Host Keith Roth went “Groovy” for the Nov. 19, 2018, episode of “The Electric Ballroom,” his Sunday night rock ’n’ chat show on WRAT-FM 95.9. Keith appointed me his co-host for the night, and let me spin some groovy old songs like “White Room,” “Incense and Peppermints,” “2,000 Light Years From Home,” “Somebody to Love,” “If 6 Was 9,” “Fire,” “Hush,” “Time of the Season” and even bubblegum-y stuff like “Sugar, Sugar” and the TV themes for “The Monkees,” “The Partridge Family,” “The Banana Splits” and “H.R. Pufnstuf.” Me ’n’ Keith had a lot of laughs, especially when discussing how Witchipoo’s greatest wish was to get her hands on Jimmy’s magic flute. Audio excerpts are below.
SEGMENT 1: Topics include “hippie chicks” and how to pronounce “Appice” …
SEGMENT 2: Topics include harbingers of psychedelia and groovy movies …
SEGMENT 3: Topics include ’60s TV and Jimmy’s magic flute …
SEGMENT 4: Topics include Montery, Woodstock and Altamont …
Read the transcription
Following is an edited transcription of the Nov. 19, 2018, episode of “The Electric Ballroom.”
(“Come On, Get Happy” by the Partridge Family plays.)
KEITH: The Partridge Family, dare I say, in the Electric Ballroom. And I’m happy to be joined by my good buddy. It’s been a while. Mark Voger — how are ya, Mark Voger?
MARK: Hey, Keith Roth. It’s great to be back in the Ballroom, baby.
MARK: And this ain’t the first time you played the Partridge Family. One time when I was in the Ballroom, like, 15 years ago, we played “Point Me in the Direction of Albuquerque.”
KEITH: I do remember that. It’s good to see you. Many people know Mark. You wrote for the Asbury Park Press. You write that great column for The Star-Ledger, RETRO. I mean, we truly are like “brothers from others” as far as ’60s and ’70s culture and music. When we get together, we could go, probably, a solid 24 hours talkin’ about music, the passion and love we still have for it. Even as we’re getting older into our later 30s right now.
MARK: I’m in my late 40s right now.
MARK: Yeah, you’re my brother from another mother, mannn.
KEITH: I know you put out a book that came out on Wednesday (Nov. 15, 2017).
MARK: It came out on Wednesday, it’s called “Groovy: When Flower Power Bloomed in Pop Culture.” It’s a hardback, 192 pages in color from TwoMorrows Publishing. It’s a psychedelic experience. I built it — I designed it and wrote it — to try to actually put the reader in the late ’60s, and sort of give them the feel for how it started and how it crashed and burned.
KEITH: I mean, there’s no stone left unturned with anything that you do. I’m actually first seeing it now. What gave you the idea to say, “I’m gonna do a book on ’60s culture”?
MARK: I’ve always been intrigued by this period. I was 11 years old in 1969 when Woodstock happened, so I was old enough to be curious about it, but too young to take part.
KEITH: You just liked the naked ladies.
MARK: Well, that was the thing, When I was a kid, hippie chicks were really cute.
MARK: I was going through that painful adolescence and thinking about girls every waking moment. And hippie chicks had, like, hair parted in the middle, and vests and sandals, hip-hugger jeans …
KEITH: Beautiful headbands …
MARK: … yeah, beautiful headbands … they were braless. And I always noticed on the corny old TV shows that had hippies, or in groovy movies, that the hippie girls would always be laying open-mouthed kisses on random hippie dudes that just walk by. And I could not wait to get a little older, grow my hair long, and receive my first sloppy, open-mouthed kiss from a hippie chick.
KEITH: Did that ever happen?
MARK: (Resignedly) Nah, it never happened.
KEITH: Well, you got older. You grew your hair longer.
MARK: In fact, by the time I met the hippie chicks, they weren’t so cute anymore.
KEITH: Now it’s ’79 …
MARK: And I was a punk. I was a kid.
