The Collectors – in session for Where It’s At – CBC-Vancouver – April 9, 1969 – Gordon Skene Sound Collection –
The Collectors this week. Psychedelia from our neighbors to the north – in session for the CBC Vancouver program Where It’s At – broadcast on April 9,1969.
A band that were huge in their native Canada, moderately successful in the UK and somewhat unknown in the U.S, despite two very well received albums and a lot of promotion via their label, Warner Bros as well as extensive gigging up and down the West Coast where they got a modest to reasonable following.
How do these things happen? Your guess is as good as anyone else’s. I will say their debut (S/T) album got a lot of airplay from the FM underground, with their magnum opus What Love (Suite) filling the entire length of side two, clocking in at 19 minutes. It’s a Psychedelic tour de force with a liberal sprinkling of Primal Therapy for good measure.
With the release of the LP, the single chosen to be released in June 1968 was ‘Lydia Purple’ which was one of the tracks on the LP. However, it was the only song on the album neither written nor selected by The Collectors themselves (it was written by Don Dunn & Tony McCashen), as well as the only one to use session musicians (with Larry Knechtel on piano and harpsichord, Norm Jeffries on vibes and Jesse Erlich on cello). A video promo exists for ‘Lydia Purple’ where The Collectors were filmed in part on top of the then-brand new Pacific Palisades Hotel in Vancouver. Additionally, The Collectors also appeared on the TV show ‘Playboy After Dark’ in July 1968 performing ‘One Act Play’ & ‘Lydia Purple’.
But they were household names in Canada, and were regulars on various CBC Network shows, including this one; Where It’s At which was a show done out of Vancouver, where the band was based.
The Collectors called it quits in 1970 but regrouped under the name Chilliwack, which continued their popularity in Canada and were signed in the U.S. by A&M. To moderate success.
Still, further evidence there has always been a healthy amount of talent coming from the North of us, a lot more than Neil Young or Joni Mitchell or yes, even The Guess Who.
Have a listen to this session from the CBC on April 9, 1969 – it’s taken off a film soundtrack so the audio isn’t the greatest you ever heard, but the band is interesting and deserves further investigation if you aren’t familiar. Perhaps more live material will surface at some point? Fingers crossed.