Dragonfly


Band members               Related acts

- B. Davis - 
- J. Duncan - 
- G. Jimerfield - 
- B. Ray - 
- R. Russ (aka R. Russell) - 

 

 

- The Legend

 


 

Genre: psych

Rating: **** (4 stars)

Title:  Dragonfly

Company: Megaphone

Catalog: MS-1202

Country/State: US

Year: 1970

Grade (cover/record): VG+ / NM

Comments: gatefold sleeve

Available: SOLD

Catalog ID: SOLD

Price: SOLD $380.00

 

 

Their sole 1970 release an increasingly sought after collectable, Dragonfly stands as one of the psych genres' bigger mysteries. 

Co-produced by Marty Brooks and Tom Sepe, "Dragonfly" offered up an excellent set of fuzz guitar-propelled psych/hard rock. Strong melodies and searing vocals made original material such as 'Blue Monday', 'Enjoy Yourself' and 'I Feel It' well worth hearing. Personal favorites were the fuzz and backward guitar drenched 'Crazy Woman' and the extended closing number 'Miles Away'.  The set wasn't perfect; several numbers on the flip side found the band occasionally incorporating C&W elements into the mix, but overall the collection was nothing short than great.  Wish I could tell you more about the LP, but there were no performance credits to be found on the slim liner notes.

"Dragonfly" track listing:
(side 1)

1.) Blue Monday   (J. Duncan - B. Davis) - 3:08
2.) Enjoy Yourself   (R. Russ - B. Davis) - 3:28
3.) Hootchie Kootchie Man   (Willie Dixon) - 4:25
4.) I Feel It  (J. Duncan - B. Ray) - 4:38
5.) Trombodo (  R. Russell) - 0:24
6.) Portrait of Youth   (J. Jimerfield) - 2:48

(side 2)

1.) Crazy Woman   (J. Duncan - R. Russ) - 2:45
2.) She Don't Care   (J. Jimerfield) - 2:32
3.) Time Has Slipped Away   (J. Duncan) - 2:36
4.) To Be Free   (J. Duncan) - 3:22
5.) Darlin'   (J. Jimerfield) - 0:24
6.) Miles Away   (J. Duncan) - 4:45

Largely due to the fact their self-titled album was released by the small Encino, California-based Megaphone label, some folks think there's a connection with the equally unknown The Legend.  Having owned the Legend LP I have my doubts.

 

Tony and Marty had no idea what they were
doing. The Legend album had no distribution to speak of. They were skimming as
much money as they could out of the record label. They even had custom made
alligator brief cases made. Things like that made us angry. We werenít getting
anything. Marty had heard us play at The Family Dog in Denver. Bob Cohen of the
Family Dog liked the band. Marty told Tony that we were good enough to do our
own recording. So we started the second album and things were getting worse
with the band and Tony and Marty, so in the middle of the album we told them we
werenít going to record any more until they let us out of our contract. They
agreed. We finished the album. They found this acid freak that had done this
painting and they bought it from him and Tony saw the Dragonfly on the picture
and decided to call it that. Their plan was to find some musicians, have them
learn the songs and put them out on the road. But one day Tony and Marty went
to the office, and locks had been change and the company in Chicago had shut
down Megaphone Records. Thatís why you donít see our name anywhere on the
album.
The next LP was released in late 1968,
these time with much harder sound. What are some of the strongest memories from
producing and releasing this LP?

 
During the time the first album was done,
we were developing our sound. Trying different things on stage and we were
starting to gel. By the time we did Dragonfly, we were pretty comfortable with
each other. The difference between the two albums is the first we were
restricted by harsh comments and brow beating by Tony and Marty. By the second
album, we were confident and would not let them tell us how to play. Remember
the first album, The Legend was partly done by studio musicians. But let me
tell you, when I was in their doing my overdubs and I knew something was coming
off pretty good, I would feel so good. It would be a total rush.
 
What gear did you guys use?

 
 

 
Like I said earlier, Tony and Marty conned
some acid freak out of his artwork and I heard that when he was in the office
to sign the release for his artwork, he didnít talk, he made animal noises. As
far as how many many were pressed, they didnít share that kind of matters with
us. They did what they wanted. I heard that 5000 copies were sent to Australia.
Casey Cassum played Enjoy Yourself in New York. There was really no push behind
it, they didnít know how to and they had such a bad reputation, that the honest
people in business didnít want to deal with Tony and Marty. Enjoy Yourself got
a little mention in music magazine called Cashbox.
 
Please comment each song from your LP.
A1         
Blue Monday
Blue Monday was fun song to do. Jack Duncan
and Barry Davis wrote this one day.
A2         
Enjoy Yourself     
Barry Davis, the drummer and myself wrote
that at the kitchen table drinking hot coffee. Kind of a summary of lifeís
bummers and where an acid trip can take you. The opening drum part had to be
recorded in parts to get the high hat on one side and the snare on the other
and the bass in the middle. To me watching it, it looked hard as hell to do.
A3         
Hootchie Kootchie Man  
Is song that Duncan wanted to do. We used
to do it live and had some good times doing it. Richard had told me a section
of my lead was going to be backward, so I had to figure out how to start high
and end up in the low register to be in place for the regular forward section.
Itís hard to describe.
A4         
I Feel It   
Another song Duncan wrote. He just came to
the session and had the song. I donít remember the particulars. You got to
remember, this was 44 years or so ago. And since then thereís been a lot of
brain cells destroyed. 
A5         
Trombodo          
Trombodo was done by our producer, Richard
Egizi, who Tony and Marty had to hire cause they were in way in over their
heads and far as record production. Richard did all on trombone, recorded at different
speeds. Richard is one those musical geniuses. He is really the one that kept
us going with that project. He was so full of ideas. At the session they asked
me how do you say trombone in Spanish, I didnít know so I just said Trombodo.   
A6         
Portrait of Youth   
Gerry came in one day with an idea and we
all pitched in and came up it.
             
