"Lost" 1960s Rock Band Will Play Its First Gig in 45 Years
PR Log - Mar 13, 2013 - SAN FRANCISCO -- Crystal Syphon's recent resurrection was truly serendipitous. Once a Bay Area sensation, the band faded into oblivion more than 40 years ago. But former Crystal Syphon bassist Bob Greenlee had never discarded its best recorded music.
Several years ago, for no particular reason, Greenlee played a raw CD sampler of that music to a friend of his in Minneapolis. The friend was so impressed he decided a certain record company owner he knew just had to hear it.
That record company owner, James Lindbloom of eclectic Minneapolis label Roaratorio, decided last year to release a 10-cut album of Crystal Syphon's studio tracks, rehearsal tapes, and live recordings.
"I thought it was fantastic," Lindbloom said in an interview with Downtown Magazine of Merced, California, Crystal Syphon's home town.
Which isn't surprising, considering the hard work they'd put into their unique brand of the "San Francisco Sound." From the mid-1960s to early 1970s, the group polished its flawless harmonies, hypnotic keyboard patterns, and psychedelic guitar riffs to perfection, often putting in six-nights-per-week of practice, while evolving from a mid-sixties folk rock cover band to a sophisticated late-sixties progressive rock band.
Today's psychedelic rock enthusiasts might compare them with Quicksilver Messenger Service, Jefferson Airplane, or The Doors, and indeed they mingled with these acts. But the signature sounds and intriguing lyrics they crafted are all their own.
Roaratorio's release of Crystal Syphon's first and only album ("Family Evil") last year brought a chorus of positive reviews from the music media and spawned a growing fan base of all ages. Said Lindbloom, "The response from so many people is like, 'This is amazing that music this good was just sitting around for 40 years and never came out before.'"
Why these talented and very original musicians failed to break out of the fledgling San Francisco rock scene into global celebrity, as did so many of their co-acts, is a topic Crystal Syphon's recently reunited members still discuss. Some cite the band's insistence on keeping all creative rights, while others mention living in a town that might be within commuting distance of San Francisco but lacks its well established music scene.
"All of us were tied down to Merced in one way or another," said guitarist Jim Sanders. "We didn't move to LA or San Francisco, where we could have further developed musically, played more regularly in well-known venues, and been more accessible to the record companies. We made a run at it and came up short ... but the saga continues!"
The digital version of "Family Evil" is available for listening and purchase on Apple's iTunes Store. The vinyl version can be purchased at Roaratorio Records.
March 22, 2013, at the Pavillion at Merced County Fairgrounds, the group will reunite in concert for the first time in 45 years to benefit CASA of Merced County. Phone (209) 722-2272 for ticket information.