I think it was around 1971.
My musical interest had shifted from pop music with just guitars and drums to stuff that had more instruments and thus, hopefully, more flavours.
Having recently sampled the Moody Blues, ELP, and King Crimson, I continued looking for more.
One day, I was at the Miracle Mart store at Upper James and Mohawk, snooping through the bargain bin when I came across this album.
Checking through the list of musicians and their instruments, I noticed they had a mellotron.
I think, from a web source, that this was printed on the back,
Gary Green - electric guitar (tracks 1, 3, 4, 5, 8), percussion
Kerry Minnear - piano (tracks 1-5, 7, 8), Hammond organ (tracks 1-5, 7, 8), Minimoog (tracks 1, 3, 5, 8), electric piano (tracks 2, 4, 8), Mellotron (tracks 2, 7, 8), Clavinet (track 1), harpsichord (track 4), regal (track 6), vibraphone (tracks 4, 8), cello (tracks 2, 6), percussion, lead vocals (tracks 1, 4 and 7), backing vocals
Derek Shulman - lead vocals (tracks 1-4, 8), alto saxophone (track 5)
Phil Shulman - trumpet (tracks 1, 2), tenor saxophone (tracks 4, 5), mellophone (track 7), lead vocals on tracks 1, 4, 6 and 8, backing vocals
Ray Shulman - bass guitar, violin (tracks 2, 5, 6), viola (track 6), electric violin (tracks 4, 8), acoustic guitar (track 6), percussion, backing vocals
John Weathers - drums (tracks 1-5, 7, 8), bongos (tracks 3, 8), varispeed cymbal (tracks 4, 8), xylophone (tracks 4, 6)
Something not mentioned in the list above is the "variable coinspin oscillator," if my mind isn't playing tricks on me.
Since mellotron was on the list, I conjectured that maybe this was going to be another King Crimson or ELP type of experience. It was in the bargain bin so I decided to gamble got it real cheap.
Took it home.
I used to love tearing the cellophane off of brand-new albums in those days. Didn't you?
The old man wasn't home from work yet, so instead of putting the record on the 1950s era hifi in my bedroom, I dared to play it on his prize stereo in the living room.
It was a risk. We weren't supposed to play with that system because my old man was afraid we would break it. Looking back, I now realize he had good reason.
Anyway, I started playing this record and, I have to admit, I was kind of disappointed. My first impression was that it sounded like something composed as circus music. And there was some kind of shit in there that sounded like something from 16th century England. Or whatever.
I don't know why I kept listening to it. Perhaps because I had started to believe that the really good stuff required more than just one listen.
Plus I was pretty heavily into LSD and pot in those days. When it comes to music, that really helps sometimes.
Before long, they were my favourite rock band.
As I got older, their sound became to harsh for me. I very rarely listen to them at all anymore, but this morning I decided to take a trip down memory lane.
I can still see why I liked this stuff.
When it comes to music, pot really helps sometimes.