Saturday, March 03, 2012

Happy Trails

Probably I was home from school sick that day. I don't remember clearly.

What I remember is that I was an adolescent, and when I had time to myself alone in the house, I would go exploring my father's record albums. He had more than 2,000 of them, meticulously organized on store-bought shelves in the living room of our house in East Providence. His LPs covered vast territory: classical and baroque music, jazz, albums by standup comedians from the 1960s (Bill Cosby, Rusty Warren, the Smothers Brothers, "Jose Jimenez") and musical humorists like Stan Freberg, Oscar Brand, Allan Sherman, P.D.Q. Bach, and tons of weird novelty records. Rock from the 1950s up into the present day (this would have been early 1980s). This was the period when my parents actually sat me down and introduced me to Frank Zappa and the Firesign Theatre.

I had never heard of Quicksilver Messenger Service. Knew about the Airplane and a little bit about the Dead already, but no one had told me about this Bay Area band. The album's cover art intrigued me. I put it on the record player and lo! Orpheus descended and rocked. One of the best albums ever, dating from 1969 and blowing the walls off most of the new music I was hearing. Still one of my favorites.


Kelly said...

Do comedians still release CDs? Cosby's "To Russell, My Brother" LP was a favorite of mine. I can laugh just thinking about it!

quid said...

I had this album, and "Just For Love"... they've since disappeared. The concept behind "Happy Trails" was mindblowing. And although I love "Mona" from the flip side, I confess I played side one over and over and over and over.


Algernon said...

From time to time, a couple of original members get together with other musicians and play under the QMS banner but they aren't recording any new music as far as I know.

Lance said...

David Freiberg and Gary Duncan occasionally play shows together as the leaders of the current QMS, backed by Greg Errico of Sly and the Family Stone fame. But no, they haven't and probably won't release any new material.