The Art Collection/Powder – Demo sessions – 1967 – Distortions Records (track 3) – Gordon Skene Sound Collection (track 1 and 2)
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One of the offshoots to the first British Invasion of the early 1960s was the massive amount of copying and emulating going on with startup bands in just about every part of the world. Most of those bands were of the high-school/garage band variety. Although some had aspirations for bigger things, the UK influence was huge and carried with it an indelible stamp of style and execution.
The brothers Richard and Thomas Martin (later Frost) were from the San Francisco suburb of San Mateo and their particular band of influence were The Who. Which was good because in the 1966/1967 period, The Who were still relatively non-mainstream and just anti-Pop enough to be considered edgy by a lot of fledgling groups. The Who were brash and high energy and the brothers took to it instantly.
Initially forming Powder, the brothers with bass and drums from a changing roster of musicians established a good word-of-mouth via local clubs and dances. Because of their Anglophile leanings, many fans thought they were British. As their reputation spread they eventually wound up in Los Angeles where they caught the eye of Sonny Bono and were, for a time, backing band to Sonny and Cher. They went from Powder to The Art Collection and things were looking up.
Sadly, those things didn’t go as hoped or planned – a series of disastrous demos via Gold Star Studios put a damper on expectations for an album of their own, and eventually the group splintered – Richard and Thomas Martin became Richard and Thomas Frost and a new set of directions were in store for them.
Certainly not the first time a situation like this has happened – and it certainly won’t be the last. But one thing was for sure, both Powder and The Art Collection were bands with a lot of potential that through a series of wrong directions got overlooked in the grand scheme of things.
Luckily for history, demos survive and the proof of what was overlooked has been revealed. Had things gone differently the story would have had a much different ending. But life doesn’t always work that way.
But you get to hear what was missed out on the first time around.
Here’s what’s on the player:
1. I Go To School – Gold Star Studios – Greene and Stone, producing – July 20, 1967
2. Morning – Gold Star Studios – Greene and Stone, producing – July 20, 1967
3. Turn Another Page – Westmont Studios San Jose – Rich and Tom Martin, producing – Spring 1968
Play loud – they certainly did.