HARPO (can you remember now when he wasn’t a Raider??) came bouncing over to me the other day, freaking out over a fabulous new song he’s written. “It’s really groovey!” he exclaimed modestly. “The guys told me it might be a track on our next album, but I have bigger plans for it.” It seems he’s offered it to fellow “actioners” the HARD TIMES, who’d like to try it for an upcoming single!
I rang up Beach Boy AL JARDINE and got his charming wife Linda who said, “Oh, he’s in the monkey cage!” I did a double-take (which is difficult over the phone) then she explained that he was just cleaning out their monkey’s cage (taking care of the animal is his hobby, along with astronomy). Linda had to pass up traveling with Al on the BB’s European tour—“Our baby was due just a few weeks afterwards, so I just trusted him to return with loads of toys,” Al definitely earned the trust—he came back needing only a pot belly, white beard and red suit to look like Santa Claus!
As you all know by now, BOBBY DARIN had a tremendous hit with “If I Were a Carpenter” written by Timmy Hardin, long-time pal of the Spoonful, Byrds and Village-Strip folk in general. All his songs are just as great—his album “Tim Hardin I” is a magnificent blend of folk, blues, jazz and strings—the softest, warmest rock ’n’ roll you’d ever want to hear.
HERMAN or Peter Noone, as he was registered, spent several days in our very sunny city. He just lazed around town, taking in the sun and very possibly discussing “things” with movie and TV producers.
FANG is sporting a very out-of-sight jacket—it’s military and looks like it’s straight out of World War I. “You’ll never guess where I picked it up!” he warned me. A few hours later, I gave up and he gave in. “Off the street!” Now that’s a real bargain. He also owns a real White Coast Guard shirt, with antique gold buttons that he found in a tiny shop in New Orleans. “Sewed ’em on myself!”
BYRD CHRIS HILLMAN dropped by to show me his brand new 1966 Volkswagen camper—complete with bed and refrigerator. “I took it up to Sequoia National Park for a few days,” he said. “This month I’m going down to Mexico in it, unless they make a fuss about Charlie.” That’s his dog—Chris won’t travel without him.
Shortly thereafter MICHAEL CLARKE PULLED UP (or should I say, “slammed on the brakes”) in his new baby—a white Porsche. “While Chris was trading his Porsche for a VW, I traded my VW for a Porsche!” He noted. Mike’s hair was so long for awhile that he tied it back a la Lindsay (now it’s Byrd-length again) and he periodically grows a mustache—“I can’t decide whether I want one or not,” he explained. “Just when it’s getting good, some friend will come up and start laughing at me!” Poor baby…
Don’t tell anyone, but a new restaurant on Sunset Blvd. is quickly turning into a pop-star hang-out. One evening, I went there in all innocence, and ended up trying to eat for two hours—in between every bite, another group member came over to chat! How’d you like to munch a hamburger right next to MIKE CLARKE, GENE CLARK, TURTLES MARK VOLMAN and CHIP DOUGLAS, MONKEE DAVY JONES, LEAF ROBERT LEE REINER, and the MOTHERS OF INVENTION?
Who are the Mothers of Invention? Five freaky and I do mean FREAKY Strip-ers who do a hilarious job of satirizing America and its music and its teenagers, plus doing a bit of inventive music work themselves. Leader Frank Zappa, with coal black long Dylan-type hair and Engineer Bill outfits (only in large flowered material), is actually a very interesting, humorous and articulate young man once you’re used to the wild garb.
NOEL HARRISON is planning to record with Brian Stone and Charlie Greene of Sonny and Cher and Bob Lind fame (and Soon to be of “Jackie deShannon, Buffalo Springfield and Daily Flash fame”). Noel says, “It will probably be a Bob Lind composition. I have a great deal of respect for his writing. He ranks up at the top of the list with Lennon-McCartney and Dylan.”
The Blues band that everyone is raving about—PAUL BUTTERFIELD’S—played at the Monterey and Coast Jazz Festivals last month. Some of the true-blue jazz buffs were immediately converted to their rocking blues; others didn’t accept it. The young people there were delighted, of course! In October, they flew across to England to tour with ERIC BURDON AND THE ANIMALS, GEORGIE FAME and CHRIS FARLOWE.
The COUNT FIVE, of “Psychotic Reaction” are managed by one of their fathers, who’s actually a real estate agent! Though their first single “Nowadays Clancy Can’t Even Sing” didn’t take off nationally, the BUFFALO SPRINGFIELD haven’t even winced—their local popularity is zooming and they have a new album and single “Sit Down I Think I Love You.” Both are a gas and so are they—five of the sweetest, most charming boys on the West Coast.
Speaking of the Stones…
Which is where we’ll pick up next month!