KEITH: You look at this book, and as you’re going through these pages, you feel like you’re there. It’s right in front of you. I know you did some great interviews in the book as well.
MARK: I talked to 100 people for the book, although I can’t really say “for” the book, because I’ve been compiling these interviews forever. I remember we shot the Vanilla Fudge guys right here at the WRAT during a Ballroom night. Those photos of Carmine Appice and Vinnie (Martell), we shot them right here. I tried to get it from the horse’s mouth. So I have a lot of testimonials. The Ten Years After guys’ stories about surviving Woodstock are a riot. They could never eat the whole time.
KEITH: Everything was dosed?
MARK: Everything was dosed, and there was a breakout of hepatitis, and they could not eat. When they finally got back to their hotel, they said, “Is there any place to eat?” And (the hotel staff) said, “There’s a diner up the street …” and the four of them just ran up to the diner and said, “Give me everything you’ve got!”
KEITH: Right now.
MARK: Yeah. A lot of funny stories.
KEITH: You talked to Alvin Lee?
MARK: I talked to Alvin Lee and Ric Lee, the drummer — no relation. Alvin Lee was hilarious. One of the things he said …
KEITH: By the way, I thought that the highlight of the Woodstock festival: “I’m Going Home.”
MARK: “I’m Going Home.” Absolutely. He said that when they first played — they opened with “Good Morning Little Schoolgirl” — it was right after the rainstorm, so there was a lot of humidity in the air. They went horribly out of tune. They had to actually stop the song and tune. He said (imitating Lee): “If that bit had made it in the movie, it would’ve been a different story, eh?” Just really funny guys.
KEITH: (Laughs) The book is “Groovy.” It’s available now. You can get it on Amazon …
MARK: Amazon.com, Target.com, Walmart.com, BarnesandNoble.com …
KEITH: You’re part of the corporation now, Mark.
MARK: I’m happy to be part of the Target family.
KEITH: Like I said, when it comes to you — always meticulous. As I’m looking through the book right now, it really captures the whole vibe of the ’60s, psychedelic culture and the TV shows, the album bands, all the great groovy movies. We’re going to discuss it a little bit more, but you came with a great playlist. You brought “Come On, Get Happy.” What do you wanna play right now?
MARK: Right now, I’d like to play what I think is the greatest psychedelic song in Top 40. It’s “White Room” by Cream. They played timpanis on this thing. Jack Bruce told me that for the most part, Cream would just play live in the studio, and then add stuff on top of it. But on “White Room,” the arrangement is ethereal. It makes you feel like you’re floating to heaven. I just love it. It always gives me pause when it comes on the radio, which it’s about to do.
KEITH: One question before we play it: Do you know what the song is about? There’s a lot of speculation.
MARK: Jack Bruce said, “You’d have to ask Pete Brown, the poet that was the lyricist for a lot of Cream’s songs. Jack said he was told that there was a white room, in the north of England. To me, the song sounds like the white room was a place to make a drug buy. It is an eternal question, because the lyrics are so crazy. “Black roof country, no gold pavement, tired starling.” It’s like: Are you high? Or did you spill all your lyrics on the ground, pick them up and read them in order?
(“White Room” plays, followed by commercials and station I.D.s)
(Commercials and station I.D.s, followed by “The Monkees Theme Song.”)
KEITH: The theme from “The Monkees” in the Electric Ballroom. Keith Roth hangin’ out with my good buddy Mark Voger, who released an unbelievable book this past week called “Groovy.” You’ll feel like you’re back in ‘60s culture.
MARK: That’s what I’m tryin’ to do. It covers the whole thing. It didn’t start with a “big bang.” It started kind of slowly — like, little things here and there. For one thing, the kaleidoscope came out in the 19th century. The term “groovy” was coined by jazz musicians in the 1920s. We stole so much from those guys.
KEITH: They really laid the foundation.
