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Public Nuisance

Public Nuisance was, until the early 2000s, unknown to all but the most fervent 1960s garage rock fanatics, mostly for the very good reason that they never released a record. The Sacramento outfit did play quite a bit live in California in the last half of the 1960s, and did a lot of unreleased recordings in 1968 and 1969 that never saw the light of day. This condition was remedied in 2002, when an astounding full, double-CD of tracks was issued, Gotta Survive, mostly taken from those unissued late-'60s sessions. These revealed them to be a respectable, though hardly phenomenal, group that integrated raw garage rock snarl with more experimental psychedelic guitar textures and song structures, with the occasional pop/rock influence as well. In these respects, they were akin to numerous California groups of the time, perhaps retaining their punkier elements more strongly and for longer than most. They got into not only some ambitious sounds, but also some ambitious lyrics that reflected the era's rebellion and questioning of established values, as well as expressing more conventional romantic sentiments.

Public Nuisance's roots were in the mid-'60s garage band the Jaguars, who changed their name to Moss & the Rocks. Under that moniker, they recorded a folk-rock-flavored garage single, "There She Goes"/"Please Come Back," for the small local Ikon label. Later that year, they re-recorded both tunes for a single on Chattahoochee. Both 45s are very rare and by 1967, they had changed their name to Public Nuisance and gone in more psychedelic directions without forsaking their garage energy.

Public Nuisance opened for acts such as the Doors, Buffalo Springfield, Sonny & Cher, and the Grateful Dead and did some unreleased recordings at Fantasy in San Francisco. However, they didn't have a record deal until some demos in late 1968 helped get them a contract with Equinox, run by noted Hollywood producer Terry Melcher (who had worked with the Byrds and Paul Revere & the Raiders). At the end of 1968 and the beginning of 1969, they recorded an album's worth of songs, but nothing was ever released, on Equinox or elsewhere.

Public Nuisance disbanded around 1970, with guitarist David Houston producing and playing keyboards with the new wave band the Twinkeyz in the 1970s and going on to produce Steel Breeze and Club Nouveau. The unreleased 1968-1969 sessions sound almost anachronistically unpolished by the standards of the day's psychedelic acts, and perhaps none of these would have been released if the band had been granted a chance to officially issue an album. However, in 2002, they were retrieved and issued by Frantic Records on a well-packaged archival release that will be of interest to intense fans of the late-'60s garage/psychedelic sound and is more diverse and eclectic than many other reissues of such bands. ~ Richie Unterberger
full bio

Selected Discography

x

Track List: Love Is The Song We Sing: San Francisco Nuggets 1965-1970

Disc 1

2. I Feel Like I'm Fixin' To Die Rag

3. You Were On My Mind

6. Don't Talk To Strangers

7. Anything

8. It's No Secret

9. Johnny Was A Good Boy

10. Free Advice

12. Stranger In A Strange Land

13. Who Do You Love

14. She's My Baby

15. Coffee Cup

16. Live Your Own Life

17. Fat City

20. Section 43

21. Hello Hello

Disc 2

1. Psychotic Reaction

2. Got Love

3. Satisfaction Guaranteed

4. Foolish Woman

5. My Buddy Sin

6. Streetcar

12. I'm A Good Woman

13. No Way Out

14. Hey I'm Lost

15. I Love You

17. Fly To New York

18. Thing In "E"

19. Hearts To Cry

Disc 3

1. Alabama Bound

2. Carl Street

3. Somebody To Love

5. Two Days 'till Tomorrow

6. Omaha

8. The Golden Road (To Unlimited Devotion)

9. Codine

10. Down On Me

12. White Rabbit

13. Roll With It

14. Why Did You Put Me On

15. Underdog

16. Summertime Blues

17. Glue

18. Soul Sacrifice

Disc 4

1. Evil Ways

2. Red The Sign Post

3. Lemonaide Kid

4. 1982-A

5. How Can I Miss You When You Won't Go Away

9. Murder In My Heart For The Judge

10. Light Your Windows

11. I'm Drowning

13. White Bird

14. Dark Star

15. Fool

16. Mexico

17. Mercedes Benz

18. Get Together

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