Archive for the ‘Gary Usher’ Category

The Third Rail

Wednesday, November 2nd, 2011

Listen: Run, Run, Run / The Third Rail

Never mind what the label copy indicates. This one’s less than two minutes long. I almost couldn’t believe my eyes when converting the vinyl to a file for the post. Memory never recalled ‘Run, Run, Run’ as being that short. Must be the tempo change / middle bridge breakdown, a flower power 101 production trick during ’67. Every respectful, as well, confused producer used that ace card to authenticate their psychedelic masterpieces. The passage certainly gave subliminal symphony dynamics to “Run, Run, Run’, even implying a longer playing time. Plus it comes only :45 in. Nowadays, the first chorus hook sometimes doesn’t even hint at existing before the :60 mark.

As a kid, the lyrical stock exchange mock up went completely over my head, and I bet it was not mine alone. That era required a song’s message be current and political. Not many years later, those of-the-moment lyrics bit everyone on the back, turning their punch lines into quick sell by dates, and now makes for historical place marking.

To be fair, ‘Run, Run, Run’ didn’t need lengthening. It’s the perfect gem exactly as it stands. You can really hear the profound influence guys like Gary Usher and especially Brian Wilson, even more precisely ‘Good Vibrations’, had on west coast bands, songs, arrangements and productions. The clean and colorful clarity of lysergic acid was ever present.

‘Run, Run, Run’ was yet another audio sugar lump journeying confidently down the summer of love conveyor belt. As mentioned in other posts, these records were everywhere that year. And every single one a keeper.


Friday, November 7th, 2008

Listen:  My World Fell Down / Sagittarius

Listen: My World Fell Down / Sagittarius MyWorldFellDown.mp3

Gary Usher was an early collaborator with Brian Wilson. One of them hugely influenced the other, not sure which, their work is so similar sounding. You might even say their sound was identical. Very much tied to the surf/hot rod California scene, he manufactured a bunch of bands in the genre: The Hondells being the biggest. In ‘67, the sound of LSD mixed with clean, west coast surf-pop trademarked his then current fictitious band: Sagittarius. This single was ever present during the summer of that year. Although it didn’t chart that high (#70), it warranted a full length that is really good. This is almost a blueprint of well produced, commercial drug pop.