Welcome to our “Psychedelic Lunch”series, where we find out how deep the rabbit hole really goes and explore music and musicians from the 60’s to today. Enjoy the trip!

Blind Faith was a Supergroup made up of Eric Clapton, Steve Winwood, Ginger Baker, and Ric Grech. They released just one album, which topped both the UK and US charts around the same time the group was breaking up.

Winwood wrote this and sang lead. Many critics noted that Blind Faith sounded a lot more like Winwood’s old band Traffic than Clapton’s Cream, which is what Clapton was going for.

Clapton played acoustic guitar on this track, which is something he rarely did. In his previous group, Cream, he played long, intense solos, something he wanted to get away from with Blind Faith.

The album was released in the UK with a cover photo of an 11-year-old girl named Mariora Goschen. The cover photo because as famous as the album itself, since it showed Goschen naked and holding a model spaceship (a different cover with a band photo was used in the US and for stores that wanted an alternative in the UK).

Bob Seidemann came up with the concept and took the photo, which represents humankind’s relationship with technology (this was when the mission to put a man on the moon was big news). The band wasn’t yet named, and when Seidemann took the photo, he called it “Blind Faith.” Clapton decided that should be the name of the band.

Clapton sometimes plays this at his concerts, with a member of his band singing. His bass player Nathan East would often sing it.

A common misconception is that Eric Clapton and Steve Winwood reunited at the Crossroads Guitar Festival, July 28, 2007, however, the first true live reunion occurred two months earlier at an event called Countryside Rocks at Highclere Castle, Hampshire, UK on May 19, 2007. Steve Winwood performed his set and Eric came on later as a guest. Together they played this song as well as “Watch Your Step,” “Presence of the Lord,” “Crossroads,” “Little Queen Of Spades,” “Had to Cry Today” and “Gimme Some Lovin’.”

The band House of Lords covered this on their 1990 album Sahara. Other artists to record it include Joe Cocker, Yvonne Elliman, Gilberto Gil and Widespread Panic.

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Welcome to our “Psychedelic Lunch”series, where we find out how deep the rabbit hole really goes and explore music and musicians from the 60’s to today. Enjoy the trip!

This song tells the story of the fictional Billie Joe McAllister, who kills himself by jumping off the Tallahatchie Bridge. There really is a Tallahatchie Bridge in Money, Mississippi, but Gentry made up the story.

The Tallahatchie Bridge, which spans the Tallahatchie River, collapsed in 1972, but was later rebuilt.

In this song, a family finds out about the death of Billie Joe and shares gossip about him at the dinner table along with their other mundane concerns. Bobbie Gentry explained: “The message of the song revolves around the nonchalant way the family talks about the suicide. The song is a study in unconscious cruelty.”

The message in the song would become even more relevant in the digital age when social networks and other tools made it easy to comment on newsworthy events. It quickly became clear that there were many folks who lacked empathy for suffering that didn’t directly affect them, and these people now had many forums to share their opinions.

Gentry was familiar with the Tallahatchie Bridge since she was born and raised in Mississippi, where she grew up in a home without electricity. She learned to sing in church and her family got her a piano to nurture her musical talents. At age 13, she moved with her mother to Palm Springs, California, and in the ensuing years performed locally, taking the stage name Bobbie Gentry (her birth name: Roberta Lee Streeter – she chose the name after seeing Ruby Gentry, a 1952 movie with Jennifer Jones and Charlton Heston).

After graduating high school, she studied at UCLA, and during this time signed a deal with the publishing company Larry Shayne Music, which sent a demo tape of her song “Mississippi Delta” to Capitol Records, hoping one of the established artists on the label would record it. Kelly Gordon, a producer at the label, was impressed with the demo and wanted Gentry to record it herself, so he signed her to a deal as an artist and arranged for her to record it. Needing a flip side for the single, Gentry supplied another song she wrote with a Delta feel: “Ode To Billie Joe.” Capitol heard more hit potential in that song, so they released the single with “Ode” as the A-side and “Mississippi Delta” as the flip. Released on July 10, 1967, the song went to #1 in the US on August 26, where it stayed for four weeks, becoming one of the most enduring hits of the era.

When Record Mirror asked Gentry in 1967 what was thrown from the bridge at the end of this song, she replied: “It’s entirely a matter of interpretation as from each individual’s viewpoint. But I’ve hoped to get across the basic indifference, the casualness, of people in moments of tragedy. Something terrible has happened, but it’s ‘pass the black-eyed peas’, or ‘y’all remember to wipe your feet.'”

