Edison Electric Band

Band members                         Related acts

  line up 1 (1966-70)

- Dan Freidberg (aka Freebo) -- bass, guitar

- Mark 'Froggy' Jordan -- keyboards, guitar

- David 'Rip' Stock -- vocals, drums, percussion

- Michael Ziegler -- lead guitar


  line up 2 (1970)

- Dan Freidberg (aka Freebo) -- bass, guitar

- Mark ''Froggy' Jordan -- keyboards, guitar

- David 'Rip' Stock -- vocals, drums, percussion

NEW - T.J. Tindall (RIP 2016) -- vocals, guitar (replaced Michael Zielger)


  supporting musicians:

- Norman Pride -- percussion

- Michael Ziegler -- guitar




- The Galaxies IV (T.J. Tindall)

- Freebo (Dan Freidberg)

- MFSB (T.J. Tindall)

- The Thomas A. Edison Electric Band





Genre: rock

Rating: 3 stars ***

Title:  Bless You Dr. Woodward

Company: Cotillion

Catalog: SD 9022

Country/State: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Grade (cover/record): VG+/VG+

Comments: --

Available: 1

Catalog ID: 5923

Price: $35.00


For a city renown for it's soul music scene, I'm always amazed at the number of good, but largely unknown 1960s and 1970s era bands that popped up out of Philadelphia.  Add The Edison Electric Band to the list.  It also happens that when I started collecting LPs back in the early 1980s, this was one of my first purchases - $1.00 at a local yard sale.


Bassist Dan Friedman and singer/drummer David Stock met in 1966 when they were attending The University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia.  Interested in forming a rock band they quickly recruited fellow students keyboardist Mark Jordan and lead guitarist Mark Ziegler.  



As The Thomas A. Edison Electric Band the quartet began playing local Philadelphia dances and parties, getting their first break when they were signed by Cameo-Parkway.  The following the year they released their debut single:


 1967's 'Methyl Ethyl' b/w 'The Name Of The Game' (Cameo-Parkway catalog number C-490)







While the single didn't do anything commercial, the band was hired to provide music for a quickie exploitation album on Cameo-Parkway's Wyncote budget label. Released in 1967 and credited to The Chimps, the album featured a throwaway collection of  Monkees covers and garage numbers - "Monkey Business" Wyncote catalog W-9199






Frustrated with their inability to break commercially, in 1968 the group followed the rest of the country; packed up their gear and headed to San Francisco.  Having shortened their name to The Edison Electric Band, in 1970 they scored a contract with Atlantic's Cotillion subsidiary, releasing their debut album; the Joel Dorn and Jack Shaw produced "Bless You Dr. Woodward".  In an unfortunate turn of events during the recording sessions Ziegler broke his arm in motorcycle accident and T.J. Tindall (who'd already recorded a single as a member of the Trenton, New Jersey-based The Galaxies IV) was brought in as a replacement. Showcasing a largely original set of material, the album was exceptionally diverse with the band taking shots at a broad array of genres including blues, country-rock, pop, and conventional rock.  Showcasing Stack's likeable voice and a line up with more technical proficiency than most of the competition, virtually all of the performances were good, but the absence of a distinctive sound certainly didn't help their cause.  In fact the set was so diverse at times you almost wondered whether it was the same band.  It almost sounded like they were recording a marketing demo intended to showcase their ability to handle any genre.


Shame they weren't able to imprint more personality on the album.  Largely panned by critics (bless his soul, Robert Christgau was one of the few exceptions), the album didn't do much commercially and within a couple of months the band had called it quits.  


One other piece of trivia for you hardcore music hounds - "Bless You Dr. Woodward" was the first album commercially released on cassette.


