Tole Puddle: Frodo (1973)

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Tole Puddle: Frodo (1973)

From the late Sixties and far too far into the Seventies, the world was awash with bands -- mostly British -- who were immersed in Tolkien lore. Some like Led Zeppelin and T. Rex managed to incorporate it into whatever else they did, others were so drippy hippie that it became a lifestyle where their cosmology was determined by hobbits.

There were bands named for characters and animals in The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings, numerous songs which referenced them, and some groups dressed as if they had been shopping at Druids For Less.

You could understand how and why this might happen in Britain as the folk scene explored the long history of Celtic and Anglo-Saxon culture and singers like Donovan, groups such as the Incredible String Band, Fairport Convention, Lindisfarne, Fotheringay and many others immersed themselves in British folk lore and went back to land to live like crofters. But with elelctric guitars, sitars and such.

The epidemic spread however and even in New Zealand there were bands which saw the works of Tolkien as a touchstone. Student flats would have a well thumbed copy of Lord of the Rings fairly promiment. (I never read, it looked too big, and used to say jokingly, "I'll wait for the movie". Huh!)

Tole Puddle were what we might today call a roots rock band in that they played country-rock and folk-rock to mostly unimpressed or unresponsive audiences. It was a tough haul for them, they had about eight line-up changes in three years (the Chills of their generation?) and eventually left for Australia in '75.

However they did leave behind this Tolkien-inspired single . . . in which Frodo sounds like an anxious teenager with identity issues as he flees his parent's house into an unforgiving landscape and heads off to who knows where.

Australia, perhaps?

For more oddities, one-offs or songs with an interesting backstory use the RSS feed for daily updates, and check the massive back-catalogue at From the Vaults.

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