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This band made a name for themselves in the mid-‘60s as a hard rock band before hard rock bands were even remotely popular. Based in Los Angeles, the shining star of the band was Randy Holden, the group’s lead guitarist who had previously been in the surf group The Fender IV and the surf rock/hard rock band Sons of Adam. Prior to joining this band, Holden had been offered Jeff Beck’s recently vacated spot in The Yardbirds, but as Holden put it, “the band was to break up before space, time, and distance” could bring them together. Holden then found an outlet for his heavy guitar playing with this group, which featured members Jeff Nowlen on lead vocals, Geoff Westen on rhythm guitar, Larry Brown on bass, and Danny Woody on drums. Holden would often perform experimental guitar solos on stage, turning the volume up on half a dozen amps to full blast. The crowd loved it, but after a lukewarm reception to the band’s only album, Holden parted ways to join Blue Cheer, who was looking for a new guitarist, and the band moved out to San Francisco to carry on without him.
Unquestionably the band’s most popular tune, this song’s lyrics were written by the band’s vocalist Jeff Nowlen and its music arranged by Randy Holden. According to Holden, none of the songs recorded by the group sounded that great to him when he gave them a listen. He felt that nothing came out as “powerful” as it had sounded in the live shows. Although not referencing this song in particular, he’s referred to the music put out by the band as “dead, dull, and dumb-sounding.”
[Update: Randy Holden of The Other Half submitted an exclusive story to us. Click here to read it.]
The Other Half - Mr. Pharmacist (1968)
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Can you help me out today
In your usual lovely way?
Oh, Mr. Pharmacist, now I insist
Can you give me something that will persist?
Won't you please
Give me some energy?
Hey, Mr. Pharmacist
I'll recommend you to my friends
And they'll be happy in the end
Oh, Mr. Pharmacist, can you help
And send me on that magic trip?
To ease your mind
You can stock me up for the wintertime
Hey, Mr. Pharmacist
Words cannot express
The feeling I suggest
Oh, Mr. Pharmacist
I thank you deep
I found that powder, indeed
I'll be back
With a handful of empty sack