H.P. Lovecraft


Band members                              Related acts

  line up 1 (1967)

- Kal David -- lead guitar 
- Jerry McGeorge -- vocals, bass 
- David Michaels (aka David Miotke) -- vocals, keyboards
- Fred Pappalardo -- drums, percussion

  line up 2 (1967-68)

NEW - Tony Cavallari -- lead guitar (replaced Kal David)

NEW - George Edwards (aka Charles Ethan Kenning) -- vocals,

  bass, guitar (replaced Tom Skidmore)
- Jerry McGeorge -- vocals, bass 
- David Michaels (aka David Miotke) -- vocals, keyboards
NEW - Tom Skidmore -- bass (replaced Frank Bartoli)
NEW - Michael Tegza -- vocals, drums (replaced  Fred Pappalardo)

 

  line up 3 (1968-69)

NEW - Jeffrey Boyan (aka Geoff Bryan) -- vocals, bass (replaced

  Jerry McGeorge) 
- Tony Cavallari -- lead guitar

 - George Edwards (aka Charles Ethan Kenning) -- vocals,

  bass, guitar 
- David Michaels (aka David Miotke) -- vocals, keyboards

NEW - Michael Tegza -- vocals, drums (replaced Fred Pappalardo)
 

  line up 4 (1969-70) as Lovecraft

NEW - Michael Been -- bass (replaced Jeffrey Boyan) 
NEW - Jim Donliger (aka James Dondelinger -- lead guitar

- George Edwards (aka Charles Ethan Kenning) -- vocals,

  bass, guitar 
NEW - Marty Grebb -- keyboards (replaced David Michaels) 
- Michael Tegza -- vocals, drums
 

  line up 5 (1975) as Love Craft

NEW - Frank Capek -- lead guitar  
NEW - Craig Gigstad -- bass  
NEW - Mark Justin -- keyboards 
NEW - David Michaels (aka David Miotke) -- vocals, keyboards
NEW - Jorge Juan Rodriguez -- guitar  
- Michael Tegza -- vocals, drums  
NEW - LaLomie Washburn (RIP 2004) -- vocals, percussion

 

 

 

 

- Aorta (Jim Dolinger and Michael Been)
- The Bangor Flying Circus (Michael Tegza)

- Michael Been (solo efforts)
- The Buckinghams (Marty Grebb)

- The Call (Michael Been)

- Jim Dolinger (solo efforts)

- George Edwards (solo efforts)
- The Exceptions (Jim Donlinger and Marty Grebb)

- The Fabulous Rhinestones (Marty Grebb)

- High Energy (LaLomie Washburn)

- The Kind (Frank Capek and Mark Gardner)

- Kevin Lee and the Lonesome City Kings (Frank Capek)

- David Miotke (David Michaels) (solo efforts)
- The Rovin' Kind (Frank Bartoli, Kal David and 

  Fred Pappalardo)
- Saturday's Child (John Boyan)
- Shadows of Knight (Jerry McGeorge)
- The Troys (Michael Been) 

- The Village Singers (George Edwards)

- LaLomie Washburn (solo efforts)


 

Genre: psych

Rating: **** (4 stars)

Title:  H.P. Lovecraft

Company: Phillips

Catalog: PHS 600 252

Country/State: Chicago, Illinois

Year: 1967

Grade (cover/record): VG+/VG+

Comments: ring wear

Available: 1

Catalog ID: not yet listed

Price: $60.00

An exceptionally talented band, it's hard to understand how Chicago's H.P. Lovecraft (the name came from their manager's dog who was in turn named after the famed 1920s' horror/fantasy writer Howard Phillips Lovecraft), didn't become a major mid-1960s' act. 

