June 28, 2009

"Sky Saxon, the mop-haired bass player and front man for the psychedelic protopunk band the Seeds..."

"... whose 1965 song 'Pushin’ Too Hard' put a Los Angeles garage-band spin on the bad-boy rocker image personified by the Rolling Stones, died Thursday in Austin, Tex. He was thought to be 71.... Sky Sunlight Saxon was the name he used in later years, the middle name given to him in the 1970s as a member of the Source Family, a spiritual cult whose leader — known as Father Yod or Ya Ho Wha — started what has been described as the quintessential hippie commune... 'Sky has passed over and Ya Ho Wha is waiting for him at the gate,' his wife wrote on Facebook. 'He will soon be home with his Father.'"

ADDED: When protopunk sets up in front of the fireplace in your sedate living room, please be careful. Don't drop your tambourine!

Well, all I want is to just be free, live my life the way I wanna be. All I want is to just have fun, live my life like it's just begun... And maybe you can, but however you live your life — pushin' hard or soft, like it's just begun or like a mature hippie — it will one day be over. The tambourine must, in the end, hit the carpet.

AND: What sitcom is that in the clip? I recognized the actress Kaye Ballard, and using IMDB, deduced that it must be "The Mothers-In-Law." The episode — directed by Desi Arnaz! — was called "How Not to Manage a Rock Group":
While I cannot truthfully say I've seen the entire episode, the 10 minute portion that I have seen is very funny and, of course, has the incredible 1960s band The Seeds in it. They portray The Warts, a band that the kids want to manage. The Seeds' great "Pushin' Too Hard" is performed, and is simply incredible. Singer Sky Saxon is a terrific frontman. The adults try to steer the group into a more traditional sound, offering some silly novelty tunes, and creating some big laughs. It all ends with the adults doing "Some Enchanted Evening," oom Pa Pa style. Extremely corny and very amusing, with the rockers joining in. It must have actually influenced their music, because on the band's underrated 1967 LP "Future," they actually use a tuba in a couple of songs.


former law student said...

Fans of this and similar songs, who still buy music on round pieces of plastic, should get a copy of Nuggets from the psychedelic era, still available on Rhino.


Fred4Pres said...

I can see the inspriration for the later Ramones in that--who then went on to inspire the Pistols and the Clash. I always like that song, but what TV show did that scene get recorded from?

I read this article last night about MJ. Rather sad. Too bad MJ could not have either faded away from the white spotlight of media fame to go quitely down to Austin and jam on the weekends. Then again, MJ never wanted that did he? He wanted to come back and be the king. As Richard Fernandez noted (in a completely different but well written post recently), it is tough to ride the tiger*.

* don't miss the video clip.

bagoh20 said...

Everything about that clip is grimace inducing. What the hell were we thinking?

Those old dudes should have just jumped up, kicked over the drums and beat some sense into those kids for being "gassy" and sucking.

Thank god, the culture was never really as lame as it appeared in TV's attempts at being hip.

People are going to look back at reality TV and award shows someday and wonder if we really were buying our own crap too.

Fred4Pres said...

bagoh20, really? I thought it strange but not that bad. Do you know what show it was?

Although, had the people watching got up and kicked over the drums and beat some sense into the band, it would have been wild.

Kevin Walsh said...

All this, and Billy Mays too.


bagoh20 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
bagoh20 said...

Don't know what the show was.

Every time I see an old 60s show that has a "Rock" band paying a song,I feel embarrassed. Some of the pop stuff from then was simply bad. I don't understand why it was thought to be cool and edgy - it seems silly now and poor quality.

Like always, the intent was to be anti-establishment. That's fine, but it has to have some quality of it's own to put forth. Listen to the lyrics, the music, watch them. It's just not good, IMHO

I think much of today's music that's stuck on narcissism, sex and degradation will eventually have the same silly look in hindsight.

If it has quality, like the Beatles even at their sugary sweetest, it will hold up.

The classic rock stuff is still great music, but the visual performances were weak compared to todays standards. They were basically musicians first. Today's visual standards are much high

Chip Ahoy said...

Kevin, I just now heard that on the news and my bleak little heart lept.

Does that make me bad?

Actually, I just wanted him to shut up not actually die. In some extreme cases though that's what it takes, apparently.

John Burgess said...

No, Althouse... my tambourine isn't going to hit the carpet. It's going into heliocentric orbit to await the heat death of the universe.

Think big! Think positively!

John Burgess said...

I couldn't remember the name of the TV show, but a commenter at YouTube did:

"The Mothers-In-Law" starring Eve Arden & Kaye Ballard.

Lem said...
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AlgonquinS said...

My stage name is Wa Ta Fok.

Lem said...

When protopunk sets up in front of the fireplace in your sedate living room, please be careful. Don't drop your tambourine!

Waking Life (2001).

... It's like you come onto this planet with a crayon box. Now you may get the 8 pack, you may get the 16 pack but it's all in what you do with the crayons - the colors - that you're given. Don't worry about coloring within the lines or coloring outside the lines - I say color outside the lines, you know what I mean? Color all over the page; don't box me in! We're in motion to the ocean. We are not land locked, I'll tell you that.

EDH said...

Notice Sky Saxon, the drummer and Kay Ballard all pretty much have the same hairstyle -- something along the lines of Eve Ensler.

Now, if they did a livingroom version of "Reclaiming Cunt" in front of the fireplace on 1960s television, now that'd be Pushining Too Hard and something to drop your tambourine over.

Lem said...
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Lem said...

Lets try this again.

The man with a mustache was a Star Treck's colorful arch-criminal Harry Mudd.

Mudd's Women.

Fred4Pres said...

bagho20, everytime I see a cute girl dancing and wearing one of those short sixties dresses I think, things were pretty good back then.

Many girls now a days go out of their way to be unattractive.

David said...

I did not realize Prince Valiant had a rock band.

The River Otter said...

Ann, this clip made my day. So fun. I loved the Laugh-in dancer.
@Former Law Student- I need to check that out.

veni vidi vici said...

Drop it? Hell no; mine's green, after all.

Now then, "listen while I play..."

fboness said...

Add another one: Gale Storm has died. She was 87.

These are the end times.

voros said...

I always thought Can't Seem to Make You Mine was the more definitive moment for these guys.

The Seeds

Sky's been a (drug induced) vegetable for several decades now, so while his passing is indeed sad for a fan like me, he's been mostly unresponsive for many years now.

Paul A. Gaddis said...

Yeah, any show that features Harcourt Fenton Mudd bobbing his head to a pretty good little song is ok in MY book!

doug l said...


Eric said...

the intent wasn't to be anti-establishment. 'The Mothers-In-Law' was about the worst conceivable venue for that, as it was the 'Golden Girls' of its era.

The intent was to sell records. It's no different from the pushing of bands on current shows like Smallville that are expecting to be watched by the demographic most interested new, annoying stuff their parents and older siblings won't like.