Friday, February 15, 2008

The Bubble Puppy - Hot Smoke & Sassafras

What we have here is a shit hot slice of raging psychedelic garage guitar fuzz to start your weekend off right!

In the mist of sassafras
Many things will come to pass
And the smoke shall rise again
To the place above where it began

Time will bring the fire and flame
As surely as it brought the rain
But in the gardens of the moon
Time is held within the silver spoon

If you're happy where you are
Then you need not look too far
If you've found your place at last
Then you need not use the looking glass

Supposedly this song was inspired by an episode of the TV show The Beverly Hillbillies where Granny said, "Hot smoke and sassafras, Jethro, can't you do anything right?" The group liked the phrase and wrote the song around it as an ode to meditating while smoking marijuana.

Though typically overshadowed by International Artists labelmates the 13th Floor Elevators, Bubble Puppy enjoyed arguably the greatest commercial success of all the Texas psychedelic bands, scoring a Top 20 pop hit with "Hot Smoke & Sasafrass." The roots of the group lie in the Corpus Christi-based Bad Seeds, a trio comprising singer/guitarist Rod Prince, bassist Roy Cox, and drummer Clayton Pulley (later replaced by David Fore); with the 1967 addition of guitarist Todd Potter, the foursome changed their name to Willowdale Handcar, finally settling on Bubble Puppy a year later. Their name is a reference to the children's game "Centrifugal Bumble Puppy" in Aldous Huxley's Brave New World.

Their raw, garage-psych sound soon landed the group a deal with the famed Texas label International Artists, which issued Bubble Puppy's debut LP, A Gathering of Promises, in 1969; despite the runaway success of "Hot Smoke & Sasafrass," subsequent singles including "If I Had a Reason," "Days of Our Time," and "What Do You See?" stiffed, prompting the quartet to change its name to Demian. A self-titled effort followed in 1971 on ABC/Dunhill, but when the single "Face the Crowd" garnered little attention, the band dissolved.

Bubble Puppy – Hot Smoke & Sassafras


Nitro Retro said...

Thanks for giving us some interesting background info on The Bubble Puppy!
I never knew that Beverly Hillbillies story. Great site by the way. I'm going to bookmark it.
I havew amusic blog you may like:
If you like, we could add each others sites to our site lists.


Mondo said...

Oh Yeah - live that heavy fuzz funk, I'd also recommend Andy Votel - 'Vertigo Mixed' for more of the same all in a head melting mix.

Devil Dick said...

Thanks p mondo, i've heard about that but never heard it.

and matt, you are linked!


Anonymous said...

Great band name and song title. Thanks for sharing!

Donna Lethal said...

I wonder if there's other Bev Hillbillies inspired rock.

Devil Dick said...

one can only hope Donna, one can only hope....

Anonymous said...

FUck Yeah !!!!

Anonymous said...

Much better than their later incarnation - Demian.