Thursday, May 30, 2013

quicksilver messenger service

Quicksilver Messenger Service finally arrived with the bluesy folk rock and extended dueling guitar psychedelic jams of their eponymous debut.  The group originally formed in San Francisco as a vehicle for 'Get Together' composer Dino Valenti (Chet Powers); but he wasn't able to actually join the band for several years.  John Cipollina recalls:   "I was recommended to Dino, probably because I was the only guy playing an electric guitar, let alone lead, at the time...We talked about rehearsing one night and planned to rehearse the following night; but it never happened.  The next day Dino got busted."

Gary Duncan remembers:   “I was living in North Beach with Greg Elmore in the basement of a house owned by a lady named Chris Brooks. She had seen John Cippolina play somewhere and invited him over. His car broke down, so he stayed for a week. We started talking about putting a band together, but we didn't have a bass player. Cippolina said we have a bass player, but he's in jail. He actually plays violin, but we can teach him to play bass. That was how Quicksilver Messenger Service started.  Originally, we had Jimmy Murray also, another friend of John's. When he joined, I thought there was no reason for us to have three guitars, so we traded in my Stratocaster and Super Reverb for some amplifiers and I just sang. I still played guitar, but not onstage.  We hired a manager named Ron Polte, who came to my house one day when I was playing guitar and he said, damn, how come you're not playing guitar. You sound great. You play the blues. I said yeah, that's what I always play. So he bought me a guitar and shortly after that, Murray left the group--- right after Monterey Pop. From that point, we were a four-piece.  That old four-piece, we were the band. We had a groove. We had a good drummer and played solid grooves...Shortly after Murray left the band, we made our first record, which was difficult. We signed with Capitol and they didn't really know what to do with us because we played really loud. We didn't have a producer, as such. We had an 'executive' producer, to make sure we didn't go into the studio and waste a whole lot of money. The engineers didn't quite know how to handle our volume, so they boxed us all off in little sections and we played like we always played." 

'Quicksilver Messenger Service' was produced by Nick Gravenites, Harvey Brooks, and Pete Welding with John Cipollina on lead guitar; Gary Duncan on guitar and vocals; David Freiberg on bass, viola, and vocals; and Greg Elmore on drums.  The album peaked at number sixty-three on the US album chart.

'Quicksilver Messenger Service'
full album:

01. Pride Of Man (Hamilton Camp) -- 00:00
02. Light Your Windows (Gary Duncan, David Freiberg) --04:10 
03. Dino's Song (Dino Valenti) --06:50
04. Gold And Silver (Gary Duncan, S.Schuster) -- 10:01
05. Too Long (Ron Polte) --16.47
06. The Fool (Gary Duncan, David Freiberg) --19:50

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