Paper Garden, The

Band members                          Related acts

- Joe Arduino -- vocals, bass, guitar (1967-69)

- Paul LoGrande -- vocals, lead guitar (1967-69)

- Sandy Napoli -- vocals, rhythm guitar, keyboards, sitar  (1967-69)

- John Reich -- keyboards (1967-69)

- Jimmy Tirella (RIP 1991) -- drums, percussion (1967-69)



- Hillary Blaze (Jimmy Tirellla)





Genre: pop

Rating: *** (3 stars)

Title:  The Paper Garden Presents ...

Company: Musicor

Catalog: MS-3175

Year: 1968 

Country/State: New York City, New York

Grade (cover/record): VG+ / VG+

Comments: gatefold sleeve

Available: 1

Catalog ID: 4698

Price: $150.00

Cost: $66.00


First a word of warning to potential buyers.  Some dealers would have you think this is a lost psych classic with a matching asking price (not that my copy is cheap). While the set clearly reflects some psych touches and more than a little Fab Four influences, you'd be better off thinking of this as a pop album.  


Formed in 1967 with a line up consisting of bassist Joe Arduino, lead guitarist Paul LoGrande, rhythm guitarist Sandy Napoli, keyboardist John Reich and drummer Jimmy Tirella, New York's Paper Garden started out playing colleges and clubs throughout the Northeast. The group's breakthrough came when they caught the attention of British producer Geoff Turner who helped them score a contract with Art Talmadge's New York-based Musicor label.  Produced by Turner, 1968's "The Paper Garden Presents ..." was interesting in that it apparently wasn't a reflection of the band's concert repetoire.  Musically the all original material was very much a reflection of then-popular music trends.  While there were occasional psych influences including 'Raining' and Napoli's sitar propelled ''Man Do You', the majority of the album sported a highly commercial pop sound.  Blessed with three strong writers and singers in Arduino, LoGrande and Napoli, to my ears the album was quite attractive with original material like 'Gypsy Wine', the fuzz guitar propelled 'Sunshine People' and 'Lady's Man' offering up the kind of orchestrated pop-psych that recalled Emmitt Rhodes and the Merry Go Round, The Left Banke, or perhaps even "Revolver" era Beatles with McCartney in pure pop mode.  The results certain wouldn't appeal to everyone, but if you're into this particular musical niche then it's a must-own collection.  Sure it wasn't perfect with some of the heavy handed orchestration and the band's 'don't we sound English' music hall moves pushing the collection to the brink cuteness ('Mr. Mortimer').  The album was also extremely short clocking in under 30 minutes.  Unfortunately, by 1969 pop-psych had lost most of its audience leaving this album to vanish into oblivion, followed in short order by the band. 


"The Paper Garden Presents ..." track listing:
(side 1)

1.) Gypsy Wine   (Sandy Napoli - Joe Arduino) -    

2.) Sunshine People   (Sandy Napoli - Joe Arduino) -    

3.) Way Up High   

4.) Lady's Man

5.) Mr. Mortimer   


(side 2)
1.) Man Do You   

2.) Raining   

3.) I Hide  

4.) Raven  

5.) A Day


The album's been reissued a couple of times including the Breeder and GearFab labels (GearFab catalog number GEA194).


Drummer Tirella reappeared as a member of the Arizona-based hard rock band Hillary Blaze but was apparently shot and killed in October 1991.  Unfortunately I'm not sure what the other band members are doing.