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The Seeds

The Seeds

Regarded as one of the earliest punk bands The Seeds were a prolific Los Angeles band during the rise of Psychedelia. The group was first headlined by ex Electra-Fires / Soul Rockers singer Sky Saxon who recorded during the pre-Beatle days under the name Richie Marsh. The Seeds formed in 1964 when keyboardist Daryl Hooper and drummer Rick Andridge from the Four Sharps in Michigan moved to California replying to an add by Sky SaxonSaxon had already recruited a hot surf guitarist called Jan Savage from Jack & The Rippers and rhythm guitarist Jeremy Levine to complete the quintet, The Seeds officially formed in 1965 whose ‘debut performance was supporting an early formation of The Doors at the ‘Turkey Joint West’. The groups debut "Can't Seem to Make You Mine" was a regional Californian hit in 1965 (years later ‘Axe Bullet’ underarm TV jingle) The Seeds ’only national # 40 hit  in 1966,  the angst "Pushin' Too Hard" characterised Hooper’s ‘Wurlitzer’ sound while live sessions had Hooper also utilizing keyboard bass like latter day Ray Manzerak of the Doors.

During album sessions although Sky is credited for bass it was actually Harvey Sharpe from The Beau Jives that stood in. The Seeds were rampant and highly toxic with their scorching “Evil Hoodoo” and Hooper’s fab “Tripmaker”, all sensational alien encounters. The Seeds also appeared live in the soundtrack Psyche Out performing "Two Fingers Pointing to You" with actor Jack Nicholson on guitar alongside music by Strawberry Alarm Clock. The follow up single after the Psyche Out soundtrack was the trippy “The Wind Blows through Your Hair”. The Seeds also had a guest appearance on the sitcom The Mothers-In-Law and featured on the soundtrack- Riding the Bullet. Controversy arose when their single “Mr Farmer”, first song about marijuana was regionally banned, years later appearing in the soundtrack Almost Famous. Levine was the first to leave replacing Lee Freeman in Strawberry Alarm Clock in 1968. while Andridge was then replaced by ex Eliminators/ Glass drummer Carl Belknap.

The 1966 self titled debut and A Web of Sounds were riffing fearless boosted by "Mr. Farmer", and a re-release of "Can't Seem to Make You Mine" (1967) and "A Thousand Shadows" (1968). Notably slide guitarist Cooker John (aka Norman Desrosiers) from The Downchildren, later The Rain is credited on the sleeve to Web of Sound .The latter 1967 Future was largely a psychedelic conceptual album reeling through “Travel with Your Mind” and March of the Flower Children”while A Full Spoon of Seedy Blues had liner notes by Muddy Waters. In 1968 The Seeds launched their Raw and Alive covering the classic songs in a mean fashion plus a sassy new number called “Satisfy You”. By 1969 the band was renamed Sky Saxon & the Seeds with ex Yellow Payges guitarist Bob Norsoph & ex Good Guys drummer Don Boomer (later with Point Of Doom) replacing Savage & Andridge. Yet strangely the last Seeds 45 released by ‘GNP Crescendo’ was the Kim Fowley-produced “Falling off the Edge” / “Wild Blood” from Feb 1969. The Seeds disbanded in the early ‘70s and Saxon joined a Californian religious group, ‘The Source Family’ and often played with their band Ya Ho WA 13.  

Added: February 4th 2013
Reviewer: Shiloh Noone | See all reviews by Shiloh Noone

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The Seeds
Posted by Shiloh Noone on 2015-09-24 02:58:33
What an honour to have the Seeds drummer read my review and give us all those hidden facts , I am so tripped , all hail to Hippyland , you never know who is reading in this big wide creative world

The Seeds
Posted by Carl on 2013-04-09 01:29:51
I just read the article & was surprised to see that it was Bob Norsoph from the Yellow Payges who replaced Jan on guitar.  In 1966 or 1967 my band Glass (originally The Eliminators) was in a Battle of the Bands in Inglewood, CA which included the Yellow Payges.  I won't say who won, but I will say that The Eliminators/Glass never lost a Battle of the Bands.  I got a call from Richard France, whom I had known from my high school days, in 1967.  He had become The Seeds manager & invited me to go to a few of The Seeds recording sessions.  In early 1968, Rick decided to leave the band & just about that time Glass was sort of dissolving.  Richard, knowing that I could play all of The Seeds songs, arranged for me to have an audition.  Unfortunately. my time with The Seeds was short lived.  I had to leave The Seeds in late '68 to return to college (one of the few ways to avoid getting drafted).  A few months later, I went to visit Sky at his home in the Big Rock area of Malibu.  When I arrived, The Seeds were rehearsing.  I noticed they were a 5 piece band, using two guitarists.  I was introduced to the guitarist they had added.  All these years I couldn't recall his name, until I read this article.  Don Boomer, who had replaced me, was on drums.  I believe he was also recommended by Richard France.  When the rehearsal was over, Jan told me he was leaving the band for monetary reasons.  Their popularity had declined so dramatically from one year to the next.  Not long before I was recruited, they had played at The Hollywood Bowl, been on an episode of a TV series & were in a movie.  Now Jan was leaving because he was no longer making a good enough living.  I next saw Sky in the early 2000's at a couple of Seeds shows in Hollywood, & both Sky & Jan at a show in 2003.  I contacted Sky a year before his passing to say that I had run across what sounded like a fan recording of The Seeds Live at Melodyland in Anaheim in July 1968.  I was the drummer that night.  The Strawberry Alarm Clock was also on the bill.  Sky was very excited about having his recording studio spruce up the sound a bit & have it officially released on a CD.  Unfortunately, he passed away before that could happen.  I was one of just three from a multitude of drummers Sky had in his various bands over the years to perform with what was called "The Seeds" at his memorial at The EchoPlex in L.A.  Richard France & Don Boomer, neither of whom I had seen since 1968, were in the house.  Daryl, whom I also hadn't seen since that time, was on keyboards for a number of songs with the other drummers.  I sang back up vocals on Pushin' Too Hard with Billy Corgan of The Smashing Pumpkins & took over the drumming duties for Evil Hoodoo & the final song of the night, No Escape.  I met Karl Anderson, who owns the label Sky was on, Global Recording Artists.  He told me that he was going to release the Melodyland CD, as well as a DVD & CD of Sky's memorial.  Four years later, & nothing yet.  But I'll keep my fingers crossed.  Carl Belknap (Seeds drummer in 1968 & The Eliminators/Glass drummer from 1964 to 1968 & 1999 to 2012)

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