A Bit Like You And Me Radio

February 14, 2013

The Seeds - Flower Lady & Her Assistant (1967)

This highly garage-sounding band is considered to be a forefather of the entire punk rock genre. Formed in 1965 by Daryl Hooper (keyboard), Jan Savage (guitar), Rick Andridge (drums), and Jeremy Levine (guitar), the almost-complete band put out an advertisement in the Los Angeles newspapers looking for a lead singer. Answering the ad and getting the job was the future frontman for the group, Sky Saxon (b. Richard Elvern Marsh). Soon after their first recording session, Levine left the group and they continued on as a four-piece band. Although Saxon was credited as their lead singer and bass player, he never actually played the bass on their albums. In the studio, they (almost always) used a session musician by the name of Harvey Sharpe. In concert, Hooper bounced back and forth between the keyboards and the bass. The band’s first single, “Can’t Seem to Make You Mine,” was a large hit in Southern California; later hits included “Pushin’ Too Hard,” “Mr. Farmer,” and “A Thousand Shadows.” “Pushin’ Too Hard” was their only Top 40 hit in the USA, reaching number thirty-six. With their simple song structures and catchy vocal hooks, the band helped lay a clear groundwork for future punk bands and the punk rock genre in general. Not everyone liked Sky Saxon’s singing, however, as famed music critic Lester Bangs once referred to Saxon’s vocal styles as a cheap impersonation of The Rolling StonesMick Jagger. More recently, Saxon had begun recorded with The Seeds again in 2008 and agreed to join a 2009 tour that included The Electric Prunes and Love. Unfortunately, Saxon died just before the tour could get under way on June 25, 2009. The cause of death was a small infection that he had never had treated and, as a result, spread through the rest of his body cause simultaneous heart and kidney failure. It took quite a bit of research before anyone knew his actual age at the time of his death, as various birth years had been discovered, referencing Saxon’s belief that age is irrelevant. Finally, they verified that he was born on August 20th, 1937. He was seventy-one years old.

After the band had released two “garage rock” albums, The Seeds and A Web of Sound, in 1966, they decided to dabble in the craze sweeping the nation, psychedelia, when they released their next album, 1967’s Future. The only problem was that the band hadn’t really come up with any new ideas for material. Two songs on the album, “A Thousand Shadows” and the song heard below, were more or less melodic rip-offs of their own “Pushin’ Too Hard,” a hit released the year prior. This song, written by Sky Saxon, appeared as the sixth track on the album and is one of the few highlights to be found.

album art

The Seeds - Flower Lady & Her Assistant (1967)

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Lyrics:

There she is a’workin' her yard
The flower lady and her assistant
Lilacs and poppies, blood-red flowers
Sunlight preachin’ to touch the sky
Workin' so hard ‘til the day she dies
The flower lady and her assistant
The flower lady and her assistant

Yellow-print dress, she outgrows the rest
Working so hard right back in her yard
Lost in daydreams, forgotten by time
The flower lady and her assistant
She dances through life like a butterfly
Working so hard ‘til the day she dies
The flower lady and her assistant
Lilacs and poppies, blood-red flowers
Forgotten everything in search of peace
The flower lady and her assistant

There she is plantin' her yard
The flower lady and her assistant
Lilacs and poppies, blood-red flowers
Reachin’, touchin’, touch the sky
A painted billboard that hides her yard
The flower lady and her assistant
The flower lady and her assistant

A yellow-print dress, she outgrows the rest
Working so hard right back in her yard
Lost in daydreams, forgotten by time
The flower lady and her assistant
She dances through life like a butterfly
Working so hard ‘til the day she dies
The flower lady and her assistant
Just living in uncertainty
The flower lady and her assistant
Lilacs and poppies, blood-red flowers
Forgotten everything in search of peace
The flower lady and her assistant
The flower lady and her assistant
The flower lady and her assistant

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