Wednesday, May 09, 2012

Quicksilver Messenger Service


The choice for the letter Q was very simple... Partly because Quicksilver Messenger Service is the only artist/band under that letter in my collection, but mostly because I had them in mind when I came up with this whole "alphabetical" mumbo-jumbo.

"Pride of Man"

Many of you are familiar with the psychedelic Hippie scene of the 60's and particularly with bands that formed that scene.  San Francisco was a huge core of the music that came from the late 60's, and you have probably heard of The Grateful Dead, Jefferson Airplane and Santana... but I could probably count on one hand the number of people I have met that have ever heard of Quicksilver Messenger Service.

"Dino's Song"

Quicksilver was a major player in the Haight-Ashbury district, as far as musical influence goes, and performed frequently at the famous Filmore West theater.  Any time a band was needed on the bill as either an opening act or a headlining act, Quicksilver Messenger Service was thrown on... In fact, they performed so often at The Filmore that they were referred to as the theater's "house band."  I wouldn't be shocked at all to hear that they hold the record for the most times a band has played there, if that honour doesn't go to their contemporaries The Grateful Dead.

"Fresh Air" (Live)

I am not entirely sure how I started listening to this band, but I am fairly certain my mother talked me into buying a record of theirs from the local indie record store years ago.  I think I was probably about 15 or 16, looking for some good music to buy...  I know she was a fan growing up, so I'll just blame her.  Either way, I picked up a 2-LP greatest hits compilation and loved it.  As I am to do, I then went back a week or so later and bought a copy of every Quicksilver album the store had in stock... Then I started buying the CD's... You know how the story goes.

"The Fool"

The band pretty much epitomize the sound of the late 60's in every way, shape and form.  Their style developed over the years, veering further from "jam band" and closer to "folk rock" as time went on, occasionally incorporating more blue, classical and jazz elements... but they managed to keep a unique sound that separated them from the rest of their peers.

"Shady Grove"

Considering the huge, recent resurgence of popularity that psychedelic rock and hippie fashions have gained, it honestly surprises me that more people don't know about Quicksilver Messenger Service.  I guess it's up to me to spread it around...

"What About Me?" (Live)