A Bit Like You And Me Radio

June 24, 2013

The Harbinger Complex - Time to Kill (1966)

Bob Hoyle III and Ron Rotarius began playing guitar together when they were in the eighth grade. By the time they were sophomores together in high school, they had enough talent and musically-inclined friends to put together a band. They called themselves The Norsemen. Unfortunately, in 1965, Hoyle was called to active duty in the Naval Reserves for the Vietnam Conflict. By the time he had come back in 1966, the early stages of The Harbinger Complex had already begun with Rotarius. Hoyle was quickly accepted as the band’s lead guitarist, while Rotarius performed rhythm guitar duties. Also in the band were Jim Hockstaff on lead vocals, Gary Clark on bass, Jim Redding on drums, and Chuck Tedford on organ. Tedford parted ways with the band before having a chance to record. The band had a huge local following in their hometown of Fremont, California, and they were soon recording singles. August 1966 saw the release of “Time to Kill,” “When You Know You’re In Love,” “I Think I’m Down,” and “My Dear and Kind Sir.” All recorded in Los Angeles at Golden State Records, the singles were released on the Amber and Brent labels, with the latter two released on the Mainstream label’s 1968 compilation album, With Love: A Pot of Flowers. When Jim Hockstaff left the band in early 1967, Gary Clark took over the lead vocals. Unfortunately, the band didn’t last much longer and they split up before the end of 1967. Hoyle passed away on May 6, 2003, but the whereabouts of the other members are unknown to me.

The writing credits of this band were always attributed to Hockstaff and Hoyle III. In a Lennon/McCartney fashion, no matter who wrote the song, credit was given to both members. Usually Hoyle was responsible for the music and Hockstaff the lyrics, but for the particular song below, Hoyle had written the words. The lyrics to this song were based on Hoyle’s recent experiences in Vietnam.

album art

The Harbinger Complex - Time to Kill (1966)

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Lyrics:

My, my, where’s the sky?
Just got up and don’t know why
If I start, I know I will
Come back on a time to kill

I see others pulling back
Cashing in on my own high
Stealing acts
They don’t know why

Hey, hey, time to pay
What was blue is turning grey
If I jump, perhaps I can
Escape this happy, hippie-land

Can’t believe it’s coming still
Cast another freaky spell
Waiting for my ringing bell
I will win, but please don’t tell

I see people floating by
Cashing in on my own high
Stealing acts
They don’t know why

Gee whiz, nothing is
Make a guess at which is his
Tell me sir, by where it’s at
One more line ‘bout this or that

Can’t believe it's coming still
Cast another freaky spell
Waiting for my ringing bell
I will win, but please don’t tell

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