The Apple Pie Motherhood Band


Band members                              Related acts

  line up 1 (1967-68)

- Dick Barnaby -- bass 
- Jack Bruno -- drums, percussion 
- Joe Castagno -- rhythm guitar
- Ted Demos -- lead guitar, vocals
- Jeff Labes -- keyboards

  line up 2 (1968-69)

- Dick Barnaby -- bass 
- Jack Bruno -- drums 
- Ted Demos -- lead guitar, vocals
- Jeff Labes -- keyboards
NEW - Adam Myers -- harmonica, backing vocals
NEW - Bruce Paine -- vocals 
NEW - Michael Sorafine -- rhythm guitar, backing vocals  (replaced

  Joe Castagno) 

 

  

 

 

- CC and the Chasers   (Jack Bruno, Joe Catango and Ted Demos) 

- Colwell-Winfield Blues Band (Jeff Labes)

- Bruce Paine

- Shakey Legs (Jack Bruno, Ted Demos, and Michael Sorafine)

- The Sacred Mushroom (Jack Bruno and Ted Demos)

- The Second Coming (Jack Bruno and Ted Demos)

 

 

 


 

Genre: rock 

Rating: *** (3 stars)

Title:  The Apple Pie Motherhood Band

Company: Atlantic

Catalog: SD-8189

Year: 1968

Country/State: Boston, Massachusetts

Grade (cover/record): VG+/VG+

Comments: minor ring, wear and edge wear; bullet hole; minor skip 1st song side 2

Available: 1

Catalog ID: 

Price: $20.00

Cost: $1.00

 

Boston's The Applie Pie and Motherhood Band was built out of the remnants of Boston's CC and the Chasers who under the mentorship of Gary Bonner and Alan Gordon managed to release a surprisingly impressive single for the small Boston-based Cori label:

- 1967's 'Hey, Put the Clock Back on the Wall' b/w 'Two and Twenty' (Cori catalog number CR 31010)

 

After a  short stint as The Sacred Mushroom, The Apple Pie Motherhood Band featured the talents of bassist Dick Barnaby, drummer Jack Bruno, rhythm guitarist Joe Castagno, lead guitarist Ted Demos. and keyboardist Jeff Labes.  Signed by Atlantic, the band's 1968 debut "The Apple Pie Motherhood Band" teamed them with producer Felix Pappalardi (then hot from his work with Cream). Like most of their Bosstown compatriots, these guys weren't without talent, though the absence of a distinctive sound and standout lead singer didn't exactly help their cause. Musically the set offered up a fairly typical set of late-'60s AOR, including the pseudo-psychy (the instrumental 'The Ultimate'), Association-styled ballads ('I'd Like to Know') and conventional rock (the fuzz-propelled 'Barnaby's Madness'). While all five members contributed material, the standout effort was an extended meltdown cover of the Stax classic 'Born Under a Bad Sign' (wonder where Pappalardi got that idea ... didn't Cream do a cover of it?). With minimal promotion and support, the LP vanished without a trace.

"The Apple Pie Motherhood Band" track listing:
(side 1)

1.) Born Under a Bad Sign (Booker T. Jones - William Bell) - 7:05
2.) I'd Like to Know (David Blue) - 2:15
3.) Ice (Ted Demos - Marilyn Lundquist) - 2:31
4.) Yesterday's New Song (Jeff Labes) - 3:14
5.) Barnaby's Madness (Richard Barnaby) - 2:45
6.) The Ultimate (instrumental) (Dick Barnaby - Jackie Bruno - Joe Catagno - Ted Emos - Jeff Labes) - 


(side 2)

1.) Contact (Alan Gordon - Gary Bonnor) - 2:27
2.) The Way It Feels (Jeff Labes) - 2:27
3.) Bread and Jam (instrumental) (Dick Barnaby - Jackie Bruno - Joe Catagno - Ted Emos - Jeff Labes) - 3:14
4.) Apple Pie (Jeff Labes) - 2:55
5.) Variations on a Fingernail (Jeff Labes) - 3:15


 

 

The band originated from the garage rock outfit, C. C. and the Chasers, who became the house band at the Unicorn Coffeehouse in Boston, and released an obscure single, "Put the Clock Back on the Wall", for the small Cori label, in 1964. The first line-up consisted of Ted Demos (guitar), Joe Castagno (rhythm guitar), Richard Barnaby (bass guitar), Jeff Labes (keyboards), and Jack Bruno (drums), all of whom shared vocals duties. After relocating, briefly, in 1965, to New York City the group adopted the moniker, Sacred Mushroom, and dwelled in psychedelic music. They, again, became a house band, this time for the Bitter End Cafe, and supporting musical acts such as Neil Young and Joni Mitchell.[1] The band recruited female singer Anne Tarzay, who Labes described as "a powerhouse, kind of a Janis Joplin with a sweeter voice, but sultry dynamic energy." Her connections in the music industry were responsible for finding their manager Marv Lagunoff and the group's signing to a record label. As a deal with Atlantic Records was pending, the name Sacred Mushroom was deemed too drug-orientated, and, after a humorous remark by Demos, the band was prompted to change it to Apple Pie Motherhood Band in 1967.[2]

