Messenger Service - Happy Trails
In 1973, five of us (me, Simon Moseley, Andy Georgiou, Richard Sharp and Max Bell) from school went to Calella for a week of looning about. Max was in his Ziggy Stardust lookalike phase (bright orange hair and so on) but the rest of us could reasonably have been described as long-'aired 'erberts. I took along a cassette player and a grand total of three cassettes, that being as many as I could afford. On these I'd recorded six of the albums that at that time I rated as being among the best of all time: Desperado, Foxtrot (missing the end of "Supper's Ready - they were only C90 tapes), Morrison Hotel, two that I can't recall, and Happy Trails.
Actually I think it might have been Max that introduced me to this album, he had been firmly of the "the West (coast) is the best" mentality until he went all carrot-topped on us. He had been 100% a Doors/Love/QSM/Steve Miller man until he got the Ziggy/Transformer bug and became Lou Bowie and started writing for the NME. Anyway, whatever. The point is that for a whole week I actually listened to Happy Trails on a portable 5 watt Philips mono cassette recorder with a single 3" speaker. I can't believe I enjoyed it much, this album was meant to be played LOUD.
If you don't know it, and think you like 60's acid rock, then you bloody well should. I originally bought it on recommendation from a couple of guys called Graham and Gary Umbold (I think) who owned and ran Harum Records in Crouch End (God, I loved that shop... the hours I spent in there and John Beeby's Music Place up the hill), and who seemed to like everything that was good in music. They were remarkably tolerant of me - although to be fair I spent a lot of money, not just time, in there. Anyway...
I must have bought Happy Trails some time around 1970 or so - I don't know exactly - and for a while I didn't get into it. Not sure why but it lay dormant on my album shelves for some months before one day I decided to put it on my headphones very loud while I was mowing the garden lawn (er, yeah, I had about 40 feet of extension cable on them so I could go and make a cup of tea or whatever without taking them off) - and it blew my freakin' mind (man). I played it a couple more times before ringing Max to wax lyrical with him about what a superlative album it was.
And still is (ask Andy). You could ask Max but he doesn't seem to talk to any of us any more.