Saturday, August 26, 2017

Psychedelic Rock

Downtown Seattle from Queen Anne Hill, with the Space Needle on the left and Mount Rainier on the right

"Are You Experienced" The question "Are you experienced" was commonly interpreted as Hendrix asking if you have experienced drugs. He said that this song was not necessarily about drugs, but about being at peace with yourself. Guitar, bass and drums were all played backward as part of the effects. The part at the beginning may have been ahead of its time, as it sounded a lot like the record scratching Hip-Hop DJs began using years later.

"2000 light years from home" Space exploration was big at the time, and was probably an influence on this. Pink Floyd was making music with a similar sound. The psychedelic sound reflected the times. It was the summer of love (1967). Mick Jagger got the idea for this while in jail on drug charges.

Gerry Goffin and Carole King wrote this about Pleasant Valley Way in West Orange, New Jersey, where they lived at the time. The Monkees fourth single, it is an ode to the simple life in happy suburbia. While studio musicians were brought in to play on many songs for The Monkees, the band did play on this one - for the most part. Peter Tork played piano and Mike Nesmith played the famous opening guitar riff. Chip Douglas, a former member of The Turtles who produced the Pisces, Aquarius, Capricorn & Jones Ltd album, played bass and came up with the guitar part, which was based on The Beatles "I Want to Tell You." He taught it to Nesmith, who overdubbed it twice. You can see him play the line during a close-up for the "video.

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