At the Cumberland Conservatory in Maryland it was summer 1969 and the students were doing what all twenty-one-year-old hormone-flooded male musicians did: bitch and moan that they were better than those rock musicians on tour. The pop guys thought glissando was an Italian word for vagina. The country singers thought folk was a verb. Doo-Wop used funk as that verb’s past participle.
It was the era of protests, the Summer of Love, Woodstock and the Viet Nam War. Pre-recorded cassettes had been available for three years, the first transistorized drum machine could be carried by a single person and didn’t need its own room, and the apex of music recording technology had been reached: The eight-track. Everybody smoked, the drinking age was in flux, the Stonewall Rebellion was still a novelty, and live concerts were all the rage. For some, sex had become a team sport and AIDS still hadn’t been discovered.
Into that environment a bunch of music performance majors launched themselves as a garage band and played gigs basically for gas money. They got a contract with a record label that turned out to be a distributor, set up a summer of Love, Woodstock and the Viet Nam War. Pre-recorded cassettes had been available ummer tour on the fly, wrote some original music and ignored every convention in popular music, not to mention never did develop business sense. Did You Ever See A Leg Grow? was good, it was fun, it was dead after fourteen months.
Over the coming months I’ll be showing sneak peeks at their story in the blog, sharing the art work and seeking input for other stories and books of interest to early Baby Boomers. It’s gonna be a blast.