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Chris Akanora

Help me ID a 60s psych instrumental

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There is a piece of psychedelic jam which I have not heard since late 1970 and cannot track down, despite diligent searching. But with the help of modern technology, I have great confidence that somewhere, someone is going to know what I'm talking about.

The track I am seeking was used on a radio program out of WLRW in Urbana, Illnois, called simply "Underground" which ran on Sundays and Mondays in 1969 and 1970. In 1982, I contacted Miss Anderson who ran the show and she said she couldn't remember anything about it.

Now, the following clip is not the one I want identified. It is the closest I have ever come to finding the song I'm after. This is from Jimi Hendrix's "Beginnings" as played at Woodstock.

It Sounds Like This

I have listened to many renditions of "Beginnings" and that is not it. However, there are some similarities. The riff is almost (although not quite) identical to the beginning of the Underground theme. The guitar sounds fuzzy like this, rough, I always wondered if it was Cream -- I've also had it suggested it could be Jeff Beck). It goes through that riff a few times and then slows down a bit for the next part of the song -- which I only ever heard fragments of, because Miss Anderson would begin speaking at that point.

It is not Canned Heat's "Marie Laveau" and it's not Cream's "Cat's Squirrel".

It's been almost forty years, and I am exceedingly frustrated by my inability to track it down. I hope someone can either identify it, or send me to someone who can. Thanks.

Edited by Guest

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Yes, it works now. :) I'm going to ask that your question be moved to the Question & Answers forum ... more people will see it, and you'll be more likely to get an answer. I'm listening ... but nothing is coming to mind.

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The track was effectively the opening theme music of the show, Miss Anderson hosted the show twice weekly for two years, and she "couldn't remember anything about it"???! Those were the flippin' days, eh?!

:goof: :hippie:

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"The track was effectively the opening theme music of the show, Miss Anderson hosted the show twice weekly for two years, and she "couldn't remember anything about it"???! Those were the flippin' days, eh?!"

Tell me about it! The show was quite probably inspired by KMPX's lysergic-drenched, sativa-hazed underground / progressive format, and my feeling after receiving that letter was that Miss Anderson had been inspired, as well. I have never known a professional radio announcer-programmer to so completely forget such an important detail. She barely remembered having created or hosted the show!

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You know what, the off - tempo reminds me distinctly of Captain Beefheart. If that is the case the timing would suggest that it's a cut from Trout Mask Replica. Since you don't have the entire song, you don't really know that it's an instrumental, right? I need to listen & compare ...

oh yes, this isn't the song. Very tough to identify a song, from a different song. But, Beefheart used that off tempo thing a lot, Have you listened to Beefheart? Your answer may be there, which may be why you're having so much trouble identifying. He would've been played on a progressive Rock type format.

Edited by Guest

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I've certainly heard plenty of Captain Beefheart -- used to play him on my own shows -- but if the song is his, I've never run across it. I see what you are saying, though.

And yes, I don't know for certain that the entire song is an instrumental. I occasionally got a listen to the second section before Miss Anderson would speak, and there were no vocals. What I do remember is that the first musical phrase in the second section always reminded me of the first line of "Judy in Disguise" but was much slower.

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heh :D No, I know "Frankenstein", and I agree there are similarities, but it's not the song. Anyway, as you said, it is from '72. Thank you for the video, though! Yes, they used to play it quite a lot on WEFT (then WTWC) and especially on WPGU, both with underground progressive formats at that time.

This all reminds me of just how much great music there was in those days. One almost took it for granted.

It also occurs to me that the song might possibly be by Steppenwolf. She played a great deal of off-chart Steppenwolf, very impressive as I listened in the dark.

Edited by Guest

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Awesome music, amazing sounds, so plentiful back then. If you could DX it was even better.

I've been reminded that the song may have been by a local group. My current plan is to call and/or write (postal mail) to all the stations in the area and obtain contact information for programmers or announcers from that time.

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Well, here's my 2011 update. No luck so far. I remember talking to Lavern White who had been WLRW station manager at the time, I spoke with him back in the early 80s and he knew what I was talking about but he didn't know what the song was either. He died in 1993.

My next step is to find newspaper articles about the station from that time period.

Every now and then I search on "1969 instrumental rock" or "1969 instrumental progressive" just to see what turns up. I've found a lot of great tunes I'd forgotten existed, but not that one.

But I haven't given up. After all the old stuff I'd forgotten about which has turned up on line, music related and not, I think it's only a matter of time until I track it down.

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Hi Chris,

As you may already know, there is that possibility that the tune was recorded by a house band/hired secessionists. However, there were a couple of psychedelic rock, heavy psych bands that were from Urbana, Illnois. Although a stab in the dark, at least a try...

1) "The Spoils of War" - they released a couple of albums in '69 (self titled and II). Band member Jim Cuomo moved to France and in the band "Mormos." Other members were Roger Francisco, Frank Garvey, among others.

2) "Time" - formed in '67, disbanded in '68. Released one album, "Before There Was..." I don't recall the album but have read it also contains psychedelic folk.

Hope that narrows it down.

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