A movie with the title spelled Ode to Billy Joe was released in 1976. The film was based on this song, with a fictionalized Gentry (named “Bobbie Lee Hartley”) played by Glynnis O’Connor. Gentry was not in the film, but re-recorded “Ode To Billie Joe” for the soundtrack. This turned out to be some of Gentry’s last high-profile work, as she disappeared from the public eye soon after.

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A few years ago, I came across the term ‘Outsider Xian Folk’ on some of the prevalent blogs of the time, which led to a rich vein of obscure, unheard-by-anyone ore. Bob Desper’s “New Sounds” is one of the best, from that batch. The music is rich, unadorned folk – nimble acoustic guitars and a lone voice. One gets the feeling this would be championed to the heavens, if Desper hadn’t name-checked the Son Of Man. The barest whiff of sacred incense is enough to scare off the casual sub-cultural listener. Which is too bad, as this is gorgeous stuff. A direct transmission from the dead of night. Desper makes us wonder, for how many Nick Drakes there are out there, how many bright lights remain unearthed? Desper reminds us to never stop listening, never stop digging, never stop searching for brilliance, no matter what their cosmology.

Accidentally blinded at adolescence, the Portland-based Bob Desper released just one record– in 1974, and limited to a 500-copy pressing on a local Christian imprint– before fading into the woodwork, leaving only this tiny morsel of music behind for anyone to find and follow back to its source. Which, inevitably, someone at Discourage Records belatedly did, discovering in the process that Desper is alive and relatively well at age 60, and that this modest forgotten record floats from the past to the present with an undeniable insistence, pulling attention to itself until you can’t pay attention to anything else.

Indeed, New Sounds is a classic lost record, though whether it counts as a lost classic is pretty relative, considering that even folk heavy hitters Nick Drake or Bert Jansch were once tagged as totally obscure by all but the most ardent followers of the form. New Sounds isn’t the sort of record that would appeal to casual toe-dippers, anyway. Rather, it’s the kind of recording, like Gary Higgins’ similarly recently unearthed Red Hash, pretty much designed to be lost and rediscovered decades later. It benefits from the mystery, and even if Desper himself (sadly no longer able to play guitar, thanks to a recent injury) has been found, it’s almost better to listen to the record imagining Desper was lost as well.

It’s not that much of a stretch, as Desper already sounds pretty lost circa-1974 singing songs such as “Lonely Man”, “Liberty”, “Don’t You Cry for Me”, and “Time Is Almost Over”. With their quiet mix of strumming and finger picking paired with mournful, reverb-laden vocals, tracks such as these are private and personal, as if Desper recorded them addressing his reflection in a mirror he could no longer see. They’re certainly a far cry from the lusher “Dry Up Those Tears” and “The World Is Crying Out for Love”, Desper’s formative recordings, originally released as a 7″ and included as bonus tracks to this reissue.

It’s on those two early songs that we can hear the link not just to other forgotten folkies but to such haunted troubadours as Big Star’s Chris Bell, similarly ambitious writers who in the end may as well have been recording songs strictly for themselves. That Desper, too, has finally found his way out from the dustbin will impact the world only a bit more than New Sounds did 36 years ago, but on any given night when you may feel just a bit like Desper did the day this album was recorded (reportedly in just a single take), it’s the kind of record that can pull you out of your mood by drawing you wholly into his.

Bob Desper “New Sounds” (1974)

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One of THE greatest guitar heavy Psych records in the world, Dark Round the Edges was originally issued in an edition of around 50 copies, mostly for friends, family, and the odd record company. It’s reputation has since blossomed into something resembling a redwood, or perhaps an original Van Gogh. This album is the holy grail for collectors and lovers of fuzz-driven Hard Rock, and has been the most sought-after privately pressed LP on the planet. An album beloved by heads and cosmic couriers around the world for it’s great songwriting, terrific instrumental workouts, and mysterious vibe.

Could this be the greatest heavy psych private press of all time? While an original is likely to cost you more than $10,000 U.S (in the unlikely event of a copy being offered for sale), we’re lucky to be in a position where reissues are now plentiful and everyone has a chance to hear this wee gem. Great heavy psych tunes, with amazing wah wah guitar work, this comes across like a home counties version of the sort of thing coming out in the states by bands like Sir Lord Baltimore or Blue Cheer. An extremely appealing cottage industry artifact with a reputation that it fully deserves

Dark: Round The Edges (1972)

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The late 1960s was a watershed era for experimentation in popular music, where the emergence of commercially-available electronic equipment coupled with a milieu of social upheaval and gratuitous drug consumption gave rise to psychedelic music: that which aimed at enhancing or replicating hallucinogenic drug use by way of elaborate studio productions, Eastern instrumentation, freeform compositions, surrealistic imagery, and so forth. Though many names of the era—The Doors, Pink Floyd, The Zombies, Love, Jefferson Airplane—have since been ingrained within Western culture, a number of stellar artists have eluded mainstream success. There are many excellent psychedelic recordings of the late 60s that have undeservingly succumbed to obscurity.

