The Strawberry Alarm Clock – Tomorrow


The Strawberry Alarm Clock


Listen/Download – The Strawberry Alarm Clock – Tomorrow

Greetings all.

The sixties were a turbulent time…

No shit…

That said, whenever some decrepit 60s icon staggers into view on late night TV, trotting out that tired, old saw to sell CDs, you can just about guarantee that it will be followed (backed?) by the music of one of three pieces of music:

Jimi Hendrix doing ‘Purple Haze’

Canned Heat doing ‘Going Up the Country’ (or possibly ‘On the Road Again’ depending on the level of drug association required)

Or, and this one works it’s own specific kind of magic, gathering together a special class of damaged brain cells through which the mind processes things like tie-dye, psychedelic light shows and documentaries about the 60s being a ‘turbulent time’,

The Strawberry Alarm Clock playing ‘Incense and Peppermints’.

Very few songs pack the kind of psychedelic punch most likely to grab your ‘mainstream’ viewer more than ‘Incense and Peppermints’. It is at once trippy, bubblegummish, and a well written pop song, and its opening, with the pounding drums and swirling organ are just about perfect.

The kind of thing that will compel most people of a certain age to start doing a loose amalgam of the frug and the Batusi, by which they indicate that they understand the psychedelic-ness of the situation, and are imagining those two refugees from Woodstock in the old ‘Freedom Rock’ commercial.

Now, I say none of this to put down the Strawberry Alarm Clock (even the name is the ne plus ultra of psychedelic absurdity), since I really dig that song.

Though I can’t say that I know a lot about the band (other than that Ed King ended up in Lynrd Skynyrd), the 45s that I have procured over the years (especially the tune they did in ‘Psych Out’) have been cool, or at least cool enough to separate them from the kind of Kasenetz-Katz ersatz band product that was its contemporary.

The Strawberry Alarm Clock were not dwelling on the psychedelic Olympus with bands like the Jefferson Airplane, but they did create a very solid brand of psychedelic pop that managed to remain somewhat authentic, while simultaneously crossing over to the pop crowd.

The song I bring you today, ‘Tomorrow’ (sounds like an Abbott and Costello routine…), written by guitarist Ed King and keyboard player Mark Weitz, is a breezy pop-psyche confection with a vaguely Latin underpinning that sounds somewhat Association-ish until the combo organ and acid guitar pop in, and then closes out with a bit of trippy echo.

Proof once again (literally) that they were more than a one-hit wonder.

I hope you dig it, and I’ll be back on Monday.





PS Head over to Funky16Corners for a 45 by the mighty Andre Williams.

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  1. The band was formerly known as the Sixpence-a case of taking an English sounding name

  2. Actually, this was a hit, too, charting at #23 in Billboard in the winter of 67-68. Just thought you should know.

  3. Steve Bartek played flutes & things on the first album, went on to Oingo Boingo and now works with Danny Elfman on the greatest soundtracks in Hollywood. SAC appeared in some great movies like “Beyond the Valley of the Dolls,” and “Pscyh out” with Jack Nicholson and Richard Pryor.

  4. One of the very first singles I ever bought way back then was SAC’s “Barefoot In Baltimore”. I’m pretty sure that song was the follow up to this one. I’ve always liked both “Tomorrow” and “…Baltimore” over the much more popular “Incense And Peppermints”.

  5. If you haven’t heard them yet try to get their first two albums. “The World’s on Fire”
    from the first album is brilliant. There’s a part of me that thinks the SAC are a guilty
    pleasure but when you hear their lesser known stuff they have a tendency to creep
    up on you – on the surface they sound so lightweight but they’re well worth a closer
    listen as there’s a lot going on that tends to wash over you the first time round.
    There’s some downright strange stuff going on in the lyrics to “Paxton’s Back Street
    Carnival” – like eating candy floss and finding a fish hook.
    The “Strawberries Means Love” comp. is a really good introduction to their work

    The band have a website which has some footage of them playing live at some club
    in 2007 – still wearing their paisley gear :)

  6. SAC’s bassist, Paul Marshall, now plays bass with the California cosmic country band I See Hawks in L.A.

  7. The Alarm Clock continues to tick and click these days. They recently finished a cover of the Seeds’ “Mr. Farmer” for a Sky Saxon tribute. By and large, they have avoided living in the past — no oldies tours — and continue to create music.

    This is a couple of the SAC members, too.

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