Time for some vintage 60s psychedelia!
The American Metaphysical Circus by Joe Byrd and the Field Hippies, was the type of record people pulled out for (ahem) special occasions. You are not likely to hear a purer specimen of the times.
What's very cool about Joe is that he publicly stated (in 2002, during the Napster lawsuit) if Sony won't PAY HIM after many years of theft, let everyone have the music for free:
And a hearty amen to that, on this sabbath morning! A man who freely cavorts with field hippies is my kind of music history professor.
Apr 23, 2002 | Joseph Byrd recorded a pair of experimental psychedelic albums for Columbia Records in the late 1960s. Since then, he says he's earned a few thousand dollars in composer's fees but hasn't received a single penny in artist's royalties.
It's not for lack of trying. Byrd says he sent his first letter of complaint to the label in 1976, and over the years he's repeatedly asked for financial statements on album sales and royalties. Letters have been sent, phone calls have been made. But even as his recordings -- "The United States of America" and "The American Metaphysical Circus" -- began to reappear on compact disc, Columbia and its parent company (Sony) continued to ignore Byrd's pleas.
On Feb. 27, the mild-mannered professor -- Byrd teaches music history at the College of the Redwoods in Northern California -- decided to take his case to Marilyn Hall Patel, the federal judge overseeing the labels' lawsuit against Napster for copyright infringement. He wrote Patel a letter detailing how Sony had been giving him the cold shoulder for decades. His situation, he added, was hardly unique.
"I am not alone," he wrote. "Literally thousands of musicians like me, who are purportedly represented by record companies and distributors in the current Napster case, are in my situation."
"The record companies' representation that they are legitimate agents for their artists is false," he continued. "The only payments they make are to those who have the means to force them to be accountable; to the rest, a vast majority, they pay nothing. Therefore, allowing them to collect fees in our behalf does not serve the public interest. I personally would prefer to allow my music to be freely shared, to the present situation, in which only the corporations stand to gain. Until this is changed, the record companies and publishers deserve nothing."
How did the sand get inside of your brain?
The first video is just the album cover, the second has the appropriate trippy visuals to go with the subject matter. (And in the second, I think those are ray-beams shooting out of J. Edgar Hoover's eyes at 1:40.)
Joe Byrd and The Field Hippies - You can't ever come down
Joe Byrd and The Field Hippies - The Elephant At The Door