Saturday, March 21, 2009

Help Yourself - Strange Affair (1972)

HELP YOURSELF were formed in 1970 near London, and initially consisted of guitarist Richard Treece, drummer Dave Charles, bassist Ken Whaley and guitarist/keyboardist/vocalist Malcolm Morley. The band recorded their first studio album in 1971 and would release three others before disbanding in late 1973, their career marked by financial and personal issues. Bassist Whaley briefly left the band to help form DUCKS DELUXE and was replaced by guitarist Ernie Graham.
For a time in the early seventies the band roomed at the Grange (home of Led Zeppelin’s Symbols record) with fellow British act Brinsley Schwarz, where they also recorded their second album. They also performed on the All Good Clean Fun tour in 1972 along with MAN and other British acts.
Amid a number of lineup changes Ken Whaley returned to the band in 1973, and his return was marked by the band’s fourth and final seventies release ‘The Return of Ken Whaley’, after which the group quickly disintegrated, but not before recording several tracks which would become the 2004-issued compilation known simply as ‘5’.Morley and Whaley would join MAN, a band to which HELP YOURSELF had been associated for most of their existence. Morley would also do a stint with BEES MAKE HONEY.
Treece recorded with ICEBERG as well as forming the short-lived HEALY TREECE BAND in the late seventies with GRATEFUL DEAD drummer Bill Kreutzmann and soundman Dan Healy. He would also record with MAN, as well as THE FLYING ACES, THE ARCHERS, THE NEUTRONS, SPLENDID HUMANS, and THE TYLA GANG before joining GREEN RAY in 1988. HELP YOURSELF’s rather brief and rocky career left us a collection of decidedly American-sounding folksy, blues and psychedelic recordings.
Most of the band members would pursue full-time music careers, and while none managed to find significant commercial success, their discography of Helps albums are widely admired by progressive and psych fans the world over."We were also incredibly stoned all the time."
- Richard Treece
1 Strange Affair
2 Brown Lady
3 Movie Star
4 Deanna Call and Scotty
5. Heaven Row
6 Experpts from "The All Electric Fur Trapper"
7 Many Ways of Meeting


Anonymous said...

Richard Treece from Help Yourself was not the same person in the Healey Treece band. This misinformation has been repeated all over the net. Ricky has played in the US psych band, Donovan's Brain along with Ken Whaley and Malcolm Morley. R Sanchez from Donovan's Brain has worked with Richard and Ken's band Green Ray and performed with them at the London Terrastock. Richard returned the favor and played with Donovan's Brain at the Seattle Terrastock. go to for more information and some live recordings and out takes. - guy stevens

All five Helps albums are simply amazing. Two more live recordings can be found on the Christmas At The Patti, Man Christmas lp and some BBC session material can be found on a Terrascope cd.

eda said...