September 27, 2012

The Lemon Pipers - I Was Not Born to Follow (1968)

This group came together in 1966, being composed of local Oxford, Ohio college students who had previously been playing in other, separate bands. Robert “Reg” Nave, the band’s keyboardist, had been playing with The Wombats; Dale “Ivan” Browne, their singer, played with Ivan and the Sabres; and both William Bartlett, their guitarist, and Ron “Dude” Dudek, their original bassist, played with Tony and the Bandits. In 1967 they managed to release a single and place second in a Battle of the Bands competition, losing to the James Gang. Two records and some international success later, the group was frustrated with what they wanted to play versus what their label wanted them to play and they split up before the end of 1969.

Although the group desired to be a rock ‘n’ roll band, their first release failed to chart. Because of this, their record company, Buddah Records, made the group record a bubblegum pop song, "Green Tambourine," that had been written by Buddah songwriter Paul Leka and his writing partner, Shelley Pinz. The song was released in late 1967 and rose to the top of the charts by February 1968. It's considered the first bubblegum pop song to ever reach number one. Because of its success, the group was pressured into recording even more bubblegum pop, such as the song heard below, and they complied, knowing that if they didn’t, they would have probably been dropped by the label. This song was written by Carole King and Gerry Goffin.

album art

The Lemon Pipers - I Was Not Born to Follow (1968)

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No, I'd rather go and journey
Where the diamond crescents glowing
And run across the valley
Beneath the sacred mountain
And wander through the forest
Where the trees have leaves of prisms
That break the light up into colors
That no one know the names of

And when it's time, I'll go and wait
Beside the legendary fountain
‘til I see her form reflected
In its clear and jeweled waters
And if you think I'm ready
You may lead me to the chasm
Where the rivers of our visions
Flow into one another

And I'll stay awhile and wonder
At the mist that they created
And lose myself within it
Cleanse my mind and body
And I know at that moment
As I stand in that cathedral
I will want to dive
Beneath the white cascading water

She may beg and she may plead
And she may argue with her logic
Mention all the things I'll lose
That really have no value
Though I doubt that she will ever
Come to understand my meaning
In the end she'll surely know
I was not born to follow

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