Frederic, The

Band members                          Related acts

- Ron Bera -- keyboards, brass (1967-68)
- Bob Geis -- guitar (1967-68)
- Dave Idema -- drums, percussion (1967-68)
- Joe McCarger -- vocals, percussion (1967-68)
- Steve Thrall -- guitar (1967-68)



- Garden
- Rock Garden




Genre: psych

Rating: **** (4 stars)

Title:  Phases and Faces

Company: Forte

Catalog: 80461

Year: 1968

Country/State: Grand Rapids, Michigan

Grade (cover/record): VG / VG+

Comments: stereo sticker on cover (see picture)

Available: SOLD

Catalog ID: SOLD 4980

Price: SOLD $600.00

Cost: $66.00


Here's one of those obscure bands that had more than their share of talent, but simply disappeared into the rock and roll footnotes ... 

One of Grand Rapids, Michigan's contributions to mid-'60s rock, The Frederic featured the talents of keyboardist Ron Bera, guitarist Bob Geis, drummer Dave Idema, singer Joe McCarger and guitarist Steve Thrall. Formed in 1967, the band debuted with an instantly obscure single for the small Evolution label ("5 O'Clock" b/w "Red Pier" (Evolution catalog number 1001). While the 45 disappeared without a trace, it brought the slightly larger Michigan-based Forte label calling. Forte promptly reissued the band's debut single, subsequently agreeing to finance an LP. 

Produced by Phil Roberts Jr, we've seen various reference works describe 1968's "Phases and Faces" as flowery pop, leaving the impression these guys might be little more than Association clones. Having listened to the LP a dozen times, that's not exactly an apt description. With all five members contributing material (McCarger was the main songwriter), the set's actually quite diverse, much of it exhibiting a weird pseudo-English feel. While tracks such as "The Girl I Love" and "All About Judi" are rather commercial pop, the opener "Federal Reserve Bank Blues" and "Morning Sunshine" sport distinctive psyche influences. Elsewhere, "Taggin'" and "My Yellow Tree" offered up great slice of fuzz guitar-propelled garage rock. Strong melodies, some great harmonies ("Born In Fire") and surprisingly impressive production (particularly for a small label), make for an impressive package. Probably not worth the $400-$500 asking price we've seen it listed for on various dealer lists, but in our price range it's a steal !!! In case anyone cares, this one's listed in Hans Pokora's 1001 Record Collector Dreams as a four LP rarity.

"Phases and Faces" track listing:
(side 1)

1.) Federal Reserve Bank Blues (Joe McCarger) - 
2.) The Girl I Love (Joe McCarger) - 
3.) All ABout Judi (Joe McCarger) - 
4.) Henry Adams (Joe McCarger) - 
5.) Morning Sunshine (Dave Idema - Steve Thrall) -
6.) Taggin' (Joe McCarger - Steve Thrall) - 

(side 2)

1.) Cousin Mary Knows (Joe McCarger - Dave Idema - Steve Thrall - Rob Geis - Ron Bera) - 
2.) My Yellow Tree (Jo McCargere) - 
3.) Red Pier (Steve Thrall) - 
4.) Old Fashioned Guy (Rob Geis)
5.) Born In Fire (Dave Idema) -
6.) Saturday Morning with Rain (Joe McCarger) - 

Several members subsequently regrouped as Rock Garden, followed by a one shot single as Garden (see separate entries).