's all it can ever be. As McCartney once said when asked about a Beatles reunion "you can't reheat a soufflé".

If there are bands working now doing their own thing instead of trying to sound like the Chocolate Watchband or 13th Floor Elevators (or mid-period Beatles,) then that's great.

Posted on 2 Jul 2014 19:01:54 BDT
T. Franklin says:
A couple of drones ;-)

Ticket To Ride -

See My Friends -

Rain -

Posted on 2 Jul 2014 22:44:36 BDT
Wharf Rat says:
Psychedelic music originated in San Francisco in the mid 60's which quickly spread
throughout California,across the states and finally into Europe.....thats it in a nutshell.

Posted on 3 Jul 2014 07:52:33 BDT
Red Mosquito says:
Some say that this is the first Psychedelic album, released in 1963 Fantasias For Guitar And Banjo [VINYL] however this is his best imo E Pluribus Unum

Posted on 3 Jul 2014 17:29:39 BDT
Last edited by the author on 3 Jul 2014 17:36:46 BDT
oh thanks for that Red M. - Wharf Rat, you dismiss the role of the Beatles Pepper - using the studio as an instrument to imitate drug effects perhaps, but I think the roots of psychedelia are deeper and more complex than your nutshell suggests.

Alice in Wonderland, sci movies and their electronic sound tracks, tolkien, music hall, come on...

Posted on 3 Jul 2014 17:46:40 BDT
T. Franklin says:
Wharfy is quite right in historical terms, but I thought your original post was more about what made 'psychedelic' music psychedelic.

The influence of modal jazz (Miles Davis' Kind Of Blue for example, and Coltrane) shouldn't be underestimated either. Mike Bloomfield of the Butterfield Blues Band was heavily under its spell (plus a 1965 LSD trip) when he composed East West (link is for the whole 1966 album, track not available on its own I guess); at 13+ minutes the longest rock track then on record I think (the Sandy Bull works can't be called rock can they?)

Posted on 3 Jul 2014 18:25:29 BDT
interesting - what, then, can be righteously considered to be the first Psychedelic Album (if its not Liverpool's finestc lonely heart club - or even Pink floyd giving birth to something in the UFO club.....??

Posted on 4 Jul 2014 00:43:11 BDT
Wharf Rat says:

(Martin stated: "Without Pet Sounds, Sgt. Pepper never would have happened ... Pepper was an attempt to equal Pet Sounds.")

Posted on 4 Jul 2014 07:18:58 BDT
T. Franklin says:
And Brian Wilson was in turn inspired to make Pet Sounds after hearing the Beatles' Rubber Soul.

In reply to an earlier post on 4 Jul 2014 07:27:36 BDT
S.R.J says:

Posted on 5 Jul 2014 00:13:59 BDT
so the first psychedelic album appeared somewhere in between Rubber Soul and Pet Sounds....

Posted on 5 Jul 2014 00:17:49 BDT
Last edited by the author on 5 Jul 2014 00:18:27 BDT
gosh Wharf Rat thanks for that link : very interesting - it excludes in its introduction any mentions of jazz, avant garde, exotica etc...and thats what I'm scratching at here.....

wow first reference is to 1957 - this is wonderful. again, thanks.

Posted on 5 Jul 2014 00:21:21 BDT
Mushroom Ceremony of the Mazatec Indians of Mexico - 1957...

Beatsville - weird

Eden's Island - ah yes I know and liked this one Eden Ahbez

Posted on 5 Jul 2014 00:24:36 BDT
Explorations With Gerald Heard

Unorthodox Religion? - Aldous Huxley - can't find anything recorded from the Doors of Perception book...

Lsd 25 - not psychedelic as such but its a sign post....

Posted on 5 Jul 2014 00:29:16 BDT
Intro: Out of Your Mind (feat. Jonathan Warren & Alan Watts) Alan Watts - the beats liked a bit of Zen....there is a link here somewhere but booze and tiredness is muddling my bounderies

Wavy Gravy!: Atom Smashin' Zoomeratin' Mello Jello Radio Broadcasts, 1958-64 - to be revisited sober....

Hesitation Blues - first use of the word psychedelic in a popular (well...) song
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Discussion in:  music discussion forum
Participants:  6
Total posts:  28
Initial post:  1 Jul 2014
Latest post:  6 Jul 2014

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