Magic Mushroom

Christopher Gaylord: Vocals | Mike Allen: Guitar (electric) | John Buell: undetermined | Gary Williams: undetermined

Genre: Rock

RIYL: The Lyrics, California Sons, the Survivors, the Band from U.N.C.L.E., Christopher Gaylord, the Misfits, Brain Police, Five Pound Grin, Framework

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Magic Mushroom was fronted by Chris Gaylord, formerly of North county garage rockers the Lyrics. Best known for their 1965 single “So What!” which appeared in the Pebbles garage band compilation series. After the Lyrics split, Gaylord (who grew up in Cardiff) and fellow former Lyric Mike Allen teamed up with John Buell and Gary Williams, both of whom had just split from the California Sons (soon to rename itself California Suns, continuing on with replacement players), to form Magic Mushroom.

An old 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. This appears to be the only official Magic Mushroom release, even though the band is known to have recorded at Les Paul's home studio in New Jersey,

Gaylord (later known as Raymond Clearwater) 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.


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