Having tried his hand as a New York-based folk singer, touring and recording an album as a member of The Village Singers, and supporting the folk duo Len and Judy, by 1965 singer/guitarist George Edwards was back in his native Chicago.   He started playing on the city's club circuit, finding a mentor in the former of manager George Badonsky who brought the singer to the attention of his partner Bill Traut and helped him record a couple of sides for their Chicago-based Dunwich label (itself named after an H.P. Lovecraft story).  Pulled from those sessions, in 1966 Dunwich released an Edwards solo 45:

 

 

 

 

 

- 1966's 'Norwegian Wood' b/w 'Never Mind, I'm Freezing (Dunwich catalog number 45-117)

 

 

 

 

Paying his bills working for Dunwich as a sessions vocalist, Edwards somehow managed to convince company executives to let him form a band and take another stab at recording material. Teaming up with singer/keyboardist Dave Michaels, the duo "borrowed" bassist Frank Bartoli, guitarist Kal David and drummer Fred Pappalardo (all members of The Rovin Kind), to record their debut single 'Anyway That You Want Me' b/w 'It's All Over For You' (Philips catalog number 40464-). While the single failed to chart it generated considerable media interest allowing Edwards and Michaels to recruit a full time band, consisting of guitarist Tony Cavallari, bassist Tom Skidmore (quickly replaced by former Shadows of the Knight alumnus Jerry McGeorge) and drummer Michael Tegza.  


left to right: Jerry McGeorge - George Edwards - 

Michael Tegza - Tony Cavallari and Dave Michaels


While their debut single failed to chart it attracted enough attention for Philips to finance an LP.   Produced by xxx the band's self-titled 1967 debut showcased an impressive mixture of originals and well chosen cover tunes. Crediting their inspiration to novelist H.P. Lovecraft's "macabre tales and poems of Earth populated by another race" "H.P. Lovecraft" found the band taking folk-rock structures and adding a series of psychedelic touches (stabbing organs, woodwinds, feedback guitar) to a set full of great vocals, strong melodies and killer harmonies. The results were nothing short of inspired.  Gifted vocalists on their own, Edwards and Michaels also had the ability to knit their voices together, turning in some of the era's tightest harmonies.  On tracks such as 'That's the Bag I'm In' and 'White Ship' (the later inspired by the H.P. Lovecraft novella) the results made for a dynamite presentation.  Epitomized by dark swirling arrangements, material such as their cover of 'Let's Get Together' (recorded a full year before The Youngblood's version), 'The Drifter' and 'Wayfaring Stranger' managed to be dark and depressing but still retain a highly commercial edge. Elsewhere, their Jefferson Airplane-styled cover of 'I've Been Wrong Before' made them one of the first band's to cover Randy Newman's eclectic catalog. Philips tapped the album for a pair of singles:

 

 

- 1967's 'Wayfaring Stranger' b/w 'Time Machine' (Philips catalog number 40491)

- 1967's 'White Ship Part 1' b/w 'White Ship part 2' (Philips catalog number 40506)

 

 Inexplicably, in the midst of the summer of love the album bombed.

"H.P. Lovecraft" track listing:
(side 1)

1.) Wayfaring Stranger   (George Edwards) - 2:35
2.) Let's Get Together   (Powers) - 4:35
3.) I've Been Wrong Before   (Randy Newman) - 2:46
4.) Drifter   (Edmundson) - 4:11
5.) That's the Bag I'm In   (Fred Neil) - 1:46

(side 2)

1.) White Ship   (Tony Cavallari - George Edwards - Dave Michaels) - 6:37
2.) Country Boy and Bleeker Street   (Fred Neil) - 2:35
3.) Time Machine   (George Edwards - Dave Michaels) - 2:05
4.) That's How Much I Love You, Baby...   (Tony Cavallari - (George Edwards 
- Dave Michaels) - 3:55
5.) Gloria Patria   (traditional) - :26

 

 

 


Genre: psych

Rating: **** (4 stars)

Title:  H.P. Lovecraft II

Company: Philips

Catalog: PHS 600 279

Country/State: Chicago, Illinois

Year: 1968

Grade (cover/record): VG+/VG+

Comments: gatefold sleeve; minor ring wear

Available: 2

Catalog ID: not yet listed

Price: $50.00

 