The group recorded their first single, "Long Live Apple Pie", with Felix Pappalardi, who is perhaps best known for his work with the psychedelic rock band, Cream. Though the single did not break the national charts, it did receive extensive airplay by DJ Dick Summer on Boston's WBZ Radio, as well as several alternative music stations just beginning to emerge across the US. The band proceeded to record their debut album, which, in one instance, was interrupted by Tarzay's friend, Jimi Hendrix, who taught and played with the band in jam sessions. However, Tarzay soon departed the band, and was replaced by Marilyn Lundquist, who performed backing vocals on her co-written composition, "Ice", and a baroque version of David Blue's song, "I'd Like to Know".[3] In some way, all the band members had a share in the writing credits, but Labes composed the majority of the original material, which he amplifies, "I had been writing songs for several years at that point, and found it easy to create appropriate songs for the band. We sounded more like the energy of an East Coast version of what was up in San Francisco at that time." The resulting album, The Apple Pie Motherhood Band, was released in 1968, and mixed extended instrumentals, heavy blues rock, influences of psychedelia and vocal harmonies, and became somewhat of an underground favorite in Boston.[4]


 


Genre: rock 

Rating: *** (3 stars)

Title:  Apple Pie 

Company: Atlantic

Catalog: SD-8233

Year: 1969

Country/State: Boston, Massachusetts

Grade (cover/record): VG/VG+

Comments: still in shrink wrap; minor edge and corner wear; cut out slash

Available:  SOLD

Catalog ID: SOLD

Price: SOLD $20.00

 

Following a  period of touring opening for a variety of nationally known bands including The Chambers Brothers and The Jefferson Airplane, 1968's "Apple Pie" was recorded and  released in the wake of personnel changes which saw the departure of original rhythm guitarist Joe Castagno.  Castagno was quickly replaced by singer/rhythm guitarist Michael Sorafine. The line-up was futher modified with the addition of harmonica player Adam Myers and former folk singer Bruce Paine.  Musically their sophomore album wasn't a major change in direction.  With virtually the entire band contributing to the songwriting chores the collection featured another sporadically interesting mixture of blues (the year's upteenth cover of Willie Dixon's 'I Just Want To Make Love To You'), psychedelia ('Orangutang') and more conventional FM rock moves  ('Grandmother Hooker '). As on the debut, the absence of a distinctive singer, the inclusion of several gawdawful covers, including one of the worst versions of 'Get Ready' I've ever heard, combined with Barnaby's overwhelming bass (check out his ear-ringing performance on 'Grandmother Hooker'), left quite a bit to be desired.  Hardly an album that was going to drastically change your life, the set still had a couple of nice moments, including Demos and Sorafine's meltdown guitar dual on the leadoff track 'Orangutang'.   A commercial non-entity, the set vanished without a trace, followed in short order by the band.

"Apple Pie" track listing:
(side 1)

1.) Orangutang   (Michael Sorafine) - 7:36

As the album's most psychedelic tune, 'Orangutang' also had a surprisingly commercial edge ...  The highlight came in the form of Dick Barnaby's thick and lysergic-tinged bass work.   Had it been recorded a couple of years earlier and been edited down form the seven minutes plus length, it would have made a dandy single.   rating: ***** stars
2.) I Just Want To Make Love To You   (Willie Dixon) - 4:05

For their version of Dixon's classic blues number the band opted to turn it into a Ted Demos-powered guitar rocker.  The vocals didn't even kick in until about half way through the tune.   rating: ** stars
3.) Brown Eyed Handsome Man   (Chuck Berry) - 3:14

Another needless and plodding cover with Dick Barnaby's bass work all but running over the rest of the band.   rating: ** stars
4.) Grandmother Hooker   (Michael Sorafine) - 3:02

The lyric has always made me smile ...   and in spite of the risque lyrics, this one was quite catchy.   Nice Demos lead guitar on this one.   rating; **** stars


(side 2)

1.) Get Ready   (William Robinson) - 4:24

Perhaps the worst Motown cover I've ever heard - certainly the worst version of this classic tune I've ever encounter.   rating: * star
2.) Super Music Man   (Jeff Labes) - 4:15

After 'Get Ready' pretty much anything would have been an improvement - the psych-tinged 'Super Music Man' certainly was a step in the right direction.   rating: *** stars
3.) Gypsy   (Ted Demos) - 3:22

Forgettable ballad with some squeeky violin making it even less enjoyable.  rating: ** stars
4.) He Turned You On   (Michael Sorafine - Don Henny) - 4:16

The bizarre almost experimental opening wasn't very promising, but then the song found a melody and morphed into a decent lysergic-tinged rocker.  I'm guessing the tune was a reflection on the band's growing interest and affection for LSD and other illicit substances.

 

Disagreements with management saw the band lose traction.  That was further compounded by their decision to move to a Vermont commune (how '60s was that?).   By the end of 1969 they'd split up.   Jack Bruno, Ted Demos, and Michael Sorafine reappeared as members of Boston's Shakey Legs.

 

 

 


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