Friday, October 03, 2008

Rose Garden - Rose Garden (1968)

Κατακλυσμός, υγρασία, ατέλειωτο πήξιμο και καθόλου μα καθόλου ελεύθερος χρόνος. Έφυγα για σχολείο.Καλημέρα σε όλους μας.


Personnel:
BRUCE BOWDIN drms A
BILL FLEMING bs, vcls A
JAMES GROSHONG gtr, vcls A
JOHN NOREEN ld gtr, vcls A
DIANA DE ROSE gtr, vcls A

ALBUM:
1(A) ROSE GARDEN (Atco SD33-255) 1968 176

45s:
1 Next Plane To London/Flower Town (Atco 6510) 1967 17
2 Here's Today/If My World Falls Through (Atco 6564) 1968

A lightweight pop outfit. Four members came from California, one West Virginia, and the band were based in the Los Angeles area. Their best known song Next Plane To London, with Diana De Rose on lead vocal made No. 17 in the U.S. charts. It was written by Kenny Gist Jnr. (aka Kenny O'Dell).
The album, which is certainly not psychedelic although I've seen it described as such, contains a cover of Bob Dylan's She Belongs To Me and two nice Gene Clark compositions Till Today and Long Time. One of its better cuts is February Sunshine, a bright'n'breezy piece of flower-pop, which had been a minor hit for The Giant Sunflower. Their second 45 was non-LP.
The Rose Garden's roots were in a teen act formed by Bruce Bowdin, John Noreen and Jim Groshong in around '64. They chose an "anglophile" name, The Blokes, to reflect their repertoire of Beatles covers and by 1965 had recruited 15 year old Bill Fleming on bass. Bill remembers: "The guys had been heavily influenced by the Byrds about this time. We literally had every Byrds tune from their first three albums in our repertoire. John was an accomplished 12-string guitar player."
Sometime in late ' 66 or early ' 67 Jim Groshong met Diana De Rose, in Hollywood and she asked him to join the band that she was in at the time. Instead, Diana ended up joining The Blokes. Bill: "With her came a fellow named David Hanson who fancied himself as a manager. He got us a lot of non-paying gigs in Hollywood and eventually through him we met Kim Fowley. We hung out at his place, but none of us ever lived there that I was aware of. The guys still lived at home with their parents. It is possible that Diana may have stayed there for brief periods of time."
"Dunhill Records, who I think was run by Lou Adler at the time, had recorded February Sunshine with a band called Giant Sunflower - Everything was flower power at that time - but the band was not under contract. When the song started to climb they need a band to go with it, so we became Giant Sunflower, but that only lasted for about a month. We felt that we would probably get sued and really preferred to make it on our own, so we left that arrangement."
"Through David the manager we then met Charles Greene and Brian Stone. They had "discovered" Sonny & Cher and had produced some early songs for Buffalo Springfield. Their promotional man was Pat Pipolo, and Kenny Gist, Jr. (Kenny O'Dell) was a relative of his - that's how we got to record Next Plane To London."
With Next Plane To London riding high in the charts, Rose Garden began the promotional circuit... They had aleady played many of the local clubs such as Gazzarri's on the Strip (with The First Edition that later sent Kenny Rogers on his way to fame), Bito Lito's, The Cheetah (with Eric Burdon) - described by Bill as "a weird truly psychedelic place that was on a pier on Santa Monica Beach".
"We did most of the teen TV shows: American Bandstand was the only national show, but there were many local and syndicated shows: 9th Street West (with Canned Heat), Groovy, and The Woody Woodbury Show (with Bobby Vee). These were all Los Angeles shows, and usually local shows in many of the towns where we toured."
"We were booked on many package tours and played several dates with Tommy James and The Shondells, Neil Diamond, The Box Tops, The Association, Chuck Berry, Little Richard, Glen Campbell, Ohio Express, Billy Joe Royal, Jay and The Techniques, Canned Heat, and Stone Poneys at various times. New Year's Eve 1967 in Fort Worth was particularly memorable with both Chuck Berry and Little Richard being on the same bill. Most of these tours went through the South, Southeast and Midwest states, probably because our agent was based in Texas..."
When the second single didn't make it, and with friction between Diana and the other band members reaching critical mass, the band broke up in late ' 68. They later reformed in 1969 without Diana and Bruce (he had married and moved to Texas), with Bill Fleming's brother Ed joining as drummer. But after a few local gigs they split for good.
John Noreen went on to be a respected studio musician in Nashville, playing steel guitar for virtually everybody there. He also toured with Highway 101 (a country act) in the eighties, was a member of John Davidson's nightclub band in the seventies, and was in a band called Rotondi. Bruce Bowdin settled in Texas. Jim Groshong played solo in small clubs in Southern California and Bill Fleming has been a Police Officer in the Los Angeles area (NOT LAPD!) since 1973.
Bill: "We were approached about a big sixties revival three day festival to be held in Southern California about ten years ago. Bruce was in Texas, but agreed to participate; Jim, John and I got together, but then John had a commitment to finish a tour with Highway 101. Jim and I thought that John's 12 string was too important to our sound, so that ended that."
(Vernon Joynson w/thanks to Bill Fleming)

Tracks:
1.Next Plane To London
2.I'm Only Second
3.February Sunshine
4.Coins Of Fun
5.Rider
6.She Belongs To Me
7.Flower Tone
8.Till Today
9.Look What You've Done
10.Long Time
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3 comments:

Rochacrimson said...

Excellent!
Many thanks Spaniolos ;-)

Psicodelia pura said...

Thanks!

cgm said...

Great post again. Likeable LA pop - obviuosly Byrds-influenced, but also the influence of the Mamas and the Papas was obvously greater than anyone thought, as there seem to be a multitude of these albums waiting for re-discovery - thanks for letting this one see the light of day !