Thursday, February 15, 2007

David Marks – The Moon

If my record collection had to be pared down to a single decade, the 60s would most definitely be at the top of the list. The 70s would probably follow next, and it would descend chronologically down to today. Yes, I realize even contemplating this scenario pushes me into ‘hopeless record geek’ territory - but this reverence for music produced during the sixties is based on things other than my prized gold label copy of Forever Changes, the Dylan catalog or the advent of the fuzz pedal and the Marshall stack.

Rather, it’s based on the overwhelming quality and creativity of music produced during this decade, not only by the well-known but also the not-so-well-known artists, and what at times seems like an inexhaustible supply of overlooked gems. These unheard gems are what keeps this period alive and fresh and fuels more than a handful of devoted fans and reissue labels alike.

The subject of a soon to be released biography “The Lost Beach Boy”, David Marks (pictured center) was the rhythm guitarist in the Beach Boys from 1962-1964. He entered the line-up at the early age of 14 and can be heard on influential hits like Surfin USA, Surfer Girl, Little Deuce Coupe and In My Room. At the ripe age of 16 he left The Beach Boys to found Dave & the Marksmen, the first of his many projects during the 60’s. After playing in house bands on the Sunset strip, Marks went on to form The Moon.

The Moon was a supergroup of sorts and included Matthew Moore from Matthew Moore Plus Four who can be heard on the White Whale comp In the Garden doing their version of Codeine, drummer Larry Brown from Davie Allan & the Arrows who are best known for their great fuzz contributions to various biker flick soundtracks, future producer/engineer Andy Bennet and bassist David Jackson from the almost forgotten folk-rockers Hearts and Flowers.

Using bandmate Larry Brown’s newly built Continental Sound Recorders, the band must have set some kind of record at the time by clocking over 500 hours recording their debut Lp. The album is full of psychedelic flourishes including harpsichord, sitar, string sections, backtracking and the occasional birdcall.

Completed in the fall of ’67 and released the following year on Imperial Records Without Earth sold poorly and was given little promotion and the band never played a single live date together.

The baroque-styled Without Earth and the more mature and accomplished follow-up, but less intriguing The Moon have been reissued on one cd by Rev-Ola. Opinions on The Moon and their importance in pop history vary, but one thing’s for sure: “Someday Girl” can comfortably sit next to other baroque pop classics from the 60’s.

From Without Earth and David Marks' website , a slice of Southern California circa ‘67.

1 comment:

Pete Bilderback said...

Thanks Pete, this is a great song. At some point I want to do a label profile on Rev-Ola, because they have reissued some really interesting things that were impossible to find.

BTW, I'm not sure how long you would survive without a copy of "Fool For The City" if you pared your record collection down just to the 60s.

As for paring my record collection down to a single decade, I am unable to contemplate that even as an intellectual exercise. It's especially difficult if you step out of the rock music arena--I mean, would I give up my Louis Armstrong or Ravel albums so I could keep Forever Changes and Odessey and Oracle? I don't like to even think about stuff like that.