Graham Reid | | <1 min read
By the mid Sixties the spirit and style of poetic Bob Dylan was everywhere as singers and writers tried to match his surreal wordplay. Dylan's harmonica, image heavy lyrics and monotone is everywhere in this demo by the Warlocks out of San Francisco.
Of all the Bob-copyists the Warlocks had the best claim to similar territory: they were heavily into acid, had made their own way to folk-rock independent of Dylan and within their ranks had a peculiar combination of a newcomer, a rock'n'roll journeyman, an ex-folkie and a highbrow literate.
At their centre was a very large man known as Pigpen.
Within a few months they had dropped their name and adopted another, and would become legendary within the San Francisco hippie'n'dope scene -- and then as one of the most durable bands of their era with a global identity.
The Warlocks left their Dylan influences behind and dragged almost everything else into the mix when they became . . . The Grateful Dead.
This track is taken from the four-disc set Love is the Song We Sing; San Francisco Nuggets 1965-1970 (Rhino)
For more one-off or unusual songs with an interesting backstory see From the Vaults.