Rock ‘n’ Roll lightning can strike anywhere. The Neighb’rhood Childr’n, tucked away in Medford, Ore., near the California border were living proof that if you’ve got it, your mailing address doesn’t really matter. And the Neighb’rhood Childr’n definitely had it.
When Dyan Hoffman, Rick Bolz, Ron Raschdorf and W.A. Farrens drove 350 miles through the mighty redwood groves down to San Francisco to cut their first album at Leo de Gar Kulka’s Golden State Recorders, they couldn’t have picked a better time. It was the summer of 1967–now known as the Summer Of Love–and San Francisco was inundated with young people from all over the world, spurred on by a blossoming rock scene that included Jefferson Airplane, Big Brother and the Holding Co. and the Grateful Dead. And yet, none of those legends in the making ever cut an album as hard to find these days–extremely rare and collectible–as the LP by the Neighb’rhood Childr’n.
Not only is their record hideously hard to find, it’s amazingly groovy coming from four kids from a rural background. Dyan’s voice has the earnest zeal of a young Grace Slick, and the complex arrangements run the table from acid-soaked tripsichord to fiery anthems meant to spur on a new generation of street-fighting men as well as lonely navigators of the mind.
Not surprisingly, Dyan reveals that some of this amazing material was inspired by seeing Quicksilver Messenger Service for the first time. “They were always my favorite group,” she says. It just goes to show what you can soak up and give back to the world if your heart is in the right place.
The advent of ear-splitting, cortex-skewering bands like the Maze really did signal the end of the sixties. But just like that ultimate orgasmic blast during the finale of a great fireworks show, what a perfect way to go.
A true rarity among 60s psych collectors, tracks 1 through 7 appeared on the original Maze release, recorded at various studio sessions from September 1967 to March 1968 at Leo Kulka’s Golden State Recorders in San Francisco.
In addition to this original album, we’ve added six unissued bonus cuts! The earliest of these tracks, “Right Time” and “Rumours” were recorded on April 21, 1967 under the groups’ previous moniker, “Stonehenge.” The cool, folk-rock sound of “Stonehenge” is period Bay Area, complete with requisite female vocalist and chiming Rick 12-strings.
Other previously unissued tracks here include instrumental backings of “Dejected Soul” and “Kissy Face.” They are, essentially, extended, fuzz-guitar filled rehearsals for what would, several takes later, become the master backing tracks upon which vocals would then be overdubbed.