Joyride – Drake Levin & the Friendsound (1969)

Appropriately described on the back-cover as a “musical free-for-all”, Joyride is an extended, improvisatory psychedelic jam session that thankfully refrains from excessive self-indulgence, instead creating a veritable aural collage of heavy acid-rock grooves and musique concrète-inspired studio trickery (overdubs, field recordings, and reverse playback are just a few elements employed). It’s no wonder that this album, firmly on the vanguard of rock experimentalism, failed to capture a wide audience.

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In the days when folk-rock first emerged from Sunset Strip nightclubs, Sonny & Cher were its King and Queen, with Top 10 hits like “I Got You Babe,” “Baby Don’t Go,” and “The Beat Goes On” pulsing from transistor radios across the country. With the duo as hot as they would ever be, Sonny Bono recorded and released Inner Views, his first — and only — solo album. As it was in 1967, it remains today a singular listening experience. The opening track, the nearly thirteen-minute long opus grande, “I Just Sit There,” is the perfect example of what listeners are in for.

Sonny briefly dropped Cher (and a lot of LSD by the sound of it) for this surprisingly hip psychedelic opus. There are sitars all over the place and the lengthier tracks (like “I Just Sit There”) have the slightly unhinged quality of Eric Burdon’s San Francisco narratives. It all fits together marvelously as an album and has moments that suggest a wiggier Lee Hazlewood. Why this potential cult favourite has remained largely unchampioned is a mystery.

Sonny Bono “Inner Views” November (1967)

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When Grace Slick wrote “White Rabbit” in late 1965, she never imagined the song would pave the way for psychedelic rock and inspire several generations of lead female rock singers, including Pink, who covers it in the film “Alice Through the Looking Glass.”

This was written by Jefferson Airplane frontwoman Grace Slick, who based the lyrics on Lewis Carroll’s 1865 children’s book Alice In Wonderland (officially Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland). Like many young musicians in San Francisco, Slick did a lot of drugs, and she saw a surfeit of drug references in Carroll’s book, including the pills, the smoking caterpillar, the mushroom, and lots of other images that are pretty trippy. She noticed that many children’s stories involve a substance of some kind that alters reality, and felt it was time to write a song about it.

Slick got the idea for this song after taking LSD and spending hours listening to the Miles Davis album Sketches Of Spain, especially the opening track, “Concierto de Aranjuez.” The Spanish beat she came up with was also influenced by Ravel’s “Bolero.”

Slick wrote this song and performed it when she was in a band called The Great Society with her first husband, Jerry Slick. The Great Society made inroads in the San Francisco music scene, but released just one single, “Somebody To Love” (written by their guitarist, Jerry’s brother Darby Slick), before calling it quits in 1966. Grace moved on to Jefferson Airplane, and the group recorded both “White Rabbit” and “Somebody To Love” for their first album with her, Surrealistic Pillow. The songs were the breakout hits for the band, with “Somebody To Love” reaching #5 US and “White Rabbit” following at #8.

The Great Society version of “White Rabbit” was released in 1968 on an album called Conspicuous Only In Its Absence (credited to “The Great Society With Grace Slick”), a live recording of a show at The Matrix in San Francisco. This version runs 6:07 and meanders through four minutes of Indian stylings before Slick’s vocals appear. The Airplane rendition is a tight 2:29 with a far more aggressive vocal from Slick.

Grace Slick was raised in a tony suburban household in Palo Alto, California, about 30 miles south of San Francisco. This being the 1950s, women were expected to conform to the norms and aspire to be housewives. Slick identified with Alice; moving to San Francisco and forming a rock band was her “rabbit hole” moment. When she joined Jefferson Airplane, that was another journey down the rabbit hole.

The vocals don’t come in until 28 seconds into this song, but once they do, they don’t abate until the song is finished – there is no guitar solo or other break. This put the focus for those two minutes squarely on Slick, who developed very deliberate stage movements designed to keep her on her feet because she was rather clumsy. Any live improvisation came at the beginning of the song before she started singing.