Following a move to Southern California which saw bassist Jerry McGeorge unceremoniously replaced by former Saturday's Child bassist John Boyan, the band found itself under intense pressure to record a follow-up collection.  Largely written and recorded on the fly and in the studio (probably explaining why the sophomore set had quite a few covers, including two by band friend Terry Callier), 1968's cleverly title "H.P. Lovecraft II" continued the band's partnership with manager/producer George Bandoski. Reportedly recorded while tripping on various illicit substances, compared to the first album songs such as 'High Flying Bird', 'Blue Jack of Diamonds' and 'Mobius Trip' found the band pursuing a decidedly experimental attack. Extended tracks such as 'It's About Time' and 'At the Mountains of Madness' opted for dense, highly orchestrated arrangements, complete with rambling percussion, sleepy, treated vocals and spacey synthesizer tones. While the results occasionally drifted to the dull and ponderous (Electrallentando'') ,all in all  it still made for an interesting listen.  In spite of their trippy titles, atypically melodic and focused 'At the Mountains of Madness' and 'Spin, Spin, Spin' were among the few tracks to capture the freshness of their debut. Elsewhere Philips tapped the album for a single in the form of 'Keeper of the Keys' b/w 'Blue Jack of Diamonds' (Philips catalog number 40578).  Unfortunately, shortly after the album was released keyboardist David Michaels called it quits.  Increasingly unhappy with the band's loss of musical and personal focus; their unwillingness to record some of his material, and having experienced somewhat of a religious awakening he returned to Chicago and resumed his college studies at Northwestern University.  His departure came at a critical time for the band.  Within weeks Philips had all but pulled the plug on support for the album the band essentially collapsing on itself.

 



"H.P. Lovecraft II" track listing:
(side 1)

1.) Spin, Spin, Spin   (Terry Collier) -3:26
2.) It's About Time   (Terry Collier) - 5:20
3.) Blue Jack of Diamonds   (John Boyan) - 2:55
4.) Electrallentando   (George Edwards) - 6:27

(side 2)

1.) At the Mountains of Madness   (Tony Cavallari - George Edwards - Dave Michaels) - 4:48
2.) Mobius Trip   (George Edwards) - 2:46
3.) High Flying Bird   (Ed Wheeler) - 3:15
4.) Nothing's Boy   (Ken Nordine) - :40
5.) Keeper of the Keys   (Brewer - Shipley) - 3:06

 

 

 


Genre: rock

Rating: ** (2 stars)

Title:  Valley of the Moon

Company: Reprise

Catalog: 6419

Country/State: Chicago, Illinois

Year: 1969

Grade (cover/record): VG+/VG+

Comments: --

Available: 1

Catalog ID: not yet listed

Price: $12.00

 

 

Following H.P. Lovecraft's collapse the band members scattered.  Singer George Edwards stayed in California trying to form a new band, before giving up and returning to Chicago where he did some production work, including recording some material with friend Terry Callier.  Drummer Michael Tegza also returned to Chicago where he joined The Bangor Flying Circus.  The band signed with ABC's Dunhill subsidiary, recording an album, before calling it quits. 

 

In 1969 Edwards and Tegza decided to resurrect the band.  As the lone carryovers from the original lineup, they started recruiting musicians, eventually rounded out their lineup with former Aorta bass player Michael Been and lead guitarist Jim Donlinger.  The foursome returned to California, settled into a big communal home, subsequently recruiting ex-Buckinghams keyboard player Marty Grebb and started rehearsing.  Having shortened their name to 'Lovecraft', the band were signed by Reprise.  Naturally another personnel disaster struck; founding member Edwards dropping out of the project.  In spite of his departure the group continued on, recording 1969's self-produced, "Valley of the Moon" as a quartet.  Musically the set proved a major disappointment on the heels of earlier efforts. With Donlinger and Been contributing the majority of material (Grebb kicking in three tracks), material such as 'Never Gonna Go Back', 'Two Step Tussle', 'Hopefully We'll All Remain Together' and 'Dear' found what was essentially a totally new band somehow managing to replicate some of H.P. Lovecraft's trademarked vocals harmonies, but losing much of the band's unique sound in favor of a commercial mixture of guitar rock. Certainly not as distinctive as earlier efforts, the collection was still worth a listen though it did little commercially.  Reprise lifted one instantly obscure single from the LP. 

