West Coast Pop Art Experimental Band, The


Band members               Related acts

- Danny Belsky - drums (1965-66)
- Dan Harris - vocals, guitar (1966-69)
- Shaun Harris - vocals, bass (replaced Dennis Lambert)

  (1965-69)
- Dennis Lambert - rhythm guitar (1965-66)
- Michael Lloyd - vocals, guitar, keyboards (1965-69)
- Bob Markley - vocals, percussion (1965-69)
- John Ware (replaced Danny Belsky) - drums (1966-67)
 

 

 

- California Spectrum
- Shaun Harris (solo efforts)
- The Laughing Wind (Michael Lloyd Dan Harris and 

  Shaun Harris)
- Markley 
- Smoke (MIchael Lloyd)
 


 

Genre: psych

Rating: **** (4 stars)

Title:  Part One

Company: Reprise

Catalog: RS 6247

Year: 1967

Country/State: US

Grade (cover/record): VG/VG

Comments: minor ring, edge and corner wear

Available: 1

GEMM Catalog ID: not yet listed

Price: $100.00

 

L.A.'s West Coast Pop Art Experimental Band remain a majority musical oddity. Although they never achieved much popular recognition, let alone generated much in the way of sales, they were clearly a talented outfit, straddling the line between studio pros out to make a quick buck and true psychedelic pioneers. The band actually started out of the ashes of California Spectrum and The Laughing Wind (see separate entries). Brothers Dan and Shawn Harris recorded an obscure single under the former name and with the addition of Michael Lloyd, a second equally obscure 1966 single for Tower. Interested in touring, they recruited buddy/drummer Danny Belsky. Introduced to the band by producer Kim Fowley, lyricist-cum-vocalist Bob Markley was a late-inning addition to the line up; reportedly asked to join the band not so much for his musical talent rather the fact he was willing to fork over cash to buy instruments.

More than anxious to cash in on the audiences' sudden enthusiasm for psychedelia, Reprise quickly signed the band to its recording roster Released in the wake of personnel changes which saw drummer Belsky replaced by Jon Ware and rhythm guitarist Lambert replaced by Shaun Harris,1967's "Part One" found the band trying to stake out territory between pseudo-commercialism ("Will You Walk With Me" and Shifting Sands") and outright experimentation (the single "1906" and "Help, I'm A Rock"). Like the debut, their sophomore effort reflected a mixture of covers (in this case favoring such obscure artists as Van Dyke Parks and Frank Zappa) and original material. Elsewhere, more than willing to take advantage of Reprise's production budget, the band rerecorded the debut's "I Won't Hurt You" and "If You Want This Love." Surprisingly tuneful and catchy (check out the ballad "I Won't Hurt You"), it's an LP we constantly come back to. Certainly a creative step forward, though the collection did little in terms of sales ...

"Part One" track listing:

(side 1)
1.) Shifting Sands   (Baker Knight) - 2:51
2.) I Won't Hurt You   (Dan Harris - Michael Lloyd - Bob Markley) - 2:21 
3.) 1906   (Bob Markley - Rom Morgan) - 2:18 
4.) Help, I'm A Rock   (Frank Zappa) - 4:22 
5.) Will You Walk With Me   (Dan Harris) - 2:57 

(side 2)

1.) Transparent Day   (Dan Harris - Bob Markley) - 2:15 
2.) Leiyla   (Dan Harris - Bob Markley) - 2:51 
3.) Here's Where You Belong   (P.F. Sloan) - 2:47 
4.) If You Want This Love   (Baker Knight) - 2:47 
5.) 'Scuse Me, Miss Rose   (Bob Johnston) - 3:01 
6.) High Coin   (Van Dyke Parks) - 1:52 

 

 



Genre: psych

Rating: **** (4 stars)

Title:  Volume 3: A Child's Guide To Good and Evil

Company: Reprise

Catalog: 

Year: 1968

Country/State: US

Grade (cover/record): VG/VG

Comments: minor ring, edge and corner wear

Available: 1

GEMM Catalog ID: not yet listed

Price: $110.00

 

Produced by Jimmy Bowen and Markley, 1968's "Volume 3: A Child's Guide To Good and Evil" found the trio taking steps towards a more commercial stance. Musically the set aptly exhibited their considerable competence, effortlessly bouncing across the musical spectrum. With Markley again penning the majority of material (most co-written with the Harris'), the trio easily moved between fairly straight-forward pop (Eighteen Is Over the Hill" and "In the Country") to trippier outings ("A Child's Guide To Good and Evil", "Our Drummer Always Plays In the Nude" and " A Child of a Few Hours Is Burning To Death"). In a moment of true stupidity, "Anniversary of World War III" provided the listener with nothing but silence - one assumes this was symbolic, though it hasn't aged particularly well. Still, as on earlier efforts one was left to wonder how much of the results were true artistry, versus calculated commerciality. (In case anyone cared, great cover art care of John Van Hamsersveldt, though the liner notes reflected an inaccurate tracking sequence.)

