Friday, November 11, 2022

Jesus, Aliens, and A Little Bit of Soul - Hippie Love Turbo Radio Show - Code Word "Pineapple Guava"

On this episode of Hippie Love Turbo, on KUCR 88.3 FM you heard a song by Merrell Fankhauser and (His Trusty) H.M.S. Bounty titled: Drivin' Sideways (On A One Way Street). The song features some fuzzy guitars and lighthearted psychedelic lyrics with a nice solid backing groove making it a fun cruising song that sounds like it'd fit on the soundtrack of an old biker flick. 

Prior to H.M.S. Bounty, Fankhauser started his musical career with The Impacts, a surf-band that released their first album Wipe Out in 1963. After The Impacts dissolved, Fankhauser started a group that could be described as teen pop, rock n roll, or garage rock with a group known as The Exiles. In the late '60s Fankhauser switched genres and released what I consider his best musical output with H.M.S. Bounty, an album titled Things! There's a re-released version of the album that came out in 1985 but I prefer the original version because it feels raw and appropriate for its time, whereas the '85 re-release feels like it was polished in a way to fit in with '80s standards and, funny enough, feels more dated to me. Perhaps I'm mistaken, but it seems that there were also newer overdubs and editing that also take away from the original release.

Clip from Merrell Fankhauser's Alien Talk

Fankhauser's musical output changed quite a bit over the years as his interests in Hawaii, tikis, space travel, and alien life became more apparent. In the 80's Fankhauser's science fiction themes reached their peak with his 1986 album Message To The Universe. The album features drum machines, synths, and is a bit funkier. 

Eventually, Fankhauser began hosting radio and television shows which featured live performances from various artists on a stage built at his own home. There are some clips and episodes available on Fankhauser's YouTube channel, all of which have a public-access television feeling to them. If you want a more exhaustive look into Fankhauser's history I suggest checking out his interviews with It's Psychedelic Baby Magazine and Mark's Record Reviews or his official site.

As the show continued you heard Music Explosion's I See The Light. The band is considered a one hit wonder with their song A Little Bit of Soul being their claim to fame. Similarly, to other bands of the time, a big chunk of their work includes covers from various other garage groups. The band's drummer, Bob Avery, went on to work with another group, Crazy Elephant, which also had a single hit with their song Gimme, Gimmie, Good Lovin' in 1969. 

Image from Biblewalk's official website

While researching Music Explosion I stumbled upon an unusual wax museum located in their hometown Mansfield, Ohio named Biblewalk. Like many other religious museums, Biblewalk features dioramas based on scenes from the bible featuring narration and stage lighting. However, what's most peculiar about this museum is the fact that most, if not all, of the wax figures have been repurposed from other museums. Despite the museum's attempts to mask the wax figures' origins, visitors with sharp eyes can spot various famous actors and musicians throughout history. If you are interested in Biblewalk but can't make it to Mansfield, check out this video by The Carpetbagger where he explores the museum's highlights.

Anywho, that's about it for this episode's summary. Thanks for reading the blog and be sure to listen over the air on KUCR 88.3FM on Saturdays at 9pm PST. You can also listen through, Radio Garden, or Tune-In

You can check out this week's playlist below:


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