The Glitterhouse

Band members                             Related acts

  line up 1 (1965-66) as The Justice League

- Hank Aberle -- vocals, guitar, violin
- Michael Gayle -- vocals, guitar
- Al Lax -- bass, vocals

- Tommy Weiner -- drums, percussion

  line up 2 (1966) as The Justice League

- Hank Aberle -- vocals, guitar, violin
- Michael Gayle -- vocals, guitar
- Al Lax -- bass, vocals

NEW - Gary Reems -- drums, percussion (replaced Tommy Weiner)


  line up 3 (1966) as The Pop Art

- Hank Aberle -- vocals, guitar, violin
- Michael Gayle -- vocals, guitar
- Al Lax -- bass, vocals

- Gary Reems -- drums, percussion 


  line up 4 (1966) as The Dave Heenan Set

- Hank Aberle -- vocals, guitar, violin
NEW - Dave Heenan - vocals  (replaced Michael Gayle)

NEW - Moogy Klingman (RIP 2011) -- keyboards , synthesizers
- Al Lax -- bass, vocals

- Gary Reems -- drums, percussion (replaced Tommy Weiner)


  line up 5 (1968-69) as The Glitterhouse

- Hank Aberle -- vocals, guitar, violin
- Michael Gayle -- vocals, guitar
- Al Lax -- bass, vocals
- Moogy Klingman (RIP 2011) -- keyboards , synthesizers
- Joel "Bishop" O'Brien (RIP 2004) -- drums, percussion 



- The Dave Heenan Set (Hank Aberle, Mike Gayle, Mark Klingman

  and Al Lax)
- Jo Mama (Joel O'Brien)

- The Flying Machine (Joel O'Brien)

- Mike Gayle and the Little Angels (Mike Gayle)

- The Justice League (Hank Aberle, Mark Klingman and Al Lax)

- The King Bees (Joel O'Brien)

- Moogy Klingman (solo efforts)

- Joel O'Brien (solo efforts)

- The Peaceniks (Moogy Klingman)

- The Pop Art (Hank Aberle and Al Lax)

- James Taylor and the Original Flying Machine (Joel O'Brien)
- Utopia (Moogy Klingman)



Genre: rock

Rating: *** (3 stars)

Title:  Color Blind

Company: DynoVoice

Catalog: DY 31905

Year: 1968

Country/State: Great Neck, New York

Grade (cover/record): VG+/VG+

Comments: still in shrink wrap; opened and played one; saw cut top right

Available: 1

Catalog ID: 40006

Price: $50.00


Here's another one I have to admit not knowing much about ... 

Managed by Marty Erlichman, The Glitterhouse featured the talents of guitarist Hank Aberle, singer Michael Gayle, bassist Al Lax, keyboard player Moogy Klingman and drummer Joel "Bishop" O'Brien.  

Under the name The Justice League, Aberle, Gayle, Lax along with drummer Tommy Weiner started out rehearsing and playing small dates their home town of Great Neck and in New York City.  By 1966 Weiner had been replaced by drummer Gary Reems; the band signing a recording contract with Epic, resulting in the release of a single.  Curiously, the 45 ditched The Justice League name in favor of "The Pop Art".


- 1966's 'Rumplestiltskin' b/w 'Ode To An Unknown Girl' (Epic catalog number 5-10080)



With the single flopping, creative mainstay Gayle dropped out, leaving the others to recruit singer Dave Heenan as a replacement.  With the addition of keyboardist Moogy Klingman to the line-up, as The Dave Heenan Set the group recorded another single for Epic:


- 1967's 'Alice In Wonderland' b/w 'So Many Roads' (Epic catalog number 5-10152).  





With Gayle returning to the fold, the addition of former James Taylor and the Flying Macine drummer Joel O'Brien to the line-up and now know as The Glitterhouse, their breakthrough reportedly came when they were spotted by producer/label owner Bob Crewe (of Four Seasons fame), at a book release party that had been arranged by Klingman's father.  Signed to a recording contract by Crewe's DynoVoice label, the band made their debut contributing three performances to the soundtrack album for Roger Vadim's sci-fi comedy "Barbarella".   Vadim's then wife Jane Fonda starred in the film.  Two of the Glitterhouse numbers were tapped as a single:

  US pressing:

- 1968's 'Barbarella' b/w 'Love Drags Me Down' (DynoVoice catalog number DY 927)

  Dutch  pressing:

- 1968's 'Barbarella' b/w 'An Angel Is Love' (Stateside catalog number HSS 1314)

  Italian pressing:

- 1968's 'Barbarella' b/w 'Love Drags Me Down' (Dot catalog number 45 D-012)


