Dryw Keltz 2 p.m., Jan. 23
RIYL: The Lyrics, Magic Mushroom, the California Sons, Crawdaddys, the Man-Dells, the Survivors, the Band from U.N.C.L.E., Christopher Gaylord, the Misfits, Brain Police, Five Pound Grin, Glory, the Deep Six, the Nomads, Orfuns
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Influences: The Association, Status Quo, Simon and Garfunkel
The California Sons were a 1960s garage rock band who recorded two singles for L.A. label Coastline Records, the second single being “Cry Baby” b/w “I’m Gone.” Then the band split in two, with two members (John Buell and Gary Williams) forming Magic Mushroom, featuring two former members of the Lyrics, singer Chris Gaylord and guitarist Mike Allen. The other three California Sons carried on with new bandmates as the California Suns.
The second single by the original California Sons (which only featured two future Mushrooms), “Cry Baby” b/w “I’m Gone,” was rereleased by Warner Brothers in August 1966, rebranded to credit the band as Magic Mushroom, said to be due to the manager repping for both bands having signed a deal with Warners.
The renamed California Suns released a single called "The Masked Grandma" in June 1966, said to have been written by Roger Christian ("Little Old Lady from Pasadena") for Jan & Dean, though Jan Berry's road accident derailed those plans and the song ended up being recorded by the Suns. The flipside "Little Bit of Heaven" was written by band member Gary Williams.
Chris Gaylord from Magic Mushroom also recorded solo tracks like 1967's folky "Don't Talk to Strangers," which appeared in 2000 on the Best of Broadside 1962-1988 box set. Magic Mushroom is known to have recorded more of Gaylord's tracks at Les Paul's house in New Jersey, but that band too split with no further output.