The Poor – She’s Got the Time (She’s Got the Changes)

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The Poor (Randy Meisner, top)

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Listen/Download – The Poor – She’s Got the Time (She’s Got the Changes)

Greetings all.

I hope the new week finds you well.
The tune I bring you today is one of the happy by-products of walking around with a big juicy brain that sucks up facts like so much pocket lint.

Having spent most of my life as a music-obsessive and voracious reader, and often compelled to drill things down to their factual essence, at some point in the distant past I discovered that Randy Meisner (of the Eagles, Poco and Rick Nelson’s country-rock era) had gotten his start in a band called the Poor.

I’d never heard anything by the group, but I did know they fell well within the 1960s segment of the timeline.

When I was out digging earlier this year, that I had that fact filed away served me well when I found two singles by the Poor at a record show. Neither of them was expensive, so I tossed them on the keeper pile and took them home with me.

When they finally found their way onto the turntable and under a needle, I knew that I’d have to spend the rest of the day pampering my brain for serving me so well (perhaps some nice oily fish or a difficult crossword puzzle??).

I spend a lot of time in this space rattling on about the utter perfection of the mid 60s Sunset Strip vibe, with the jangle, and the granny glasses, and the onrush of psychedelia all wrapped in the brilliant pop hooks (since sunny southern Cal was bursting with talent), and when the old turntable started to release the sounds of ‘She’s Got the Time (She’s Got the Changes)’ I knew that I’d hit a big, fat bullseye.

The Poor were rooted in a few different bands in Meisner’s native Nebraska and Colorado. They relocated to LA in 1966, recording a number of 45s for York, Decca and Loma records.

Now aside from the unspeakable wonderfulness of this record, the really interesting thing for me is the involvement of (Michael) Brewer and (Tom) Shipley in the whole SoCal, folk rock jingle jangle scene.
Know mostly for their 1971 hit ‘One Toke Over the Line’, Brewer and Shipley years before that writing and recording their songs, and having the same songs covered by a number of artists.

I became aware of their songwriting when I discovered that one of my favorite Nitty Gritty Dirt Band tunes, ‘Truly Right’ had been written by Brewer and recorded by the duo on an album I would later track down, ‘Brewer and Shipley: Down In LA’ (which I’ll post some songs from in the not too distant future).
The duo also recorded their own version of ‘She’s Got the Time (She’s Got the Changes)’ (written by Shipley), which though excellent pales in comparison to the cover by the Poor*.

I am 100% serious when I tell you that this 45 (the one I have is a one-sided promo) is absolute Sunset Strip, Technicolor, pop perfection.

Like the best examples of that era, ‘She’s Got the Time (She’s Got the Changes)’ is pop, folk rock, ever so vaguely psychedelic (in lyric and sound) and bears the mark of the kind of forward moving musical innovation that was verily exploding in Los Angeles. Naturally it also includes the bright, high harmonies for which Meisner would become famous.

When the piano solo (sounding like they hung a mike inside a slightly out of tune baby grand) comes in, it tweaks your head and ears just enough to let you know that if the song itself wasn’t about drugs, psychedelics (in varying degrees) were certainly floating in the periphery.

If there’s anything at all wrong with this record, it’s that it’s less than two minutes long. It lasts long enough so that if you close your eyes and fire up your imagination you’re right there, loitering in front of Ben Franks with the band, but you’re pulled from your reverie before you know it.

‘She’s Got the Time (She’s Got the Changes)’ was a regional hit in the band’s native Denver in the spring of 1967.

There’s an import comp that collects the Poor’s best stuff.

I hope you dig this tune as much as I do (which is, obviously,  a LOT).

Peace

Larry

 

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*The other incredible Poor 45 I picked up that day is a tune called ‘Feelin’ Down’, written by Michael Brewer

PS Head over to Funky16Corners for two cuts by the Masqueraders

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4 Comments

  1. Killer track, I was introduced to this tune by a British cover of it by The Affex which amps it up considerably (must’ve been those purple pills) before I’d heard the equally cool original here. Nice to read more about them!

    • Hi Bill
      I was the lead singer of the Affex and i have been searching for a copy of our version with no luck. Can you reccomend how to track it down as you say you have heard it.
      It is so long ago i dont even remember what label it was on all i remember is that it was a double A release and the other track was I Never Knew Love was Like This.
      I hope you can help
      Kind regards
      Dave Ryan

  2. I saw THE POOR at THE FAMILY DOG on S. Evans in Denver, and I always remembered this song, and how good they were. Thanks for digging this up.

  3. I was sitting around with Barry Friedman in his home on Fountain Avenue with two friends, one of whom was a singer/songwriter; the other was my former girlfriend who was now this singer’s girlfriend. We were all compatible. Randy Meisner walked in and said, “Who’s got the narcotics?” We were introduced, and Barry put on a new LP by the Charles River Valley Boys…playing “I’ve Just Seen a Face,” the Beatles tune, bluegrass style. This was in 1968. He played the opening over and over, as Meisner and he tried to get it down. Barry was also playing The Kaleidoscope’s “Please” from their first album. David Lindley was visiting too–along with a girl dressed as a cheerleader and a perfect double of W.C. Fields, who waddled around the living room muttering and drinking tea. Certainly an eclectic mix. When we left with Barry to visit a friend in the Hollywood Hills, I drove by Wallach’s Music City on Sunset and bought The Poor’s single, “She Got The Time,” and a week later, The Kaleidoscope’s LP. Still have them. Barry and my former girl’s new boyfriend began a deal with the friend in the Hills for the importation of some exotic herbs. A magic time and place….


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