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Buried Treasure: The United States of America (1968)

One album from that great era of psychedelic rock is the self-titled album by a group that called itself The United States of America.

The group was led by an avant-garde composer intensely interested in the-then brand-new field of electronic music, Joseph Byrd. In addition to working with very early synthesizers, the band also included an electric violinist and also processed the drums through electronic equipment. The result was an album that sounded like no other.

The album starts off by layering no less than 5 tunes from the 19th century: a calliope playing "National Emblem", a ragtime piano playing "At a Georgia Camp Meeting", two marching bands playing "Marching Through Georgia" and "The Red, White and Blue" switching between left and right channels. Two other tracks of electronic sounds are also added to the mix. After just a few moments, all of this fades into the album’s first track, “The American Metaphysical Circus.” The lyrics take “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds” several steps farther. In fact, many of the album’s tracks pushed the limits for rock at the time, including references to S&M and topless nightclubs as well as a little ditty called “I Won’t Leave My Wooden Wife for You” and another dedicated to mentioning as many poisonous plants as possible in 2 minutes and 39 seconds.

Read more: Buried Treasure: The United States of America (1968)

Rock's #1 Muse

Probably rock’s most famous muse, Pattie Boyd was the inspiration for 3 of the greatest love songs of the last half of the twentieth century: George Harrison’s “Something,” Eric Clapton’s “Layla” and Clapton’s “Wonderful Tonight.”

Pattie shot to fame in the early 1960s, becoming an international success as a model. Her work on a potato chip commercial (called “crisps” in the UK) led that commercial’s director, Richard Lester, to cast her as a schoolgirl in the first Beatles film, A Hard Day’s Night.

Boyd was 19, George Harrison was 20. He was instantly smitten and began pursuing Ms. Boyd – proposing to her before they even had their first date. The couple were wed in 1966.

In the course of things, George introduced her to his new best friend, Eric Clapton. Clapton also became infatuated with Boyd. The fact that she was married to his best friend only made things worse. Someone then gave Clapton a 12th-century Persian poem called “The Story of Layla and Majnun.” (I bet you can guess where this story is going.)

Read more: Rock's #1 Muse

Was It Worth the Hassle?

Here's a little known band from the east cost that called themselves the Hassles. Despite being snappy dressers, they never made it. Well, all excpet for their keybaord player. 2nd from the left, a scrappy young kid named Billy Joel.

Now It Can Be Told!

From the pages of 16 Magazine, what Sally Fields really thinks of the Monkees, Bobby Sherman and more!

 

On Gilligan's Island, what was the professor's full name

Roy Hinkley
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