B1         
Crazy Woman  
Jack and I wrote that. I had some chord
structures and Jack had some words and some chord structures, so it just came
together.  
   
B2         
She Donít Care               
Written and sung by Jimmerfield. He wanted
me to get as freaky as I could on the lead. When I listen to it now, itís not
so freaky. I donít know who the song is about, but he wanted everybody just to
freak on their instruments. The engineers had hard time getting the right delay
that we wanted on the voice part. Got hand it to them, they did a good job.
B3         
Time Has Slipped Away 
Another Duncan song. I really got into the
chord changes. And the lead is wild, man.
            
B4         
To Be Free        
One more Duncan song and donít remember the
details of this even after listening to it again.
B5         
Darliní               
 Jimmerfield
only had this one little section and we had smoked a little, so we did it. And
then the laughter came.
B6         
Miles Away
Duncan was trying to get this thing
together at last minute. We were stumped, and it just started coming together.
The line Ē Purple flag half mast on a TuesdayĒ was just a filler line
that I liked and he left it. Richard did bring in some singers to help us with
the background on the album, cause the parts Richard was hearing would have
taken us forever to do. Thereís 9thís and 13thís or some crap like that in
there somewhere. I would never been able to do that.
Where all did the Dragonfly play and
with who?
Like I said earlier, Dragonfly wasnít a
real band. It was a concept of our managers. The Legend played in Ft. Collins
Co. with Question Mark and the Mysterians and at the Family Dog with The Soul
Survivors and The Box Tops at one gig. And we played a lot with a group,
American Standard with Tommy Bolin as the guitar player at The Family Dog. We
only did one concert in El Paso and the rest were clubs and bars. The Family
Dog was a huge building that probably could get 3 thousand people in.
Did hallucinogens have any impact on
the sound?
In 1968, I think, the Legend along with
about 10 other people did acid for the first time in the middle of this green
pasture surrounded with pine trees. There was even pond with beavers and man
what a trip. Jack, Barry and myself only did acid around 10 or 12 times. Gerry
and Ernie, I think, did it more. Gerry would go on about this thing that we
could get up on stage and all of us would play anything and because we were
really gelling, it would all come together. I really didnít understand that
idea and kind of freaked me out. Jack and Barry and I would look at each other
not knowing what the hell he was talking about. One night, coming down from an
acid trip, I came to the realization that if I kept on playing and practicing I
could be as good as anyone. I had an inferiority complex.. So you might say the
acid helped my confidence. But we by any means, werenít doing it like some of
our musician friends.
What happened next and what were you
doing through all these years?

 

After
the Legend broke up, I went back to El Paso and did some different things here
and there. I formed a group with my old friend from that first group, Doug
Neal. That group was called Gorilla. We warmed up Steve Miller one time and
then ZZ Top. Billy Gibbons and Dusty Hill came down to our dressing room and
Billy and I jammed. He played my í56 Gold Top and I played his famous Tobacco
Sunburst Les Paul. They were real nice guys and treated us with respect. They
didnít have to to do that. Thatís always stuck in my head. Then in ď72
Jack, Barry and I got back together with Andre, a drummer from El Paso and Jack
W., a guitar player from El Paso. We called that group Bubba Jo. We wagon
wheeled from Denver and played all over the mid west and southwest. We played
all the A rooms in Denver. Once again, went to LA and did an album, all
originals that we came up with at rehearsals. But we couldnít get any of the labels
to jump on it. So I came back to El Paso. Iní75, I think, I got a call from
Jimmy Carl Black. The former drummer for The Mothers of Invention. He was
raised in Anthony Texas. We got a group together with Big Sonny Farlow, the
revolving member of the Sir Douglas Quintet. We did all cover with just a few
originals. We formed our own record company and put out and album on the Con
Safo label and it was called Big Sonny and the Loboys In Heat. We had this idea
of our faces on the dogs playing poker. Everything was done here in EP except
the pressing of the records. Artwork, recording, everything. Time went by and I
tried a few other things, but in 1999, I put together a group with my daughter
Michelle singing lead, my wife, Linda doing harmonies, Dave the bass and Frank
on Drums. We were called Russ T. Nails. We did a little demo and the TV show
Rock Star heard it and invited Michelle to come to Austin and try out. It was
the year INXS was looking for a singer, but I think they were looking for a
male and she didnít make it. I am so proud my wife and daughterís talent. Their
harmonies are better than most. Now Iím playing with this group called Twisted
Hams. We have a website. Havenít done a lot of gigs. All original, except for a
few covers. I play aí78 Hamer through a Fender Blues Jr. and use only two
effects. Chorus and Wha-wha. I still have my í65 Fender Reverb and my í56 Les
and use them on special gigs.
Thank you very much. Would you like to
send a message to Itís Psychedelic Baby readers?

 

 

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