August 26, 2014

KAK - Lemonaide Kid (1968)

In 1966, high school students Gary Lee Yoder and Dehner Patten were first introduced to one another when Patten replaced Bob Daigl in Yoder’s band, The Hideaways. In that same year, The Hideaways had dissolved and Yoder and Patten started a new band, The Oxford Circle. Although The Oxford Circle was primarily based in Davis, California, they managed to travel all around northern California for live shows. They even made it to San Francisco, where they opened for acts such as the Grateful Dead, Jefferson Airplane, and Janis Joplin.

When The Oxford Circle disbanded in late 1967/early 1968, it was the father of Yoder’s writing partner, Gary Grelecki, who gave Yoder and Patten their next big shot. Working for CBS, Grelecki’s father persuaded the boys to record a demo with their new bandmates Joseph David Damrell (bass) and Chris Lockheed (drums). With that new demo and a single by The Oxford Circle, Grelecki’s father had enough material to persuade his connections to get the boys signed to Epic Records. They called themselves KAK and relocated to San Francisco.

Together as KAK, Gary Lee Yoder, Dehner Patten, Joseph David Damrell, and Chris Lockheed only recorded one album. It was recorded in Los Angeles at CBS Studio over the span of two days. Although a few low-level partitions were used, the album was primarily recorded like a live album, with little to no overdubs being involved. The album, self-titled, was released in 1968 and sold poorly. A large reason for the lack of sales was the reluctance of the record label to promote the album or even the band itself. Besides two half-page ads in Rolling Stone magazine, the band had been given virtually no promotion.

With no manager to guide them, the members of KAK weren’t sure what steps to take after the release of their album. They performed about a half dozen more shows, all booked by themselves, and then disbanded.

After the split, Patten and Lockheed would go on to perform in a band called Cherry Jam, amongst many others, until Patten settled down in Oregon where he still lives today. Yoder released a solo album for Epic before joining Blue Cheer, with which he remained from 1969 to 1972. All members continue to play, separately, to this day.

The song heard below was the last track on the band's only album, released in 1968.

album art

KAK - Lemonaide Kid (1968)

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Life’s road is not clear to me
No, the mapwork has not been laid
I thought I’d take a little detour
And go sit in the shade
Well, I got to take it easy, babe
I better watch out what I do
I saw the lemonade kid on the peppermint sticks
He had a mind-blowing kitty
He said he’d set it aside for you

Lemonade and I went walking
We met a man down the path
He said he was Donk, the feast-giver
Ooh, this can’t last
Oh, no- yes it can
Due to the kid’s luck
You know the feast was good
Well, we drank our fill and we ate until
The sun went down and the moon stood still

Here’s the road again
Oh, no, we can’t be sold
Just when things were getting good
The kid had to go
“Well, I’ll see you later”
“I hope you can make it back again someday”
“Got a lot more tricks to show you”
“And I’ve got a lot more places where we can play”

Life is just a play
And the world is its theater
Do you want to have a bit part
Or do you want to be a leader?
You’ve got to think for yourself
Don’t want to put any notions in your head
‘cause the only one that counts is watchings inside ya
And the way you act, he might as well be dead