MARK: For rock ’n’ roll itself, really. LSD was born in the late ‘30s, 1938. So little things happened along the way. I always think that the moment when it began was when the Beatles stepped onto the tarmac when they landed at JFK (Airport) in February of ’64. They weren’t groovy yet. They weren’t wearing their “Sgt. Pepper” uniforms. But the takeaway for all of the square adults — standup comedians and columnists and broadcasters and parents — they were all saying, “They have long hair.” And of course, Keith, when you look at the Beatles’ hair in 1964, it’s like an inch over their ears. But that’s where it began.
KEITH: (Laughs) If one of those guys came to my house to visit one of my daughters, I’d be happy to see someone — not lookin’ like me — but lookin’ like the Beatles in ’64 when they landed at JFK. I think most parents would kind of fantasize about that.
MARK: Yeah. And of course, by the time you get to “Abbey Road,” John Lennon looks like Jesus.
KEITH: My favorite record, by the way.
MARK: Oh, that’s your favorite?
KEITH: I think, yeah.
MARK: Mine, weirdly is “Let It Be,” because that’s where I came in. Nobody picks “Let It Be.” Nobody.
KEITH: Love the album. One thing you capture in the book which is really cool are some of the groovy movies that came out back in the ‘60s.
MARK: Well, yeah, some obvious examples are “Yellow Submarine,” of course, which is extremely psychedelic. The Beatles needed a rest. They were trying to get their heads together. They wanted to study under the Maharishi Yogi. So they didn’t even voice their characters (in “Yellow Submarine”), which always disappointed me. “Easy Rider” is another one. I didn’t put any motorcycle gang movies in “Groovy,” because those have a lot of violence. I wanted to stick to a “peacenik” kind of thing. But “Easy Rider” — that’s a hippie movie. Those guys are not in a motorcycle gang, Peter Fonda and Dennis Hopper. They’re hippies on bikes.
KEITH: Exploring the country.
MARK: Yeah. There was that whole thing of, “Are you a hawk or are you a dove?” It captured that. Hopper used locals. He would always prefer to use locals who were non-actors, rather than local actors. And he got some really wild performances. Like the guy in the CAT cap who says, “They look like they’re gonna kiss each other.” And then the guy with the goiter on his neck who finally shoots them in the end. Sorry to spoil the movie.
KEITH: I think most “Ballroom” listeners have seen that. Karen Black is great in that, too.
MARK: Oh, yeah, Karen Black and Toni Basil.
KEITH: Oh, I forgot. “Oh, Mickey, You’re So Fine.”
MARK: “Oh, Mickey, You’re So Fine,” and she looks great in fishnets as a hooker.
KEITH: Absolutely. She looked good in the ’80s, by the way.
MARK: She looked fine in the ’80s. I was down with that. I would’ve torn that stuff up. And then movies like “Psych-Out,” “Wild in the Streets” …
KEITH: “Wild in the Streets — one of my favorite movies. That was a great soundtrack. Shelly Winters was in it. He (Christopher Jones) takes over the world. It’s one of the best revolutionary ’60s films, “Wild in the Streets.” Great soundtrack. “Blow Up” was great.
MARK: That was a very psychedelic movie.
KEITH: The Yardbirds scene.
MARK: Jeff Beck once told me they wanted The Who, but they had to settle for the Yardbirds. So they said, “We want you to break your instruments.” The Yardbirds didn’t usually do that, but there they were, smashing their instruments like Pete Townshend. It’s just a wild sequence. There’s so much great color and fashion in that movie. “Riot on Sunset Strip” is another great psychedelic movie. “Head” by the Monkees is incoherent and psychedelic.
KEITH: You mentioned “Performance,” “Wild in the Streets,” “Head.” The soundtracks that accompanied these films — I know it’s a buzz word – are iconic. Iconic. You had to have ‘em both.
MARK: And they are like time capsules of the period. And there’s even, like, corny ones. Bob Hope made a groovy movie — Bob Hope and Jackie Gleason. They had Professor Irwin Corey playing a parody of the Maharishi Yogi called the Baba Ziba. Just hilarious. They had a real group called the Comfortable Chair playing themselves. Just nutty stuff. And then Bob Hope in mutton-chop sideburns and a Nehru jacket in a hippie club saying (imitating Hope), “Oh, I thought that was a girl.”
