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Mad River were an interesting psychedelic band who released two albums in 1968 and 1969 on Capitol. They were formed at Antioch College in Yellow Springs, Ohio in April 1966, taking their name from a local river, actually called Mad River.
Like many bands, they moved themselves to California where they thought it was all happening, landing in radical Berkeley in the Spring of ‘67. If you look at many of the posters from that era, they’re often on the bill with other SF bands like Loading Zone, Ace of Cups and Mother Earth, as well as the big breakthrough acts like Grateful Dead, Big Brother and the Quicksilver Messenger Service.
Initially they released an EP on an independent label called Wee - try finding a copy of that - I’d love one. And then, as the major labels arrived and hoovered up pretty much every San Franciscan band, they signed with Capitol.
The cover we used for this t-shirt is their first album, released in 1968. The legendary Rick Griffin even did the lettering; a blessing in its own right. It’s a fine psychedelic record with country and folk flavours, it’s based around a 12-minute song ‘War Goes On’ and with songs like ‘Amphetamine Gazelle’ you’re really touching the late 60s zeitgeist. It didn't chart
They made an album called ‘Paradise Bar And Grill’ in ‘69 which peaked at #192 on Billboard and then spilt up. Drummer Greg Dewey turned up on Don McLean’s ‘Tapestry’ album as well as Grunt artists like Grootna and Bodacious DF and later, Eggs Over Easy. But everyone else just faded into the background, some made a few records but by and large everyone just got on with their lives. The psychedelic band of their youth came and went in a blink of the cosmic eye and maybe that's just how it should be.
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Shirt Monkey - DJTEES
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