Garnett, Gale (and the Gentle Reign)

Band members               Related acts

- Michael Aragon -- drums, percussion

- Gale Garnett -- vocals

- Tony Hill -- keyboards

- Bruce Horiuchi -- lead guitar

- Bob Fischer -- bass

- Bob Ingram -- guitar

- Dick Rosmeni (RIP 1995) -- acoustic guitar



- Dick Rosemeni (solo efforts)





Genre: pop

Rating: ** (2 stars)

Title:  An Audience with the King of Wands

Company: Columbia

Catalog: CS-9625

Year: 1968

Country/State: Auckland, New Zealand

Grade (cover/record): VG / VG

Comments: original inner sleeve; 360 surround sound label; minor ring wear

Available: 1

GEMM catalog ID: 4960

Price: $15.00


Attracted by the picture of an attractive young woman wearing the come hither look and the tight knitted dress, I bought this one at a yard sale not realizing that this was the same woman who'd scored a top-10 hit with the sunshine pop song 'We'll Sing in the Sunshine'.  Had I known who she was, there's a good chance I wouldn't have bought her LP - which would have been my loss (yes, I probably would have bought it for the knitted dress).


Namesake Gale Garnett started out as a folkie and actress, but by the late 1960s she'd been caught up in the same wave that seemed to propel everyone and their parents to San Francisco.  Dropping her folk act, Garnett set out to become a rock act, recruiting The Gentle Reign (drummer Michael Aragon - drums, keyboardist Tony Hill, lead guitarist Bruce Horiuchi, bassist Bob Fischer and guitarists Bob Ingram and  Dick Rosmeni) as her backing band. 


Signed by Columbia Records, 1968's "An Audience with the King of Wands" stood as Garnett's first true rock album.  Co-produced by Chuck Victor and Mickey Baker, the album stood as a showcase for Garnett's impressive voice, songwriting  (and other attributes).  Gifted with a voice that was deep and resonant, at least to my ears she was more than a match for contemporaries as Carolyn Hester, Judy Henske, or even Grace Slick.  Unfortunately, Garnett and company couldn't figure out what audience demographic they wanted to appeal to.  Propelled by an Eastern flavored raga complete with sitar solo 'Breaking Through' started the album with a killer slice of psych; 'Fall In Love' was radio-ready pop; 'Big Sur' was patented California hippy-folk, 'That's Not the Way' boasted a bluesy feel, etc., etc.  Elsewhere, guitarist Bob Ingram handled the lead vocal on the band's cover of Fred Neil's 'Dolphins'.  The then-popular use of connecting song fragments such as 'Mini Song #1 - Ophelia Song'  was also a major irritant.  The album certainly has its moments, but was simply too unfocused to make much of an impact.  'Breaking Through' b/w 'Fall In Love Again' was released as a single (Columbia catalog number 4-44479).


"An Audience with the King of Wands" track listing:
(side 1)

1.) Breaking Through   (Gale Garnett - O. Fuller Jr.) - 

2.) Fall In Love Again   (Gale Garnett) - 

3.) Mini Song #1 - Ophelia Song   (Gale Garnett) - 

4.) Song for F. Scott Fitzgerald   (Gale Garnett) - 

5.) Big Sur   (Gale Garnett - Bob Ingram - G. Fantages - B. Terwillger) - 

6.) Mini Song #2 - Tropicana High   (Gale Garnett) - 

7.) That's Not the Way   (Gale Garnett - Bob Ingram) - 


(side 2)
.) A Word of Advice   (Gale Garnett) - 

2.) Believe Me   (Gale Garnett) - 

3.) Mini Song #3 - Lament for the Self Sufficient   (Gale Garnett) - 

4.) You Could Have Been Anyone   (Gale Garnett) - 

5.) Bad News   (Gale Garnett) - 

6.) Dolphins   (Fred Neil) - 

7.) Mini Song #4 - Tropicana Low   (Gale Garnett) - 



Genre: psych

Rating: *** (3 stars)

Title:  Sausalito Heliport

Company: Columbia

Catalog: CS-9760

Year: 1969

Country/State: Auckland, New Zealand

Grade (cover/record): VG / VG

Comments: original inner sleeve; 360 surround sound label; small cut out hole top left corner

Available: SOLD

GEMM catalog ID: SOLD

Price: SOLD

1969's "Sausalito Heliport" was Gale Garnett's second album for Columbia.  Co-produced by Garnett and Paul Robinson, you'll be hard pressed to recognize this as the same woman who sang 'We'll Sing in the Sunshine'.   Material such as hysterical 'Freddy Mahoney' (which always reminds me of Tracy Ulman), 'Berkeley Barb' and 'Water Your Mind' is quite psych-ish, full of goofy lyrics and sports a distinctive West Coasty musical feel.  Garnett certainly had a nice voice (much deeper than I realized), though her delivery was occasionally a bit on the campy side ('Deer In the City').  She also had an uncanny knack for sounding a bit like a hard rocking Cher - check out the blazing 'Pretty Is Gone'.  It's doubtful anything here will change your life, but the album's probably weird enough to make you smile.  Personal favorites are the previously mentioned 'Water Your Mind' and the janglish 'Freely Speaking'.  (In case anyone cares, the title refers to a musical commune Don McCoy established in the San Francisco area.  Garnett and company were apparently members of the commune.)


"Sausalito Heliport" track listing:
(side 1)

1.) Freddy Mahoney   (Tony Hill) - 

2.) Peace Comes Slowly   (Gale Garnett - F. Olson) - 

3.) To the Thrashing Fish   (Gale Garnett) - 

4.) Pretty Is Gone   (Gale Garnett) - 

5.) This Year's Child   (Gale Garnett - F. Olson - Bob Ingram) - 

6.) Berkeley Barb Want Ad   (Gale Garnett) - 

7.) Deer In the City   (Gale Garnett - Michael Aragon) - 


(side 2)
.) Water Your Mind   (Gale Garnett - B. Brown - R. Terwilliger) - 

2.) My Mind's Own Morning   (Gale Garnett - Tony Hill) - 

3.) Trip Note Song   (Gale Garnett - R. Terwilliger) - 

4.) Man In the Middle   (Gale Garnett) - 

5.) Freely Speaking   (Tony Hill) - 




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