Quicksilver 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.

I'll tell you all an awful story
Yum yum
They turned me on to the Karelia
of, not on
Each place I go
I'd rather have my country die for me
That's a nice little Guild...
Get me offa this pedestal
Why's he got an apple in his mouth?
Produced by Giorgio Gomelsky
Big Ted's gone, he was a great old pig
I'd swear there was somebody there...
this here next on's rock and roll
notices lean on each other in yearning
are you hung up?