 

 

- 1971's "We Can Have It Altogether' b/w 'Will I Know When My Time Comes' (Reprise catalog number 0996)

"Valley of the Moon" track listing:
(side 1)

1.) We Can All Have It Together   (Jim Donlinger - Michael Been) - 3:55
2.) Brother I Wonder   (Jim Donlinger - Michael Been) - 2:22
3.) Love Has Come To Me   (Marty Grebb) - 3:11
4.) Will I Know When My Time Comes   (Jim Donlinger - Michael Been - Donlinger)  - 3:00
5.) Two Stop Tussle   (Marty Grebb) - 3:34

(side 12

1.) Take Me By the Hand   (Jim Donlinger - Michael Been) - 3:10
2.) Lady Come Softly   (Jim Donlinger - Michael Been - Donlinger) - 2:36
3.) The Dawn   (Marty Grebb - Ken Wolfson) - 4:56
4.) Never Gonna Go Back   (Jim Donlinger - Michael Been - Michael Tegza) - 3:42
5.) Dear   (Jim Donlinger - Michael Been) - 3:11
6.) Hopefully We'll Remain Together   (Jim Donlinger - Michael Been) - 4:20

 

The band hit the road opening for various name acts and within a couple of months the comeback project was over.  

 

- Been formed The Call and also recorded a 1994 solo LP "On the Verge of a Nervous Breakthough" (Qwest catalog number 45557-2).

 

 

- Dolinger went on to a solo career and wrote a book about his rock experiences Space Traveller - a Musician’s Odyssey.

 

- Grebb reappeared as a member of The Fabulous Rhinestones and then became a member of Bonnie Raitt's touring band.

 

- Tegza briefly resumed his collaboration with Edwards in the Chicago band Elixir, opening for various national groups playing Chicago,

 

 

 

 


Genre: rock

Rating: ** (2 stars)

Title:  We Love You, Whoever You Are

Company: Mercury

Catalog: SRM-1-1031

Country/State: Chicago, Illinois

Year: 1976

Grade (cover/record): NM/NM

Comments: still in shrink wrap; cut corner

Available: 1

Catalog ID: 2308

Price: $10.00

 

In 1975 drummer Michael Tegza decided to reactivate the Lovecraft nameplate (now shown as 'Love Craft') without participation from any other original members.  Ironically Tegza was himself a second generation participant having replaced original drummer Fred Pappalardo.   Recruiting a new lineup consisting of percussionist George Agosto, guitarists Frank Capek and Jorge Juan Rodriguez, bassist Craig Gigstad, keyboardist Mark Justin, and singer LaLomie Washburn, the group was signed by Mercury.  Co-produced by Tegza and Washburn, anyone expecting something similar to the band's original psych leanings, or their latter day country-rock orientation was bound to have been surprised by "We Love You, Whoever You Are".  With Washburn responsible for virtually all of the material, tracks like 'Ain't Gettin' None' and 'Flight' offered up a mainstream set of AOR that recalled something along the lines of Santana-meets-Chaka Kahn. Washburn certainly had a nice voice, but she all but drown out the rest of the band, leaving them in the role of backing band. To be honest, the set was never less than professional, but on the heels of their earlier releases this one was a major artistic and commercial disappointment ...  

