43. THE ASSOCIATION - Pandora's Golden Heebie Jeebies

THE ASSOCIATION - 'Pandora's Golden Heebie Jeebies'/'Standing Still' (Valiant V-755) Nov 1966

The Association were virtually unknown in England during the 60s only denting the charts once with 'Time For Living' (it reached number 23) and that was in May 1968. In other words none of their American sunshine pop hits such as 'Windy' or 'Cherish' got noticed.

The ethereal, eastern tinged 'Pandora's Golden Heebie Jeebies' was a risky choice for a 45 to follow 'Cherish', being about as far out as The Association ever got. I happen to love this song as well as The Association so would never do an 'L.A. selected 50' without them being in it.

Pandora's was recorded at Western Recorders, Hollywood but the flip 'Standing Still' (and the more likely tune with hit potential) was taken from the album 'And Then...Along Comes Mary' from July 1966.

According to the liners from the Warners/Rhino double Anthology CD set, writer and singer Gary Alexander is quoted:

"Contrary to previous reports, Pandora's Golden Heebie Jeebies was not about the Sunset Strip night club Pandora's Box, but rather about Eastern spirituality that fascinated me at the time."

Shortly after the single flopped Gary Alexander quit The Association and went to India to meditate and smoke banana skins. He returned with a new name...Jules Alexander Heavy. ha ha ha....it could only happen in the 60s!!!

Also, take a look at the rather odd picture sleeve. So what's going on with Jim Yester pictured centre? He wasn't that tiny in real life surely. 


THE ASSOCIATION - Pandora's Golden Heebie Jeebies


  1. Tiny Jim! He wasnt that small indeed...
    in the photo session he was sitting on a small chair...you can see his hands over the knees...

    Anyways, their song rocks!

  2. What a killer sleeve! This is my fave Association single (from my fave Association LP). Pity there's no existing audio of of my heroes The action covering this on a '67 BBC session!

  3. Just listening to this on your comp, and I'm discovering stuff in the mix I've never heard on my mono copy of the lp. There's a "piano"-like effect that sounds not unlike the sped-up piano on See Emily Play, recorded 6 months after this release. Expodelic sounds indeed...

  4. I had the pleasure of seeing the Association live a couple of years ago (and the smaller pleasure of the Lettermen on the same bill, and the even smaller still pleasure of Gary Puckett), and when I was having Russ Giguere sign my passport (I did not have anything useful for him to sign, and he said he would sign anything) I asked him when the last time they had played Pandora's Golden Heebie Jeebies live was.

    He seemed intrigued by the question, looked over to Jim Yester, they both stared at each other for a second or two, and he confidently responded "about a million years ago." So, there you have it. This song has not been played live since before the dawn of human history.

  5. Thanks quarex - interesting story. I think it would be a tricky song to perform live as it's very intricate and complex.

  6. A great song which I can recall hearing on BBC radio sometime later (prob 1967/68), I think by Stuart Henry, John Peel also played it. Gary Alexander is playing a koto as the lead instrument, as Skip Spence did on Moby Grape's "20 Granite Creek".

  7. Lovely to run across this thread! I was in my late teens living in California during The Association's brief but intense peak of creativity (i.e., their first two LPs). They were shunned by the hippies (as were the Beach Boys, their only rivals in the vocal harmony department). That was the hippies' loss. ... I saw The Association play live twice -- at the Monterey Pop Festival and at Foothill College in Los Altos Hills, Ca., both in 1967. They were fine musicians, despite the role of "The Wrecking Crew" on some of their recordings, and the second album, "Renaissance," clearly shows a supremely talented group at the height of its powers across the board.

    "Pandora's Golden Heebie Jeebies" is probably their most powerful single track, immaculately structured and one of the greatest musical depictions of the ego-death-and-transcendence themes associated with LSD. I would go so far as to call it one of the most outstanding songs of the 1960s -- no small distinction. It's a great shame that it is so little known. Thanks for remembering it!


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