Released later in the year, their sole LP was produced by Crewe for his DynoVoice label.  With Michael Gayle penning all nine tracks, 1968's "Color Blind" was musically diverse - occasionally even bordering on the schizophrenic. Exemplified by material such as 'Tinkerbell's Mind', 'Princess of the Gingerland' and 'Child of Darkness (Journey of a Child Traveler)'  the first side of the album was full of trippy lyrics surrounded by shimmering melodies and tight group harmonies (check out 'Sassafrass and Cinnamon').  The band had clearly been listening to more than their share of British psychedelia.  Unlike a lot of their compatriots, they got all the right moves down.  In contrast, perhaps in a effort to please producer Crewe, most of the flip side found the band taking an enjoyable stab at top-40 blue-eyed soul.  Tracks like 'I Lost Me a Friend' and 'Hey Woman' were radio-friendly and would have made dandy singles, but the results were not uniformly impressive.  'Where Have You Been Hiding' and 'Happy To Have You Here Again' sounded like bad Lovin' Spoonful tracks.  Interestingly at least a couple of references drew comparisons to Gary Brooker and Procol Harum. While both band's included a heavy dose of organ in their arrangements, to my ears the comparison was iffy; Glitterhouse's sound was far lighter and more commercial than Procol Harum. 


Summary: While I found the album to be pleasant and enjoyable, ultimate it was too diverse for its own good.

"Color Blind" track listing:
(side 1)

1.) Tinkerbell's Mind   (Michael Gayle) - 4:43   rating: **** stars

Powered by a nifty Lax bass line and Klingman's pulsing organ washes, Tinkerbell's Mind' opened up the album with an awesome slice of Brit-influenced pop-psych.  Based on this performance, they could have given most British toy-town bands a un for their money,  The mixture of a catchy melody, sweet droning vocals and a sluggish, lysergic vibe made it a winner.  Gayle's performance actually reminded me a bit of Arthur Lee and Love.  Showing a bit of corporate adventurism, DynoVoice actually tapped the song as an instantly obscure single:





- 1968's 'Tinkerbell's Mind' b/w 'I Lost Me a Friend' (DynVoice catalog number DY-925)








2.) Princess of the Gingerland   (Michael Gayle) - 4:24   rating: **** stars

The title alone should make you smile - ahh the '60s.  Kicked along by Klingman's organ and what sounded like an early synthesizer, 'Princess of the Gingerland' sported some  medieval fairytale lyrics sounding like something from The Hobbitt Tilogy set to a Toytown melody.   One of the most charming period pieces you'll ever hear.  Would have paid to see a live audiences' reaction to this one.
3.) Sassafrass and Cinnamon   (Michael Gayle) - 4:16
   rating: **** stars

Listening to 'Sassafrass and Cinnamon' it was simply hard for me  to imagine these guys were from Great Neck, New York.  They'd clearly been listening to lots and lots of English psych - The Small Faces certainly came to mind.
4.) Child of Darkness (Journey of a Child Traveler)   (Michael Gayle) - 4:22
   rating: **** stars

For a moment I thought I'd put on a Vanilla Fudge album, but then 'Child of Darkness (Journey of a Child Traveler)' kicked into gear; the blue-eyed soul-meets-psych results sounding like a late inning version of The Rascals - albeit playing after a lost weekend.  Loved the intricate vocal arrangements.  The Free Design would have been proud.

(side 2)

1.) I Lost Me a Friend   (Michael Gayle) - 4:19   rating: **** stars

As mentioned above, I've seldom come across an album with such a split personality.  Abandoning the first side's psych influences, 'I Lost Me a Friend' shifted the band to a far more commercial blue-eyed soul feeling.  Very bouncy and radio-friendly.  Check out the bubblegum-styled backing vocals.  Surprising it was buried on the "B" side of their 'Tinkerbell's Mind' single.  Would have made a dandy top-40 single.

2.) Times Are Getting Hard   (Michael Gayle) - 3:50   rating: *** stars

'Times Are Getting Hard' was a more rock oriented track, but still reminded me of Felix Cavaliere and the Rascals.  This one just lacked a melody that was up to their other work.  Admittedly, it was one of vocalist Gayle's best performances.
3.) Where Have You Been Hiding   (Michael Gayle) - 2:25
  rating: ** stars

The band's most pop-oriented performance ...   This one sounded like a band John Sebastian and the Lovin' Spoonful tune.  Also the album's worst performance.
4.) Hey Woman   (Michael Gayle) - 3:55
5.) Happy To Have You Here Again   (Michael Gayle) - 3:25
  rating: *** stars

Another track where Gayle's vocals and arrangement sounded like bad Lovin' Spoonful.



By the time the album was released Crewe and DynoVoice had seemingly lost all interest in the band and the album quickly ended up in cutout bins.  Within a matter of months the band had called it quits, though Klingman choreographed a brief reunited in 1974 that resulted in some new Gayle material being recorded and released on a self-financed CD-R format retrospective "The Almost Complete Recordings 1966 - 1974".