Slick claimed to Q that the song was aimed not at the young but their parents. She said: “They’d read us all these stories where you’d take some kind of chemical and have a great adventure. Alice in Wonderland is blatant; she gets literally high, too big for the room, while the caterpillar sits on a psychedelic mushroom smoking opium. In the Wizard of Oz, they land in a field of opium poppies, wake up and see this Emerald City. Peter Pan Sprinkle some white dust-cocaine-on your head and you can fly.”

This was one of the defining songs of the 1967 “Summer Of Love.” As young Americans protested the Vietnam War and experimented with drugs, “White Rabbit” often played in the background.

The song begins in F-sharp minor, which Slick chose to suit her voice. The minor chords evoke a darkness and uncertainty as Alice finds herself in a strange world. In the “go ask Alice” part, it shifts to major chords to celebrate her courage and resourcefulness as she finds her way.

The Alice character appealed to Slick because she wasn’t the stereotypical damsel in distress. Alice follows her own path to satisfy her curiosity – even when things get sticky.

Did the band ever get sick of this song? Grace Slick answered this question in a 1976 interview with Melody Maker when she replied: “I can play around with a song on stage without ruining it. We stopped doing ‘White Rabbit’ for a couple of years because we were getting bored with it. I like it again and we included it last year ’cause it was the year of the rabbit.”

The words “white rabbit” never show up in the lyric, but are alluded to in the lines:

And if you go chasing rabbits
And you know you’re going to fall

In Alice In Wonderland, the first chapter is “Down the Rabbit-Hole.” On the first page, the White Rabbit appears, leading Alice on her adventure. In 1971, Led Zeppelin released “Black Dog,” another song with a color-animal title that doesn’t appear in the lyric.

The Airplane were frequently found giving free concerts around the Haight-Ashbury area of San Francisco. They shared a large house with several musicians during the psychedelic ’60s, often applying for and receiving parade permits to walk the streets. Grace Slick was always a radical thinker, rejecting “daddy’s money.” She once appeared on The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour made up in blackface, causing a big controversy.

The line in this song, “go ask Alice,” provided the title of a 1971 book published by an anonymous author. The book was a “diary” of a young girl in the 1960s who had a drug addiction and died. Her name is never given, and the diary is suspected to be fictional despite being promoted as true. The anonymous author is likely Beatrice Sparks, the book’s editor.

According to Slick, there were always people who misinterpreted this song, despite her best efforts to get the lyrics across. In the book Anatomy of a Song, published in 2016, she said: “I always felt like a good-looking schoolteacher singing ‘White Rabbit.’ I’d sing the words slowly and precisely, so the people who needed to hear them wouldn’t miss the point. But they did. To this day, I don’t think most people realize the song was aimed at parents who drank and told their kids not to do drugs. I felt they were full of s–t, but to write a good song, you need a few more words than that.”

This capped off Jefferson Airplane’s set at Woodstock in 1969. They took the stage at 8 a.m. on the second day (or, depending how you look at it, third morning), following a performance by The Who that started at 5 a.m.

According to Grace Slick’s autobiography, the album name came when bandmate Marty Balin played the finished studio tapes to Jerry Garcia of The Grateful Dead, whose first reaction was, “Sounds like a surrealistic pillow.” Slick says that she loves the fact that the phrase Surrealistic Pillow “leaves the interpretation up to the beholder. Asleep or awake on the pillow? Dreaming? Making love? The adjective ‘Surrealistic’ leaves the picture wide open.”

This is used in the stage production The Blue Man Group, and appears on their 2003 album The Complex. Music is a big part of the show, which features three blue guys engaging the audience with a combination of comedy, percussion, and sloppy stunts. They got a lot of attention when they were used in ads for Intel.

Grace Slick wrote this song on an old upright piano she bought for $80. Some of the keys in the upper register were missing, but she didn’t use those anyway.

This song is heard multiple times in the movie The Game with Michael Douglas. It demonstrates the madness Douglas feels as he is being manipulated by forces he can’t control.

In the film Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, there is a scene where Dr. Gonzo is in a bathtub and this song is playing on a tape player. In an effort to end his life, Gonzo implores Raoul Duke to put the tape player in the tub “When White Rabbit peaks.” Instead of doing as instructed, Duke throws a grapefruit at Gonzo and unplugs the tape player.

This was used as the theme song for a 1973 movie called Go Ask Alice.

