MC Squared (MC2)

MC Squared

After I left Bakersfield, California in 1962 I Moved to LA, changed my name to Randy Sterling, ‘cause nobody could pronounce Cierley, and seriously dived into the Hollywood music scene. Through One of the Mize Brothers, Buddy, I found myself in the studio after being there only about two months. I still had some contacts from when our high school band, “Rick Lee and The Barons,”
backed “The Paradons” on “Diamonds And Pearls” in 1959 and, with that and a career taking performance on 12 string guitar at The Troubador night club one night in 1964, things just kind of took off for me from there.

I soon became one of the “A” list studio rhythm guitar players for about three years. An opportunity opened up in 1965 and I moved to San Francisco to play, tour, write, and record with The Trident Corporation (Management and production company) under the direction of Frank Werber while learning recording engineering, record production, and the WHOLE music business in general. I arranged “You Were On My Mind” for The We Five, recorded, produced, and wrote for The Kingston Trio, Sons Of Champlin, The Mystery Trend, and Blackburn and Snow. I also contributed to some memorable sessions with Sly Stone. Became friends with Janis Joplin, Jefferson Airplane, The Grateful Dead, even Moby Grape! I had an altogether fantastic two and a half years. But by that time the “City By The Bay” was becoming just a bit too bizarre, even for me, so I decided to get back to Hollywood.

Upon returning to L. A. I hooked up with three old folk music friends, Mike Crowley, Mike Clough, and Linda Carey, who wanted to do something different. We found this drummer, Jim Keltner, working in a music shop in Pasadena just down the street from the old “Ice House” coffeehouse and knew we really had a group.

We were signed by Warner Bros. under the name MC Squared and proceeded to try to make an album of all our own material. The only problem was that the producer who was assigned to us didn’t have a clue as to what we were doing. He never came to one rehearsal and when we went into the studio he tried to make us sound like every other group he was producing. Since I had met and become friends with Mo Ostin, who was now president of Reprise Records, while working with the Kingston Trio I decided that we had nothing to lose and went to see him one day. I sat in his office and told him that even though we liked our producer, he didn’t understand what we were trying to do.

So I asked if he would give me a chance to produce a demo so he could see what we were all about. To my delight and surprise Mo said, “OK, but if I don’t hear what your talking about, our guy produces or your deal is off.” We were given three hours in some little side street studio and the next day took what we had done back to him. He sat…listened…turned to me and said, “Randy, pick the studio you want and gimmie an album.” Well, we made one hell of an album.

~ Randy Cierley Sterling

M.C.2 – THAT’S THE WORD – The flip side to SMILING. Michael Clough and Michael Crowley took the initials of their name and made a clever interpretation as their moniker. Prior to starting up this bunch, they were part of the tongue-in-cheek ensemble, The Black Porch Majority. They turned MC2 into a co-ed conglomeration and released four singles in 1967/68 on Reprise Records. This track, the B-side of their third single, features them in full swing, with eastern scales, fuzz bass, impeccable male/female harmonies, and a truly catchy song. The end of the song is highlighted by a crescendo of guttural vocal drones that sound like a kazoo on acid. They were probably from the Los Angeles area and the 45 was produced by Randy Steirling.
~ from Voyages Into Pop Psyche Vol.1 liner notes

Videos on Youtube:
Everybody’s Talking At Me live on Playboy After Dark 1968:

I Know You live on Playboy After Dark 1968:

Feel free to use our Facebook page to discuss & ask any questions you have about this artist, a fellow PsycheHead is sure to have the answer.

Tracks played on Psychedelicized…

    From album Tantalizing Colours : The Reprise Recordings
    MC Squared - Tantalizing Colours

  • Dolphins
  • Everybody’s Talkin’
  • I Know You
  • My Mind Goes High
  • Or Something
  • Smilin’
  • S.S.T.
  • That’s The Word
  • Time Will Equalize
  • I Know You (live on Playboy After Dark 1968)
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