THINGS TO COME - 'Hello'/'Good Day' (Warner Bros 7228) September 1968

The heavy psychedelic rock a la Cream is in evidence on the second and last Things To Come 45 on Warner Bros. Their first outing on this label was the excellent 'Come Alive'/'Dancer' produced by the in demand Dave Hassinger.

'Hello' is a sublime slow burner, written by bass player Bryan Garofalo and notable for some subtle psych guitar leads. Both sides were produced by David Crosby before he put together Crosby, Stills & Nash.
Garofalo went on to become a successful session player in the 70s and played with the likes of Jackson Browne, John Stewart, B.B. King and David Cassidy as well as many more performers.

I did some diggin' on the net and found an online interview with Bryan Garofalo conducted in 1976.
Full interview can be found here

Here's an extract where Bryan talks about his time with Things To Come:

How did you meet up with Russ Kunkel to get into your group I'd never heard of ?

Well, Things To Come, the name came after.  We both lived in Long Beach.  The guy who was playing keyboards in the group I was with said, "I know this drummer.  You've got to hear him. He's really great.  Let's go over and see him."  We went over to Russell's house, an apartment house, and he set up his drums outside and started to play for us.  He blew me away.  Did this crazy solo for about 20 minutes.  

So we just started playing, and we've been together ever since.  It used to be called The Satin Five, we were The Barons, it was nuts.  Then we got this crazy guy named Steve Runolfsson, a very far out person, he came up with the name Evil.  So, for a while, that's what we were called.  Then, when we left Long Beach, we left Steve behind, and the four of us became The Things To Come and reopened The Whisky A Go Go.  At the time we went up in '68 it was all black, soul music. 

Then Elmer Valentine decided to change it back into rock 'n' roll and The Byrds, which at that time still included Chris Hillman and David Crosby, the original band, opened-up the changeover.  We were the opening act for The Byrds, Electric Flag, Traffic, Cream, we were the resident band.
After we moved out, Chicago moved in as resident band.  At that time they were called C.T.A. 

Then there was Hourglass, who went on to be The Allman Brothers, and Duane was there.  All these people staying in these little, shabby apartments and playing at The Whisky.  This dumpy motel down the street.  Bought our black leather pants!  That whole thing was really neat for a while.  We played all our own stuff, all original material, and very hard rock 'n' roll.  Real loud!  Marshall stacks.....we purchased the amplifiers from Cream, actually.  When they left they sold them to a musical service and we picked them up from them.  CREAM printed on the back.  Turn it up to ten and scream.....

Was it through this residency that Warners picked you up?

Let's see, how did we get that deal?  There was a girl at Warner Brothers, Pat Slattery, who was a friend of my wife to be. Pat took some people from Warner Brothers to see us at The Whisky. They said, "Give us a demo tape."  We did that and they said, "That band's great but the songs stink." We said, "Thanks!"  We looked around for material and they gave us this producer, Dave Hassinger, and we cut some things with him and released a single.

Was this your first experience of the studios?

No.  We had been recording all the time we had been in Long Beach.  A good friend of ours, Dale Davis, had set up a studio at a place in Claremont, and we'd go up there, so we basically had some experience in there.  We'd go up and try things, cut some stuff, but it still takes a lot of getting used to.  Then, somehow, the guy that was managing Things To come (whose name remained nothing at the time), he was managing David Crosby and Peter Fonda. 

He picked us up and that's how we got turned on to David.  He listened to our stuff and he really thought some of it was good, so he said he would like to produce a couple of things on us.  Warner Brothers was definitely into that, so we did a couple of cuts with David.  The problems started with Stephen Stills.  David was going to produce an album of us, then he got hung up with Stephen, and then they put together the Crosby, Stills and Nash thing.  It has worked out for the best.  Russell still works with David, and I still see him, but we never did do an album.  

We just did four songs for them. I wrote one of them called, 'Hello', Russell wrote another one called 'Come Alive', the other two were obscure pickup tunes that we had done to appease the publishing people at Warner's.

Could you listen to them now?

Sure, oh yeah, it doesn't bother me.  It's terrible, disgusting, but it brings back great memories for me, all that stuff.  I've still got all those demo tapes at my house, and every once in a while I get out of it and go and listen to these things and think, 'Oh, my God, listen to that stuff, would you believe it?'  Great times.  It's like listening to John's records, you know.  They're wonderful. His songs are wonderful.  We did these four or five days up at Lake Tahoe.  Henry Diltz played banjo and harmonica, Russell played drums while I played bass and John played guitar.  We'd go skiing all day, drink red wine and get totally shit faced, ski back down again, come back in and play in this lodge just for room and board.  God, it was awful.  Get sick, go home with no money, bad cold.....''We had a great time, dear!"

Eventually, your group ran its course.....

Yeah, it really did, it couldn't go anywhere but into debt.  We didn't have any management.  I don't think it was ever really meant to be.  There were so many outside influences on the whole thing that it had to stop.  Russell and I both got married, and we really wanted to play, do other things, so we.....I shouldn't say "we". 

It was independent of each other, but it happened that we both split to get out there to see if we really could do it on our own.  We started cutting demos for 15 dollars a song, that kind of stuff. People liked the way we played and that's all it takes.  If you can get heard, you can get the chance, and if you can do it, then you've got half a chance.



  1. Although I prefer "Come Alive",
    this is still an excellent song with it's just waiting to fly guitar and excellent production.

  2. This song is a classic. "Come Alive" is good also, but not as good as this track.

  3. Are these guys the same "Things To Come" who cut the single "Sweetgina/Speak of the Devil?"

  4. The same group....They came from Long Beach, CA

  5. I still have cassette tapes of Steve Runolfsson playing piano and singing at his parents house in Bixby Knolls, around 1971 or so. Steve was a Character!


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