Stained Glass

Band members                          Related acts

  line up 1: (1964-66) as The Trolls

- Dennis Carriasco -- drums, percussion

- Roger Hedge -- vocals, guitar

- Jim McPherson (aka Phil Stump) (RIP 1985) -- vocals, bass, keyboards 

- Bob Rominger -- lead guitar 


  line up 2: (1966-67)

- Dennis Carriasco -- drums, percussion

- Roger Hedge -- vocals, guitar

-  Jim McPherson (aka Phil Stump) (RIP 1985) -- vocals, bass, keyboards  

- Bob Rominger -- lead guitar 


  line up 3: (1967-68) as Stained Glass

- Dennis Carriasco -- drums, percussion

-  Jim McPherson (aka Phil Stump) (RIP 1985) -- vocals, bass, keyboards  

- Bob Rominger -- lead guitar 


  line up 4: (1968-69)

NEW - Tom Bryant -- lead guitar (replaced Bob Rominger) 

- Dennis Carriasco -- drums, percussion

-  Jim McPherson (aka Phil Stump) (RIP 1985) -- vocals, bass, keyboards 






Copperhead (Jim McPherson) 

- Jim McPherson (solo efforts)

- The Frank Navrino Band (Jim McPherson)

- Phil Stumpo





Genre: rock

Rating: **** (4 stars)

Title:  Crazy Horse Road

Company: Capitol

Catalog: ST-154

Year: 1969

Country/State: San Jose, California

Grade (cover/record): VG+/VG+

Comments: --

Available: 1

Catalog ID: 4286

Price: $110.00

Cost: $66.00


I'll readily admit this one attracted my attention at a yard sale for it's extremely distasteful cover photo - all three band members are shown hanging from a large tree branch.  It's a pretty stunning imagine now. Imagine what the impact must have been when it was originally released in 1969.  I'm surprised the cover didn't get the album banned by some retailers.  (Always wondered it Mason Profitt's debut (featuring a similarly themed cover) came out first.)




Guitarists Dennis Carriasco and Roger Hedge, bassist Jim McPherson and drummer Bob Rominger first came together in the mid-1960s.  As The Trolls the quartet started out as a covers band (all four members were capable singers), but gradually began incorporating original material into their live act.  They also began to attract a cult following in their native San Jose, California, releasing a self-financed 45:








- 1966's 'Walking Shoes' b/w 'How Do You Expect To Trust Me' (private press - no catalog number)






By the time they captured the attention of and signed with RCA Victor, front man Hedge was gone; the victim of dreaded differences in musical direction.  In the meantime, without bothering to get the band's approval, RCA management elected to give the band a new hipper name - "The Stained Glass Window".  The members weren't particularly thrilled with the new  name; even less so when a printing mistake saw their first single released with a credit to "The Stained Glass".

Over the next two years the trio released a series of four singles:

- 1966's 'If I Needed Someone' b/w 'How Do You Expect Me' (RCA catalog number 47-8889)

- 1966's 'My Buddy Sin' b/w 'Vanity Fair' (RCA catalog number 47-8952)

- 1967's 'We Got a Long Way To Go' b/w 'Corduroy Joe' (RCA catalog number 47-9166)

- 1967's 'A Scene In Between' b/w 'Mediocre Me' (RCA catalog number 47-9354)


Unhappy with the group's inability to score a national hit, RCA Victor promptly dropped them from it's recording roster. 


Things immediately improved for the band with Capitol Records signing them, releasing a 1968 single:


 'Lady In Lace' b/w 'Soap and Turkey' (Capitol catalog number 2178)


With a Vaudevillian flavor that would have Made Paul McCartney smile, the 45 did little commercially, though Capitol management felt supportive enough to finance a follow-on album.  




