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The Harbinger Complex

A garage music group from Fremont, CA, the Harbinger Organic are best remembered for his or her 1966 fuzz-punk basic “I BELIEVE I’m Straight down” (Brent 7056). The quintet devoted to lead vocalist Jim Hockstaff and his songwriting partner B. Hoyle III. Hockstaff’s Dionysian exploits — the siring of many love kids — got him prohibited from Fremont’s Washington Large, however his musicianship influenced college student Jim Sawyers (later on from the Topsiders, Otherside, Vejtables, as well as the Syndicate of Audio — to hone his personal nascent guitar abilities. The Baytovens as well as the Harbinger Organic supported Paul Revere & the Raiders at an Oakland Auditorium concert in Apr 1966, and both headlined once again in a KRFC-sponsored gig at the faculty of San Mateo on Oct 15. The Complex’s promotion shot because of this pair of shows shows Hockstaff seated astride a barnyard mule, mike in hand, searching just like a half-crocked itinerant preacher, encircled by his four bandmates. The associated blurb — lots of pretentious, pseudo-psychedelic codswollop — reads therefore: “Five muddy physiques lay upon a desolate road. Sudden motivation doth lendse [sic] them well. A Harbinger beckons them. Ominous groans — the anguished noises of dying pets. Courageous lads, they established on the one-way trip. Overlook not really your surging bloodstream, pounding pulse, throbbing limbs! Five nude souls untamed, uninhibited, crawl into your mind. Walk within your brain, filling the body with an unfamiliar substance…You have observed the Harbinger Complex.” Kerouac, it ain’t. The Hockstaff/Hoyle structure “I BELIEVE I’m Down” is normally kick-ass proto-punk at its finest. Its folksy flipside, “My Dear and Kind Sir,” is really a genteel cut of 19th hundred years Americana — the Harbinger Organic exact carbon copy of the Byrds’ “Oh! Susannah.” Another 1966 one effort with the group, “Occasionally I Wonder” b/w “Tomorrow’s Soul Sound” (Amber 8999), lacked the self-confident punch from the Brent 45’s A-side. In 1967, Mainstream Information (which possessed subsidiary Brent) released a several artist’s compilation record titled A Container of Blooms which highlighted both sides from the Brent one and two brand-new Hockstaff-Hoyle music (“Time and energy to Wipe out” and “When YOU UNDERSTAND You’re in Like”). “Eliminate,” using its Vietnam dual entendre, is relatively pedestrian, while “Appreciate” is gleaming, syncopated, and snappy. A Container of Blooms (Mainstream S-6100) was reissued within the ’80s within Mindrocker, Vol. 10. “I BELIEVE I’m Down” in addition has appeared within the compilations Nuggets, Vol. 12: Punk, Pt. 3, Audio from the Sixties: SAN FRANCISCO BAY AREA, Pt. 2 (using its flipside, “My Dear and Kind Sir”), and Rhino’s four-CD package collection: Nuggets: Unique Artyfacts through the First Psychedelic Period, 1965-1968.

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