On Friday 6 January 1967, The Birdcage re-opened with a record session called “Freak Out”. Tomorrow (Saturday) night it would be the Art Woods and on Sunday night the first Ska records sessions called “Prince Bustup”.
Over in San Francisco the weekend offered a range of delights: over Friday, Saturday or Sunday at the Fillmore, Bill Graham had the Young Rascals, Sopwith Camel** and bottom-of the bill, the Doors. For two nights, Chet Helms & the Family Dog offered Quicksilver Messenger Service and the Steve Miller Band at the Avalon, while across the bridge in Berkeley, Country Joe & the Fish were at the Golden Sheaf with John Fahey.
Meanwhile, in London, Pink Floyd had played the Marquee on Thursday with Eyes of Blue, while on this Friday night they were at the Seymour Hall in London for something called “Freak Out Ethel” with Ginger Johnson’s African Drummers, lights, films and slides plus Alexander Trocchi, a particularly wild writer and heroin addict, even by the standards of those days (check him out). I guess he read from his poetry (?)
** Sopwith Camel’s first LP was an early arrival in the ‘psychedelic’ scene while their single “Hello Hello” reached 26 on the Billboard pop charts – the first San Francisco rock hit, although to be honest it’s a bit like a rock/pop version of the New Vaudeville Band – a bit 1920s in the 1960s which is not untypical of some of that west coast stuff back then – try HP Lovecraft or the Charlatans (the other ones). Incidentally I reckon SC’s “Orange Peel” is more interesting …