KEITH: As you’re talking about this, you can see how this culture, the ‘60s and the psychedelic, is imbedded in you. So everybody pick up the book “Groovy.” It’s really awesome. You really feel like you’re back in the spirit of the ‘60s. Keith Roth hangin’ out with Mark Voger, who brought an unbelievable playlist. He played “White Room” before. Why don’t you pick the next one?
MARK: I’d like to play “Time of the Season” by the Zombies. It’s amazing because it came off their very last album, “Odessey and Oracle.” They actually broke up before the album came out. The album is a psychedelic masterpiece recorded at Abbey Road on some of the same equipment with some of the same engineers that were on “Sgt. Pepper.” And the weird thing, Keith, is that this song was an unlikely choice for a single. It’s one of those things where a DJ found it, and it got response, and it went out as a single. It was a huge hit in 1969, but the Zombies were dead. There was no band to tour behind this amazing song.
KEITH: So the record came out, and they didn’t get a chance to tour it.
MARK: No. Rod Argent says he was negotiating his contract for the band Argent. And then when “Time of the Season” was such a huge hit — it was No. 3 in ’69 — it helped him negotiate his contract. But it’s a great, great song, and it came out by accident almost.
KEITH: “Time of the Season.” Mark Voger, my co-host here in the Electric Ballroom.
(“Time of the Season” plays.)
(“Tra La La Song” by the Banana Splits plays)
KEITH: Infectious, to say the least. The “Banana Splits” theme. I could listen to that on a loop. Keith Roth with Mark Voger, my co-host in the Electric Ballroom. Released this book “Groovy.” Came out Wednesday. Really capturing the whole ‘60s psychedelic culture. As I’m perusing through the book for the first time — absolutely awesome. I feel like it’s 1967 by looking through these pages.
MARK: I’m so glad to hear it, Keith, ‘coz that was my aim. Of course, yeah, the “Banana Splits.” That show came on in ’68. When we were kids, we were all high on Hi C …
KEITH: Milk Duds …
MARK: … and cereal like Frosted Flakes. We were in an altered state of consciousness. There was no parental supervision. Our parents were sleeping it off.
KEITH: It was great. Great times.
MARK: We were just watching these shows and getting our brains twisted. Like, “The Banana Splits” and “H.R. Pufnstuf.” Crazy stuff.
KEITH: Well, one thing in the book that you talk about is ’60s TV.
MARK: Yeah. ’60s TV went through several phases. The first show that came on that I could say was kind of authentically groovy was probably “The Monkees.”
KEITH: Everybody wanted to live in the house with those guys.
MARK: Yeah. Well, Micky Dolenz told me that everybody assumed that they all still live in that house, which is hilarious. Come down the pole and just say, “Oh, hi, Davy.” That show was very madcap. They improvised a lot of it. They watched the Marx Brothers to prepare. They watched a lot of classic comedy.
KEITH: “Hard Day’s Night,” obviously.
MARK: Obviously “Hard Day’s Night.” It was a homage to, or ripoff of, “Hard Day’s Night.” And the weird thing is, there’s always the debate: Were the Monkees a real band? They weren’t at first, of course. Don Kirshner was cranking out their songs, factory style. But over the course of the two years, they actually became a band.
KEITH: The learned how to play. As a band.
MARK: Yeah. And Micky Dolenz had one of the greatest voices for Top 40 at the time. He’s just golden. And that’s just an accident. He was an actor.
KEITH: I mean, also some other great TV. “Batman” was unbelievable back then.
MARK: “Batman” was very colorful. The Batusi and everything …
KEITH: What a dance.
MARK: Yeah, it’s crazy when you watch it. It’s like: What? And then the show “Laugh-In” had psychedelic sensibility.
KEITH: Goldie Hawn?