On November 7, 1967, the St. Louis radio station made a bold move, switching from an easy listening format to “real rock radio.” The first song they played after the switch was “White Rabbit,” a clear signal that they were aligning themselves with the counterculture. The song was apropos, as they abandoned their reliable conservative audience to go down the rabbit hole, bringing the movement to the midwest.

The format stuck. KSHE became a vital and transgressive voice, breaking new bands, sometimes letting music play for hours on end without interruption, and doing segments devoted entirely to women in rock (their “American Woman” series).

Recalling the song in a 2016 Wall Street Journalinterview, Slick said: “Looking back, I think ‘White Rabbit’ is a very good song… My only complaint is that the lyrics could have been stronger. If I had done it right, more people would have been annoyed.”

Jefferson Airplane: White Rabbit, Album: Surrealistic Pillow (1967)

Psychedelic Lunch

Welcome to our “Psychedelic Lunch”series, Holiday Edition where we find out how deep the rabbit hole really goes and explore music and musicians from the 60’s to today. Enjoy the trip!

It’s Christmas time, but we all know you can only play so much Bing Crosby and Mariah Carey before you’ll go mad. Thankfully, there are plenty of rocking Christmas gems out there that tend to fall under the radar.

Many rock icons have tried their hand at Christmastime staples, with mixed results. (Sometimes it is better to leave things to Crosby and the other classic crooners, after all.) But from Chuck Berry and Bob Dylan to Bruce Springsteen, guitar gods have successfully livened up the otherwise straight-laced proceedings, or at least given the tunes more personality. Meanwhile, other rockers have just gotten, well, a little weird with things, whether it’s peak Weird Al taking the piss, the Pretenders getting new wave, or Fall Out Boy shutting down any chance of mistletoe romance. All around, they prove that with the right imagination, you can inject a harder-rocking spirit into Christmas music—mall holiday playlists be damned.

The perfect holiday playlist shouldn’t all be upbeat or focused on love. You’ve got to make sure there’s songs for everyone, including those of us who are just plain Grinches about the whole holiday season. The perfect Christmas has some highs and lows, and a little bit in between.

There’s something about the Boss’s humble Americana that just suits Christmas. He has an amiable dude-celebrating-at-the-dive bar energy in this live cut, with the typically boisterous E Street Band matching him every step of the way.

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Welcome to our “Psychedelic Lunch”series, Holiday Edition where we find out how deep the rabbit hole really goes and explore music and musicians from the 60’s to today. Enjoy the trip!

James Brown, (born May 3, 1933, Barnwell, South Carolina, U.S.—died December 25, 2006, Atlanta, Georgia), American singer, songwriter, arranger, and dancer, who was one of the most important and influential entertainers in 20th-century popular music and whose remarkable achievements earned him the sobriquet“the Hardest-Working Man in Show Business.”

“Santa Claus Go Straight to the Ghetto” by James Brown. Brown wasn’t fibbing when he called his holiday collection Funky Christmas. But even with its silky groove and horn stabs, he brings a serious social awareness in this standout track’s lyrics that make it more than another winter hum-along.

Psychedelic Lunch

Welcome to our “Psychedelic Lunch”series, Holiday Edition where we find out how deep the rabbit hole really goes and explore music and musicians from the 60’s to today. Enjoy the trip!

Weezer was formed on Valentine’s Day 1992, but were not named yet. On the original tape, a slew of band names were all crammed on the label, a joke on how no one could decide on the name for the band yet. Some were old names, such as Fuzz (a band formed by Cuomo in 1991, featuring, among other members, Cuomo on vocals and guitar and Pat Wilson on drums), but there were also such notables as Meathead, Outhouse, Hummingbird, The Big Jones and This Niblet.

In 1993, after 16 months together playing shows and recording demos in Los Angeles, DGC records (Geffen) signed Weezer. The band moved to New York to record at the famed Electric Lady Studios under producer Ric Ocasek from The Cars. Ocasek produced their first and third albums.

Cuomo went into seclusion in 1998. He painted his walls black, disconnected his phone, and went months without speaking to anyone. Two years later, he came out of it and Weezer made their third album.

Their first, third and sixth albums are all called Weezer. They are known as The Blue Album, The Green Album and The Red Album, respectively.

The band members are unabashed geeks, whose leisure activities have included a good game of Dungeons & Dragons.

Cuomo has a thing for female newscasters. His childhood crushes include Connie Chung and Maria Bartiromo.

Welsh arrived from Juliana Hatfield’s band; Bell from a band called Carnival Art.

