The Seeds

BandFrom: Los Angeles, California

The Seeds were formed by Richard Marks, more commonly known as Sky Saxon (vocals). Other members included Jan Savage (guitar), Rick Andridge (drums), and Daryl Hooper (keyboards). The Seeds are seen as one of the pioneers of punk rock.

Before forming the Seeds, Saxon started out as a solo artist, recording a few obscure singles in the early 1960s. Saxon was born in Salt Lake City, Utah before he moved to Los Angeles forming the Seeds formed in 1965. Saxon responded to an advertisement posted by Hooper, deciding he would make a band with the keyboardist. Hooper’s influence on the sound of the Seeds was extremely important. The band was the first ever to use the keyboard bass. Sky Saxon is often referred to as the bassist of the Seeds, but in reality, he never played bass on any sessions. Using session musicians in the studio, usually Harvey Sharpe, Hooper played the keyboard bass onstage during live performances. Their setup was much like that of the Doors and Ray Manzarek.

The Seeds developed quite a large following in L.A. in the club scene that was becoming popular in the mid to late ’60s. They released their first single in 1965 with “Can’t Seem To Make You Mine”. The song was a hit in southern California, and well received by listeners in northern California who heard it on AM radio. The band gained national recognition with the release of “Pushin’ Too Hard” in the summer of 1966. “Pushin Too Hard” has become a staple of garage rock, “featuring a simple beat, uncomplicated lyrics, and Saxon’s angry punkadelic vocals.” The Seeds had the ‘I don’t care’ attitude about them that was so endearing to the counter culture during this time period. The next three singles, “Mr. Farmer” (1966), a re-release of “Can’t Seem To Make You Mine” (1967), and “A Thousand Shadows” (1967), were not as successful as “Pushin’ Too Hard”, but they were rather popular in southern California. The first two albums by the Seeds are considered classics in the world of garage rock psychedelia, but it was 1967’s Future that possessed the heaviest psychedelic influences with its flower-themed graphics and all. The album was a devotion to the blues and featured liner notes by Muddy Waters.

The personnel began to change in 1968 as the Seeds’ popularity began to go down. They renamed themselves Sky Saxon and the Seeds in 1969. At this point, Savage and Andridge had been replaced by Bob Norsoph (guitar) and Don Boomer (drums). Saxon would use the name the Seeds up until 1972 with the release of their last major-label records of new material.

Saxon went on to join the Yahowha religious group, inspired by their leader Father Yod. Saxon was a member of the Source Family, but was not on any of the albums by Yahowha 13, a group that included the Source Family. He would later record an album in memory of Father Yod entitled Yod Ship Suite. Saxon would go on to release several solo albums during the ’70s, as well as collaborate with many artists in the ’80s. The Seeds were reformed in 1989 to headline The Summer of Love Tour. Other acts on this tour included Big Brother & The Holding Company, The Music Machine, and Strawberry Alarm Clock.

In the 1980s, Rolling Stone magazine wrote that Saxon was living in Hawaii with two wives and five children. He was also found praying to dogs, because God is dog spelled backwards.

The band was dormant again until 2003. Saxon reformed the band with original guitarist Jan Savage and newcomers Rik Collins (bass), Mark Bellgraph (guitar) and Dave Klein (keyboards). Savage left the band in the middle of their 2003 European tour as a result of his health.

Saxon would pass away on June 25, 2009. In July of ’09, members of the Smashing Pumpkins, Love, and the Electric Prunes performed a tribute concert at the Los Angeles Echoplext in memory of Sky Saxon.

Artist information sources include: the book 20th Century Rock and Roll: Psychedelia by Belmo, Wikipedia

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Tracks played on Psychedelicized…

From the 1966 album The Seeds
The Seeds

  • Can’t Seem To Make You Mine
  • Evil Hoodoo
  • Pushin’ Too Hard
  • Try Too Understand

From the 1966 album A Web of Sound
A Web of Sound

  • Mr. Farmer
  • Pictures and Designs
  • Tripmaker
  • Up In Her Room (edit)

From the 1967 Future
Future

  • Travel With Your Mind

From the 1982 album Bad Part of Town
Bad Part of Town

  • Love In A Summer Basket

From the 2007 album Pushin’ Too Hard: The Best of the Seeds
Best Of

  • The Wind Blows Your Hair
  • Fallin’ Off the Edge (Of My Mind)
  • Chocolate River