MARK: Goldie Hawn or Chelsea Brown in a bikini with body paint, dancing to sort of square groovy music. Of course, it introduced Tiny Tim, who was the ultimate flower child of that period. He really was like that. He put it on a little, I talked to a lot of people who knew him. I met him twice. They said he was really like that. Yeah, he was crazy. And then “The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour.” They had The Who and Buffalo Springfield and Jefferson Airplane. They had their own mini-Woodstock. All these acts would come on their show. It (the comedy) got very political, and Tommy Smothers believes that once Richard Nixon was inaugurated — because they did so much anti-war humor — that Nixon had the show cancelled. He believes that with all his heart.
KEITH: He could be right (laughs).
MARK: And then later on, “The Brady Bunch” …
KEITH: I loved that, “The Brady Bunch.” “The Partridge Family” — was that ’70s?
MARK: “The Partridge Family” was ’70 to ’74.
KEITH: So ’70 kind of makes it into that loop, right?
MARK: Oh, yeah. I think that groovy culture lasted into ’72, even ’73. There were stragglers on the radio. There were a couple of little hits. The glory period was ’67 through ’70.
KEITH: Yeah. The “Summer of Love.” It was uncharted waters at that point. The people that were experiencing it. This is a great book. It’s “Groovy.” It’s available now. Get it on Amazon.com, Target.com, everywhere. I mean, the book is beautiful. I’ve been going through it since you’ve been down here. It really captures the whole ‘60s psychedelic movement. And Mark also came down with a great playlist, Electric Ballroom style. What do you wanna play next?
MARK: Well, Arthur Brown’s “Fire.” It’s just a crazy song. It is so “of its time.” I recommend to Ballroom listeners to find it on YouTube. He did one of the “Top of the Pops” or one of those shows.
KEITH: Carl Palmer?
MARK: Yeah. Well, Carl Palmer, my god. But he’s out of his mind, this guy. When you hear the song, you just think, “OK, a guy who looks like that and acts that crazy — that’s gotta be the guy who sings that song. “Fire.”
(“Fire” plays, followed by commercials and station I.D.s, and then the “H.R. Pufnstuf” theme.)
KEITH: “H.R. Pufnstuf.”
MARK: Who’s your friend when things get rough, baby.
KEITH: That’s it. Witchipoo.
MARK: Yeah, Witchipoo, which I always thought was kind of weird. Because Jimmy, played by Jack Wild, had a magic flute.
MARK: And that’s what Witchipoo wanted. She wanted his magic flute.
MARK: She’d do anything to get her hands on …
KEITH: … his magic flute (laughs). Keith Roth and my co-host Mark Voger. Good to see you. Good to catch up. We’re talkin’ about his awesome book that came out this past week, “Groovy,” inspired by ’60s psychedelic culture. You’ll feel like you’re reliving the ’60s through this great book.
KEITH: One thing I was checking out in the book – talking about some of the amazing festivals that are still immortalized 50-plus years after the fact: Woodstock and Monterey. I’m glad you captured that.
MARK: Oh, yeah. There were so many festivals in cities all over the United States, in Canada and in England. But I focused on the big three: Monterey, Woodstock and Altamont. Those are the ones we remember best, not least because these fantastic concert films came out that actually served as, almost, social documentaries. Monterey was the first.
KEITH: You see those performances of Otis (Redding) and (Jimi) Hendrix and Electric Flag, right? Just unbelievable.
MARK: And Ravi Shankar …
KEITH: Everything. The scene where Mama Cass (Elliott) was watching Janis (Joplin) perform, and she just looks at her friend with, “Oh, my god. I’ve never heard anything like this.”
MARK: I talked to Sam Andrew, who was a guitarist for Big Brother (and the Holding Company). He said that they actually didn’t film when Big Brother first played. They didn’t film it. And Big Brother killed. They claimed the stadium. And then (director) D.A. Pennybacker’s guys went to them and said, like, “You gotta play another set tomorrow, because we need to get this stuff on film.” But, yeah, I think Janis was singing “Ball and Chain,” and Mama Cass just said, “Wow.” Or you see Micky Dolenz saying “wow” at the end of Ravi Shankar. And the whole world went “wow” with Hendrix …
KEITH: “Wild Thing.”