Produced by John Gross and Max Hoch, 1968's "Crazy Horse Roads" was absolutely wonderful.  Largely written by McPherson, at least to my ears, material such as 'Sing Your Song', 'Nightcap' and 'Soap and Turkey' offered up an enjoyable blend of instantly memorable melodies with great group harmonies and a wicked mix of blazing fuzz guitars and psych touches. The material was highly commercial, but with more than enough muscle to appeal to folks who shun top-40 with a passion. The heavily orchestrated 'Twiddle My Thumbs' and  throwaway 'Piggy Back Ride and the Camel ' were among the few missteps.  'Twiddle My Thumbs was certainly pretty, but McPherson's atypical quivering falsetto delivery made it sound like Bee Gees outtake (though both could've been hits had the latter released them).  Personal favorites - the single 'Fahrenheit', the blazing fuzz rocker 'Light Down Below' and the disconcerting closer 'Doomsday'.  As prime singer, McPherson had a truly likeable voice, but all three members sang and combined the trio's harmony vocals were consistently enjoyable.  And while the album may have been a little too musically diverse for some listeners, I enjoyed the variety.  By the way, the band's secret sauce came in the form of Rominger's tasteful and concise playing.  Consistently tasteful and understated - check out his work on 'Finger Painting'.  Well worth the investment if you can find a copy.  The LP has rapidly been gaining a following in collecting circles. 


"Crazy Horse Road" track listing:
(side 1)

1.) Sing Your Song   (Jim McPherson) - 2:05   rating: **** stars

One of the standout performances, 'Sing Your Song' underscored their earlier folk-rock influences, but toughened up the sound with with some tasty Rominger lead guitar.  The group harmonies and fuzz guitar gave the song a great Buffalo Springfield-styled sound.

2.) Finger Painting   (Jim McPherson - Bob Rominger) - 2:11   rating: *** stars

A pretty, fragile ballad, 'Finger Painting' didn't even sound like an American band.  With McPherson on lead vocals, his faux-English vocals made the song sound like something The Bee Gees might have released.  The highlight's came from Rominger's jangle guitar (which apparently took 28 cuts to get down).

3.) Soap and Turkey   (Jim McPherson) - 2:39   rating: **** stars

Previously released as the "B" side to their debut Capitol 45, 'Soap and Turkey' has always reminded me of something Mike Nesmith might have crafted for The Monkees.  Kicked along by Rominger's finger-picked jangle guitar, the tune showcased a glistening pop-psych feel and the group's stunning vocals.  Having listened to the song dozens of times, the title remains a total mystery to me.

4.) Twiddle My Thumbs   (Jim McPherson) - 2:40   rating: ** stars

Boasting an elaborate string arrangement (courtesy of Lex de Avzavedo), the stark ballad 'Twiddle My Thumbs' again recalled something out of the Gibb brothers' catalog.  Interestingly McPherson even appropriated the Gibbs' patented vocal vibrato on this one.  The album's least impressive effort.

5.) Fahrenheit   (Jim McPherson - Bob Rominger - Dennis Carriacsco) - 3:43   rating: **** stars

Another track with an interesting and enigmatic title, ''Fahrenheit' showcased stinging Rominger's fuzz guitar while cranking up the album's rock quotient.  The tune also showcased the group's wonderful harmony vocals. Capitol tapped the track as a promotional single but does not seem to have released it as a stock copy:


- 1969's 'Fahrenheit' b/w 'Twiddle My Thumbs' as a single (Capitol catalog number P-2372). 


(side 2)

1.) Nightcap   (Jim McPherson) - 2:55   rating: *** stars

Another track that sounded more like a British pop-psych (toytown) band  than three guys from Southern California.  Maybe a bit too precious four their own good, but fascinating to my ears.  Imagine early America if they'd been recording in the mid-'60s rather than the early '70s.. 

2.) Horse On Me   (Jim McPherson) - 2:18   rating: **** stars

Personal taste, but I think these guys were at their best when they upped the rock quotient.  This one has always reminded me of something The Buffalo Springfield might have recorded.  Nice.

3.) Two Make One   (Jim McPherson) - 3:10   rating: *** stars

Pretty, country-flavored ballad with some unexpected Stax-styled horns.  

