Song Of The Day 6/4/2015: Lowell George & the Factory – “Candy Cane Madness”


Nuggets Week: Where the Action Is! Los Angeles Nuggets 1965-68 is, in mission statement, the oddest of Rhino's Nuggets series. Depending on your tolerance level it might be the most entertaining. For certain it's the most amusing. The '60s "scene" in L.A. was very much a real thing, though it wasn't as centralized nor as lionized as San Francisco's. You had your Laurel Canyon balladeers and versifiers in varying shades of brown. You had your Sunset Boulevard indulgers and their doors-of-perception pick-up lines. You had your Venice Beachers and their ballets of palm-tree shirts and polite sunburns. And you had your Manson Family, who were not known for their mediation skills.

Even if none of those factions existed in L.A., New Bohemia still would have come to them, since Hollywood was Show Biz Mecca and had to figure out how to turn a profit from this hippie deal, especially in music. There was a revolution going on, a massive paradigm alteration that required acknowledgement and recreation from the brain-trust of Southern California song. Many Los Angeles musicians therefore turned to something all of American humanity can relate to: high fructose corn syrup.

For some reason the orgiastic elevation of L.A.'s spiritual self was frequently described in terms of confectionery. You had the Strawberry Alarm Clock's "Incense and Peppermints." You even had Ricky Nelson, rehabbed from suburban TV morality, singing about "Marshmallow Skies" (kind of but not really ripping off "Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds" in the process). And you had Lowell George -- one-time Zappa sideman, eventual Little Feat founder, the last guy you'd think would fall for the hippy-dippy bullshit -- tripping out over the lazy, hazy, crazy days of endless summer with "Candy Cane Madness." Use the new floss. Same as the old floss. Thankfully all this ended when Willy Wonka showed just how cutthroat the candy game could get.
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