MARK: “Wild Thing,” doing the bit with the lighter fluid.
KEITH: Apparently, he wanted to outdo Pete Townshend, right? That was his inspiration behind it?
MARK: Nobody could follow that, really.
KEITH: (Laughs) Nobody! Who would want to go on after that?
MARK: And the Association played that gig too, believe it or not.
KEITH: “Everyone knows it’s Windy.”
MARK: But they didn’t get in the movie for some reason.
KEITH: What was the other great Association hit?
MARK: Well, my favorite’s “Cherish.”
KEITH: “Cherish” is great. “Never My Love” …
MARK: “Never My Love” – that still makes me cry to this day. Because I’m an Irishman, and we cry at the drop of a hat. So that was ’67. In ’69, Woodstock happened. That was like the apex. It all came together. They called it “three days of peace and music,” but really, it was four days. It went into a fourth day.
KEITH: The Monday. Where Jimi played.
MARK: Jimi played. The Sha Na Na played, too.
KEITH: On the Monday? The Monday was Sha Na Na and Hendrix?
KEITH: Was that it for the Monday? Just those two?
MARK: I’m not sure. (Note: Johnny Winter went on at midnight on Monday morning, followed by Blood, Sweat and Tears; Crosby, Stills Nash & Young; the Paul Butterfield Blues Band; Sha Na Na; and Hendrix.) I know that “Jocko” (John Marcellino), the drummer for the Sha Na Na – I talked to him in “Groovy” – he says that Jimi Hendrix was off to the side, bopping to it. And I believe it, ‘coz Hendrix always played, like, Chuck Berry and old rock ‘n’ roll.
KEITH: He got it.
MARK: He was really into that stuff. He played that “Star Spangled Banner,” and the place looked like a refugee camp. Where there had been hundreds of thousands, there were just thousands, maybe.
KEITH: People who were smart enough to stick around for that last day— kind of the Woodstock hangover, and you get breakfast in bed with Jimi Hendrix playing. I mean, it must have been incredible.
MARK: And I think his “Star-Spangled Banner” is, like, the linchpin of the entire psychedelic period. And then, of course, the nadir was Altamont, the infamous Altamont free concert.
KEITH: (David) Johansen was there, by the way.
MARK: Davy Jo was there? Wow.
KEITH: He was at Altamont, yeah. He said after the show was over, he was leaving and he saw a van, a classic VW bus, and he said, “Hey, can I get a ride?” He was staying in San Francisco. Wound up gettin’ a ride. He said he didn’t know anything weird went down (laughs). He said he got back to his hotel, he was ordering some food, and on TV — “I didn’t even see any of this stuff.” But he was actually there.
MARK: I talked to two guys in the Stones who played the gig – Mick Taylor and Bill Wyman. Bill Wyman was saying – if you look at the movie “Gimme Shelter,” it looks like 90 people get into one helicopter. It was just overcrowded. And Bill Wyman says the helicopter went up sideways. It was so dangerous.
MARK: Yeah. And then Mick Taylor said, if you listen to that show, the Stones are playing in a much faster tempo than usual. Because they wanted to do the show. They saw that there was trouble out there. They realized that if they stopped playing, it would have escalated into a full-scale riot. So they were determined to finish the show. But they were playing a lot faster.
KEITH: They wanted to kind of get it over with as well. They wanted to get out of there.
MARK: Yeah. And I always think that was the symbolic end of the Aquarian Age. Obviously, when 18-year-old Meredith Hunter was stabbed in front of the stage while the Stones were playing “Under My Thumb” by a Hells Angel, and it was captured on film, as we all know. It’s the world’s most horrible “snuff” film.
KEITH: Didn’t he pull out a gun, though?
