I assume I was the only commuter in the country listening to a CD by the Seeds last Friday. I only listened to five of the 19 tracks—one song runs 14 minutes+–but I covered a lot of miles since I shuffled through three times.
If you’re still with me, you may want to know who are/were the Seeds? The group’s highest rated single, “Pushin’ Too Hard,” was released 50 years ago. The lead singer, Sky Saxon, was a true product of the psychedelic 60’s. Google to find out more about Saxon and the group. In fact, a 2014 documentary film, “Pushin’ Too Hard,” covers how this garage band took Los Angeles by storm in the mid-1960s, roared, then fell apart by the end of the decade. Regardless of their fall, some of their music has stayed with me, more than songs by rock’s icons like the Stones, Beatles, or Led Zeppelin.
I exposed my two kids to the Seeds when they were nearing their teens. They preferred the Smashing Pumpkins who ironically did a tribute concert in 2009 in memory of Saxon who had died of an infection that year.
Very few rock songs hold up after 50 years, especially hard-driving music like that churned out by The Seeds. Now that I am listening to the group on a regular basis again after a long layoff, I have to say that the simplicity of the lyrics, the running-in- place beat, the scraping on blackboard voice of Sky Saxon and the way the music was mixed make the final product powerful, even after 50 years.
Take “No Escape” from 1966 which can be found all over the internet (clip below). This piece captures the ache of love lost. When love becomes one-way and you’re on the short end, don’t stare out the window, instead, puff up your chest and scream about the pain that won’t go away and, as Saxon sings, “just live on.” Play the clip below to get it.. “No Escape” is better now than when it was first performed in 1966.