4.) Light Down Below   (Jim McPherson) - 3:22   rating: **** stars

Rominger was the band's secret sauce, his playing consistently tasteful and controlled.  Those characteristics were seldom displayed as well as on the blazing Cream-styled rocker 'Two Makes One.'   His screaming fuzz  guitar simply kicked this one into a different level.

5.) Piggy Back Ride and the Camel    (Jim McPherson - Bob Rominger - Dennis Carriacsco) - 2:10   rating: ** stars

The second band collaboration, 'Piggy Back Ride and the Camel' started off promisingly, but devolved into what was basically a stoned collage of song fragments, spoken word nonsense and other odds and ends.  I'm guessing they needed to extend the album's running time.

6.) Doomsday   (Jim McPherson) - 4:23   rating: **** stars

The two thirds of 'Doomsday' was an awesome rocker with killer Rominger guitar effects (probably his best performance) and the end of song apocalyptic explosion was a pretty cool way to close the album.



In 2007 Steven Carr's British Fallout label reissued the album in CD format (Fallout catalog number CDLP 2034).  Speculation on my part, but it seems unlikely the CD was released with the band's approval, reinforced by the fact the bonus material included their four RCA singles and The Trolls' "B" side 'How Do You Expect Me To Trust You'):


1.) If You Needed Someone  (George Harrison) - 2:08

2.) How Do You Expect Me To Trust You   (Jim McPherson) - 2:34

3.) My Buddy Sin   (Jim McPherson) - 2:51

4.) Vanity Fair   (Jim McPherson) - 2:57

5.) We Got a Long Way To Go  (Barry Mann - Cynthia Weil) - 2:30

6.) Corduroy Joe   (Jim McPherson) -

7.) A Scene In Between   (Phil Stumpo) - 2:36

8.) Mediocre Me   (Phil Stumpo) - 2:41

9.) Lady In Lace   (Phil Stumpo) - 2:05






Genre: psych

Rating: *** (3 stars)

Title:  Aurora

Company: Capitol

Catalog: ST-242

Year: 1969

Country/State: San Jose, California

Grade (cover/record): VG+/VG+

Comments: --

Available: 1

Catalog ID: 5347

Price: $145.00


Stained Glass' debut isn't really rare, though you don't stumble across copies everyday.  In contrast 1970's "Aurora" is a truly hard to find - good luck finding an original copy in good shape at an affordable price.  Produced by Voyle Gilmore (better known for his work with MOR acts like Frank Sinatra), the album also marked a change in the personnel line up.  In another case of "musical differences", original lead guitarist Bob Rominger was replaced by Tom Bryant.  Like the debut, bassist Jim McPherson was credited with penning the bulk of the material.  The lone exception was an okay cover of Lincoln Chase's 'Jim Dandy'.  Musically the album had a markedly different feel from the debut.  Particularly on side two, the band abandoned their folk-rock roots for a harder, Cream-styled blues rock sound. Different, but equally enjoyable.   Highlights included the mid-tempo country-rocker 'Gettin' On's Gettin' Rough' (sporting some great harmony vocals and serving as the band's final single), 'Kibitzer' and a series of tight, Cream-styled rockers 'Daddy's Claim', 'Sweetest Thing' and 'The Necromancer' (check out Bryant's tasty slide solos on all three tracks) .  Perhaps the most interest tune was also the most atypical - the full blown psych number 'Inca Treasure' sounded like a lost post-Beatles John Lennon solo demo, or something Merrell Fankhauser and Mu might have recorded.   It certainly wasn't perfect.  As mentioned, their cover of 'Jim Dandy' was just okay while 'A Common Thief' was a plodding mid-tempo blues-rocker with some horrible falsetto harmonies.  Just a little too unfocused to be considered a must own, though the LP should probably get an extra half star for sounding so good for a trio and for the cool cover art..  


Like the debut, their second LP did little commercially and Capitol wasted no time dropping them from its recording roster.  The three briefly continued on under the name The Christian Rapid Group, opening for a variety of nationally known touring bands, ultimately calling it quits in 1971.


