EXPERIENCE ROCK HISTORY!
DR. JOHN, the Night Tripper (guest pianist)
the Ashgrove, West L.A., CA (Capacity: Less than 100)
A group of us had front row seats at the Ashgrove to see Canned Heat.
The legendary Ashgrove was the little coffee house that became thee club of the day in which nearly every folk/rock blues hero performed. Check it out: the ASHGROVE – LEGENDARY FOLK/ROCK BLUES COFFEE HOUSE – LIST OF LEGENDS
We were into Canned Heat, another talented home-grown Los Angeles band, and were treated to the whole original group who in about a year would be on stage at Woodstock! They performed at that epic event on Saturday before Mountain, Grateful Dead, CCR, Janis, Sly & the Family Stone, the Who and Jefferson Airplane!
Dr. John, the Night Tripper (Mac Rebeneck) played piano on their second LP, the hit; “Boogie with Canned Heat” and was sitting-in on piano with them that night but nodded-out during one of the songs, but not from boredom.
Bob Hite asked my buddy to tell a joke while they rousted the good Doctor. He obliged, stood up and faced the audience and quickly came up with an existential Knock Knock joke. It went like this, “Here’s a World War Three Knock Knock joke, OK? Knock, knock?” and the audience said in unison, “Who’s there?” And he just stood there silently until people started to get it and soon there were groans of laughter and a patter of applause.
He sat down and Canned Heat boogied down.
Canned Heat’s most well-known single was, “Goin’ Up the Country”, it went to #1 in 25 countries around the world (#11 on the U.S national chart) and would go on to become the unofficial theme song of the Woodstock festival via the Woodstock movie.
Lineup: Alan “Blind Owl” Wilson (vocals, slide guitar, harmonica), Bob “the Bear” Hite (vocals), (guitar), Harvey “the Snake” Mandel (guitar), Larry “the Mole” Taylor (bass), Adolfo “Fito” De La Parra (drums).
CANNED HEAT – GOIN’ UP THE COUNTRY – WOODSTOCK – RARE!
CANNED HEAT – ON THE ROAD AGAIN!
Dr. John has long been a favorite of mine, but pretty much only for his “Night Tripper” persona days, for like Randy Newman, he went on to many and varied successful forms of musical expression.
The “Gris-gris” LP was, and still is, a top all-time fave of mine and “Walk on Gilded Splinters” easily within my personal top 100 singles of all time – and that’s saying something!
DR. JOHN, THE NIGHT TRIPPER – GRIS GRIS GUMBO YA-YA
DR. JOHN, THE NIGHT TRIPPER – WALK ON GUILDED SPLINTERS – HEAVENLY VOODOO!
The Ashgrove was on Melrose Blvd., up several blocks was Sunset Blvd., and then up from Sunset was Hollywood Blvd and just off Hollywood Blvd on Las Palmas was the Psychedelic Supermarket.
Whenever we were up in Hollywood, we’d make a stop at this fun place before heading up to Houdini’s “Castle”; a cool rendezvous spot for the “spooky” L.A. denizens who knew the scene.
When you’d enter the Psychedelic Supermarket, it was just that; anything and everything Hippie and Counter Culture related. The walls were filled with all of the popular posters of the day from movie actors and rock bands to revolutionaries and cartoon characters and there was a special black-light room to see the full collection of trippy black–light posters. There were beads, buttons, belts, hats, jewelry, underground comix, underground newspapers, books, incense, essential oils, flyers for upcoming concerts and a complete and vast array of smoking paraphernalia, including pipes, roach clips, rolling machines and rolling papers, stash boxes, water pipes – everything but the herb.
I bought one of the original Ocean in a Bottle – no machine activation, you had to use your hands and the wave-filled see-through tube container was big, twice as big as the later commercial ones. Now, as then, I could’ve made my own, but it wasn’t expensive and provided a lot of visual entertainment. To make your own Ocean in a Bottle; dig this, it’s a verified hoot:
HOW TO MAKE YOUR OWN “OCEAN IN A BOTTLE” – THIS VIDEO IS A HOOT TO BOOT!