MARK: Oh, yeah. Oh, he’s not blameless. The Angels weren’t blameless, either. I never could get Marty Balin on the phone. He’s the guy who jumped off the stage and got into it with the Angels and got punched and knocked out for a few moments. Paul Kantner said Marty Balin was a scrappy guy. His icon was Jimmy Cagney. But even Paul Kantner was doing some risky stuff. He took a mic and said, “I’d like to thank the Angels for punching my lead singer and knocking him out for a bit.” He was always a smart aleck. But that was the nadir.
KEITH: The book is “Groovy.” It came out this week. You’ll feel like you’re reliving the ‘60s. Inspired by ‘60s psychedelic culture. Great interviews in there. Talkin’ about ‘60s TV, some of the album bands, the groovy movies of the ‘60s, the psychedelic art. We were talking about the festivals. How did this all end?
MARK: It was not a sustainable lifestyle. There were four icons of ‘60s rock who died at the same age, 27, within a two-year period to the day.
KEITH: I mean, think about some of the deaths: Brian Jones …
MARK: Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix, Jim Morrison. Two-year period to the day, and all at the same age. So it was not a sustainable lifestyle. People were starting to cut their hair, put on “straight” clothes and enter the job force.
KEITH: Became “yuppies” in the ‘80s and made a lot of money.
MARK: It was fun while it lasted.
KEITH: This book just coming out, “Groovy,” which you can get on Amazon.com, all the major outlets, Barnes & Noble. Maybe you’ll tackle the decade to follow, the ‘70s. I’m sure you would do something equally grand. That’s something that you were actually really were imbedded in at that point.
MARK: Yeah. I could set it at the Philadelphia Spectrum.
KEITH: Set it at the Spectrum. Come on, give us a …
MARK: Oh, the Spectrum. It was so different from the ‘60s.
KEITH: He lived in Eagles country, people.
MARK: Yeah, I’m a South Jersey boy. So there were no babies born, no murders, no mud, no “freakout tents.”
KEITH: Cars that blew up.
MARK: Yeah. They searched you on your way in for weapons or dope. One night, it’d be a Flyers game. The next night, it would be Blue Oyster Cult.
KEITH: (Laughs) Well, I’m really glad I got a chance to see you. People, seriously, you’re gonna love this book, “Groovy.” It just came out this past Wednesday. Great interviews. If you’re an old hippie, or you’re really infatuated with that timeline, which is such an iconic part of American culture, it’s available now: “Groovy.” You’ve been helping me out, bringing some great music tonight as well. You’ve gotta pick the song to close you out here.
MARK: Well, I was thinking, Deep Purple …
KEITH: There you go. When I think of Deep Purple and I think of Deep Purple fans, I think of the Voger brothers. I think of your brother, Brian, as well.
MARK: Brian, yeah, he’s crazy for the Purps. They weren’t a psychedelic band, but those first three albums that they did with Rod Evans and Nic Simper on vocals and bass, they are definitely “of their time.” The Purple sound matured when Ian Gillan and Roger Glover came in, but I love those first three albums. Their first big hit was “Hush.” “Hush” sounds definitely psychedelic. It definitely sounds super-‘60s. Even the production is a little tinny, the way some productions were in the ‘60s, which just adds to its charm.
KEITH: They didn’t think it was going to be a hit, right? ‘Coz it’s an old cover …
MARK: There were a lot of covers. You know what I think Purple was doing? And I didn’t ask the guys this question. But just recently, when I was listening to everything again, I think Purple was kind of emulating Vanilla Fudge.
MARK: Because Vanilla Fudge was doing all these really heavy covers of, like, “Keep Me Hangin’ On”? So when you get to those three albums, they (Deep Purple) do “Help,” but they take the song apart and put it back together …
KEITH: Neil Diamond. “Kentucky Woman.”
MARK: Yeah, “Kentucky Woman,” which is great. So I think they were really leaning heavy on the covers then, and really doing the Vanilla Fudge thing of: strong on the Hammond and just really heavy.
KEITH: Mark Voger, my co-host here in the Electric Ballroom. Once again, pick up “Groovy.” We’re gonna wrap it up with “Hush” from Deep Purple. Thanks, Mark.