Bubble Puppy

Bubble PuppyFrom: Austin, TX, USA

Bubble Puppy was a Texas-based band active from 1966-1972. Members included Rod Price (guitar, vocals), Roy Cox (bass, vocals), Todd Potter (guitar, vocals), and David “Fuzzy” Fore (drums). Price’s band, The Bad Seeds, had fallen apart, so he agreed to join forces with Cox, who was playing keyboards under an assumed name at the time. Along with Bobby Donaho (drums), ex-member of The Bad Seeds, and Steve Lohse (bass), the four made up The New Seeds. After only a short period of time, The New Seeds split, seeing Cox move back to San Antonio and Price not playing guitar for eight months.

After this time off, Cox called Price to see if he was interested in trying again to formulate a successful band. Price agreed, and the recruiting for other members began. It wasn’t long after that Price was introduced to Clayton Pulley, a singer from Austin, Texas. The three started to make music, and it had the “magic” that Price had been after for so long. Wanting to add to the band, Pulley suggested Todd Potter (guitar, saxophone), someone he thought was more than capable at playing guitar as part of a dual-lead – something that Price had always wanted in his band. The band went to Austin to meet Potter, and the bond was instant. Danny Segovia (vocals, saxophone) was the last person added to the band, and Bubble Puppy was born.

Several months of rehearsing took place at the “PussyKat” club in San Antonio before the band played their first live show. It was this first show where they made their big break – opening for The Who. Thanks to their manager, Bubble Puppy got the priceless opportunity to make music with Keith Moon, John Entwhistle and Pete Townsend on the day before the show. The show was a big success for Bubble Puppy. In the crowd was future drummer David “Fuzzy” Fore.

As the band began to develop, there was some turnover in terms of the lineup. Clayton Pulley left and was replaced by Craig Root (drums). Danny Segovia left near the same time, and the band deemed him to be irreplaceable, thus remaining a four-piece arrangement. Almost as soon as he arrived, Craig Root left the band to be replaced by David “Fuzzy” Fore. This was the lineup that Bubble Puppy would make it with.

In 1967, the band relocated to Austin, Texas. Financially secure, the four members rented a house where they devoted themselves to  practicing – ten hours a day, seven days a week. Soon, Bubble Puppy was opening shows for such acts as Shiva’s Head Band, New Atlantis, The Conqueroo, and The Johnny Winter Band with Uncle John Turner and Tommy Shannon. The hard work and dedication payed off, and Bubble Puppy signed a recording contract with International Artists.  Even with a recording contract in place, it was some time before the band received any sort of attention.

Finally in December of 1968, the band had a hit. “Hot Smoke & Sassafras” brought Bubble Puppy to No. 1 on the charts across the globe, staying there for two months. The song was No. 1 in most countries, except America. The song reached No. 13 in America, and considering the fact that the song was not allowed air play in both New York and Los Angeles (where the band now lived), it did rather well.  The struggles that the band would face on the road made things difficult, but they worked through it, knowing that they had an entire albums worth of material already recorded. This allowed them to focus their attention on the live performance. Opening for the Who gave Bubble Puppy a lot of confidence, and they continued opening for many acts. Their performances became so good that they were getting standing ovations and calls for encores, something usually reserved for the headlining act.

The band released the album, ‘A Gathering of Promises’ in 1969. This psychedelic classic featured the hit single, “Hot Smoke & Sassafras,” as well as other greats “Beautiful,” “Elizabeth, and “Hurry Sundown” to name a few. The bands folk influence shows on the record through the raw-sounding guitar they are normally associated with. In 1971, under the name Demian, an album of the same name was released.

The inexperience of International Artists showed itself more and more. “Apple Records” offered to lease the rights of “Hot Smoke & Sassafras,” something that would have brought I.A lots of money. I.A refused to release control of the single, making one of the biggest mistakes in their existence. In the spring of  1970, the band moved back to Austin. Once they finally realized that they couldn’t do it on their own anymore, I.A sought the help of professionals to deal with the band. Now, Bubble Puppy were the headlining act, and the leaders of the Texas music scene.

“Thinking About Thinking,” “Days of our Time,” and “What Do You See” were the last sessions with I.A, and yet again, the label showed their inability to manage acts.  “What Do You See” did not do well, and this forced Bubble Puppy to end their time with International Artists. A band that had so much promise fizzled into obscurity.

Artist information sources include: The Tale of Bubble Puppy 1966-1972 by Rod Price and www.allmusic.com

Albums

1969 A Gathering of Promises

Singles

1968 “Hot Smoke & Sassafras”/”Lonely”
1969 “Beginning”/”If I Had a Reason”
1969 “Days of Our Time”/”Thinkin’ About Thinkin'”
1969 “Hurry Sundown”/”What Do You See”

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Tracks played on Psychedelicized…
From 1969 album A Gathering of Promises
A Gathering of Promices

  • Beginning
  • Elizabeth
  • Gathering Of Promises
  • Hot Smoke & Sasafrass
  • Hurry Sundown
  • I’ve Got To Reach You
  • Lonely
  • Road To St. Stephen’s
  • Todd’s Tune

From Psychedelic States Texas In The 60’s Vol. 1
Psychedelic States Texas In The 60's Vol. 1

  • Keep Your Mouth Shut Once In Awhile
  • Secrets Of The Golden Shrine