Tuesday, 3 July 2012

The Blues Magoos – Psychedelic Resurrection


The Blues Magoos, as they exist today, are set to tour again, though there are no dates posted on their under-construction site, nor any idea of whether they would be touring outside of the States.

They were one of the first ‘psychedelic’ bands – perhaps as much because they used the word in the title of their 1966 debut album Psychedelic Lollipop – but they were also a garage/pop band rather than wholly lysergic, though some of the guitar and vocal experimentation was truly far-out, especially back then. Part of their lite-psyche persona comes from the sunshine-pop addition of the word ‘lollipop’ to ‘psychedelic’, as well as song titles like Life Is A Cher O’Bowlies [twee rather than irreverent].

But listen to the fuzz guitar and distorted organ on There’s A Chance We Can Make It, and the psychedelia is absolutely there with hippie bells a’janglin’. Listen also to Tobacco Road – the hard-core track on which all teen garage bands would cut their still-growing teeth – and especially its Vox Continental organ swirls and the rampaging extended guitar solo.

My introduction to them was in Germany in 1966 and I bought their great single [We Ain’t Got] Nothing Yet at the US Army Base PX. It has a stunning spiralling guitar that rises above a pulsating bass line, and the organ background sets a classic sixties sound. The B-side to this is the equally excellent Gotta Get Away where the far-outness is in the echoing/answering of the vocals Hey Hey Hey Hey Hey Hey Hey Hey Hey Hey Hey Hey Hey [yes, 13, and I counted as I sang along], which second time around leads into another rapid guitar solo.

Man, those were the days.


  1. Always beed a Blues Magoos fan. Saw them open with The Who and Herman' s Hermits in Madisin, Wiscinsin. They were the first act I ever saw use a strobe light, black light, and they has electric clothes! Their music was magical, and I couldn't get enough. Over the years I have gathered as much info as I could. I want to see a video of them performing in their electric suits, but have not found one yet. I am so glad to hear they might tour again.

  2. Good of you to stop by. Must have been amazing to see them live in those early days: what a line-up too! Didn't know they had electric suits. If you are writing from the States, I expect you are more likely to see them than me in England.