Beauregard Ajax


Band members               Related acts

David Ferguson -- vocals, guitar

- Leo Hartshorn -- drums

- Charles Hendricks -- vocals, guitar

- John Boutell -- bass

- Clint Williams -- guitar

 

 

- none known

 

 

 


 

Genre: psych

Rating: **** (4 stars)

Title:  Deaf Priscilla

Company: no label (Shadoks)

Catalog: no catalog number

Year: 2005 (originally recorded 1968)

Country/State: US

Grade (cover/record): NM / NM

Comments: # 136 out of 350 pressing

Available: 1

GEMM catalog ID: 4926

Price: $50.00

 

 

There was plenty of hype surrounding this one, but I have to admit that for once most of it is justified.  

 

From what I can piece together, this supposedly unknown group was originally signed to Bob Keene's Del-Fi Records where they recorded an album's worth of material that for whatever reason was subsequently shelved for some 25 years. At least one of the tracks appeared on an earlier Del-Fi tribute album (Delphonic Sounds Today: Del-Fi Does Del-Fi'') with the band Cloud Eleven covering 'Things Will Work Out Fine'.   Unfortunately the liner notes on the un-credited  vinyl reissue add little bibliographic information - the songwriters were David Ferguson and Charles Hendricks and the album was recorded at Western Sound Studios in April 1968.  Is it true?  Beats me, though the music certainly sounds period authentic

 

Showcasing drugged vocals, lots of fuzz guitar, great melodies and some interesting lyrics, material such as 'Loneliness Is a Sometime Thing', Is Tomorrow Thursday' and 'Blue Violins' features all of the ingredients that should make this a sought after set among psych collectors.  Elsewhere while I'm always reluctant to compare something to The Beatles (since most of the time such comparison fall flat), tracks such as 'I Will Be Looking Away' and the title track actually recall something out of the Fab Fours' "Revolver" catalog.  Mind you the set's certainly not perfect.  The poppish 'Happy Brontosaurus' and the ballad 'Take You Faraway' are both pretty lame and forgettable. Gawd only knows what condition the master tapes were in but be aware that sonically the set isn't exactly state-of-the-art.  Still, those are exceptionally minor complaints for what's probably one of the year's most enjoyable releases.  Whoever they were, these guys should have been major stars.  By the way, the vinyl pressing was apparently limited to 350 copies.

 

"Deaf Priscilla" track listing:
(side 1)

1.) Loneliness Is a Sometime Thing   (David Ferguson - Charles Hendricks) - 

2.) Goodbye Again   (David Ferguson - Charles Hendricks) - 

3.) I Will Be Looking Away   (David Ferguson - Charles Hendricks) - 

4.) Mr. Webb   (David Ferguson - Charles Hendricks) - 

5.) Is Tomorrow Thursday   (David Ferguson - Charles Hendricks) - 

6.) Dead Woman Blues   (David Ferguson - Charles Hendricks) - 

7.) Blue Violins   (David Ferguson - Charles Hendricks) - 

 

(side 2)
1.) Things Will Work Out Fine   (David Ferguson - Charles Hendricks) - 

2.) Happy Brontosaurus   (David Ferguson - Charles Hendricks) - 

3.) Dead Priscilla   (David Ferguson - Charles Hendricks) - 

4.) Feather In a Bottle   (David Ferguson - Charles Hendricks) - 

5.) Take You Faraway   (David Ferguson - Charles Hendricks) - 

6.) Try Some Tomorrow   (David Ferguson - Charles Hendricks) - 

7.) Kaleidoscope   (David Ferguson - Charles Hendricks) - 

 

Lo and behold, a couple of days after I posted this to my small website I got an email from former band drummer Leo Hartshorn.  Here's what he had to say about the band and the album: 

 

"I came across the Beauregard Ajax Album "Deaf Priscilla" on your web site while doing a Google search using my old band's name. I was a hippie, rock-and-roll drummer in the 60's in L.A. I moved there in 1968 to record an album with Del-Fi Records, produced by Bob Keane (Richie Valens, Bobby Fuller Four, Frank Zappa, etc.) The songwriters and singers were David Ferguson (now a guitar teacher somewhere in L.A.) and Charles Hendricks (joined the Children of God in 1969), Clint Williams (?), John Boutell (currently guitarist with Blue Stew), and myself (now Minister of Peace and Justice with the Mennonite Church and co-founder of Drumming for Peace!) The album was finished, but never released in that our group broke up (my next group had as a guitarist a 19 year old Bill Conners, former member of Chick Corea's Return to Forever group). 38 years later I stumble on this recent limited edition release of our album on your web site. How strange! I read the review of the album and thought I would offer some background to this music from 38 years ago."

 

 

 

Beauregard Ajax, circa 1968

 

Peace,
Leo Hartshorn
Minister of Peace and Justice
U.S. Ministries
Mennonite Mission Network
Together, sharing all of Christ with all of creation

February 2006

 

 

 

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