"Volume 3: A Child's Guide To Good and Evil" track listing:

(side 1)
1.) Eighteen Is Over the Hill   (Bob Markley - Ron Morgan) - 
2.) In the Country   (Bob Markley - Dan Harris) - 
3.) A Child's Guide To Good and Evil
4.) Ritual #1   (Bob Markley - John Ware) - 
5.) Our Drummer Always Plays In the Nude   (Bob Markley - Dan Harris) -
6.) As the World Rises and Falls   (Bob Markley - Dan Harris) -
7.) Until the Poorest of People Have Money To Spend   (Bob Markley - Dan Harris) -

 

(side 2)
1.) Watch Yourself   (R. Yeazel) - 
2.) A Child's Guide To Good and Evil   (Bob Markley - Dan Harris) -
3.) Ritual # 2   (Bob Markley - Dan Harris) - 
4.) A Child of a Few Hours Is Burning To Death   (Bob Markley - Bryant) -
5.) As Kind As Summer   (Bob Markley - Bryant) - 
6.) Anniversary of World War III   (uncredited) 


 


Genre: psych

Rating: *** (3 stars)

Title:  Where's My Daddy?

Company: Amos

Catalog: AAS 7004

Year: 1969

Country/State: US

Grade (cover/record): VG/VG

Comments: minor ring, edge and corner wear

Available: 1

GEMM Catalog ID: not yet listed

Price: $80.00

 

Having delivered three poor selling albums to Reprise, it probably didn't come as a major surprise when the label elected to drop the band from its recording roster.  Luckily longtime fan and former band producer Jimmy Bowen stepped forward, signing the group to his newly established Amos Records.  

 

Produced by Markley, 1969's "Where's My Daddy?" was credited to the trio of  Markley and the Harris brothers, though an uncredited Ron Morgan seems to have contributed his instantly recognizable spidery lead guitar throughout, while Michael Lloyd co-wrote several tracks, as well as handled keyboards and some of the backing vocals.  Unfortunately, the resulting album is nothing less than disturbing.  While isolated tracks such as "Where Money Rules Everything", "My Dog Back Home" and "Outside/Inside" were polished and fairly commercial, the majority of the set sounded sharp, raw and almost unfinished - as if the recording sessions were shut down prematurely.  The band's earlier penchant for warm sounds and strong melodies was all but absent on tracks such as "Give Me Your Love Thing" and "Not One Bummer".  A clear reflection of Markley's growing personal problems (including several recent arrests for indecent acts with underage females), the LP was apparently intended as a concept piece with a plotline having to do with the life of a ten year old female runaway.  Selections such as "Where Money Rules Everything", "Everyone's Innocent Daughter" and "Two People" were shockingly graphic in their depiction of life on the streets - drugs, physical abuse, rape, etc.  Not a pretty picture.  Combined with the cover photo showing a young homeless girl; the LP title and a back cover drawing of the three members that made them look like they'd just stepped out of a police line up (be sure to check out the dazed looking Dan), this wasn't exactly top-40 pop.  

 

"Where's My Daddy?" track listing

(side 1)

1.) Where's My Daddy?   (Bob Markley - Michael Lloyd) - 2:07

2.) Where Money Rules Everything   (Bob Markley - Michael Lloyd) - 1:53

3.) Hup Two! Hup Two!   (Bob Markley - Dan Harris) - 1:50

4.) My Dog Back Home   (Bob Markley - Dan Harris) - 3:11

5.) Give Me Your Love Thing   (Bob Markley - Shaun Harris) - 3:45

6.) Outside/Inside   (Bob Markley - Shaun Harris) - 2:23

 

(side 2)

1.) Everyone's Innocent Daughter   (Bob Markley - Shaun Harris) - 2:23

2.) Free As A Bird   (Bob Markley - Shaun Harris) - 2:00

3.) Not One Bummer   (Bob Markley - Shaun Harris) 1- :20

4.) Have You Met My Pet Pig   (Bob Markley - Shaun Harris) - 2:03

5.) Coming Of Age In L.A.   (Bob Markley - Michael Lloyd) - 2:38

6.) Two People   (Bob Markley - Shaun Harris) - 2:17

 

 

 

 

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