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Powder

After the Beatles broke big in America in 1964, plenty of young American rockers began following the lead of their peers in the U.K., and very few did so with greater enthusiasm than Powder, a California-based combo whose explosive style was rooted in their enthusiasm for the Who, the Small Faces, the Creation, and other similar acts. The Powder story begins with guitarist Richard Martin, aka Richard Frost, who grew up in San Mateo, California, not far from San Francisco. Frost became a rock & roll fan at an early age, and had already played in a handful of local acts with his brother Thomas Martin (aka Tom Frost) when the British Invasion struck in 1964. The Frost Brothers formed a band called the Newcastle Five, whose jangly style was informed by the new British sounds and early folk-rock. The Newcastle Five were playing clubs in San Francisco when they were spotted by Ray Columbus, a rock & roll singer from New Zealand who had come to the United States in hopes of advancing his career. Columbus invited the Newcastle Five to be his backing band, and the new combo took on a new name, the Art Collection. The Art Collection released a fine example of fuzztone proto-punk, "Kick Me," in 1966, but Columbus didn't stay with the group long, and as the first waves of the San Francisco psychedelic sound began to appear, the Frost Brothers relocated to Los Angeles in search of an audience for their louder, wilder sounds. Teaming with drummer Bill Schoppe, the Frosts caught a lucky break in 1967 when they were hired to be Sonny & Cher's backing group for a nationwide tour. In addition to a well-paying road gig, the Sonny & Cher tour also gave the Frost Brothers connections with Sonny Bono, who had launched his own music production concern, Progress Production Company, with producer Denis Pregnolato. When the Frost Brothers and Schoppe formed a new band called Powder -- short for gunpowder, with the name a play on their explosive musical approach -- Progress signed them to a deal, and the group cut an album at Hollywood's Gold Star Studio, with Bono and Pregnolato as producers, that they planned to lease to Atco Records. However, the deal went sour when Progress demanded the publishing rights to the songs, and the album was shelved. Powder soon broke up, and the brothers began performing as Thomas & Richard Frost, cutting an album of introspective singer/songwriter material for Imperial that failed to see the light of day when the label was sold, and later a country rock set for Uni Records in 1971. In time, the Powder material became legendary among fans of '60s garage rock and freakbeat, and a collection of rare and unreleased Powder and Frost Brothers material, Biff! Bang! Powder!, was released in 1996; another Powder anthology, Ka Pow! An Explosive Collection 1967-1968, was issued by the British label Big Beat in 2014. ~ Mark Deming, Rovi
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Comments

This is very cool. Glad this one came up! (In a station seeded with The Shaggs! I guess there isn't anything like the shaggs, so you get someinterest i n g things!)
Very much Simon & Garfunkle-es k . . . n i c e !
Discovery of the day.
The Lemonheads of 60's San Mateo
This stuff is heavy. Worth a listen or two while running around with your dogs in the yard. The fuzz guitar is dope.

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