"Aurora" track listing:
(side 1)

1.) Gettin' On's Gettin' Rough   (Jim McPherson) - 2:59   rating: **** stars

I'll admit that initially 'Gettin' On's Gettin' Rough' sounded so commercial it kind of turned me off.  No getting around the fact it was commercial, but ultimately the breezy melody and the trio's sweet harmonies won be over.  Easy to see why Capitol tapped it as a single (the band's final release), though it's a mystery why it disappeared without a trace.





- 1970's 'Gettin' On's Gettin' Rough' b/w 'The Necromance'  (Capitol catalog number 2521) 







2.) Jim Dandy   (Lincoln Chase)  - 3:14   rating: ** stars

The lone non-original, there was nothing wrong with their cover of Lincoln Chase's 'Jim Dandy', though other than Bryant's tight solo, they didn't bring anything original to the performance either.

3.) A Common Thief   (Jim McPherson) - 5:20    rating: * star

Accordion?  Why not.  If there's one Stained Glass song I don't like, 'A Common Thief' would be at the top of my list.  A bland, meandering blues-rock, it reflected the worst aspects of West Coast rock.

4.) Kibitzer   (Jim McPherson) - 5:00   rating: *** stars

'Kibitzer' started out with a tasty Bo Diddley-beat rocker, before falling into a forgettable '60s West Coast jam.  McPherson's post-Stained Glass band Copperhead also recorded the song.


(side 2)

1.) Inca Treasure   (Jim McPherson) - 3:37   rating: **** stars

'Inca Treasure' was unlike anything else the band recorded - out and out psychedelic that would not have sounded out of place on a Mu, or Merrell Fankhauser album.  Bryant's dreamy lead guitar recalled something Hendrix might have turned in.

2.) Daddy's Claim   (Jim McPherson) - 3:44   rating: **** stars

Cream-styled blues-rocker with McPherson sounding a little like Jack Bruce and Bryant turning in some of his best Clapton moves.

3.) Sweetest Thing   (Jim McPherson) - 3:26   rating: **** stars

Another Cream-styled blues-rocker. with Bryant given an opportunity tpo cut loose.  Nice performance and would have made a nice follow-on single had anyone at Capitol been paying attention.

4.) Mad Lynn Ball   (Jim McPherson) - 3:42   rating: **** stars

Why not another streaming Cream-styled rocker?  When they sound this good, I don't think anyone would complain.

5.) The Necromancer   (Jim McPherson) - 3:42   rating: **** stars

The closer 'The Necromancer" found McPherson again trotting out his Jack Bruce falsetto so it shouldn't come as a surprise to learn this one also recalled something out of the Cream catalog.  McPherson's dynamic bass work also recalled Bruce's best work.  The tune also served as the 'Gettin' On's Gettin' Rough' "B" side.



Some related tidbits:

- Before going out of business the British Radioactive label released a bootleg of the LP (Radioactive catalog number RRCD125).



Roger Hedge seems to have turned his attention to roaming the US in a RV and focusing on the game of badminton, becoming a ranked player.


McPherson recorded a solo album that was apparently shelved until 2009 when his wife Evy McPherson released collection on the small Kosher Dill Music label released it:


- 2009's "A Promise Kept" (Kosher Dill Music catalog number KDM 98568-2)


He went on to play with Copperhead and the Frank Navrino Band.  




Under the name Phillip Francis Stumpo, in 1978 he recorded a bland, 1978 disco-tinged album:  "One Man Circus" (Billetdoux Records Inc.).  


His biggest brush with success stemmed from co-writing The Jefferson Starship's 'Jane'.  Onoy 40, he died in June,1985. 


Bryant apparently remained active in music for awhile, at least briefly playing with Gabor Szabor. 


Carrasco still lives in San Jose, California playing music.


Rominger joined the Air Force, serving as a fighter pilot, before enjoying a second career as a flight instructor for a major airline.


Another one of those acts I'd love to know more about.