Psychedelic-Rock'n'roll: Wildfire - Smokin' (POWERFUL PSYCHEDELIC HARD-ROCK US 1970)

12 November 2009


wildfire,smokin,psychedelic-rocknroll,1970,hard-rock,austin,randy_love,armadillo,demo,front"WILDFIRE - SMOKIN'" (POWERFUL PSYCHEDELIC HARD-ROCK US 1970)

From Austin, Texas, and Laguna Beach, California, Wildfire was "Randy Love" (guitar and vocals), "Danny Jamison" (bass guitar and lead vocals), and "Donny Martin" (drums).
"Randy Love" and "Danny Jamison" had previously been members of "Phil Pearlman"'s band that recorded the rare surf 45 as "Phil and The Flakes".

PHIL_THE_FLAKES,Chrome_reversed_rails,Blower_scoop,Fink_Records_1010,1964,wildfire,smokin,psychedelic-rocknroll"PHIL AND THE FLAKES": "Chrome Reversed Rails" / "Blower Scoop", Fink Records 1010, 1964

From 1969 until 1972, when Wildfire broke up, the band made Austin its home three quarters of the year, during the University of Texas' fall and spring semesters, and returned to Southern California during the summers.

Wildfire created such a stir with their loud amplification (thanks to their POWERFUL "Quilter Amplifiers") and high-energy original songs that other more established bands were in awe of their musical power.

Danny Jamison on stage

When Wildfire determined it was time to cut a demo album, they began in California at "The Beach Boys"' studio, putting down the bass and guitar tracks.
Wildfire guitarist "Randy Love" is Beach Boy "Mike Love"'s cousin.
A Texas promoter convinced Wildfire that Texas was the place they wanted to be and the place they wanted to record, and the boys returned to Austin, eventually ending up at the "Sonobeat Records"' Josey Studio (the same place and almost same time as "Vince Mariani" and "Cold Sun"/"Dark Shadows"!) toward the end of the year.

Randy Love on stage

Sonobeat owner "Bill Josey Sr." produced and engineered Wildfire's 8-song album in what was almost certainly the first of Sonobeat's 'work for hire' sessions -- those in which Sonobeat simply provided studio and engineering time in exchange for hourly fees.

Donny Martin on stage

Since Wildfire paid for the sessions, it owned its master tapes and self-released the resulting album, which has come to be known as Smokin'.
The album, following the style of Sonobeat's classic demo LPs, was released in a plain white jacket bearing hand numbered stickers.

The album's initial pressing (band members recollect variously from 100 to 1,000 copies) rapidly sold out, and today an ultra rare copy of one of those original vinyl pressings has become a 'must have' for devoted collectors.

According to "Pat Quilter", 'to my knowledge, this was the only recording of Quilter amplifiers used at full power'.
Sadly, the master tapes were lost years ago and there isn't a protection dub in the Sonobeat archives.
Happily, in 2006, the band released a CD of the album re-mastered from an open reel copy of the master tape that Barbara Light Lacy, the band's long-time friend and present producer, had held onto for 35 years.
The Wildfire's LP Smokin', is an EXCELLENT guitar Psychedelic / Hard-Rock, one of the very best in the style from anywhere.
From the opening echoed growl guitar intro "Stars In The Sky" with dual vocals, and great stereo effects through the ten-minutes-plus "Quicksand" at the end of side two, this record sits at the top of the pile of US West Coast Hard-Rock privately pressed albums.


DJ Useo said...

Thanks.Your description is dead on.

Psychedelic-Rocknroll said...

Thank you DJ Useo !

see you soon,

Anonymous said...

hi alessandro!

thanks for sharing
very nice !

see you!

.el camaleon

David L Rucilez said...

Brings back great memories. I used to play in a group with Danny Jamison back in '68 in Watsonville California..I miss him!

Nick Campbell said...

Hi: My brother and I are working on a documentary about the Nikas brothers and their coffee houses including the Prison of Socrates, the Golden Bear, Rouge et Noir and Cosmos, which were the same club but different names. Jerry Nikas we know had something to do with Phil and the Flakes recording on Fink Records. Can anyone tell us more? We are currently working with Alex Nikas who owns the sound recording of the 45 rpm master of the recordings that Phil and the Flakes did for Fink Records, but we need to know specifics about what happened and how Jerry Nikas came to record and promote the group while they were together. Nick and Mike Campbell

Anonymous said...

hello ...
My Dad owns a copy of this Smokin LP..
Where did you get this picture of the LP?