October 14, 2015

Dantalian's Chariot - Coffee Song (1968)

As mentioned previously, Zoot Money was a vocalist and keyboardist who attempted to make a name for himself in the world of jazz, soul, and R&B since 1961 with his backing band the Big Roll Band. Not reaching the success he aimed for, Zoot decided to split the group up in 1967 and try a more psychedelic approach, with some of the same members, since his previously preferred styles were falling out of fashion.

Together with Andy Summers (later of The Police), Zoot Money assembled this band, Dantalian’s Chariot. The name of the band was suggested by the band’s publicist, Jim Ramble, who was inspired from by The Lesser Key of Solomon, a medieval book about witchcraft, with Dantalion being a powerful Great Duke from hell.

The band released their first single, “Madman Running Through the Fields,” with the idea of creating a full-length album to encompass it after its release. Unfortunately, before the album could be finished, their label decided to drop them, not approving of their new psychedelic sound. Soon after, in April 1968, the group disbanded.

It wasn’t until 1996 that the unfinished album saw the light of day, when it was released by Wooden Hill. Although the album couldn’t be released exactly as it may have been in 1967/1968, the effort was made to have the album keep its originally intended psychedelic nature. The song below, written by Ray Smith and Tony Colton, was one of the lost tracks, buried for nearly thirty years.

album art

Dantalian's Chariot - Coffee Song (1968)

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There’s a full-time reservation
Made in the bar at the railroad station
And there’s a story, a kind of fable
On a card at the corner table

On it is a message, been there sometime
It starts off “The coffee tasted so fine”
It says, “One day this may find you
These few words may just remind you
We sat here together just to pass time
And you said how the coffee tasted so fine”

It goes on to say, “I love you
If you should find this, I must hear from you”
It gives a number, but the name has faded away
All that is left are just the words, “Maybe someday”

Well that’s the story and the fable
Never leave alone from a corner table

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