mind odyssey

By the bug

ένα σχεδόν άγνωστο άλμπουμ απ' το 1969 το mind odyssey των aggregation -με την επίβλεψη του lee hazlewood. την ιστορία του συγκροτήματος αφηγείται ο ίδιος ο bayard gregory:
At the time the Aggregation recorded "Mind Odyssey" five of us were playing as one of the house bands at Disneyland in Southern California. Leo Potts, Lemoyne Taylor, Dale Burt, LeWayne Braun and I (Bayard Gregory) had been playing together for about two years. We all had degrees from Long Beach State (now California State University at Long Beach). Dale and I had earned Master's degrees in Sociology. All the others had earned Bachelor degrees in music (having matriculated with the soon to be famous Karen and Richard Carpenter). So, we were a rather well educated band with a large proportion of unusual names.
We had played at Disneyland on a New Year's Eve - one of many bands recruited for a large gathering of high schools. That summer we were hired to play full-time at the Park. Leo Potts, our leader, took advantage of this situation and spent a good deal of time contacting music industry folks in the Hollywood area. (His labors were largely unappreciated by the rest of us at the time.) He offered them free passes to Disneyland and encouraged them to catch one of the six shows we played each day. It was a great way to audition.
Among the people who took advantage of Leo's invitation was Lee Hazlewood. Lee produced both Frank and Nancy Sinatra and had his own small record label. He liked us and we recorded a single that he produced. On one side was an original instrumental by Dale Burt that Lee titled "Maharishi." (A different version appears on the album titled "Change.") The flip side was our instrumental arrangement of Donovan's "Sunshine Superman." Maharishi enjoyed some modest success on the East Coast, especially, we were told, in Boston. Based on this success (I presume) Hazlewood encouraged us to record an album.
Lee put up the money for time at a small recording studio, and told us to record whatever we wanted to. We would be our own producers. We, ambitiously, decided to record a "concept" album with an overriding theme. We knew that we needed help to shore up some weaknesses for this project: We were primarily an instrumental group, lacking a strong vocalist. Our keyboard player, Dale Burt, played a keyboard bass at Disneyland. We wanted to free him up for the recording. Additionally, we were going to need help with lyrics.
My spouse (at the time), Linda O'Hara had talents in both poetry and composing, and agreed to participate in the project. We recruited Bill Sissoev, another Long Beach State alumnus, who played excellent bass (and trombone on one cut). Also recruited was an excellent drummer, who's name escapes me, who plays on the album's first song. Leo and Lemoyne observed a number of bands and auditioned a number of vocalists. Richard Jones was not (amazingly) the primary lead singer in the band he was with when Leo and Lemoyne discovered him. But, he suited our purposes very, very well.
I recall that recording "Mind Odyssey" was creative, rewarding and arduous. I think the others felt the same way. After giving the process our best, we presented the final result to Lee Hazlewood. He liked it, but thought it might appeal to his generation as much or more to people our age. He promoted the album as best he could, but the company that distributed recordings from his label did not think the album warranted any significant distribution. I don't know how many records were actually cut, but it was a very limited release.
Writing this takes me back almost 40 years. I'd give you an update about the other members, but I've not contacted any of them for decades. I hope, however, that you find my recollections useful for your review. Thanks for your patience.
[bayard gregory]

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