Jackson, Jay (Ric Robertson and Heads of Our Time)
Band members Related acts
- Arnie Chycoski (RIP 2008) -- trumpet, cornet, flugelhorn
- Bill Cudmore -- sax (1970)
- Orly Guerrieri -- trombone (1970)
- Jay Jackson -- vocals (1970)
- Brian Lucrow -- trumpet (1970)
- Jack Posluns -- (drums, percussion 1970)
- Ric Robertson (aka Eric Robertson) -- keyboards (1970)
- Brian Russel -- (1970)
- Chuck Vickery -- bass (1970)
- Russ Strathdee -- sax (1970)
- Bearfoot (Chris Vickery)
- Boss Brass (Arnie Chycoski)
- Damage (Chuck Vickery)
- Robbie Lane And The Disciples (Bill Cudmore)
- The Majestics (William Cudmore,
Orly Guerrieri, Jay Jackson, Brian Lucrow,
Eric Robertson, Russ Strathdee, Chris Vickery)
- The Pharaohs (Jay Jackson)
- Powerhouse (Chris Vickery)
- Rambunkshish (Chris Vickery)
- Jay Smith and the Majestics
- Russ Strathdee (solo efforts)
- Chuck Vickery (solo efforts)
- Zig Zag (Chris Vickery)
Rating: *** (3 stars)
Title: The Subtle Art of Self Destruction
Catalog: GS 7001
Grade (cover/record): VG / VG
Comments: foil cover; minor ring and edge wear; small cut out hole top left corner
GEMM catalog ID: 4934
This was my first experience with Canadian exploito and I have to admit that it was pretty entertaining ...
You'd never know it from the cover art, liner notes, or the wildassed psych that populated these grooves, but this anonymous outfit traced its roots back to the mid-1960s and the band The Majestics (also known as Jay Smith and the Majestics and Shawne and Jay Jackson and the Majestics).
top left to right: Russ Strathdee - Wes Morris
middle left to right: Eric Robertson - Orlando Guerreri - Brian Lucrow
bottom left to right: Chris Vickery - John Crone
With a series of personnel changes the group released a number of-mid-1960s R&B-flavored LPs and 45s for the Canadian ARC label, finally calling it quits in 1969, however that didn't spell the end to the group.
In an obvious attempt to update their sound, the majority of the band stuck together to record an album credited to Jay Jackson and Rick Robertson.
Majestics vocalist Jackson and keyboard player/arranger Eric Robinson were the apparent brainchildren behind the project. Released on the small Canadian Goodgroove label (love the name), 1970's "The Subtle Art of Self Destruction" offered up a mix of original material and contemporary pop and soul hits done in an exploito fashion that you were either going to love, or curse with considerable fury. This was one of those albums where there simply was no median ground. Musically the album could serve as a primer for studio psych effects - it was all here including waves of fuzz guitar, sitar, backward tapes, channel panning, tons of sound effects and hysterical over-the-top belly button gazing insight such as that found on 'W.O.R.D.S' ("a burning desire for a woman with a blank look on her face, who will assist you in the subtle art of self destruction"). These guys just didn't waste a single trick in pulling the album together. Highlights included the blazing opening instrumental 'Airhead' and the weirdest cover of 'Wichita Lineman' you'll ever hear. Less impressive, but still worth hearing were a couple of the covers, including the instrumental 'Mercy, Mercy, Mercy' which harkened back to their Majestics days, a ''heavy-ed up' 'With a Little Help from My Friends' and one of the stranger Hendrix covers I've ever heard - 'Crosstown Traffic'. Sure it may not have been great art, but the LP was a load of fun! As an aside, the album was best heard through a pair of quality headphones with a good beer in hand. It's also a horn rock album for folks that don't like horns with their rock and roll ...
Subtle Art of Self Destruction" track listing:
1.) Airhed (instrumental) (Tony DiMaria - Brian Russel) - 3:15
2.) Mercy, Mercy, Mercy (instrumental) - 2:25
3.) With a Little Help from My Friends (John Lennon - Paul McCartney) - 3:40
4.) W.O.R.D.S. (Tony DiMaria - Brian Russel - Ric Robertson) - 0:50
5.) Bizarre Requiem (instrumental) (Ric Robertson) - 3:15
6.) Crosstown Traffic (Jimi Hendrix) - 3:00
2.) Most Anything That You Want - 1:30
3.) Time Cycle II (instrumental) - 0:42
4.) Is Your Mind Bent Now? (Tony DiMaria - Ric Robertson) - 1:50
5.) Time Cycle III (instrumental) - 0:18
6.) Fastrac (Tony DiMaria - Brian Russel - Ric Robertson) - 1:31
7.) Time Cycle IV (instrumental) - 0:21
8.) Wichita Lineman (Jimmy Webb) - 3:15
9.) Listen Here (instrumental) - 3:19
10.) Speed Stretch (Gary Starr -Tony DiMaria - Ric Robertson) - 0:44
In the States the album was released on the small Audio Fidelity label (AFSD-6263).
Credited to 'Jay Jackson & the Heads of Our Times', the band also released an American 45 on the Mr. G label: 'With a Little Help from My Friends' b/w 'Listen Here' (Mr. G catalog number G-822).
Chycoski died in September 2008.
Russ Strathdee was kind enough to provide a little more information on the outfit:
The name of the band behind this Arc recording was The Majestics with Shawne and Jay Jackson as our featured vocalists so it would have been Jay Jackson as one of the two names you mentioned. Rick Robertson was actually Eric Robertson, the keyboard player and musical director of the group. As I recall, the cover had a chrome background with an Indian mask of some kind.
This album was the last one we did. I think the group was attempting to segue from R&B into the psychedelic field, perhaps influenced by other contemporary sounds of that time such as the Beatle's "Strawberry Fields Forever" or the Beach Boys "Good Vibrations".
If you want any more information, I can talk to the other guys in the band... we still keep in touch.
The Majestics are still active, through the only original members appear to be Jay Jackson and Brian Lucrow. Yes, they have a website at:
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