The Appletree Theatre
Band members Related acts
line up 1 (1968)
- John Boylan --
- Michael Equine
-- drums, percussion
- Paul Griffin -- keyboards
- CHuck Israels
- Buddy Saltzman -- drums, percussion
Zal Yanovsky -- guitar
- Terrence Boylan (solo efforts)
- Larry Coryell (solo efforts)
- Hamilton Streetcar (John Boylan)
Rating: **** (4 stars)
Company: Verve Forecast
Country/State: Buffalo, New York
Grade (cover/record): VG+/VG+
Comments: minor ring wear; Canadian pressing
Catalog ID: 4
A studio project spotlighting the talents of brothers John and Terry Boylan with support from guitarist Larry Coryell and jazz and rock sessions players, The Appletree Theatre survived long enough to release one of the year's more interesting collections.
"Playback" track listing:
brief spoken word segment quoting biblical scripture (think it's John 1:1),
'In the Beginning' has always struck me as falling somewhere in the spectrum
between Firesign Theatre and Monty Python. It certainly left you
wondering what you had stumbled into.
'Hightower Square' found the band swimming in the Toytown psych pool. With the Boylans seemingly sharing lead vocals, the trippy lyrics recalled The Association on acid ... Relatively commercial compared to remainder of the LP, Verve Forecast tapped it as a promotional single:
1968's 'Hightower Square' b/w 'Who Do I Think I Am' (Verve Forecast catalog
number KF 5071)
3.) Lullaby (instrumental) (John Boylan - Terry Boylan) - 0:25 rating: * star
title was apt in that this was a brief snippet of a child's lullaby.
It added little to the proceedings.
Morning' started out with an interesting jazzy groove and then I remember
wondering if I'd mistakenly slapped a Peter, Paul and Mary album on by
mistake. What on earth?
'Nevertheless It was Italy'
found the band diving into ornate Baroque pop with some lyrics
that were at least marginally interesting
'I Wonder If Louise Is Home'
sported a nice
Beatles-esque tune that was marred by a weird flat megaphone effect on most
of the talk/sing vocal. The song's mid-section sounded like a
completely different effort that had been stapled into the arrangement.
spoken word skit, 'Chez Louise' seemingly took a pot shot at the cultural
perceptions between straights and hippies. Maybe it was funnier in
painful ballad that hasn't gotten better with time. At least it was
put on the Cheech and Chong album?
I first heard the Hamilton Streetcar cover of this tune. Admittedly the two didn't sound all that different - this one perhaps getting the nod in terms of outright commerciality and the fact it had a better guitar solo (courtesy of Larry Coryell). Hard to understand why this track wasn't tapped as a single.
one of the album's sweetest melodies, the lilting, harmony-rich 'You're the Biggest Thing In My Life'
would have made Brian Wilson smile. Throw in a dazzling Coryell fuzz
guitar solo and a freak-out segment and you had to wonder why this wasn't
the album's leadoff single.
loved the song title, the straight-faced vocals and the song's wonderful
country-rock vibe. The Boylans' vocals were simply glistening.
"Buy her a
tractor instead ..."
hitchhiker sound effects were a little odd, It got even weirder in a
Firesign Theater way when they started playing around with the radio
stations and you listened to the list of pharmacological products...
was back to a more conventional song structure, though the
melody wasn't particularly impressive.
Totally bonkers, 'Lotus Flower' offered up a mixture of what sounded like a bluesy studio jam spliced with some backward tape segments.
6.) What a Way To Go (John Boylan - Terry Boylan) - 2:50 rating: **** stars
'What a Way To Go' closed the album with a pretty pastoral ballad. Sweet vocals, hypnotic lyrics and a slightly lysergic vibe made it another standout performance.
1968's 'What a Way To Go' b/w 'Lotus Flower' (Verve Forecast catalog number
The 1972 UK reissue featured a different album cover (MGM catalog number (2353051):
In the wake of the set's commercial failure Terry re-enrolled in Bard College, where he ended up worked with fellow students and future Steely Dan front men Walter Becker and Donald Fagen on what would become his solo debut under the name Terence Boylan. Through 1970, '80s and '90s he released two more solo albums and a retrospective LP..
- 1969's "Alias Boona" (MGM catalog number FTS-3070)
- 1977's "Terrence Boylan" (Asylum catalog number 7E 1091)
- 1980's "Suzy" (Asylum catalog number 6E 201)
- 1999's "Terrence Boylan (A Retrospective)" (Spinnaker catalog number SP 307)
By the 1980s he'd formed his own Spinnaker label, shifting his focus to songwriting and soundtrack work. He has a web presence at: http://www.terenceboylan.com/
John reappeared as a member of the short-lived Hamilton Streetcar before turning his attention to production and the business side of the house, working with the likes of The Association, Boston, Commander Cody and the Lost Planet Airmen, The Dillards, The Eagles, Linda Ronstadt, etc.
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