April 25, 2009


(Having the distinction of being "L.A.'s Own")

In the mid to late 60's in Los Angeles, I don't recall a single week going by where The Yellow Payges weren't either playing one of the clubs or an opening act at a concert. They were probably one of the most visible bands on the local scene for years.

The trouble was, nobody seemed to know who they were outside of Southern California. And it wasn't for trying. They issued albums and singles and toured almost constantly, but nothing charted with great success.

In retrospect two things come to mind. A: they were primarily a club band and most of their material were covers of other bands (case in point - this concert features, among others, a cover of "Lady Jane" by The Rolling Stones and "Sunshine Of Your Love" by Cream) and because of that they had more of a "garage band" appeal. And B: Their recorded efforts just didn't represent who they were live. This was a problem with a lot of bands in the 60's (Grateful Dead certainly was one) where, as great as they were live, just couldn't quite get in the groove in the studio. The opposite was also true with a lot of bands who were great in the studio but very disappointing live.

With all that said though, this concert from August 13, 1968 features The Yellow Payges as opening act for The Rascals (heard over the past few weeks), and it captures probably best who they were - a raw, spontaneous, tight band that had a large and loyal following from 1966 to their breakup in 1970. There is a really nice piece on the Yellow Payges you might want to check out here: http://www.60sgaragebands.com/bandbios.html

I'm not sure if this is the only representation of Yellow Payges live, but I haven't seen anything to suggest otherwise. As with all these performances, the recording technology wasn't as forgiving as it is now and mixing multiple mics was still flying by the seat of your pants. So forgive the distortions and the odd bursts.

As always, it's history.

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