Cuomo’s right leg has always been shorter then his left – at least until an operation allowed the leg to grow longer. Cuomo had to wear a leg brace for a time, and an x-ray of his brace can be seen in the inside picture of the EP The Good Life‘s booklet.

After their first album, Cuomo enrolled at Harvard. He left still needing two semesters to graduate and finally finished his bachelor’s degree in English in 2006. Five days later, on his 36th birthday, he married Kyoko Ito.

Sharp started a side project called The Rentals in 1995. He went solo in 1999 and released CDs in 2002 and 2003. In 2002, he filed a lawsuit against the other members of the band over royalties from The Blue Album and Pinkerton.

Rivers Cuomo’s side project was called Homie and released one song in 1999. Brian Bell’s side project is called The Space Twins and has released two albums. Pat Wilson’s side project is called The Special Goodness.

Rick Rubin produced the band’s fifth album, Make Believe.

Weezer’s 2010 tour rider reveals that the band wants to be provided with a quiet dressing room for meditation. The rider also shows that the band cares about the environment as the guys do not want styrofoam anywhere. As for food, they ask for only vegetarian and organic dishes.

The album Pinkerton was conceived as a rock opera, similar to Tommy from The Who, and was going to be called Songs From The Black Hole. When Cuomo went to Harvard for a year in ’95-’96, he changed course. Some of the original songs were used on Pinkerton, others were used as B-sides, and the song “You Won’t Get With Me Tonight” was released on a compilation CD called Gimmie Skelter.

“Rebel Weezer Alliance” (=rwa=) is what Weezer’s official website started as in 1995. It was a fan site.

The “RCB” was a members-only Weezer fan message board notorious for all kinds of shenanigans from 2002-2004, which earned it a rather nasty reputation, sometimes for good reason. It got its start as a board that Cuomo sometimes posted on in 2002. The board turned into The Really Cool Board, then the Really Cool Baseball board, shunning all activity unless it was about baseball. In mid-2005 it blinked out of existence. However, some former RCBers started a replacement board, the “Really Really Cool Board.”

“Weezer” was Cuomo’s asthmatic childhood nickname.

Cuomo has had some articles published. His first two were for Details magazine. “Life In The Fast Lane” was published in the January 1995 issue (Stephen Dorff on the cover), and “Road Worriers,” published in the April 1995 issue (Trent Reznor on the cover). The third article appeared in the February 1995 copy of Chart, a small Canadian magazine. The issue had Eric’s Trip and Suede on the dual cover, and the article was one page with a promo photo from the Blue Album era.

The first 600,000 copies of the US version of Maladroit were individually numbered.

Cuomo: “Because I’m so terrible at expressing my feelings directly, and because no one really cares, and because anything real is impossible to talk about, I’ve come to rely on music more and more to express myself.”

Growing up in Connecticut, Cuomo was in a band called Avant Garde. After the band moved to LA, they changed their name to Zoom. When Zoom broke up in 1990, most members besides Cuomo returned to Connecticut. Around this time, Cuomo was starting to write his own music.

The band’s first show took place on Thursday, March 19, 1992, at Raji’s, a club on Hollywood Boulevard, later made famous from the photo on that Nirvana 7″. The show happened quite suddenly. The band somehow got offered an opening slot for Keanu Reeves’ band, Dogstar. Apparently there was no show booked that night at all, and when Dogstar asked to play, there was a need for some opening acts to try and beef up the draw earlier on in the night. Meanwhile the as-yet-unnamed Weezer was itching to start playing out and started calling around that day to try and book some gigs. The guy at Raji’s said, “How about tonight?” and so it was. They only needed to come up with a band name at this point, and a major brainstorming session ensued. In the end, Cuomo stuck with his “Weezer” suggestion, and no one could beat it. The band called everyone they knew and got 17 people to show up and watch.

Cuomo to Rolling Stone on the band’s clean lyrics: “I don’t like to use real swear words. Weezer came up at at time when Jane’s Addiction released “Nothing’s Shocking” – everyone was trying to be controversial. We looked back to rock & roll’s pre-drug days – to the clean images of the Beach boys – that felt, ironically, rebellious.”

Cuomo take a very scientific approach to lyrics, keeping a spreadsheet with thousands of lines with data on syllable counts that he can call up when needed.

Rivers Cuomo was raised in a Connecticut ashram run by the master yogi Satchidananda Saraswati. He recalled to Q magazine: “Yoga and meditation were part of school every day. We had chores like feeding the ponies and clearing the brush (shrubland) for construction.”

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