Sunday, November 18, 2007

Flower Travellin' Band- Otoko, How Many More Times

While reading Julian Cope's JAPROCKSAMPLER, I was happy to see my favorite Flower Travellin' Band release mentioned, From Pussies Til Death in 10,000 Years of Freakout. I snagged the vinyl LP on Apex Records a few years ago from Eclipse. It seems to be a bootleg and as far as I can tell these pre Satori recordings (recored in 69-70) have never been issued/reissued. The back cover states:
These were crazy sides recorded before the golden dawn of the Flower Travelling Band. Extreme suites of lead-molten guitar, poured with pain and beautiful psychedelic wonder into the mouth of the round eye cow.

Ok, so there you go. The front cover is credited to Flower Traveling Band, while the back is credited to the pre FTB Flowers. There are four tracks on the LP. The first track, "I'm Dead," is divided into two parts, the first taking up the whole first side of the LP. In JAPROCKSAMPLER "I'm Dead" is described as a work commissioned by composer Toshi Ichiyanagi (who had plans to record a rock band with a symphony orchestra but decided to let the Flowers jam out) with his only stipulations being it clocked in at over 20 minutes and was called "I'm Dead" after one of Tadanori Yoko'o's most famoust paintings. "I'm Dead" is free form instrumental freak-out with deep space reverb notes flying from the outer reaches of stonerdom, to heavy duty noise blur scariness. As the jam wound down, the tape machines kept rolling and recorded "Otoko," the second song on From Pussies Til Death.... Another instrumental, this one features a simple, upbeat bass lick being flooded by a spastic drummer and two (I think?) tracks of blazing guitar soloing all over the place. Almost like a distilled and more 'mersh version of "I'm Dead!"

The other tracks on the LP are covers of "Stone Free" and "How Many More Times." The blog Cities on Flame With Rock and Roll devotes a post to the cover of "How Many More Times" here with a substantial Julian Cope quote on the song. Definitely one of the most frenzied cover versions ever, my favorite Led Zeppelin track gets ground up and destroyed in a most perfect fashion. Crazy.

In a recent post on the Acid Mothers Temple mboard about JAPROCKSAMPLER, Kawabata said " friend who is Japanese also knows about 60s & 70s Jap Rock very much said there were many mistakes and misunderstanding, when he read this book... but also he said anyway it would be a good guide for beginners of Jap Rocks..." I am curious to hear anything regarding From Pussies Til Death... from anyone with an inside knowledge of the release. According to Cope's book
...for the Flowers, for Yuya Utchida, for Toshi Ichiyanagi, for the entire Japanese rock'n'roll underground, "I'm Dead" was nothing short of R E V E L A T I O N!
I can't tell if "I'm Dead" was ever actually released in Japan, and if so, on what. Anyone with any inside knowledge on this or exactly how far reaching "I'm Dead" was, please post in the comments!

It seems this LP is currently out of print, hopefully someone will reissue it, etc. some day. Insane and youthful, the all out assault on these tracks is fercious, a very different animal from the disciplined cold brutality of Satori.

Flower Travellin' Band- Otoko

Flower Travellin' Band- How Many More Times

UPDATE: Ok, after some more research it seems that "I'm Dead" was released on Toshi Ichiyanagi's Opera from the Works of Tadanori Yoko'o. Also, "Otoko" was released on the fourth volume of the Love, Peace and Poetry series.

1 comment:

FLOWER TRAVELLIN' BAND is Rockin' Treasure. said...

in Knitting Factory,NYC,US

F.T.B. came back from a trip!