The Böenzee Cryque

From: Denver, COL, USABoenzee Cryque

Denver rock band The Böenzee Cryque was formed in 1964 by bassist/singer Sam Bush, guitarist/singer Dan Nash, guitarists Jim Jenson and Terry Jones, saxophonist/singer Joe Neddo, organist/harpsichordist Bill DeLugt, and drummer Tad Collier. Military service obligations forced significant lineup changes during 1966, with the group now featuring Bush, Nash, Jones, Neddo, guitarist Malcolm Mitchell, drummer George Grantham, and steel guitarist Rusty Young, rumored to be the first steel player ever to record in a rock format. Their nascent country-rock sound attracted a loyal local following, and in 1967 The Böenzee Cryque recorded their debut single, “The Sky Gone Gray,” for the local Chicory label, topping radio charts throughout the Rockies. The single was ultimately picked up for national distribution by Uni, which subsequently issued the follow-up, “Watch the Time.” The band also recorded their original “Ashbury Wednesday” for the soundtrack of the low-budget exploitation classic Psych-Out, but by the time the film premiered, Young had relocated to Los Angeles, where he joined Buffalo Springfield alums Richie Furay and Jim Messina to form Poco; after Young recruited Grantham to join the fledgling band’s lineup, The Böenzee Cryque dissolved in mid-1968.

The Böenzee Cryque:

Malcolm Mitchell (rhythm guitar, vocals)
Rusty Young (pedal steel guitar)
Sam Bush (bass, vocals)
Jed E. Neddo (lead guitar, vocals)
George Grantham (drums, vocals)

(1964)
July The Böenzee Cryque are formed in Denver, Colorado by local friends Mitchell, Bush, Neddo and Grantham (b. Jan.20, 1947, Cordell, Oklahoma, US), to play the top songs of the day in the city’s bars and lounges.

(1965)
November – Pedal steel player Young (b. Feb.23, 1946, Long Beach, California, US), is added in an attempt to develop their own individual style. Young, who is currently studying business studies at the University of Colorado, has played steel guitar since the age of 6 (and pedal steel from the age of 14) and is brought in from an all girls group. Rumoured to be the first band to use a steel guitar in a rock format, The Böenzee Cryque rapidly attract a large following (and soon become one of Colorado’s premier acts).

(1967)
February  – Having become one of Colorado’s most popular bands, The Böenzee Cryque record a version of The Beau Brummels’ Still In Love With You, Baby on the local Chicory label, which is a massive regional hit.
June – They support The Buffalo Springfield at Hal Baby’s in Aurora, Colorado.
September – A second single (for the Uni label) entitled Sky Gone Grey is another large regional hit, as Young begins to attract attention from various California bands interested in employing a country-rock sound.

(1968)
February  – The group is featured on the soundtrack to the film Psych-out, which includes the group’s own composition Ashbury Wednesday. By this time, Young has left the group and moved to Los Angeles, after being asked to audition for The Buffalo Springfield and The International Submarine Band. Young adds steel guitar to Richie Furay’s Kind Woman and subsequently joins him and fellow Springfield member Jim Messina in founding Poco.
July –  Young contacts Grantham to join Poco and The Böenzee Cryque folds.

SOURCES:

Einarson, John and Furay, Richie. For What It’s Worth – The Story Of Buffalo Springfield, Quarry Press Inc, 1997, pages 191-192 and 276-277.
MacLean, Hugh and Joynson, Vernon. American Rock History, part one 1963-1985, California- The Golden State Borderline Productions, October 1993, page 57.
O’Brien, Peter. Omaha Rainbow #20, Spring 1979, page 12 and Omaha Rainbow’s Poco special, 1975, pages 5-7 and 17-18.
Rees, Dafydd and Crampton, Luke. Guinness Book Of Rock Stars, 2nd Edition, Guinness Publishing, 1991, page 392..

~ Nicholas Warburton June 1999

Tracks played on Psychedelicized…

From the 1967 single “You Won’t Believe It’s True”
The Boenzee Cryque - You Won't Believe It's True

  • Watch The Time

From the 1967 single “The Sky Gone Gray”
The Boenzee Cryque - Sky Gone Gray

  • Sky Gone Gray
  • Still In Love With You Baby

From the 1968 compilation Psych-Out
Psych-Out

  • Ashbury Wednesday

From the 2007 compilation Psychedelic States: Colorado in the 60s Vol. 1 & 2
Psychedelic States- Colorado in the 60s

  • Candy Coated Lady
  • I’ve Never Known a Girl