"Bless You Dr. Woodward" track listing:
(side 1)

1.) Ship of the Future   (Mark Jordan - David Stock) - 2:37  rating: *** stars

Opening up with a breezy pop melody, ''Ship of the Future'  started the album with a surprisingly commercial orientation.  Even better was Jordan's cool mid-song synthesizer solo.  Not sure what he was playing, but it had a mesmerizing sound.   Cotillion tapped it as a promotional single:

- 'Ship of the Future' b/w 'West Wind' (Cotillion catalog number 45-44071

2.) Over the Hill  (Mark Jordan - Joshua Rice) - 6:51   rating: *** stars

'Over the Hill' began with an atmospheric church organ segment before morphing into a pretty mid-tempo ballad, and finally ending as an Allman Brothers-styled guitar workout.  The track also served as a nice platform for Stack's attractive and commercial voice (which had just enough edge to be FM friendly).

3.) Please Send Me (instrumental)   (Percy Mayfield) - 4:38   rating: ** stars

Their instrumental cover of Percy Mayfield's bluesy 'Please Send Me' marked a sudden change in direction.  Propelled by Jordan's piano, a nice Friedman bass, and a restrained Tindall solo, the results were attractive in a supper club kind of way.  Nothing all that special.

4.) Baby Leroy   (Joshua Rice) - 3:44   rating: *** stars

'Baby Leroy' found the band pursuing a nice blue-eyed soul feel.  Imagine something Delaney and Bonnie might have recorded.


(side 2)
1.) Royal Fool   (Mark Jordan - Joshua Rice) - 3:21
  rating: *** stars

'Royal Fool' started side two with a nice country-rock number.  Pretty melody with a nice electric keyboard from Jordan made this one quite radio friendly.  Stack turned in one of his best vocals on this one.  

2.) West Wind  (Mark Jordan - Joshua Rice) - 3:15   rating: ** stars

'West Wind' was a standard and pedestrian blues-rocker.  The first real disappointment, the best things here were Friedman's busy bass pattern and the nice call and response harmony vocals.

3.) Lonely Avenue   (Doc Pomus) - 3:40  rating: **** stars

It's funny, I'm normally not a big R&B fan but their cover of Doc Pomus' 'Lonely Avenue' was one of the standout performances.  Stack's hesitant vocals (it almost sounded like he was singing it phonetically), and Jordan's Hammond B-3 gave the song an interesting edge.  Very nice ! 

4.) Island Sun  (Mark Jordan) - 3:29.  rating: *** stars

Another abrupt shift in musical direction, 'Island Sun' found the band turning in a Latin-flavored rocker.  Sporting heavy percussion and some nice twin lead guitar, this one sounded like a Manassas outtake.

5.) Smokehouse   (David Stock) - 3:46    rating: ** stars

So why not take a stab at a heavy metal song?  Okay, here's 'Smokehouse'.  With Stacks' spoken word segments, this one sounded like Dr. John fronting Black Oak Arkansas.  Nah, it wasn't nearly as "heavy" as they thought it was.

6.) Lebanese Packhorse (instrumental)   (Thomas J. Tindall) - 0:40   rating: **** stars

Tacked on to the end of the album, Tindall's only contribution, the brief instrumental 'Lebanese Packhorse' was also the standout performance.  It didn't even last a minute, but the track had an instantly appealing ominous feel.  Wish they'd included a longer take.



Freidberg became an in-demand sessions player and touring musician, supporting a who's who list of acts, including a long time association with Bonnie Raitt.  He's also released a series of solo albums and has an informative website at: http://www.freebomusic.com/


Jordan also went into sessions work, supporting dozens of acts including Van Morrison on the classic "Tupelo Honey" LP.  


Though he apparently wasn't a member of the band, songwriter Joshua Rice also has a small website with a brief nod to The Edison Electric Band: http://www.joshrice.org/


Tindall also became a touring musician and sessions player, joining Philadelphia International's stable of professionals and recording on dozens of Philly International hits as a member of the Philly International house band TSOP.  Only 65, he succumbed to cancer in January 2016.