PRIMROSE CIRCUS - P.S. CALL ME LULU


PRIMROSE CIRCUS - 'P.S. Call Me Lulu'/'In My Mind' (President PT-314) 1970

Primrose Circus hailed from Rice in Houston, Texas and got together in 1965 but at that initial timeframe they were calling themselves The Bedbugs. They soon became established on the local scene playing colleges and teen dances just like the thousands of garage bands that seemed to infiltrate America after the so called British Invasion.

In late '65 The Bedbugs got an offer of work in San Francisco and relocated to Sunnyvale where they became the house band at the Jamaica Inn for a month playing six nights per week. The band decided to change their name at this point and they became known as The Sandmen and started getting gigs in the heart of the City playing larger venues and strip joints eventually becoming resident band at the Pierce Street Annex.

During 1966 The Sandmen recorded some demos at a studio in San Francisco and on their return to Rice, Houston started shopping these demos around various labels in order to get their music released. It was during this activity that they met up with a local singer/songwriter called John Casbarian who gave them some of his songs to record. These songs turned out to be both sides of this disc under review.

The band recorded Casbarian's songs at Andrus Studio in Houston but with Casbarian's vocals over the backing track that they had laid down. The demo tapes made there way to Los Angeles and eventually to label boss Lou Adler who offered them a deal with Mira Records but with a further name change to Primrose Circus.

PRIMROSE CIRCUS - P.S. Call Me Lulu



A more comprehensive story about Primrose Circus can be found here. This excelent article seemed out of place on a University magazine website and I thought more people would appreciate Erik Tanner's work on Flower Bomb Songs.

'P.S. Call Me Lulu' is a pop psych delight and is pure 1967 greatness with jangle, tambourine and turned on harmonies. The flip 'In My Mind' sounds like something Simon & Garfunkel could have recorded if someone had given them a tab of clear light.
It has been suggested that Primrose Circus came from Los Angeles or even being just a studio combo messing about with free time. Maybe the Mira Records label added to this confusion.

In Erik Tanner's article he suggested that the Mira 45 was released in May 1967, however according to other sources it was 1968. Amazingly, the record was picked up by President Records and released in England sometime in 1970. I doubt Primrose Circus would have been aware of this at the time having officially disbanded in December 1967.


line-up on recording:
Harry Guffee (bass)
Mike Groves (guitar)
Bob Tanner (guitar)
Jerry Lawson (drums)
John Casbarian (vocals)

Comments

  1. What a particular story about this song. Read the whole article in the university daily magazine, and its quite intresting. Great research Colin, and info and a beautiful melodic tune.

    PS: amazing this one has no comments yet...shame shame shame...

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  2. Thanks for picking up my article and running with it. It's great to see this song kept alive. Keep up the great work.

    -Erik

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  3. Hi Erik - I'm pleased you found my post. You wrote a great article and raked up some much essential information about Primrose Circus

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  4. Thanks so much. Truth be told, it wasn't too hard to do the research. The writer and singer is a professor at my school, and I'm related to two of the other band members.

    -Erik

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  5. The May '67 release date is definite.

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