Band members               Related acts

- Richard Crook - drums (replaced Eddie Edwards) (1970)

- John Finley - vocals (1968-)

- Duke 'Eddie' Edwards - drums (replaced Billy Mundi)


- Michael Fonfara - keyboards (1968-)

- Alan Gerber - vocals, keyboards (1968-69)

- Doug Hastings - guitar (1968-69)

- Peter Hodgson - guitar (replaced Steve Weiss) (1969)

- Larry Leishman - guitar (replaced Doug Hastings) 


- Billy Mundi - drums., percussion (1968-69)

- Jerry Penrod - bass (1968-)

- Michael Tomlinson - drums (replaced Richard Crook)


- Danny Weiss - guitar, keyboards (1968-)
- Steve Weiss - bass (replaced Jerry Penrod) (1969)




- The Skip Battin Group (Billy Mundi)

- Blackstone (John Finley, Michael Fonfera, 

  Peter Hodgson, Larry Leishman and Danny Weiss)

- The Blackstone Rangers (John Finley, Michael Fonfera, 

  Peter Hodgson, Larry Leishman and Danny Weiss)

- The Buffalo Springfield (Doug Hastings)

- The Daily Flash (Doug Hastings)

- Duke Edwards and the Young Ones

- Alan Gerber (solo efforts)

- Homestead (John Finley)

- Iron Butterfly (Danny Weiss)

- The Jon-Lee Group (John Finley, Michael Fonfara and

  Peter Hodgson)

- The Lamp of Childhood (Billy Mundi)

- The Mothers of Invention (Billy Mundi)

- Skip and the Flips (Billy Mundi)

- Malcolm Tomlinson (solo efforts)

- Danny Weiss (solo efforts)





Genre: rock

Rating: *** (3 stars)

Title:  Rhinoceros

Company: Elektra

Catalog: EKS-74030

Year: 1968

Country/State: US/Canada

Grade (cover/record): VG/VG

Comments: gatefold sleeve

Available: 1

GEMM catalog ID: 4448

Price: $9.00

Cost: $66.00


The inspiration and brains behind Rhinoceros was the late Paul Rothchild and producer Frazier Mohawk.  By the mid-1960s Rothchild was riding high on his successes producing the likes of The Butterfield Blues Band and The Doors, while the lesser known Mohawk had scored critical successes working with he Buffalo Springfield.  Those successes led the pair to the conclusion they could build a musical super group.  Convincing Elektra president Jac Holzman that  big money was to be made via this 'Project Super group', Rothchild and Mohawk began auditioning various musicians, over the next year settling on an extended line up of former Jon-Lee Group singer John Finley, keyboardists Michael Fonfara and Alan Gerber, late inning Buffalo Springfield guitarist Doug Hastings, former Mothers of Invention drummer Billy Mundi, and ex-Iron Butterfly alumnus's bassist Jerry Penrod and guitarist Danny Weiss.  With Rothchild at the helm, the band undertook a series of extended jam sessions at Rothschild's L.A. home.  Those sessions subsequently became the foundation for the group's self-titled 1968 debut.


Recorded amidst an extensive touring schedule that saw the band opening for a broad array of name acts ranging from The Moody Blues to Muddy Waters, the Rothchild produced "Rhinoceros" hit the stores in late 1968.  Interesting there are some folks who swear this is one of the tightest albums released in the 1960s and while that that may be true, to my ears the collection has always lacked much in the way of true appeal.  I'll readily admit that technically the set's quite accomplished (as you'd expect given the principals' pedigrees), but exemplified by tracks such as 'When You Say You're Sorry' and 'Same Old Way' their high octane mix of blues and hard rock comes across as calculated and surprisingly sludgy (in interviews several group members have complained about Rothchild's production work).  Finley and Gerber were both capable writers and both owned big, soulful voices, but for the most part they simply weren't effectively showcased on the album.  It's kind of ironic that one of the best songs is an instrumental.  Unlike most of the album 'Apricot Brandy' managed to be heavy and tuneful at the same time (imagine Booker T. and the MGs after living in New York for a couple of months).  The BBC copped it as the theme music for a Radio One program.  Elsewhere nothing really jumps out at you though Elektra tapped that album for three singles:


-1968's 'You're My Girl' b/w 'I Will Serenade You' (Elektra catalog number 45640)
- 1969's 'Apricot Brandy' b/w 'When You Say You're Sorry' (Elektra catalog number 45647)

- 1969's 'I Need Love' b/w 'Belbuekus' (Elektra catalog number 45659)


Personal opinion (worth little or nothing), they would have been better off if they simply hadn't tried as hard.  Take a song like Gerber's 'Along Comes Tomorrow'.  It starts our nicely, but by the end Gerber and Fenley seem determined to make it a voice against voice showdown trying to out shrink one another.  Yech!  Of course, Elektra's heavy hype certainly put the band under intense pressure, leading to more than one personnel blowout.  Penrod was the first to head out the door shortly after the album was released.   Elsewhere sporting one of the year's ugliest covers probably wasn't a marketing bonus for this pseudo-super group's 1970 debut. Lukewarm critical reviews didn't exactly help either and in the end the album peaked at # 115.  Not bad for a debut, but not the super group that Elektra original envisioned.


"Rhinoceros" track listing:
(side 1)

1.) When You Say You're Sorry   (Alan Gerber) - 3:53

2.) Same Old Way  (John Finley) - 2:02

3.) Apricot Brandy (instrumental)   (Danny Weiss - Michael Fonfara) - 1:57

4.) That Time of the Year   (Alan Gerber) - 4:12

5.) You're My Girl (I Don't Want To Discuss It)   (Cooper - Beatty - Shelby) - 4:43


(side 2)
1.) I Need Love  (Williams) - 4:23

2.) I've Been There   (Alan Gerber- John Finley) - 4:24

3.) Belbuekus   (Danny Weiss - John Finley) - 2:25

4.) Along Comes Tomorrow   (Alan Gerber) - 4:27

5.) I Will Serenade You   (John Finley) - 3:15


There's also an excellent Rhinoceros website located at:







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