Psychedelic-Rock'n'roll: The Dovers - We're Not Just Anybody (MONSTER 60s GARAGE PSYCHEDELIC FOLK-ROCK US 1965-1966)

13 February 2009

The Dovers - We're Not Just Anybody (MONSTER 60s GARAGE PSYCHEDELIC FOLK-ROCK US 1965-1966)

dovers,just_anybody,garage,PSYCHEDELIC-ROCKNROLL,acid,pebbles,nuggets,tim_granada,california,miramar,FRONT"THE DOVERS - WE'RE NOT JUST ANYBODY" (MONSTER 60s GARAGE PSYCHEDELIC FOLK-ROCK US 1965-1966)

"The Dovers" came out of Santa Barbara CA, the two main guys were vocalist supreme "Tim Granada" and lead guitar Maestro "Bruce Clawson", they released their first 45 in September 1965 and their last in May 1966.

dovers,just_anybody,garage,PSYCHEDELIC-ROCKNROLL,acid,pebbles,nuggets,tim_granada,california,miramar,vandells"The Vandells": Pre-Dovers circa 1963That's four 45s in 9 months, and each one a MASTERPIECE of 60's TEEN GARAGE MUSIC.
Genre-wise I'd call this a transition tune from British Invasion into California Folk-Rock; the chords and lyrics are Mersey while the jingle jangle guitars spell L.A.

"What Am I Going To Do" (from first single "She's Gone" / "What Am I Going To Do" on Miramar Records #118)- I think a key to understanding "The Dovers"' greatness is that they weren't just a moptop band, but in fact had a third leg placed in a pre-Brisish Invasion girl group sound.

dovers,garage,tim_granada,psychedelic-rocknroll,miramar,california,she_s_gone,what_am_i,118The Dovers: "She's Gone" / "What Am I Going To Do" on Miramar Records #118, 1966

None of the eight Dovers tracks show that heritage as clearly as this flip-side, which opens with a deceptive Byrds riff before putting you right in the middle of a vintage Ronettes drive-in fest.
Still, it was Hollywood Hills Folk-Rock that would exert the strongest pull on "Tim Granada", "Bruce Clawson", et al.

dovers,garage,acid,pebbles,nuggets,tim_granada,psychedelic-rocknroll,miramar,i_could_be_happyThe Dovers: "I Could Be Happy" / "People Ask Me Why" on Miramar Records #121, 1966

The 2nd 45 featured "I Could Be Happy" which to me seems clearly inspired by the teenier side of the first two Byrds LPs; "You won't have to cry" in particular.
"Tim Granada" has modulated his vocal style into a slightly guttural McGuinnerism, and there's no doubt where the 3-part harmonies come from.
A fine tune, but not as good as the flipside's "People Ask Me Why", a work of pure perfection where the verses seem to lean more towards the moody pop of 1964-1965 Beatles than "The Byrds"; minor chords ringing with teen moodiness straight out of the awesome "Things we said today" / "I'll be back" school, and lyrics lamenting the fate of being a sensitive longhair in a world of crewcuts and Hawaii shirts.

dovers,just_anybody,garage,PSYCHEDELIC-ROCKNROLL,acid,pebbles,nuggets,tim_granada,california,miramar,bruce_clawson_promoIt's hard to understand today, but it wasn't until 1986 that the incredible "The Third Eye" 45 became known to the world, via the otherwise rather questionable "Highs In The Mid-Sixties" series.

dovers,just_anybody,garage,PSYCHEDELIC-ROCKNROLL,acid,pebbles,nuggets,tim_granada,california,miramar,Third_EyeThe Dovers: "The Third Eye" / "Your Love" on Miramar Records #123, 1966

A 100% Psychedelic Raga/Folk-Rock crossover MONSTER, and early (April-1966) to boot.
"The Dovers"' swansong release did not pursue the acid path of the preceding 45, but rather marks the closing of a 9-month cycle as we're here back in the woe-filled teen yearning of the debut.

dovers,just_anybody,garage,PSYCHEDELIC-ROCKNROLL,acid,pebbles,nuggets,tim_granada,california,miramar,bruce_clawson,She_s_Not_Just_Anybody,singleThe Dovers: "She's Not Just Anybody" / "About Me" on Miramar Records #124, 1966

"She's Not Just Anybody" seems to be the FAVE Dovers tune among some respectable pundits, and it does represent the perfection of the group's unique marriage of pre-Beatles teen sounds, "The Beatles", "The Byrds".
There is a clear maturity and self-confidence on display which makes the band's dissolvement an outright crime.
Only a truly unique band could deliver an instrumental break where there is no solo "per se", but simply a demonstration of the greatness of the underlying riff and chord structure, before diving back into ethereal vocal harmonies that define 1960's music at its greatest.
The flipside "About Me" was the only tune I hadn't heard before, and of course it's no disappointment; slightly weaker in the songwriting department than their most glorious outings but still with a fine Beatles guitar break, an unusual bell-like riff, and tough moptop outcast lyrics reminiscent of "People ask me why".

Mr. Granada is a genius.

The music of "The Dovers" is still as fresh and exciting today as it must have been upon its initial release in 1965-1966.
Thanks to Patrick The Lama.