WHERE IS THE ENTRANCEWAY TO PLAY?
Sky Saxon Has Left The Building
I yapped with Sky Saxon by telephone in June of 1977. A pal visiting from LA had conjured Sky up via pay phone to quell my doubts that any mere mortal could possibly be on a phone call basis with such a formidable figure. I must’ve gotten gushy from the git-go, as Sky immediately invited me out for a visit. “Ha-ha,” said I, if memory serves, “I can’t do that!” To which he reasoned (and this is verbatim, give or take), “Come ahhn. We’ll spend THIRTY DAYS IN THE DESERT. You know you’ve got to do it.” Six months earlier, a teenage pal from back in Kent had hitchhiked out the Coast and had been curbed on the Strip by Senor Saxon, who had attempted to lure her into a car with … candy. “Oh my God,” said she, later, back home, “I should have got in the car! Sky Saxon! It’ll never happen again!” One might call that brand of charisma, Mansonesque. Everybody in that ratty Ohio brat pack, or bratty Ohio rat pack, if you prefer, was nuts about Sky and Daryl and Rick and Jan, totally gone-nuts berserk insane about the them. We had the Seeds on 45, LP and 8-track. I still have my North American Leisure Corp edition of FUTURE on 8-track with the half split of A Thousand Shadows. The tape has snapped from overuse and there’s some unidentifiable stain across the back, but if you only knew how many times this, hardly the best Seeds longplayer, blasted forth on the 8-track system that my brother had unloaded on me when his fraternity was booking the Amboy Dukes to play the gym, you wouldn’t wonder how it got into such pre-owned condition. In my estimation, Sky Saxon and the Seeds’ entire output is absolutely stellar. They were a perfect band. It was always my dream that there would be a reunion, that drummer Rick Andridge and keyboard king Daryl Hooper and vastly underrated guitar slinger Jan Savage would hook up with Sky and slay us all. Of all the reunion groups, this seemed the most plausible. But it was not to be. A few years back, we were thrilled to finally yap with Jan Savage, who mysteriously appeared in New York to meet up with Sky. Amazing! These cats were our heroes when we were kids, and they remained godlike in our hearts.
There was nothing hippy dippy about the Seeds, even when the flower children were dancing barefoot to their snotty beguines. I marvel at the foppish artists who titter at them in favor of those who charted less, when ounce for ounce, gram for gram, Sky Saxon could out-psych and out-snot any one of them. Nobody Spoil My Fun. Up In Her Room. No Escape. Pushin' Too Hard.
All top rank, all of them. Cavestomp '98 is branded into my brain. It was such a full-on joy, it's hard to believe that it ever happened. This snapshot was taken there, in the basement of Coney Island High (RIP) on St Marks Place, NYC. It was nuts seeing the 16 Magazine bigwigs of '66 roaming around yappin' and snappin'. Mark Lindsay! The Mysterians! Sky Saxon! The Pretty Things! Unreal.
And now, Sky is gone, and we are left with shredded 8-tracks, well worn wax, and faded pictures. Let us never forget the impact and lasting glory of his days, and how blessed we were to have walked alongside him, if only for a little while. Little Ritchie Marsh, two fingers pointing at you.