Jane was supposed to pick me up hours ago…
Listen/Download – Peter Fonda – November Night
Welcome to a new week here at the Leg of Iron.
The track I bring you today has been sitting in my crates for a good long time, passed along to me by a benefactor (I cannot recall exactly who) close to 20 years ago.
I do remember who turned me on to the song for the first time, since it was none other than Ugly Things honcho Mike Stax, via a cassette trade back in the 90s in furtherance of my Gram Parsons completism.
The song in question, ‘November Night’ is a song that Parsons wrote in the mid-60s but never took past the demo stage.
It was Parsons’ friend, actor Brandon DeWilde, who introduced he and the International Submarine Band to Peter Fonda, who enlisted them to appear in his 1967 film‘The Trip’.
Appear they did, but only after their music was dubbed over with a track by the Electric Flag, but that is – as they say – another story.
At some point in that convoluted interaction, Fonda, who was dabbling in music, picked up ‘November Night’ and recorded it.
As the story goes, none other than Hugh Masekela heard Fonda playing guitar at a party and suggested that he make a record. Fonda went into the studio during 1966 and recorded an album’s worth of songs for Masekela and Stewart Levine’s Chisa label, of which only ‘November Night’ and its flip side, a cover of Donovan’s ‘Catch the Wind’ ever made it to vinyl.
The record, produced by Masekela is, aside from Fonda’s occasionally flat vocals, pretty cool.
The song itself is quite groovy, and the the arrangement is classic, mid-60s, California folk rock (it was included on Rhino’s excellent ‘Where the Action Is: Los Angeles Nuggets’ set).
Unfortunately the record, released in March of 1967 doesn’t appear to have caught on anywhere, failing to make a dent in the charts.
I hope you dig it, and I’ll see you all next week with the first Iron Leg Radio Show of 2013.