Friday in Corporate Hell (Part 1)

It’s pay day Friday and I’m at the office trying to get some work done for a few hours until I can book out of here for home, some tacos and a wobbly pop or two to begin the long holiday weekend.  To keep the day resembling something “productive” and bearable, I am continuing on with the obscure psychedelia, this time the little known ‘Before the War‘  album by Bo Grumpus.

beforethewar

This is a long lost gem from 1968 by a little know, somewhat psychedelic group from Boston, MA, and released on Atco Records.

This album has a lot going for it – a sharp, rootsy almost jug band approach to folk-rock, honed at the Greenwich Village clubs they were playing, coupled with flashes of elegance in the production accorded by Felix Pappalardi.

The harmony vocals are sometimes very Byrds-ish indeed, but at others very Beatle-ish, as are the keyboards and other esoteric instruments provided by their George Martin equivalent, the classically-trained Pappalardi.  The production is also more sophisticated and glossy than anything the various homely McGuinn collectives ever laid down.

The overall result is a somewhat flowery yet economical brand of melodic, folk-based psychedelia, that manages to be electric, spacey, and trippy, all at once. The production here gave the group a somewhat more florid sound than their actual performances, but it also dressed up the songs beautifully – had it been heard by more people, ‘Before the War‘  might have been regarded as an East Coast rival to the Byrds’ ‘Notorious Byrd Brothers‘ – easily, an album at the tippy-top of my own Desert Island album list.  As it is, the album  completely tanked upon release and never sold, but the album was resurrected on CD nearly 40 years later and rekindled a decent interest among ‘Like WOW man!‘ aficionado’s.

It definitely deserves a listen (click HERE).

Thanks again, YouTube!

Oh, and that name?  Bo Grumpus was taken from a drawing of a fictional monster by Jolliver Arkansaw that Pappalardi’s wife had hung on their living-room wall.  Perhaps that’s why the record didn’t sell; a distinctive name, but one unlikely to be taken seriously even in those hippy-dippy days.

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About crazytigerrabbitman

I am a fat guy and always will be in the same way they say that “once an alcoholic; always an alcoholic”. Eventually I got upset about my poor health and ballooning body frame so I decided to change things for the better. Some people sign up for Weight Watchers, Jenny Craig, or whatever fad diet program it is that happens to be occupying the majority of air time on the boob tube. Other people prefer to run out and purchase the latest, fold away, piece of shit being hawked by some celebrity has-been. Me? I decided to take up triathlon. I had abused my body over the years with bacon cheeseburgers, pints of beer and double-dipped donuts, and the time had now come to abuse my body with physical exertion, perseverance and hard work instead; penitence in it's purest form. The time had come to kick my ass. I am Terry Nash and I am the “fat and the furious”.
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