A LOOK AT THE MAGICIANS AND THE SONGS OF GARRY BONNER AND ALAN GORDON



This weekend I had a MAGICIANS freak-out .... not only the fabulous sounds of this NYC combo but the songs written by members Garry Bonner and Alan Gordon..... this is an all too brief update of my findings.





The MAGICIANS first single was "An Invitation To Cry" / "Rain Don't Fall On Me No More" on Columbia November 1965. Some copies came housed in a picture sleeve.

They came from the folk-rock scene in Greenwich Village and were regulars at "The Night Owl". According to the liners of the Sundazed CD, the Magicians took their name from the Lovin' Spoonful song "Do You Believe In Magic"

Both sides are GREATNESS but as with most of the worthy 45s released in the 60s it got no where fast and failed to chart, although they remained a popular group in New York....

"An Invitation To Cry" was comped on the Nuggets box but the folk rockin' "Rain Don't Fall On Me No More" has not been compiled and is not on YT either.


THE MAGICIANS - 'Lady Fingers'/'Double Good Feeling' (Columbia 4-44061) 1967

One of THEE very best psych tinged folk rock records was 'Lady Fingers' recorded in January 1967 and released as their final single on Columbia (after it flopped The Magicians were dropped by the label).

Written by Magicians Alan Gordon and Garry Bonner 'Lady Fingers' is an absolute jewel complete with complex and sublime harmonies.






BOBBY DARIN cut a version of the Magicians "Lady Fingers" on his "Inside Out" album from 1967..... complete with a baroque psych feel and sitar.... kool one!


THE GOSPEL - 'Redeemer' / 'I Won't Be Sad Again' (Vanguard Apostolic VRS 35084) 1968

This 45 is a product of the late 60s religious vibe that seemed to be rubbing off on a whole load of rock musicians and hippies to varying degrees.

The music on both sides of the disc is way-out. 'Redeemer' is a hippie psych gem kind of loosely based on The Yardbirds tune 'Tune Into Earth' with that strange Gregorian(esque) vocal delivery.
The flip 'I Won't Be Sad' sounds much more in the traditional folk format with banjo and fiddle but the hippie laid back approach gives it a late 60s feel.


Both songs were written and produced by ex Magicians bass guitarist John Townley.
To my knowledge The Gospel have not been compiled before. Curiously both songs were included on an album by The Family Of Apostolic and is perhaps the same outfit.

Both sides of this Gospel 45 are on the Family Of Apostolic self-titled double LP (Vanguard VSD 79301/2). Another 45 from their LP was 'Saigon Girls' / 'Water Music' (Vanguard Apostolic VRS 35081) - it was credited to The Family on the labels ...




Another version of "Lady Fingers" was recorded by a group called Barracuda.. This 45 on RCA was released November 1968.

The plug side "The Dance At St. Francis" was also written by ex Magicians Gordon & Bonner and was actually a small hit in some regions of USA.

This 45 was actually post-Gandalf. The album was recorded for Capitol at least a year prior to the release. Barracuda was their next project.



A teenbeat group called The E Types recorded a Gordon - Bonner song called "Put The Clock Back On The Wall"... They hailed from Salinas, CA. This 45 was released March 1967.
This trippy pop swinger was compiled on Nuggets #04 then chosen for the Nuggets box set that came out in the late 90s on Rhino.



It's such a shame that The MAGICIANS didn't hang around long enough to release an album or for that matter record their own songs in '67 with the group....

Here's another Gordon - Bonner song "She'd Rather Be With Me"
The Turtles had a huge hit with this one in 1967.
This is a pic of the British release on London Records, released in June



Another TURTLES hit penned by Bonner - Gordon was "Happy Together" from Feb 1967....one of the greatest 60s pop songs ever written... terrific.


"You Know What I Mean" from July 1967 is yet another Gordon - Bonner composition recorded perfectly by the classy TURTLES.

Another obscure song was recorded by Gene Pitney.... check out "Animal Crackers (In Cellophane Boxes)" Gene was hitchin' a ryde with some psych here.

Comments