 

"We Love You, Whoever You Are" track listing:
(side 1)

1.) We Love You, Whoever You Are   (LaLomie Washburn - Love craft) - 3:11    rating: ** stars

Again, no disrepect meant to lead singer LaLomie Washburn, but anyone who loved the band for their psychedelic roots was probably going to be shocked by their apparent devotion to Rufus and Chaka Kagn.
2.) Nora   (LaLomie Washburn - Lovecraft) - 6:34
3.) I Feel Better   (LaLomie Washburn - Lovecraft) - 3:15  
rating: *** stars

Yeah, 'I Feel Better' offered up another slice of Rufus, with a slightly jazzier edge, but in spite of myself, I actually liked Washburn's performance.  Her lyrics were hysterical on this one.  Mercury tapped it as a single:

- 1975's 'I Feel Better' b/w 'Fight' (Mercury catalog number 73698)  
4.) Your Smile   (LaLomie Washburn) - 5:25
5.) Ain't Gettin' None   (LaLomie Washburn - Love Craft) - 3:01 
rating: *** stars

If you were going to do a funk song then it might as well have been something like 'Ain't Gettin' None'.  The song certainly had energy, but the problem was that Washburn so dominated the performance, Love Craft became her de facto backing band.  Kudos to Frank Capek for turning in some nice lead guitar.   Easily the album's highlight, Mercury tapped it as a promotional single:

- 1975's 'Ain't Gettin' None' b/w 'We Love You' (Mercury catalog number 73707)

(side 1)

1.) Monumental Movement   (LaLomie Washburn - Love Craft) - 8:12   rating: ** stars

The extended ballad 'Monumental Movement' underscored what a great voice Washburn had.  Unfortunately, complete with extended, percussion heavy jamming, the song was plodding, bloated, and seriously dull, apparently intended to showcase the band's serious side.
2.) The Hook   (LaLomie Washburn - W. McPheasrson - Love Craft) - 8:12
3.) Flight  (LaLomie Washburn - Love Craft) - 3:43

 

And that was all she wrote for the band.

 

 

Washburn recorded some solo material and died from liver cancer in 2004.

 

 


 


Genre: psych

Rating: *** (3 stars)

Title:  H.P. Lovecraft - Live May 11, 1968

Company: Sundazed

Catalog: LP 5004

Country/State: Chicago, Illinois

Year: 1996

Grade (cover/record): VG+/VG+

Comments: --

Available: SOLD 

Price: SOLD $25.00

 

Released by the small Sundazed label, 1991's "H.P. Lovecraft - Live May 11, 1968" came off as a surprisingly impressive concert documentary.  While I have no idea how much post-production effort went into the set, these guys could clearly kick some butt !!!  Recorded shortly after the release of their 1967 debut album, the track listing understandably focused heavily on material drawn from "H.P. Lovecraft".  The only real exceptions were a pair of  new songs intended for what was to be their sophomore album - 'It's About Time' and 'At the Mountains of Madness'.  While it may have been attributable to post-production work, the album sported crystal clear sound; not to take anything away from the band's muscular performances.  Material such as the extended leadoff 'Wayfaring Stranger'  'The Drifter' and 'White Ship' captured the band at their creative zenith; retaining the original studio version's sophisticated arrangements with an unexpected hard rock punch.  Lead singers George Edwards and David Michaels were first-rate and their harmony work must have driven the competition insane - Grace Slick and Marty Balin should have sounded half as good. Special kudos to David Michaels' keyboards and lead guitarist Tony Cavallari (hard to believe the band actually briefly fired him).  (As to be expected from Sundazed, the set included an informative set of liner notes.)

"H.P. Lovecraft, May 11, 1968" track listing:
(side 1)

1.) Wayfaring Stranger   (George Edwards) - 10:23
2.) The Drifter   (Edmundson) - 8:24
3.) It's About Time   (Terry Collier) - 4:55

 

(side 2)
1.) White Ship   (Tony Cavallari - George Edwards - Dave Michaels) - 7:02
2.) At the Mountains of Madness   (Tony Cavallari - George Edwards - Dave Michaels) - 5:34
3.) Bag I'm In   (Fred Neil) - 3:35
4.) I've Been Wrong Before   (Randy Newman) - 2:54
5.) Country Boy & Bleeker Street   (Fred Neil) - 3:46

 

 

 

 

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